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Congo 150 6.3...thoughts?

 
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djon



Joined: 05 Nov 2004
Posts: 174
Location: New Mexico

PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2007 10:47 pm    Post subject: Congo 150 6.3...thoughts? Reply with quote

Got a nice deal on a Congo 150 6.3...pretty little lens in a Seiko shutter, genuine mint if there ever was such a thing.....

Yamasaki
family, as I understand it...same as Astrogon maybe...

How's it compare in your experience to Ektars or Optars or Symmars?

What do you think? Should I enjoy the newness and exoticism/cheapskate factor? Or am I likely to actually like its output?

I bought it for a Crown..my alternatives are a 210 Computar Symmetrigon that's too massive and too long (bellows sag) and a 135 Xenar that's too wide for what I have in mind.

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45PSS



Joined: 28 Sep 2001
Posts: 3210
Location: Mid Peninsula, Ca.

PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2007 11:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Congo's are all over the spectrum in terms of text book preformance. Go test yours at various distances and apertures with the camera on a sturdy tripod and use a cable release. Mine is quite nice up to 15 or 20 feet then it drops to just below adverage. I have a Symmar 150mm that I like better and my 135mm Optars preform better also. Yours may be different.
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djon



Joined: 05 Nov 2004
Posts: 174
Location: New Mexico

PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2007 12:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What's "average?" Ektar? And are you talking about detail resolution ?
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Dan Fromm



Joined: 14 May 2001
Posts: 1883
Location: New Jersey

PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2007 10:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As Charles said, if you want to know how well the lens in hand performs you'd best ask it. FWIW, I have a 210/6.3 Astragon that Yamasaki Optical confirmed is one of theirs (rebadged Commercial Congo) that shoots fairly well even though its front element has the classic "cleaned with steel wool" look.
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djon



Joined: 05 Nov 2004
Posts: 174
Location: New Mexico

PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2007 11:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good. I like the Congo project. A bunch of "Shanghai" B&W is due here any day...it'll be fun to compare this lens to a couple of others at a couple of distances. I want to learn about the Shanghai stuff too... it's dirt cheap.

JK
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R_J



Joined: 03 Aug 2004
Posts: 137
Location: Europe

PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2007 11:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Djon,

I don't know enough about the Congo lenses to recommend them, although for other reasons I've tended to avoid them.

Good luck with the Shanghai film You might try Shantou Era Film too: this is sold in China in 4x5", 8x10" sheets as well as other large format sizes. It has mostly been an interior product over the past 50 years within China with little of it surfacing outside of the mainland. Whereas Shanghai film has only recently been made and marketed as an exported efflux item from the mainland, Shantou Era film is of a more reliable and stable vintage akin to the traditional single layer emulsions (thinking of traditional Adox from the 60's era) with beautiful rich mid-tones.

Kind regards,

RJ
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Dan Fromm



Joined: 14 May 2001
Posts: 1883
Location: New Jersey

PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2007 9:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

FWIW, some years ago I bought a 210/6.3 Astragon in Copal 1 "for the shutter." Yamasaki Optical confirmed that they'd made it.

The lens' front surface looked horrible, the coating was patchy and scratched. Ugly isn't strong enough. Even so, I tried it out on 2x3 and it shot very very well. So I doubt that a blanket condemnation of Yamasaki Optical's lenses is correct.
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djon



Joined: 05 Nov 2004
Posts: 174
Location: New Mexico

PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2007 5:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm still dragging my feet on the test, but that day approaches! Comparison to my 135 Xenar seems a good way to benchmark.

This Congo is a pretty little object and the Seiko shutter seems perfect...the whole package is near mint.

John
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pv17vv



Joined: 22 Dec 2001
Posts: 255
Location: The Ardennes, Belgium

PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2007 7:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

RJ, where do you buy Era from ? On-line shop ? E**y ? Shop in Europe ?
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R_J



Joined: 03 Aug 2004
Posts: 137
Location: Europe

PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2007 9:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi there,

My only experience with the Shantou film is on assignment in China; the film is commonplace in the large cities.

Back in Europe, I tend towards supporting Ilford & Fuji film, simply because they make the emulsions I am most familiar with.


Here is a datasheet for the Shantou Era:

http://www.chinastera.com/English/ERA1/English_product4.htm

It is possible to order the film directly from the website, bypassing third party European internet sites.

Kind regards,

RJ
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djon



Joined: 05 Nov 2004
Posts: 174
Location: New Mexico

PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2007 10:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Without actually testing, it appears that Shanghai 100ei is a thin emulstion film that aspires to be aroughly comparable to FP4.

Any thoughts on this?
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R_J



Joined: 03 Aug 2004
Posts: 137
Location: Europe

PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 9:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Djon,

Quote:
Without actually testing, it appears that Shanghai 100ei is a thin emulstion film that aspires to be aroughly comparable to FP4.

Any thoughts on this


Do you mean FP4+? My recollection of the decades old FP4 is very vague.

The Shantou Era film has been compared to FP4+ for its tonal scale, particularly in non-metol developers. Personally, I find it holds some of the tonality of Adox 25, however grain characteristics fit in with HP5+ and FP4+. In broad brushstrokes, comparing the grain of the Shantou Era film with other comparable 100 ISO emulsions, it is further away from Fuji Acros on one end, and Agfa APX100 on another end, and fits into the traditional classical long mid-range medium contrast medium ISO speed films. In a developer like Ilford Perceptol, the highlight control seems to improve.

It seems more likely that the Shanghai 100EI film aspires to be more like a Shantou Era film for export, however without the decades of experience in film coating production.

The only prints from Shanghai 100EI film which I have any experience of, look like the Kodak-"Lucky" brand emulsion negative prints in smaller format. The reports of emulsion fracture and uneven coating are probably related to the relative novelty of this film and the lack of refinement in production which Shantou Era has. It might be worthwhile researching the cost difference, since the quality difference between the two emulsions is striking.
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djon



Joined: 05 Nov 2004
Posts: 174
Location: New Mexico

PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 11:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Les, It'd be interesting to compare Era with Shanghai, except that I've seen no evidence that anybody sells Era into the US. This Shanghai was shipped from Shanghai on a 'bay deal. I bought it on a lark. Cheap.

Could you suggest a ready online source, English-speaking, for Era?

I think the dealer (Shanghai itself?) described it as "thin emulsion" and their development recommendations were the basis for my FP4 idea. I'll use them as a starting point with Rodinal (R09) at 1:40. I said FP4 only because I'd shot a lot of it years ago..that wasn't "thin emulsion" I guess.

There are several reports of emulsion flaws online, but they've all related to 120 and I tend to disregard reported film problems in general, and especially in that format because it's more vulnurable to beginner handling incompetence than 35.

John
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djon43



Joined: 16 Oct 2005
Posts: 18
Location: Albuquerque NM

PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2007 1:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shanghai update...

I've not yet used it seriously, but I've tested it adequately with Emofin (2 bath..I happened to have it mixed...it ordinarily makes a flat neg with extended highlights...I use it mainly for pushing.

1) there's no evidence of any emulsion glitches

2) 100 ei works with Emofin...very long scale (mixed indoor light)

3) nice
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Phillip P. Dimor



Joined: 25 Mar 2008
Posts: 3
Location: Valdosta, GA

PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2008 9:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've a Yamasaki Congo 135/4.5 in a seiko shutter. It's circa-1970s. I like it, coverage could be a bit better but it is sharp and has good contrast. The shutter is excellent and I think that Seiko shutters get a lot of negative bias for some reason.
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