View Full Version : 360mm f/6.8 Commercial Congo.

Keith Tapscott.
20-Apr-2008, 10:09
Would this lens be suitable for studio portraiture with an 8x10 Camera? The size appeals to me over the big Plasmat types.

Colin Graham
20-Apr-2008, 10:28
Mine is very sharp, with middling bokeh. But I've heard that the quality can vary considerably from lens to lens.

20-Apr-2008, 10:32
If you're in a studio the big plasmats aren't going to collapse the floor. I can understand if your camera can't handle the weight but otherwise why does the size matter in the studio?

Gene McCluney
20-Apr-2008, 15:37
The Congo commercial lenses such as the one you mention is a tessar formula like the Commercial Ektar lenses were from Kodak.

John Kasaian
20-Apr-2008, 19:43
It is (I've heard) supposed to be a modern coated version of the noble 14" Commercial Ektar which was extensively used by Yousef Karsh who knew a thing or two about taking portraits. :)

Keith Tapscott.
20-Apr-2008, 23:38
The specification states that it covers the 10x12 format, has an f/stop range of 6.8 to 90 and take filters with a 67mm thread of which I already have.
Colin, said that the quality can vary quite considerably from lens to lens which is a bit worrying.
Perhaps it would be wise to take my time and wait for a Plasmat lens going for a reasonable price.
I did try to bid for a larger Plasmat type on E-prey, but the bid was higher than I was prepared to pay.

Thanks to everyone who replied.

Gene McCluney
21-Apr-2008, 09:12
I have purchased Plasmat design LF lenses in shutters from KEH for well under $1000. Dented filter rings, but otherwise mint. (Nikkor) 12 in. & 14 in.

21-Apr-2008, 10:20
Damn. I bought a Fuji 360 for less then $500 and a Fuji 300 for closer to $400. Older W series but those are the ones I wanted.

I bought an Orbit-S 300mm for $150. I guess it's 30+ years old [How old are Schenider Symar-S?] but otherwise fine.

Most people don't want these things because of the weight. Not many are hiking with an 8x10 or 4x5 with these boat anchors. But the Fuji-W I bought have lots of extra coverage. So if I ever get an 11x14 I'm set.

Maris Rusis
22-Apr-2008, 19:09
The 360mm f6.8 Commercial Congo here works superbly for portraits and general landscape photography. Since it is a four element Tessar design with good modern coatings it is surprisingly resistant to flare.

Centre sharpness looked so good that I tried it out as an astronomical objective. With a 4mm Plossl eyepiece behind the 360 (working power of 90x) the rings of Saturn are no problem and the big satellite Titan was easy to find too. Wow!

Colin Graham
23-Apr-2008, 08:37
Sorry Keith, I didn't intend to suggest it's not worth checking one out if you get the chance. I think I paid under $250 for mine, so it was very much worth the gamble for me. Also, the 'varying quality' rumor could just be forum white noise, who knows. I'm very glad I risked it and bought mine.

Jon Wilson
23-Apr-2008, 19:54
I have this lens too and find it is very sharp......besides it comes in a copal 3 shutter. If the one you are looking at comes in a copal 3 shutter, then shutter alone is worth at least $250.