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if the new Sony lenses will be Zeiss lenses, it has a big impact
It gives you a good alternative, if you do not really want to use Medium Format and but want to use a DSLR...
And one thing we have to bear in mind: Minolta made also film bodies. They are not as nice as Contax bodies. But if you invest in new Zeiss-KM glass, you have still the option to buy used an old Minolta Maxxum 9xi, or Maxxum 9 body and use the new Zeiss KM-Sony glass with film
I used to be very happy once some news appear in 35mm format. I was very happy when Zeiss Ikon came up when Marc showed less interest. I was very happy when the ZF came up, so happy that I brought a Nikon body specially for this even though I never use it.
Once you know about something better 35mm becomes less interesting. To me, medium format is more interesting. I spent more time in thinking about Schneider 38mm 5.6 than those Sony lenses.
I already have some very good lenses in 35mm format, it is very hard for me to see how much better the Sony lenses are even if they are all Zeiss. I have C-Y 21, 28 2, 60 2.8, 85 1.2, 200 2. I also have the great lenses in the M series like ZM21, ZM25, ZM35, M35 2 ASPH, M50 2, APO M75 2 ASPH and APO M90 2 ASPH. I think it is quite impossible for the Sony lenses to exceed the performance of all these. All these lenses I described have reached the limit of performance in 35mm photography. Rather than still wondering around in 35mm, it is time to move on to medium format.
I got this idea when I was shooting with all the best equipments in 35mm but I still wish to have further improvements. When you look at some magazine, I always wonder why they could produce images with such a good contrast and clarity. Medium format is the answer.
The next digital revolution will happen when each unit of the sensor can sense all three colours but at the moment it can only sense one. I doubt if Sony could reach that stage in their new DSLR.
At the moment, my R1 come to the limit of use. I shot the pigmented lesion of the face but the image produced by R1 fall short to provide adequate diagnostic informations. On the other hand, my RX together with 100mm Makro-Planar provide me with stunning images. I am still very skeptical with digital even if it is Sony or Canon.
Sorry Dirk, but IMO this is more hybrid nonsense in order to avail ourselves of Zeiss optics.
Minolta bodies are fairly well known as being plagued with quality problems and have never been a serious consideration for professional photographers.
For film, better to secure a Nikon F6 and the new ZF lenses which are finally shipping. This would give you the option of also using some of the better Nikon glass with Auto Focus ability. The F6 series cameras are tanks and offer focus confirmation in the viewfinder when Manual focus ZF lenses are mounted. Want digital? Get a D200 for those Zeiss lenses.
For Zeiss optical performance, I'm opting to add a few ZM lenses to Leica M list ... starting with the 28/2.8 in chrome to accompany my new retro designed Leica MP3 ... a match made in heaven? Plus, the digital M will be here soon.
I do not doubt, that Medium Format has its advantages over 135mm. But everybody has to decide for his/her needs what is the best compromise to give satisfaction in the mix of image quality, handling, lens reange, price and weight/size.
It is not by accident, that in the past 30 years, less Medium Format gear was sold than 135mm equipment, although verybody knows tha image quality is better imn MF. The sales numbers do not mean that one is superior to the other. It only means different people have different needs.
I have defintely not the experience in different DSLR gear as you have
I only can judge what i have seen until now and this means for me I am Zeiss "addicted". I just do not find any producer, who is able to handle ghosting and lens flare as good as Zeiss. Sharpnessa dn colours can sometimes been matched. Unfortunately I have to say, because life would be a lot easier for me with more lens options in this respect. And things like Vignetting and distortion seem nowadays more a question of Photoshop/PT lens/DxO than the lens itself.
The option to combine ZF lenses with a Nikon F6 is definetly a very good alternative. If Zeiss will come up with more than 4 ZF lenses, this might be also intersting for a broader audience. Also a Nikon D200 with Zeiss ZF lenses is a very good alternative IMO.
I agree that Nikon bodies seems to be sturdier (in the pro cameras) than Minolta. I just mentioned the MInolta analogue bodies, because I do not think that Sony will bring any analogue body on the market.
Just to make things clear: As already mentioned in my Sony R1 commenst, I am very skeptical regarding the future productline Alpha of Sony. They have to convince me first, that this is really a longterm committment and secondly that they are able to match "Contax standards".
If they fail, the Nikon-route is the only choice I can see at the moment for me personally, especially since it looks like they would offer longterm also a fullframe body and ZF lenses are designed for fullframe. (@antony: currently teher are no fullframe DSLRs in the Nikon product range)
The question about the longterm committment of Sony "looks" today a littel bit better than a few weeks ago, after the announcement of over 20 new lenses to be released within the first 12 months. If this is not rebadget KM stuff and real Zeiss lenses, this is a strong offer. BUt still Sony can say good by after 2 years and we are sitting with a soon outdated DLSR and 20 lenses at home
Nevertheless: With what they showed me with the Sony R1, I do not know whether they have the right people to decide how features have to be implemented etc. So no Contax standard at all at the moment IMO. I do not expect a sturdier body for this price. My criticism is only regarding the way how they handled easy things like ISO auto, different program modes, writings speed, etc. Things that do not cost much to make it right, but for which you have to have somebody, who has a clou about photography, rather than video games
So it is obvious that Sony push the marketing department to make promises. We will see after the products are in the shelves, whether it is only overpromising and underlivering, or whether this is also an alternative for Contax users.
P.s.: I will move thrse alst postings into the Sony corner, since this has nothig to do anymore with the Zeiss 21mm
Why are you still promoting the idea that Sony will offer Zeiss glass for the new Sony Alpha mount cameras? Is this what your source is still telling you?
Surely with the launch of the new system only a couple of weeks away, there would be a hint from Sony about this - like a reference to the "high level optical engineering expertise" or similar talk. Instead in the so called "interview" Sony has chosen to stress succession of Konica Minolta line. So I rather have to agree with the pervasive rumour that the Alpha glass will be partly produced by Tamron and partly in KM "new" factory in China.
I do not want to promote anything. I am neither an employee of any of those brands, nor am I financially benefitting, if Sony will offer Zeiss lenses
I have no news from my side regarding Zeiss lenses by the way.
The success of Sony DSLR future lives and dies with the KM mount. Do not overinterprete the interview. Sony does not want to sell its cameras only to new users. The whole strategy only works, if they can convince NOW all old Minolta users not to switch the brand/lens mount. Especiall all users, who are still in analogue photography.
Here is the phrase of the interview again:
"...To successfully create this culture, it's not enough to offer a body and two or three lens options, which is why, starting this summer, we will launch more than 20 new lens models over the course of a year. Combined with the over 16 million compatible lenses that have been sold to date, we are bringing our entire camera culture toward an ever-expanding future for our customers...."
For me the wording "new lens models" means really new models, no rebadging. Although I am cautious with this interpretation, since the purpose of such an interiew is always marketing and because of this, you never know exactly what they mean until you see it on your table
The next phrase: "...Combined with the over 16 million compatible lenses that have been sold to date..."
Is only a nice try to show people that Minolta is not a dead brand to be avoided by new costumers. The mesage is: it is still alive with a big community of 16 million lenses so far, who like their KM system. The logic behind it IMHO: You do not want to buy a car which nobody else wants to buy, right?
So why do they write all this? I think they have looked at the Olympus E-System dilemma and and the Contax N system dilemma and try now to avoid a similar route. It is not enough nowadays to have a good system in place. You need to give the buyer the feeling, that he is investing his money in a system that survives also in 3 years. And an advanced amateur & professional only wants to invest in a system, that has enough choice for the different needs and the know-how to do this.
Sony knows, that people will be suspicious to Sony cameras. To sell P&S and videogames is a different level than DSLRs. There will be many peope who say : Why shall I buy a sony DSLR, they have no market share and no "real" lens know-how and there do exist only non-digital optimized old KM lenses anyway and therefore there is no chance to survive for that system..."
So Sony will try to put this into perspective how they see it and they are partially right.
a) It is easier to convince owners of 16 million lenses to buy a DSLR which fits the mount, then to convince them to buy into a new lens-mount (Kyocera and Olympus ignored that point). Everybody knows that you need at the end of the day in most cases new lenses for a 10MP camera. But people still prefer first to buy the DLSR body and use it first with old lenses. Later on they buy more new lenses. And you keep all te costumers.
This was the case with all brands: Canon, Nikon etc. Sony would have never tried to enter the DSLR market without a cooperation with an established mount. The fact that Minolta just gave up, was IMHO nothing Sony knew one year ago when they signed the cooperation.
b) The "neighbor effect" as described above with the car (Olympus and Kyocera ignored that point)
c) Showing committment with a huge range of new lenses (Kyocera missed that totally with the N-System, Olympus catched up recently)
Sony will IMHO again and again try to give indications why they take this market entrance seriously and wants to stay in it forever. If they do not succeed to convince a bigger audience with this than Olympus and Kyocera, they will fail. IMHO they know that a DSLR with a great chip is not enough. Even if the sensor will be better than anything Canon has to offer, this will not be enough to gain significant marketshare. Canon sensors are good enough to stick with it. No reason for the masses to switch. And if new buyers have the choice between a new unknown Sony system and a well established Canon system that every second neighbour is using, they will not hesitate to buy Canon
So we can casually lay back and watch what else Sony is showing to seduce us. For us there is no reson to hurry as I and others stated many times in the past. We do have already working systems - either analogue or digital. And we have a very high image quality with our Contax system, which not every other user can say
I would recommend to treat it like a movie: Enjoy the play, watch closely all the actors and be curious about the end
Thank you for your long answer. I couldn't agree more with what you say in your post.
When I used word "promote" I did not mean it in a commercial sense. More like "popularize" or "spread the rumour" - because that was how I interpreted the reference to a possibility of Zeiss glass on Sony bodies.
I personally think that the "dream" (if there ever was one) that Sony Alpha line will offer Zeiss glass is over. So I am puzzled whenever the reference to this possibility crops up - hence my reaction.
My armchair analysis is that Sony does not need superior (read Zeiss) glass to capture their stated whopping (what was it - 25%?) share of the SRL market. Majority of market does not need superior glass, they just need &le amounts of sensibly priced competent glass - and that is what Konica Minolta/Tamron/Sony have plenty. Very seldom do people switch over to other systems because of superior/inferior optics. Majority of optics these days is good enough for majority of people. I know members on this forum are an exception, but this a tiny minority.
As for that rumour on photoscala.com posting, I find that really amusing. If anything the glass on that camera DOES NOT look even remotely like ZEISS glass.
Chi! Partial frame, almost for sure. My guess (and only a guess) is that the "new super body that will (not) shake the world" will be a rebadged KM D5 with a memory stick and possibly with their 10 MP sensor a la R1, but most probably the old 6 MP with 10 MP reserved to the more pro oriented successor of 7D. 20 new lens models - the sheer number tells me that this will rebadged KM stuff. You cannot possibly bring out 20 NEW lens models in a year's time.
I trhink you are right with the statement about the majority.
The only problem I do see, is: The rebadging you described in your posting is exactly what Minolta did in the past. So if they did not succeed to come over 3% marketshare in DSLR market with this strategy, how Sony thinks they will succedd without anything REALLY special?
I doubt that the body only will help here alone. They can not offer it significant cheaper than Canon. And for teh same price, they can not offer significant better DSLRs than Canon.
So with what can Sony really suprise/differentiate? It has to be something unique.
- Antishake? Is history, nothing new and the market did obviously not see "AS" as the significant difference to be convinced to buy the product.
- Sensor? no, see obove
- Build quality? The majority does not need "Contax quality"
Maybe someone has better ideas, but I can only think of lenses, to really differntiate from others nowadays. At least from a marketing perspective. Not everybody will see the difference between Zeiss glass and other lenses. But nevertheless it sounds good in a sales pitch
I agree that it is difficult to come up with 20 new lenses within a year. But if these are rebadged Contax & ZF lenses, this would be possible IMHO.
So the design of at least +14 new lenses would be already there, only production and quality control would be the problem. And some of the "old" RTS mount lenses would not be bad either. With new anti-flare know-how, this would be also interesting (21mm, 25mm, 18mm, etc.)
But as you said, how many and which one is now speculation and guessing. But I am pretty sure that some will be Zeiss lenses. Both because of our sources and because everything else does not make sense in my view.
It is a fun game. My guess against your guess. And your mysterious "source".
Dirk, it is a real paradise picture you have painted with the assortment of the beautiful Zeiss glass above. But how much such system would cost? Who would be able to afford it? Definitely not the 25% market share.
It is indeed a good question - what will be Sony's competetive edge, if (according to my infinite wisdom) Zeiss glass it is not. My short answer - nothing special on technological front, but just sheer Sony marketing muscle, pervasive omnipresence, price wars until it hurts. Think Sony, think BIG! What differentiates Sony from other players is that is is very HUGE (even such not so small companies as CANON are dwarfed by Sony). As someone from Latvia observed on photo.net - he is happy that Sony have taken over Konica Minolta photo business - at least he will be able to buy their products from now on. Previously there was only one small company selling/distributing Konica Minolta in Latvia. They had one shop in Riga. In comparison there are dozens and dozens stores selling Sony stuff, including huge specialized Sony only centers. Despite all SONY's marketing talk about excellence, I think that they are aiming at mass market. SLRs missing from their product line-up? No problem - let's stomp in and milk the cow.