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Contax N Lenses vs Canon L Lenses

afranklin

Well-Known Member
Ben,

> I agree with Gilbert:"If you have to > go digital with new lenses why not buy those specifically designed for > digital?",

But that premise is simply wrong. None ARE designed "specifically" for digital, except as noted for the purpose of reducing the MTF for use with Interline sensors. The issue with the WA lenses does exist, but that does not mean the issue requires lense redesign for all other focal lengths specifically for digital...and interestingly enough, Canon hasn't redesigned their WA lenses specifically for digital...so where are all these lenses "specifically designed for digital"?

As I said, Nikon has specifically introduced new lenses to simply take into account the smaller image circle of the smaller sensor...having nothing to do with the use of a digital sensor, it has the same "effect" (purpose) if the camera simply used a smaller format film.

Regards,

Austin
 

benwang

Well-Known Member
Austin:

In some way I do agree with you, but I think the reason that the digital camera is not yet design for the digital photography is that the market has not yet invented this new model yet! We are still using our old conservitive mind and think that a good camera is an SLR camera. There are pros/cons for SLR and for film photography the market accepted it as the best design, hence the volume. For digital photography however, because the size of the sensor, and the electronic, an SLR may not be the best design for it, IMO, because of the smaller sensor size and there is no need to have mirror for the "reflex" action, the digital camera can be design to a much smaller item which the main market in the future will be accepted as the main stream. There really is no need to have a big item such as the SLR that we are currently using! Again IMO, I think Sony will do quite will with their new 8M camera which is CZ T* lens. If I were contax, I may not be putting a new SLR NDX or whatever, I may be think more on a GD! I think there is one last issue with digital photography, this is the colour reproduction. The film is still far better compare to digital and when that last issue is solved, then we can say bye bye to film and SLR

Ben
 

jsmisc

Well-Known Member
I thought that the new Olympus lenses for the E1 were specifically designed for digital. From all accounts, it is quite something although expensive.
John
 
E

ethersoup

> Hello all I bought into the N system (not having a good 35mm system at all) because I wanted Zeiss glass. I had used some older Zeiss contaflex cameras and loved the images I got. I figured hey why not get the N system, instead of the old, so that in the future I can take advantage of the new digital bodies.

Well, now I am wishing I had gone with the old mount. I am not happy with the NX I bought and dont think that the N1 is enouph of an improvement to justify spending the extra money. I might spend that money if I felt secure that this system was going to meet my needs in the future (inexpensive digital body etc..)I want a good MF 35mm body that doesn't use a ton of batteries. I wish to god that Contax would release a good manual focus basic body, possibly w/manual shutter much like the Nikon FM3a for the N system. I would have bought into the Nikon system had I been impressed with any of the glass I had used with it. I am wishing I would have investigated the Cannon or Leica system more before going with Contax as I may have been happy with that glass.

regretfully yours Kevin
 

will8700

Member
Well, there are always the S2 and the S2b.... See the review/discussion o= n Photo.net re comparisons with the Nikon.
 

coyot

Well-Known Member
> Kevin, I don't own the NX, but do have the N1. I have found it an exceptional camera, with the only flaw that autofocus in low light can sometimes hunt. But, unlike other brands, you just manually focus, without having to hit any switch on the lens! There is no, I repeat NO terrible battery consumption. It works great. I use the "M" setting on the back of the camera, and hit the back button to autofocus. This works great. This is the same way I have set up the AX to autofocus. I have no complaints about the N1. Great, great camera. Sorry your NX is disappointment.

Michael.
 
M

mike_nunan

Kevin,

It has an electronic shutter (albeit with fixed-speed 1/50th sec emergency manual speed) and no shutter priority mode, in case you care about that, but it sounds like you need an RTS II. There are plenty of good ones still around, and they aren't that expensive. The build quality is second to none, and the handling -- well I can't think of a camera that is more natural to use or seems to ellicit fewer operator errors (not something I could ever say about my EOS-1v, much as I love that camera for what it's good at).

HTH

-= mike =-
 

afranklin

Well-Known Member
Hi John,

> I thought that the new Olympus lenses for the E1 were specifically > designed for digital.

I would believe they were designed for the E1/E1's sensor size...but as far as being "designed FOR digital", I'm skeptical.

Regards,

Austin
 
J

jgban

Kevin,
For what it's worth, I was somewhat disappointed initially with my NX, but now that I am used to it I am very happy. I just wish it was easier to switch metering modes (and I wish it had real spot metering...). I bought it hoping to invest on the N lenses for when the ND came along.
Alas, the ND came and went, and now we can only hope Kyocera will not opt out of the digital SLR business...What are your specific complaints abot the NX?
(We should move this to another thread)

Juan
 
D

ddai

I have only VS28-70 and 70-200 with NX. The image quality outperforms Canon's 28-105 IS and 80-200 F/4 (on EOS 3). I mainly shoot casual portraits and make enlargements to 12" by 18". The resolution, color rendering and contrast goes to Zeiss, but the L lens wins the color saturation. As I do not have a chance to use the higher end of CZ lens, but these lower end can at least rival to Canon L lens. (I still wonder why N series do not have fast lenses with constant - not floating - aperture, which has long been achieved with all secondary lens brands like Sigma, Tamron etc.).

However, NX the body is not so easy to use. While it's good to have CF functions, there's no hints telling what is what on the LCD. (Minolta does a good thing with its Dynax 7). The switches for Focusing mode, Metering mode, Exposure mode and Drive mode is really a mess (the adjustment differs with white and green modes). As a remedy, it has two program modes: the white and green, thus you can easily switch between certain sets of combination.

In green mode I choose: Programed Exposure and Evaluative Metering (and display and exposure difference with Spot metering for judgement aid); in white mode I choose: Av Exposure and CWA Metering (needs AEL when recomposing). The bad thing is that I can only read the exposure compensation on the top LCD, just a pity neither N1 nor NX provide two sets of CF memories. Another convenient function is the one time AF mode which set you free from locking the focus).

To echo previous post, I found the Spot meterig gives almost similar exposure values to the CWA one. I doubt the CWA weighting should be no less than 80% for the centric parts, and the remaining 20% is inadequate to influence the minimum 1/3 or 1/2 Ev value -- in calculation it takes as much as 2.5 Ev difference from the centric to influence 1/3Ev adjustment for the overall exposure value: (1.33-0.8)/20%). I guess this is why the two metering fall in the same results.

If you like CZ lenses, you've got to live with the bodies. Things are just not perfect (if it were anyway, why would there be competitors), which gives fun to the fans of various brand names. After all, differences are not so important whereas they're not handicaps.
 

rico

Well-Known Member
Kevin,

I avoid Contax N because of bulk, slow AF, limited selection, and price. The ND allows use of WA primes without sensor crop but... there are no WA primes in the N system!

Canon owns the world when it comes to 35mm SLR: rapid deployment of film and digital bodies, a huge selection of glass, automation, IS, most patents per annum after IBM. I accept the situation, and have the D30 DSLR with consumer primes. For superior optics and photographic pleasure, however, I use the C/Y system.

I don't believe an "inexpensive digital body" will come from Kyocera - good chance the N system is dead altogether. C/Y equipment, being more mechanical in nature, is viable in the 2nd-hand market for a few more decades, so big deal if Kyocera pulls the plug.

Suggestion: dump the NX on Ebay. Pick up a factory-fresh Aria with 2nd-hand D28/2.8 and P50. Cheaper than Leica M, and just as light and fun. For digital, save pennies for Canon DSLR, or just get the P&S del giorno.
 
M

mikel

Well, technically it gets off-topic, but AFAIK most of Canon's patents are not exactly related to photo/video industry applications. They're primarily in their business division - advanced copiers, printers, etc. AND, many of them are actually patents filed by Canon USA, while there is also a chunk of patents that are simply "bought" (somebody out there in Russia has wonderful idea, but nobody seems to be interested. He doesn't have money to file for patent, but voila - Canon finds him and makes him an offer for his invention. In exchange he drops all the rights to invention and Canon files for patent! Standard thing among major Japanese companies by the way)

Now, getting back to NX. I handled one in store after using N1 for a while (which I now sold). My impression was - bad engineering. NX doesn't handle as well as N1, doesn't seem to be as easy to use and lacks number of features that N1 does without being so much cheaper. In short - I didn't like it rightaway. I think that for anyone that considers N-system now it would be a much better idea to get used N1, instead of brand new NX.

Mike.
 

jsmisc

Well-Known Member
Thanks Austin. That sounds as though it might be a subtle difference which people (including me)generally have not appreciated maybe because of loose reporting or advertising. "Designed for digital" is a sweeping statement.
In fact the Olympus site has the following quote.

"Because the medium of film is very tolerant, there was no need to equip lenses with very high resolving power in the past. But with digital sensors, this has changed.

Conventional lens systems simply do not deliver the lens resolution necessary for electronic sensors. They often have a resolution of only around 10 microns. However, because modern multi-megapixel cameras often have a pixel pitch of just 5 or 6 microns or less, overlapping and quality losses are the result. Therefore, the full theoretical performance of the sensor cannot be used. The problem is exacerbated with a greater number of pixels and a smaller sensor size.

All lenses designed for the Four Thirds standard ensure the image sensor is not wanting. The ultra-fine resolution attained through special manufacturing processes guarantees full sensor performance."

which to me bears out what you say through implication although the quote doesn't specifically say so.
John
P.S. Sorry if this subject is off topic Dirk. If so, I'll be quiet about it now or could it be moved to the appropriate thread.
 

singlo

Active Member
Yeah I don't personally like the control layouts of the NX either. It doesn't feel right without the classic exposure compensation and shutter speed dials. That's why I bought the N1. I still think autofocus speed of N1 is pretty good but it is not fast enough for sport. At one point I almost dumped my Canon AF system because I own too many AF and manual Zeiss lenses. But then I bought the Canon EF 300mm f2.8 L: its incredible autofocous speed combined with the EOS-3 really blows my mind away--even I personally not a big fan of autofocus. It opens up a new world of photographic possiblities for me: flying birds, wildlife and sport action. So I am happy to keep both my Contax and Canon system now.
 

afranklin

Well-Known Member
Hi John,

> "Because the medium of film is very tolerant, there was no need to > equip lenses with very high resolving power in the past. But with > digital sensors, this has changed. > > Conventional lens systems simply do not deliver the lens resolution > necessary for electronic sensors. They often have a resolution of only > around 10 microns. However, because modern multi-megapixel cameras > often have a pixel pitch of just 5 or 6 microns or less, overlapping > and quality losses are the result. Therefore, the full theoretical > performance of the sensor cannot be used. The problem is exacerbated > with a greater number of pixels and a smaller sensor size. > > All lenses designed for the Four Thirds standard ensure the image > sensor is not wanting. The ultra-fine resolution attained through > special manufacturing processes guarantees full sensor performance."

Their claim of film lenses having low resolution is ONLY true for P&S and low end film cameras, which are now being replaced by digital cameras...so in that realm, ONLY, that statement is true.

Good film lenses can resolve to much better than 10 microns! Only the low end/P&S digital cameras have the smaller sensor cell sizes (at least for now) as they use Interline sensors, which give lower image quality (for reasons other than simply the smaller sensor size...as an aside, the larger the sensor cell, the better the image quality, in most cases). The 6M Contax full frame camera sensor size is 2k x 3k, which, 2k over a 1" space gives a sensor size of around 20 microns (if I did my arithmatic correctly)! A 3k x 4k sensor would have a sensor size of around 13 microns.

The Interline/P&S etc. sensor elements are much smaller (at the sacrifice of image quality, so it's reasonably ironic they claim to be improving the lenses in order to use sensors of lower quality...instead of using better sensors). Let's say a 2k x 3k sensor that is 1/4th the size of a full frame sensor (I'm not sure what the physical size/resolution is of the sensor Olympus is using), would mean 5 micron sensor cell size...so in order to use the cheaper Interline sensors, and even get reasonable images, they had to make better cheap lenses.

Regards,

Austin
 

jsmisc

Well-Known Member
Hi Austin,
Thanks for your reply. It makes interesting reading (although I got a bit lost in the technical bits despite your trying to make it simple for me!). I had suspected that a larger sensor would give better images as in a larger negative gives a better image and that was why everyone enthuses over the idea of a full size sensor - full size preumably being the size of a 35mm negative.
So I think what you are saying in effect is that companies should develop larger sensors to give better quality and we would be able to use existing lenses without the magnification which currently results from using small sensors.
On that line of thinking, it sounds as though the Olympus is something of a compromise in designing around a small sensor.
Cheers,
John
 

coyot

Well-Known Member
>Rico,

To say the N system is "dead" is silly. Just like saying the CY system is "dead". There are lenses available, there is support available, there are bodies available. Both systems still take great photos. The N system has the added advantage of also having a digital solution. While the ND may not currently be manufactured, if you look hard enough, you can find a body. And the ND takes great shots.

You say that you avoid the N1 because of bulk, slow AF, limited selection and price. hmmm. I found the N1 to be reasonably priced, especailly if you buy it used. And, of course it opens up all the Zeiss lenses for your use. The AF is very good. Perhaps not superior to Canon, and not even as good as Canon, but still very good. The bulk statement, I can't even begin to understand.

Michael.
 

benwang

Well-Known Member
I agree with Michael. I think the N1 is very alive and kicking! When I first purchase N1 two years ago, It was a rare site to spot other N1 users. However, two weeks ago, I was taking some fireworks photo, at the same connor, there were two N1 and one Nx which to my surprise normally dominant by nikon and canon. It was a contax connor which I found very rare.
The Male's eyes biologically are in certain percentages colour blinded and canon's lenses help us even less. By simplly look though the view finder, with comparison to CZ, I find it hard to pick up a subject to take photo. using canon lenses, it is a simple flat world.

I was happy before, but now I see light, and will never go back!

Ben
 

johnw

Member
With regard to the NX, so far I Iike mine. I got it during the May Contax sales event as a foothold in the N system betting on the next N digital SLR. Cheap investment. I didn't like menu driven" cameras, but so far I like the front command dial and rear roller dial. I can see exactly how much exposure compensation in the viewfinder, and with practice I can change metering modes - hit the left button on the camera top, 2 clicks down on the rear roller dial, then navigate horizontally with the front dial, and hit the button again - without taking my eye off the viewfinder. You do need to look at the LED for some of the menu, but it's all very simple and intuitive, like most contaxes. I still like my MF contaxes best, especially the ST for its utter simplicity and one-lever metering mod and AEL. I just don't use autofocus much at this time.
 

johnw

Member
OOPS, I meant hit the RIGHT button on the camera top.

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