Schneider Kreuznach Componon 35 mm f/4

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


Another fantastic Componon enlarger lens to use reversed for extreme macro, the Componon 35mm f/4 is my 2nd all time favourite as it performs beautifully in the low extreme macro range of 2x to 4x that many extreme macro insect shots are taken.

performs beautifully in the low extreme macro range of 2x to 4x

Like the Componon 28mm, colour fringing and flare are both minimal and the lens produces good contrasty images with appropriate processing. The pixel level detail and resolution wide open are excellent. I highly recommend this lens.

Schneider Kreuznach Componon 35mm f/4 reversed for extreme macro

Schneider Kreuznach Componon 35mm f/4 reversed for extreme macro, shown mounted via a reversing ring, and without the homemade hood. Componons generally make for lovely reversed lenses for extreme macro. The front (rear in normal orientation) cylinder round the glass of the Componon 35 protrudes more than the Componon 28, but not as much as the Componon 80.

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.

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.

Componon 35mm f/4 Best Setting

Like the Componon 28 the Componon 35mm performs best wide open, ie at f/4. Again, very 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.

This tab can interfere with stacked adapters

The Componon Body Shape

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

This tab can interfere with stacked adapters when you use 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 remove it completely like 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 shot

Stacked shot of a sawfly using the Componon 35 f/4. Background output onto SmallHD field monitor via HDMI matrix used as background; rear curtain sync .8s exposures; 213 photos into 27 sub stacks, retouched from Zerene Stacker stacking software. Step size of 30µm, polystyrene chip cone diffuser.

Componon Controls

Componon 35mms 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 35mm f/4 Availability

Componon 35mms are often available through eBay and mine came from Germany. Slightly more expensive than my Componon 28, at the time of writing (2012), expect to pay £50 to £150 for an A1 condition lens, although it should usually be less, under £100. New APO Componons can be purchased through larger camera shops.

Componon Adapters

Reverse Componons take a 43mm thread and I typically use a 43 to 49 mm step up adapter, and then mount it on a standard Pentax 49mm reversing ring, as shown in the picture at the top. I bought all mine through eBay vendors and if you order directly from the Far East the quality is good but they can take several weeks to arrive. B&H also stocks accessories such as these, as do other vendors. What you want is an adapter that gives you 43mm male on one side and 49mm female the other (provided of course you have a reversing ring with a 49mm male).