View Full Version : 300mm lens questions

9-Mar-2011, 16:02
I've just picked up a Schneider Kreuznach Xenar 1:4.5/300mm lens for a song and want some feedback on how to best use this beast. It's mounted in a Sinar lens board (minus shutter), but I have a Sinar shutter that mounts behind the front standard, so I can shutter this thing. My Sinar is a 4X5, but I do have an old Kodak 2D 8X10. Anyone with any experience with this lens, I would love some feedback.

Mark Sampson
9-Mar-2011, 19:16
Big classic lens, Tessar formula, should be quite sharp. Enough coverage for 8x10. Nice long lens on 4x5 for portraits. Xenars were made for a long time, if yours is pre-WW2 it will be uncoated and thus lower in contrast than a more modern version. Schneider's website will tell you how old it is. Use a lenshood in any case and have fun!

10-Mar-2011, 06:02
My guess is it is post WW2, as it's in such great shape. Looks brand new even. I did use it to shoot a portrait last year and it is incredibly sharp. If I had a proper shutter to use it on my 2D I would mount it up and shoot it 8X10. Need a Packard shutter as the damn thing is around 31/4 inched across.

Dan Fromm
10-Mar-2011, 06:30
There's no need to guess, Schneider has published a list of serial numbers by year. See http://www.schneiderkreuznach.com/service/serie.htm

10-Mar-2011, 06:50
Thanks Dan, July 1970, so it's pretty new. Should be great fort color.

10-Mar-2011, 07:23
I don't have a 300mm Xenar, but I do have a 270mm Xenar. It's uncoated, so it's probably pre-WWII. I've found that it will cover 8x10, with a small amount of movement. That's OK, because I use it on an old Seneca Competitor, which also only has a small amount of movement. The 270 Xenar is probably intended for 6 1/2 x 8 1/2 format, i.e., whole plate. If I stop down to f/16 or so it's very sharp in the center of the field, but ever so slightly less sharp in the corners. If I stop down all the way (I think it goes down to f/45 but it may be f/64, I've forgotten and I don't have access to the camera during the day) It's sharp over the whole field. For a 300mm Xenar it will probably have better edge sharpness even for larger apertures. I have been using a 305mm Wollensak Velostigmat on my Calumet C1, but I like the 270mm Xenar better. I think the Xenar is sharper, and has better bokeh. I also have a Kodak 14" Ektar, but I haven't used it enough yet to make a valid comparison to the Xenar.