New Zeiss Ikon Rangefinder and Leica mount lenses

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by zab, Oct 31, 2004.

  1. zab

    zab

    All this kerfuffel about the new Zeiss Ikon rangefinder and the ZM
    lenses and I haven't seen any decent photos of the camera or the
    lenses - (the side-shots on the official web site might as well be
    technical drawings) - until today. Have a look at:

    http://zeiss.hp.infoseek.co.jp/fotokina2004-zm.htm
     
  2. Nice gleaming lenses. To me the most interesting one is the 15/2.8 Distagon (which is made in Germany). The others duplicate or are very close to the specifications of the current Leica offerings. Let's hope it will not be priced like the 16/8 Hologon for Contax G.
     
  3. In Australia orders are being accepted for the ZI body and lenses. Hasselblad distributors are handling it. They say that the body will fall between Leica and Voigtlander in terms of build and price.

    The initial lens pricing they are advising retail dealers also falls between Leica and Voigtlander but closer to Leica. For example the few German built lenses have estimated AU$ pricing between AU$3k and 5k. The Japanese lenses have pricing range of AU$1k to 2k. If the quality of optics and build are what we expect of Zeiss these could be very very competitive. But, what ZI does with the body will be interesting to see.

    All in all, this is a very interesting initiative - resurecting a wonderful brand with a new rangefinder 35mm camera and film at that in what we all thought is a declining market segment!! Maybe (as some have predicted) buyers are realising that the digi versus film issue is not an issue but just a question of chosen media for capturing images.

    Despite Zeiss' comments (see the Zeissikon.com web site FAQ page) about digital sensors not being up to a film standard that can capture what Zeiss lenses produce; it will be interesting to see how quickly Zeiss introduces a digital version to compete with Leicas announced intention to release an MD in 2006.
     
  4. The Zeiss website states that it expects these ZM lenses to surpass the
    quality of the Contarex lenses. The Contarex lenses are among my very
    favorite
    lenses. During 45 years of photography I have found none that I prefer to
    them. A few of the Leica M + R lenses come close. So hurry Zeiss, let us see
    just what all this "kerfuffel" is all about.
     
  5. At PhotoPlus Expo in New York, the Hasselblad rep told us that 4 of the lenses (25/2.8, 28/2.8, 35/2, & 50/2) will be available soon, scheduled to be shipped out of Sweden in November. They hope to have the other 3 lenses available early in 2005. The body is scheduled to be shipped from Sweden in April to be available for retail sales in May.

    He said that pricing will be about 60% of Leica prices - maybe even a little lower than that. The way Leica prices are rising - another price increase announced for January - I expect prices to be even less than 60% Leica. However, he said that only applies to the lenses made in japan. The 2 lenses being made in Germany (15/2.8 and 85/2) will cost more because of higher production costs in Germany.
     
  6. I thought there was the Biogon 21/2.8 that was supposed to be made in Germany also. I think the Biogons (35 and 21) are going to be interesting, as compared to the Distagon 15mm. If I'm not wrong, the Distagon is the wide angle design to cater for the SLR mirror box and the rear element sits further away from the film plane; probably to cater for metering. IMHO, I think that Zeiss should stick to the Hologon design, even though it might possibly block any TTL meetering in the body.

    Chee-Hoe GOH
     
  7. What's up with the front bayonette being shiny chrome for light to bounce into the lens? Otherwise, very interesting set-up.
     
  8. Definitely not as pretty as the Leica lenses. Wondering if the hoods will fit the Leica, though.

    Wai Leong

    PS Why do the Japanese websites always get the scoop on new Leica/Zeiss equipment pictures?
     
  9. The bayonet on the front of the lens looks like it is for the hood.
    Also, it appears that the filter will screw in and the hood will go over the filter, like the VC lenses.
     
  10. That's a stylistic cue from the old Contarex lenses (CV has been using it in their latest M-mount lenses, too), see, e.g., <http://www.fotoralf.de/contalens.htm>. As w/the Contarex lenses, reflections aren't a problem if you use the hood.

    --------------------

    "What's up with the front bayonette being shiny chrome for light to bounce into the lens? Otherwise, very interesting set-up."
     
  11. the pics have been out for a while...came out the day photokina began

    i commented on the unsightliness of the lenses back then...it just isn't right for the front
    of black lenses to be so blatantly silver..i don't need anymore fodder for design class
    discussions
     
  12. Golly, a 15mm f/2.8 and a 21mm f/2.8 biogon? These are not your father's Noktons! This
    seems exciting to me (he says, as he surveys a tableful of Canon digistuff and nary an M-
    mount anything in sight...).

    Wow.
     
  13. Japanese list prices:

    Biogon T* 2.8/21 ZM
    120,000 Yen
    Out in 2005

    Biogon T* 2.8/25 ZM
    105,000 Yen
    December 2004

    Biogon T* 2.8/28 ZM
    95,000 Yen
    December 2004

    Biogon T* 2/35 ZM
    95,000 Yen
    November 2004

    Planar T* 2/50 ZM
    75,000 Yen
    November 2004

    Lens hoods are 7,500, finders 39,500.

    No prices on the two lenses made in Germany yet (15 & 85).
     
  14. IMHO, I think that Zeiss should stick to the Hologon design, even though it might possibly block any TTL meetering in the body.
    Bad idea. First, the Hologon is a fixed focus lens. It wouldn't be rangefinder coupled. Second, the Hologon is fixed f/8. That limits its use to daylight or tripod. Third, I doubt it fits into the plan for a possible digital camera, as the current crop of lenses have been designed for possible use with digital. Fourth, it most likely would require a costly centre-spot filter for transparency films. Fifth, (my opinion) it probably would be prohibitively expensive.
     
  15. >it just isn't right for the front of black lenses to be so blatantly silver..i don't need anymore fodder for design class discussions

    Did you measure the surface of the chrome rings for their angles and found they really reflect light into the lens? Better tell Hassey and Zeiss (even Rollei) because those lenses have been looking like that for decades.
     
  16. i'm not arguing that the silver will affect the lenses' optical qualities...in a facetious way, i
    find them functionally unpretty...it will not stop me from buying a couple if they perform
    as well as i expect, but if i were one to photograph my cameras and lenses, maybe it
    would
     
  17. Bad idea. First, the Hologon is a fixed focus lens. It wouldn't be rangefinder coupled. Second, the Hologon is fixed f/8. That limits its use to daylight or tripod. Third, I doubt it fits into the plan for a possible digital camera, as the current crop of lenses have been designed for possible use with digital. Fourth, it most likely would require a costly centre-spot filter for transparency films. Fifth, (my opinion) it probably would be prohibitively expensive. Good rebuttal! Do you think the Distagon going to cut it in a rangefinder design?
     
  18. The Hasselblad rep said the Distagon uses 11 floating elements. For that reason, the complexity of construction is beyond what Cosina can currently produce. The Hasselblad rep said that Zeiss selected the Distagon over the Hologon for the reasons that I mentioned. I think he was repeating what Zeiss mentioned in its FAQ on the camera and lenses. It's an ultrawide, and I suppose that there is demand in rangefinder photography for an ultrawide. Given that it has a nice aperture range (f/2.8-f/22), claimed high resolving power at open aperture, it would seem to be a good product. However, the CV lens f/4.5 15mm Heliar is also a nice piece of glass. How much extra will people pay for another stop of speed and the Carl Zeiss name and design? That's a bit tough to determine. If the lens performs as advertised, then it should be a good seller. If the lens doesn't perform as expected, the marketplace will settle things. The Hologon is an amazing lens. The Contarex Hologon camera is very interesting, and if you've ever seen one, the lens is unlike anything you'll ever see.
    009y01-20263684.jpg
     
  19. "Bad idea. First, the Hologon is a fixed focus lens. It wouldn't be rangefinder coupled."

    The Hologon was NOT fixed focus. The Contarex version had two focus settings, .3 meter and infinity, as far as I know. The Leica version could be scale focussed from 0.2 meters to infinity.

    As to rangefinder coupling -- no one cares about rangefinder coupling a 15mm lens. At F8, the depth of field reaches from a few inches to infinity.

    That being said, no one needs the fantastically expensive Hologon when you can have a 15/4.5 from VC which is better in every possible way.
     
  20. Chee-Hoe, the Biogon 21/2.8 will be made by Cosina in Japan. Only the Distagon 15/2.8 & the "Sonnar" 85/2 will be made in Germany.
     
  21. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    "Fred Mueggelhopper , oct 31, 2004; 06:53 p.m.
    The Zeiss website states that it expects these ZM lenses to surpass the quality of the Contarex lenses"

    I have checked www.zeissikon.com but could not find the statement. Is it true that Zeiss states such a claim?

    YS
     
  22. "...surpass the quality of the Contarex lenses"

    Weren't the Contarexes manufactured in the 1950's? Haven't optics progressed since then?

    Okay, I have Rollei lenses from that era that I really like, but even so..
     
  23. Today Cosina has officially launched their pages on Zeiss lenses. Sorry, in Japanese only
    for now:

    http://www.cosina.co.jp/
     
  24. The Hologon was NOT fixed focus. The Contarex version had two focus settings, .3 meter and infinity, as far as I know.
    The Contarex Hologon has no ability to focus. It's a lens mated to a body -- no focusing helical and no focusing ring. The stated depth of field is 0.5m to infinity.
    However, you're right that a 15mm lens doesn't need to be rangefinder coupled. With the extreme depth of field, it isn't necessary, though at f/2.8 at close distances, you might want a bit more accuracy.
     
  25. Cosina! Oh well. I shouldn't be suprised after all my old Contax SLR/Carl Zeiss lenses were made by Kyocera and they were great. Lets just hope that Zeiss have some sort of influence over quality.

    I was sure that Cosina make sub Vivitar/Phoenix quality stuff until recently. Has Mr Kobayashi really turned things around THAT much?

    Zeiss & Cosina. Just doesn't sound right. What has the world come to...(mutter, grumble, bah...)

    Old Carl and Otto (Schott) and Paul Rudolph must be spinning rapidly by now. Who am I to talk? My P&S is hand made in Germany in small quantities by German technicians in white coats and half moon specs and my SLR is made in Thailand in batches of about 1,000,000,000 a day. Its all wrong, wrong......

    (my SLR should be lovingly assembled in small batches by men in white coats who served 10 year apprenticeships and my P&S should be spat out of some flat pack factory in Macau by the zillion.)
     
  26. >I shouldn't be suprised after all my old Contax SLR/Carl Zeiss lenses were made by Kyocera

    Sorry to disappoint you, Trevor. Kyocera (formerly Yashica) definitely didn't make those Zeiss lenses. (Guess who did?) They did make your cameras, though.
     
  27. >The Contarex Hologon has no ability to focus

    I think Cameron was referring to the interchangeable lens itself, not the fixed-lens Hologon camera (which was only introduced when the Zeiss Ikon death bell started to toll.)

    >I shouldn't be suprised after all my old Contax SLR/Carl Zeiss lenses were made by Kyocera

    Sorry to disappoint you, Trevor. Kyocera (formerly Yashica) definitely didn't make those Zeiss lenses. (Guess who did?) They did make your cameras, though.

    >Today Cosina has officially launched their pages on Zeiss lenses.

    Cosina follows Zeiss who insists on calling this double-Gauss design "Sonnar." Most baffling.

    http://www.cosina.co.jp/seihin/co/s-85/index.html
     
  28. Andrew, obviously Carl Zeiss lenses are made by Carl Zeiss even though in the case of the Contax lenses they are produced in a facility in Japan. What's more interesting is the fact that on their website, Zeiss says that although the original decision to move the manufacturing facilities to Japan was originally done for reasons of cost, that this would no longer be necessary today, that it is no longer more expensive to manufacture lenses in Germany than in Japan. In contradiction of this, Zeiss says on the Zeiss Ikon website that the decision to manufacture the ZI camera body & 5 of the 7 lenses to Cosina in Japan was for the purpose of reducing costs. sounds like theirs more to the story.
     
  29. >obviously Carl Zeiss lenses are made by Carl Zeiss

    That's what I've been trying to say....for the umpteenth time.

    >Zeiss says on the Zeiss Ikon website that the decision to manufacture the ZI camera body & 5 of the 7 lenses to Cosina in Japan was for the purpose of reducing costs.

    No contradiction there. The lenses for Contax are made by Zeiss themselves (even in Japan.) The ZM lenses (except two) are made by Cosina, obviously an outsourcing measure to lower cost.
     
  30. Andrew, Zeiss is saying on their website that manufacturing in Japan does not represent the cost savings that it once did. So where does the cost savings come from in having the new lenses manufactured by Cosina in Japan? I'm confused.
     
  31. Perhaps Cosina has a cost advantage over the Japanese Zeiss works (particularly w/regard to Leica-type lens mounts & assemblies, as opposed to just the glass)?

    ---------------------

    "Andrew, Zeiss is saying on their website that manufacturing in Japan does not represent the cost savings that it once did. So where does the cost savings come from in having the new lenses manufactured by Cosina in Japan? I'm confused."
     
  32. CC is right. The paragraph Bill mentions actually refers to the Zeiss plant in Japan (which makes the lenses for Contax) and surely not every single factory in the entire country. Also it was written before Cosina started the Voigtlander business, I believe.
     
  33. Thanks for the comments, Andrew & Chris.

    Andrew, I think you're right about the comment re Japanese vs German manufacturing economics may be a little dated. I just wonder how Cosina is able to do it cheaper than Zeiss could do it in their own Japanese plant.
     
  34. Now, are there any mailorder houses that offer these products?
     
  35. www.classicconnection.com has 4 of the lenses listed as "in stock" on their website.

    www.photovillage.com syas on their website that they will be carrying the Zeiss Ikon. No other details listed.

    I haven't seen any others yet.
     

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