quality of Osaka LF lenses

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Is anyone familiar with the quality of the Osaka lenses offered by Bromwell Marketing? They seem to be very competatively priced. Also any comments on the LF cameras offered by Bromwell.

-- Terry G. Walsh (twharf@erols.com), January 28, 1998


The Osaka lenses are 4 element 3 group Tessar type lenses. These are excellent lenses but they have limited coverage. In reviewing the spec sheet on Bromwell's web site, the 500mm tele-tessar lens would barely cover the 4 x 5 diagonal. If you can live with reduced coverage (limits tilts and swings), then these are a good deal. Also an excellent option for those on a limited budget. Congo lenses are of similar construction and performance, but I don;t believe they have a U.S. distributor

-- Ted Brownlee (omfbh@aol.com), January 31, 1998.

The Sept/Oct 97 issue of View Camera magazine has a article titled "Cheaper Glass". It mentions and compares the Osaka lenses to some better known brands. Overall, the conclusion was that they are good value for the money. The 150mm model is a 6 element design, the others are 4 element tessars. I'm not sure but a reprint of the article may be on View camera's website. Bromwell also has a website.

-- Mark Schumann (schumann@ecentral.com), February 07, 1998.

I use a 120mm Osaka for 4x5 Professional architectural photography. I have made many fine images with it, some that have been enlarged to 20x24 and look great. This particular lens offers the combination of low cost, small size, good coverage for 4x5 and high quality. This is a "wide field" design, I think similar to the old Kodak WF Ektars. The problem with the typical 120mm f8 wide angles by Schneider, Nikon etc. is that they have excess coverage for 4x5- they nearly cover 8x10. This makes them very big and heavy- and expensive. The only other 120/125s I would consider for 4x5 would be the 125 5.6 Fuji and the Scheinder 120mm 5.6 Super Symmar, but both of them are larger, more expensive and have less coverage than the Osaka. Final note- I notice that the Osaka and Congo lens lines are very similar- is it possible that Ted Bromwell gets the Osakas from Congo?

-- David Rose (DERose1@email.msn.com), September 14, 2000.

"I have made many fine images with it, some that have been enlarged to 20x24"

They should since this is the same amount of magnification that you would use to make a 4x5" print from a 35mm negative.

Virtually all 4x5" prints from all 35mm cameras look good. 4x simply isn't a test.

-- Bob Salomon (bobsalomon@mindspring.com), September 15, 2000.

Unless my math fails me, 20x24 is at least a 5x enlargement from a 4x5 original, so it's more like a 5x7 print from 35mm.

-- Glenn C. Kroeger (gkroeger@trinity.edu), September 15, 2000.

"4x simply isn't a test." It's a test if it satisfies his needs.

-- sheldon hambrick (sheldon_hambrick@hotmail.com), September 15, 2000.

I believe that a 20x24 print is an unusually large print for most photographers, I have rarely had an Architect client order a larger one. I also believe that if a lens has a significant optical deficiency, it can be seen at that size. Prints are the ultimate test. I can see differences in edge sharpness between my wide angle design lenses and my plasmat style lenses in prints smaller than 20x24. My point is that my Osaka is a professional quality optic. I use it on paid assignments, shooting Architecture in color, and get quality results that do not differ noticably from images made with my other wide angle lenses, which are Nikkors, Fujinons and Schneiders. It is certainly possible that I would see greater differences if I regularly made prints larger than 20x24, but I bet the differences would be subtle, so it works for me.

-- David E. Rose (DERose1@email.msn.com), September 15, 2000.

"Unless my math fails me, 20x24 is at least a 5x enlargement from a 4x5 original, so it's more like a 5x7 print from 35mm. "

Sorry you are right, but 5x still isn't much of a test or a challange.

-- Bob Salomon (bobsalomon@mindspring.com), September 15, 2000.

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