Excellent comments, Mongo. Much food for thought. You are, in fact, slowing down my latest GAS attack.

Your comments about Hasselblad are right on the money. There was, in fact, another version of the X-pan (Fuji), but it wasn't distributed in the US. Mark up for Hasselblad - about 70%!!

I am not buying as an investment. I've never re-sold a camera I've owned. I still have my Canonet, bought almost 30 years ago - & still use it.

Regarding the lenses, where Leica lenses have had an advantage has been at full aperture - for some of their lenses. The Zeiss 45 Planar, for example, that was rated higher than Leica's 50 Summicron by photodo, was not a match for the Summicron at f/2. Due to the vagaries of the photodo formula, this was not reflected in their evaluation. One of the things that's exciting about the new Zeiss lenses is that the 50 Planar seems to be a better performer at f/2 than the 45 G version - judging by MTF ratings. ( Ihaven't seen pictures yet.) And Zeiss replaced the G-series Planar with a Biogon, which also seems to better performer that the 35 Planar. Both seem to be at least the equal or better than Leica equivalents even at f/2.

It will definitely be interesting to see if Cosina can benefit by the Zeiss R&D. It will be more difficult than in the past because in these cases previous equipment was either discontinued or was not a direct competitor - as in the case of the 1:1 finder from the Epson. The R3A was obviously no threat to R-D1 sales. I think that it will be more difficult for Cosina to rip off Zeiss in this case unless the ZI quickly tanks. In fact, it seems to me that Cosina has added a premium rangefinder line to its offerings with this move so that its line-up is now stratified - something that Leica should have done a long time ago, as you point out. This may keep the collaboration going for some time once the camera settles into a stabile price niche dictated by the market.

I have an opportunity to buy a Contax G2 with 3 lenses & flash real cheap + the cost of a minor repair. Maybe that's the way to go . . . & continue to play with my R2 for MF lenses. Much to think about.

Thanks again for all the good thoughts. Enjoy the day.