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Komura Komuranon Interchangeable Mount System: The details
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 5:04 pm    Post subject: Komura Komuranon Interchangeable Mount System: The details Reply with quote

As one of the members asked me about it, I thought I might as well publish my findings here with some more details:

Komura was once the biggest third party lens manufacturer and produced lenses for all major 35mm and even medium format camera brands. Komura lenses are very highly regarded and their fast portrait and tele lenses still fetch very high prices on eBay.

It seems quite a mystery to me why Komuras Komuranon line of lenses never got much attention. Apart from their old line of lenses, Komura seems to be nearly forgotten today.

Komura introduced their Komuranon line of lenses with interchangeable mount in the mid 70s. Unlike Tamrons adaptall-2 mount, the Komuranon interchangeable mount system went through some incremental changes over the time. I came across 4 generations, which I labeled A to D. I am guessing that this was the order in which this interchangeable mount system improved, but I do not know for certain. Based on my observation it is best to use the same generation of interchangeable mounts, because although they are mostly the same (apart from generation A , they are not necessarily 100% compatible).

One further complication is that the interchangeable mount is specific to the maximum aperture of the lens, meaning, you cannot only have one interchangeable mount for various lenses with different maximum aperture. So lets assume you have a Komuranon 135mm f2.5 lens and a Komuranon 200mm f3.5 lens and want to use them with an M42 mount. So you will have to get two interchangeable M42 mounts, one with an aperture ring starting at f2.5 and another one starting at f3.5. Sometimes it is possible to use an interchangeable mount with in example f2.5 on a lens that has a minimum aperture of f3.5, but not always and it doesnt really seem to behave exactly the same way - so it is best to use the dedicated interchangeable mount.
To make matters worse, sometimes the maximum aperture is not the same either.

Here an overview of the historic development of the interchangeable mount - I am not too sure if version A is really part of it ... it might be just a fixed mount version:

[/url]






Available for following mounts:
Canon FD, Nikon F, Pentax K, M42, Olympus OM etc

Here some pics of the instructions (shows very last series of the Komuranon lenses):


[url=http://forum.mflenses.com/userpix/201211/big_5431_IMG_0425_2.jpg]
[/url]
[url=http://forum.mflenses.com/userpix/201211/big_5431_IMG_0426_2.jpg]
[/url]


One interesting detail:


PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 5:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for a very informative post. My first zoom lens was a Komuranon 821 in Canon FD mount. I currently have a similar lens in Olympus OM mount and discovered the mount section removeable though not as easily interchangeable as Tokina or Tamron mounts.

Very interesting and well done.


PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 5:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you ! I never seen any...

I had older Komura 200mm and 135mm m42 both had excellent colors above than others third party makers.


PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 5:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The build quality of Komura lens are excellent IMHO. I have been looking for their High Speed lenses(85mm f1.4, 135mm f2, 105mm f2 and 135mm f2.3) for a while but they are more and more expensive these days. Wink


PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 5:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks a lot for your feedback! It took quite some time for me to find this out. Initially when buying my first Komura Komuranon lens I was under the impression that the interchangeable mount system would be similar to Tamron's adaptall-2. The summary above are my hard lessons learnt from over 2 years of collecting these lenses.

@casualcollector: The 821 zoom seems to have been quite popular when it was released. It found some old advertisements which praise it as the most popular and advanced zoom of its time. Also some old reviews seem to indicate that it was quite good (for its time). This zoom shows up actually quite regularly on eBay. Not so the prime lenses, which are a lot more sought after.

@calvin83: The Komura lenses you mention are from an earlier period and they are the most expensive ones. As Luis mentioned, Komura had serveral interchangeable mount systems over the course of their existance (ca. 40? years). Also, they had fixed mount lenses as well, so one has to pay very good attention when paying these lenses.


PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 5:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some members had put images taken with komura lenses. I haven't any. But i guess that they haave very good colors and not hight resolution power (as some sun lenses).


PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 7:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you !
Excellent and unique information.
The 1970's Komuras have been a mystery to me, less so now.
This should be a reference post, this info is unique on the web.


PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 7:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"komura komuranon" for this expression 1st entry in Google already Laughing


PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 7:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very good information about "komuranon" lenses!!!

I happen to have TL925, which is a komuranon lens, its colour is rather nice though not too sharp.
No so great examples are > http://www.pbase.com/kkawakami/other_komura_zoom_90_250mm_f45


PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 8:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

@koji: Thanks for your feedback! The 925 lens is an early zoom lens which was released before the Komuranon period. I had this lens as well - I agree with your findings. It's a very beautifully crafted lens though.
@Attila: Excellent!


PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 2:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

diddy wrote:

@calvin83: The Komura lenses you mention are from an earlier period and they are the most expensive ones. As Luis mentioned, Komura had serveral interchangeable mount systems over the course of their existance (ca. 40? years). Also, they had fixed mount lenses as well, so one has to pay very good attention when paying these lenses.

Yes. One have to pay attention to the lens mount if they are not using mirror-less cam exclusively.

There is a page in a famous Chinese forum with lots of info.
http://forum.xitek.com/thread-464517-1-1-1.html


PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 7:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

@calvin83: Thanks for sharing this link ... this is very interesting!


PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 4:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the very useful info. I didn't know the Komuranon lens mount is removable. I have a Komuranon 35-70mm F3.5-4.5 with M42 mount. Pretty soft and has what looks like 3 sets of different filter threads. Still couldn't figure out which one to put the lens cap on because zooming the lens will sure pop the lens cap out because of the way the front glass portion moves. May have to resort to center-pinch type of lens caps which is flush with the filter thread.



PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 5:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Only other thing I can find about Komura is they went bust in 1980 and the plant was taken over by a binocular maker.
Here's something useful...
http://www.cameraeccentric.com/html/info/komura_1.html


PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2012 5:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

koji wrote:
Very good information about "komuranon" lenses!!!

I happen to have TL925, which is a komuranon lens, its colour is rather nice though not too sharp.


Komura lenses were made by same company which produced Horseman cameras : Seiko Koki

The lenses were VERY big / very heavy with lots of elements (ie : 9 for primes) but the true quality was not top
The only well known lens from Komura was the Telemore 95/2 converter which was the 1st 7 elements converter but i do not know if the quality was really good (as high as the reputation)

1- In short : Lenses Heavy / Big and not very good = No way to make best sellers (Remember that the period where Komura collapsed was the period of the Smaller lenses OM zuiko, Pentax M , Miranda EC... or Higher specs lenses : , Soligor CD, Vivitar Series 1 ....)

2- Does someone knows if the SEIKO name in SEIKO koki has/had any connection with Seiko watches or Seiko Epson printers


PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2012 5:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

PBFACTS wrote:
koji wrote:
Very good information about "komuranon" lenses!!!

I happen to have TL925, which is a komuranon lens, its colour is rather nice though not too sharp.


Komura lenses were made by same company which produced Horseman cameras : Seiko Koki

The lenses were VERY big / very heavy with lots of elements (ie : 9 for primes) but the true quality was not top
The only well known lens from Komura was the Telemore 95/2 converter which was the 1st 7 elements converter but i do not know if the quality was really good (as high as the reputation)

1- In short : Lenses Heavy / Big and not very good = No way to make best sellers (Remember that the period where Komura collapsed was the period of the Smaller lenses OM zuiko, Pentax M , Miranda EC... or Higher specs lenses : , Soligor CD, Vivitar Series 1 ....)

2- Does someone knows if the SEIKO name in SEIKO koki has/had any connection with Seiko watches or Seiko Epson printers



My only komura lens (a 2.5 35 pre set in m42 mount with amazing colour rendition, good sharpness stopped down, and beautiful build quality, like this http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8347/8216714510_4e9252711d_c.jpg ) is branded Sankyo Koki, never seen any with seiko brand. And mine is not very big/very heavy for a preset 35 of that age.


PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2012 7:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, in every case its Sankyo Koki Komura, but who knows what complications there may be in Japanese transliteration.
And the Horseman company is actually named Komamura.
The names are similar, but so are a lot of other Japanese company names.
Komamura was apparently also a partner with Tokyo Kogaku, AKA Topcon, at the time Sankyo Koki Komura lenses were doing best. Topcon lenses have no relationship with Komuras; in fact Topcon sourced some designs from Sun, oddly enough.
Komamura Co. history doesn't mention Komura lenses or anything related.
http://www.komamura.co.jp/horseman/profile.html
Also their respective period catalogs (Horseman and Komura) are entirely different.


PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2012 7:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just to illustrate the issue with the catalogs, the famous Komura online catalog at Camera Eccentric has a section on view camera lenses. The view camera they chose to illustrate the picture with the Komura lenses is a Plaubel. Not a Horseman or any other Japanese camera. And that was from the days that Plaubel was still a German make (it was bought by Japanese Doi firm in 1975).


PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2012 7:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And, to complete the response, Komura lenses are no larger than any other lenses of their type and vintage.
I have quite a few of the presets and early zooms and they are about the same in size and weight as comparable lenses from other makers, of which I have a very representative collection.
The 90-250 zoom is in fact more compact than similar lenses of its era from Tokina, Sun, and Tamron.


PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2012 1:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

diddy wrote:
@casualcollector: The 821 zoom seems to have been quite popular when it was released. It found some old advertisements which praise it as the most popular and advanced zoom of its time. Also some old reviews seem to indicate that it was quite good (for its time). This zoom shows up actually quite regularly on eBay. Not so the prime lenses, which are a lot more sought after.


I bought mine after a favorable review in Modern Photography ca. 1976.


PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2012 4:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

luisalegria wrote:
And, to complete the response, Komura lenses are no larger than any other lenses of their type and vintage.


I have no experience with the Komuranon lenses, but my perception of the Komura pre-sets is that they are no bigger, maybe smaller. This may not be the case with the high speed portrait 80mm or so lenses; they look big, but the Komura lenses I have seem small in comparison to other lenses I have. For instance, the 105/2.5 is considerably smaller than the Tamron lens I have of the same specifications. We all recognize the color and bokeh benefits, but I think sharpness is underestimated. However, there may be more of a sweet spot with the Komuras as I've had very sharp images from these lenses at short to medium distances.

Getting back to the original subject of the thread, the lens mounts being discussed relative to the Komuranons are more complex than the ones I'm used to, surely because they are from auto lenses. I presume the Komuranon are the auto versions of Komura. But the smae holds true with the pre-sets in regard to not all mounts being interchangeable. Among the pre-sets that I have, I've found that the mount for the 135/2.8 will not fit the 135/3.5, having different threads.


PostPosted: Sun Dec 15, 2013 11:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think I just won a 135/2.8 in K mount Smile

Click here to see on Ebay


PostPosted: Sun Dec 15, 2013 11:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cross your fingers !


PostPosted: Sun Dec 15, 2013 11:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My Komuranon enlarger lens 50mm/2.8 was better than my EL Nikkor by a long way.
The Komura Teleplus that I owned was very ordinary.
OH


PostPosted: Mon Dec 16, 2013 12:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

PBFACTS wrote:
koji wrote:
Very good information about "komuranon" lenses!!!

I happen to have TL925, which is a komuranon lens, its colour is rather nice though not too sharp.


Komura lenses were made by same company which produced Horseman cameras : Seiko Koki

The lenses were VERY big / very heavy with lots of elements (ie : 9 for primes) but the true quality was not top
The only well known lens from Komura was the Telemore 95/2 converter which was the 1st 7 elements converter but i do not know if the quality was really good (as high as the reputation)

1- In short : Lenses Heavy / Big and not very good = No way to make best sellers (Remember that the period where Komura collapsed was the period of the Smaller lenses OM zuiko, Pentax M , Miranda EC... or Higher specs lenses : , Soligor CD, Vivitar Series 1 ....)

2- Does someone knows if the SEIKO name in SEIKO koki has/had any connection with Seiko watches or Seiko Epson printers


Seiko made shutters, I've got a very obscure Wester rangefinder with one. The Telemore 95-2 x2 converter is a good one, I've tried my Minolta copy and found it doesn't seem to degrade the image noticeably if at all.