Samsung SR-4000 w/ Schnieder Lenses

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by cd thacker, Jan 2, 2003.

  1. A (Korean) friend of mine, who also happens to be a camera
    enthusiast, turned me on to this camera. Apparently, Samsung went to
    Schnieder for the lenses, because they wanted the best; but at the
    last minute, Samsung decided not to proceed with their own SLR line.
    Upshot: these cameras and lenses are still available new for a tiny
    fraction of what they're worth. <P>

    Does anyone know if this is true? Or anything else about these
    Schnieder lenses? I'm thinking about buying one of these as a kit.
  2. Excuse me: that should read Schneider.
  3. It could be a good deal. Is the lens mount used by any other camera? Is the camera marketed under another name? You don't want a "good deal" that you can't get parts or service for. You don't want a bunch of good lenses that only fit a discontinued line of cameras, so rare that you'll never find another. They're not showing up on eBay!
  4. Samsung bought Rollei in 1995 (but sold it back to its management in 1999). Heinrich Mandermann owned both Schneider and Rollei in the 80s, and the close contacts between Rollei and Schneider probably helped Samsung approach Schneider for their own-line of SLRs (Samsung's high-end compact P/S still feature Schneider lenses).
    I saw this camera listed as a special on the B&H catalog (on the back page, along with second-hand equipment, even though it is listed as new). It is listed on-line, but in the Used section, even though the description says "Brand new/Never used - In original manufacturer's packaging W/50/1.4 SCHNEIDER/28-70/CASE". Schneider is misspelled Schnieder on the dead-trees catalog, and the kit is listed for $250. It looks like a good deal if you aren't going to want to expand beyond these two lenses. Keep in mind this not an autofocus camera.
    The lenses are probably excellent, Schneider is as prestigious as Zeiss or Leica, just less well known as them because it focuses mostly on medium and large format lenses (not much 35mm gear, apart from the lenses on Samsung P/S and some Kodaks like old Retinas and now the LS-443 digicam), as well as loupes and enlarging lenses. This camera was probably not produced in large quantities, and it is very hard to get in-depth reviews from the Internet.
  5. If memory serves, the 50 mm Schneider was tested by Pop Photo in the same issue as their review of the SR4000 (which they liked but found the interface rather idiosyncratic). Take Pop's reviews and lens tests with plenty of salt, of course, but their test of the Schneider 50 did it credit. OTOH, the 28-70 and 70-210 that were released at the same time in Samsung mount were not Schneiders, and Pop's tests rated them as consumer crap.

    Makes one wonder if Samsung shouldn't have jumped in with both feet and launched a line of superlative lenses - or forget the whole new SLR in its own lens mount idea. Now if they'd launched it in PK mount ...
  6. What is below I have pasted from the non-Archived forum, in a similar question, just so it is preserved. Carina.


    Doug, The camera system never came about, perhaps because of the Schneider-Rollei-Samsung corporate changes. There was a rumor this camera used the old Rollei SL35 mount, but this is not true. They did make the cameras and sell them, but never completed the "pro" end of the Samsung line. After the changes, i believe most of the cameras were sold in selective, unusually chosen, local markets, like Turkey, Russia, Brazil, etc. The camera is still available for suggested retail price in some places ($500 u.s. for the body!) and in other places it is about half that with the fast Schneider normal lens. We had some in cities in Chile, though the advertising was cyrillic (sp?) from Russia. They were only $250 U.S. with a zoom lens. As far as I know, these are the only three lenses officially distributed for the camera: 50mm f1.4, 28-70 f3.5-4.5, 70-210 f4.5-5.5. There was a shop on the www that had the body and 70-210 and they were selling them for only $175 U.S., but they are all gone now. If you do a web search, you might want to find out the other name for the camera; I think in some countries the camera was not called SR4000. It is a decent electric camera with manual focus, but a very, very limited lens line. I suspect the Rollei-Schneider-Samsung-disputes ended the camera somewhere along the way.

    -- Carina Cisneros , January 02, 2003; 06:48 P.M. Eastern


    This link works occassionally; it might lend more "fact" to the previous post, as they are still selling the camera there:

    I saw some on the web last year; they were $149 for body only, and $169 for body and normal lens (which means a f1.4 Schneider normal lens was a whopping $20!). The seller no longer has a website, so I assume the are all sold. If you go after one, you might consider contacting a camera repair guy to see if the SLR's have a "history" of problems. Samsung cameras todat are quite good, and loaded with features - though notoriously difficult and expensive to have repaired.

    -- Mike Tolan , January 02, 2003; 06:55 P.M. Eastern
  7. Before the SR4000 was released, I remember reading about which lenses would be offered. People wondered two things mostly: (1) Would the Schneiders just be reissues of the 35, 50, 135 from the original Rolleiflex SL35 camera? And, (2) Would they reissue the lens designs from the old German Kodak Retina cameras? The answer I found on the internet back then was "no" to both, and the answer was from someone at Samsung. The Retina lenses were very slow, and the Rollei-Schneider also an older design. At one time, rumor was these lenses: 28mm f2.8, 35mm f2 or f2.8, 85mm f2, 180mm f2.8 or f3.5. As far as I ever heard, these lenses were never made and don't even exist as prototypes. The zooms were introduced as "filler" material, then the idea died. If you liked normal lenses, and if you could find one for $160, than would be a great street photography camera or whatever. I think retial on the Contaxt Zeiss 50mm f1.4 (AF?) is now around $500, so a discontinued Schneider f1.4 for $20 is almost unbelieveable.
  8. ...If you liked normal lenses, and if you could find one for $160, than would be a great street photography camera or whatever...

    I just realized this is not come out right (English as second language and all!); I meant to say if you could find the camera with this fast lens on it, new, for so little monies, it could be a great deal for someone who enjoyed using the normal lens.
  9. Thanks for all the great info. My thinking on this all along has been that, if this 50 mm f/1.4 Schneider lens is the equivilent of the Zeiss or Leica, then it's a hell of a deal - even without the camera thrown in (except for the little fact that it will only fit this camera). That the zooms are "consumer crap", as mentioned above, makes the package less appealing; and, granted, being restricted to just 50mm is restrictive, indeed; but, even so, it's a great bargain, I think.
  10. I don't have the issue and can't summarize the "review" based on memory alone, but my index indicates the body and all three lenses were tested, with the results appearing in the issue "July, 1998: Popular Photography" - in case you wish to track it down.
  11. I bought it from B&H.

    Since I live in France, I payed $38 for shipping and 72 Euros for French TAX...

    It is better to think that this camera is an AF camera minus Auto-Focus.
    The Schneider is a plastic lens, it doesn't have the apartur ring, and the focus ring's rotation angle is about 60 deg.

    However, it seems that the SAMSUNG MF MOUNT is compatible with MINOLTA alpha MOUNT.
    Since I don't have any minolta equipment, I'm going to buy a MINOLTA's body cap or rear lens cap.
    If it is so, my camera will be very rare alpha mount MF camera and lens.

    Wait my next report.
  12. If anyone is interested, a new batch of unsold cameras and lenses appear to be on the market again. In Argentina they have camera body and Schneider lens on sale, cheap by Latin America standard. Also, some NY sellers have "kits" for sale again. In Brooklyn you can buy the body and fast 50mm for $169, and at B&H you can buy the body, fast 50mm Schneider and 28-80 zoom and camera bag and case for $225.
  13. Carina - That $169 Brooklyn deal - any idea what shop might offer that, or how I can find out more?
  14. And just how bad do you think that 28-70/3.5-4.5 zoom is? B&H has the camera and 50/1.4 lens for $199. I'm thinking that, for $29, it might be worth it to get the everyready case and zoom. On the other hand, if the zoom is really poor, then it would be $29 wasted, and just another piece of junk lying around collecting dust.
  15. I think it is kind of interesting that the Minolta Maxxum 5 looks quite a bit like the
    Samsung SR4000. I wonder if Samsung and Minolta teamed up to build the SR4000
    as an AF?

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