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ZI: When Leica fans attack...
Old 05-13-2005   #1
Paul T.
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ZI: When Leica fans attack...

Am I the only person astounded by the amount of disinformation being spouted about the upcoming Zeiss Ikon camera? I can't see myself buying one, but was enthusiastic about Zeiss coming up with a new rangefinder design. Then I started hearing all these stories about the camera being a 'rebadged Bessa'. I thought the people generating those stories maybe had inside information; of course they didn't, they were merely making suppositions.
More recently, on Pnet, some people have alleged that Stephen Gandy's observations that the Bessa and ZI had no common parts bar the shutter, are wrong - or that one can't rely on Gandy because he has "vested interests."

Will all these attacks kill off the ZI? Or is it a sign of people running scared, because it's going to be a success? And who do you think starts off these rumours?
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Old 05-13-2005   #2
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Who starts them? People with nothing better to do. I've handled three (non-working) prototypes and shot a couple of frames with each of the Japanese-made lenses (at photokina -- nothing worth posting). I have or have had most of the Bessas and the ZI is very different except, indeed, for the shutter module of the 2A/3A. Delivery is taking longer than everyone hoped, but that happens sometimes --and I know that Zeiss is doing a good deal more than just lending their name. But I can't say anything useful or authoritative beyond that until I have the camera in my hands. Most of the rumour-mongers can't even say as much that's worth hearing.

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Old 05-13-2005   #3
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Sour grapes because Zeiss is going to survive in tact beyond 2005 and Leica very well may not.

Wait to hear comments about the Zeiss products from users once they are available, and based on actual experience. My guess is that 90% of the comments made online are from people who have never seen or handled these products.
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Old 05-13-2005   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul T.
Will all these attacks kill off the ZI? Or is it a sign of people running scared, because it's going to be a success? And who do you think starts off these rumours?
No Paul, these hate attacks will kill nothing excepted maybe some of those who started them, could be they simply burst from their extreme blood pressure.

I read this crap too "rebadged cossies" was one of the things they said about the lenses and a lot more of such a derisive nonsense. That's just the style of play many members prefer at Pnet.
To understand where this "loaded " style of communication comes from you must remember that there are some who spent their very last penny and a bit more on Leica gear just not only to own the "best" stuff , no, more important to own the "right stuff" !
"Right" means in this context making them belong to the (in their own opinion)
right group of people. In other words these cameras are an important part of their social status.

Taking photographs with that gear does not play a role at all as I had to learn. I've seen results of this kind of folks which are so poorely done and so badly scanned that one cannot believe that somebody really dares to post such a crap in a public gallery.
How come ? The pics are just to prove he still owns the tool and keeps it running.

As we all know people are very sensitive if their (presumed) social status seems to get damnaged. The ZI line could have the potential to perform on par with Leica , without any restriction, for less money.
That would mean they do NOT own the best or the right tool anymore , imagine what a damnage that is for those bed-wetting stuffed shirts.

This is where that hate comes from, which makes them throw dirt on a product before they have seen it or tried it out personally.

Recently I read: "The Critique says more about the Critic than about the item it aimes to". True indeed, you just have to read carefully to hear that howling sound of pain behind the words. Enjoy it !

Best,
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Old 05-13-2005   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul T.
More recently, on Pnet, some people have alleged that Stephen Gandy's observations that the Bessa and ZI had no common parts bar the shutter, are wrong - or that one can't rely on Gandy because he has "vested interests."
I believe the US distributor for Hasselblad will be handling distribution of the new Zeiss Ikon range finder. I can't really see how Stephen Gandy will have a vested interest, as deals mainly in Voigtlander / Cosina glass.

As for me, I'll wait for actual owners to report in on the new camera. That always seems to be the best source for info.
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Old 05-13-2005   #6
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I don't understand all of the naysayers especially since the new ZI products have only just been introduced, and most of us have not laid eyes on any of them. Many of the negatively opinionated posters also criticize Leica for producing lenses and camera bodies with attributes different from '50s era products. I guess that buying a Leica (and having an internet connection) makes one an expert; or at the very least demanding of our attention. I love my Leicas, but I am not gear queer enough to ignore the wonderful results garnered with other makes of equipment.
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Old 05-13-2005   #7
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Dear vol72

Gear queer-- what a wonderful phrase.

And Bertram2: also extremely perceptive.

Cheers,

Roger
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Old 05-13-2005   #8
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Bertram, so eloquently put!
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Old 05-13-2005   #9
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Paul, join us at the gathering in New York on June 28 & meet some real RF fans who don't shout at each other, who are open to others' opinions & information, and who actually like each other & get along.

Huck
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Old 05-13-2005   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rover
Sour grapes because Zeiss is going to survive in tact beyond 2005 and Leica very well may not.
It's interesting to me that for decades Zeiss has focussed on manufacturing lenses and has only just introduced a Zeiss-branded camera body. The lenses are second to none in the world, in both still photography and cinematography. They continue to introduce entire new series of lenses for motion picture use, both for film systems and digital systems. I'm very excited for the new system.

Perhaps Leica could survive if they concentrated on what they do best, making lenses, and partner with other companies like Zeiss has with Hasselblad, Contax (R.I.P.) and Arri who make camera bodies. At least in the film world, lens mounts are interchangable and you can use Zeiss lenses on an Arri, Moviecam, or Panavision body with little hassle.

Am I wrong in thinking that Contax and Zeiss were originally the same company prior to Kyocera resurrecting the name? I'm a bit fuzzy on my history here.
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Old 05-13-2005   #11
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The bottom line is its the person 'this' side of the vewfinder is more important than the thing that goes 'click' or 'clack', 'clunk' or 'snick'. You've gotta see the picture first before pressing the shutter release. FED, Bessa or MP, it's only going to capture what it's being pointed at.

In a nut shell different cameras handle differently and everyone will have a preference, give the new ZI a chance and don't pre judge it on gossip from a few Leica Louts
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Old 05-13-2005   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthew

Am I wrong in thinking that Contax and Zeiss were originally the same company prior to Kyocera resurrecting the name? I'm a bit fuzzy on my history here.
Matthew, Carl Zeiss still owns the Contax name. The Contax G & its lenses was a partnership between Zeiss & Kyocera.
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Old 05-13-2005   #13
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[Am I the only person astounded by the amount of disinformation being spouted about the upcoming Zeiss Ikon camera?]

It's par for the course. The internet is a wonderful thing, but afterall, anybody can register for a forum and make a post whether they have any idea what they are talking about or not. It shouldn't be suprising by now.

The internet is like a great petri dish for rumours.

You have to chuckle at some of those Leica fans sometimes. When the D2 and Panasonic LC-1 came out it just killed them that the Leica might not be better. And their post over on the Leica forum could be pretty funny. Sometimes they would just give up and admit "Well, I like the red dot on it".
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Old 05-13-2005   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Huck Finn
The Contax G & its lenses was a partnership between Zeiss & Kyocera.
Ah. Thanks. I thought Kyocera bought the name outright.
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Old 05-13-2005   #15
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Rodger,
Thanks for the hands-on report of facts. Every thing else is merely rumor.
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Old 05-13-2005   #16
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Well I'm certainly looking forward to trying a ZI when it arrives.

The long RF baselength +'better' vewfinder with 28 frame + my crap eyesight has gotta be worth a look. 28mm on an M .72 can be a pain.
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Old 05-13-2005   #17
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Face it. There are "Brand-name Snobs" for whom only a few marques will suffice. All else is garbage and unworthy of cluttering up their B&W world.

This entire "Us vs Them" attitude reminds me of a wedding I took many years ago. At the Reception I was cornered by the Bride's mother who, in a superior tone, informed me that the Bride's brother had studied with Ansel Adams and had a full compliment of Nikon cameras and lenses. I asked if he was at the wedding and she said that he was. I then asked why I was being paid to photograph the wedding when a family member of such impressive credentials was available. She fairly snapped back that "He doesn't know how!"...... and quickly left me to continue doing the job I was hired to do. It wasn't my intention to anger her but the snotty attitude she had as she name-dropped kind of p!$$ed me off.

Most equipment is capable of giving good results without regard for the name on the badge. If I could afford one of the new Zeiss cameras, I'd buy one and it could share shelf space with my old Leicas, Olympus', Prakticas, Exaktas etc. If I could fit one of my old Vivtar or Soligor lenses to the new Zeiss, I'd do that too!

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Old 05-13-2005   #18
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I came across an interesting statement about the Zeiss Ikon in the B&H catalogue that arrived in yesterday's mail. Among its features, the catalogue description lists:

"Metal body for mechanical and thermal long-term stability"

Does anyone have any idea what this means? I certainly understand the reference to mechanical stability, but I've never seen "thermal stability" referenced in descibing a camera body. I haven't come across this description in any of the Zeiss, Hasselblad, or Cosina literature about the ZI. Do all metal bodies inherently have "thermal stability"? Is this something unique to this camera? I would think not, but I don't think that I've ever come across this description of a camera body before in a B&H catalogue.
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Old 05-13-2005   #19
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Per Huck's post, my understanding is that there was/is a Carl Zeiss foundation, not a company (not sure about how German corporate law works) that once had (perhaps still does) under its umbrella a lens/optics company, Carl Zeiss, & a separate camera company, Zeiss Ikon. Although CZ & ZI were both part of the Zeiss Foundation, CZ made lenses for all sorts of camera manufacturers, many of whom had no connection w/the Zeiss Foundation (still true today) & treated ZI as just another customer. ZI was the company that used the Contax, Contaflex, Contarex, etc. brands on its cameras. When ZI died in the 1970s, the Zeiss Foundation still had ownership of all the ZI names, including Contax, & subsequently licensed "Contax" to Yashica/Kyocera for use on the revived Contax cameras. What appears to be happening now is that CZ is using the ZI name for new cameras made by Cosina, probably because Kyocera was still using the Contax name when the decision was made to create the new ZI RF's. Now that Kyocera has abandoned the Contax camera line, CZ can always use it on new cameras, including the new ZI line. That would make historical sense, since ZI was the name of the camera company, not a certain RF camera model, but the marketing/hyping of the ZI brand may have advanced too far for that to happen anytime soon.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthew
Am I wrong in thinking that Contax and Zeiss were originally the same company prior to Kyocera resurrecting the name? I'm a bit fuzzy on my history here.
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Old 05-13-2005   #20
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Dear Doubs43,

Wonderful story!

Cheers,

Roger (www.rogerandfrances.com -- and your story explains why there are so few wedding shots on the site...)
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Old 05-13-2005   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doubs43
Face it. There are "Brand-name Snobs" for whom only a few marques will suffice. All else is garbage and unworthy of cluttering up their B&W world.

<snip>

Most equipment is capable of giving good results without regard for the name on the badge. If I could afford one of the new Zeiss cameras, I'd buy one and it could share shelf space with my old Leicas, Olympus', Prakticas, Exaktas etc. If I could fit one of my old Vivtar or Soligor lenses to the new Zeiss, I'd do that too!
Well said. One thing is to know what a certain brand and make is known for, what its good points and shortcomings are. I get so sick and tired of the Nikon/Canon debate, and the Leica/NonLeica debate. I own both Canon and Nikon gear, but mostly Canon because I am more comfortable and have invested more in Canon gear, and of course I have a Leica M6 for technical and sentimental reasons. I may have as well bought a Bessa R2a or R3a, but I could not escape the lure of the M6. I am still considering a Bessa R2a, btw.

Many people tend to side with "camps". It's the whole Sports mentality of "This" Team vs. the "Other" Team, which is more rampant in some parts of the World than others, I might add.

I think that those who are not "Leica owners" who "bash nonLeica equipment" and are most shocked by it, tend to fall into the same line of thinking and in turn categorize Leica owners as snobs. I don't know if I'm a snob, but I really don't care what brand my camera is; I care what quality I can expect my pictures to be when I take them with it. I like to know its limitations and its strengths. Be it a lowly Kodak Instamatik or a Lubitel or a Hasselblad Xpan II, they all have their applications. Piting one camp against the other is pointless. They're all cameras. The artist has his/her work cut out knowing how to use his/her tool of choice.

Granted, Leica has had decades of following; it's a cult. It's one of the most expensive and expansive cults in photography, so of course you're going to find some snobs who are louder than most. The rest of us don't like them either.
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Old 05-13-2005   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by furcafe
Now that Kyocera has abandoned the Contax camera line, CZ can always use it on new cameras, including the new ZI line. That would make historical sense, since ZI was the name of the camera company, not a certain RF camera model, but the marketing/hyping of the ZI brand may have advanced too far for that to happen anytime soon.
Can they just do that? BrcauseI thought that would be like the trademark already belong to Kyocera and if they want to use the Contax name don't they have to buy it back or something? Anyhoo I dunno how this works. But I just think it is weird you mentioned that kyocera just discontinued Contax but another company can just freely use the name.
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Old 05-13-2005   #23
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Huck,
The material that comes to mind for "thermal stability" would be carbon fiber. It's used in everything from fishing rods to High-Buck aircraft.
Just a thought.
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Old 05-13-2005   #24
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I was one of the persons in the p.net thead that was called a "non-discrmintating consumer" because I stated that the CV 35mm PII lens was as well built as my Leica 90mm f/2.8 Tele-Elmarit (it is). I was also told that just because I said it was didn't make it so, yet the same person claimed that the Leica lens was built better because he said so. Fine logic!

Technicaly Zeiss partnered with Yashica who was latter aquired by Kyocera. The agreement transfered to Kyocera.

Zeiss also partnered with Pentax in the late 60's & early 70's. Zeiss designed the Pantax K mount.

As to how welll the ZI body will do, we need to wait and see. The first versions of the M3 had problems and Popular Photography sent their M3 sample back to Leitz and told them to make changes. So let's give Zeiss & Cosina a chance before we torpedo them.

BTY, I just ordered a CV 25mm SC lens in Contax/Nikon from Camera Quest to use on my Contax IIa. All the CS lenses have been discontinued so if you need a decent wide angle for your Contax II/III better get them now. At $369 plus shipping the 25mm is a bargain as it include a 25mm BL viewfinder.
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Old 05-13-2005   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aoresteen
Zeiss also partnered with Pentax in the late 60's & early 70's. Zeiss designed the Pantax K mount.
Now that's interesting to know. Does this mean that there are CZ K-mount lenses out there?

Quote:

BTY, I just ordered a CV 25mm SC lens in Contax/Nikon from Camera Quest to use on my Contax IIa. All the CS lenses have been discontinued so if you need a decent wide angle for your Contax II/III better get them now. At $369 plus shipping the 25mm is a bargain as it include a 25mm BL viewfinder.
If you're even half as happy with the 25 as I am with my 35SC, you'll be a very happy camper, indeed. It's a glorious lens on my Kievs and I look forward to using it on my III once I get it back. I wish I had the pennies to buy the whole set - plus the 50 and longer lenses to put on an S3 2000...

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Old 05-13-2005   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Huck Finn
Paul, join us at the gathering in New York on June 28 & meet some real RF fans who don't shout at each other, who are open to others' opinions & information, and who actually like each other & get along.

Huck

no shouting?
i can't shout? at all? none?

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Old 05-13-2005   #27
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Joe,
Well, you could try typiing in all CAPS!!!
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Old 05-13-2005   #28
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no shouting?
i can't shout? at all? none?
Bewy bewy qweitly
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Old 05-13-2005   #29
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not vewy much fun...
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Old 05-13-2005   #30
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Talking

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Old 05-13-2005   #31
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you bad!

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Old 05-13-2005   #32
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Quote:
Now that Kyocera has abandoned the Contax camera line, CZ can always use it on new cameras, including the new ZI line. That would make historical sense, since ZI was the name of the camera company, not a certain RF camera model, but the marketing/hyping of the ZI brand may have advanced too far for that to happen anytime soon.
Maybe, but wouldn't it be a huge marketing/hype advantage to actually badge them as Contax ... surprising everyone? Maybe that is what is holding up initial shipments of the bodies. Hey, if pnet slobs can start rumours, why not me?
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Old 05-13-2005   #33
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am i the only one that is looking forward to seeing if the viewfinder on the zi is much better and easier to use with glasses than my m's.... so i could use my leica lenses on the zi... or would i be burned at the stake for even the thought of it... :-)
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Old 05-13-2005   #34
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In it's hayday Zeiss was one of the two largest photographic equipment manufacturers in the world, the other being Kodak. A conglomoration of many companies, Zeiss made every photographic item you could think of. In many formats, their biggest competition was themselves as they at many times were manufacturing over 100 different camera models in all formats. Yes the Zeiss name is most commonly though of in regards of optics today, but traditionally it is a name of general photographic excellence.

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Old 05-13-2005   #35
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i fear the new cz camera and it's finder...i can't afford a brand new camera and hell will freeze over before i sell the p's to help finance it.

i will never look at or touch that camera!

oh hell, who am i kidding?

joe
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Old 05-13-2005   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flow
Can they just do that? BrcauseI thought that would be like the trademark already belong to Kyocera and if they want to use the Contax name don't they have to buy it back or something? Anyhoo I dunno how this works. But I just think it is weird you mentioned that kyocera just discontinued Contax but another company can just freely use the name.
Flow, the trademark never belonged to Kyocera. It was licensed to them by Carl Zeiss, who retained ownership of the Contax name. Kyocera, a highly diversified mega-corporation, has decided to pull out of the film camera business. So, Zeiss can now do with the name whatever they want since they still own it.
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Old 05-13-2005   #37
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Good. Call it a Contax. Make it have a big viewfinder. Then put a Contax Mount on it. If it is not going to use a Contax mount, leave the name as-is.

The bad-mouthing Leica-Lovers at PNEt are still mad that Contax Kicked Leica's Xenon butt's with the Sonnar in the '30s and are afraid of a rematch. Zeiss steered off-course into the Contarex and Contaflex in the '50s. At least they have seen the error of their ways and want back into the RF business.
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Old 05-13-2005   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wlewisiii
Does this mean that there are CZ K-mount lenses out there?
No, though at least two early Pentax K lenses used Zeiss designs: the 15mm f/3.5 and the 28mm f/2. Zeiss later produced both lenses for the Yashica/Contax mount. There was also a Leica-branded version of the 15mm for the R mount. For a short time Pentax made the 15mm in M42 screwmount too.

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Old 05-13-2005   #39
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My understanding is Kyocera has exclusive rights to use the Contax brand for at least a couple more years. If true maybe Zeiss can buy back the name or negotiate some sort of agreement with Kyocera. Or maybe they'll just wait 'til the name reverts back to them anyway.

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Old 05-14-2005   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Sweeney
Good. Call it a Contax. Make it have a big viewfinder. Then put a Contax Mount on it. If it is not going to use a Contax mount, leave the name as-is.
Doh! My bad!!

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