To my understanding the Commercial Congo is a multicoated version of the venerable Kodak Commercial Ektars. Good stuff
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..
Re : Congo lareg format lenses
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.
Originally Posted by David Grenet
Anyone uses these ?
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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
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.
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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.
Originally Posted by Ian Grant
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
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, 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
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?
Originally Posted by Tomf2468
What kind of movements are you capable of using this lens with a 4X5? I have a Toyo 45C, which I use for landscapes.
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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.