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Komura lenses ?
Old 12-29-2007   #1
Luddite Frank
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Komura lenses ?

I just a got a box-lot from eBay, containing a Komura 35mm f 3 (?) lens, in LTM.

It is black and chrome, and has a scalloped focusing ring, a la Exakta, and click-stop diaphragm. And coated glass.


I've never run across a Komura lens ... anybody else have one ?

Are they "any good" ?


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Old 12-29-2007   #2
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Some of them very good. Some of the faster ones go for big money in LTM.

Google "Sankyo-Kohki lens".
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Old 12-29-2007   #3
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I have a 200mm F4.5 Komura in LTM. It is RF coupled. It's a decent lens, certainly not many RF coupled 200mm lenses around.

Last edited by Brian Sweeney : 12-30-2007 at 17:31.
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Old 12-29-2007   #4
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They were a reputable Japanese third-party lens manufacturer. Good enough to be imported by EPOI, who also were Nikon's importer.

They made a lot of interchangeable mount SLR lenses as well (Unidapter and Uni-Auto mounts). But they never made a meter-coupled interchangeable mount, so they fell by the wayside when T4, TX, and Adaptall mounts came out. They hung on making view camera lenses, Bronica mount lenses, and fixed-mount zooms. Then Bronica changed lens mounts, etc...
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Old 12-29-2007   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Luddite Frank
I just a got a box-lot from eBay, containing a Komura 35mm f 3 (?) lens, in LTM.

It is black and chrome, and has a scalloped focusing ring, a la Exakta, and click-stop diaphragm. And coated glass.


I've never run across a Komura lens ... anybody else have one ?

Are they "any good" ?


Luddite Frank
You got a Komura 35mm f3.5 lens. This is probably their most numerous lens, and it shows up on ebay fairly regularly. It is not a bad lens at all; as good as most other 35/3.5's from that time. The lens was rebadged by other companies, including Kyoei (Acall).

Sankyo Kohki was the manufacturer, and aside from Leitz, Canon, and Nikon, they probably made the greatest range of coupled LTM lenses -- from 28mm to 200mm; in 2 or more speeds for most focal lengths. They never made a 50mm (too bad).

Among their many lenses were some higher-end jobs, including in LTM:

36mm f1.8
80mm f1.8
105mm f2.0
135mm f2.8
200mm f4.5

As mentioned earlier, the first 3 are hard to find and priced accordingly. I have or have used each of these lenses, and the 36mm, 80mm, and 105mm compare well against similarly specified lenses from other makers. I have also used a Komura 85mm f1.4 SLR lens on a Minolta, and was impressed.

Cheers,

David
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Old 12-29-2007   #6
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I have a very good Komura large format lens as well. 210mm f6.3 - my favorite portrait lens, actually. It performs very well for the focal length. The only one better in that length I've seen is the big Rodenstock.
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Old 12-29-2007   #7
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They also make a 2x teleconverter kit for Leica M that includes a finder. I've heard they are pretty poor but I picked one up on eBay cheap a while back and I'm planning on seeing if DAG can do anything with it.


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Old 12-29-2007   #8
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I bought the 28/3.5 new in 1970. Last year I came to the conclusion that it was not right from day one. Shame on me for not checking it carefully when I bought it.
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Old 12-30-2007   #9
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Komura made a variety of lenses, though not in large numbers. I had an LTM 135/3.5 which was quite adequate. In the 1970s the Komura Telemore tele-converter for 35 mm SLRs was considered one of the better ones.
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Old 12-30-2007   #10
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As a teeneager in the late 1960's I had the Komura sales brochure for both rangefinder and SLR glass. . . they had some delectable stuff. The one from Canon - however - just about made me frantic.
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Old 12-26-2008   #11
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I just got a Komura 35mm/2.5 in Exakta mount as a gift. It looks very impressive.
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Old 12-30-2008   #12
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No one mentioned the Komura reflex housings for LTM. Lenses were 200, 300, 400, 500 and 800mm. I've used the 300 and 400mm lenses, but they are not as good as the equivalent Telyt's. Dah. I've found Komura lubs to gum up over time and result in stiff focusing.
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Old 12-30-2008   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zeitz View Post
No one mentioned the Komura reflex housings for LTM. Lenses were 200, 300, 400, 500 and 800mm. I've used the 300 and 400mm lenses, but they are not as good as the equivalent Telyt's. Dah. I've found Komura lubs to gum up over time and result in stiff focusing.
How much is a Komura 400mm 5.6 worth for SLR systems? $100? More?
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Old 12-30-2008   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dberger View Post
You got a Komura 35mm f3.5 lens. This is probably their most numerous lens, and it shows up on ebay fairly regularly. It is not a bad lens at all; as good as most other 35/3.5's from that time. The lens was rebadged by other companies, including Kyoei (Acall).

Sankyo Kohki was the manufacturer, and aside from Leitz, Canon, and Nikon, they probably made the greatest range of coupled LTM lenses -- from 28mm to 200mm; in 2 or more speeds for most focal lengths. They never made a 50mm (too bad).

Among their many lenses were some higher-end jobs, including in LTM:

36mm f1.8
80mm f1.8
105mm f2.0
135mm f2.8
200mm f4.5

As mentioned earlier, the first 3 are hard to find and priced accordingly. I have or have used each of these lenses, and the 36mm, 80mm, and 105mm compare well against similarly specified lenses from other makers. I have also used a Komura 85mm f1.4 SLR lens on a Minolta, and was impressed.

Cheers,

David

David,

You seem to know about such lenses. What about a Komura 35mm 2.5 in Exakta mount? Is it relatively rare or very common. The other 35m.25 I know about is the expensive Angenieux.
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Old 12-30-2008   #15
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Raid, the 400mm I have is f:6.3. I don't know about any other 400mm. The 6.3 has a 39mm mount, requiring a Uni adapter for anything other than the Komura reflex housing. The adapters are harder to find than the lens itself.
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Old 12-30-2008   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raid View Post
David,

You seem to know about such lenses. What about a Komura 35mm 2.5 in Exakta mount? Is it relatively rare or very common. The other 35m.25 I know about is the expensive Angenieux.
Raid,

Most of my experience with Komura lenses is with their LTM's. I have used the Komura 85mm f1.4 in Minolta SR mount, and I found it to be very good, even wide open. In Exakta mount, I once borrowed a Komura 135mm f2.3 (yes, 2.3) that I used on Topcons. That lens too was quite good, but very big, not convenient (it had a preset aperture), and not as good as the RE-Topcor 135mm f3.5; so, I gave it back. So, based on my small experience with Komura SLR lenses and my larger experience with their LTM fair, I generally expect all Komura lenses to perform well, including your new one.

Your lens is pretty fast for an early 1960's lens, but Komura seems to have been pretty successful in their higher-end designs. I would not be surprised if your lens suffers from distortion wide open, as many older wide angle SLR lenses do.

I have an old Komura catalog from 1963 that contains your lens. It is retrofocus, of course, with 7 elements in 5 groups. According to the catalog, the lens came with a screw-in hood. Komura indeed had a pretty advanced stable of lenses at the time (not to mention their medium- and large-format lenses); that catalog lists the 85mm f1.4 and a 135mm f2.0 for SLR's, along some of the fancy-pants LTM lenses I described earlier.

Cheers and Happy New Year,

David
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Old 12-31-2008   #17
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I have two LTM Komuras: a 28/3,5 with both caps and lenshood, in a black leatherette velvet lined case, all original. Also a 105/2 with both caps. I bought these about 15 years ago (condition Exc+) for something like 110 (c.$150) and had very satisfactory results, especially from the 28mm one.
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Old 12-31-2008   #18
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David,

Thanks for the explanations.
My 35/2.5 was a freebie from Johan. I used it mostly at F 22 yesterday. Once I develop the film,I will share with RFF the results.
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Old 01-01-2009   #19
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How about the 105/2,8? I'm waiting for one to arrive.

It's also listed above that there is a 105/2. Is this less common?
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Old 01-02-2009   #20
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Frank,
Is the current market value of such Komura LTM lenses lower/similar/higher to Nikkor LTM lenses?
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Old 01-02-2009   #21
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I've had several Komura lenses over the years and found them to be well worth the money. The most interesting was the 135/2.8 that was in LTM and coupled. It was a stretch for the rangefinder on the Bessa T up close wide open. I have a feeling that Pres K (of CV fame) must have a lot in common the folks picking what lenses to build back in the 60's.

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Old 01-02-2009   #22
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Komura made good lenses but it was the beginning of "The SLR Revolution" and people looking for a non-Leitz LTM lens at that time probably bought Nikon. They already had the reputation and closed out their line of LTM optics at give away prices. Why buy an "off brand" Komura 36/1.8 when $89.50 would buy you a Nikkor 35/1.8?

Komura's honesty probably worked against them too. It might well have been a 36mm lens but any other company would have just called it a 35mm and made people happy. How many Dual-Range Summicrons would Leitz have sold if they'd listed it as a 51.9mm f/2? ...but that was what it was. All the amateurs would be running around wanting to know how they could possibly use that with the 50mm frame line in their M3.
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props for 35/2.8
Old 01-03-2009   #23
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props for 35/2.8

my very first RF lens was a komura 35/2.8. after using the ultron 35/1.7 and liking the speed and the sharpness, i actually went back to the komura occasionally. it's a little more unpredictable, but sometimes there is a real luminance to it. here is an example:

http://ppodd.wordpress.com/2008/12/26/carrot-shredder/
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Komura 210 f6.3
Old 01-16-2009   #24
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Komura 210 f6.3

Quote:
Originally Posted by rogue_designer View Post
I have a very good Komura large format lens as well. 210mm f6.3 - my favorite portrait lens, actually. It performs very well for the focal length. The only one better in that length I've seen is the big Rodenstock.
Hi I am looking to buy a 4X5 camera and one of the lenses available with a cambo is a Komura 210 f6.3. How is your experience with it? Could I possibly see some work with it amongst your uploaded work?
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Old 01-20-2009   #25
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My Sankyo Kohki Komura 2,8/105mm arrived.

It's really BIG. As large as a typical 105 made for SLR cameras...my Pentax 105, Nikon E100, Isco 100mm, and Kaleinar 100mm look smaller by comparison.



Goes well with a bulky RF like the Zorki-4. It will effectively conceal a Barnack type if mounted on one.

Initial tests show that this lens does good. Snappy and crisp details. Have yet to shoot something significant with it...
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Old 01-20-2009   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nandita View Post
Hi I am looking to buy a 4X5 camera and one of the lenses available with a cambo is a Komura 210 f6.3. How is your experience with it? Could I possibly see some work with it amongst your uploaded work?
Hey there. Sorry I didn't see this earlier. I don't have many from that lens uploaded, it seems. It really is a very nice lens. Especially for portraits (i find).
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Old 01-20-2009   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZorkiKat View Post
My Sankyo Kohki Komura 2,8/105mm arrived.

It's really BIG. As large as a typical 105 made for SLR cameras...my Pentax 105, Nikon E100, Isco 100mm, and Kaleinar 100mm look smaller by comparison.

[image deleted]
Goes well with a bulky RF like the Zorki-4. It will effectively conceal a Barnack type if mounted on one.

Initial tests show that this lens does good. Snappy and crisp details. Have yet to shoot something significant with it...
This lens may be a copy of the popular Nikkor 105 2.5 Sonnar. It has to be a good one.
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Old 01-20-2009   #28
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For the sake of completeness, I am waiting for two Komuranon enlarger lenses. The seller told me that they are as good as the Nikkor-EL.

I hope he is right
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Old 01-20-2009   #29
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Quote:
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For the sake of completeness, I am waiting for two Komuranon enlarger lenses. The seller told me that they are as good as the Nikkor-EL.

I hope he is right
Did you get the $25 pair at .... ?
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Old 01-20-2009   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raid View Post
This lens may be a copy of the popular Nikkor 105 2.5 Sonnar. It has to be a good one.
Interesting....

It does produce very un-Nikon blurs (aka bokeh). Nice and subtle, unlike the typical cross-hatches made by many of the Nikkors.

And the Komura 105 seems to be light for a Sonnar or a Nikkor for that matter. The old 105 Nikkors I used before were really heavy.
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Old 01-20-2009   #31
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There are other Komura tele lenses in that range, so maybe the 100mm/2 lens is the one that supposedly is a Sonnar.
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Old 01-20-2009   #32
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The 105 Nikkor is an awesome lens in all its disguises and labels.
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Old 01-21-2009   #33
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No Sonnar, no Gaussian either. An extended triplet, kindof Ernostar. Different from all Nikkor 105/2.5's.

Komura made lots of Ernostar type lenses, even quite fast ones. I still miss the diagram of the 100/1.8
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Old 01-21-2009   #34
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By the way, here is a link for a recent RFF thread on my results with the donor Komura 35mm lens.

http://rangefinderforum.com/forums/s...ad.php?t=68198
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Old 02-28-2009   #35
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I had a Komura ltm 28mm f3.5 (I think) which I bought new years ago. Sent it back to Sankyo who made it because the first results were dreadful - apparently incorrectly assembled. Upon its return I tried it and the colour rendition was ok but definition fairly poor. Sold it last year with finder in case for $50!
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Old 03-09-2009   #36
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Yes the Acall is a solid lens. Some of them are banded by Komura, others Telesar, and this design may have originated with the company that made the Honor LTM camera in the fifties (see the write-up at Pacific Rim Camera). Komura also sold a 35/3.5 which was not physically similar to the Acall, a pretty lens, but I think the "Acall-like" Komura 35/3.5 was the sharpest.

It's very small and beautifully made too. The original Acall kits included a lens, finder, and hood all in a smart little blue zip-up case with gold-leaf type lettering on the outside. Whoever engineered this thing had a keen sense of what an interchangeable lens rangefinder lens should be all about.
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Old 04-22-2009   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dberger View Post
Raid,

Most of my experience with Komura lenses is with their LTM's. I have used the Komura 85mm f1.4 in Minolta SR mount, and I found it to be very good, even wide open. In Exakta mount, I once borrowed a Komura 135mm f2.3 (yes, 2.3) that I used on Topcons. That lens too was quite good, but very big, not convenient (it had a preset aperture), and not as good as the RE-Topcor 135mm f3.5; so, I gave it back. So, based on my small experience with Komura SLR lenses and my larger experience with their LTM fair, I generally expect all Komura lenses to perform well, including your new one.

Your lens is pretty fast for an early 1960's lens, but Komura seems to have been pretty successful in their higher-end designs. I would not be surprised if your lens suffers from distortion wide open, as many older wide angle SLR lenses do.

I have an old Komura catalog from 1963 that contains your lens. It is retrofocus, of course, with 7 elements in 5 groups. According to the catalog, the lens came with a screw-in hood. Komura indeed had a pretty advanced stable of lenses at the time (not to mention their medium- and large-format lenses); that catalog lists the 85mm f1.4 and a 135mm f2.0 for SLR's, along some of the fancy-pants LTM lenses I described earlier.

Cheers and Happy New Year,

David
Hi David,
I just got a Komura 80mmf1.8 LTM. Do you have any information about it in your catalog? Thanks.
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Old 04-22-2009   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tooffy View Post
Hi David,
I just got a Komura 80mmf1.8 LTM. Do you have any information about it in your catalog? Thanks.
I am in the middle of a move, so my catalog/brochure stuff is boxed up somewhere. If I recall correctly, however, the Komura 80/1.8 has an Ernostar-type design, with 5 elements (i.e., not a Sonnar). It is a very good lens, so enjoy it well. (Here is a link to a current discussion on fast medium teles.)

Cheers,

David
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Old 04-22-2009   #39
ferider
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I probably got the same catalogue as you, David. Unfortunately it does not include the 80/1.8 (catalogue is from 64, 80/1.8 is newer ?). The following Komura lenses are confirmed classic Ernostars:

105/2.8
105/2.5
105/2
135/2.8

Since the original Ernostar was an 80/1.8 as well, I am assumining the Komura 80/1.8 to be of the same design.

Roland.
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Old 04-22-2009   #40
tooffy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ferider View Post
I probably got the same catalogue as you, David. Unfortunately it does not include the 80/1.8 (catalogue is from 64, 80/1.8 is newer ?). The following Komura lenses are confirmed classic Ernostars:

105/2.8
105/2.5
105/2
135/2.8

Since the original Ernostar was an 80/1.8 as well, I am assumining the Komura 80/1.8 to be of the same design.

Roland.
Quote:
Originally Posted by dberger View Post
I am in the middle of a move, so my catalog/brochure stuff is boxed up somewhere. If I recall correctly, however, the Komura 80/1.8 has an Ernostar-type design, with 5 elements (i.e., not a Sonnar). It is a very good lens, so enjoy it well. (Here is a link to a current discussion on fast medium teles.)

Cheers,

David
Thanks, David & Roland
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