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1939 Schneider-Kreuznach Retina-Xenon 2.8/5cm.
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 24, 2019 12:17 pm    Post subject: 1939 Schneider-Kreuznach Retina-Xenon 2.8/5cm. Reply with quote

I found this uncoated lens on its lonesome, without a camera body and I thought it deserved some use.



Lens in use -


I'm trying to remember if this is the first uncoated lens I've used, or the lens simply doesn't tolerate fools and the lazy (that'll be me then), as I was quickly put in my place in regard to thinking I could simply snap away for a first try. It does seem to demand some thought, and I think I'm going to enjoy taking more time with it sometime in the future.


First test. Fuji X-E1 APSC. Flat settings, no PP.





Still waiting for a lens with a 'handsome' setting *sigh*


Are your eyes picking up that something is odd here, but can't figure out what? Mine did. I later found a tiny locating screw I'd paid no attention to, digging into the helical and off-setting the lens. I'm guessing that was it.




Crop, but still no PP. Doesn't look like the same lens! I'm finding this lens to be rather dynamic in its behaviour. Is that the right description?




This one is PP'd, as I forgot to save the original. Duh!



I've since cleaned the rear set of elements which I hadn't bothered with as they had looked okay. But perhaps they were not, as the lens seems a little sharper to my eyes now. I'll need to take it out for another play to check sometime.


PostPosted: Sun Aug 25, 2019 4:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The 50mm f/2.8 Retina-Xenon is an excellent lens capable of fine results. The lens is most likely a five element, three group modified Heliar type. I have found that the resolving power of these R-X lenses is not quite up to the contemporary Zeiss Sonnar lens of the time period, but most definitely very nice and full of character. Resolving power increases up by stopping down to f/8 or f/11. The contrast of an uncoated lens will always be a little low in strong back or side light, like some of your photos, but that is a quick fix in pp. Many photographers, including my self, have noticed that colors produced by the R-X can be highly saturated and pop more than images produced by other contemporary lenses - and your flower pics demonstrate this. Nothing you don't know here.

One thing I noticed in your photo of the lens, which looks handsome indeed on your Fuji, is that there seems to be some haze on the elements, probably due to migrated shutter oil over the years. You could try cleaning the interior lens elements in addition to the front and rear external lens surfaces.

All the best,

Paul


PostPosted: Mon Aug 26, 2019 10:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

pdccameras wrote:
The 50mm f/2.8 Retina-Xenon is an excellent lens capable of fine results. The lens is most likely a five element, three group modified Heliar type. I have found that the resolving power of these R-X lenses is not quite up to the contemporary Zeiss Sonnar lens of the time period, but most definitely very nice and full of character. Resolving power increases up by stopping down to f/8 or f/11. The contrast of an uncoated lens will always be a little low in strong back or side light, like some of your photos, but that is a quick fix in pp. Many photographers, including my self, have noticed that colors produced by the R-X can be highly saturated and pop more than images produced by other contemporary lenses - and your flower pics demonstrate this. Nothing you don't know here.

One thing I noticed in your photo of the lens, which looks handsome indeed on your Fuji, is that there seems to be some haze on the elements, probably due to migrated shutter oil over the years. You could try cleaning the interior lens elements in addition to the front and rear external lens surfaces.

All the best,

Paul



Thanks for the comments Paul, they are much appreciated. Yes, I don't think the 6/4 came in until after the war.

It's interesting that you say the resolving power increases as you get to f8 and f11, as that is what I found too, although the difference from f/4 through to f/11 (probably the best) was so small to my eyes, I decided to leave it at f/4, something I forgot to mention above. I need to check it again as having cleaned the elements properly this time, the differences may be more noticeable. Having ruined the lovely soft render on a FED 50/3.5 by cleaning the elements (it was oil), I tend to wait a bit now before cleaning the years of 'coating' off the elements. Just a personal habit now. But in this Retina's case, as you noticed, the haze was adding nothing. I was actually trying to use the light to get the most out of the lens, hence the low contrast pics were a deliberate effect on pics 2 and 7, (but not pics 1 and 3 which could really have done with a boost).

I'd agree with your comments on the colours in the flower shot. It's given me an idea that stopping down may give me the control I'm looking for when the light is lowering contrast. I have coated deckel retina's and they certainly provide colour to a shot and I'd agree that it seems to be the same with these uncoated compur shod lenses too. It must be in the glass.

I've also since fitted a fluted kodak lens hood (pictured above) which may help me control this lens a little better. On the shots above I was using a short fat barrel shape shape that fitted, but wasn't giving that much protection really.


Thanks again.


PostPosted: Mon Aug 26, 2019 1:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like the soft render as well for certain portraits and flower studies, etc., I had a Summarit with abundant "cleaning marks" like that once - provides a character which is unobtainable using pp alone. A proper lens shade should do wonders to bump the contrasty of your Xenon when needed or desired. You have a found treasure in that lens. The Deckel versions are indeed nice as well, but if you can locate a defunct Retina IIIc with the 50mm f/2 Heligon or Xenon, you will not be disappointed!

Best,

Paul


PostPosted: Wed Aug 28, 2019 9:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

pdccameras wrote:
I like the soft render as well for certain portraits and flower studies, etc., I had a Summarit with abundant "cleaning marks" like that once - provides a character which is unobtainable using pp alone. A proper lens shade should do wonders to bump the contrasty of your Xenon when needed or desired. You have a found treasure in that lens. The Deckel versions are indeed nice as well, but if you can locate a defunct Retina IIIc with the 50mm f/2 Heligon or Xenon, you will not be disappointed!

Best,

Paul


Thanks Paul.