Mystery Schneider lens. Explain.

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by dave_s, Feb 25, 2006.

  1. Hi, just from curiosity. This lens is on the hated auction site right now. (I pinched the picture, but if the moderators think I'm violating copyright, they can delete this.) So it's a Schneider Xenar in a LTM focusing mount. OK, I can live with all that. But I guess I didn't know Schneider was ever anywhere but Kreuznach, so maybe someone can fill me in on the history. Was this a branch plant, or a different company? The other thing that I wondered about was the serial number. If this was in the regular Schneider Kreuznach lineage, this would be a pre-1920 lens, which it obviously isn't. Did Schneider Gottingen have a different range of numbers?
  2. Dave, you lack resources. Buy yourself a copy of A Lens Collector's Vade Mecum, which is frequently offered on eBay. Then you'll really be able to get yourself into trouble.

    Schneider established a satellite plant in Gottingen in 1940. Schneider Gottingen, also known as ISCO, is, I believe, still in operation. They indeed have their own serial number sequence. I saw one of their nicer lenses, a coated 125/2 Xenon, with a serial number somewhat over 600,000 at a local camera store perhaps a year ago. I didn't buy it; don't need it and had better uses for the cash.
  3. Just because it's in L39 mount doesn't mean it's actually "rangefinder coupled" as claimed --- no Barnack camera can focus this 180/4.5 monster accurately, let alone accurate framing.

    It's more likely to be designed for the Visoflex housing.

    Some Soviet SLRs also used an M39 mount which is the same as L30 except for the back focus, though I'm not sure whether Schneider made lenses to fit them.
  4. Of course, "L30" should have been "L39."
  5. Thanks Dan and Fred. I've never looked for a copy of the 'Vade Mecum' you guys often cite. I don't think of myself as a 'lens collector', but I sure seem to accumulate a lot of old optical junk, so maybe I'm getting there.

    Of course I've heard of ISCO, but I never knew they were spun off Schneider. If it was 1940, I suppose war production must have led to the founding of the new plant in Gottingen.
  6. Dave, FWIW, I don't think of myself as a lens collector even though I have drawers full of old lenses. I can claim not to be a collector because I bought all of my lenses intending to use 'em and do in fact use many of them.

    Many of my lenses are obscure, i.e., rarely heard of. I'd not have dared to try them if I hadn't read about them in the VM. One of the big differences between the VM and other lists of lenses is that the VM's author used what he wrote about and wasn't afraid to say which he found good and which he found not good.

    So for me the VM has been a good guide to lenses I could afford. Think of it as Consumer's Reports for old lenses.

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