Our Company

  • 1913 Foundation of the Optische Anstalt Jos. Schneider & Co. company and registration in Bad Kreuznach’s commercial register

  • Development of the first wide-angle lens Angulon for large-screen format, with the former logo derived from the cross-section of this lens

  • 1925 100,000th lens and 70th birthday of company founder Joseph Schneider

  • 1938 Opening of the factory building on Ringstrasse and today’s headquarters of the Schneider Group

  • 1956 First use of programmable computers for the calculation of lens systems. Photograph: ZUSE 22

  • 1967 10-millionth lens: Color TV-Variogon 2.1/18–200 mm for TV studio cameras

  • 1967 Lunar Orbiter IV takes photos of the moon’s surface using a Xenotar 2.8/80 mm, with our earth in the background

  • 1976 First Technical Achievement Award of six such awards presented to Schneider by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for a cinema projection lens

  • 1985 Acquisition of the company B+W Filterfabrik Joh. Weber GmbH, manufacturers of photographic filters

  • 1995 Establishment of the Thin Layers unit with clean room class 10 to avoid even the smallest dust particles

  • 1999 Start of production of aspheric lenses with enhanced optical performance

  • 2006 Fertigung von Linsenoberflächen höchster Präzision mit dem computerunterstützten MRF-Verfahren (magnetorheologisches finishing)

  • 2006 Production of high-precision lens surfaces based on the computer-assisted MRF process (magnetorheological finishing)

The company, founded 1913 by Joseph Schneider, trades today under the name of Jos. Schneider Optische Werke GmbH.

The international Schneider Group specializes in developing and producing high-performance photographic lenses and photographic filters (B+W), cinema projection lenses, as well as industrial optics and precision mechanics. The group comprises Jos. Schneider Optische Werke and its subsidiaries Pentacon (Dresden), Schneider Kreuznach Isco Division (Göttingen), Schneider-Optics (New York, Los Angeles), Schneider Bando (Seoul), Schneider Asia Pacific (Hong Kong) and Schneider Optical Technologies (Shenzhen). The company’s main brand is “Schneider-Kreuznach”. Its key markets are the U.S.A., Japan, China, India, South Korea, Brazil, and Europe.


Since the beginning in 1913, Schneider-Kreuznach has made lenses for professionals. Names such as Symmar, Xenar, Angulon and Componon are well known all over the world

  1. 1913

    • Foundation of the company “Optische Anstalt Jos. Schneider & Co.” in Bad Kreuznach
  2. 1914

    • Registration of the brands SYMMAR, COMPONAR and ISCONAR
  3. 1915

    • Manufacture of the first cinema projection lenses
  4. 1919

    • Production of the first four-lens, trinomial, unsymmetrical anastigmatic lens XENAR
  5. 1920

    • Calculation of the first wide-angle lens for large format photogrphy leading to the development of ANGULON 1:6.8 in 1930
  6. 1925

    • Issue of the first patent for the high aperture XENON
  7. 1957

    • Start of the development process for zoom-lenses. Two years later the VARIOGEN 2.8/10-40 ( 13 lenses in nine groups) for 8mm film format is already in serial production
  8. 1964

    • Launch of the first zoom-lens with fixed back focus for 35 mm cameras: VARIOGON 4.0/80-240
  9. 1967

    • The tenmillionth lens is manufactured: Color TV-VARIOGON 2.1/18-200 ( already multicoated )
  10. 1983

    • Product range extension through the launch of the new CINELUX high-class cinema and AV projection lenses
  11. 1985

    • Takeover and integration of the business operations of B+W Filterfabrik , Joh. Weber KG, Wiesbaden, renowned worldwide for over four decades
  12. 1999

    • Start-up of the aspheric lens production with state-of-the-art manufacturing and testing machines
  13. 2005

    • The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences awards the Technical Achievement Award for cinema projection lenses from the CINELUX PREMIÈRE series to four employees of „Jos. Schneider Optische Werke GmbH“

Innovation has a long tradition

  1. 1914

    • Brand names SYMMAR and COMPONAR
  2. 1926

  3. 1930

    • ANGULON, large format lens with 72°
  4. 1960

    • SUPER-ANGULON, large format lens with 105°
  5. 1993

    • SUPER-ANGULON XL with 120°
  6. 1996

    • APO-DIGITAR, digital lenses for professional use ( 2.8/28 up to 5.6/150 )
  7. 1999

    • SUPER-SYMMAR XL ASPHERIC, firs large format lens with aspherical surface
  8. 2002

    • APO-DIGITAR 5.6/24 XL - 100°

Experience in zoom lenses

  1. 1957

    • Starting calculation of zoom lenses
  2. 1959

    • VARIOGON 2.8/10-40 mm for 8-mm film, first SCHNEIDER-VARIOGON
  3. 1969

    • COLOR-TV-VARIOGON 2.1/18-200 mm first SCHNEIDER Television zoom lens
  4. 1985

    • TV-VARIOGON 1.4/11-385 mm first SCHNEIDER zoom lens without cams (electronic steering)
  5. 1989

    • TV-VARIOGON 1.7/6-70 mm with two aspherical lenses
  6. now

    • Zoom lenses for industrial applications (VARIOGON and BETAVARON)

Experience with aspherical elements

  1. 1976

    • Asperical lens for VARIOGON 1.8/7-56 mm (placed in front, it reduced the short focal length from 7 mm to 4 mm)
  2. 1989

    • High quality glass aspherical lens in TV-VARIOGON 1.7/6-70 mm
  3. 1996

    • First aspherical lens in large format lens SUPER-SYMMAR XL asperic
  4. 1999

    • Starting production of high quality grinded and polished aspherical glass lenses