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  1. #11

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    To my understanding the Commercial Congo is a multicoated version of the venerable Kodak Commercial Ektars. Good stuff

  2. #12

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    I've a 135mm f4.5 Yamasaki Congo lens in a Seiko shutter. It's a good 'press type' lens and I use it handheld on a 4x5 crown. It's sharp and has great contrast. I've a shot of a lake focused at infinity and the very edges of the negative are a little soft however. I received the lens for free and am happy with it. If I were paying for a new lens I might go for something else (and probably not a 135mm..)

    The commercial-ektar type ones do look very nice though. And the soft focus lens is interesting..

  3. #13
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    Re : Congo lareg format lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by David Grenet View Post
    This lens is not particularly light weight (and definitely not compact) - it measures 5.5cm out from the front of the shutter and has a filter thread of (I think) 62mm!

    As for using it, it covers 4x5 wide open with some movements and (without anything to compare it with) certainly seems sharp enough.

    As far as I can tell, they don't make this one any more...
    My mistake... I was thinking of the 300/8 and 400/8 ones, advertised for about 400 grams. The 300 does seem to barely cover 4/5 but the 400 seems OK and is still light.

    Anyone uses these ?
    Laurent

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  4. #14
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    The sales approach from Congo is rather laid back and relaxed, no push, no real marketing. The website is hardly ever updated. The News page is still 1997 !!!! OK other pages are 2004 or 2005.

    Congo are a sleeper. They could play a very valuable role in LF photography, making the lens types no longer made by other larger companies.

    Suggestions would be:

    Wide Angle Protars, the Ross & Zeiss Patents lapsed years ago, it would be wonderful to be able to buy a small multi-coated modern version.

    Hypergon's, the Goerz wide angle with the propeller, again a MC version.

    Dagor's, it's unlikely Schneider will make them again

    Ian

  5. #15
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    I have a commercial congo 210mm F6.3 and I am very happy with it's performance. It's also my smallest 210mm lens, even smaller than my 150mm caltar IIN. I carry these two lenses when ever I go hiking with my 4X5 camera.

  6. #16
    Ole
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Grant View Post
    ... Suggestions would be:

    Wide Angle Protars, the Ross & Zeiss Patents lapsed years ago, it would be wonderful to be able to buy a small multi-coated modern version.

    Hypergon's, the Goerz wide angle with the propeller, again a MC version.

    Dagor's, it's unlikely Schneider will make them again

    Ian
    Hypergons: Nice, but virtually impossible and would be very expensive, even from Congo. The deep curvature in thin material makes it one of the most expensive lenses it's possible to produce.

    Dagors: Why? Besides, Schneider still makes one: The 550XXL.

    WA Protars: Not as easy as it seems, and they would still be f:18. But maybe there is a market for them? In most cases I'd rather have - no, forget that: Congo already is making a small, lightweight double-Gauss moderate WA. Maybe I could wish for a new edition of the last version of the Angulon, preferrably complete with a suitable center filter.
    -- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
    Norway

  7. #17
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    I'd rather have a newer version of the f16 Ross Protar, the patented Zeiss f18 version was based on the earlier Ross patent, their licensing agreements must have been very complex.

    Ian

  8. #18
    Ole
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    Ian, the Ross lens was made under licence from Zeiss. Ross made them f:16, but Zeiss were not willing to accept the quality loss caused by increasing the maximum aperture from f:18 to f:16. Besides, the 4,5 - 6,3 - 9 - 12 - 18 - 25 aperture scale was "standard" in Germany at the time (one of many "standards", but at least that's what Zeiss used).
    -- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
    Norway

  9. #19
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    Osaka Lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by Tomf2468 View Post
    I have an Osaka (believed to be same as Congo) 120 and 210. Very light, coated, modern shutter. All around great lens. Won't beat a brand new modern Rodenstock wide open, but will come $%#@* close to matching it at F16 to F64
    After reading this thread, I started looking online for Osaka lenses, specifically the 120mm. The coverage looks pretty good, especially for 4X5. The price is half what the Nikkor-SW 120mm is. Can you please post some photos taken with this lens?

    What kind of movements are you capable of using this lens with a 4X5? I have a Toyo 45C, which I use for landscapes.

    Thank you.

    Sincerely,

    Navy Moose
    "Stand your ground. Don't fire unless fired upon, but if they mean to have a war, let it begin here."
    CAPT. John Parker, Massachusetts Militia. 19APR1775

  10. #20

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    thanks for the congo replies

    Now I am a ware that congo is a reputable manufacturer I will seriously consider a purchase.The 400/f8 tele is looking good at around $700 from the congo web site price list. Thanks to all respondants. The only problem is finding a retailer in Australia, or do I trust purchasing directly from Japan?
    I'll keep you posted about what transpires.

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