View Full Version : Super Symmar 80 XL quality consensus

Leigh Perry
19-Apr-2004, 03:08
When the SS80XL came out there were some reports of softness at f/4.5, enough to prevent effective focusing. I found the Joe Cornish and Kerry Thalmann descriptions in the archives. I couldn't find much in the way of follow-up though.

Was this problem resolved in later production runs? Is variability in quality a hallmark of this lens? How far do you have to stop down in order to focus (with Horseman viewer is of special interest)?


Brian Ellis
19-Apr-2004, 05:19
I own this lens and haven't found any problem with focusing it. I focus wide open. Jim at MidWest Photo Exchange told me it was a problem only with the first production run, that it was thereafter fixed by Schneider and hasn't been a problem since.

Steve Hamley
19-Apr-2004, 06:15

I also own the lens and find that mine is slightly soft at f 4.5, and depending in the scene, prefer to do critical focusing at f 5.6. Stopped down, it is as others said, "as good as anything out there." I've also noted that use of a wide-angle fresnel makes focusing much easier on any lens of similar focal length, which tells me the wide-angle effect is more of a problem than softness wide open. Mine is a later lens, 1476xxxx.


Henry Ambrose
19-Apr-2004, 07:18
My experience is similar to Steve's above. I expose film with the lens stopped down which covers most all situations even if there is a small focus error. I've shot it from f16-32 and I'm completely happy with the results. If you think you're going to use it wide open, you might want to hear from someone who does that.

Ling Z
19-Apr-2004, 09:55
I, and several other 80XL owners, have encountered a strange problem with the lens. You may read the thread here (http://largeformatphotography.info/lfforum/topic/498280.html). I talked to Jeff with Badger Graphic serveral days ago about this problem, and he asked me to send it back for his inspection. I shall have a follow-up later.

michael waldron
22-Apr-2004, 07:38
I just got one from Badger last month, using it with Ebony 45s that has a form of built in fresnel. Wide open, it does seem a bit soft on the edges and even in the center relative to other lenses I have used (e.g. 65 Rodenstock or SS 110). However, I have not really found it to be too bad to focus, and in a few cases, such as when using swing, I stopped down to 5.6 and it was fine. The pictures, taken typically at f16-22 have been very sharp, so I really don't worry about it, since I clearly have been able to acheive fine focus with the lens.

Leigh Perry
22-Apr-2004, 16:15
Thanks to all for the feedback. It sounds like the early production issues are resolved. The new haze problem is a worry though. Perhaps that is a recent production aberration?

Ling Z
24-Apr-2004, 11:33
Just a followup. Jeff with Badger has sent the defective lens to Schneider for repair or replacement. It looks like this might be a common problem with certain elements used for 80XL. I own over ten Schneider lenses, and none of them has the similar issue except this one.