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Thread: Schneider Lenses

  1. #1

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    Schneider Lenses

    Hi.

    Does anyone know if there been much of a change in lens quality from the early
    1980's to early 1990's to justify the extra expense of buying the more recent lenses?

    Thanks.
    Norm Ray
    Last edited by nray; 5-Nov-2006 at 05:43.

  2. #2
    Ted Harris's Avatar
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    Re: Schneider Lenses

    All depends on what you are using the lenses for. If you are going to use them for super critical color work where absolutely accurate color rendition and color matching lens-to-lens is important then the answer is maybe. For everyday color landscape shooting the difference in performance between a multicoated Symmar-S and an Apo Symmar is likely to be unnoticable. For black and white work the difference will be even less noticaable.

    You said early 80's and by the early 80's most of Schneider's lenses were multicoated. Go back before 1978 when most were single coatd and you will see more significant performance differences. There was also a period back there (can't remember when) when Schneider's QA/QC slipped for a while so there was a lot of variability from lens to lens.

  3. #3
    Thalmees's Avatar
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    Re: Schneider Lenses

    Hi nray,
    This is one quote from responses in one of the threads I'm asking about lens quality(in term of film sharpness) among Schneider-Kreuznach Symmar-S 5.6/210 & Schneider-Kreuznach APO-Symmar 5.6/210 Multicoating lenses.
    The quote below may give you what's the deferences in technical terms. The URL is attached in the quote.
    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Ellis View Post
    From: http://www.largeformatphotography.in...ad.php?t=20594
    The Symmar S line of lenses was introduced in 1972. It was the first computerized design by Schneider. Schneider began multi-coating in 1977 so your Symmar S may or may not be multicoated, you can tell just by looking at the rim of the lens, if it's multi-coated it will say so. The APO Symmar line was introduced around 1990 to replace the Symmar S line. Because the APO Symmar is the newer lens and represents a total redesign of the Symmar S I'd keep the APO Symmar and get a step-up ring as Jack suggests for your polarizer.

    There are other informative responses(the people here are so kind) on the same thread. To summaries it for you, it looks to me, that there is an agreement among LF photographers here(including my recent opinion) that, the great leap in improving lens performance was made as early as 1970's(with computerization then MC). So, its hard(with usual level of technique precision) to find a great deference in quality between Schneider Symmar lenses made between mid 70's & early 90's.
    I do not know about the more recent versions(i.e: APO-Symmar-"L"), and other lens designs may have the same conclusion as Symmars have for the specific period you asked about(1980's to 1990's).
    Good Luck nray.
    Quote Originally Posted by nray View Post
    Hi.
    Does anyone know if there been much of a change in lens quality from the early
    1980's to early 1990's to justify the extra expense of buying the more recent lenses?
    Thanks.
    Norm Ray
    Last edited by Thalmees; 5-Nov-2006 at 07:02.

  4. #4

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    Re: Schneider Lenses

    Well of course the obvious difference is that the APO Symmars are APO and the earlier ones aren't. I have no idea how important that is to you or anyone else. I know that among lens experts (and I'm not one) arguments abound over exactly what "APO" means and whether particular lenses are "true" APO lenses or not. In an earlier thread on this subject I quoted a statement from an interview with the U.S. V.P. of Schneider to the effect that the APO Symmars represent a significant improvement over earlier models. Take it for what it's worth. I've used a 210 APO Symmar for about 10 years. It's my favorite lens but I've never used an earlier Symmar so I have no idea how it compares.
    Brian Ellis
    Before you criticize someone, walk a mile in their shoes. That way when you do criticize them you'll be
    a mile away and you'll have their shoes.

  5. #5
    grumpy & miserable Joseph O'Neil's Avatar
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    Re: Schneider Lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by nray View Post
    Hi.

    Does anyone know if there been much of a change in lens quality from the early
    1980's to early 1990's to justify the extra expense of buying the more recent lenses?
    Thanks.
    Norm Ray
    To me, the main change in any optics - camera lenses, binoculars, telescopes, microscopes, etc - from the early 1980s to today is lens coating technology has dramtically improved. The actual lens itself may be just as good from 20 or 25 years ago (assuming it has been well looked after), but any optic that was multicoated 25 years ago and multicoated today, you can see a marked improvement in many situations.

    for example - when Fujinon first came out either thier EBC (electron beam coatings, if membory serves me correctly), there was nothing out there for a whiel that could touch these coatings for clarity, and the differnce really stood out, be it a LF lens or a pair of binoculars.

    That does not mean older lenses with older coatings are not any good - my older single coated red dot artar is a lens i would be hard pressed to ever give up. Older lenses too - and this is purely subjective - have different "personalities" than newer lenses do.

    So you have to ask yourself, what specifically is it in terms of improvements that you are looking for? If the quality of lens coatings is one of the most important items on your plate, then definately look around at newer lenses.

    joe
    eta gosha maaba, aaniish gaa zhiwebiziyin ?

  6. #6

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    Re: Schneider Lenses

    I replaced a Rodenstock 210 with a APO Symmar 210, and for me there is a much more noticeable difference. But, I can't compare that with a Symmar-S, since I have never owned one. I've got an 80mm XL lens that I love, but again, the only lens I can compare it with was a Nikkor 90mm F8 (which I replaced with the 80).

  7. #7
    Sheldon N's Avatar
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    Re: Schneider Lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by Thalmees View Post
    To summaries it for you, it looks to me, that there is an agreement among LF photographers here(including my recent opinion) that, the great leap in improving lens performance was made as early as 1970's.
    Actually, some here might disagree with that (feel free to chime in Chris). I personally shoot modern glass, but seeing what some older lenses are capable of is quite eye opening.

    One example is Chris's comparison of a 1950 Schneider Angulon to a 110mm Super Symmar XL...

    http://www.hevanet.com/cperez/test/AngSSXL.html

  8. #8
    Thalmees's Avatar
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    Re: Schneider Lenses

    Hi Sheldon,
    Quote Originally Posted by Sheldon N View Post
    Actually, some here might disagree
    Originally Posted by Thalmees
    To summaries it for you, it looks to me, that there is an agreement among LF photographers here(including my recent opinion) that, the great leap in improving lens performance was made as early as 1970's.
    ________________________________________________________________________
    Quote Originally Posted by Sheldon N View Post
    (feel free to chime in Chris).
    May you see this link: http://www.largeformatphotography.in...t=20594&page=2 (Post # 15).
    People here were so generous with me when I was asking. And so, I have to be with them.
    Before quoting from Ellis, I read in his site & found him very reliable to quote from him. My experience in LF photography is limited to one year or so + Sinar Diploma. But I've more than 20 years, photographing with 135mm & MF.
    Roles of the forum, as far as I know, does not prevent quotings, once they are linked clearly to their respective authors & URLs.
    Thanks.
    ________________________________________________________________________
    Quote Originally Posted by Sheldon N View Post
    Thanks for this informative URL. Its already in my favorites.

  9. #9

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    Re: Schneider Lenses

    Depends on what you want to do. Every manufacturer seems to allow a lemon or two through production. I would suggest that if something is that critical to you, test whatever you purchase regardless of age.

    I doubt your chances of finding a truely incredible optic increases (or decreases, for that matter) all that much from the 1960's through to the present. For quality, you can even go deep into the 1950's if you choose a Linhof Select Schneider.


    Quote Originally Posted by nray View Post
    Does anyone know if there been much of a change in lens quality from the early 1980's to early 1990's to justify the extra expense of buying the more recent lenses?

  10. #10

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    Re: Schneider Lenses

    Thank you for all the good advice. I really appreciate all the help you all are willing to give.
    I am trying buy smart(ly).

    Norm Ray

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