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Old 01-18-2007   #81
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I once bought a lens from Stephen, I have to say it was not one of the best shoping experiance`s, I hope RFF will stay as smart and friendly place as it was before!
Though check this out!
Quote:
Wide Angle Voigtlander R4M / R4A with 21/25/28/35/50 framelines! Free Shipping World Wide with your RFF ID!
maybe he should start distributing Leica after all
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Old 01-18-2007   #82
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Thanks Jorge.
Ciao
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Old 01-18-2007   #83
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Great thing about Jorge was that he was comunicating, asking and answering, hope stays this way
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Old 01-18-2007   #84
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Jorge, about a year ago, I find out that there is one place on NET - for old timers,
personal thoughts, thoughts about old cameras, B&W photo poetry ...
I hope that this site will stay same as I found it ...
Best regards !
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Old 01-18-2007   #85
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I'm OK with it I guess. I'm not a Voigtlander guy, but I'm wondering how many members would feel a little hesitant about dissing a Bessa.....certainly not as freely as they would the M8!
But Stephen is not an apologist for Voigtlander, he really is an RF promoter, so we couldn't hope for better.
And besides, should the forum change too much, non-comp agreements don't last forever!
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Old 01-18-2007   #86
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Quote:
...but I'm wondering how many members would feel a little hesitant about dissing a Bessa....
Not me. Life's too short.

If Mr. Gandy has Mr. Kobayashi's ear he should tell him to quit fixing the Bessa bodies on the installment plan and finally put a real competitor to the Leica M on the market. Nearly $600 for an RF body build on a cheap SLR chassis with a dinky rangefinder is a bit outrageous, but $1,500 for one built on the F6 chassis with the Zeiss Ikon RF would be a bargain.

Worth a shot, eh?
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Old 01-18-2007   #87
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I love Steven's site and I love RFF. This will be synergism: together better than the sum of the two separate.
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Old 01-18-2007   #88
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Welll well well.

All good. My route to RFs was through CVUG, finding RFF and buying a Bessa from CameraQuest.

Congrats Stephen and Jorge. And thanks to the great mods who have maintained the flavour of the site - I hope you will still have the same roles and approach.

Will there be an influx of former CVUG members I wonder - though I would think most everyone on that list would be here already.

Interesting times. Hope the place stays pretty much the same as it moves from a village to a town...
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Old 01-18-2007   #89
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FrankS
If money changed hands, how much do you think RFF is worth? (I'm certainly not expecting an answer from Jorge or Stephen, as that would be gauche to ask them.) Just wondering because it's such an ethereal thing.
How much is it worth?
Not much without us, I say we start a union and go on strike for better benefits

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Last edited by Todd.Hanz : 01-18-2007 at 12:31.
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Old 01-18-2007   #90
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Todd.Hanz
Not much without us, I say we start a union and go on strike for better benefits

Todd
Like Bessa R4A with 50% discount?
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Old 01-18-2007   #91
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Wonder if there will be more contests with Voigtlander products as prizes?! One can only hope!
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Old 01-18-2007   #92
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Jorge: Thanks for what you have done for RFF .
Stephen: welcome !
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Argus and a Thank You
Old 01-18-2007   #93
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Argus and a Thank You

I would like to thank everyone for the support. This really is a special online community, and I am very committed to only making RFF better.

IF anyone cares, my first RFF move was having George add the Argus forum. The importance of those cameras combined with their relatively low cost and lack of recognition has always facinated me.

Stephen
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Old 01-18-2007   #94
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevin m
I have to disagree with the sentiments expressed so far because on paper, this is a BAD idea.

No offense to Stephen, he's obviously an enthusiast and a decent guy, but he is also a retailer, and I fear we're about to lose our little oasis of objectivity. A forum is first and foremost a place for the free exchange of ideas, and it's bad enough that any one person should 'own' it, nevermind a person whose objectivity is clouded by being the leading importer for one particular brand of camera. Where, for example, will someone turn now for advice about a Cameraquest deal gone bad?

His site, as valuable a resource as it is, also reads at times like a gushing fanzine for all things Cosina/Voigtlander, and I don't want to see that editorial stamp used here.
A fearless commentary, for sure. I have to say that this speaks aloud some of my own first reactions to this change. Having a retailer own RFF, as I said, will be "interesting". This only makes it more important that we hold together as a community.

I also believe that Stephen understands that he'll have to feed us to keep us alive.

We aren't led by any leader, we are RFF. The owner merely owns the space, we define its nature, and in the end, its success or failure is up to us. Having a passionate camera lover at the head, and a store such as Cameraquest at the back end will only offer value. We have to decide how to use it.
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Old 01-18-2007   #95
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The owner merely owns the space, we define its nature, and in the end, its success or failure is up to us.
Well, let's hope what you say proves true.

Coming here fresh from the carnage at the photo.net Leica forum, I'm not inclined to be quite so optimistic.
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Old 01-18-2007   #96
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevin m
Well, let's hope what you say proves true.

Coming here fresh from the carnage at the photo.net Leica forum, I'm not inclined to be quite so optimistic.
The LUG is equally bad.

The only other group that allowed for "cross pollination" of ideas was the PDML; and that isn't a forum but an extremely busy mailing list.

I don't doubt that people will still be able to speak their minds here - as many have already said, if anyone (be it Jorge or, now Stephen) were to clamp down on "dissing" any camera brand; be it Leica or CV or Nikon or Canon or etc. etc. etc. those that felt betrayed would be long gone and the forum, in and of itself, would die.

None of us want that.
None of the sponsors want that.
And now that Stephen's the owner, I'm sure he won't want that either.

He's already stated that changes will be evolutionary and not revolutionary. Let's not put cart before horse or judge a man guilty without a trial ok?

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Old 01-18-2007   #97
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Congrats Stephen and Jorge!
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Old 01-18-2007   #98
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CameraQuest
I would like to thank everyone for the support. This really is a special online community, and I am very committed to only making RFF better.

IF anyone cares, my first RFF move was having George add the Argus forum. The importance of those cameras combined with their relatively low cost and lack of recognition has always facinated me.

Stephen
Awesome news. I like the Argus move, too. It shows that he has an eclectic side as well.

Steve has done more than most to give range finder photography a boost.
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Old 01-18-2007   #99
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kevin m: Well, I've been on here and on the cameraquest mailing lists for a while now, and I'm not worried. Stephen has never been heavy handed on his very own lists, and believe me the topics can wander at times.

In terms of other sponsors and deals, Stephen strikes me as being very pragmatic. If he chases away all the other sponsors, the already highly selective rangefinder niche market may very well become even more exclusive, perhaps even to the point of oblivion. Nobody benefits from that. And I'm sure he also realizes that if everybody moved away, somebody will probably eventually put up another site. Despite it being a niche market, obviously there's a need for a site like this.

So I'm not worried.
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Old 01-18-2007   #100
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I'll second the comments about Stephen's hands-off approach to his mailing lists, especially the busiest, the CVUG. Let's hope the discussion of the yucca in Baba's back yard is preserved somewhere for posterity! If we needed any more evidence of a laisser-faire approach...

I've never had the opportunity to meet him in person, but I have the impression that Stephen Gandy is first a tremendous and very energetic rangefinder enthusiast, and second a retailer -- a resourceful fellow who's found a way to turn his love into a way to make a living. The Christmas Bessa gift is just one testament to his generosity; other hints have doubtless been caught by those who follow the CVUG regularly. I am hopeful that this will be a good New Year for Jorge, Stephen, and the whole RFF!

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Old 01-18-2007   #101
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I'm hoping this will be a good thing. Though the idea of a business owning a user forum doesn't sound wise to me. Gandy appears to be an honest fellow and will allow the forum to be left as it is.
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Old 01-18-2007   #102
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I have dealt with Stephen on several occasions and have always found him to be courteous and fair with an obvious enthusiasm for his vocation. The thought of a retailer owning this forum doesn't enthuse me but if that's the way it has to be ... I'm glad it's going to be Stephen Gandy.

As our new leader I only ask one thing ..... "Please don't send me to Iraq."
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Thank you Jorge!
Old 01-19-2007   #103
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Thumbs up Thank you Jorge!

Thank you Jorge for your hard work - setting up and maintaining a site like this could have been no small effort.

Congratulations on your achievement - I have not found another site that has anything close to the degree of camaraderie that this site has. The sense of community is very refreshing and it is great to see that people's postings are valued.

I hope the integrity of the site is maintained.

Regards, Andrew (ndnbrunei).
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Old 01-19-2007   #104
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Good elf Stephen is now the new capo.... best wishes!

...and I also hope that we will not lose George.

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Old 01-19-2007   #105
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CameraQuest
I would like to thank everyone for the support. This really is a special online community, and I am very committed to only making RFF better.

IF anyone cares, my first RFF move was having George add the Argus forum. The importance of those cameras combined with their relatively low cost and lack of recognition has always facinated me.

Stephen
Having bought several things from Stephen and exchanged many emails on questions regarding RF cameras and possible purchases over the years, I am very happy that Stephen has taken RFF under his wing and i'd like to thank Jorge, Joe and Rover for all their hard work to bring this site to the size and importance as a resource site as it is now and it's special online community.
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Old 01-19-2007   #106
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevin m
I hope I'm not coming across as being unduly pessimistic, but it's the conflict of interest I'm calling into question and not the character of the parties involved.

Perhaps I'm a bit sensitive to this because I recently left a site where I had participated for many years because a tyrannical site owner thought he 'owned' the content that had been provided for him - gratis - by his paid site members, and that the content was his to sell to advertisers.

And it must be pointed out that Cameraquest has at times posted erroneous opinions as fact, with no recourse to editing to correct the mistake. (I'm thinking of the Hexar RF debacle.)

I hope it works out, too. But I'd rather have something to rely on than hope.
Kevin, you've hit the nail on the head.

This is not a good move in my opinion. It wasn't just the Hexar RF comments, but the dissing of the Rollei 35 RF & the strange saga of CQ's relationship with the Zeiss Ikon, any reference to which has now been expunged from the site.

The internet is the new news medium for the 21st century. Advertsers have always had too much say in what was reprted in the media (newspapers, magazines, radio, TV, etc.) The evolution of photo magazines into the vacuous conduits for advertisements that they have become attests to that. When advertisers become owners, you have a major conflict of interest.

Ownership by Cameraquest is a clear conflict of interest.

Many thanks to Jorge & everyone else who have made RFF such an enjoyable place to spend time & swap opinions.

Huck
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Old 01-19-2007   #107
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dcsang
KevinM,

I understand those sentiments; but I also look at this site as being an extremely busy hub of information and photos and "chit chat".

Someone, somewhere, has to pay for the upkeep.
Bandwidth is not free; neither is hosting and neither are the servers/routers/etc. that carry our little messages to and fro.

It all costs someone, somewhere quite a bit of coin. Jorge has never instilled a "mandatory" membership fee and that's a good thing. A lot of us gave of our own accord - but we gave that once - have any of us given funds to help run the site on a regular basis? I know I haven't. I gave $25 one time a year and a half ago. I doubt that my $25 is still making this site run today.

Jorge is a single individual and I'm sure not made of money - Stephen as well is a single individual but knows how to run a business (otherwise Cameraquest wouldn't be as successful as it is currently) - this marriage may not be one that everyone has wished for but it does make sense.

I don't think Stephen is the type of person to banish anyone who speaks out against Cosina / Voigtlander anymore than Jorge would throw anyone out for speaking ill of the M8 or such. Stephen has yet to log in and say is piece but I really think that, based on what I've had to deal with him for, and how it was handled, and the fact that he is not here 24/7, this site is not going to lose it's ability to allow for differing opinions or viewpoints on camera brands.

Dave
All good points.

However, there is a reason that there are rules about ownership of newspapers & other media. In a democracy, the press is "the fourth estate." It needs a free hand to operate. It has nothing to do with how benevolent the ownership is nor how decent a person any particular owner is. Ownership is tranferable. When an arm of the media is owned by a dealer who is also a distributor for one particular manufacturer, that media outlet goes with the sale of the dealership &/or the distributorship - unless something has been made explicit in the contract. Even in the latter case, it remains an inherent conflict of interests for the same individual to own both entities.

The internet is sorting itself out, but the general trend in the media in America has been to move in an unhealthy direction in the past quarter century. So-called "news" on TV has deteriorated into fluff instead of serious journalism. It is now just one more advertising platform to attract viewers & fill up space between ads.

Huck
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Old 01-19-2007   #108
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OK but if RFF has to be owned by a business then I can't think of a better owner than CameraQuest. Stephen Gandy strikes me as an enthusiast first and a businessman second. Gandy will be no tyrant - that's for sure.

Big thanks to Jorge and good luck to both.
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Old 01-19-2007   #109
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I plan to be around for a while. In fact Stephen and I are working on a top secret web page that should rock the world But it's just a pebble now. In the meantime, I will still do what I did before. So, don't expect anything less from me than what I have done in the past. Going with Stephen for the forum was a no brainer since we both share a common interest. RF cameras.
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Old 01-19-2007   #110
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jorge Torralba
In fact Stephen and I are working on a top secret web page that should rock the world .
Jorge,

the first thing I was thinking after your announcement was: "it would be great if Stephens RF web site would be integrated with RFF and grow as an RFF FAQ".

Roland.
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Old 01-19-2007   #111
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cool.
Let's wait to see how it will work out before we get involved in negative predictions.

Good luck, Stephen -if i may call you like that.
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Old 01-19-2007   #112
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Jorge,
Thanks for taking us this far you have made it a fantastic place.

Stephen,
Congratulations on taking over the RFF, and for being a great source of information and a first rate vendor.

Great success to both of you!

Kent
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Old 01-19-2007   #113
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Quote:
Someone, somewhere, has to pay for the upkeep.
So we sell our souls to the devil for "upkeep?"

Fine. Charge $100 a year - or whatever it takes - and be done with the silly notion of 'owning' the content of a forum. Stephen is by all accounts a decent guy but, as Huck pointed out, the whole point of ownership is the ability to transfer your assets, and even if Mr. Gandy proves to be exceptional in the role, there's no guarantee the next owner will be half as decent.
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Old 01-19-2007   #114
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Congrats to all the RFF staff. I am a fairly new member, but I have and do enjoy all the site has to offer. Not just Rff lore, but in great threads I am learning from too. Especially the great photos that are posted.

So Jorge, and Staff, You all have a great site here. Glad you are expanding. (I hate the term "grow your company" Plants Grow, Business's expand ..
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Old 01-19-2007   #115
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ferider
Jorge,

the first thing I was thinking after your announcement was: "it would be great if Stephens RF web site would be integrated with RFF and grow as an RFF FAQ".

Roland.
You've got to be kidding.
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Old 01-19-2007   #116
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Eh. It's a message board, not the New York Times.

I'm just happy there's someone out there willing to invest the time, energy and money to provide me with this little way to pass some time. I don't care that he happens to sell cameras.

Thanks Stephen, Jorge, Joe, Rover and whoever else has pitched in here to date.
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Old 01-19-2007   #117
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Though I signed up this site not long, ppl around here are so great in exchanging ideas, thoughts, experiences and most importantly, your masterpieces. I also like this forum as members are coming from different corners of the world. Hope the new bartender would follow this spirit in running the site.
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Old 01-20-2007   #118
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnM
Eh. It's a message board, not the New York Times.
Time to update your thinking. Message boards, blogs, websites, & all the rest of the interactive digital world are the "New York Times" for the new century.

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I'm just happy there's someone out there willing to invest the time, energy and money to provide me with this little way to pass some time. I don't care that he happens to sell cameras.

Thanks Stephen, Jorge, Joe, Rover and whoever else has pitched in here to date.
Mr. Gandy will restore my faith in the new management when he restores information about the Zeiss Ikon to the historical portions of his CameraQuest website. Publishing a website that ostensibly offers objective historical information separate from its advertsing & sales sections, but then edits out all of that previously published ZI information over a dispute with the company, which is only vaguely explained, does not portend well for attitudes toward censorship as issues arise in the future.
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I do not agree re: Zeiss
Old 01-20-2007   #119
Al Patterson
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I do not agree re: Zeiss

Quote:
Originally Posted by Huck Finn
Mr. Gandy will restore my faith in the new management when he restores information about the Zeiss Ikon to the historical portions of his CameraQuest website. Publishing a website that ostensibly offers objective historical information separate from its advertsing & sales sections, but then edits out all of that previously published ZI information over a dispute with the company, which is only vaguely explained, does not portend well for attitudes toward censorship as issues arise in the future.
If I owned the de-facto best M mount research site and had a dispute with Zeiss, I would have pulled the Ikon stuff as well. As to "vaguely explained", it is NOT our business, or our website for that matter. Now, were Mr. Gandy to pull the Zeiss forum here, I'd be right with any ZI owner who complained.

And besides, who says he won't re-post all that info when the ZI becomes a part of M history rather than a current model?
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Old 01-20-2007   #120
Huck Finn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Al Patterson
If I owned the de-facto best M mount research site and had a dispute with Zeiss, I would have pulled the Ikon stuff as well. As to "vaguely explained", it is NOT our business, or our website for that matter. Now, were Mr. Gandy to pull the Zeiss forum here, I'd be right with any ZI owner who complained.

And besides, who says he won't re-post all that info when the ZI becomes a part of M history rather than a current model?
I agree that it is not our business, so it would have been better for him to have said nothing about it.

He had every right to pull whatever he wanted to pull off his website, but removal of the ZI information detracts from the site as the best "de facto M-mount research site."

By "historical information," I'm referring to current as well as ancient history. The article on the Konica Hexar RF, for example, didn't appear when it became "part of M history." It was there when the Hexar RF was in production & an active competitor to the CV gear that was being sold by CameraQuest so there's no reason that the Zeiss Ikon should have been handled differently. To be consistent & to maintain the integrity of that part of the site, non-sales information like Tom Abrahamsson's article should have been left there. That's just my opinion; I am in no way disputing Mr. Gandy's right to manage his site however he chooses.
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