New Contax ND

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Contaxcam

IN REPLY TO POST BY: Edward Karaa (Edwardkaraa)

<<BTW, I have sent an email to Contax asking if they will replace ND in the near future, and they replied that they hope to have a new model out by next summer!!!!!!! Do you believe that? Usually they advertize for their models 2 years in advance, and now they have a model coming next summer and nobody has heard about it?>>

MY REPLY:

This sounds pretty interesting; I wonder when the first pictures become available on Kyocera's webpage (or any other website for that matter). Perhaps you could forward the message to the forum.

Thanks!

Regards, Vincent
 

edwardkaraa

Well-Known Member
Vincent,

The message was just a senstence: we hope to have a replacement by next summer. It doesn't commit them in anything, and honestly I don't believe they are talking about this summer. Maybe summer 2005? :) Otherwise we would have heard about it. There is no doubt in my mind that Contax has to release a DSLR sometime, otherwise they are out of business.

Regards,
Edward
 
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Contaxcam

Edward,

You're right, let's save this thread to 2005 :)! Let's hope they come up with something real nice this time. I can wait a little while longer. Meanwhile I will have my N1 gear to enjoy!

Best regards and a happy New Year celebration there in Bangkok!

Vincent
 

bobbytan

Well-Known Member
I am running out of patience, so I hope it happens this summer. If it doesn't look like it's going to happen by this Fall, I am going to have to switch to Canon, and I will get their 10D or whatever replaces the 10D. That would be sad, because if I am going to start investing in Canon equipment I will probably never go back to Contax/Zeiss.
 

edwardkaraa

Well-Known Member
Bobby,

I did that already and bought a 300D. It was a rash thing to do though, because if you're used to Zeiss quality, you'll be disappointed by Canon optics, unless you're planning to invest heavily in L lenses, which are higher priced than the Zeiss, and not as sharp. There is no return policy in Thailand, otherwise I would have returned the 300D.

I would buy a Nikon instead.

Regards,
Edward
 

edwardkaraa

Well-Known Member
Thanks, Vincent, for your good wishes. Actually I will be heading in a few moments to Chinatown to take a few pics of the celebrations. Hopefully Contax will come up with a good package, not too expensive, in the league of the NX, which will enable us to use Zeiss lenses without investing heavily in a camera body which will ineviatbly become obsolete in 2 years time.

Best regards,
Edward
 

fotografz

Well-Known Member
Edward said, "unless you're planning to invest heavily in L lenses, which are higher priced than the Zeiss, and not as sharp. I would buy a Nikon instead".

Based on price comparisons of which lenses, and what performance data?

IMO, Zeiss glass has its own unique characteristics that make it attractive. Price isn't one of them. N lens choices is also not one of them.

Certain Canon L lenses have received very high ratings from 3rd party performance testing, and a few of them the highest ratings in their class. My intense practical use of Canon L glass concurs with those tests.

I have also owned and extensively shot with Nikon film and digital cameras. Fine equipment, but demonstrably lagging Canon in Digital innovation and certainly no where near Zeiss in lens characteristics... unless you prefer the Nikon look... in which case why Contax at all?

Also comparing the $800. Canon 300D to a $4,500. Contax is pitting an orange against a bushel of apples.

In a few short months, Canon allegedly will launch the 1D replacement: 8 meg., 36 shot buffer even at 5 frames a second, less noise at higher ISOs (1200), and so on. Price at launch is rumored to be mid $3,000s settling to low $3,000. once the initial demand is supplied. The only drawback is that it will retain the 1.3X lens factor.

Contax should have tweaked the full frame ND, and made running changes to keep in the consideration set. 8 meg, better power source (a real rechargeable battery like Nikon and Canon), RAW developer that is usable, bigger buffer, and a bit faster focusing. Nothing earth shaking, but enough to keep me in the Contax fold (along with a lot of others I know).
 
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spluff

I was under the impression that something was going to be announced at the PMA show in a few weeks time. However, I went onto the website for the show and it appears Contax don't even have a stand (as of yesterday). There is one for Kyocera Optics, but I'm not sure that is the same thing.

Oh well, I can carry on saving!! :)

Rgds, Saras
 

edwardkaraa

Well-Known Member
Marc,

I certainly do not have your experience, but according to my limited knowledge, I believe Canon L lenses are primarily fast expensive lenses for sports but not necessarily outstanding quality wise. Contax has very sharp and contrasty lenses with some weaknesses in terms of distortion (on some models) and not as fast as the Canons'. Canon also offers cheap amateur lenses but for the most part too low in quality. If you look at today's market prices you see that Contax N lenses fall somewhere between Canon's L and normal lenses, with probably the better overall quality but lacking in speed.

As for the Nikons, They have traditionally better quality than Canon for similar price ranges. They are behind Canon in digital innovation, true, but ages ahead of Contax.

I find Nikon a better choice if you cannot afford a Canon 1Ds and a few L lenses, but that's a matter of personal preference.

I am sure you could find some particular cases that prove me wrong, if you wanted to, since generalizations can sometimes be like a double-edged sword!

Regards,
Edward
 
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mike_nunan

Hi Edward,

There are some very good lenses of a wide variety of focal lengths in the Canon L lineup; in fact there are some very good lenses in their regular EF lineup. I use both Canon and C/Y systems and the only area where the Zeiss glass consistently trounces the Canon stuff is at the wide end. The 24/1.4L is a decent enough performer and (from the charts) the 24/2.8 looks like a good'un, so I doubt the ageing 25mm Distagon can do much to better them for sharpness. Beyond that though it's pretty much all downhill for Canon. The 20/2.8 EF is mediocre (no comparison to the 21mm Distagon) and the wide zoom are, well, wide zooms. I suppose the 14/2.8L might be a nice option for a 10D, giving an effective 22mm focal length, but boy is it expensive and soft as baby do-do at the edges if you use it on a full-frame body.

Fortunately for 10D/300D shooters, the 35/2 EF lens is not only cheap and compact, but also one of the best performers in the Canon range. I can't imagine why anybody who owns a part-frame Canon digital body wouldn't pick one of these up as a standard lens, it's sensational. It has a soft spot right in the corners, but that's no concern on a 10D or even in 90% of full-frame shots you're likely to take with it. The 35/1.4L is also supposed to be a great lens although it's much bigger and more expensive of course.

The long L lenses (identifiable by their distintive white bodies) which are aimed at sports and nature photographers are indeed expensive, but are of outstanding quality. I don't own anything longer than 200mm, but I can vouch for the 70-200/2.8L zoom which is the equal of many primes, and the 200/1.8L which is just the most beautiful lens ever. I might jump for a 300/4L sometime, as that lens is relatively cheap and compact and very, very sharp.

Other Canon optics worth looking at:

50/1.8 - cheap and sharp!
50/1.4 - many people prefer the bokeh of this lens to the Zeiss 50/1.4
85/1.8 - punchy in the centre even wide open and giving nice bokeh, this is a great portrait lens. Quite different in character to the Zeiss 85/1.4, I wouldn't like to be without either of them
100/2 - reputedly even better than the 85/1.8 (just as sharp in the centre but doesn't go off at the edges)
135/2L - an all-time great and a relative bargain

I'm not going to get into the Nikon/Canon thing, because I don't have enough experience of Nikon to comment. What I will say is that if you want optimum performance at full aperture in dim available light conditions, just bypass all the SLRs and invest in Leica M, there's nothing else to touch it.

TTFN

-= mike =-
 
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mike_nunan

PS. Edward: what lens(es) did you get with your 300D that you're so disappointed with?
 

fotografz

Well-Known Member
Edward, I still do not understand the source of your information. Forums such as this are used to gather information from user experience, but need some form of data to aid in determining credibility. Canon L lenses are NOT fast but unsharp as you say, at least based on 3rd party comparisons and my own real world experiences.

The Canon 35/1.4L, 50/1.4, 85/1.2L, 135/2L, 200/1.8L, 300/4L, 300/2.8L, 400/2.8L are some of the highest rated lenses in the world according to photodo.com as well as other sources. My practical experience bares this out. IMO, the Canon 50/1.4 outperforms the N 50/1.4 both in sharpness and especially bokeh for less price. Nothing in the Contax line up compares to the Canon 135/2L @ $879. except the old German made 135/2 manual lens that's now a collector lens in price. Same for the Canon 85/1.2 verses the Contax manual 85/1.2 which is better IMO, but cost a lot more and isn't available in N mount AF). There is no 35/1.4 N lens so the Canon is better by default.

Price wise check the Canon 16-35/2.8L against the Contax 17-35/2.8. This is usually a key lens in any system. And is especially so with the N system because there are no wide Ns.

Don't take this wrong. I love N Zeiss lenses. But not because of price or sharpness. It's the other characteristics that make them shine in comparison: color rendition and tonal qualities among them.
 

fotografz

Well-Known Member
Oh, BTW, if it is awesome speed without image compromise that you seek, I agree with Mike, Leica M is the only game in town... if your pocketbook can take the hit.
 
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mike_nunan

Hi Marc, we're sounding like the Canon Defence League here! ;o)

Edward, one thing I meant to add is that you can get an adapter to allow the use of C/Y mount lenses on EOS bodies. You're stuck with stop-down metering, but it's an option to consider. I'm definitely planning to invest in one so I can use the 21mm Distagon on my EOS-1v.

-= mike =-
 

fotografz

Well-Known Member
Yeah Mike, maybe to much ; -)

Is that a C/Y lens adapter only? Or do they also offer a N to EOS mount? And who is "they" that offer it?

I've used Contax 645 lenses on N bodies, as well as both F and V hasselblad glass, (the Hassey F 110/2 is unparalleled). Since I shoot mostly wide open or close to it, the "stop down metering " thing doesn't bug me that much.
 
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mike_nunan

Hi Marc,

They are C/Y only. Bob Shell and Stephen Gandy sell them in the US:

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In Europe, Speed Graphic sell the German Novoflex range of body adapters, which _may_ contain at C/Y->EOS adapter (not 100% sure). I'm with you on that stop-down metering thing, I'm really looking forward to being able to use the Distagon on my Canon bodies, especially once I get hold of a 300D.

HTH

-= mike =-
 

edwardkaraa

Well-Known Member
Ok Guys, I surrender!

No really, I stopped working with Canon gear sometime in 1991 and moved to Contax that I used untill 1995, when I quit photography altogether because I thought it had no future with all the digital technology coming up! I was wrong!

I also used a Bronica 6X7 and a Cambo 5X4".

Anyway, I have worked with Canon and Contax manual focus systems and have used Canon's 4/21, 2.8/28, 1.4/50, 2/100, 4/200, as for Contax I have used 2.8/28, 1.4/50, 1.4/85, 4/200 as well as a complete G2 system. As you see, you have a lot more experience than me, and I did quit 9 years ago, just to come back as a hobbyist a few month ago. Maybe my info is out dated!

Anyhow, I purchased a 300D kit with 1.4/50 and a Sigma 4-5.6/70-300 cheapie, and I am very disappointed with its focusing inaccuracy, and the lack of resolution in the kit lens. But maybe I have bought a faulty camera, I am not sure since I have no refernce point.
 
S

spluff

Marc,

For adapters, please also try
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. They can also manufacture adaptors, I believe, but obviously only within certain parameters.

Rgds, Saras
 

edwardkaraa

Well-Known Member
BTW, I bought the 300D because I wanted to get a cheap camera untill Contax produces a replacement for the ND, as I do not currently own any N lenses. I was planning to get an NX and a few lenses that I could use on the new ND, but finally decided on the Canon, and that imo was a big mistake!!!

Cheers,
Edward
 
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mike_nunan

Sir, place your hands on your head and step away from the tripod!! ;o)

I don't have any experience of the Canon manual focus lenses, although I've seen very flattering things written about certain of them (e.g., the f/1.2 standard lens). S'funny, in those days I used to lust after a big Nikon system, although in practice I was shooting a Contax body with off-brand lenses as I couldn't afford the Zeiss stuff.

Anyway, regarding your current set-up, you've got two budget zoom which with the best will in the world are never going to compete with the Contax primes you're talking about. The 50/1.4 is a good lens, capable of sharp results, although personally I find I don't really enjoy the look of it, for reasons that I can't really quantify. It doesn't help that the 24-70 f/2.8 zoom is so good that I don't use the 50 that much anymore. Sometime soon I'm going to test the 50/1.4 back-to-back against the 50/1.8, to see whether I like it any better.

As I say, try the 35/2 and I doubt you'll be disappointed. Even at full aperture it's pretty impressive, and once you close down by a stop or two then it's up there with the best.
 
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