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Digital Zeiss Ikon - No Dice! ...for now
Old 10-23-2009   #1
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Digital Zeiss Ikon - No Dice! ...for now

Talked to the Zeiss sales rep today at Photo Expo here in NYC. The question of a digital Zeiss Ikon was brought up. While he admitted that there is certainly room for a D-RF in the $2500-3000 range, it was not within the means of Zeiss to introduce such a product at this time.

Basically he said that Zeiss wouldn't be able to make profits on it. He also told me that Zeiss Ikon's just don't fly off the shelves. It's a niche product, but I guess we already knew that. He did add that the market for photography is vastly different in Japan, allowing for far more film based equipment.

He DID say that there are plans to expand the ZF line, including lenses around a 180, 135 focal length (the 180 will probably be macro). He also showed me very cool Hasselblad to Nikon F and Canon mount adaptors (Zeiss does not make these). I played with a Zeiss 'classic' 50mm Distagon 4 (the optical design of which is quite literally tattooed on my forearm) on a 5D. VERY COOL!

Also concerning CZ and Ziess/Sony, it seems that CZ lenses are more tightly controlled than their Sony counterparts. Zeiss employs people at the Cosina factory to make their lenses and test them, while Sony's own employee's make and test those lenses, based on Zeiss designs - very interesting, to me anyway.

Don't know if any of this was new info to ya'll, but it got me excited about quality MF lenses in the age of 51 auto focus points.

Also, the Leica booth was phenomenal, with extremely impressive large scale C-Prints on Endura paper from the X1, M9 and S2. In all three cases...I was in awe.
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Old 10-23-2009   #2
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Thanks for this. I've been too busy with work requests (lotsa dead hard drives to deal with this week) to make it to Photo Expo this time 'around, though admittedly there were only one or two items that had potential draw for me (the Panasonic GF-1 and, less seriously, Leica's M9). Sounds like the Zeiss booth was worthwhile as well, and their candor regarding a too-often-rumored "digi-Ikon" is appreciated.

Back to my tech-wrenching...


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Old 10-24-2009   #3
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Thanks also for the possible side news about ZF lenses..
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Old 10-24-2009   #4
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Thanks for posting this. I didn't think it likely that a digital ZI would show up, but I did have a little bit of hope.

Now I can look more confidently at an M8 in the new year.
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Old 10-24-2009   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sper View Post
I played with a Zeiss 'classic' 50mm Distagon 4 (the optical design of which is quite literally tattooed on my forearm) on a 5D. VERY COOL!
Was the rep impressed by your tat? I think we need to see a picture of it.
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Old 10-24-2009   #6
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It was a little new in this picture so that's why it looks a bit blotchy. It healed well though and now looks great. I'm very happy with it, and it complements the aperture on my other arm. And speaking of the aperture on my other arm, people don't ask me if this one is the Chase Bank symbol :-)
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Old 10-24-2009   #7
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The Zeiss digi IS here and its called the RD-1s.
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Old 10-24-2009   #8
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Is this the ASPH version?
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Old 10-24-2009   #9
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Haha, it's which ever version Zeiss has coupled with their info page about the 50mm Distagon ƒ4 for Hasselblad.

The sales rep, by the way, did recognize it as a distagon, but couldn't guess which lens. He like it I think, and snapped a photo.
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