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Schneider-Kreuznach : Isco Göttingen
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 25, 2009 3:42 pm    Post subject: Schneider-Kreuznach : Isco Göttingen Reply with quote

I've notice many lenses are very very similar - is there a connection?

PostPosted: Fri Dec 25, 2009 5:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The history of ISCO (Ioseph SChneider Optik) Göttingen is somewhat obscure - or rather it seems to have been actively obscured. They branched out of Schneider in 1936, supposedly to create motion picture taking lenses. But there is no sane reason why a cinema lens division would have to be legally entirely separate, so ISCO most likely was something "special". It is not unlikely that the cine lenses were merely the cloak for a skunkworks operation that essentially built aerial lenses for the still not entirely legitimate Luftwaffe and while keeping the main Schneider company out of possible trouble over the patent violations inevitable in creating cutting edge strategic products. In WWII, ISCO immediately was a relevant aerial lens supplier while Schneider proper trailed behind in their conversion to military production, so ISCO obviously had previous experience in that domain.

ISCO always was formally separate, though it originally started with the same shareholders. Post war it slowly went into entirely different ownership, though it still shared some pre war and wartime intellectual property with Schneider Kreuznach, and was a frequent Schneider licensee. ISCO was purchased by Schneider two years ago.

PostPosted: Sat Dec 26, 2009 4:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Isco was a branch of Josef Schneider (I=Iosef S=Schneider) established during the war armament by Nazi government (founded 1936). Production was for military purposes (aerial lenses and stuff like that). Production was leaded by Albrecht Wilhelm Tronnier who was ordered to move from Kreuznach to Goettingen by the Nazis, according to his son.
They made about 45,000 aerial lenses during the war, mainly Ultron- and Xenar-types. Hitlers Wehrmacht's eyes based on ISCO lenses, not Leica or Zeiss one might expect. Probably because they were the most modern lenses of their time. After the war they made civil lenses very similar to Schneiders (Westagon=Xenon), and Tronnier dispersed from ISCO formally (or was dispersed by the allied winners), but kept close to them both locally (in Goettingen) and working for them and Voigtlaender with his "Optisches Rechenbureau".

PostPosted: Sat Dec 26, 2009 5:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you both for this elaborate explanation!

PostPosted: Sun Dec 27, 2009 12:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

An interesting historic dive. Thank you guys!