Originally Posted by radiocemetery
Hello lens historians,
I have been trying to find info. about the Xenon lens. Dante Stella says that Leitz obtained the rights to produce the Xenon. Does anyone know if this was the Schneider designed Xenon? I assumed it was the same because the name was the same.
I have a Schneider Xenon on a Certo Dollina. It is an f2 5cm. lens. This must have been fast glass in 1937. I need to fabricate a focus knob before I can try this camera, and I am anxious to see what the lens can do.
Thanks for any information.
Steve if its a Xenon then its a Schneider-thats their trade name. i wasnt aware that leitz made it under licence? sounds interesting!
but of course as others mention, other lenses of simular make up are made under different makers names. yes the f2 xenon was a fast lens and usually offered as a top of the range lens for makers such as Certo, Welta and others, in its day was more expensive than a Leitz Elmar if offered on the same camera (so apple for apples so to speak). 6 element 4 group v 4 element in 3 groups for the elmar/tessar type.
the xenon is dirived from the double-gauss lens.
so to explain simply Paul Rudolph in 1896 began working with the symmetrical double-guass type lens and after a while came up with the f4.5 Planar lens (which was a symetrical lens; 3 elements the same size and shape as the 3 elements on the other side of the stop/aperature)
in 1920 quite some years later than the Planar but working from that; Horace Lee from the Taylor&T-Hobson company developed the Opic (name of lens) which increased the aperature to f2 by basically
increasing the crown (front element) and reducing the diamature of the rear 3 elemnets and thus making the original symmetrical double- guass lens unsymmetrical. it wasnt unsuccesful but Ludwig Bertele of the great Ernemann cameras in 1923 developed the f2 Ernostar which was outstanding and sold better. the Ernostar if you have seen them are amazing, the front glass is the size of a Buicks headlight; basically derived from a triplet with an extra meniscus lens but on vast amounts of steroids-they look great!
working from what H.Lee had started and seeing its beifits, other lens makers worked on their own designs and in 1925 Tronnier designed the f2 Xenon for Schneider. 1927 Merte' from Ziess developed the Biotar and in 1933 Berek designed the Summar lens for Leitz. they are all slightly different (shape and diamature of rear elements for intance) to each other but at first glace have the same basic layout.
you will enjoy (all things being well) the results with the xenon..a great pre-war lens i think. about the top of the range for a pro or prosumer camera pre-war of the top of my head. often difficult to get any of these types of lenses now without some cleaning marks etc as the glass on the front element is of a type that scratches easy but still give good results.