Logic be damned I bought an ND

kdemas

Well-Known Member
OK, I couldn't resist and I bought a mint ND the other day. Although I am perfectly happy with my Nikon D70 I can't resist the chance to use my N1 lenses on a full frame sensor.

Plus... I sure do like the handling of the N1. I gathered a ton of info regarding the limitations of the camera from reading posts on this site and I finally thought "why not".

I'll post some impressions when the camera arrives, if our fine California rain dies down a bit by then.

Take care and thanks to everyone for posting such informative ND posts in the past.

Kent
 
D

djg

Kent,

Make sure you shoot raw if you have Photoshop CS and can use the Camera Raw plug-in, which supports the ND.

DJ
 

kdemas

Well-Known Member
DJ,

Thanks for the tip. I was going to give the raw a try with the CS Raw developer. The one thing that I still can't believe is that they ever rolled this puppy out without the raw image review in camera. I know that's beating a dead horse, and it is what it is, but it still makes me chuckle a bit that they left out that functionality.

In any event thanks for the input and I look forward to giving it a run through later in the week.

Take care,

Kent
 

fotografz

Well-Known Member
Welcome to the asylum Kent. I have 2 NDs and am actually searching for a third one, so I'm crazier than most. Irakly ask me why I wanted another one, and I told him it was to make sure I would always have one, no matter what.

I recently took the camera to LA with me and shot a lot of Tiffs as well as RAW. What you may find out is that the camera does quite well shooting J-Pegs, I once shot an entire vacation using j-peg Large and the images were outstanding.

Search out extra battery holders as fast as you can, although the new 2500 mAh batteries have gone a long way toward easing the power issues this camera has.

Anyone want to sell their ND? ; -)

Pic: Santa Monica CA coast shot with ND and 17-35:

 

fotografz

Well-Known Member
Oh, BTW I still think this camera shoots images closest to a film look of any digital camera I've owned and used. The next closest appears to be the RD-1 using Leica M lenses. Both are CCD sensors using German designed lenses ... hmmm...

Kent, if you don't have the N70-300, give it some thought. It truly is an outstanding lens even if it is a bit slow. It can focus really close. Here's one of my little friend that always watched me photographing from the balcony of my Santa Monica hotel balcony : -) Contax ND, 70-300 @ 300mm...



 

dirk

CI-Founder
Hi Marc,

same as Kent and you, I am thinking to buy an ND as soon as there are some available for a reasonable price compared to the competition.

I remember that there was always a "problem" with high ISO performance of the ND. ISo 100 very good, but ISO 200 or 400 very bad.

For me it would not be important, whethere the other DSLR have a better ISO preformance at 200 or 400 then the ND. For me the benchmark is slide-film, which I use almost exclusivle for my hobby. I.E. Velvia 50, Velvia 100F (adjusting it to ISO 160), Provia 100F (adjusting it to ISO 160) and Provia 400F.

Can you, DJ or other ND users tell us your experince when comparing the ND reslts in the different ISO settigs wit these slide films?

In terms of color reproduction, grain/noise, sharpeness etc.

Can the noise be taken away and on par with i.e. Provia 100F with an extra software (Ninjia I think it is called) without loosing to much of the image quality?

Thanks in advance.

P.S: If Kyocera is closing Contax, many NDs and N-lenses must be soon very cheap on the market. stocks are still full worldwide. That is the best time to buy, I hope
 

fotografz

Well-Known Member
Yes Dirk, by all means get one. And do not fear a bit higher ISO with this camera any longer. Proper exposure and Adobe RAW developer has made it much, much better. Both Irakly and I use the camera at ISO 200 and above with ease now. He is better at developing those files than I am. Perhaps he should write a processing tutorial for all ND users ; -)

BTW, the Pigeon photo above was shot at ISO 250.

Think of it this way Dirk. Some digital cameras excel in lower light, but struggle in brighter conditions with blown high lights and hard to control contrast. The ND is very good in brighter light conditions, (IMO due to it's apparent wider latitude). It's the reason I use it for vacations ; -) Plus, the ISO goes down to 25 which allows control of shallow depth of field when using a fast lens like the 50/1.4 and 85/1.4 up close in extremely sunny light.

Here's one of the Hotel Oceana in Santa Monica where I was staying. The light was incredibly contrasty. It's balcony stairs are like an Echer (sp?) design ... LOL. It was shot at ISO 25 with the Zeiss 17-35. I could make a huge print from this file without any noise (not that I would make a print of this snap shot ).

 

fotografz

Well-Known Member
Here's one also showing how the ND performs in blasting sun light. ISO 100 with the ND and 17-35.

I was on location in LA all last week supervising the filming of a TV commercial for my ad agency. The entire street was lined with equipment trucks which were all pure glossy white. The ND handled the contrast fine even with direct sun on them. I think my other digital cameras may have had contrast issues with this shot.

 

dirk

CI-Founder
Hi Marc,

thanks for these postings! So I can conclude that the ND will be on par with a Fuji Procia 100F or Velvia 100F, in terms of Noise, even if the ND is setted to ISO 400. And thsi is all I needed in the past and therefore also in the future


Rgearding manuals etc. Yes we should elaborate with Irakly something. But we have to make a new layout for all forums first to make it more pleasant for the eyes. After that we are focusing again on the content more as already discussed last year with Irakly.

We are late, but we do not forget our goals
 

fotografz

Well-Known Member
Heck, they should have made me and Irakly the marketing people for this camera ... LOL.

Another on at ISO 250 (which I use a lot Dirk). Inside of a prop prep truck ... this one had a full kitchen in it.

 

dirk

CI-Founder
Hey Marc,

what do you think about a "costumer buy out"?

Why not buying the old machines of some of the Contax cameras (i.e. Contax RTS II, S2, Aria, N1), all the stock of the N-system and try to find a street price which is realistic and gives enough margin to develop and produce new bodies? This would be very exciting.

A marketing platform on the internet is already in place
Even in 5 different languages! We have already over 32.000 registered members, not counting the unknown daily visitors to our non-forum-related subpages of Camera-info.

So what would be missing is above all money to buy all that stuff (who cares about that little problem...
), some personel and the implementation of an online shop. We could finally order at Zeiss lenses that users really would buy.

We would have to focus on only few bodies (1-2) or none at the beginning and only on FFL for the N-system and/or some new designs for the C/Y system. I guess we would have to decide for one of both SLR systems, which will hurt one way or the other...

Maybe also G-lenses with apertures of 1.4, 645 Medium Format with a "retail-digital back" and a TVSD II with only 5MP and a good sensor & software so it makes really nice photos...

If Leica does not recover soon, we might have even more interest in Contax products. And I am sure Zeiss would support us wherever they can. Oh Lord, there are plenty opportunities out there, once you focus on costumer demand outside of Japan


Europe and US together are a market of around 450-500 million people. A huge potential market to focus on...

Dreams... how wonderfuld it is to forget reality for a few minutes...
 

ulisse2000

Active Member
Hi,
I am Italian, so sorry for my bad english.
It is my first post heren (really is the 2nd, but the first received no answers), but this proposal it is too interesting to leave alone.

This is what I think :
1) An adpter to use MF zeiss lenses on N-system exactly like Yashica made in the past, as a bridge between AF and MF systems. This will increment dramatically the potential market of N-system. All the people today are buying C/Y-EOS adapters are the thermometer.

2) At the same time shoud exit an ND-x, low cost (~1000 US$), basic functions, as competitor to EOS 350.

3) An ND-2, the upgrade of old ND, could came later, after the resurrection of the now panting CONTAX brand.

4) RTS-4. Nothing to invent here, could be similar to Nikon F6. There is still market for high level film cameras.

Kind regards,
Ulisse
 

jsmisc

Well-Known Member
You have some lovely thoughts there Dirk. Might some Kyocera staff be persuaded? or how about Zeiss taking it on? a new Zeiss Ikon with genuine Contax? although I think that Cosina are going to become involved more with Zeiss and new developments - just guessing from the new rangefinder + lenses indications.
 

jsmisc

Well-Known Member
Well there's a thought Ulisse, an adapter to use C/Y manual focus lenses on the N system as per the old Yashica adapter which I vaguely remember. I can visualise it but cannot remember the details.Did you lose any facilities? The lenses would then work on the ND as well or any future ND - ever hopeful -
. I wonder if it is technically possible. It would certainly keep us C/Y people with loads of C/Y lenses happy.
John
 

fotografz

Well-Known Member
If I had that kind of money Dirk, I sure wouldn't invest it in any camera company ( except maybe Canon). I love Contax, but have invested enough of my hard earned money in them already ; -)

CY lenses on an N system ... hmmm. The 21mm and 35/1.4 would be nice. They'd be stop down metered lenses, but that would be okay.
 

stephanie

New Member
> [Would the ND be suitable for wedding work? I am specifically > concerned about ISO rating and power. I've heard (and seen) that the > images

> are beautiful from these cameras, but maybe only in a studio or > bright light situation. I shoot all film now with my 645 and N1. I > shoot color 800 ISO

> rated at 400 but like to have the extra stop available when needed. > I'm at the crossroads and would like to make my existing system work > for me.]
 

coyot

Well-Known Member
>Dirk,

I'd be intetested in doing a "customer buyout". We would first have to get somebody to really study the sales numbers vs available camera/lens stock to really figure out what the company/ division is worth. Don't Kycoera's financials come out in March? Do they release detailed sales information? Maybe we need to first purchase some Kycocera stock to be able to see all the data?

Michael.
 

fotografz

Well-Known Member
Stephanie, the ND is a little difficult to use for wedding work. I've used mine from time to time, but the AF is a tad slow or won't lock on in the low light of a church interior or reception (similar to the N1)

Plus, the power situation has to be monitored carefully (that's gotten better with more powerful batteries now available).

The LCD readout is a poor indication of the actual image compared to other digital cameras better suited for such work... and there is no LCD read out for the RAW file format which I think is very important on a digital wedding camera. I use the 50/1.4 and 85/1.4 most when using the ND at a wedding ... which eases the lower ISO situation.

In short, I honestly wouldn't consider the camera as a prime candidate for a wedding shoot. That said, I have gotten some beautiful wedding shots with it... backed up by a Canon 1DMKII ... which has no power issues, focuses lightening fast in near dark, and shoots RAW files with a full LCD image and histogram readout.
 

dirk

CI-Founder
Hi John,

this is the official answer from Zeiss:

Are there adapters to use lenses of the manual Contax system (RTS) with Contax N cameras?

Lenses of the manual Contax system (Contax RTS) don't fit to Contax N cameras. It cannot either be connected by some adapter. That's because the Contax N system uses a much greater flange distance (48mm), related to the Contax RTS system with its 45.5mm. The developers of the Contax N system choose a new kind of bajonett with a bigger diameter to be able to also use high speed lenses for digital sensors (telecentric lenses). The bajonett has, like the Contax 645 system, an electronic interface to the camera. The Contax 645 lenses can be connected to Contax N cameras without any restrictions, by using the lens-adapter "NAM-1".
 
D

djg

Marc,

I was never happy with ISO 400 in my ND, but love 200 and less. My biggest problem is that even with beefy batteries, unless they have just been fully discharged and recharged, they seem to get "ignored" is the best I can put it.

If I leave them trickle charging for several days then load them in the ND holder, I get maybe 20-30 shots from 2300ma sets before it tells me they're gone, which they're not, really. I turn the danged camera off and on a couple of times, maybe remove the battery holder and quickly put it back on, and gee, it has power again! For about 10-15 shots, then I need to go through the same song and dance to get another 10-15 shots, and eventually I may get 50-70 shots!

If I go through a full discharge-recharge cycle the night before, or have just recharged them after a full load's use, I then can usually off the bat get at least 100 shots, and maybe do the song and dance and get another 40-50.

So go figure, I have no idea how their power monitoring circuit works, other than it doesn't. Fix that, and it shouldn't be that hard, seeing as most every other cell-operated device does a much better job, be they Canon cameras or iPAQ PDAs, and you're in the game again, so to speak.

No, the terminals are not dirty - I've tried cleaning them over & over, and I have three battery holders, two brand new - they all do it. Hence, sadly, my 1DsII. And hence also why I'm still hugging my ND and those two wonderful Zeiss zooms (the 85 and the 300). Yes, I'm a sentimental fool
.

DJ
 
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