1913 founded  in Bad Kreuznach, Germany, as a mechanical shop for optical lenses, Jos. Schneider Optische Werke GmbH is today a worldwide market leader in high-quality lenses and precision engineering. 

Since foundation of the company, Schneider-Kreuznach develops, manufactures and markets taking lenses as well as enlarging lenses for professional and amateur photographers. Worldwide well known brand names are SYMMAR, XENAR, ANGULON und COMPONON.



  • 1913

    Foundation of the „Optische Anstalt Jos. Schneider & Co.“ company in Bad Kreuznach

  • 1914

    Registration of the brands SYMMAR, COMPONAR and ISCONAR

  • 1915

    Manufacture of the first cinema projection lenses

  • 1919

    Production of the first four-lens, trinomial, unsymmetrical anastigmatic lens XENAR

  • 1920

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

  • 1921

    „Optische Anstalt Jos. Schneider & Co.“ was renamed
    „Jos. Schneider & Co., Optische Werke, Kreuznach"

  • 1925

    Issue of the first patent for the high aperture XENON

  • 1926

    "real" telephoto lenses complete the manufacturing program

  • 1932

    Engraving of the 500,000th lens ( XENAR 1:2,9/10,5 cm ). A short four years later saw the manufacture of the one millionth lens for „Jos. Schneider & Co., Optische Werke, Kreuznach"

  • 1933

    Joseph Schneider, honorary citizen of the city Bad Kreuznach, passes away at the age of 78

  • 1937

    Laying of the foundation stone for a new factory at „Ringstraße 132” in Bad Kreuznach ( completed 1939 )

  • 1953

    Design of the first interchangeable lenses with automatic diaphragm for the SLR EXAKTA-Varex offered five years later with a photometer with automatic tracking system

  • 1957

    Start of the development process for zoom-lenses. Two years later the VARIOGON 2,8/10-40 ( 13 lenses in nine groups) for 8mm film format is already in serial production.

  • 1961

    Formation of "Feinwerktechnik GmbH" for the development and production of electrohydraulic servovalves

  • 1964

    Launch of the first zoom-lens with fixed back focus for 35 mm cameras:  VARIOGON 1:4,0/80-240

  • 1967

    The tenmillionth lens is manufactured: COLOR TV-VARIOGON
    ( already multicoated )

  • 1972

    Formation of SCA, „Schneider Corporation of America”
    ( today Schneider Optics )

  • 1983

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

  • 1984

    Set up for the manufacture and distribution of ophthalmic lenses made of silicate and optical plastic

  • 1985

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

  • 1989

    Production of KÄSEMANN polarization elements made of glass and optical plastic

  • 1990

    Phase-out of the development and manufacture of TV-lenses

  • 1993

    Development and production start-up of a new extreme wide-angle lens SUPER-ANGULON generation for large format photography

  • 1995

    15Restructure of the manufacturing technology "Dünne Schichten" (thin-layer technology) under clean room conditions, category 10

  • 1997

    Formation of the subsidiary
    PENTACON GmbH Foto- und Feinwerktechnik, Dresden

  • 1998

    The company name became „Jos. Schneider Optische Werke GmbH“

  • 1999

    Start-up of the aspheric lens production with state-of-the-art manufacturing and testing machines

  • 2000

    Acquisition of „Century Precision Optics“ in the USA

    Formation of the subsidiary Praktika (UK) LTD., England

  • 2000

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

  • 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“

  • 2007

    Formation of the subsidiary Schneider Bando LTD., South-Korea

  • 2008

    Formation of the subsidiary Schneider Asia Pacific LTD., Hongkong

  • 2008

    Set-up of the branch base Schneider Optical Technologies (SHENZHEN) Co. Ltd.

  • 2009

    The „ISCO Gruppe Göttingen“, integrated in August 2008, trades under the name Schneider Kreuznach Isco Division GmbH & Co. KG

  • 2010

    UltraLED by SCHNEIDER KREUZNACH wins Rhineland-Palatinate Innovation Award

  • 2013

    Schneider Optics, the American subsidiary of Schneider-Kreuznach, received the Technology and Engineering Emmy Award 2012 for IRND (Infrared Neutral Density)-Filter-Technology for digital HD (High Definition)-cameras.

    Schneider-Kreuznach celebrates its 100th anniversary.

  • 2014

    ISK Optics merges with parent company Jos. Schneider Optische Werke