Schneider Super Cinelux 70/2. Review reader Radozhiva.

Schneider Super Cinelux 70/2 lens review specifically for Radozhiva prepared Rodion Eshmakov.

Schneider Super Cinelux 70/2

Schneider Super Cinelux 70/2. View of the adapted lens on the camera Canon 600D.

Projection lenses Schneider Super Cinelux - a line of high-quality high-aperture optics with a relative aperture of F / 2 (focal lengths from 24 to 100 mm in increments of 2-2.5 mm), introduced in the early 1980s. The lenses are designed for projection of films with 35 mm film and usually work together with the Schneider ES Cinelux Anamorphic anamorphic nozzle. We can say that these are some kind of analogues of Soviet 35KP film projection lenses.

The review presents the Schneider Super Cinelux 70/2 lens, adapted for use with small format SLR cameras.

Technical specifications

Optical design - planar, 6 lenses, without glued components (sourcesbrochure Schneider [PDF]);

Schneider Super Cinelux 70/2

Schneider Super Cinelux 70/2

Focal length - 70 mm;
Relative hole - F / 2;
Aperture - missing (with the original lens);
Frame format - 16 * 22 mm (35 mm film strip);
There is no thread for filters; instead, there is a thread for fastening to an anamorphic module.

Historical background

Schneider Kreuznach was founded by Josef Schneider in 1913 in Bad Kreuznach as Schneider, Optische Anstalt Jos. Schneider & Co. Later, before the Second World War in 1936, a subsidiary company ISCO was organized with the aim of producing optics for the military.

Many years later, in 1972, the American division of Schneider Corporation of America was founded, in 1976 it bought the property of Kollmorgen Corporation. Among them were the means of production and documentation for a line of optics called Cinelux, created by Kollmorgen in the 1950s.

In 1977, Glen Bergren, vice president of the US division, together with chief engineer Karl Maher, invested in the development of new six-lens lenses with a maximum relative aperture of F / 2. They were to be called “Cinelux-Ultra” and sold worldwide under the ISCO brand. A year later, for the development of these lenses, the company won the Technical Achievement Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

In 1982, the company was chased by failures that led to bankruptcy. Schneider Kreuznach was quickly bought from the bank by one of the investors, and ISCO by three parties at once. After that, the companies lived separately for some time and even managed to compete for the Cinelux trademark, which, after the litigation, went to Schneider. In the 1980s, the range of manufactured optics was replenished with the Super Cinelux and Cine-Xenon (1985) lines.

Schneider again received an award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 2000 for the creation of the Super Cinelux line, and then for Premiere lenses with variable iris aperture in 2005. Meanwhile, ISCO was doing poorly - in 2003, the company even began bankruptcy proceedings. However, the decision was reversed and ISCO was redeemed by Schneider.

Today, Schneider is still developing and manufacturing industrial optics, film and projection optics, as well as medium format photo lenses, photo accessories (filters, for example). Source.

Design and adaptation features

I got the lens along with the anamorphic nozzle, for which I was acquired. However, it turned out that ES Anamorphic is extremely inconvenient for work, because requires constant refocusing (Dual-focus mode with lenses) when shooting with a completely inappropriate mechanism.

Photos of the anamorphic nozzle, made "for memory":

As interest in the nozzle faded, it was decided to bring to mind the tiny lens block that came with it. There were no photographs of it before adaptation.

For the alteration, a special focusing mechanism was ordered with a claim to ergonomics and design: focusing is performed by rotating a wide cone-shaped ring, while the lens block travels about 3 centimeters in two turns (twice as much as Helios-44, for example). This provides a small MDF lens.

View of the adapted lens when focusing on infinity

View of the adapted lens when focusing on infinity

View of the adapted lens when focusing on MDF

View of the adapted lens when focusing on MDF

Parts were oxidized chemically (black and dark gray duralumin coating). I can’t say that it’s successful - after all, the technology needs refinement, and the focuser needs to be finished. In fact, I would really like to see it as golden as the lens block body.

The diaphragm was installed in front of the front lens: this lens is a high-precision (6 separate lenses - 35 correction parameters!) And high-quality device, and when installing the diaphragm there is always a risk of introducing an error in the lens distances and spoiling the factory alignment of the lenses. In addition, as the sketch of the optical scheme shows, there is no place for an internal aperture in the lens.

Pre-lens aperture of the lens. The black color of the title ring is the result of artisanal chemical oxidation.

Pre-lens aperture of the lens. The black color of the title ring is the result of artisanal chemical oxidation.

Looking ahead, I note that the aperture does its job perfectly on crop cameras (Kf = 1.6) and does not allow vignetting; on a full-frame camera in the range from F / 8, vignetting increases significantly.

The lenses of this line have, apparently, a single-layer enlightenment of violet shades. Anamorphic nozzle bears the same enlightenment. Optics coating does not distort the color reproduction of the lens.

View of the rear lens of the lens. You can see the golden part of the original lens block body.

View of the rear lens of the lens. You can see the golden part of the original lens block body.

By the look of the rear part, it is easy to see that the lens fits "back to back" on DSLR cameras - a little more, and its alteration for use with full-frame DSLRs would be much more difficult and risky. In this case, I was lucky - the lens unit has a small diameter and it is possible to use the usual M42 threaded mount. To check compatibility with the Cinelux lens camera in terms of back distance, please refer to the PDF file attached to the overview.

Optical properties

It is very difficult not to call this lens a masterpiece. Schneider Super Cinelux 70/2 has excellent correction of spherical and field aberrations, as well as geometric distortions (according to the manufacturer, the lens has a well-corrected field curvature). The only drawback can be called small (especially in comparison with Soviet optics) chromatism in the blur zone, which, however, is easily removed by the editors. With an open aperture, the lens easily permits an 18 megapixel sensor Canon 600D and significantly overlaps the capabilities of the 12 megapixel Sony A7s matrix. With the closing of the diaphragm, chromatic and spherical aberrations decrease, and depth of field increases.

The contrast is very good, color reproduction is not satisfactory. In backlight, the lens tends to give bright circles or round highlights in warm colors.

Cinelux 70/2 has a vignetting that is noticeable in the full frame, since a 35 mm film frame is smaller than a 35 mm film and roughly corresponds to Kf = 1,5. Soviet film projection lenses are made with a margin of coverage and do not have vignettes on full-frame cameras. Vignetting increases from ~ F / 8 on full-frame cameras when using the pre-lens aperture.

Schneider Super Cinelux 70/2 has a smooth (“cream”) bokeh due to well-corrected aberrations. Because of the vignetting at the edges of the frame, the circles of blur turn into symmetrical limonchiki, like the Carl Zeiss Planar photo optics. Sometimes you may notice a slight bokeh-fringe of purple and yellow.

APS-C Examples

Below are examples of photos on Canon 600D (RAW shooting, Canon DPP processing).

Full Frame Examples

Below are examples of photos on Sony A7s (shooting in RAW, processing in Image Edge).


Scheider Super Cinelux 70/2 is an excellent lens in its properties. For use with modern cameras requires a simple alteration.

You will find more reviews from readers of Radozhiva here.

Add a comment:



Comments: 10, on the topic: Schneider Super Cinelux 70/2. Review reader Radozhiva.

  • Oleg

    Great shots, both nature and portraits. Beautifully draws. And Rodion, a young man, I wonder if there are such lenses that he couldn’t handle with alteration?

  • Pavel Gorbunov

    Great lens!
    In terms of picture quality and blur, he reminded me of Porst Color Reflex 55 / 1,4:

  • Eugene

    Nice picture!

  • Sergei

    Projection lenses of this type are designed for an optimal projection distance of 4-12 meters.
    Hence infinity (to a lesser extent) and macro-plots (to a greater extent) will be somewhat worse.
    But diaphragm, even with such a diaphragm, should smooth out this gap (but this is clearly not enough for the macro).
    But for infinity, clamping even to 2,8 can be very useful.

  • koba

    here is an example of a lens with high micro-contrast (an unfortunate English term for the ability of a lens to reproduce more gradation of one or similar colors). For black and white photography it will be a fairy tale ... In China, you can find it in excellent condition for 350-370 dollars (expensive, however!), But someone sells 50/2 for 150 dollars. That is, one way or another there is demand.

    • zengarden

      Right! It is for the transmission of shades, and just this is true for b / w photos.
      I looked at the photos, and for some reason presented them in black and white 🙂 type “retro” photographs

  • zengarden

    An interesting review, an interesting lens, great examples of shooting! It’s sharp on the crop that you can cut yourself, every hair is visible ... and on the full frame the picture is voluminous and “airy” (I especially liked where the girl is in the alley); somewhat reminiscent of medium-format optics such as Vega-12, but the picture is much sharper.
    Rodion, respect and respect! 👍

  • koba

    I am very sorry, but it would be very useful if the author posted at least a few RAWs, a couple of contrasting and a couple of low-contrast scenes, as well as a couple of flowers for the sake of bokeh, both with full frame and with crop ...

  • Neo

    It was not in vain that they collected on Sonya; in full frame, very good color and volume

  • Rodion

    This black lens is now available from me for $ 200. Write to the mail:

Add a comment

Copyright © Blog author - Photographer in Kiev Arkady Shapoval. 2009-2023

Russian-version of this article

Version en español de este artículo