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> [I sense a great polarization beginning in photography circles. Traditionalists and Modernists. I classify myself in the former and want little to do with digital photography other than to use it to send photos of the dog to my daughter via the internet. Last quality camera I would ever buy would be a G digital. I hope Kyocera doesn't tarnish the great Contax G system by introducing a digital version. Unless at the same time they continue their support of std G system by including a camera body with the wish list items for a film version G-3. If they must have a camera that uses G lenses then call it something else like a D system for digital. Making a digital G cheapens the system. ]
I do not want to sound harsh, but this published rumour is worth nothing. That is why I did not publish it here.
It is obvious that Contax is looking at every camera system they own, whether it can be used for digital photography or not. This is common sense.
And at image-resource they do not say anything else then Contax is looking at the possibility. This is the same news level as they would say: Nikon is looking at possibilities to bring out new digital cameras.
In my opinion, this is only a poor try of image-resource to get attention. But these are definitely no "news".
But I appreciate your heads up, since I can not have my eyes everywhere. I just want to manage expectations here on the interenet.
Although I don't tend to consider myself a Traditionalist, I have similar feelings about digital: as a recently retired software developer, it's too much a "bus driver's holiday". Also, despite all protestations to the contrary, the quality isn't even close yet - try comparing an original Adams/Weston/etc. contact with any "gigapixel" digital equivalent.
However, the ease with which digital images can be adjusted has, for me, diminished the pleasure of both practicing and viewing photography. I guess that's my problem to work through.
I share your sentiments. Sorry if this goes a bit off topic, but I'll try to be brief.
I know the digital camera age is here to stay. I have witnessed many of the local (within 150 miles) camera shops and professional labs going under due to the lack of business and the changes of the digital age. I had friends at a few of these places and I feel for them. They have watched their clients switch over to in-house digital, and not need them any longer. It is like the horse and buggy being pushed aside by the automobile in some ways. I have even advised in a small business discussioin group that I belong to that this change is upon us and tried to help a few people realise that now is not a stellar time to break into a new business that offers professional scanning services (of negs and 35 mm slides) to professional photographers. I've had experience shooting with the new digital studio stuff....I've really enjoyed learning how the Better Light system mates up with a Sinar View camera, done a few shoots with it ... neat stuff (wish I owned it). And, I've done a little shooting with a Fuji Digital system (35 mm type) as well...borrowed from another studio.
You'd think by all this that I'm ready to jump headlong into the digital age. But, you'd be wrong if you guessed that. I'm not ready. I don't get a warm fuzzy feeling when viewing my work taken digitally. It all needs so much manipulation to come up to snuff yet. I'm very good with photoshop, don't get me wrong, but I don't WANT to need to use it on my images. I enjoy looking at a transparency and seeing the colors as I expect them, and knowing when I go to produce a brochure that the colors have to come up to the transparency I'm holding on to. I hope you know what I mean. I won't ramble on about it any more. I am resigned that digital is here, I sort of like it, but I don't want to give up my transparencies either.
(Ah, one minor note...I helped a friend get their university set up with a new better light digital system for archiving their collections. Please be aware, that I've learned that the Smithsonian (we compared their methods for sake of reference) not only does digital archives of everything in their collections...But..they also do transparencies and hold those off site in a secure location as a "just in case" step. The images that they archive to disk will eventually be out of date with technology, and they will need to make further copies (transfer the digital files) to new media as technology changes. Please know that the CD's that we can burn to on our desktops have a shelf life of about 5 - 8 years (best quality) and they degrade, the surface coating is different than the pre-recorded music CD's you buy. DVD's have a longer life, but again, technology will change, and if you want your images to last 100 years (like Ansel Adams) then you will need to keep up with technology and make sure your digital images are always readable. )
Sorry, this was a longer post than I intended. Hope it was somewhat helpful to someone.
> [Lynn, thanks for your post. Glad to see I'm not the only one. I agree with you about the image stability issues and original digital data not lasting as long as AgX. I understand the National Archives was going to move everything to digital files until they learned they would have to hire an army of people to copy the files and then get another army to recopy the files with in 5 to 8 years to keep them from going out of date. So they scrapped the idea. Today every national record is supposed to be on silver halide (AgX).
I also have heard that if you buy a digital camera and decide to trade up for higher resolution that it is against the law to sell the digital camera. Reason is that the software is licensed only to you. Too bad digital people, my Contax is already the highest resolution. I don't need to buy a new camera every year. Then, I don't have to buy new software every year. And I don't have to keep going to school to learn how to use that software. And when I get old I hope I will have mastered my AgX methods and not still be on a learning curve. I just hope we keep buying film and paper and the manufacturers keep making it. ]
Recently I purchased a G1 and am very pleased with its performance. The 35mm F2 lens is wonderful, quite a revelation having used less snazzy gear. Nikon's and Konica Hexar.
However, I do have one big complaint about the camera that could easily be changed on the as yet hypothetical G3. The fact that the lense parks at infinity between shots causes a very disturbing lag from the time you press the shutter.
I like to set the camera on manual focus and rely on depth of field for the shot. If the lens would stay parked at that setting , shots could be gotten off much more quickly and with greater confidence that you actually got the shot.
Of course I would like a bigger viewfinder too, and a silent mode similar to the old Hexar AF I used to have.
Glad to hear of your G1 success. Your proposed "park" feature would certainly come in handy at times.
I don't have any G1 experience. Have you ever used a G2? In CAF (continuous autofocus) mode, if you hold the shutter button down halfway, the lens stays extended and continues to focus in "real time." If you hold down the focus lock button, the lens stays prefocused on your selected distance between shots. In either mode, the lens does not return to park, which is how the G2 can achieve 4 fps.
A final, related note. The lens doens't park at infinity. I have a lens (45mm) that sometimes fails to extend from park in use, and in the photos shot under that condition, nothing is in focus at all, near or distant. The lenses, evidently park "beyond" infinity.
I've considered the G2 because of the autofocus lock button, but as I understand it the lock is only in effect when you hold the button down. It's a momentary switch correct?
In manual mode the Hexar would leave the lens prefocused and as long as you had it switched on response was instantaneous. Just like an old fashioned camera.
I live in Seville Spain and shoot Tri-X on the street, it's in circumstances like this that show up the one limitation on what is an absolutely superb camera. If you have the second or so to compose and shoot, it's hard to imagine a better camera. But that lag can be disconcerting at times.
Incidentally, I understand that other G1 users have complained about the friction-free manual focus wheel and how easily it can be inadvertenlty moved. Here's a non-invasive remedy that I came up with: I slipped a small piece of rubber tubing over the post between the focus dial and the speed dial. This provides just the right amount of friction so the dial doesn't move unless I want it to. I leave the camera set on 5 meters at f8 and am getting wonderful results.
You're correct, the focus lock button doesn't hold the lens position if you're not pressing it. I hadn't really thought about it before, but that's a nice feature of the T3: the focus lock holds the setting until you take your shot, you don't need to keep pressing the button.
Contax claims to have reduced lag time with the G2, but I've never had the chance to compare the two models. On either, your technique of presetting focus in manual mode to achieve maximum speed is a good option.
> There has been rumors (just rumors) that Contax is researching on a Digital > G. > But with the way they run things i will be happy to see them getting the TVS Digital out of the door before it gets obsolete.
A new G remains a dream only. My guess is that Kyocera's R&D budget for the G line is pretty much nonexistent. There's been nothing new brought to market since the zoom.
Japan remains in a grave, decade-long recession. Kyocera, despite their stock being worth less than a quarter of what it was about three years ago, has still managed to develop and ship the 645 and N lines. These lines probably still get all the R&D.
I'm sure they have a lot of neat G development projects sitting on the shelf, gathering dust for lack of funds. This pause allows us plenty of time to imagine new Gs. In my spare time, I envision three:
A Gm, all mechanical G
A Gd, full-frame digital G
A G3, an upgraded G2 that, among other wonderous qualities, accommodates new, faster and longer lenses.
That's not too much to ask for from a niche camera system, is it?
-- faster lenses (e.g., something comparable to the 50mm f/1.4 mf lens)
-- longer telephoto (e.g., 135mm)
-- 17-35mm zoom (would be much more useful than the 35-70)
-- silent mode shutter (like the original Konica Hexar); I do find the G2 to be on the too noisy side.
I assume that some of these things are either not feasible technically (especially a compact 17-35 zoom), would entail unacceptable quality compromises, or would require glass that's too long or heavy to match the G2 body (and the G2 ethos of compactness). A 50mm 1.4 shouldn't be all that hard, though, and a 135mm exists for the M6. I wonder if the G2 didn't sell enough to justify the R & D that would be required for some of this. Does anyone know if the G2 is regarded as a financial success that would merit an upgrade, or if Kyocera is more likely to pull the plug and not bother with a G3?
Kyocera wont probably develop a G3 now. We may have to live with that fact for a certain time.
But it may be possible to upgrade the G2. G1 have already been upgraded : ROM upgrade (green label in the film compartment). It may be possible to add a few custom functions : other ways to control the existing hardware.
First : shutter lag/lens parking stuff : a custom function (call it "6") to enable another way of setting the lens to the desired focus, like what is done with the T3. Set to "0", same as today, set to "1", the lens is focused to the desired distance by the focus lock button, and doesn't move until another pressure on that button or until the camera is switched off. There is a risk : if the lens is set to infinity, and directed toward the sun, the shutter could be burnt after a while. But I think it's worth the game : no shutter lag when using the G like some use their Leica M.
Second : DOF scale : a custom function (call it "7") to enable another way of displaying the distance in the viewfinder : set to "0", as today, set to "1" : the square dots would indicate the DOF, and the "arrow" dot (used for manual focusing) would show the focus. A good figure if better than a big explanation, so have a look at the G2 manual, page 36 (hope it's the same for everybody) : "display in the viewfinder" : just imagine the square dots only show the DOF... Of course, the apperture of the lens cannot be transmitted by the lens itself, but is gessed from the difference between the internal and external meters.
Those 2 functions should, IMHO, greatly improve the G. There is no need to change the existing devices inside the G. An upgrade of the brain (software) should be enough. It has been made for the G1 (green label). I would pay to send my G2 to have it's ROM updated because I would get a much better camera. The cost for Kyocera R&D should not be that big, so it may be possible.
There may be other ways to design those custom functions, and other "desirable" customs functions. We shouldn't ask for too many modifications, too expensive for R&D.
Why not work on that and loby on Kyocera to make some ROM upgrade for the G ? It may be more real than an hypotethic G3. (a 11-13 M full frame digital G3 would for me be a good addition to the existing)