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  1. #1

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    Congo large format lenses

    I have just for the first time heard about "Congo" large format camera lenses from japan. Apparently they have been in production since the 1920's but why don't they show up in books or in the market place? Have any of you LF users had any thing to do with them? Are they worth buying? Would like to hear from anyone who may have experienced these lenses?

  2. #2

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    I have one, but I'm afraid I don't really have anything to compare it to so I probably can't help there...

    The one I have is a 300/5.6 telephoto lens mounted in a copal 1.

  3. #3

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  4. #4
    mmcclellan's Avatar
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    Here's a link to info on them: http://www.cosmonet.org/congo/index_e.html

    It appears that the Osaka camera lenses sold in the U.S. are probably Congo. Interesting selection!
    Michael McClellan
    Documentary Photographer
    Ann Arbor, Michigan
    http://www.MichaelMcClellan.com

  5. #5
    munz6869's Avatar
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    I just got one in the post today (coincidentally). It's a cute little 90mm/3.5 in a Copal 0 - clean and bright, and now the 2nd "modern" lens I own. I read some Congos are dogs, but at least on the groundglass this looks snappy - can't wait to try it out!!

    Marc

  6. #6
    Laurent's Avatar
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    Re: Congo large format lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by David Grenet View Post
    I have one, but I'm afraid I don't really have anything to compare it to so I probably can't help there...

    The one I have is a 300/5.6 telephoto lens mounted in a copal 1.
    I'd be interested about your feedback about using it for 4/5 ? I own a Tachihara and would love to get a long lens for it, so the light weight of these seems interesting.
    Laurent

    ---------------------------------------------------------------
    Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast (Oscar Wilde)

    My APUG Blog

  7. #7

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    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

  8. #8

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    I have a 240mm Tele-Congo in Copal Press No.1 shutter. Certainly sharp with plenty of movement on 5x4. Got it on Ebay a few years back, as new.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Laurent View Post
    I'd be interested about your feedback about using it for 4/5 ? I own a Tachihara and would love to get a long lens for it, so the light weight of these seems interesting.
    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...

  10. #10
    Maris's Avatar
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    I have and use the Commercial Congo 210 f6.3 and the Commercial Congo 360 f6.8 on 4x5 and 8x10 formats. The 210 covers 8x10 but with NO movements. The 360 actually has a maximum image circle of 510mm; much more than the published spec of 415mm.

    Back in the 1990's I used to sell the Congo range of lenses and still have the old price lists and specification sheets.
    Photography, the word itself, invented and defined by its author Sir John.F.W.Herschel, 14 March 1839 at the Royal Society, Somerset House, London. Quote "...Photography or the application of the Chemical rays of light to the purpose of pictorial representation,..". unquote.

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