Help re Schneider Xenar 7 1/8" F3.5 with strange serial number

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by jjphoto, Mar 11, 2013.

  1. jjphoto

    jjphoto Member

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    I've just bought a 'Schneider Xenar 7 1/8 inch F3.5' barrel lens and the thing I don't understand is why it has an unusual serial number. It does not have a normal numeric serial number (eg 11,000,232) but is "No SC-178". It's also only labelled "SCHNEIDER", not Jos Schneider or Schneider Kreuznach or similar. It doesn't appear to be coated (but I could be wrong), so may be pre war but appears to be in good condition (mostly anyway) and looks much more like any lens made form the 50's or so.

    [​IMG]

    I don't know if it's some weird fake or just an uncommon special purpose Schneider lens, maybe from the war years. Any advice would be appreciated as I can't find any references anywhere to this type of serial number on a Schneider lens.

    Some pics of the lens in question:

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    Engraving looks odd on the focal length:
    [​IMG]


    The image below is typical of Schneider numbering even for very early lenses (this ones approx 1970-80, I haven't looked it up).
    [​IMG]
     
  2. rthomas

    rthomas Member

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    I couldn't find anything about this lens online, but when I saw your pictures, I thought "it looks like an enlarging lens." I have a Wollensak 162mm f/4.5 "Enlarging Raptar" that looks a lot like this lens, and it's probably from the 1950s. I suppose your Schneider mystery lens could also be a projector lens, since it is pretty fast.
     
  3. shutterfinger

    shutterfinger Subscriber

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    A Lens Collectors Vade Mecum shows that Xenar is a trade name applied to a Tessar design (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tessar), which has been produced since the early 1900's and that SC is a reversed element tessar layout.
     
  4. jjphoto

    jjphoto Member

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    Thanks. I've seen that and I think it refers to much earlier versions of the lens so I think it's not actually relevant to the serial number markings on my particular lens (which I'm fairly confident dates to around the 50's, or so).
     
  5. jjphoto

    jjphoto Member

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    Thanks, but I'm fairly confident it's not an enlarging lens as Xenars where always a 'taking' lens. They where (and still are) used in a range of cameras over many decades. The pics I've posted don't properly show the scale of the lens which is actually quite large and heavy, but it's proprtions certainly make it look like any normal enlarging lens. The lens is about 3 inches across and weighs approx 550 grams.
     
  6. rthomas

    rthomas Member

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    Found something else (which you've probably already seen, of course). The 1938 Tele-Xenar leaflet at this link lists a Xenar 7 1/16" (18 cm) f/3.5 lens capable of covering 5x7.

    There's also a reference to a 180mm f/3.5 Prolux projection lens, but I found no information on the optical formula - it's just an entry on the Wiki page for Schneider.

    And then, there is the entry on this table for a 7 1/8" f/3.5 Schneider Xenar. The source is given as the Burke & James 70th Annual Catalog, published in 1967. So apparently Schneider did make such a lens at some point.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 12, 2013
  7. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Not all Xenar lenses are Tessar design there was a fast f2.8 5 element Xenar introduced around 1935, the VM mentions a 1939 BJA paragraph on the Xenar but overlooks the earlier 1936 entry introducing the lens.

    xenar5element.jpg

    Ian