View Full Version : Komura lens

Raymond Bleesz
25-Oct-2015, 14:51
A long time ago, (mid 70's-early '80's), I had a Komura lens on my BJ field camera. Back then, I did not know "nothing", but I recall this about that lens. It was a "convertible". By unscrewing the back element, the lens of course became smaller, lighter & became more of a soft portrait lens, if I recall. I do not know the focal length of the lens, but I think in may have been in the 150-300 range.

I parted with this lens prior to my knowing anything. I should have kept it in hindsight. This lens was given to me, and I should have kept it.

Does anyone know what this lens might have been, who has one, what are your comments regarding this lens, what is the value of this lens et al.


25-Oct-2015, 15:11

25-Oct-2015, 16:04
komura's seem like very good lenses, I recently bought a 300 T because of how low the price was, came in a perfect copal 1 shutter, I figured the shutter was worth almost what I paid for the lens turns out its a great performer

25-Oct-2015, 16:56
Komura lenses were never very common in the UK, the few I saw or heard about were very good lenses. It's interesting that they made a 152mm f2.8 for 5x4 cameras. I used some Komura lenses on a friends Bronica S1a when I did occasional stringer work for him (a stringer is a second photographer covering for another photographer, or working alongside).

Komura were pushing the boundaries, some excellent early zoom lenses, fast 3rd party alternative prime lenses.


Raymond Bleesz
26-Oct-2015, 05:42
I thank all of you for your responses. In checking out the info which was provided to my question, I have yet to see any particular Kamura lens which was mentioned as a "convertible". Any of you know of such a Komura lens??

26-Oct-2015, 07:23
The 152mm f/2.8 Komura (they had a 3.5 version as well) was their version of the Xenotar.

26-Oct-2015, 08:29
Ed, that's interesting. Do you know if the Komura was as good as the Schneider offerings?

Liquid Artist
26-Oct-2015, 12:11
I recently got a Komura 400 f/8 telephoto given to me.
I finally took a photo with it yesterday, but have not had a chance to develop it yet.
However I can tell you from my research that they do have a very good reputation.
I also have a Schneider 360/5.5 Tele-Xenar, barrel lens, and from what I read the Komura should blow the Schneider away.
I will only know after some testing.

27-Oct-2015, 09:57
Not sure: re Komura vs. Schneider as far as the Xenotar and clone. I expect it was probably pretty good - but as good as Schneider? hard to say. The earlier xenotars used lanthanum/thorium glass which helped their performance, I expect later ones may not have. Not sure on the Komuras.

btw, the Tele-Xenar 360 is a pretty decent lens overall, I wouldn't expect night-and-day improvement by the Komura, but it might be somewhat better.


Jason Greenberg Motamedi
27-Oct-2015, 11:18
My experience with the fast Komura lenses was that my f3.5 was a really good lens--sharp and pretty resistant to flare, especially stopped down just a little to f4. My f2.8 version was less so, and had notable vignetting (well, dim corners, not really vignetting) open to f2.8.

Compared to the Xenotar lenses, the f3.5 Komura was equal (but note that it was a 150mm compared to a 135mm Xenotar). The f2.8 version was not equal, and I didn't keep it long. Of course, I am only comparing one set of Komura lenses to a few different Xenotar lenses.

I don't think any of the Komura lenses used rare elements in the glass, but don't know for sure.

Bob Salomon
27-Oct-2015, 15:49
I can give you a different view on their lenses.
Back in the 70s I was the Product Manager for Beseler enlargers. Schneider had redesigned the Componon lenses so that physically the barrel obstructed the built-in filter drawer on the Beseler enlargers (45 and 23). As we were distributing the lenses from Schneider at that time and were one of the largest distributors of Schneider lenses in the USA we were rather surprised when we began receiving complaints that the filter drawer could not be used and were even more surprised to discover that Schneider had not informed us that they were making a change.

To be able to continue to distribute a premium, high quality, enlarging lens series from 50 to 135mm we started to test other options. Since Rodenstock in those days was distributed by Berkey Photo Marketing - the manufacturer of our biggest competitor - Omega, we began to investigate and test lenses from Japan.

When we tested the Komurnon lenses they easily outperformed the Componon lenses of th same era. We became the Komura distributor for their enlarging lenses and discontinued Schneider lenses.

If their taking lenses for LF were as good as their enlarging lenses then they should be the equal of the other symmetrical - convertible - lenses of that same era. The Symmars and the Sironars. But compared to current lenses they would not be as good as an Apo Sironar-S or Schneiders last lenses.

Liquid Artist
27-Oct-2015, 21:18
I suddenly wish I had a scanner.

I just developed the negative with my 400mm f8, and for the most part it's looking good.

Decent contrast, I can even see the couple of very light clouds on the sky and the detail in the trees.

If I had any complaints it would be not enough coverage to quite cover a 5x7. 2 corners were blank.
However it was only designed for a 4x5.

I'll try photographing the negative with my dslr soon, but can't promise that the results will be presentable.

Mick Fagan
28-Oct-2015, 01:26
I have a Komura 400 T f/6.3 for 4x5" and didn't think it would be that flash a lens. I've had it for maybe 5 years, maybe a bit more. It works well on my Shen Hoa 4x5 wooden folder, but is a bit heavy to carry so I haven't used it that much when out and about.

Earlier this year I picked up a Toyo 45G monorail and immediately used the 400T Komura for portrait work, with the subject about 2.5m to 3m from the camera. I too don't have a scanner, but if I did I could show you some startling good negatives with very good detail from shadow through to highlight, including wisps of hair that I thought I would lose.

As a result of that single portrait effort, I have started to use the Komura 400 T a bit more; so far I have not been let down. It's main asset is that with modest bellows draw, one can easily run with it and have drawing power not normally obtainable with a wooden field camera at the quite modest price this brand of lens commands.

I know enough about lenses to know that this lens is not a world beater, but it's pretty good lens none the less.


28-Oct-2015, 10:48
I own and use a 500mm f/7 Komura on my 4x5 Chamonix. Lens is an outstanding optic, if you are willing to accept that it does in fact fully cover the 4x5 format, but with a very limited ability to use any front standard movements at infinity focus.


29-Oct-2015, 20:43
If I remember right, Komura made a few lenses for Bronica. I had a Komara 2x in Bronica ETR mount.

Kent in SD

1-Nov-2015, 02:26
If I remember right, Komura made a few lenses for Bronica. I had a Komara 2x in Bronica ETR mount.

Kent in SD

They did I used a Komura lens on a griends S1a, they also made the Telemore 2x converters which were fairly decent compared to most on the market.

I'd agree with Bob Salomon about their enlarger lenses I have an 80mm and it's as good as the Schneiders I use.


Liquid Artist
1-Nov-2015, 12:12
I looked for a good clean 135 - 150mm enlarger lens on the bay, and they are not easy to find.

Since Bob mentioned the problem, and I have a Beseler 45M, with the immediately above the lens, built-in filter drawer. I am almost afraid to buy a Schneider now.

Bob Salomon
1-Nov-2015, 12:20
I looked for a good clean 135 - 150mm enlarger lens on the bay, and they are not easy to find.

Since Bob mentioned the problem, and I have a Beseler 45M, with the immediately above the lens, built-in filter drawer. I am almost afraid to buy a Schneider now.
They had since corrected the problem, I am not aware of a continuation of the problem. The problem occurred before Schneider's filing for bankruptcy and apparently was solved by the successor company to the old Schneider.
However, it should be pointed out, that after Komura Beseler sold Rodenstock lenses under Rodenstock's OEM program. Today they don't sell lenses from any of these companies.