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New Zeiss lenses with Canon mount AND AF support at Photokina


Dear all,

according to a reliable source, Zeiss will announce new Zeiss lenses with Canon mount at Photokina 2008. They will support all metering methods. It seems that the copyright protection of the Canon lens mount will end in 2008.

This would make sense. Zeiss did basically the same with the Leica and Nikon mount, except that for Nikon, the AF system seemed to be still copyright-protected.

If that turns true, this would mean a kind of revival of Contax, just with Canon bodies :)

Since the Sony-Zeiss cooperation is very disappointed so far, this would be finallly good news...



Well-Known Member
Hi Dirk,
That's good news.
I wonder if it will be possible to alter existing C/Y lenses to the new mount.




I've got an N1, 17-35,24-85,50,70-300 and the 100Macro and I love everything except scanning in the Provia!

I've had been toying with the idea of getting an ND, and was leaning more towards the Conurus option, but not until after Photokina 2008! Conurus is still waiting for the new production parts, so they aren't doing any conversions right now anyway. I found and purchased an ND this past weekend, so for now I can satisfy my digital cravings. When I grow out of 6MP being enough, I'll be looking at the Conurus option again.

I noticed Dalsa just announced a 17MP 24x36 sensor in January 2008. Dalsa also owns the 6MP sensor that was used in the ND (formerly Philips).

It's too bad that someone can't take that Dalsa sensor and build a digital back like is on the Leica R, after all, there are 12 contacts on the N1 where the D-10 databack talks to the N1. I'm willing to bet that it's completely possible. Is the information on what's in those 12 contacts available? Difficult to reverse engineer?

My other thought is that Contax owners spend the money they spend because they want quality, and they want something that is going to last for years. The ND was the beginning of the "digital of the month" club, which is anti-Contax. Perhaps they just pulled out until they advanced to a point where they could again offer a camera that wouldn't be obsolete in 10 years. I think a well executed 17MP CCD would be the ticket if it's executed as well as the former 6MP CCD from a hardware perspective. (And they definatly have to get better software!) And if it's that good, there's no good reason for a 645 series, however, there's the NAM-1 which lets you use all of your glass. I'd love to see that!!!

On the other hand, it would be great to see Canon introduce a camera that could accept all N-mount lenses as well as EF lenses. I bet they could do that. Whether they'd want to is a different story.



Hi Mark,

I doubt, that Canon is interested in supporting in any way the excellent lenses of teh Contax N System. They obviously want to sell their own stuff. And if you look at the difference in image quality Canon vs. Zeiss, it would be a bad marketing for their L lenses, if more and more people get used to Zeiss quaity :)

The Contax ND is a great camera in so mayn aspects. It is almost perfect except for battery life and images quality, if you compare it with the news genereation of Nikon D3/D700.

It is tough but the image quality increase with each sensor technology makes a bigger difference then what the Zeiss lenses can show in combination with an ND.

So in my current opinion, it might be better - if you want to shoot digital at all - to purchase either Canon oir Nikon and use Zeiss lenses with it.

As far as I can interprete at the moment, Zeiss will only offer those lenses in Canon mount, which are already offered with ZF mount. No Autofocus, no new lenses.

So currently you have the better body with a Nikon D3/D700 or even D300 than the Canon equivalents, but with Canon, you have the option to use it in addition with Contax manuel focus (C/Y) lenses, converted N-leneses and Zeiss ZS lenses. So this is a lot more choice than with Nikon mount.

I personnally prefer Nikon over Canon for various reasons, but this is a very subjective view. Sometimes a price tag is also the driving factor, if you want to try new things out :)

As a matter of fact, I just purchased last week a Canon 450D and I will test it in the field with my Zeiss ZS lenses and also with some other lenses soon...

Regarding Contax revival with Dalsa sensor: I do not think that there will be any kind of revival of the Contax brand name unless something really new and unexpected would happen which is impossible to predict now.

Best wishes