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Schneider Kreuznach Rollei SL - Xenon 1.8 / 50mm

Manufactured in 1972

The original Planar of 1896 was a perfectly symmetrical "double Gauss" 6/4 design. The Xenon is a slight variation of that design into a slightly asymmetrical 6/4 design first developed and manufactured by Schneider in 1924.

Dinged But Not Done.!

I've been wanting one of these Kreuznach Rollei lenses for a while since I read snippets from time to time extolling its virtues. Mainly on its sharpness. It was a rare option lens on the Rolleiflex SL 35. The Carl Zeiss Rollei SL 50mm 1.8 Planar, of which I already have a very nice copy was the standard lens. The Zeiss is fairly plentiful. The Schneider Kreuznach, not so much. 

There just haven't been many of the Schneider Kreuznach SL's available for sale lately and the ones I've seen over the last couple of months have not been in great condition. Even this one which I finally decided to purchase was not as good as I would have liked. But it was as good as I was finding so I went with this one listed from Rzesz√≥w, Poland. Well it arrived a couple of days ago and as you can see, not in such good condition.

Apparently it took a very big hit in shipping across the front face of the lens. I also discovered that the aperture hangs up a bit and doesn't appear to close quite all the way. Of course the first thing I did was contact the seller to inform him of these condition issues. My thought was to either return the lens or seek some form of compensation.

But the next day I decided to mount it and just give it a cursory shot or two. Once I saw the results I knew, no matter what the cosmetic condition, I was going to keep this lens!

This per alphotolenses.com. "The Rollei SL-Xenon 50mm f/1.8 (Schneider-Kreuznach) is a fast normal prime lens. The lens was manufactured in limited quantities for 35 mm SLR Rollei SL35 cameras at Schneider works in Germany. The lens was positioned as a low end alternative to the Carl Zeiss' Planar 50/1.8, but its objective parameters are not at the very least inferior to it (its mechanical performance is appreciably better, besides it is a bit sharper). It is the rarest standard lens for Rollei SL35 cameras and presently the most popular."

The following shots represent my first test of this lens. They depict a variety of wide open aperture shots as well as stopped down shots. What I've quickly come to recognize is this lens is in the rare category of very sharp lenses that also have very nice bokeh. A very rare thing indeed that not only makes this lens a keeper, but I'm betting one of my preferred go to lenses!!

f11, 1/200th sec, ISO 2000

f1.8, 1/640th sec, ISO 100

f1.8, 1/640th sec, ISO 100

f1.8, 1/500th sec, ISO 100

f11, 1/250th sec, ISO 100

f1.8, 1/500th sec, ISO 100

f11, 1/60th sec, ISO 100

f11, 1/250th sec, ISO 100

f11, 1/80th sec, ISO 640


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