View Full Version : Commercial Congo

Emrehan Zeybekoglu
12-Nov-2004, 06:22
Greetings everyone:

Any comments and suggestions you might have on the following item will be welcome :
Commercial Congo 180mm/4.5 mounted on a Copal 3 shutter. Clean glass, no fungi, working shutter. Serial no: 102071.

Thanks in advance..

Ernest Purdum
12-Nov-2004, 06:41
The Commercial Congo is a product of Yamasaki Optical, a well-established Japanese firm. They are not well-known outrside of Japan but have been a primary lens source for portrait and tourist photographers in Japan for many years.

The lens is a Tessar type, two individual elements in front of the diaphragm, a cemented pair behind. The large aperture makes the big shuttter necessary and the whole package is rather large and heavy but gives a nice bright groundglass and ability to use selective focus if desired..Tessars don't have a very wide view, but the 180mm focal length should provide enough excess coverage for most use of movements othew than architectural work.

Ted Harris
12-Nov-2004, 07:16
Their homepage is here http://www.cosmonet.org/congo/index_e.html (http://www.cosmonet.org/congo/index_e.html)

They are (or have been) distributed in the US by Bromwell. At least in the past they have had rather spotty quality control so make sure you get a chance to test the lens before purchase. However, at anything under $300 the shutter is worth the price.

Emrehan Zeybekoglu
12-Nov-2004, 09:57
Ernest & Ted,
Thanks for your opinion. Maybe I should have been more specific with my question:
When I look at Congo's website I don't see any lens whose largest aperture is 4.5. That I found curious.
Secondly, I provided the serial number because I was wondering about the date of production and that I thought someone might have an idea about when they may have been manufactured. With respecto cost, I have the impression that the seller will be willing to sell it for something waaaay below $300 . These days people are rushing to "digiland," and there is hardly anybody around here who is interested in LF.

Ernest Purdum
12-Nov-2004, 16:29
;Without being able to read Mr. Yamasaki's mind, I am guessing that the reason the 180mm is no longer made in the f4.5 aperture is that being able to use a #1 shutter rather than a #3 enables them to offer a much better price. Their main customers are a pretty conservative bunch, probably happy to trade off some groundglass brightness for cost reduction.

Regarding age, youi might ask at congo@cosmonet.org. To me, it wouldn't really matter very much. It isn't verfy old or it wouldn't be in a Copal shutter, so we know that it is recent enough to be (single) coated, probably the main age-related factor involving Tessars. (Condition, of course, is a more important factor.)

If the seller will accept "waaay" below $300, I'd echo Ted's suggestion to buy that shutter even if it looks like the lens has been cleaned with steel wool.

Emrehan Zeybekoglu
12-Nov-2004, 16:46
You're right. I should have thought about the shutter business. I think the lens is in good condition except relatively minor cosmetic signs of wear and tear, which are not all that important as long as the lens itself is clean.

Carsten Wolff
5-Nov-2012, 05:39
you can also try to front mount an Alphax/Betax/Ilex #3, but you loose a little bit of IC. Or sell it and get a nice Wollensak Raptar 190mm f4.5 in a shutter for about the same price with a bit of searching.