Limited edition for Contaxinfo members

jakob_groes

Active Member
Kyocera Kid wrote:

> Do you actually know
> that the lenses are the
> same [...] Are we to
> consider the "A/B/C
> quality" lens output


I am only relating to the fact that all - all - specifications of the two SL300R lenses are similar. Is it probable that two such lenses would have been developed at the same time indepently of each other then to be fitted in identical cameras?

The most likely explanation for any difference in performance (and I haven't seen any such difference documented in any published test) in my opinion would be due to different tolerances in quality control.

Please be aware that I have not drawn any conclusions in this issue beyond the above.

Kyocera is able to develop lenses or to buy designs from any third part. I have stated nothing about this.

Kyocera may buy a design from their long term business partner Zeiss and manufacture such lens under their own choice of tolerance levels.

If such lens is to be sold under the Zeiss brand, this will mean a higher fee to the originator as well as imply certain quality standards set by the license-giver.

Kyocera never claimed that their lens was comparable to the Zeiss-lens, even if all specifications are the same. Why blame them for selecting production output for different models at different prices?

Kind regards,

Jakob
 

dirk

CI-Founder
Just a quick note regarding image quality and number of pixel of the Contax SL300R.

We have made a few test shots on the Cebit last week in Hannover/Germany. Nothing scientific. Just a few shots of different subjects with a Contax SL300R and the same shots with the brand new Fuji Finepix F700, which has 6MP. So this was also a comparison between Rtune technology and the new Super CCD of the 4th generation and finally a comparison between the Fuji lens in this F700 and the Carl Zeiss lens on the Contax SL300R.

We printed the shots directly from the SD/XD card on a Fuji Frontier 355 (costs around 150.000 Euro) in small sizes up to A4 (20x30cm).

I can tell you that the Contax SL300R won easily that competition. Colours, contrast etc. was significant better. And this with half of the pixel than the Fuji Finepix F700. So relax, the amount of the pixel is not the most important criteria. It seems that the RTune technology combined with the Zeiss lens and T-coating makes more difference than more MP and this new Super CCD of the 4th generation of Fuji.

I do think that the Contax SL300R is "enough" for prints up to A4 with very good results. For the purpose of a P&S it is excellent. The AF could be better in low light, but you can not expect wonders, if you get the camera for a price for which you normally do even not get a Zeiss lens alone.
 

dirk

CI-Founder
o.k. Here some more information on how we are going forward:

After the voting today about the best logo, we will discus with Kyocera over the next 2 weeks how to engrave this logo onto the camera. As far as I can see it there are two possibilities:

1. It will be done in the factory itself. But this can mean that the cameras will be not there before mid May.

2. It could be done manually by a specialist. This would be probably faster then to interrupt and rearrange a production line. So we could hope in this case for the models beeing ready end of April.

The cameras will be hopefully coming to Europe mid/end of April. I am always cautious in predicting exact dates in such a matter. So please do not quote me on that. We also have to discus the costs of the camera incl. the engraving. I.e. How much more expensive it is getting to have the logo in different colours or more engraving vs. less engraving etc. Also we have to discus whether it is in the interest for the users to have special add-ons with it i.e. extra battery, extra memory card, st&ed certificates, your own name on it etc., which would make that model probably more expensive.

As soon as we have more details about these different possibilities, we would come back to you with the results for your feedback. I hope this will be latest til mid April or 3rd week of April. We will try to make the whole process as transparent as possible for you, since it is a product for you and designed - at least the logo - from you.
 
J

jgban

Dirk,
Do you think you could somehow send a poll with different price points to see how many members would be likely ordering the camera depending on the price ("very likely", "likely", "unlikely", "not at all", dependig of if it is 500, 600, 800, 1000 euros--- something like that)?

It's none of my business, but I am concerned that you are making all this effort without (?) having a good "guesstimate" of how many people would actually go for it, in particular for the possible different pricing options.

Juan
 

dirk

CI-Founder
Hi Juan,

at the moment it would not make sense to talk about price ranges as long as we do not have more information about the price drivers. Our hope is to get this limited edition model for a very good price available, which means not more or at least not much more expensive than the standard Contax SL300R model.

This is why we have to discus with Kyocera over the coming weeks about the different price consequences, depending on what we want them to do. And I hope of course too, that Kyocera is valuing these efforts and this community with a reasonable price tag


But please bear in mind that we do not want to see any of these models 2 weeks later on the second hand market for the double price. This shall be not a tool to make a fortune. This is not for profit makers. It is a valuable camera for Contax enthusiasts.

There will be only 300 pieces on a first come first serve basis as soon as the order-slot gets opened. So we are actually not concerned that there will be left many after a few days


Because of this small number, we were originally thinking at the beginning, only to offer this model for subscribers or Patrons of Contaxinfo.com, who support this community as a paying member (donation). But we decided not to restrict it that way this time.

But your concern raises an important point and this is why we pay attention a lot on the pricing. As soon as we have more details on that, we will publish it here. Remember, it is all brand new, only a few days old. Normally something like this takes months to organize. We try to do this in weeks.
 
If the SL300R "limited edition" works out to be the same as the street price of the standard Contax SL300R it would be worthwhile.

One question about Dirk's "test" of the Contax SL300R vs. the Fuji Finepix F700. I wonder how the Kyocera SL300R would compare against the Fuji.
 

bobbl46

Well-Known Member
Lotus M50 .... I think you might need to explain .... elaborate ..... re-phrase your question!

Kyocera Kid
 
KK- I'm not sure I understand what needs to be re-phrased. Dirk compared the Contax SL300R vs. the Fuji F700. I was wondering how the Kyocera SL300R would compare vs. the Fuji F700. Would the Kyocera fare as well as the nearly identical Contax vs. the Fuji?

It seems odd to me, given the tremendous similarities between the Contax SL300R and the Kyoceras SL300R that NO ONE has given them a side by side comparision. (they even use the same model name! Couldn't Kyocera think of a different model name/number for the Contax -- or were they too lazy, or did they INTEND to imply that the Contax and Kyocera were the same??)

So. The Contax did well vs. the Fuji. Great. My question is (re-stated), would the Kyocera do as well as the Contax vs. the Fuji in the simple "test" Dirk performed?
 

dirk

CI-Founder
Lotus,

I do disagree here. Since it is a limited edition and and with a special engraving on it, it is definitely worth more than the standard Contax SL300R. Look at the Leica prices and you get an indication. This is why I said I do not want to see 2 weeks later this limited edition for twice the price on ebay. This would be unfair for the people who could not get one because everything was sold too quickly.

We have not made comparison shots with the Kyocera SL300R. I do not think that this makes a lot of sense. We know that the quality control in a mass production vs. a Zeiss production is different by default. Even if you would get a Kyocera model that would come close to the Contax, this is no assurance for any other Kyocera model in the shelves. This is what is so different with the Zeiss lenses: The quality control during production.

Another important point is the T-coating. We made among these "testshots" (which are not really tests) also high contrast shots. In my experience with Yashica and Zeiss lenses for the Contax manual focus system these have been the most obvious situations, where you can see significant differences.

But if the criteria is not the maximum possible/ affordable image quality in a "sexy" design, then you can buy any digital P&S model out there. You can make with every P&S nowadays images where you can recognize the people which you are taking pictures of. But this has nothing to do with image qulaity or certain characteristics of a Zeiss lens in an image.
 

bobbl46

Well-Known Member
Apologies Lotus M50 .... I wondered if you were trying to disguise a straight shoot-out between the Contax and Kyocera models by bringing the Fuji into the equation!

My mistake!

And .... I have not worked out yet if I should be amuzed or insulted by DJG's comparison .... I had to ask my students who Mojo Jojo is and got the general picture!


(Not sure about beating up the little girls bit though
)

Cheers, Kyocera Kid.
 
I'm sorry. I find it a real stretch to equate a "limited edition" SL300R with a Leica. Yes, Leica puts out limited editions of their camera because they know that people will buy them -- mostly becuase they think they are a good investment, as they have noted how much the old classic Leicas have gone up in value. To some Leicas have become a fashion accessory -- get a different color to match your shoes. They have a fundamental value as a photographic tool -- the limited editions are hype, fashion, and speculation. But this collector/investor mentality doesn't apply nearly as much to Contax, and I would suspect it applies even less to the SL300R which as your comment implies is a Kyocera model with a different name and finish. While we are already paying $100 for that privilege, it is hard to beleive that tacking on another name (this time of a nice, functional, but little known website of users) is going to push the "desirability" of the camera up further to justify yet another price premium. Or do you think that everyone is going to rush out and get one becuase they feel the value will increase because the name of a website was tacked on?

This is all very interesting because we were being told what are wonderful performer the SL300R is and we should buy it for that reason. Now we should buy it, not because it is a good performer, but because it is "limited" (I would say the Contax was already a "limited" edition of the Kyocera) and we should pay more for the privilege (and the investment opportunity). Pure Bunk. And hype (or at least an attempt at it). This cheap Kyocera camera -- no matter how many names you tack on it -- will not have the appeal of the Leica, and will not have the long run durability of the Leica. This is basically a throw away camera/toy. Use it for a year, replace it with something else when it breaks or the technology becomes embarassingly obsolete.

It is further interesting in that Dirk strongly implies that the difference between the Kyocera and the Contax is one of quality control -- and accordingly it made no sense to test (huh??). Did it make no sense to test because the Kyocera might perform just as well as the Contax -- because you might have "got lucky" and got a Kyocera that had good quality? How bad is Kyocera's production process anyway? Kyocera is one of the world's leading hi-tech companies. Are you telling me that they can not consistently produce a quality product, that their product would have such wide swings in quality to produce obvious differences in output -- and that they would put the lower quality product out with their own name?? That just does not make sense.

Further the analogy between Yashica and Contax lenses is NOT appropriate. Their designs were different, and produced separately -- quite unlike the Kyocera and Contax SL300R's which have the same lens design and are produced on the same production line together. A Contax Zeiss T* 35mm lens was not just a higher quality control version of a Yashica lens.

As nice as some of the logo designs look, and as nice as it is for Kyocera to offer to do this (even if it is just to shift excess production), tacking the name of a website to a toy camera that already has it's name tacked on, is not going to produce market premiums of hundreds of dollars. Sorry. The best you can do is sell it at the street price and add a small premium of 10 to 25 euros or so and market it as a contribution to the web site. That would make more sense than trying to convince a group that buys camera to use them that the website name tacked on to the camera is somehow worth a significant premium (because it is not).
 

nickser

Well-Known Member
<font color="ff0000"><font face="verdana,arial,helvetica"><font size="+1">Hi Folks, Lets not get to wound up about all this!!
This is for Bob.

<font color="ff0000"><font face="verdana,arial,helvetica"><font size="+1">Paul
 

nickser

Well-Known Member
It would be interesting to see the comparison between the Kyocera and the Contax version's images, that is if some one was fortunate enough to be able to do this.

Paul
 

dirk

CI-Founder
Lotus,

you are starting with a lot of assumptions here. Please understand, that I do neither have the time nor the motivation to convince you to buy a Contax product or a digital camera in general. If you are not interested in this limited edition, I am totally fine with it. But accept that it is a limited edition and a good one, even if not the Leica logo is "tacked" on it


The attraction of such a limited edition, no matter for which price, is very subjective. You have your opinion, I have mine.

"... Now we should buy it, not because it is a good performer, but because it is "limited" (I would say the Contax was already a "limited" edition of the Kyocera)..."

2x no. Wrong hypothesis.

"...will not have the appeal of the Leica, and will not have the long run durability of the Leica..."

Interesting hypothesis. So a Leica digital camera last longer than a Contax one? Sound not very logical for me.

"...This is basically a throw away camera/toy. Use it for a year, replace it with something else when it breaks or the technology becomes embarassingly obsolete..."

Pure assumption. That depends on your habits. You seem to search always for the newest model (see your comments above) no matter whether it make sense or not, so of course you will buy every 6 months a new digital camera. Whether you will be happy with that turnover is a different question. There is a German phrase/motto: "If you throw old things easily away, you will not keep the new ones for a long time."

I do not see why a 3MP camera does not fullfill my needs in one year, if it is doing that now already? Did your needs are changing over that time or do you buy the wrong tools for a specific purpose?

"...Dirk strongly implies that the difference between the Kyocera and the Contax is one of quality control..."

Yes, indeed. As far as lens production is concerned. Plus the T-coating. Talk with insiders about that.

"...and that they would put the lower quality product out with their own name?? That just does not make sense..."

Sorry, it makes sense. Apart from the Zeiss coating, which is not existing on the Kyocera model, there are definitely differences in quality control. I did not say that the Kyocera Lens is bad. It is a question about certain tolerances you accept in a production. Every manufacturer is doing this. Even your preferred Leica. Sigma made the same zoom (3.5-4.5/28-70) for Leica and others. Excellent tests. But you can bed that the Leica version at 5x the price of the Sigma one had less dilution in the production line.

"... analogy between Yashica and Contax .."

I was referring to a 4/80-200 zoom. As far as I remember, it was the same design for both, but Yashica without T* coating. If I should be not correct on this (I have no data now available), just take the Sigma ex&le above.

"...trying to convince a group that buys camera to use them that the website name tacked on to the camera is somehow worth a significant premium (because it is not)..."

Same argument as before. I am not trying to convince anybody here. I would be stupid to do that. I am sorry but I do see Contaxinfo as more than just any random website. Contaxinfo is a Contax Community, a kind of family. And this is a camera offered to this Contax family. If you see this so different and have a problem with this "community character", then I wonder why you are here and not at dpreview. You get there in depth scientific oriented tests, and you can blow up the "Siemensstern" at 800% in Photoshop. But this tells you nothing about real life usability of a 3MP vs. 4MP sensor.

You have the right on your opinion, I have the right on my opinion.

Or to use your ex&le: Not every Leica photographer is buying a Leica limited edition. This makes a limited edition not less attractive. So let the Contax users decide for themselves whether they want it or not.

The good thing is, nobody "has to" buy it. It is your own choice. So get relaxed
 
S

spluff

Dirk,

From my perspective, I appreciate what you are doing and I hope this venture turns out well - I wouldn't want future products and opportunites to be compromised by any experiences you have had with this one.

Cheers, Saras
 
A

angusogg

Let's not all get bent out of shape on this initiative. It's perhaps an interesting opportunity to buy a nice camera - but for me at least, the key factor is how long before it becomes available, and at what price.
Until these things are known, I don't think a value judgement can be made.
Just my tuppence worth......
 

rbudding

Well-Known Member
Dirk,

I appreciate the effort that you are making with this limited edition camera (along with all of the work that you put into this site). Not everyone is interested, which is fine. I, for one, will probably pass on this camera (saving my money for the NDII, I hope). But thank you, just the same, for a super effort.

Robert
 

yonni

New Member
Dear Dirk and all,
I for one am very excited about the limited edition. DO let me know when it becomes available. I hope that I voted correctly for my favorite logo. Cheers,
John/yonni
 

jsmisc

Well-Known Member
I agree,the Limited Edition is a great idea whether or not one buys one, but unfortunately some people will always carp.
John
 
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