Schneider Kreuznach Componon 28 mm f/4

by Johan J Ingles-Le Nobel
Last updated August 31, 2017

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A fantastic lens to use for extreme macro focus stacking, the Schneider Kreuznach Componon 28mm f/4 is perhaps my personal all time favourite.

The Schneider Kreuznach Componon 28mm f/4 performs very well in a magnification range that many insect shots are taken and is very typical of the 6 element reversed enlarging lenses that work well for extreme macro.

Componon 28 f/4 reversed for macro

Pentax K-7 with a reverse Componon 28mm f/4, shown without its usual hood, but with an annoying plastic tab that protrudes and can get in the way of a diffuser fitted over the lens. Part of the aperture mechanism, this tab can, thankfully, be quite easily removed using a small jeweller's screwdriver.

Colour fringing and flare are both minimal, the lens produces nice contrasty images and its pixel level detail and resolution wide open are outstanding. But, like any older lens, a hood over the end will help cut down on lack of contrast and overall greyness.

I highly recommend this lens; Componon 28mm is my extreme macro go to lens for 3:1 to 5:1.

About Componons

There are many ranges of Componon enlarger lenses used in extreme macro - from best to worst: APO Componon HM, G-Componon, Componon S and Componon.

The cheapest Componon already gives me excellent performance so I can only imagine what an APO Componon HM would produce. Componon 28mm is my extreme macro go to lens for 3:1 to 5:1

My Componon lens writeups are all concerned with the cheapest of the range. Regular Componons go between £50 and £100 on eBay; expect to pay north of £750 for an APO. My Componons all take a 43 mm adapter ring.

The Componon Body Shape

This tab can interfere with stacked adapters

One of two things I dislike about Componons is their shape, with an aperture slider plastic tab that protrudes.

This tab can interfere with the sort of adapters we use like a step up or step down ring after the adapter on the reversed lens, and can also interfere with a diffuser if you support your diffuser on the lens itself like I sometimes do.

It means you have to cut a notch in the side of the diffuser to fit the tab through unless you take it off completely, as I have done.

The Componon Aperture Shape

The Componons I have all possess a very recognisable pentagonal star shaped highlight shape which I am really just not overly enthusiastic about personally. very recognisable pentagonal star shaped highlight shape

However, this is not commonly a problem in extreme macro photography as the aperture shape is rarely seen. Older style Componons have a nicer aperture.

Componon 28 Best Setting

I have found my Componon 28mm to perform best wide open, ie at its f/4 setting. This is handy because it means that the batteries on your flash will last a little longer than on other macro lenses which need to be stopped down for their best setting.

Componon Controls

Componon 28mms have two controls that take a little getting used to. A preset ring allows you to preset the final aperture as selected through the green window, whereas an aperture setting slider allows you to adjust the aperture between wide-open, for focusing, and your chosen preset, for actually taking the image.

Componon 28mm f/4 Availability

Componon 28mms are often available through eBay. At the time of writing (2012), expect to pay up to £100 for a very good condition one, although it will usually be less. New APO Componons can be purchased through larger camera shops.

Componon 28 Working Distance

Extension Magnification Working Distance
Reversed 1.9 37mm
25mm 2.78 33mm
50mm 3.37 29mm
90mm 4.72 27mm

Comments (10)

Article: Componon 28
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Fabio says...
Excellent article! I want to buy a componon 28mm because my Nikon EL-Nikkor 50mm reversed enlarger lens has something like a white spot in the center of each picture. I don't know what's the cause, I already checked that there is no light coming in.
But at the moment the cheapest componon 28mm costs 498€ (444£) on ebay. But I could get the componon 50mm f2.8 very cheap for like 18£. Can I buy this m 50 too or is the 28mm much better? What is the difference?
21st October 2017 11:03am
George Vincent says...
Interesting article. I recently purchased componon 1:4 28 you indicate that it takes a 43 adapter but I have a 52-43 reversing ring and it is clearly too big. I think I need a 52- 28/29/30 reversing ring to fit it onto my camera. Which size would be appropriate?
Admin:
I don't know what to say - my Componon 28 f/4 takes a 43mm adapter, as do all the other Componons I use!
3rd May 2017 12:28am
George Vincent says...
unless we are talking different lenses, the componon lens I just obtained has an outer ring which is much smaller than 43. I actually purchased a 52-43 reducing ring to fit my nikon camera but the inner part of the ring goes right thru the enlarger lens. I sent an email to schneider optics earlier today and they tell me that the outer diameter of the ring is 30.5 mm. so, what did I get?? certainly has schneider componon 1:4 28 mm on the side of the lens. Are there two different types
3rd May 2017 11:27pm
George Vincent says...
I think I may have solved the mystery. It appears that my componon is a BK00 mount and the one you are referring to is a BK15 which takes a 43 mm mount. Pretty sure mine takes a 30.5 mm mount
3rd May 2017 11:39pm
Johan J. Ingles-le Nobel says...
That must be it - I was as perplexed as you were. Excellent sleuthing!
4th May 2017 7:11am
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