Symmar-S 360/6.8 (1975's) opinions needed : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

Dear forum users,

A friend offered me a 1975's Schneider Symmar-S 360/6.8 (what a big lens it is!). It looks like in very good condition, US$300.00. What do you think about the price?

The problem is that it's mounted in a Sinar lensboard/aperture device (sorry, the real problem is that I don't use Sinar), without shutter.

Do you know if I could change this sinar lensboard to a copal#3 shutter easily? If so, What's the way to do it?

To those who knows this lens, please, What do you think about it? I just know what I read on the Schneider's site, What about coatings? Contrast? Possible problems? (glued elements, strong fall off or others) Something I must know about this lens? (I'll use it up to 11x14 format).

Thanks in advance, I'll be glad reading all your opinions,

-- jose angel (, February 21, 2002


You'd sort of be going in the back door the hard way and not saving much me thinks. A Copal 3 is $400. So now you're at $700 which I think is about the going rate for this lens. 1975 would still be single coated. Schneider quality is always reliable. And yes it should just screw right into any modern size 3 shutter Copal or Compur. But then you've got to spend more $ for aperture scale etc. OTOH the Sinar thing may be worth something to someone to afflet that a little. Do a "completed item" search on Ebay and see what these have been going for. Be mindful that multi-coating does probably = $150 more.

-- Jim Galli (, February 21, 2002.

I have one of these. Being a Symmar-S, it should be capable of taking good images. The one "big" problem with this lens is that it's huge and heavy. (1545gr.) I'm saving it for 8x10, and in the meantime, I have an f8 355mm lens for 4x5. Which explains why I haven't used mine much and can only say that it "should" get good results. Under 400mm, it's got to be the single most largest and heaviest lens ever made. And, the filter size is 120mm! This is larger than that for Schneider's 480mm lenses.

This lens doesn't fit on any 'ol lense board, either. For example, don't expect to plop this thing on your Linhof Technika or your Graphlex Speed Graphic, the openings aren't large enough for the rear portion of the lens. (3.5") And, I suspect your camera wouldn't be quite right after that experience, certainly not the Speed Graphic. I have a reduction lens board to a pacemaker board for for my Arca-Swiss, and this lens was too big. Being stuck having to use an Arca-Swiss board, the combined ensemble took up 30% of my backpack.

At $300, I think it's a good buy. The going price is around $700 on EBay, if they sell. You should be able to find a decent used Copal 3 on EBay for a reasonable price, and then turn around and sell the DB mount. Perhaps you can get a scale from S.K.Grives, assuming the shutter you purchased wasn't made for a 360mm. Check with Schneider LF Technical Support, but you shouldn't have a problem finding a shutter for it.

With a 491mm image circle, you should also have no problem covering 11x14. I would think that you could expand that at least 10% by stopping down, which would give you room for movements.

Being a Symmar-S, I suspect it has the same build quality as that of other Symmar-S lenses. Mine doesn't have any problems, nor have I had problems with my other Symmar-S lenses. The one possible problem is the Schneideritis that can affect other Schneider optics. Sometimes, little silver specs form on the barrel of the lens. They're disconcerting, but Schneider claims that they shouldn't affect image quality.

-- neil poulsen (, February 22, 2002.

Jim, Neil, your comments have been so useful to me. Thanks.

-- jose angel (, February 24, 2002.

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