Vintage lenses – Komura

There are some lenses that few people have ever heard about, usually because they provided third-party lenses for many differing camera mounts. One such lens brand is Komura, manufactured by Japanese optical company Sankyō Kōki K.K. (Sankyo Kohki), known in English as Sankyo Koki Co. Ltd. In 1962 the company, registered the US trademark Komura, indicating that it was firat used as a trademark in 1953. Before that it is believed the company use the brand name Chibanon or Chibanone. By the 1970s, the company had changed its name to Komura Lens Manufacturing Ltd.

The Komura literature touted their lenses as being “superbly sharp”. They seem to have produced at least 40 different lenses from 28mm to 800mm, for SLR, rangefinder, and C-mount cameras. Their 28-200mm lenses were made with individual mounts, whereas those above 200mm required a specific adapter (apparently to reduce inventory requirements). Today Komura lenses are little known, but can still be found, especially for Japan (eBay). A 105mm f/2 is usually advertised for between C$300-500, while 85mm f/1.4 lenses seem to go as high ac C$1200. Actually quite high prices for a brand that doesn’t have a lot of presence.

To put this into perspective, the Komura 800mm f/8.0 sold for US$695 in 1965 (plus $8.50 for an appropriate adapter). Conversely the 500mm f/7.0 sold for US$175 (+ $4.95 adapter). The 85mm f/1.4 sold for US$162.

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