When merely "wide angle" is not enough.
About 1995 Schneider and Rodenstock each separately announced new breakthroughs in lens technology which allowed them to produce ultra wide angle lenses with minimal distortion.
Since archaeologists and architectural historians work in situations where such a lens would be very useful, I immediately bought this lens even though I already had a regular Schneider Super-Angulon 47mm. The new XL model was well worth the extra price.
Inside Maya rooms this is about the only lens that will cover everything you wish to record. I used this remarkable Schneider lens to photograph the 9th century stucco sculpture on the roof comb of Okolhuitz's main temple. INAH placed scaffolding to facilitate this photography, but because the scaffolding was directly adjacent to the roof comb there was no way to step back to get everything in the picture. For 35mm I used a 15mm lens on a Nikon, but when I needed larger format and more coverage I had to turn to the Schneider lens on a Linhof Technikardan. The Hasselblad SuperWide C was just not wide enough in this case.
The new Schneider lenses come in a variety of configurations.
Feb. 25, 1999; links added July 10, 1999 and Jan 23, 2000; last edited Aug. 5, 2001