Komura 400 mm Telephoto Lens

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I've seen a couple of Komura 400mm f8 telephoto lenses recently, and I'm curious as to their quality. I don't need this focal length very often, but there are those occasions when nothing else will do.

Does anyone have experience with this lens for 4x5? Is it good quality? Does it have decent contrast, and is it sharp? At this focal length, I wouldn't expect to need much in the way of camera adjustments. For example, how might it compare with the Schneider 360mm f5.5 telephoto of recent manufacture? (Or not so recent.)

-- neil poulsen (neil.fg@att.net), February 28, 2001


I think I remember someone saying that the Komura lenses are Congos. If so, you can find info on it here, as well as a sample shot.


Images I have seen taken with Congo lenses have been very good.

-- Ron Shaw (shaw9@llnl.gov), February 28, 2001.

I did own a 360 Schneider, an old one from the 50's in compound shutter. The glass on mine was gorgeous. The negatives were very disappointing, fuzzy enough that they looked fuzzy just holding them up after taking them out of the fixer. Maybe some samples do better, but this is my experience. I'd make sure you get a return priviledge if you get one of these used.

-- Kevin Crisp (krcrisp@aol.com), February 28, 2001.

I think it's more likely that Congo lenses are made by Komura, than the other way round.
Komura have been making lenses for many years, and their lenses are generally very good, but they've never had the wide recognition they deserve.
They made a nice 50mm wide-angle for the Bronica S2a, and an excellent range of enlarging lenses. They also made an extensive range of LF lenses from the late 1960s to the mid-1970s, including a 300mm f/2.8 for 5x4!
I'd say from past experience with komura lenses that you could expect decent quality from this brand.

-- Pete Andrews (p.l.andrews@bham.ac.uk), March 01, 2001.

I picked up a Komura 300mm/f:5 tele cheap for my Bronica S2A and was quite pleasantly surprised. Build quality is excellent and quite a sharp lens.

-- David Goldfarb (dgoldfarb@barnard.edu), March 01, 2001.

Komura is quite a top notch lens manufacturer but is surely not in the same league as Nikon. They make broadcast quality TV camera lenses that are in the $$$ range as well as Komuranon enlarging lenses. They also made 35mm and medium format lenses for various mounts.

Congo is made by Yamasaki: http://www.cosmonet.org/~congo/index_e.html They are not as highly regarded as Komura. I've never seen any lenses from them other than the Congo for LF.



-- Duane K (dkucheran@creo.com), March 01, 2001.

one word sums it up-JUNK !

-- bob McCrea (dgin63@hotmail.com), April 09, 2001.

Yamasaki makes Congo and Osaka lenses.

-- Paul Schilliger (pschilliger@smile.ch), April 09, 2001.

I've used a 300 f6.3 Komura. I thought it was good - a sharp lens that seemed to work as well as the 300 f5.6 Symmar-s that the studio also had but at 1/2 the weight and 1/3 the cost. If I found a good clean sample of the 300 and I had the cash, I'd try it. Based on my experience of the 300, I'd be inclined to give the 400 a try.

-- stephen poe (poestephen@hotmail.com), April 09, 2001.


I have the Komura f8 400mm telephoto and find it to be a very good lens for 4X5 use. It seems to have about the same image circle and film to flange distance as the Fuji T f8 400(about 5X7 coverage and 260mm respectively). I like mine a lot.


-- Jim Bancroft (Bancroft@home.com), April 13, 2001.

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