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Thread: Zeiss Ikon

  1. #11

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    A condition of this deal is that certain Zeiss equipment be used for the assembly of the lenses and I assume body components also,I have enough Leica bodies to last a few lifetimes but the Zeiss monitored lenses will deserve a close look.
    We tend to lose sight of the fact that for those of us who shoot mostly B&W the older single coated lenses are often more desirable.
    Mark
    Mark Layne
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    and Barbados

  2. #12

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    I expect something special

    When Zeiss started ti have cameras made by Yashica I was not expecting a decent camera only something mediocre. How wrong i was. I thnik that if Zeiss and Cosina together will produce oustanding products. The new Z1 is claimed to have the brightest viewfinder on the marlet. The lens line has the intent of being the best 35mm lenses on the market. I expect that they will be unusaully good. The focussing is said on Zeiss's website to be especially good.

    I think that this will be a real interesting devlopment if Leica is able to have the financial resources to compete with Zeiss.

    For those of you who are used to using MFT charts check out the download section...particualrly the 35mm f 2.0 Biogon.

  3. #13

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    Claire, I think that an interesting wrinkle with these lenses is the minimum focus distance on the wide angles. I don't know if they will be the best lenses on the market, but they will be the only RF lenses to focus at a distance of 0.5 meters & the ZI is the only body that is rangefinder coupled to accomplish this. It was one thing to do this with the autofocus & telescoping viewfinder on the Contax G/2 (which they did), but it is something else to do it on a manual focus body with a traditional viewfinder. To also be parallax corrected (at least for 28 mm frame lines) for this close a distance & with a base line this long is unique on the rangefinder market. Zeiss is charging an arm & a leg for the ausiliary finders, but of couse these are the onbly ones that will show the close view at 19 inches.

  4. #14
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    Regarding the use of Zeiss equipment for assembly of the ZI: This would stop Cosina from re-badging the camera directly as a Bessa, but wouldn't stop them from developing their own, similar equipment. The contract between Zeiss and Cosina will determine whether or not that's possible, and I suspect (from past behavior) that Cosina will do everything in their power to take the "best" of the ZI camera for a new generation of Bessa bodies.

    Bill - I really don't intend to stop you from buying the camera...the truth is that it will likely be a wonderful piece of equipment. I think it's overpriced...but that's just me. If the extra price was buying something that I thought was of value (i.e., build quality that rivals Leica) then I'd have no problem with it...but I think a lot of the price is due to non-value-added processes in the supply chain (like Hasselblad's involvement).

    I should tell you that I have a G with the 28, 45, and 90 lenses...although I don't need the autofocus or auto film handling, it was the cheapest way to get into some of the best glass in the world without getting into another SLR system. The images from the G are...well...amazing. I wish it had a better manual focus option, but I understand why it doesn't and I've been willing to live with that limitation. Since 99% of my work is in B&W I don't see the color difference between the Zeiss glass and the Leica glass, and that seems to be the only real-world difference in quality between the images. (If there is any difference in performance between these lenses in B&W, I challenge anyone to prove it in a double-blind test. You may find a very small advantage in one lens over the other at a certain aperture, but real-world images simply don't show the difference. Test charts might, but I don't spend much time shooting those.)

    The G cameras are pretty incredible, and capable of work as good as anything out there in 35mm once you've learned to use them properly. (Like all equipment, it's best to learn how it's meant to work, not to try to make it work the way that you do.) Their ability to focus down to 0.5m (except for the 90mm, which focuses to 1m) is a nice touch, as is the auto-parallax adjustment on the viewfinder.

    But the G cameras are different from everything else out there. Manual focus is through a distance scale, with no in-finder indication of focus other than numeric feedback. This is very different than the standard manual-focus rangefinders, and you have to get used to it. But you can, if you want to.

    Be well.
    Dave
    Film is cheap. Opportunities are priceless.

  5. #15

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    Mongo, how does $500 + $150 to replace the eyepiece sound for the same set you have, including the flash?

  6. #16
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    I think youll be suprised. It will be as good a quality as Leica. Cosina wont be able to "copy" the Ziess equipment, theyre machines MADE by Zeiss. So theyd have to buy these at a huge expense from Zeiss.

    Cosina obviously have very good manufacturing processes in place, and this is why the cost is low.

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Biogon Bill
    Mongo, how does $500 + $150 to replace the eyepiece sound for the same set you have, including the flash?
    Sounds like a much better price than I paid!

    If you could get the lenses for the $500 and add a used body (KEH has some great deals on used G2 bodies right now), you'd still be ahead of what I paid.

    Just make sure it's only the eyepiece that need work. (It's my understanding that the service is much better now that Tocad's taken it over, so getting the camera fixed shouldn't be a big issue any more.)
    Film is cheap. Opportunities are priceless.

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by snaggs
    I think youll be suprised. It will be as good a quality as Leica. Cosina wont be able to "copy" the Ziess equipment, theyre machines MADE by Zeiss. So theyd have to buy these at a huge expense from Zeiss.

    Cosina obviously have very good manufacturing processes in place, and this is why the cost is low.
    Can you tell me what, exactly, you base these statements on?

    As good as Leica? When it comes to build quality, that's an extremely bold proposition, especially considering that nobody has even seen the final production model yet. We know that the basic structure of the camera is based on the Bessa series...but nobody outside of the R&D and production groups yet knows just how much of the camera will be built on Cosina equipment and how much will be built on Zeiss eqiupment. If it was all being built on Zeiss equipment, Cosina wouldn't be needed at all. The fact that they're involved leads me to believe that at least part of the camera is simply a recycled Bessa.

    As to Cosina not being able to "copy" the Zeiss equipment...why not? It's just equipment. Do parts of it exist in an alternative dimension that only Zeiss has the keys to? It may be expensive for Cosina to copy the equipment...but my guess is they'll look for a way to make equipment that produces similar results without copying the Zeiss equipment. Give them a year or two and see what they're doing under the Bessa name.
    Film is cheap. Opportunities are priceless.

  9. #19

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    I for one will be watching the ZI very closely. If it were not an M mount, it would be a different story, of course, but the 28mm framelines and long rangefinder base are worth a lot to me. I agree that the first year (give or take) will be very important wrt reliability, alignments, other adjustments, fit and finish/overall quality, feel in the hand, etc.

    I wonder if Zeiss has written things into their contract with Cosina to protect the brand by prohibiting Cosina from transferring the tooling, or features into a Bessa-badged product.
    Honey, I promise no more searching eBay for cameras.

  10. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mongo
    Sounds like a much better price than I paid!

    If you could get the lenses for the $500 and add a used body (KEH has some great deals on used G2 bodies right now), you'd still be ahead of what I paid.

    Just make sure it's only the eyepiece that need work. (It's my understanding that the service is much better now that Tocad's taken it over, so getting the camera fixed shouldn't be a big issue any more.)
    Mongo, you're not kidding about the difference in service since Tocad took over. I walked away from this deal several months ago - even though the price was too good to refuse - because no one at the Contax division of Kyocera would even answer the phone! Nor return calls.I didn't want to buy a damaged body without knowing the potential long term effects on the camera. I've since talked with Tocad & they've been very helpful. Unfortunately the seller has now become very difficult to reach. I'll persevere.
    Last edited by Biogon Bill; 04-21-2005 at 11:51 AM. Click to view previous post history.

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