OK...I'll take the bait on this one...
There's a difference between taking luminous-landscape seriously (something which I rarely do) and taking the PDF seriously (which I can do, as I have contacts in the business who can verify the existence of the ToCAD statement for me...see below for more on the possible veracity of ToCAD's statements).Originally Posted by Ian Grant
...which has been discredited directly by a rebuttal from Kyocera Japan.Originally Posted by Ian Grant
...but digital and 35mm aren't all there is to the Contax name.Originally Posted by Ian Grant
Ahhh...now we get to the meat of the matter. Go back and re-read the story carefully. The Zeiss official makes statements about wishing for Contax to live on if Kyocera does not wish to renew its Contax license. AP can "exclusively reveal that the brand's owner, Carl Zeiss, is keen to see the development of future Contax models and for the Contax name to live on." Now there's hard-hitting journalism for you! Wow! A company wants to protect a famous brand name! Who'd have thought that might happen?!?Originally Posted by Ian Grant
Where in any of this does it say Kyocera is no longer making cameras? Only in one, vaguely attributed statement, at the top of the article. Given that this is a magazine article and magazines have a significant lead time, this story was probably written when Kyocera Europe released the statement that they were getting out of the camera business. A statement that Kyocera Japan has since rebutted.
Where does it say Kyocera has relinquished the Contax name? It doesn't. In fact, it says quite the opposite.
It's poor journalism at its best: A nod, a wink, an insinuation, but no hard facts. The only thing in the whole article that's stated as a fact is almost certainly the result of the information that was released by Kyocera Europe; information which Kyocera Japan is denying.
Note this statement: "As we went to press, a senior representative of Karl Zeiss, which is based in Germany, was flying to Japan for a crucial meeting with Kyocera bosses to establish whether Kyocera intends to renew or relinquish its licence to use the Contax brand." It sounds to me like Kyocera still holds the Contax license and has not, as of yet, relinquished it. Further, Kyocera has put forth a statement that they will continue manufacturing the Contax professional film cameras (by which I'm assuming they mean the 645).
In an earlier message you stated, "These two companies know far more than ToCad who are one of many worldwide distributiors and have more of an interest in ensuring their customer keep ordering Contax equipment in the short term." Kyocera Europe is in the same boat as ToCAD here...they're both just distribution companies for Kyocera Japan. If you're willing to dismiss the ToCAD press release then you might want to think about the veracity of the Kyocera Europe statements as well.
I have no doubt that Kyocera was losing money on the digital and 35mm cameras, and that they've ceased production of those. I wouldn't even be surprised if Kyocera Japan dropped the Contax name and got out of the camera business completely. But the article that started this thread certainly doesn't do anything to prove that that's happened...the only direct statement (near the top of the article) is poorly attributed, the comments by the Zeiss spokesman are future-facing with no mention of the current situation, and the whole article smacks of sensationalism. Is Kyocera making cameras today? I don't know. You don't know. Neither did the writer of that article. Nobody knows outside of Kyocera Japan, and they're claiming that they intend to continue making the Contax "professional cameras" (whatever that means). Ten minutes from now we may read a press release stating the Kyocera has dropped all Contax products (a move that would be unsurprising at best), but at this moment they haven't done so.
Although this may have started through press releases before it became an Internet rumor, today that's all it is.
(And please note, I have no real skin in this game. Whether or not any of the Contax models is discontinued is unimportant to me. I just hate the kind of journalism that I see in that article, and the way in which these things swirl around the photography business creating panic. It's all too reminiscent of the recent flap over Ilford. The sky was falling then, but nobody actually got hit on the head. Go figure.)