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Schneider Kreuznach (German pronunciation: [ˌʃnaɪdɐ ˈkʁɔʏtsnax]) is the abbreviated name of the company Jos. Schneider Optische Werke GmbH, which is sometimes also simply referred to as Schneider. They are a manufacturer of industrial and photographic optics. The company was founded on 18 January 1913 by Joseph Schneider as Optische Anstalt Jos. Schneider & Co. at Bad Kreuznach in Germany. The company changed its name to Jos. Schneider & Co., Optische Werke, Kreuznach in 1922, and to the current Jos. Schneider Optische Werke GmbH in 1998.

The company is known partly for its many innovative lens designs over the course of its existence. In 2001, Schneider received an Oscar for Technical Achievement for their Super-Cinelux motion picture lenses. They are best known as manufacturers of high-quality large format lenses for view cameras, enlarger lenses, and high quality photographic loupes. They also make a limited amount of small- and medium-format lenses, and have, at various times, manufactured eyeglasses and camera rangefinders, as well as being an OEM lens maker for Kodak and Samsung digital cameras. They currently supply the lenses for the LG Dare, LG Viewty KU990, LG Renoir KC910, LG Viewty Smart GC900 and the LG enV Touch. They also supplied the lenses for the Kodak Regent camera in the 30s and the classic Kodak Retina and Kodak Retinette camera series in the 50s and 60s. In 1961, they created Feinwerktechnik GmbH, a manufacturer of electrical-hydraulic servo valves. Over the past several years, they have acquired several other companies:

  • In 1985, they acquired the B+W Filter Manufacturing Company (founded in 1947 by partners Biermann and Weber), maker of the well-respected line of B+W filters.[3]
  • In July 1987, they purchased Rollei Fototechnic GmbH.
  • In 1989, they purchased Käsemann/Oberaudorf, a manufacturer of glass and plastic polarizing materials.
  • After 1991 they acquired the former East-German (GDR) camera and lens manufacturer Pentacon/Practica (Dresden)
  • In 2000, they acquired Century Optics, an American lensmaking firm.

From the start of its production in 1914, Schneider had produced their 500,000th lens by June 1932, their millionth by November 1936, and their 10 millionth lens by January 1967. As of April 2000, they have produced over 14,730,000 lenses. The list below converts any cm designations on earlier lenses to mm (so a 16.5 cm lens is shown as a 165 mm lens).

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