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 ƒ4 (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.