Now trading as Jos. Schneider Optische Werke, this lens and lens accessories specialist was founded by Joseph Schneider in 1913. Under the brand name Schneider Kreuznach it manufactures and supplies high specification optics for broadcasting and filmmaking, along with a range of photographic and polarising filters and other supporting equipment.
Based in Bad Kreuznach in the western Rhineland-Palatinate region of Germany, the company has a US subsidiary, Schneider Optics, founded in 1972, with offices in Van Nuys, California and Hauppague, New York.
In 2000 Schneider bought American lens maker Century Optics (which began trading in 1948) and incorporated that company's products into its range. Other major acquisitions over the years have expanded and broadened Schneider's offering; in 1985 it acquired B+W Filter Manufacturing Company, which was joined in 1987 by Rollei Fototechnic, glass and plastic polarising materials manufacturer Käsemann/Oberaudorf in 89 and in 91 camera and lens developer Pentacon/Practica. The Schneider range includes the Cine-Xenar II and III, FF Primes, 35mm, digital cinema wide angle 114mm, low angle prism, periscope, Century HDV/DV (for Canon, JVC, Panasonic and Sony camcorders), broadcast lens add-ons, Century filters and projection optics. Century continues as a brand in its own right and its lenses won a Technical Achievement Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 1992. Schneider has won the same Award on three occasions, in 1978, 2001 and 2005.