What really gets me is the effort that Schnerider has put into the lenses must be considerable, and they made lenses that have a limited market of maybe 50 units worldwide.

Now, if Schneider were smart, they would recognize that the era of ultra sharp ULF lenses is over, because nobody uses them for copywork anymore. If they would simply lighten up their standards a bit, they could produce lenses that would have the entire LF/ULF world clamoring for them.

What I mean is, go back to the origins of the optics industry, and bring out some small, multicoated lenses in modern shutters that have very wide coverage specifications, something like the Hypergon or WA Dagor, which they still have the rights to I presume. Optical designs like the old Pantogon and the Boyer WA and even the old Angulon lenses could all be modified into exceptional ULF and pictorial (read: non-industry, non-copywork) lenses for cameras from about 5x7 on up. (Yes, I know the Pantogon is a Rodenstock design, but you get my point)

These things would be small, light portable, and of quite simple optical design (with the exception of the Hypergon, I suppose), and could be sold at a price that would be reachable by the average LF/ULF shooter.

They could just about corner the market if they reintroduced a line of Angulon or Dagor lenses that met all the needs of the contact printers out there, and the potential market would be at least 10,000x the potential for the XXL lenses.

I'd love to see a modern 180-210mm lens that covers 8x10 with ample movement. Forget about the ship anchor 210 SS XL, give me a modern Angulon!

Boy, I just can't believe they don't see the market potential for lenses like these. The reality is that almost nobody buying lenses for a camera larger than about 4x5 (or possibly you could push this to 5x7) has any need for anywhere near the sharpness that Schneider is designing into their lenses.

I am planning on discussing this with the Schneider reps at Photo Expo next week, and maybe it will light a spark of thought in their heads that may benefit the LF/ULF community.


---Michael