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Sounds great for those people without a legacy system...or, alternatively, enough money to spend on changing systems (again). Presumably the tech spec of the KM mount and lens/sensor plane distance precludes any opportunity for an adaptor to mount Contax N lenses onto the Alpha...? I really would like a new home for my N lenses...and this aint likely to be it. Mr Kobayashi: pls buy the old Contax tooling (and Kyocera, pls sell it) so we can have some C/Y and N mount successors this decade.
I was on the phone with Zeiss and there is no hope for an adapter for the N-System. I included this into my questionaire and will publish the answers as soon as I have them in Englisch at Camera-info.com
Yes, that's no surprise....given the technical infeasibility of an adaptor. I think I will keep using the ND for as long as I can...and hope that Cosina will eventually exploit the niche opportunity with an N mount offering. The latter will require a miracle...and a bargain acquisition price for the old Kyocera tooling and n system IPR.
I handled the new Sony Alpha today for the first time and I have to say that I was somewhat disappointed. I found it bulky and plasticky. It also has a very small view finder. The camera did not seem at all well made. I think that Sony will have to do better than this if it wishes to take the market by storm as it is suggesting. I know that we are to expect superior models in due course but this is no way to build up a reputation. These are my feelings despite the favourable reviews that I have read. I know that nearly all DSLR's suffer from small view finders but I had hoped for an improvement in this brand new model.
I was interested in the camera because of the Carl Zeiss lenses due for it and the reputation of the sensor in the equivalent Nikon model.
It is very likely, taht the other Sony DSLR models will come later next year. If you want to have absolutely use the new Zeiss Alpha lenses, I would suggest the Konica Minolta 7D. It has "only" 6MP. But from handling perspective (controls, Viewfinder, LCD screen, AS etc.) it is a lot better than you might think and above all a "cheap test platform"
For Marc, it might be a horribly expensive experience. For me, I am still enjoying my Contax gears, including my recent purchase of the Contax 645. Pros and Amateurs have different expectations.
The ideal digital Carl Zeiss system has not materialized. As John said, the build quality of Sony is definitely behind what we are expecting. There are only 2-3 Sony Zeiss lenses. We are waiting for the full frame Sony and more number of Zeiss lenses.
For the Nikon system, again we are waiting for the full frame body.
In general, Zeiss has always been keeping us waiting... waiting and waiting. Perhaps, good things for those who waits.
We are talking about digital here Joseph. The Contax N digital experience was the horribly expensive lesson including the costly N lenses. I also still have film cameras, and for MF I use Ziess with film and digital..
Clarification: there are only a few Zeiss/Sony lenses planned, They are not even here yet.
Meanwhile, the world turns. The Canon Juggernaut is poised to roll forward with better and better digital solutions.
I think the good thing that will come to those who wait will have a Leica name on it and be called the M8. A nice place for Zeiss lovers to use ZM glass for film and digital 35mm.
Well, I might wait longer for the second generation of digital M. The first generation has a smaller frame.
The current generation of Canon like 5D/1DsII are very good, but if you wait longer you might get better ones. They might have better shadow details and more film like. They will have a lower price.
I can't remember I read from somewhere that Nikon's camera sensor is supplied by Sony. I would expect Sony and Nikon will come up with a full frame more or less at the same time. I have good expectations to Zeiss F lenses. At the moment there are 2 of them, and 2 more waiting to come. ZF 50 1.4 and ZF 85 1.4 are better than the Contax ones.
I gather from my friends that the new Sony alpha 100 is even more plasticky than Sony R1.
One thing I don't understand is Sony's decision to exclude Zeiss from wide angles. In the past I had a Minolta 85 1.4, it is not too bad but Sony is getting a ZA85 1.4. ZA135 1.8 is interesting but it is not a common focal length. I used to have a Minolta 20mm 2.8 and it is really bad, but Sony is making it again rather than reviving a Zeiss 21 2.8.
I suppose Sony could generate a higher revenue by introducting a cheaper system. If it is cheaper more people will be able to buy it. Expensive system is just like the apex of the pyramid, a company would not be able to earn much from it.
The same applied to Hasselblad H system. It is an expensive system. I suppose if Zeiss lenses were used it would make it even more expensive. Less people would buy them and Hasselblad would generate less revenue.
The current trend in the camera industry at the moment is Zeiss exclusion. Zeiss has to make way in strange situations like ZF when she can make lenses after the expire of mount patency.
We expect a brand of its own rather than an existence like symbiosis. We expect to see a brand in the main stream with all the lenses from Zeiss. Zeiss Ikon is not included in this catergory because rangefinder only occupies a very small part of the industry.
An 85 and a 135 being traditional focal lengths do sound very much to be suited to a full frame frame camera which does tend to confirm the rumours that a full frame sensor is on the way but I wonder when this will be. It sounds as though no new bodies will be arriving for some time.
From what I read, the Alpha seems to take good pictures but, I don't think it is up to the Canon 5D (again from what I read) but it does have the anti dust feature and that really appeals to me- even more than the anti shake system.
The 5D is of course far more expensive than the Sony but it is so much better made and has a much better view finder.
I can only think that Sony have deliberately targeted the cheaper end of the market although this "entry level" model is still £600 wich is not exactly a small amount of money and apparently the kit lenses are not much cop.
I suppose they feel that if they get people hooked with the Alpha, the customers will stay loyal and migrate to the more expensive models which are to come.
Or it may just be that they have not yet got the better models ready for release.
It's interesting that the strategy is the exact opposite from Olympus who joined the DSLR market with a professional model in the E1 and who are now lagging behind and suffering through not having an up to date pro model.
Just a note agreeing with your comment about Olympus and the E-1 - a camera I love which works very well with C/Y Zeiss lenses. Olympus decided to risk waiting a long while while they updated the E-1 and instead tried to encourage new non-pro adopters of the system with models like the 500 and 330.
Expect details of the E-1 replacement at Photokina but it may yet be 2007 before anyone can get theur hands on one. I'm intrigued to see what changes, apart from an increased pixel count and speedier image processing, will be made.
It also has to be said that some of the Olympus pro-spec lenses rival Zeiss for their image quality - and the top telephotos knock spots off them for speed and portability. Mind you, having effectively a 1000 f4.5 is a bit special...and then add the Mutar and you have a 2000 f8....
I do think that currently it is hard to beat the Canon DSLRs in many aspects. But as we learned over the years, the status quo of today is irrelevant as long as you are not planning to buy NOW a DSLR. So those of you, who can wait, might always get better performance for the same or less price than today. But you also have to wait. And you have to ask yourself how long you want to wait
On the other hand, you have to ask yourself, whether the current DSLR quality is not already enough for you for the amateur level and/or your first steps with DSLR. If this is true for you, I would recommend to buy the cheapest offer you can or even second hand. This is IMHO the only way to avoid massive devaluation of your money in the DSLR race nowadays..
Regarding Olympus E-1: Olympus originally never planned to release the E1 with only 5MP. But although promised, Kodak could not deliver a 8MP sensor for the E1 in time, so they Olympus had to take the other sensor. 8MP at the release date of the E1 would have been a better start for Olympus...
According to Zeiss, they would love to offer many more lenses for the Alpha System, incl. Widseangles. But it is the same dilemma as with Kyocera: They have to convince Sony, that these lenses are necessary with a Zeiss name & quality on it. If Sony does not order them from Zeiss, Zeiss will not offer them to the market. We have to bear in mind, that in most cases, the decision makers for those decisions are not photographers. So they do not really know the differences between the lenses ....
I always had a leaning towards the E system and may yet plunge. I had noticed those lenses advertised but I think they are very expensive, as you would espect for something like that I suppose. A 1000 f 4.5 (and 2000 f8, blimey!) would really be quite something and terrific for bird photogaphy I would have thought. Yep, so that's another option for using my CZ lenses digitaly. Hmmm, I will bear it in mind but I think I will hang on until Photokina to see what happens. I haven't heard any rumours as to what might be introduced but I would have thought that there must be an E1 replacement soon, to keep up.
The Canons are so much more expensive and they don't have the dust filter but no doubt they are good especially the 5D and up.
I do want to keep using my CZ lenses but with Olympus there will be the crop factor.
I have seen the E1 at a pretty good price. I wonder if it is worth buying it at this stage. I have Genuine Fractals which is excellent, and could upsize the files.
As a matter of interest, which adapter do you use?
That's very interesting. I think that camera (and I suppose electronics nowadays) companies should have photographers on their boards
. Let's hope that Sony gives Zeiss the green light.
You're probably right financially about buying entry level or second hand but the trouble is that when you are used to Contax all the cheaper cameras seem inferior and those tiny viewfinders...
I probably shall continue to hang on and chew the cud on taking the plunge because I am delighted with my scanner and film.It is just that it is such a slow process to scan. It takes a fortnight to scan a holiday's worth!
I wibdewr if the E1 would have been as good with an 8MP sensor particularly at the time it came out. It might have been much noisier.
And now I have just seen in your excellent new news pages that there may well be a new Sigma and possible Foveon sensor at Photokina - complications even further to decision making. I have often thought that the Sigma Foveon system had a lot going for it even though the cameras so far are large.
I've had a lot of fun using the Zeiss lenses on the E-1, remembering that you are doubling the focal length. The only lenses that gave me problems were my 85 1.2s in which the aperture was obliged to stick at 1.2. I had a 300 f4 with a Mutar II on the Olympus which gave me a 1200 f8 delivering suprisingly sharp images. The Mirotar 4.5 became a 1000 4.5 and with the Mutar II (Mutar I is not too good with the Mirotar) a 2000 f8. Awesome!
Although not cheap, the pro-spec Olympus lenses probably compare favourably with what Zeiss would have charged for a similar lens - like the Olympus 300 2.8 (35mm: 600 2.8) at around £4500; just think of the cost of the Zeiss 300 2.8 and then treble it for a 600!
I think my adaptor is the one available from Cameraquest in the US - it is unmarked but that name rings a bell. I bought a cheap one on ebay as well - no comparison with build quality! I think I paid about £100 for Cameraquest's model and it's a perfect fit.
I spoke to the Olympus people at the camera fair at the NEC in spring - they confirmed that the new E-1 would be ready to show at Photokina but may not be available to buy for a while. No hints as to changes though..
I gather from this thread that Olympus might be the best digital platform for manual focus C/Y lenses. Nikon, it seems, is out of the picture for technical reasons, which is too bad as the D-50 may be a better camera body than the e-500.
So I'm thinking of getting the e-500 with two kit lenses as an initial step into DSLRs. I would classify myself in the prosumer category; I certainly can't justify the cost of an E-1 or its replacement.
I have some really nice CZ glass in excellent condition, including Distagon 4/18, Planar 1.4/85, Sonnar 2.8/180. I've been thinking of selling them, but I'm thinking I can salvage at least part of their fabulous quality by using them with the e-500, even with the limitations of manual stop-down, manual focusing and 2x conversion ratio. On the other hand, that 180 becomes a 360...
A few questions:
1) Am I right about Olympus as the best digital platform for the above lenses?
2) Will the Chinese adapter ring work well enough, or is it a piece of junk?
3) Would the 180, which probably weighs 500g or more, tend to warp the adapter ring?
4) Any other digital camera platforms I should consider?
Would really appreciate feedback from forum members.