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LENS PORN: Sankyo Kohki KOMURA 200mm f/3.5

Sankyo Kohki Komura 200mm f/3.5
Sankyo Kohki Komura 200mm f/3.5


Originally Published: 29 September 2016
Update: Revised formatting, re-written from scratch, added links (20 July 2017)
Update: New video, new product shots (06 August 2017)


Back in the days of film and manual lenses (early 1980s and backward), many high quality third party manufacturers existed and gave democracy to the people. One of those highly esteemed names were Komura. Komura lenses stood out because of their build quality and stylish designs that I don't see from others (even the OEM ones). Unfortunately like many manual lens makers, they closed down in 1980/1981 due to the shift -- lenses in this era became smaller, faster, more plastic, as well as with autofocus.

Here's one of the unknown lenses you probably have never seen before -- the Sankyo Kohki KOMURA 200mm f/3.5.




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The build quality is excellent. Holding one of these feels like you're holding a real weapon lens, not wimpy plastic AF lenses. It also uses a preset aperture design, the first ring for setting the aperture value, the second ring for closing/opening the aperture blades. This is why it's also excellent for shooting videos with.

The one thing I really don't like about this lens is the 360 degree focus throw. My gawd, I have to turn the focus ring 4 to 5 times to get from MFD to ∞! It is not a lens that I want to use for fast action scenes or street photography. But for any other scenario especially portraiture, this will work swell.

Looks like it was made in the 1960s for the Leica Visoflex. It comes with an M39 mount and you attach an extension tube to it for use with film/digital SLR's, which they call the 'Komura Uni. Adapter'. Komura made several generations of interchangeable mount systems (like the Tamron Adaptall system). The Leica Visoflex ones from the 1960s. Then later their 'Uni-Adapters' in the 1970s. In the early-mid 1970s, their lenses were known as 'Super Komura', then in the late 1970s as 'Komuranon' with multicoated glass. You can tell the year/generation a Komura lens was made by either looking at the adapter they use or by their adapted name.

It already looks decently sharp at f/3.5 and with a 200mm focal range, it's very easy to get blurry background effect. It does show color fringing and some aberration wide at f/3.5, which goes away by f/4 and is already super sharp by then. The color rendering is also very beautiful, it comes alive like a vivid dream painted with oil pastel.


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SPECS

Sankyo Kohki Komura 200mm f/3.5

Focal Length:
200mm

Minimum Focusing Distance:
8 feet / 2.5 meters

Focus Throw
Almost 360 degrees
(full circle turn)

Filter Thread Diamter (Ø)
62mm

Aperture Run
f/3.5 - f/22 (16 blades)
full-stop clicks

Made in Japan

Sankyo Kohki KOMURA 200mm f/3.5

Wow, 16 blades! Bokeh bubbles are guaranteed to be always rounded.

Here's my second copy in Konica AR mount.
Its font and markings look different from
my first copy, which was an earlier version.

This was my first copy of the lens.








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Samples

Shot with my Nikon D5200. Unfortunately, I usually went out on late afternoons so the lighting were either dim, cloudy or hazy. All shots here are unedited.



Plants and foliage






Street scenes
(I usually shot late afternoon and it was cloudy)








Candid / Portraiture
(all at f/3.5)














Things










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