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Thread: 300mm f5.6 TeleCongo Lens ... Which doesn't exist?

  1. #1
    Dann Corbit
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    300mm f5.6 TeleCongo Lens ... Which doesn't exist?

    I bought a 300mm f5.6 TeleCongo Lens which has not arrived yet.
    The price was good, and I have read good things about the Congo lenses by Yamasaki.
    I like fast lenses and f5.6 sounds really fast for 300mm.
    So I went to find the manual for it. There are wayback machine archives of the Congo site.
    But every reference to the 300mm TeleCongo lens that I found says it is f8, not f5.6.

    So what does this mean? Is the lens some experimental thing or a one-off build?
    Or maybe it is an older lens because the Wayback's oldest capture is 2004.
    On the other hand all the other references I found said that the 300mm TeleCongo is an f8 lens.
    Click image for larger version. 

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  2. #2
    Dann Corbit
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    Re: 300mm f5.6 TeleCongo Lens ... Which doesn't exist?

    I found some similar lenses on a Japanese Yahoo bidding site. If I understood the site correctly, then I probably paid about double the value.
    But if I like the lense it won't bother me a bit, since it was not that much to begin with.
    I really wish I could find some documents for it. It does come with the box, so maybe there will be a document in the box.

  3. #3

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    Re: 300mm f5.6 TeleCongo Lens ... Which doesn't exist?

    I have a F8 version with a newer COPAL 0 shutter. There is no serial number. It is a very good lens.

  4. #4

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    Re: 300mm f5.6 TeleCongo Lens ... Which doesn't exist?

    Dan, I couldn’t find a catalogue on the net about your lens, but f5.6 version seems to be the older version of f8 version.
    The ended auction link below shows the same model as yours but in copal 1 silver rim shutter which means the older than the black rim f8 version in copal 0.

    https://page.auctions.yahoo.co.jp/jp/auction/p792157434

    Yamasaki Optics probably changed the lens design to make the lens lighter for field work at some point.
    Last edited by mhayashi; 17-Sep-2020 at 03:39.

  5. #5
    Dann Corbit
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    Re: 300mm f5.6 TeleCongo Lens ... Which doesn't exist?

    Quote Originally Posted by mhayashi View Post
    Dan, I couldn’t find a catalogue on the net about your lens, but f5.6 version seems to the older version of f8 version.
    The ended auction link below shows the same model as yours but in copal 1 silver rim shutter which means the older than the black rim f8 version in copal 0.

    https://page.auctions.yahoo.co.jp/jp/auction/p792157434

    Yamasaki Optics probably changed the lens design to make the lens lighter for field work at some point.
    Yes, thank you for looking into this for me.

  6. #6
    Maris Rusis's Avatar
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    Re: 300mm f5.6 TeleCongo Lens ... Which doesn't exist?

    I used to sell Yamasaki-Congo lenses and when I look at the catalog from 1991 I see:

    Tele-Congo Lens 300mm f5.6 for 4"x5" format
    Smallest stop f64
    Angle of View 30 degrees
    Image Circle @f16 is 160mm diameter
    Front Diameter 75mm
    Rear Diameter 57mm
    Overall Length 118.5mm
    Distance from Shutter to Rear of Lens 35mm
    Distance from Lens Seat to Film Plane 159.4mm
    Filter Size 72mm
    Weight 580g

    There were three versions
    #163 with a copal 1 shutter
    #1163 with a Press 1 shutter
    #2163 with an Electric 1 shutter

    With all the taxes and mark-ups the #163 lens was priced at AUD$ 1190.70
    Photography:first utterance. Sir John Herschel, 14 March 1839 at the Royal Society. "...Photography or the application of the Chemical rays of light to the purpose of pictorial representation,..".

  7. #7
    Dann Corbit
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    Re: 300mm f5.6 TeleCongo Lens ... Which doesn't exist?

    Quote Originally Posted by Maris Rusis View Post
    I used to sell Yamasaki-Congo lenses and when I look at the catalog from 1991 I see:

    Tele-Congo Lens 300mm f5.6 for 4"x5" format

    There were three versions
    #163 with a copal 1 shutter
    #1163 with a Press 1 shutter
    #2163 with an Electric 1 shutter

    With all the taxes and mark-ups the #163 lens was priced at AUD$ 1190.70
    Wonderful, in that case I think I got a bargain. I paid 250, with tax 275. So time has saved me money.
    Can you tell from the image I posted which shutter I have? I guess is it the Press 1, but hope it's not the electric one, because my 4x5 has no batteries (obviously)

  8. #8

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    Re: 300mm f5.6 TeleCongo Lens ... Which doesn't exist?

    It looks like a Prontor Press shutter, but of an older vintage than I would expect for the lens. Anyway, it's a mechanical shutter, not electric.
    Thanks, but I'd rather just watch:
    Large format: http://flickr.com/michaeldarnton
    Mostly 35mm: http://flickr.com/mdarnton
    You want digital, color, etc?: http://www.flickr.com/photos/stradofear

  9. #9
    Maris Rusis's Avatar
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    Re: 300mm f5.6 TeleCongo Lens ... Which doesn't exist?

    Quote Originally Posted by mdarnton View Post
    It looks like a Prontor Press shutter, but of an older vintage than I would expect for the lens. Anyway, it's a mechanical shutter, not electric.
    Yes, old Prontor Press or Japanese copy of one. Yamasaki was very efficient in making good economically priced lenses but they were always hostage to what the shutter makers could supply on the day. For example I've seen several Congo lenses specified with Copal 3 shutters but actually delivered in Copal 3S shutters just to get them out of the factory door.
    Photography:first utterance. Sir John Herschel, 14 March 1839 at the Royal Society. "...Photography or the application of the Chemical rays of light to the purpose of pictorial representation,..".

  10. #10
    Do or do not. There is no try.
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    Re: 300mm f5.6 TeleCongo Lens ... Which doesn't exist?

    Maris, it seems you have a lot of info on these lenses that isn't available anywhere else. Is there any chance you can scan it all and somehow make it available for posterity?

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