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LENS PORN: Sankyo Kohki Komura 200mm f/3.5 (Minolta SRT Converted to Nikon Mount)

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




If you search online for a Komura 200mm, the smaller Komura 200mm f/4.5 version will always show up since it's pretty common. What I'm reviewing here is this brighter and rare Komura 200mm f/3.5 version is twice the size and weight. (See the Komura Product Brochure PDF here.)

This lens is in Leica M39 mount. It comes with a 20mm extension tube that is integral for getting the correct focus to infinity when mounting to any SLR. This adapter was originally in Minolta SRT mount. After making the proper measurements, I finally sawed off the mount and converted it to a Nikon mount. Focusing to infinity has been checked and is accurate. It takes brain power and is not easy work you know!






Specs


Focal Length: Fixed 200mm

Minimum Focusing Distance: 8 feet / 2.5 meters
Focusing: 100% Manual
Focus Throw: 360 degrees

Diaphragm: Preset/Manual
Aperture Run: f/3.5 - f/22
Filter Thread Size: 62mm

Made in Japan


Sankyo Kohki Komura 200mm f/3.5

Sankyo Kohki Komura 200mm f/3.5

Sankyo Kohki Komura 200mm f/3.5

Sankyo Kohki Komura 200mm f/3.5

Sankyo Kohki Komura 200mm f/3.5

Sankyo Kohki Komura 200mm f/3.5

Sankyo Kohki Komura 200mm f/3.5
Here, still with the original Minolta SRT mount (the silver part).

Sankyo Kohki Komura 200mm f/3.5
This is what they call the 'preset aperture'. Learn!

Sankyo Kohki Komura 200mm f/3.5

Sankyo Kohki Komura 200mm f/3.5

Sankyo Kohki Komura 200mm f/3.5
This extension tube that fits to the lens has an height of 20mm.

Sankyo Kohki Komura 200mm f/3.5

Sankyo Kohki Komura 200mm f/3.5
Now a Nikon mount after sawing and painting.

Sankyo Kohki Komura 200mm f/3.5
The lens itself, without the adapter, is a Leica M39 thread mount.

Sankyo Kohki Komura 200mm f/3.5

Sankyo Kohki Komura 200mm f/3.5

Sankyo Kohki Komura 200mm f/3.5

Sankyo Kohki Komura 200mm f/3.5
It looks beautiful with any SLR. It puts to shame those
expensive modern lenses that look like cheap toys.

Sankyo Kohki Komura 200mm f/3.5
The lens has a filter thread diameter of 62 mm.

Sankyo Kohki Komura 200mm f/3.5

Sankyo Kohki Komura 200mm f/3.5




Summary


Pros

Very solid build -- hardcore metal and glass

Beautiful and timeless design beats any cheap looking modern expensive lens today

16 metal blades for always getting rounded 'bokeh balls'

Dreamy pastel colors

3-dimensional time-space rendition

Compared to many lenses that are soft at the widest aperture, this is already sharp at f/3.5

It gets really sharp by f/4 and f/5.6

Does not show diffraction at f/22, still tack sharp!



Neutral

Long focus throw - 360 degrees (nice for fine tuning focus in studio, portrait or indoor scenario, but not for fast action scenes like sports)



Cons

Minimum Focusing Distance (it's common with many lenses)

Size and weight (it's light for me but my friend remarked it was heavy when I asked her to shoot me)



Conclusion


I'm guessing this lens was a 1960s lens, so with this context in mind, glass coating (to reduce flare and improve contrast) was still in a primitive stage. I'm surprised that images handle flare and backlight very well.

For me, the strongest features in this lens are the 3-dimensional time-space rendition and the beautifully vivid pastel painting colors it produces. It's like a dream... can your brand new USD 1,000.00 lens do that?

Most lenses today have 6 or 7 blades, and you can see that the 'bokeh balls' also take on that shape when you stop down. Another feature that makes the Komura 200mm f/3.5 a desirable lens is the 16 metal blades. My photos always has rounded bokeh balls (aka 'circles of confusion') whatever aperture you stop it down to. 

Wide open at f/3.5, this lens is already sharp. Stop it down to f/4 or f/5.6 and it will instantly put any modern lens to shame at the Sharpness Department.

I don't really see any down side to this lens other than the Minimum Focusing Distance. Then again, this is a portrait lens and it was common with many old lenses. A macro extension tube or macro filter can reduce that.

I conclude that this is really a nice lens to have, especially if you want beautifully blurred backgrounds, rounded 'bokeh balls' and dreamy colors. Just don't forget to always use a hood when shooting outdoor.





Samples


Technical Note: All photos are shot with a Nikon D5200 in the smallest JPEG file size possible (Basic/Small) with a Picture Profile of SD (Standard), no edit, no crop, no filter. Some samples were shot in low light, some in daytime, most in late afternoon and against backlight.

Sankyo Kohki Komura 200mm f/3.5

Sankyo Kohki Komura 200mm f/3.5

Sankyo Kohki Komura 200mm f/3.5

Sankyo Kohki Komura 200mm f/3.5

Sankyo Kohki Komura 200mm f/3.5


f/3.5
Sankyo Kohki Komura 200mm f/3.5


f/5.6
Sankyo Kohki Komura 200mm f/3.5


f/8
Sankyo Kohki Komura 200mm f/3.5

Sankyo Kohki Komura 200mm f/3.5

Sankyo Kohki Komura 200mm f/3.5

Sankyo Kohki Komura 200mm f/3.5

Sankyo Kohki Komura 200mm f/3.5

Sankyo Kohki Komura 200mm f/3.5

Sankyo Kohki Komura 200mm f/3.5
With the 16 metal blades, bokeh balls are always beautifully rounded.

Sankyo Kohki Komura 200mm f/3.5

Sankyo Kohki Komura 200mm f/3.5

Sankyo Kohki Komura 200mm f/3.5

Sankyo Kohki Komura 200mm f/3.5

Sankyo Kohki Komura 200mm f/3.5

Sankyo Kohki Komura 200mm f/3.5

Sankyo Kohki Komura 200mm f/3.5

Sankyo Kohki Komura 200mm f/3.5

Sankyo Kohki Komura 200mm f/3.5

Sankyo Kohki Komura 200mm f/3.5

Sankyo Kohki Komura 200mm f/3.5

Sankyo Kohki Komura 200mm f/3.5

Sankyo Kohki Komura 200mm f/3.5

Sankyo Kohki Komura 200mm f/3.5

Sankyo Kohki Komura 200mm f/3.5

Sankyo Kohki Komura 200mm f/3.5

Sankyo Kohki Komura 200mm f/3.5

Sankyo Kohki Komura 200mm f/3.5

Sankyo Kohki Komura 200mm f/3.5

Sankyo Kohki Komura 200mm f/3.5

Sankyo Kohki Komura 200mm f/3.5

Sankyo Kohki Komura 200mm f/3.5

Sankyo Kohki Komura 200mm f/3.5

Sankyo Kohki Komura 200mm f/3.5

Sankyo Kohki Komura 200mm f/3.5

Sankyo Kohki Komura 200mm f/3.5

Sankyo Kohki Komura 200mm f/3.5

Sankyo Kohki Komura 200mm f/3.5

Sankyo Kohki Komura 200mm f/3.5

Sankyo Kohki Komura 200mm f/3.5

Sankyo Kohki Komura 200mm f/3.5


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The Nikon D5200 as my weapon of choice.

Vintage lenses are my poison.

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