View Full Version : schneider convertible

james norman
23-May-1999, 15:11
i am considering am older schneider-kreuznach symmar convertible lens (150mm/5.6 - 260mm, synchro-compur, serial #5299631) but am unsure if it will give me the quality i need for professional work. was this a coated lens? is there a sacri fice in image quality with a convertible lens design? schneider no longer makes this lens - why? what would be a good price for it? thanks for your comments.

N Dhananjay
25-May-1999, 13:12
hi don't know much about this lens but i have the symmar 210 convertible. the serial number you give pegs the lens at about the late 50s (www.scneideroptics.com). coatings were developed around WWII so i would imagine this lens is single coated - perhaps not multicoated since those were developed around the 60s (i think!). re quality. convertible lenses aren't at their best when they are converted to their longer length but are generally ok at their unconverted length. newer lenses would obviously have the benefit of standing on the shoulders of their ancestors. but ansel adams took many of his pictures with convertible lenses and if it was good enough for him, its good enough for me. in my opinion, i think technique contributes a lot more variability than equipment but this might just reflect my level of expertise. if it is any help, my 210 symmar gives me pictures as nice (as i can make out) as my fuji w 150. i guess the best way is to see if you can shoot some test shots with the lens and see if you can live with the results. hope this helps. dj

Mark Schumann
28-May-1999, 20:33
I have that lens. It is in mint condition. Mine is Linhof selected and in a Linhof shutter. I have only used it at 150mm. I use it for color transpareny work. I take backup shots with my 35mm and I see no difference in color. I am seeing good sharpness and I see no reason to switch it until I get a better camera and my technique improves. When buying used lenses make sure the shutter is accurate. You can have them tested. Many camera repair shops will lie to you when they do test them. So I would get several opinions when having the shutter tested. I think to have a shutter tested runs from $75 to $100. The price of that lens in MINT condition could be as high as $450 plus. At that price you may consider a new Nikon. But then the Nikon can't be converted.

Mark Schumann
28-May-1999, 20:37
In my earlier reply. I meant to say that to have a shutter serviced (not tested) runs from $75 to $100.

John Hicks
30-May-1999, 00:22
The old Schnieder convertible lenses are single-coated and offer decent performa nce compared to modern lenses. Since they're single-coated, they'll have lower c ontrast and be a little more likely to flare than modern multicoated equivalents ; in color work that might be seen as slightly less saturation. Also unlike modern lenses, the older lenses have a circle of good definition t hat's often somewhat smaller than the circle of illumination, compared to modern lenses in which the circle of good definition is often the same as the circle o f illumination. Performance of the lens used converted is usually considered to be mediocre at best simply because you're removing the corrections by just using one cell. For b&w work the usual way to obtain best performance is to use a strong yellow fil ter, such as a #15, or stronger. I've never heard of a good workaround for color . Whether it'll be good enough converted only you can decide by shooting with it , but I don't recommend buying it because it's a convertible; it's more like buy ing it because the price is right and ignoring the fact that it's convertible.