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xenon, cine-xenon, arriflex-cine-xenon - what are the differences?

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#1 Chris Lange

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Posted 04 March 2014 - 11:14 PM

I have a few Schneider Arri standard mount lenses, but I am a little unsure of their history/differences:

 

Of two 16mm lenses, one is labeled only Xenon f1.9/16mm; the other is f2/16mm and is listed as Arriflex-Cinegon.

 

Of two f2/50mm lenses, one says "Made in Germany" and the other "West-Germany," both which also differ with labels of "Arriflex-Cine-Xenon" and "Cine-Xenon" respectively.

 

Can anyone help point out some of the differences?

 

Thanks much,

Chris 


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#2 Dom Jaeger

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Posted 05 March 2014 - 02:11 AM

Yeah Schneider lenses can be confusing!

Judging from a pair of Schneider 28mm lenses I've got here, the Arriflex-Cine-Xenon version seems newer than the plain Xenon.

The Arri branded one has evenly spaced aperture marks compared to the Xenon which has the typically crowded as you get smaller aperture marks of older lenses. The Xenon also has the rotating mount of early Arri Standard lenses and fewer close focus marks. Optically they look like the same design though.

Schneider used to have online pdfs of vintage lens brochures that were helpful for this kind of thing but I can't find them anymore unfortunately.
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#3 Simon Wyss

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Posted 05 March 2014 - 03:46 AM

The Cinegon is an eight-element design, the Xenon has six elements, a typical double-Gauss lens with cemented inner doublets. Quite different layout

 

Differences in iris design are not very important. The main point about diaphragm mechanics is play. Due the this one always closes the iris down from open. Berthiot had an iris mechanism free from mechanical play with the Cinor.


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#4 Dom Jaeger

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Posted 05 March 2014 - 06:31 AM

The Cinegon is an eight-element design, the Xenon has six elements, a typical double-Gauss lens with cemented inner doublets. Quite different layout

 

Differences in iris design are not very important. The main point about diaphragm mechanics is play. Due the this one always closes the iris down from open. Berthiot had an iris mechanism free from mechanical play with the Cinor.

 

Simon, the original question wasn't about the Cinegon, which is a retrofocus design for wide angles that is indeed different to the Xenon, but rather what differences there might be within the various brandings of the same Schneider Xenon design.

 

As for differences in iris design, the change from early iris mechanisms which cramped the smaller aperture stops together to ones where the stops were evenly spaced was actually very important in the history of lens evolution. Very few professional lenses these days have more than small fractions of a stop of play in the iris, but the same amount of play would be a much larger fraction if the stops were all squished together!


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#5 Chris Lange

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Posted 05 March 2014 - 11:42 AM

Thanks Dom and Simon,

 

That information helped me, and is interesting!  For the 16mm lenses, It is now apparent that the regular 1.9 Xenon is older to me.  The Xenon's actual amount of glass is much smaller as well.

 

I think I understand the differences of "arriflex-cine-xenon" vs "cine-xenon" for the 50mm now.  I think I will probably stick to the arriflex-cine-xenon for most work, as it has a slightly refreshed design.

 

Thanks!

Chris


Edited by Chris Lange, 05 March 2014 - 11:43 AM.

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#6 Simon Wyss

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Posted 06 March 2014 - 02:30 AM

I gave a wrong information. The Schneider Cinegon 10-2.5 has nine elements, not eight.

 

Knowing about the demands of the professional world from T-stops over constant spacing to gear rings I still believe that the mechanics of the iris diaphragm itself is among the most valuable issues of a lens.


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