Lens Data Summary
Joseph Schneider lenses for the Exakta 66
Joseph Schneider of Bad Kreuznach in western Germany is another
of the great manufacturers of superb lenses, and many of their
medium format lenses are made for a range of prestigious cameras,
including Rolleis and Hasselblads. They announced the
following lenses for the Exakta 66, and all of them are reported
as having been seen at some point, although I believe that the
40mm Curtagon lens may have never entered serial production.
|Lens name||Max aperture
& focal length
|Curtagon MF||f/4 / 40||89||0.5||104mm dia
|104 × 109||700||There are doubts whether this lens ever entered
serial production. See more information here.
|Super-Angulon MF||f/4.5 / 55||71||0.5||104mm dia
|104 × 157||1650||PCS Perspective
control & shift/swing
|Curtagon MF||f/3.5 / 60||66.5||0.6||M 67 × 0.75||81 × 84||570||.|
|Xenotar MF (1)||f/2.8 / 80||52||0.6||M 67 × 0.75||84 × 72||500||.|
|Biometar (1)||f/2.8 / 80||54||1.0||M 67 × 0.75||82 × 68||440||.|
|Xenotar E (1)||f/2.8 / 80||54||1.0||M 67 × 0.75||82 × 68||440||.|
|Exakta (1)||f/2.8 / 80||52 (?)||0.95||M 67 × 0.75||83 × 74||450||.|
|Tele-Xenar MF||f/4 / 150||29.5||1.5||M 67 × 0.75||84 × 101||760||.|
|Tele-Xenar MF||f/5.6 / 250||18||3.0||M 67 × 0.75||84 × 168||900||.|
|Variogon MF (2)||f/4.5 / 75-150||56.3-30||1.8||M 95 × 1||98 × 171||1770||Zoom|
|Variogon MF (2)||f/5.6 / 140-280||31.3-16||2.5||M 86 × 1||95 × 240||2070||Zoom|
(1) 80mm lenses for the Exakta 66
There is much debate about the origin of these four 80mm lenses for the Exakta 66. The amount of information involved merits consideration on a separate page, which can be found here.
(2) The lens designations are taken from the original Exakta 66 publicity brochure, from about 1984. The only Variogon lenses that I have seen in the Exakta 66 mount in fact have the designation “M”, not “MF”, on the actual lens name ring. The revised colour brochure from about 1990 does not give any letter designation for any of the lenses. To see a “square” filter system mounted on the two Variogon lenses, plus closer views of these two lenses, click here.
|Tele-Converter||× 2||7 lenses
in 5 groups
|Automatic||74 × 100||700||Full transmission of lens aperture value to the Exakta 66 TTL prism|
This is an item with the maximum optical quality, as one would expect from Schneider. Further details of its operation can be found here and here. General information on the use of tele-converters is here.
Bellows (macro) lenses
As well as the above lenses, which can (of course!) be fitted
directly to the Exakta 66 (or to the bellows unit), Schneider made
versions of some of their famous lenses exclusively for use on the
bellows unit. Here are the details:
|Lens name||Max aperture
& focal length
|Symmar-SF||f/5.6 / 135||32||.||M 49 × 0.75||59 × 50.5||250||.|
|Symmar-S||f/5.6 / 180||24.5||.||M 62 × 0.75||61 × 64||350||.|
|M-Componon||f/4 / 28||.||2.7-5.54||.||39 × 25||65||Macro lens|
|M-Componon||f/4 / 50||.||1.04-2.54||.||39 × 28||75||Macro lens|
|The two Symmar lenses already have a world-wide
reputation, and Exakta GmbH claimed that when they were
attached to the Exakta 66 bellows it would be possible to
focus them from infinity to ultra close up, although this
turns out not to be the case! Componon is the name on
Schneider’s top range of enlarging lenses, and the macro
versions of these lenses are designed to give the greatest
possible magnification of the tiniest objects. I
understand that in the macro versions of these lenses the
elements are mounted in reverse, as compared to the enlarger
To see a review of the bellows – or “macro” – lenses click here.
The data in the tables above are based on published sources. I do not have examples of all of these lenses (!), and I have not measured or weighed all of those that I do have.
I note that Pentacon GmbH Foto- und Feinwerktechnik in Dresden has two much newer products that use Joseph Schneider lenses in the Pentacon Six / Exakta 66 mount: their scan 3000 and scan 5000 professional scanners. The 3000 brochure that they were distributing at Photokina 2002 showed the 60mm Curtagon MF on a scanner. It’s great seeing these lenses living on into new technology, and an indication of the high quality images that they produce.
For further details of the lenses – number of elements and grouping of elements, variations of the lenses, etc, I refer you to Nathan Dayton’s excellent website, www.commiecameras.com
Most of these lenses are illustrated and tested in the Lens Test section of this website. To go to the lens test section, click here.
To go on to the next section, click below.
Next section (80mm Lenses for the Exakta 66)
To go back to the beginning of the Lens Data section, click below
and then choose the range of lenses that you want to read about.
Back to beginning of the Lens Data section
© TRA May 2002,
Latest revision: October 2019