Info on Schneider 360mm 6.8 Linhof Symmar-S Lens : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

Hi I just bought a Schneider 360mm 6.8 Linhof Symmar-S lens and I would like to learn more about its history,problems,successes,etc. It came with a #3 compur shutter, any info on it would also really be appreciated! I am building my 8x10 camera out of walnut and my bellows will expand to about 18 to 20 inches. Thanks for any and all help I receive. Harry

-- Harry Lee Martin (, August 25, 2000


The Symmar-S is a plasmat-type lens. This design of 6 elements in 4 groups is the most popular design for LF lenses of normal coverage. It is a good choice for a slightly long lens for 8x10.

Schneider provides some useful information on their website. You can figure out how old it is from the serial number table:

They have a section on their web site with information about some out-of-production LF lenses, Included is information on the 360 mm Symmar-S:,6,8-360mm.html For example, the circle of coverage is 491 mm, which will allow you to use quite substantial movements on an 8x10 camera.

The "Linhof" designation means that the lens received a quality check by Linhof. Photographers debate whether and how much this means that the lens is of better than average quality. It was probably more important for older lenses, when quality control may not have been as good.

-- Michael Briggs (, August 25, 2000.


18-20" is very little bellows for an 8x10 camera, especially if you want to work with a 360mm (14") lens. Standard "double extension" bellows for 8x10 is about 24 inches, and it's easy to need more than that for closeups. To reach just half life-size on the film with that lens would require 21" of bellows, and to have any adjustments available at 21" the bellows need to be capable of further expansion.-- -Carl

-- Carl Weese (, August 25, 2000.

Response to Carl Weese comments. My bellows are too short even though I remeasured them extended and they were 22" plus my front and rear camera frames will give me nearly 24". I wanted to know just how bad having short bellows is! What I want to pass along is a easy method I found in Harold M. Merklinger's book 'The INs and OUTs of FOCUS' on how to calculate image magnification ratios by graphics (Page 11 & 12)for different lens focal lengths. I drew up my graph for 360mm (14") lens and found the following info: One-half magnification requires 22" bellows and lens to subject distance of 38"(This is all the mag. I can get.) One times magnification requires 28" bellows and lens to subject distance of (of course) also 28". Two times magnification requires 38 to 39" bellows and lens to subject distance of 20". A 30" plus bellows extension would be nice. Harry

-- Harry Martin (, September 01, 2000.

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