Osaka Lenses : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

How good are the Osaka line of large format lenses? Does anyone actually use them? Are they a good deal? I've heard that they're just like the old classic Kodak and wollensak designs, except that they have modern coatings and new shutters. Thanks for the information.

-- John Miller (, May 08, 2000


I think they may be the same as the Congo lenses. If so, here is the website:

-- Ron Shaw (, May 09, 2000.

I recently had confirmation from Mr Yamasaki that they are Congo Yamasaki lenses. I have not owned any but have read good comments on their quality. They can be purchased directly from the factory at interesting prices.

-- Paul Schilliger (, May 09, 2000.

Congo & Osaka lenses are 4 element 3 group tessar type lenses. It's a classic lens formula & fairly sharp. They don't have as much covering power as some other lens formulas, so if you buy one, look carefully at the coverage. I have an older 180 f/6.3 Congo that I'm quite happy with. I use it on 4x5 and 6x9. I tried it on my Grandfather's 5 x 7 & it worked ok, as long as I limited my tilts.

-- Ted Brownlee (, May 09, 2000.

There is a review of some of the Osaka lenses, including comparison with some Schneider and Rodenstock lenses, in the Sept/Oct 1997 issue of View Camera magazine: "Cheaper Glass: Lens alternatives for 6x9 and 4x5". You can contact them at

-- Michael Briggs (, May 10, 2000.

I own a 210mm 4.5 Osaka Commercial lens. It is as you said a tessar formula with modern multicoating and copal shutter . It is sharp and contrasty and works well for my black and white work on 5x7 format. It is mounted in a copal 3 shutter which is large but easy to use. I can't speak for their usefulness for color work but I was told that they perform well. Overall a great lens for a reasonable price. I would buy one before an old Kodak commercial Ektar which is not muticoated and the shutter may be a problem and you will probably spent less money. I also shoot with 240 and 300 mm Fuginon A lenses and would said the Osaka just as sharp. Also the 4.5 apeture is sure nice to focus with. The Fuginons are F9s but much smaller and lighter.

-- Bill Bartels (, May 10, 2000.

Not all Osaka/Congos are Tessar types. They make wide angle double gauss lenses as well (like the WF Ektars), and a soft focus lens too.

-- K H Tan (, May 10, 2000.

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