I didn’t need the Schneider-Kreuznach 150mm/5.6 Componon-S. I don’t lack enlarger lens, I can enlarge pretty much everything I have, from 4x5 on down. That lens held a certain place in my head though; it was a Componon-S and I have wanted one for close to 15 years. A deal came up on one of the various auction sites and I snagged it.
As with most deals, there’s always a catch. The first catch was they decided to send said lens in a plastic bag with no padding, which left me in a near shock. The second problem was that it lacked it’s locking ring.
This may not seem like a big deal. Pick up a 39mm ring, throw it on a Beseler board and get to printing. Alas I wish it were so simple.
The Schneider sits in a rarified place when it comes to it’s size. At 50mm, it won’t fit into a standard board (I had to also pick up a Beseler 8037) and the ring is not something most suppliers carry. I now know this, because I went around trying to find said ring to no avail. Either it was out of stock, had to be custom ordered with an unknown lead time, or worse, the dreaded “they don’t make that ring any more” (which is not true, but still, it gave me a chill).
I searched the auctions. No ring. I asked around to folks I know. No ring.
Defeated, I begin stumbling through the various forums and ran across and interesting site called Custom Photo Tools.
While I couldn’t find much information and any one who had used the parts, the storefront is run by photographer José Meneses out of Portugal (fun fact: I am also Portuguese) and has some amazing parts for doing some very cool types of photography and in my case, solving my missing ring problem.
I placed an order, got a nice email from him saying was getting the part ready to send and in a couple days, my ring was in the mail. A couple weeks of waiting for the tiny envelope to arrive from Portugal and low and behold, I had my new lock ring.
I was immediately impressed by how well this was made. I’ve seen other rings that were hacked together with shoddy threads; this was a perfectly machined piece of brilliance.
The real test was mounting up lens. M50x0.75 is hard to cheat, so it was all or nothing. With a quick twist, I knew this thing was a winner. A perfect fit, not even a little wiggle or give. Perfect threads.
As may be evident, I’m just overjoyed at this. José is my new go to for parts or this type, that’s for sure.
Now to go enlarge some 4x5 with this new lens.