Schneider Kreuznach announced three new lenses for DSLR cameras

Schneider-Kreuznach Xenon 35mm f:1.6 lens
Schneider-Kreuznach Xenon 50mm f:1.4 lens
Schneider-Kreuznach Macro Symmar 85mm f:2.4 lens
For Photokina Schneider Kreuznach announced three new lenses for DSLR cameras (available for Canon EOS and Nikon F mounts):

  • Schneider-Kreuznach Xenon 35mm f/1.6
  • Schneider-Kreuznach Xenon 50mm f/1.4
  • Schneider-Kreuznach Makro-Symmar 85 mm f/2.4

Additional details on the new DSLR lenses:

Lens specifications:

Focal lengt Aperture range Format sensors up to Image circle Filter thread Close-up focus distance Length
35 mm 1.6 - 16 24 mm - 36 mm 44 mm M 82 x 0,75 0,45 m 144 mm
50 mm 1.4 - 16 24 mm - 36 mm 44 mm M 82 x 0,75 0,6 m 103 mm
85 mm 2.4 - 22 24mm -36mm 44 mm M 77 x 0,75 0,4 m 89 mm

Press release:


Schneider-Kreuznach presents newly designed lenses for full-frame single-lens reflex cameras at photokina 2014, the leading trade show for photography. They are the first in a new series of Schneider-Kreuznach DSLR lenses with an electronic connection to the camera.

Three lenses will be presented at the Schneider booth:
The Xenon 1.6/35 mm and Xenon 1.4/50 mm lenses are equipped with an electronic interface to the camera and a mechanical automatic iris for Nikon cameras. The Macro Symmar on display with an 85 mm focal length and a maximum aperture of 2.4 has a motorized iris and an electronic interface for the Canon EOS system. The automatic aperture function is driven exclusively by the camera.

All lenses will be available for Canon EOS and Nikon-F systems.

The lenses have been developed to meet the increasingly stringent requirements in combination with a continuous decrease in pixel size. “The lenses are produced in Bad Kreuznach for sophisticated users. They stand out in particular with their high image quality,” says Frithjof Spangenberg, product manager for photo imaging at Schneider-Kreuznach.

Schneider-Kreuznach lenses for Micro Four Thirds
Schneider Kreuznach is still planning to release their new Micro Four Thirds lenses that were announced two years ago (the lenses were rumored to be released at Photikina). The price will be over 1000 Euros.

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  • amaas

    When will they ship?

    This is the second time Schneider has announced these lenses. The last time was at the last photokina and were announced alongside the micro4/3rds lenses.

    • no word on that – the MTF lenses are still not shipping 2 years after announcement.

      • whensly

        Not shipping? Has anyone actually seen or tested a non-prototype?

  • nobody

    Do I get that right that these are not AF lenses?

    • yes mf but auto aperture

      • Michiel953

        Auto aperture? That reeks of modernism. Won’t go down well at all with my Varex.

  • Patrick McKay

    On paper, these SK lenses sound quite promising. But, in truth, this is only a “pre-announcement”, and not an actual product launch. Meh. Zeiss has clearly set and delivered a new benchmark with the Otus lenses, and it looks like SK is hoping to steal some of their thunder. But, what’s the point, when you can’t deliver the goods? I guess time will tell.

  • Paula

    Camera bodies are in the 21th century, those lenses are in the 20th. Really I don´t understand the hype about all those MF lenses. Isn´t it possible to produce decent lenses that use AF? Sigma did it. AF systems are so far today, and for sure you won´t need them for every job, but not to have it at all in case you need it is frustrating.

    • kurogoma

      license restriction! only Japanese companies are allowed to build AF for F and EF mount. that’t why sigma, tokina and tamron did it.

      • sperdynamite

        Admin, maybe time to leave a note in all posts about manual focus lenses with this explaination. Really tired of seeing people bitch about this answered question.

        • Horst

          yes, people annoy you, not licenses! Great deal, bitch!

        • Mulholland

          That´s an ignorant and sexist statement.

        • LoveNerds

          Another smart comment by one of our favourite nerds, in offline life a petty know-it-all with social issues.

      • El Aura

        The Zeiss Touit lenses seemed to break through that limitations. Though it might have helped that Zeiss is co-operating with Sony which very likely helps with AF for the Sony E-mount. And the other mount for which Zeiss has AF lenses is Fuji, somebody who stands apart from the main DSLR makers (Canon, Nikon, Minolta/Sony, Pentax, Olympus) and didn’t have a line of AF-lenses before the X series (except for their MF cooperation with Hasselblad).

        • It’s because E stands for everyone… which it is open to 🙂

          Doubt it has much to do with Sony and Zeiss working together.

      • You Sure ?

        Yet Carl Zeiss DSLR / SLR Nikon Mount Lenses are made by Cosina, a Japanese company… where are their manual focus ??

    • Neopulse

      Never used Sigma AF lenses I see. Not very dependable, at least in my experience.

      • Which lenses have you used and how are they not dependable?

        • Neopulse

          By dependable, I meant only in particular the autofocusing, nothing else. The lenses I used never broke on me or seemed like they would easily. I later sold them though and the Sigma 85mm I borrowed from a friend and used it on one of her Canon 7D bodies.

          I have used the Sigma 18-250mm and the 18-250mm Macro version on a Nikon D60 body, D5000 and D7000 (a friend’s camera).
          The 18-250mm lenses hunted like crazy in anything lower than bright daylight. And even on a cloudy day in the outdoors they hunted and missed focus a lot. Like 3-4 out of 10 photos. These were used mainly in AF-S mode.

          The Sigma 85mm f/1.4 on a Canon 7D body was pretty good, although it had problems locking focus indoors in well-lit conditions. Was during volleyball games I would tag along and help out. The continuous focus on it wasn’t good apparently with the lens. She got rid of it and sold it here and made enough to buy 2 Canon 85mm f1/.8 lenses and they got more focused shots than the Sigma lens on it (and focused faster according to her). She kept one of Sigmas for portraits and non-moving or slower moving subjects since it’s really nice optically.

      • rrisk

        If you try the new “ART” lenses you wouldn’t be saying that.

        • Neopulse

          I bought the Sigma 18-35mm ART + Nikon D7100 around xmas time for my father and waited a month or so in order to get it. Used it plenty to test out what the fuss was all about. The optical quality is really, really nice and even though it is a bit chunky (for some people), but for my father and I it was perfect the balance. He has that lens glued on pretty much to the camera.

          He later bought a 70-300 VR lens for outdoor pics of animals since we go hunting occasionally together and likes taking pics of crocodiles, snakes and all that stuff.

          The only problem I’ve had with it is the AF. It isn’t perfect, although speedy when it picks up subjects. But I have noticed hunting around 1-2 out of 10 pics I’d say and this being shot in afternoon sun on a partly cloudy day in Miami, Florida and in Cuba also in late afternoon with plenty of light still 2 out of 10 pics. I’m saying this as this is the only ART lens I’ve used on the camera. I have used other lenses from Sigma before the ART class.

          • neversink

            I have used and tested many of the Sirgma lenses and t the name ART is just hype marketing to sell lenses and make their inferior products sound special. The bokeh on all their lenses are sharp and angular and ugly. The AF, if the motor doesn’t break down, hunts quite often. Yes, ART, is an improvement, but it certainly pales most other lenses by comparison, from Nikon to Cannon to Zeiss to Scneider….

          • neversink

            Let me clarify, I only owned one Sigma lens but used many. The one I owned broke down on me on a month long shoot less than two months after I bought it. Never again…..

          • Neopulse

            That sucks, and also I need to look into the ART AF motor to see if they really did anything different from their previous models. Even though they added a USB dock, you can use it on earlier lenses also the dock. So doesn’t instill confidence in that they actually did much except for a bump in optical quality and exterior design.

          • neversink

            I have no idea if they improved their AF motor. One would hope so. But hope isn’t fact.
            The USB dock that they added I believe was for lens firmware updates so Sigma can keep up with changes in newer camera bodies. Lots of these AF third-party lenses won’t work on newer released bodies or when camera body firmware is updated. Sigma has to rewrite software for their lenses every time a new camera body is developed, so the USB port is a good idea. But a pain. So in the end you put your money down and you buy a lens that may not work on a camera in the future.

    • John-F


      When Zeiss announced their new OTUS Apo-Planar 85mm, I wrote a post in about the issue of manual focusing with ZF (and ZE) lenses. For many companies (mostly non-Japanese), the issue is mostly a legal one (licensing), not a technical or engineering issue.

      my original post:

      Again, based on what I have read and from conversations with various company reps, if a (non Japanese) company wishes to build lenses with lens mount from the big two (i.e. Nik & Can) with AF, the only way to do it in a way that will be ‟acceptable‟ to them is:

      1) build it in Japan with a well established (OEM) company
      2) reverse engineer the AF (or better yet, have the OEM do it for you), and keep a low profile about it …

      The fact that neither Zeiss or Schneider have included AF in their lenses simply indicates that they are not willing to go down that route.

      P.S. AF or not, those Schneider lenses look fantastic – especially that Xenon 50mm f1.4

      • Jeremy Allen

        The two zeiss zf lenses I own are both made in Japan. I read that they are made by cosina to zeiss QC standards. Why no AF if this is the case?

        • They simply didn’t design them to be used in AF applications.

          • Jeremy Allen

            I agree with that statement. I am just asking about the alleged policy that only Japanese companies are licensed to offer AF products in Nikon F mount. I think that it was a design choice.

    • Aeroengineer

      Don’t agree re the macro. AF useless for critical macro work.

      • So is MF. For critical macro, you need to move the camera, not the lens.

        • Aeroengineer

          You are right that moving the camera is the best way to achieve critical focus. But getting precise control over magnification and focus requires control of both camera position and lens focus.

    • neversink

      Sigma lenses are far from decent and they have QC problems galore.

      • Fausto

        Well, you will have to pry my 35/1.4 ART from my cold dead hands to make me part with it… I bought on the day it became available for Nikon F-mount and love it to bits – it has been my most used lens to date.

    • waterengineer

      I be the line resolve of the Schneider lenses will be a bunch more than the Sigma. But, I will wait until you define “decent.”

    • Omar Salgado

      Try and master manual lenses one day. They give something of “organic” to the photos, not the sense of everything being machine-made.

      • Manual focus lenses and AF lenses render exactly the same if they have the same optical formula. That’s what’s changes the look. A different optical formula will render a different way. If you want to call one rendering organic, that’s your prerogative.

        • Omar Salgado

          I agree with you. My point is that focusing manually leads to an imperfect focal point, thus meaning it has had a hand intervention and not a machine one, not auto-matic. Some of the film aesthetics, besides its chemical constitution, is due to the lens lacking AF: not a perfect match by the photographer; I think that some of its charm is because we perceive it has been done by a living creature.

          Según John Ruskin: “La imperfección es en cierto modo esencial en todo lo que sabemos acerca de la vida. Es una señal de vida en un cuerpo mortal, es decir, la señal de un estado de progreso y de cambio”.

  • Dave

    A 2.4/85mm does make more sense than a 1.4/85mm Zeiss Otus IMHO, and the SK won’t weight 1200gr. either. I respect Zeiss’ demonstration of competence but I would rather go with the SK, if it delivers straight from f2.4.

  • John-F


    A web page from on how to focus MF lenses with AF DSLR cameras: ‟Manual Focusing with AF Camera Systems‟

    Their preferred method is to use the DSLR camera on tripod, and focus using Live View and depth of field preview…. Please, Zeiss and Schneider, give us modern SLR lenses WITH autofocus …

    Danke schön

    • Les

      There are lots of autofocus lenses around. Zeiss even sells some in Sony mounts.
      I’m so glad that Zeiss and Schneider have the guts to offer manual focus lenses. After all, what’s the point of having a really good lens if it’s focused at some random point picked by a microprocessor?

      • Craig John

        SO SO many good old Nikon manual focus lenses to be had on the cheap. I’ve built up a collection of 13 Nikon MF lenses this year, ranging from the old Pre-AI (105mm f/2.5-P to newer AIS (50mm /1.2 AIS).

        Fred Miranda’s website has an epic thread devoted to Nikon Manual Focus photography on a Nikon Camera Body – 4244 pages at last count:

    • Shamael

      I can live without it, but until now I have not seen MF lenses being less expensive, so it really doesn’t maters then to satisfy AF freaks as well since you can MF as well with AF lenses.

      • Many of the manufacturers that are making MF-only lenses are old, conservative companies. They like metals, top quality helicoids, and design lenses to render a scene in a certain way, rather than just soft OOF and sharp across the field.

        If you want AF, get a cookie cutter from Canon or Nikon. If you want high quality build in a platform that keeps its value and can be serviced, not to mention will work perfectly via adapters, MF lenses are the only way to go.

        AF lenses have nowhere near the MF feel that MF lenses do. Yes, there are poor feeling MF lenses out there, but they are few and far between.

  • Kynikos

    Never mind these “me too” offerings.
    Show me the T-S offerings, SK!!!

    • They have dozens of LF lenses for use on bellows, all tilt, shift, swing, and slide.

  • MJSfoto1956

    my God, these are huge lenses

  • I will buy all three. Let me at ’em! Schneider is the best lens maker on planet earth. Better than Leica, and better than Zeiss. I always lusted for Rollei MF cameras with SK lenses.

    • longzoom

      They are not absolutely sharpest, last Leica’s and Zeiss’s ones are stunning, but PQ delivered by Schneiders are simply unreachable, agree. Tonality and bokeh are out of this world. But, truth to be told, have never worked with 35mm Schn. 6X6 and fields only. So, will wait for formal tests, done by Ming or such top experts.

    • Schneider is awesome, but in terms of measurables, they do awesome, but at the top, so does everyone. I have less expensive Rodenstock lenses that are sharper, old ass Fujifilm EX lenses that are just as good. But my main work horse is a Schneider- but that isn’t because Schneider is out of this world. It is because I needed that lens and love its functionality.

  • onthedot

    Is it against the laws of nature and optics to make a decent sized, fast 35mm lens, ala Leica and Voigtlander? Waiting for the 35mm f/1.4, but not if its a tank.

    • Lcky

      82mm thread, its a tank :d

      Sure to be a unique rendition, Can’t wait!

  • Jason

    I’d love to see the samples from these… Shame no AF but one can live without for maximum image quality.

  • Roger

    Schneider keeps announcing these exact same lenses, but they’re not too good at actually making them.

    • no, last time they announced cinema lenses if I remember correctly

  • Nice moves by Schneider. Their lenses are excellent and have been since way back when. Zeiss is more popular, true, but that was because they invented many iconic designs early on like Tessar, Planar, Biogon, Sonnar, etc. that went in to widespread use. None of that really matters now because all manufacturers make derivatives of those. For the record, Schneider also made/make some very special designs like Super Angulon and the more modern Super Symmar XL and Apo Digitar XL.

    • I use basically one lens for all my work: Makro APO-Digitar 100/5,6 on bellows. Wonderful lens, as are most, if not all, Schneider lenses I’ve used.

  • jojo

    Announcing, planning to release, and actually producing seem to be very
    different activities in this organization.

  • Les

    Let’s hope they remember to have the EOS-mount lenses focus in the correct direction. That 85 looks really sweet, and it addresses Zeiss’s inability to make an 85 that focuses closer than a meter, but it’s not worth it if it focuses in the opposite direction to all other lenses.
    I would always be turning the ring the wrong way.

    • Funduro

      Those are U.K. lenses. ; – )

  • peevee

    This 85mm would be very interesting fro Sony FE too I guess.

  • Shamael

    Blue dot and blue stripes, more blue and more expensive than Zeiss, I presume.

  • Patrizio Lari

    Did you see the ZEISS 85mm Otus?

  • johnny

    Again? If I remember correctly, two of the lenses had been announced years ago!

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