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New Contax N bodies for 2003?

Hi all,
This is my first post on the forum. Not sure if this is the correct place to post but, ....

I am not yet a Contax owner and am the process of getting a camera. From reading thru the threads posted here, it looks like I will most probably go for the N systems. Any news/ rumours if Contax is coming out with a new N this year? Though the current N1 is great, it is not in the league of its professional manual counterpart yet. I especaially hope to have 100% viewfinder (or is it not that important?) I do not wish to purchase N1 and realise a few months down the road that a newer and more advance N2 or Nx2, etc, is out. Anybody able to help on this?


There is currently no rumour floating around for a new film-based N offering. A new digital N camera is rumoured to be released at the end of the year though. It will come eventually, but I don't believe it will become available in 2003.



while "waiting for the unknown" for an indefinite time you are missing out on a lot of good photography. This is like waiting for the next computer. It's up to you, but you could be waiting for a long time. Also, I doubt whether there will be a hugely improved film N any time soon, since the half life of top cameras is at least 5 years, and Contax is hardly a fast changing camera line company in that respect. By the way, the N1 is an excellent camera and will serve you fine provided you are not into superfast action photography. For everyhting else, it works wonderfully and the lenses - still much more important than the body - are great too. Your choice, but you're missing out big time.
Talking about lenses, the choice for N's are still not much as compare to its manual focus cousins, isn't it? Or should I look into the older manual focus system?


>=20 >=20 >=20 > [Just curious about the new digital for N line is to be placed on top or = below > the existing ND? Brgds/Kaisern] >=20 >=20 >=20


>=20 >=20 >=20 > [The N may never be as full range as MM/ME mount. The biggest difference= is > MM/ME has a lot of fixed focal lens and full range of zooms and with toda= y=B9s > advance CAD zoom lens the quality is achieving to a point that not necess= ary > to develop the entire range of fix/prime lenses =AD for marketing point of = view, > of course And only focus on those most use such as 100mm makro and 85mm o= r > 50mm lens. But this is personal opinion anyway. Regards, Kaisern] >=20 >=20 >=20



I'm just relaying the rumour from the N Digital forum. According to Simon Lamb, the new digital N will be priced at $1500 app. So it probably is marked as a junior model to ND, though in this fast-evolving digital market I don't know how much difference in terms of performance there may be between the ND and the new model. The most significant difference could be the cropping factor, as the ND is full-frame. Don't know yet whether the new digital N will be full-frame or not, but it seems unlikely given the price point.


>=20 >=20 >=20 > [Thanks, I hope it will be a total replacement to ND with improve interfa= ce > and raw developer or Contax may simply ship a plug-in for use with Photos= hop > Kaisern.] >=20 >=20 >=20


Active Member
All that we can do is speculate, but it is doubtful that Contax will invest many resources in another N film camera, as the market is clearly moving towards digital capture. So, anyone wanting a film camera probably has little to gain by waiting for an N2.

The ND was fraught with problems. Let us hope that Contax can bring forth a better product in the future. I am a G2 and T2 user, but I aniticipate moving to digital eventually. As I am addicted to Zeiss glass, I would certainly like to remain with Contax.


Well-Known Member
> Robert,

Recently, I shot on a trip to NYC about 250 shots with my ND. Your statement "The ND was fraught with problems" is simply inaccurate.

Out of the 250 shots, I had about a dozen "throwaways". Out of the 250 shots I selected over 100 for a NYC photo pictorial I am generating in both album form and for a website page.

The ND was never "fraught with problems" on my trip. The problem shots from the trip can all be blamed on this photographer. I also took my N1 and shot less than a dozen frames. They are still setting in the camera, waiting for me to finish out the roll.

I also disagree with you regarding and N-2. I think that an N-2 will probably be released in the next two years ... with some minor improvements over the N1. Kyocera is clearly trying to sell the "N" system as a complete system ... from 35 film to 645 to digital.



Michael, Robert:

In a way you guys agree on the putative "N2" because I think at best we can expect minor improvements; the N1 camera is already quite capable, and simply a somewhat faster AF or more focus points are not worth an unknown wait. This was the original question in this thread. Now, there will be a new digiSLR of course, we all agree on that too, because Contax has to. In all fairness to Robert's remark, the ND was a disastrous product both in marketing, pricing and also performance RELATIVE to the competition. This does not mean that a competent photographer like Michael cannot take great pictures with it, but I think all ND users will have to admit that this product was not a successful launch. It certainly got discontinued in a hurry. I personally expect the next Contax foray into digiSLR to be much more competitive in pricing and performance, BUT - in my opinion - it will have to be a full size chip or they loose out big time to Canon and Nikon. There is no competition possible in the 1.5-1.6x size at all, I believe. We'll see. I'd love to go digital but not till they're in the 16 Mpixel range, and affordable.


Contax is/will never be cheap (although the NX really is with the rebate) but there is a difference between pricey, but delivering top notch (film) bodies (like an expensive car) and the ND, which was priced in the stratosphere for......I don't know!

So, the next digiSLR will be expensive, but not crazy priced like the ND.


Otola, good point. If there is a piece of equipment worth having for my needs and if it is really excellent, I will save my money (a little longer if it is really pricey) and go for it and not begrudge the maker their fees. As for the higher pricing on the first digital model they produced, I would imagine it wasn't that they were covering the actual physical costs of materials and construction and non-existant marketing expenses, but that they were trying to recoup the expenses that added up in research. Digital wasn't exactly their area of expertise. And also the floor did fall out from under the cost of digital by the time it made it to market too. Maybe if they had spread that research cost out over the entire (small) product line rather than their first attempt at a digital 35mm SLR it would have been easier to swallow, and less of failure even given it's usage situation, and made the Contax afficianados feel safer about the future of things. Just my opinion of course. -Lynn


Well-Known Member
I'm looking forward to some announcements, as well. Having recently purchased an N1, 50mm, and 85mm, i believe Contax owes us some glass on the wide end. It's inexcusable not to have, at least, 28 and 35mm primes for ANY 35mm camera system. This will become even more critical if a digital is released with a crop factor. At 1.5x, or whatever it's likely to be, we will require a 28 or 35mm prime just to give us something that approximates the 'normal/standard' 50mm focal length.

The gaps in this lens line are sufficient rationale for me to dump the N1 and just buy used manual focus Contax and/or Leica R lenses to mount via adapter on digital EOS bodies.

Contax has bitten off quite a bit, promising to support two different lens mounts, and they haven't yet lived up to the deal.

Loke, if i had it to do over again, i'd wait a bit, and see what happens this fall. If Contax doesn't announce a product lineup that will immediately meet my needs lens-wise, i'd go with a manual focus body. After all, the N1 autofocus isn't exactly stellar, and i too often have to focus manually anyway, when shooting people who aren't going to remain perfectly still for me.


I have this focusing problem with N1 too. Only the 24-85mm focuses well. My 50mm f1.4 and 17-35mm are ALWAYS focusing at a shorter distance than necessary. So, I have to manually shift the focusing distance a little to the right.

Very annoying. Should I repair it or is this an inherent problem?? Again.


New Member
I just received a new N1 w/24-85 (oh yea baby)but it did not come with an English manual. Serial # is in the 7xxx range. Did Contax make an error?