2005 Contax Predictions

kdemas

Well-Known Member
OK, the guys on the deck of the Titanic could play music until they were breathing water so why don't we have some fun here and take a few guesses as to what 2005 will hold for the Contax brand. I'll lead off the hit parade with some fairly uneducated, but heartfelt, predictions.

Here goes:

1) C/Y mount is completely discontinued. With the cancellation of the Aria and RX2 I may be stating the obvious but I have to get one right in this list ;-)

2) G-series remains and sees some price adjustment in the body. The G still moves a bit and with some incentives it can continue to be viable. Longshot prediction had a digital G, though this is about as likely as Kim Jung Il visiting the states for vacation.

3) N Mount survives with a "low priced" digital body in the $2500 area. The camera is not full frame but is quite competitive with the mid-level DSLRs such as the 20D and the soon to be released Nikon D200. Maybe 8 megapixels sounds about right.

4) New distributor actually creates SOME relationship with vendors.

Here's to hoping for a better 2005 and happy shooting to all


Kent
 

dirk

CI-Founder
Kent,

as a positive sidenote: even if the Titanic is/might be sinking, Contaxinfo.com will stay alive and look like a sunny island for all Contax enthusiast in the boat


Thanks to the continious support of all members, we are able to stay alive. With or without new products does not matter to us in this regard. Contaxinfo was, is and will be the nicest Contax place on the internet.
 

kdemas

Well-Known Member
Dirk,

How right you are! I am going to continue to use and enjoy my Contax equipment regardless of what may, or may not be, in the pipe.

Thanks to you for keeping the forum interesting and a place to learn about all things Contax.

Cheers,

Kent
 

karl2003t

New Member
Ladies and Gentlemen:

The Titanic has sunk. Kyocera Optics has handed over it's distributorhips and camera repair duties to the American sub of a Japanese company. See
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
. They will still fix cameras.

K
 

dirk

CI-Founder
There is a company called ToCad that took over the responsibility for this as far as I understood this.

I do not know whether this is a temporary solution until restructuring is completed or a final solution, which would give the impression that Kyocera is leaving the photomarket worldwide completely. I hope that there will be at least at "Focus" in the UK next week-end an official statement ready. I do not expect any announcements during the PMA...

If no official statement comes over the next weeks, I would not be surprised to see stronger actions from Zeiss. This would be only logic. Zeiss is with the back on the wall. They waited too long to avoid this situation.

Now Zeiss has no real active cooperation partner anymore.

- Rollei has not ordered new Zeiss designs for years. They work closer now with Schneider Kreuznach.

- Hasselblad decided for Fuji for the H1 system. I do not know whether there are new lens designs in the pipeline for the Hasselblad V-system, but I doubt it.

- Kyocera seems to leave the place

- Only left is now Sony. But Sony is a mss-market player. This brings good money to Zeiss, because of huge quantities. But there is - at least not at the moment - no Sony DSLR with Zeiss lens on the horizont.

So Zeiss is not really "present" in the photo-market for the advanced amateur or professional. IMO this is the reason why they started now with the Zeiss-Ikon system. To gain back the reputation and to show their interest in the camera-market.

But in case that Kyocera is leaving (which seems to be the case) and Zeiss does not find soon a new cooperation partner, they will have big trouble with their photo-division...
 

jsmisc

Well-Known Member
Yes and I have noticed that the Sony cameras which have Zeiss lenses do not have T star coating. The coating contributes to much of the benefit of Zeiss lenses. Let's hope that Focus has good rather than bad news. As mentioned earlier, both Kyocera and Contax are separately listed as exhibiting.
 

fotografz

Well-Known Member
Thanks Dirk. The ways of big, impersonal corporations are always a mystery.

Zeiss has all this ability and expertise and no where to apply it.
"All dressed up and no place to go", so to speak. Think if it had been Zeiss lenses on the H-1 along with Imacon dedicated digital backs. I would've dumped my Contax 645 long ago with a choice like that.

Now it's a quandary as full frame 645 digital backs with no tether become available. Stay with Contax 645 for the Zeiss glass, or surrender to fate and go H-1 with Fuji lenses? Will Contax support it's products into the future? Who will repair them? A distribution company? Yikes!
 
S

spluff

Actually John,

Whilst both Contax and Kyocera are listed on the Exhibitor list, if you look at the stand map, you will only see Kyocera Yashica listed.

Personally, I'm not hoping for a lot to come out of the show - but I'll be there quizzing them!!

Cheers, Saras
 

jsmisc

Well-Known Member
Hmmm, I see what you mean Saras, stand E31 and not even a very large stand at that. Presumably they mean that they will be exhibiting Contax products (we hope) on the Kyocera Yashica stand, or maybe it was just a slip. Never mind. I did think it was strange that Contax should be listed separately but I was full of hope that this augured well for us with a boosting of the marque - hope dashed, I shouldn't try to swim against the tide.
Unfortunately I can't get to the show but I'd certainly be interested in what Kyocera have to say. I expect that we all would. I hope that you enjoy the show.
All the best,
John
 

wang

Well-Known Member
Just a message to Mr Strain. Sony DSC828 has T* coating. My 717 don't but I have use it extensively and it rarely fares.Its performance matches many of my T* C-Y lens on my canon 10D. The limiting factor in my 717 is the noisy sensor. The lens is very good indeed. I do sometimes wonder if the lens in my 717 is essentialy T stared but they might not be able to write it down for some unknown reason.
 

jsmisc

Well-Known Member
Thank you Wang. That is interesting to know. Have you tried the DSC828? It has many appealing features but I read that it suffers badly from noise and from purple fringing along with all the curent 8MP bridge cameras which apparently use the same Sony sensor- too many pixels on too small a sensor. The concept of a fixed wide range xoom camera does appeal to me if the electronic viewfinders could be improved. Although I did correspond with someone who reckons that EVF's are great as they show a processed image and he can use the tilting screen to takeke candid shots easily.
John
 

mohican

Well-Known Member
Dirk,
> - Hasselblad decided for Fuji for the H1 system.
> I do not know whether there are new lens designs
> in the pipeline for the Hasselblad V-system, but
> I doubt it.


I find it quite odd that Hasselblad went with Fuji for H1 and THEN decided to become a distributor (and I imagine design/development partner) for new Zeiss Ikon. I don't quite understand their thinking on this...

> - Kyocera seems to leave the place

Kyocera has been ignoring their customers for a long time in pretty much every market. Just find few people that use Kyocera cell phones and prepare to hear a story very similar to that of Contax users. And I also had some experience with their printers, so I can tell you now that as long as you stick to Xerox or HP you will be much happier.

So, as far as I'm concerned, I'm actually happy to see Kyocera go out of the picture. I would really like to see some life in manual-focus camera line and maybe couple new lenses. Neither are possible as long as Kyocera is around.


> - Only left is now Sony. But Sony is a
> mass-market player. This brings good money to
> Zeiss, because of huge quantities. But there is
> - at least not at the moment - no Sony DSLR with
> Zeiss lens on the horizont.

Sony is not only a mass-market player, they're also plagued by the same "we don't need to ask our customers" syndrome that many big Japanese companies are known for. With practically every product Sony introduced, they assumed that this is it, they're going to become an undisputable leader and they're untouchable. Best ex&les are in home entertainment and digital camera markets.

Sony brings out PS2 and sits on its laurels. Then Microsoft hits with Xbox and Nintendo with GameCube. Sony is starting to hurt and can't figure out how did it happen.

Sony releases bunch of digital still cameras with
Zeiss lenses, a bunch of bells and whistles and lots of advertisement, but then Kodak catches up with them in 2004 without much fanfare.

And we can all remember the Betacam story and also the DVD wars.

So, don't expect Sony to be able to produce something that would suit serious hobbyists and professionals alike in digital camera market. If that happens it would be more of an odd luck than a good thinking on part of Sony.

> So Zeiss is not really "present" in the
> photo-market for the advanced amateur or
> professional. IMO this is the reason why they
> started now with the Zeiss-Ikon system. To gain
> back the reputation and to show their interest
> in the camera-market.

This is surely an odd way to regain reputation by partnering with a company with dubious reputation for quality. How many people would have expected Cosina to produce Zeiss lenses several years ago?
And do you realize that the $1600-a-piece Zeiss Ikon made by Cosina will be coming with a 1-year warranty only? They're so certain of its "quality" that they're not willing to provide longer warranty for it? $1600 Canon EOS-1V comes with 3-year warranty and it's a much more complicated camera!

> But in case that Kyocera is leaving (which seems
> to be the case) and Zeiss does not find soon a
> new cooperation partner, they will have big
> trouble with their photo-division...

I think they already do. Their bigger hope right now is cine lenses.
 

mohican

Well-Known Member
Gavin,

Manual focus lenses may possibly be a dead-end market for many MASS-manufacturers. Not so for Leica and Contax, which aren't mass manufacturers for a very long time now. And also look at Voigtlander with their newly manufactured SLR camera with manual focus lenses. It's a niche market, but it's a niche market where money can be made with little investment in R&D and almost zero advertisement costs. Considering that strictly speaking manual-focus line is absolutely complete, it only needs some design updates for select lenses. For instance, I'd love to see a redesigned Planar 85mm f/1.4 that would use some of the know-how they're now implementing in Sonnar 85mm f/2.0 for Zeiss Ikon (such as floating elements for more precise focus and aberration control) as well as any improvements that can be incorporated into Planar 50mm f/1.4 (which is already excellent, but even better control of chromatic aberrations and even less distortion would be great).


Most of the people that would consider Contax already know what is it all about. There are practically no new users coming into this system. And even 5 years ago their sales weren't exactly anywhere near sales levels of the Big-5 camera manufacturers.

The interest in Contax gear is right now among the current users of Contax systems. And that's the only niche where Contax as a brand can make money.

If Kyocera quits the market completely (which is where they're headed I believe), it will be up to Zeiss what to do about it, since they own the Contax trademark. At the moment I don't believe that they actually will do anything about it. They may get back into it several years from now though. The question would be if anyone would be interested in buying something then...
 
S

spluff

Funnily enough I spoke to Frazer Allen at the Focus on Imaging Show - and he was very courteous & helpful about a range of Contax queries I had.

He mentioned to someone else that the 35mm range was dead - although he seemed to imply it included the N range as well - but I could be wrong. Also, he did mention the 645 Mark II and that part of it included discussions with digital back designers - so perhaps there is a joint effort to come out?

Others on the stand appeared to be more Kyocera rather than Contax. Speaking to one of them, his view was firstly "watch this space" and secondly that the future of Contax lay with Zeiss - read what you will into that!!

Cheers, Saras
 

fotografz

Well-Known Member
I really am sad about the demise of the 35mm, but there are other alternatives. However, the Contax 645 is another matter. It's much more important to me personally, and to my business. Hope they follow through on the 645II version. Not that I believe they will.
 
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