View Full Version : Komura large format lense

Jeremy John Pettitt
18-Dec-2001, 17:50
I recently purchased a "Komura" large format lense mounted in a Copal #1 shutter and am trying to track down any info on its performance and customer approval. It's a 210mm lense with aperture range of 6.3 - 45. I put this lense through t he full movements of my field camera and found no vignetting even at the extreme ties. It was priced at $200. One concern that I have is that inscribed on the l ense next to the "210mm" marking are the words "commercial". Does this mean tha t the original purpose of this lense was for an enlarger in a photo studio setti ng rather than on a large format camera? Because this is my first large format lense, I do not see the need to start right off with a Schneider or Rodenstock a s I will probably screw up a lot of my images at first anyways. The point here for me is to start learning how to use the large format with a lense that I can get by with. I guess what I am asking then becomes, do you think that I can get by with this lense to just learn large format photography? P.S. check out my website if interested in my work at www.jpettittphotos.homestead.com (all images made in 35mm)

Ron Lawrence
18-Dec-2001, 21:38
I think the Komura will be just fine for the purpose you mentioned and you may actually fine that it will just fine for many years to come. I think it is a Tessar design and the "Commercial" designation does not mean it was for an enlarger in a studio setting. Many large format lenses from the 50's & 60's used this designation such as "Commercial Ektar". Go make some great images and enjoy the lens!

18-Dec-2001, 23:28
One of my friends uses a 300mm Komura on his Sinar P, In 8x10 the images were and continue to be crisp and contrasty. He photographs his furniture, He is a manufacturer, I would not second guess the quality, It is just fine.

Charlie Stracl
18-Dec-2001, 23:58
I suspect that the "commercial" of the 40's & 50's era derived from "better than amateur" much as today's "professional" is supposed to imply better quality. I think Komura just carried over the old Kodak "commercial" name for a lens of similar design.

This is indeed a camera lens, not an enlarging lens. Fine for studio work and fine for field work. You may never find a need to replace it.

Go ahead and start your large format adventure. Enjoy the journey. And, if you find LF isn't for you and want to go back to 35mm, have no qualms about it. Judging by your photos, though, you're likely to enjoy LF. Pretty soon you'll be eyeing an 8x10 camera, and wondering...


Doug Paramore
19-Dec-2001, 13:10
Ron has it right: "Go make some fine images and enjoy the lens." I also think the Komura is a tessar design, which is one of the great lenses for large format. It doesn't quite have the coverage of a plasmat, but with a 210 that isn't a problem. The tessar design is a sharp lens with good contrast. Learn to use it, enjoy it, and welcome to the world of large format photography. Prepare to be shocked at the quality.


David A. Goldfarb
19-Dec-2001, 14:43
Komura is quite an old and respected firm, which I believe is known today mostly for high-end video lenses.

They made aftermarket lenses for early Nikon and Bronica mounts. I have a Komura 300/f:5 lens for my Bronica S2A, and it's probably not as contrasty as the comparable Nikkor, but it's pretty good.

Welcome to large format.

Bob Krantz
19-Dec-2001, 18:17
Jeremy: I have been using a Komura 210 for about 20 years, mostly for 4x5 and occasionally for 8x10 (which it will barely cover at small apertures). Its a great, compact lens that delivers good, sharp images. Contrast is comparable to other lenses I own (Fuji, Calumet). Enjoy it.