View Full Version : yamasaki tele congo 500 anyone?

8-May-2004, 06:24
i'm on the lookout for a reasonable priced tele lens and have turned up a yamasaki tele congo 500. i've never heard of this brand in my life, anyone out there know about this lens or the company that manufacture it?



Jeff Wiseman
8-May-2004, 06:48
They have a home page at:



Gem Singer
8-May-2004, 06:49
Hi Adrian,

Take a look at the Bromwell website (www.bromwellmarketing.com). They carry the Yamasaki Congo lenses under the name Osaka. The description of the 500 tele is shown on the Osaka spec sheet. It is a 4 element lens with a 160mm image circle. Just barely enough to cover the 4X5 format. They also make a 400mm tele. Congo tele lenses are less expensive than the Fujinon telephoto lenses. However, Fuji tele lenses use 5 lens elements and have a larger image circle.

Ernest Purdum
8-May-2004, 07:07
Though not well known here, Yamasaki has long been a major supplier to Japanese portrait and commercial photographers. These photographers are a conservative bunch and Yamasaki supplies them with lenses of the sort they have long been accustomed to, Tessar types, moderate wide-angles, a soft-focus design as well as the telephoto you have come across.

George Stewart
8-May-2004, 07:55
I have the 500mm Osaka which I could not resist purchasing, used, for $250. It's a little funky to look at because it is a physically long lens. By that I mean the front element sticks out about 4 inches from the shutter. Ohterwise, the lens works well and I've taken many good images with it. For the price, it can't be beat.


Ted Harris
8-May-2004, 07:58
You will find several discussions of these lenses over the past years in this forum. The general impressions seemed to be that the quality and performance is variable and, in any given focal length, not usually up to that of the "big four." That said I have no personal experience with these lenses.

When you say you are looking for a 'tele' lenses if you mean that specifically because you don't have the bellows draw for a long focus lens in the 400-600 mm range then by all means you should consider this lens, especially if the price is right. If, OTOH, you are using the term 'tele' as many do to just mean a longer focal length lens then you should also look at the 450 mm offerings from Fuji and Nikon. The long focus lenses give you a much larger image circle. Check the prices at MidWest before buying the Congo if something else will work for you jsut to be sure the Congo is as much of a bargain as you think it is. You might also watn to look at the Fuji 400mm T if you do need a telephoto.

Good luck

8-May-2004, 14:45
thanks for all the information. as the dealer is known to me i'll try the thing out. it may be a bit long on 4x5 and useless as an 8x10 lens.


Paul Schilliger
9-May-2004, 01:48
I had one but didn't keep it. It was sharp, especially in the center, but the luminosity fallof was too important and contrasted chromes were darker by almost one stop in the corners. The lens would be a good performer for 6x12 and 6x9.

Paul Schilliger
9-May-2004, 02:41
Maybe I should ad that there are two versions. The current is in Copal 1, multicoated, barely covers 4x5. There was an older version sold under the brand Congo or Osaka that was on Copal 3 with probably a larger image circle and less vignetting, but whose performances are unknown to me.

Ernest Purdum
9-May-2004, 08:58
Adrian, when you try it out, if you haven't used a telephoto on a camera with movements before, try front swings and tilts if your camera has them. You'll see why many people use long lenses of normal construction instead of telephotos if they have enough bellows. Rise and shift movements are normal with a telephoto, but trying to use front tilts and shifts can lead to madness. It is true, of course, that many, probably most, scenes that require an extra long lens don't call for use of tilt or shift.

adrian tyler
9-May-2004, 11:10
thanks to all, ernest, i'll give that a try, sounds like a bit of a duck egg lens though, ted's comment on focal lenghts was interesting, i recon i have 700mm draw on my sinar setup so that's not a problem. i'll try it with the 120 film to, although that is now getting in too close.