View Full Version : Old Schneider Linhof 150mm 1:5.6 question

23-Jul-2011, 03:31
Hello all,

I recently purchased a Technika V with an old Schneider K Linhof 150mm 1:5.6 attached. The Compur shutter needs some work on it as it's sticking pretty bad but the glass is very clean and clear. What are peoples opinions on this old lens? I've tried searching the net for information about it but there doesn't seem to be much written about it. My friend is a lens tech and reckons he could fix the shutter for under $75USD. Is it worth it or would I be better investing my money into a newer model? I'd primarily want to use it to shoot colour, if that makes a difference.

Thanks in advance,


Ole Tjugen
23-Jul-2011, 03:56
It's a Schneider Symmar, specially selected by Linhof. Use and enjoy.

23-Jul-2011, 04:04
Yes, it's a Symmar and Linhof branded, I forgot to mention that! I think it must date back to about the 1960's, would that be right? I'm not sure how they hold up when using colour film, but I imagine it would be great for black and white? I say this because my all time favourite Leica lens to use with black and white was the original Leica Leitz collapsable Summicron f2.0. It had a weird, blueish tone that was distracting when using colour but I loved it all the same.

Ole Tjugen
23-Jul-2011, 04:38
Personally, I have no hesitation to use colour film with single-coated lenses - or even uncoated, in some cases.

I think I have a multicoated LF lens somewhere, but as far as I can recall I have only used it with black&white...

Frank Petronio
23-Jul-2011, 07:00
I've had 1960s and 1990s versions of the 150mm Symmar and it is impossible to distinguish the final photos... the feeling I have is that the later one with multi-coating will handle flare better and retain contrast, whilst the earlier single-coated lens will capture more shadow detail and require a lenshade in more situations. In printing it would be a matter of increasing adjusting contrast to get matching images. Color shot with older lenses can be quite lovely. The older shutters are nice because they have more aperture blades, giving you a rounder aperture as you stop down, so that out-of-focus backlit highlights are rounder - better bokeh. The newer lenses use cheaper Copal shutters with fewer blades, which means pentagonal flare spots!

Pretty much the same as a vintage Summicron versus a newer one. Resolution will be very close, you'd have to be making large prints to see a difference.

Schneider's quality control was not always as high as it became by the 80s, but the Linhof selected ones should be superior.

You might as well invest $75 into getting it up to snuff and enjoy shooting... then perhaps buy an inexpensive later-version 1990s 135mm to 210mm lens as a sharper, contrasty alternative, since you can find those plentiful and popular lenses for only $200 to $300 or so. You can always sell a 150mm Linhof-Select CLA Symmar for at least the same money.

23-Jul-2011, 21:00
Great, thanks for your reply.
I'm definitely going ahead with the repair, especially considering I could sell the lens later in working condition if I decide to upgrade. Although, by what you say this is an old gem of sorts and deserves to be put to good use. I'll give it a go and report back.

I guess I'm comparing mostly to the lenses I've been using on my Mamiya 7II kit for the last seven years. My favourite lens on that system is the 50mm. It's a stunningly good optic. The 90mm f8 SA MC I recently bought for the Technika is lovely too, although I've not used it enough to compare properly yet.

Can someone post some samples taken with the old Symmar?

Frank Petronio
23-Jul-2011, 22:56


These are from a lens that looks like this:


24-Jul-2011, 02:53
Great shots. Love the contrast and you're right, it reminds me a lot of the Summicron I mentioned. Exactly how I like my B/W's to look.
Pic of the lens looks exactly like mine, so I guess I'm on to a winner. I honestly know nothing about LF lenses, what ones to avoid or specific brands people recommend highly. I was looking in to slowly buying in to the Alpa system a while back so I could shoot 6x7cm and make use of vertical shift movements but the cost of entry was insane, especially considering most of the lenses with enough coverage for the film format I wanted weren't recommended for digital. I'm liking the quality I'm getting out of 4x5" enough now to put Alpa out of my mind. Plus it seems film is a lot less demanding on the optics.

26-Jul-2011, 11:26
I have a bunch that I need to scan, but I'm happy with the performance on color. Here's one on Provia:


27-Jul-2011, 04:07
Yes, that's lovely color!