View Full Version : OSAKA lenses. What are they?

Paul Schilliger
20-Feb-2000, 17:19
Looking for a long lens for my 4x5, I have seen this brand mentioned a few times . They have in particular a light 500 gr 4 elements 500 mm f9.5 with a 300 mm be llows extension costing $ 920. Any opinion?

Ron Shaw
22-Feb-2000, 12:49
It may be a Congo lens. They make a 500mm/F9.5. Here is thier site: http://www.cosmonet.org/~congo/index_e.html. One of our club members uses a 150mm Congo, and the images seem just fine.

Paul Schilliger
22-Feb-2000, 15:51
Thanks, Ron. The web site is worth visiting. I was bodered though by the concept ion of the lens I was interested for. It is very proeminent, perhaps 12 cm from the board and this mak es me fear for shutter vibrations. Shan't I? Any user of this lens out there?

N Dhananjay
22-Feb-2000, 18:19
Bromwell (http://www.bromwell.com) deals in Osaka lenses. Don't know if they are the same as Congo though. DJ

Ted Brownlee`
22-Feb-2000, 21:52
Both Osaka and Congo (Yamazaki Optical Co.) lenses are tessar type lenses. I have a Congo 180 f/6.3 in a seiko shutter & it's fairly sharp. If you are considering a tessar lens, watch the coverage ~ that's the main drawback. I don't believe they are both from the same manufacturer in Japan.

Paul Schilliger
26-Feb-2000, 05:52
After visiting the Congo Yamazaki Optical web site, I sent an email to them and was very kindly answered by Mr. Yamazaki himself. In a first answer he told me they where the makers of t he OSAKA line of lenses. Then, answering a more specific question on the 500 mm and possibility of purcha sing directly in Japan, I thought this would interest some of you, as I have found older threads on the sa me topic. Here is Mr. Yamazaki reply to me.


Thank you very much for your interest in our products.

500mm tele lens used to be F 8 full open aperture mounted on a big heavy number 3 shutter.

Abour 10 years ago,we have changed the design to the present one with F9.5 full open aperture mounted on a number 1 shutter.

The former is monolayer coated and has a image circle of 210mm, while the latter is multilayer coated and has a 160mm circle. As far as I remember,there is no F8 Osaka brand. Probably,the "210mm" you found is erroneously stated. You can easily tell which by the shutter, No.3 or No.1.

We are selling directly to an user. The shipping is by E.M.S.mail,a rapid air parcel. The payment is by bank transfer to our account in advance. If you let us know your address,we will let you know the total amount including shipping charge.

Thank you and awaiting to hear from you again. Keizo Yamazaki Yamasaki Optical Co.,Ltd. congo@cosmonet.org

Leroy Beal
26-Feb-2000, 13:09
I always thought that my Osaka lenses were made by Congo. I have a 120mm f/6.8 tessar and a 400mm f/8 telephoto Both give superb results. Very sharp, but not much movement possible. The 400mm infinity focuses at about 240mm extention. I find this lens to be very useful. The image quality I get from these lens compare with what I get from my Nikkor and Rodenstock lens.

Clive Alexander Dummigan
1-Sep-2005, 16:17
I discovered Congo lenses by accident when I bought a used Toyo with a Congo 150mm f4.5 lens. Before this I'd never heard of a 'Yamazaki Congo' lens and had alway used Schneider or Rodenstock. I did a shoot with it and didn't expect much of a result, but when I got my prints back from the labs I was very impressed. The lens was very sharp, even at full aperture. I was so impressed I bought another Congo lens a 240mm tele, which was also excellent. The Congo lenses have't got the extreme movement of the more expensive lenses, but do offer fantastic value for money. If your looking for a sharp lens with reasonable movement the Congo's should seriously be considered.

Jim Galli
1-Sep-2005, 22:33
Previously owned an Osaka 360mm in Copal 3S. I bought it to rob the shutter but the images it made were too excellent and I never had the heart to break it up. It covered 11X14 barely and 8X10 very nicely.

Dan Fromm
2-Sep-2005, 05:08
Yamasaki lenses were sold with other names. Prinz, for one.

A while ago I bought a 210/6.3 Prinz in Copal #1 "for the shutter." The front element is somewhat ugly, heavy cleaning marks, so unlike Jim I went ahead and took the cells out of the shutter. I now use the shutter behind a variety of other lenses.

I asked Yamasaki if they'd made my Prinz, and they replied that they had. The 210/6.3 Prinz is a Commercial Congo, a Commercial Ektar clone. Cleaning marks on the front element notwithstanding, the lens shoots well. Better, on 2x3 at f/11, f/16, and f/22, than my 210/4.5 Industar-51.

If anyone wants a set of 210/6.3 Commercial cells for postage plus $10, please let me know. The cells go straight into a #1.