View Full Version : Komuran 240mm.. is it any good?

Matthias Schulze
21-Apr-2004, 05:53
I have an offer for a Komuranon 240mm lens. Searching the web hasn't yielded any information, so I thought I ask the knowledgeable people here: Has anyone experience with that lens? Is it any good? This will be my first lens, I want to do allround work with it: Primarily portraits, some really close closeups/near Macro and probably some architecture. Yeah. I know, very broad range of applications which doesn't make the choice of lenses easy. But then, I like sharp lenses. Sharp not as in "f22" but as in "crisp" and only there where I want it. For example, traditional portraits with my Mamiya RZ from the front right leave one eye out of focus, when I stop down, the whole head is in focus (which I don't want) so I have to use Scheimpflug... which means, large format.

Any information on the manufacturer is also greatly appreciated - I know its japanese and that they did enlarger lenses and that they withdrew quite a while ago from the market for whatever reason.

Ah, another question: Multi Coated Lenses or not? Which is the way to go? I've heard that there are differend schools of thought. What are the Pros and Cons?

Jerry Flynn
21-Apr-2004, 09:55
I am not familiar with that particular lens and you do not indicate format.

However, if you are talking about 4X5, 240mm would be considered a bit long. Perhaps good for your portrait work but problematic for the other work you mention.

To get 1:1 reproduction, you will have to have about 480mm of bellows extension (about 20 inches).

For architcture, unless you are interested in architectural detail, or can get back some distance from your subject, you will have problems. Architecturall work tends to be dome with much shorted focal lengths -- 90mm or shorter.

Matthias Schulze
21-Apr-2004, 10:08
Yes, sorry, it's 4x5. Although I think of adding a larger rear standard later. My camera (yet to arrive via mail, bought it at ebay on sunday) is a Sinar P2 which has a maximum bellows extension of 450mm AFAIK.

Ernest Purdum
21-Apr-2004, 10:25
Is that an f6.3 "Commercial" Komura? If so, it is a six element, four group lens with an image circle of 335mm. It comes in a Copal #1 shutter. I would guess that it might sell for condsiderably less than a Schneider, Rodenstock, Fuji or Nikon of similar specs and, if so, could be a worthwhile find.

Regarding multicoating, there is no "con" except higher price. The "pro" is less susceptibility to flare and contrast loss. The benefits are similar to those of single coating over no coating, but to a lesser degree. With careful use of a compendium lensshade and control of lighting indoors, the difference between simgle and multicoating largely disappears.

Jerry Flynn
21-Apr-2004, 10:32

I also use Sinar. If you are getting an additional 12" rail with the camera, you should be OK. Keep in mind that the standard bearers use up asome of the rail length. 24 inches of rail may give you somewhere in the region of 20" of bellows.

Matthias Schulze
21-Apr-2004, 11:44

Komuranon 240mm Grandagon 5,6 to 64

Can anyone tell what shutter that is? Seems to be #3 as the fastest time is 1/125th. It's ~380$. A worthy investment? Or should I try to get something cheaper? Or should I be intimidated by the less reknown name?



Arne Croell
21-Apr-2004, 13:54
The shutter looks like an old style Copal size 3 shutter. Same thread sizes as the current ones, just a different design.

Michael S. Briggs
21-Apr-2004, 15:25
From the chrome outer ring, it is an older Copal. As you say, from the fastest speed and also from the style of the controls, it is a #3.

$380 for a Komuranon isn't a super bargin, but on the other hand, the price is slightly less than the cheapest price I know of for a new Copal 3 shutter. If you decided to sell it, you should be able to recoup most of your cost from the value of the shutter.

If you plan to use one lens for a while, you might want to look for a different lens. 240 mm is rather long for an "only" lens for 4x5. I like 180 mm for an only lens. More common advice would be 150 mm or 210 mm. If you only wanted to use it for portraits, 240 mm would be a good choice. It might have too narrow of a field-of-view for use for all purposes. It might be good to go wider with the idea that when you want a slightly narrow view you can always crop the large 4x5 negative a bit -- cropping isn't a sin unless regularly done because of careless viewing at the time of taking the photo. Another reason to go shorter would be that 210 mm and shorter lenses would be in smaller and lighter shutters -- there is a big different between a #1 and a #3 shutter.

People say that all Copal #3 shutters have the same threads, with the other type of Copal 3 being clearly labled 3S, but I have measured plain Copal #3 shutters that have the threads of the 3S. So without measuring, there is no guarantee which threads this particular shutter has. But that doesn't matter unless you want to use the shutter for some other glass.

Matthias Schulze
21-Apr-2004, 16:22
I don't care too much about weight - yet. Just turned 30 and since I realized I do more and more studio (well.. actually "living room") work, I am seriously considering a 60kg monster plaubel studio ... err.. what do you call it.. tripod? They're unbelievably cheap since it can't be carried easily and the pre owners are simply glad you take it off their hands. You just gotta pick it up yourself. Not that difficult when considering how small germany is compared to the US...

Besides, for any kind of field work I have my trusty and ancient Linhof´. I just hope its sturdy enough for the Sinar.



Matthias Schulze
24-Apr-2004, 17:39
Just got me a brand new Sinar Sinaron S 5,6/210 in a Copal 1 shutter for about the same price.

Thanks for all the input, I really think the 210 will work out better as my primary lens than the 240 could.

Jon Wilson
23-May-2005, 19:35
Although this is an older thread, those interested in locating a Copal 3s shutter, may wish to listen to Michael Briggs and look at picking up an older Copal-No. 3 shutter. Although I have found very little information concerning Fujinar lens, the apparent predecessor to Fujinon lens, and having seen the quality photographs my Fujinar 150mm makes, I took a gamble and recently purchased a Fujinar-SC 250mm f4.7 in an old copal 3 shutter. This old "Copal - No. 3" shutter has the same threads as a new Copal 3s. As a result, my Kowa 240mm barrel lens now fits perfectly in this Old Copal 3 and the Fujinar-SC 250mm lens fit perfectly in the Kowa barrel. In comparing the the aperture settings of the barrel and this shutter, the only downside found was that the aperture scale and this old copal 3 will only close down to f64 instead of f90. However, with a $300+ savings and receiving this old copal 3 (aka copal 3s) I can live without the f90.