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Thread: Schneider 550 Lens and Caps; Effect on Coating

  1. #1
    Richard K. Richard K.'s Avatar
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    Schneider 550 Lens and Caps; Effect on Coating

    I have acquired a Shneider Fine Art 550 mm lens. This uses metal screw in caps front and back. While they are lovely, they are heavy, take a while to unscrew and rescrew and can even seize if overtightened. Not the ideal in the field! I would use them for display and storage but would prefer a nice slip-on plastic or rubber cap for the field. I wrote Schneider, Germany and they initially told me there isn't a plastic cap to fit. I then noticed that the 360 mm Symmar S also has 125 mm external barrel diameter and e-mailed them back about using that. Here is their reply:

    >you are right, the old lens cap of our Symmar-S will fit the 550 XXL lens.
    >The reason for not recommending this lens cap is the fact that at this
    >big diameter the centre plastic part will touch the front lens and scratch
    >the coating when moving as also change the color of the coating when
    >placed a long time in the box.


    What do you think? Has anybody here ever worried about the coatings being affected by a lens cap? What would be the mechanism and does this apply to all lenses with slip on plastic caps?
    I'm thinking that if I'm careful I might be OK with the Symmar caps (if I can even get them!) or maybe possibly have something made by Grimes. But that might be as heavy as what's already there! Thoughts?
    When I was 16 I thought my father the stupidest man in the world; when I reached 21, I was astounded by how much he had learned in just 5 years!

    -appropriated from Mark Twain

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    Re: Schneider 550 Lens and Caps; Effect on Coating

    I recommend lens caps from S. K. Grimes.

    When I bought an SSXL 150 I set it on a shelf (front element down) for a week or so. The next time I looked at the lens there was an imprint of the lens cap serial number from the inside of the cap on the front element. The imprint was some sort of oil or silicon residue from the lens cap and cleaned up perfectly. No damage done. Yet. This told me the weight of the lens was enough to deform the lens cap to the point where it would contact the front element. I ordered good lens caps immediately. I put that lens back on the shelf (on its side) and didn't touch it again until my S. K. Grimes lens caps arrived.

    Your 550 XXL is a very expensive lens. If you value it, get the S. K. Grimes caps and don't look back.
    Never is always wrong; always is never right.

    www.LostManPhoto.com
    www.MarkStahlkePhotography.com

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    Re: Schneider 550 Lens and Caps; Effect on Coating

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard K. View Post
    What do you think? Has anybody here ever worried about the coatings being affected by a lens cap? What would be the mechanism and does this apply to all lenses with slip on plastic caps?
    I'm thinking that if I'm careful I might be OK with the Symmar caps (if I can even get them!) or maybe possibly have something made by Grimes. But that might be as heavy as what's already there! Thoughts?
    Older slip on lenscaps e. g. for the Super-Angulon 165mm and 210mm where made of wood (?), velvet and leatherette. Such lenscaps are stronger as plastic caps and cannot touch the lens surface. But plastic lenscaps with such a big diameter can be impressed so the surface of the lens can be touched and scratched. Specially if moved at the same time and the filter-thread is short.

    Peter

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    Re: Schneider 550 Lens and Caps; Effect on Coating

    Ditto mark and Peter; get S.K. Grimes caps.

    Cheers, Steve

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    Re: Schneider 550 Lens and Caps; Effect on Coating

    Depending on the depth of your plastic or rubber cap you could use a DIY solution to your problem. Make a full circle (disk) out of a thinner PVC or aluminum sheet, with the dimension of the inner diameter of your rubber cap and put it on the bottom of the cap. The plastic/aluminum will not allow the rubber to touch the lens even if put head on. You could attach it there with glued soft foam. You will loose the thickness of your plastic/aluminum sheet on the depth of your rubber cap - still, it could be enough to put the cap safely on the lens rim.
    Unless, of course, the glass sticks out in front of the lens rim...
    Last edited by GPS; 13-Apr-2010 at 09:34. Reason: spelling

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    Richard K. Richard K.'s Avatar
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    Re: Schneider 550 Lens and Caps; Effect on Coating

    Thank you all for your very good advice which I will implement immediately if not sooner!!
    Now I'm afraid to look at my 150 SSXL...
    When I was 16 I thought my father the stupidest man in the world; when I reached 21, I was astounded by how much he had learned in just 5 years!

    -appropriated from Mark Twain

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    Re: Schneider 550 Lens and Caps; Effect on Coating

    "also change the color of the coating when placed a long time in the box."

    That's what caught my attention. Is Schneider saying that out-gassing by their (and by inferrence any other) plastic lens cap will affect the coating of the lens if stored for a long period? If so we are all in trouble! I can't imagine that the coating on the XXL series lenses is that much different from any of their other late model lenses. Maybe they are just being ultra conservative with regard to their flagship lens - but sheesh! - makes me want to go un-cap all my lenses! At least they are already laying on their sides. Moral of the story: don't store 'em, - use 'em. Did Adams, Weston et al obsess so over this lens minutiae?

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    Richard K. Richard K.'s Avatar
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    Re: Schneider 550 Lens and Caps; Effect on Coating

    Quote Originally Posted by civich View Post
    ...... Did Adams, Weston et al obsess so over this lens minutiae?
    LOL I sincerely doubt it! This started off as a practical inquiry - those caps take a (relatively) long time to come off and on and they're heavy and they can bind so can I use plastic slip-ons instead JUST in the field and then the horror began...
    When I was 16 I thought my father the stupidest man in the world; when I reached 21, I was astounded by how much he had learned in just 5 years!

    -appropriated from Mark Twain

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    Re: Schneider 550 Lens and Caps; Effect on Coating

    OK, you've had it for a while now. But, you're hardly using it, your wife is nagging you about it and you're embarrassed that you bought it. Here's your chance to regain your dignity! By selling it at only a small loss! ...Evan Clarke

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    Re: Schneider 550 Lens and Caps; Effect on Coating

    Quote Originally Posted by civich View Post
    "also change the color of the coating when placed a long time in the box."

    That's what caught my attention. Is Schneider saying that out-gassing by their (and by inferrence any other) plastic lens cap will affect the coating of the lens if stored for a long period? If so we are all in trouble! I can't imagine that the coating on the XXL series lenses is that much different from any of their other late model lenses. Maybe they are just being ultra conservative with regard to their flagship lens - but sheesh! - makes me want to go un-cap all my lenses! At least they are already laying on their sides. Moral of the story: don't store 'em, - use 'em. Did Adams, Weston et al obsess so over this lens minutiae?
    While I completely agree with you about Schneider's surprising comment on their plastic lens caps I don't think that the OP's question is about lens minutiae. That it's not a case shows the care Schneider takes about their metal caps for this lens. After all, a lens that costs more than 6,000 $ new must be well protected. I wonder if Adams ever used a lens of this value...

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