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Komura vs. Vivitar vs. Tochpribor RF/SLR 2x Teleconverter
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2017 9:37 am    Post subject: Komura vs. Vivitar vs. Tochpribor RF/SLR 2x Teleconverter Reply with quote

Today I wanted to find out the optical quality of my Komura Telemore M39 RF 2x teleconverter (5 lenses) in comparison to the much appraised Vivitar 2X macro focusing teleconverter (7 lenses). Therefore I took one of my best and sharpest lenses which is the Leitz Elmar 135mm/F4 which also provides the needed flexibility to enable this comparison (detachable lens head on Visoflex with Visoflex to Nikon adapter and the Nikon version of the Vivitar converter finally adapted to Leica M). I also added a comparison to the Leitz Telyt 280mm/F4.8 without converter.

The first series was useless as the very hot weather already led to air modulations hence the infinity shots are showing only waves instead of straight lines. Therefore I've chosen to do my favorite lamp for purple finging test shots which is apprx. 30m away. Unfortunately the bird was not willing to stay for longer than for just one picture. Wink

All pictures have been taken at F5.6 with my Ricoh GXR-M and you see 100% center crops straight out of the camera with no further manipulation whatsoever. White balance was set to auto.

Leitz Elmar:

Leitz Elmar + Komura Telemore RF converter:

Leitz Elmar + Vivitar macro focusing converter:

Leitz Telyt 280mm/F4.8 at F5.6:

I was rather astonished that the Komura converter is more or less at the same level as the Vivitar one. However, both of them are adding some purple fringing (which can be easily removed during post processing). No wonder, the Telyt shows the best result. However, it's rather huge and heavy and it's much easier to carry a teleconverter in your pocket instead.

In normal view the differences are rather marginal as you can see in the downsized full pictures:

Elmar 135mm + Komura:

Telyt 280mm:

Anyway, the review of the Komura converter published here: http://www.pebbleplace.com/reviews/rangefinder/komura_2x/index.html is far too negative for my taste. At least I find it very useful and that's why I added it to my set of standard accessories when I'm going out on photo excursions with RF lenses.

BTW, out of curiosity I've just ordered the Russian M39 RF teleconverter "TK-2D" to compare it to the Komura one as well. This converter was introduced here: http://forum.mflenses.com/interesting-2x-converter-for-ltm-lenses-t69802.html
It's besides of the Komura one the only one for RF lenses in existence and available for little money (if you are lucky). The Komura Telemore is more expensive as it comes in a complete set including special finder and leather case. Both of them are RF-coupled.


Last edited by tb_a on Thu Jul 20, 2017 12:25 pm; edited 2 times in total

PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2017 10:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interestingly, many of the Vivitar 2X teleconverters were made by Komura.

PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2017 11:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oldhand wrote:
Interestingly, many of the Vivitar 2X teleconverters were made by Komura.

Maybe, but this special and famous "Vivitar 2X macro focusing teleconverter MC" (7 lenses in 5 groups) has been almost for sure produced by Kenko/Tokina and is available in a "Teleplus" branding from Kenko as well.

A quite interesting review can be found here: http://makingnottaking.blogspot.co.at/2014/05/the-vivitar-2x-macro-focusing.html

A thread about it can also be found here at MFlenses: http://forum.mflenses.com/vivitar-2x-macro-focusing-teleconverter-t40765.html

PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2017 1:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for those pictures, Thomas. I must confess to being a little surprised by thr Komura results - it really does look to be a useful item. I wish you had a Leica, though, to see how well it works on a rangefinder body Smile

PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2017 2:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

scsambrook wrote:
I wish you had a Leica, though, to see how well it works on a rangefinder body

Sorry, not yet. Wink As long as I have my Ricoh I won't change.

However, the review of the Komura was done on a Leica and there it was mentioned that without electronic life view it may be cumbersome to find the right focus particularly with a 135mm lens. On the other hand, if the lens is well calibrated then it should work like without converter.

BTW, the nice feature of the Vivitar macro converter is the built-in macro helicoid which makes it more comfortable to shoot from 1:1 macro to infinity with the same configuration (i.e. 270mm focus length or 405mm FOV FF equivalent) whilst on tour. In principal it works also with the Komura but you have to add different rings instead.

Here is a quick and dirty example from the Vivitar with the Leitz Elmar lens head, again straight from the camera without manipulation. An almost 1:1 macro taken at F8. First the complete picture and second a 100% crop.



IMHO not bad at all.


PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2017 7:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not surprised at all by the Vivitar 2x's quality. I've known about it for many years. Some years back I did a comparison between the Vivitar and a dedicated Tamron 2x, and found that they were of comparable sharpness. I posted the results here. Ah, I found the thread. It was back in 2011. It's rather lengthy, with a lot of comparisons.


I also have the Komura Telemore 95 II. I don't know where I got it from -- probably came from an outfit I bought -- but I've hardly used it at all. I've hung onto it because I've known for some time the reputation of this optic, which is excellent, so I figured I couldn't go wrong. And the documentation here appears I was right. Glad to see this comparison!

PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2017 9:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

cooltouch wrote:
Glad to see this comparison!

My pleasure!

PostPosted: Thu Jul 20, 2017 12:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Today I've received the "TK-2D" converter produced by Tochpribor, Charkow, Ukraine. It was most probably produced in the 1980's and is like the Komura one the second RF-coupled teleconverter in existence. It is like the Komura a 5 lenses construction but it comes only in a plastic box without special viewfinder or lens covers. As the lens element reaches into the used lens it can't be used on lenses like e.g. the Jupiter-3. However, all of the RF lenses with longer focal length fit without any problems.
Pictures of the TK-2D can be seen here: http://forum.mflenses.com/interesting-2x-converter-for-ltm-lenses-t69802.html

In direct comparison those converters are both very good and maybe the TK-2D is even slightly better, at least in "pixel-peeping" mode.

I've tested several different RF lenses from 75 to 135mm and the result is always the same, i.e. both converters work very well on all of these lenses.

Here is a comparison with the Leitz Elmar 135/4 at 100% view totally unprocessed straight out from the camera. WB was set to auto and the Komura delivers warmer colors. The CA's (purple fringing) are slightly better with the TK-2D.



However, besides of the slightly different colors, in the final pictures it's almost impossible to distinguish those 2 converters, particularly if slightly optimized during PP like shown in the following examples:

Full picture TK-2D:

Full picture Komura:

To make a long story short: Both M39/LTM RF converters are highly recommendable and the optical quality is far better than expected. The Komura is the smaller one and better compatible with RF lenses. For hiking with a small camera and RF lenses such converters may provide possibilities which are either not possible at all or only with huge and heavy SLR lenses which I don't like to carry along.

BTW, both converters are also perfectly usable for the old M39/Zenit SLR lenses if the Zenit 16.4mm distance ring is added between the converter and the M39 to camera mount adapter. Here is an example of this combination with the Jupiter-11 135/4 M39/Zenit lens and the TK-2D:


PostPosted: Thu Jul 20, 2017 5:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How to convert the Summicron 50/2 collapsible into a 100/4 macro lens by using a M39 distance ring (26mm) and the Komura RF-converter:

Shot at F5.6 and downsized with minor corrections in LR6. Apprx. scale is 1:2.

IMHO not bad at all and DOF much better compared to a real 100/4 macro lens which might be a major advantage in some cases.