New Zeiss Ikon with Biogon

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by lucien|1, Sep 17, 2004.

  1. The full picture$File/BwP-28.jpg [Moderator note: link doesn't work]
  2. It looks rather normal - classic accents but modernised to be a bit 'cleaner'. I guess we have to wait until Sunday unless somebody here has been to Photokina. Anyone?
  3. I want one....
  4. IMO, it's a film camera. With a new incarnation of the Contax G2 Biogon T* 28mm f/2.8. I hope that lens will have the Leica M bayonet, but because of its lens design, I doubt very much it will ever work on a digital camera. Lucien
  5. We can only hope its a reasonably priced digital rangefinder camera!!!
  6. Are they already taking orders? :)
  7. It looks sexy to me!

    And who cares if it's digital or not!
  8. I'm sure there isn't much info available at this time but this looks like the Contax IV in a
    newly proposed 1:2 picture size format. Does anyone know who may have made the
    body? Does this mean Zeiss Ikon is back in camera making business, or is it only a
    brand and Kyocera is still involved? I have so many questions and I just can't wait until
    Sunday to find out...
  9. I hope it takes that plasticy stuff in a tin with the greyish emulsion muck stuck to it...
  10. My guess is this is a digital camera using a non-fullsize sensor. For otherwise it doesn't
    make sense to pair it with a first lens of 28mm.

    I'd much prefer a film camera though.
  11. Go to -> photokina 2004 special -> Back with

    You'll see why the 28mm lens.
  12. Hm. So you're suggesting there is no particular reason why a 28mm lens other than the
    fact that it was used to take that picture. You could well be right. For a while I was
    suspecting if this could be a digital camera based on the 3/4s system, for which 28mm
    amounts to roughly the standard focal length.

    The camera really is a curious thing and I can't wait to know if it's film or digital. I have to
    be honest and say that I really don't see much of a market for another film-based,
    interchangable lens RF system now that we have Cosina, Hasselblad, Rollei, Contax, and
    Leica spanning every price range.
  13. the consensus on the zeiss forum is that it is a digital. there is also talk of a digital Xpan. hmmmmmmm.
  14. my guess, however, is that is is "just" a mechanical RF designed to take the full range of G2 lenses. that would be a nail in leica's coffin if they get the camera right. but it also suggests that the RF renaissance continues (just as the high turntable renaissance followed CD).

    by the way, the body covering looks just like stuff on my super ikonta. NOS??
  15. According to someone on dpreview, the current picture associated with the "Back with a Passion" theme is a picture of Gothenburg - home of you-know-who.
  16. If it is indeed a digital XPan then one has to wonder why it's not branded as such (i.e.
    Hasselblad/Fuji). To me that scenario is unlikely because a digital XPan would have used
    the existing Fuji lenses.

    Perhaps I'm extrapolating too much (can't help it), but from the Zeiss website it seems like
    Zeiss is behind only the lens (design or production) but not the camera.
  17. i did NOT mean that the pictured camera was a digital xpan. i meant that the people on the zeiss forum are discussing rumors of a TBA digital xpan.

    much as we discuss rumors of a compact leica 75mm and an anniversary M3.
  18. on the bottom?? would be typical for a zeiss product.
  19. i don't see a USB port??
  20. there definitely appears to be a hinge on the left hand side.
  21. Peter's argument makes sense. So perhaps the protrusions were to make room for a large
    enough LCD screen.

    And who will be making this (assuming that it's not just a prototype to impress)? Aside
    from Zeiss themselves, which company has the production capabiliies but without a strong
    brandname so as to want to revive Zeiss Ikon (analogous to what Cosina has done)?
  22. not to mention that "back with passion" doesn't exactly fit a new digital offering. whoever made the rollei (cosina??) RF bunged this together for zeiss.
  23. a hinged door to cover an LCD a la rd-1??
  24. Of all the recent RF models this one is perhaps the most Leica-like. The layout/design, at
    least from what we can see, is a direct Leica derivation/replication. To me that seems to
    suggest this is a company that's perhaps experienced in efficeint manufacturing processes
    but relatively inexperienced in designing an interchangable-lens RF camera. i.e. They
    looked to others for design clues.

    Somehow I get the feeling that it is a company like Sigma, Tamron, or one of the Korean
    electronics giants that's behind this camera. Pure speculation, of course.
  25. Lets have a close look at this picture:

    1.On the left side we can see something sticking along the left edge, like a back door axis, that does not show on the right side on the camera.

    2.On the upper left side we can observe 3 longish things that appear to be circular dials: 1 for shutter release, another for speed dial, and a third with no gripping surroundings, could be the base of an advance lever.

    These 2 things would make me think about a film camera.

    3.The lever on the right of the lens, seems to be located quite well for a preview lever, more than a self timer lever, traditionally set on the other side, along the M style guarded button on the left side would surely indicate this is not a fixed lens Assembly, might even be M mount (who knows).

    4.The leatherette seems to be of high quality finish, instead of usual low grade plastic covering of todays digital cameras, and the apparent longish RF base between VF and RF, give me the idea that this camera was designed to compel to some wacko product niche costumer like Leica/Nikon/Contax etc. RF users.
  26. It looks phony to me.

    --> "my guess, however, is that is is "just" a mechanical RF designed to take the full range of G2 lenses "

    I don't think that could work.. G lenses have no focus ring, they are autofocus only.
  27. That Biogon T* 28mm f/2.8 is clearly the Contax G2 lens in a new mount.

    When you look at the lens design and how far the lens protude in the camera body, you
    can see that it will not work with a digital camera.
  28. G2 lens
  29. i menat, of course, remounted into mechanical focus helicals. didn't realize i had to spell that out. the g2 mounts are probably proprietary anyway.
  30. more pictures!! (thanks Irfan for the link).$File/BwP-21.jpg$File/BwP-25.jpg$File/BwP-27.jpg
  31. The close-up pictures, especially, look like computer simulations from 3D models. Maybe it's just compression artifacts, or some other post processing, though.

    The hinge on the left end looks exactly like the hinge on the various Bessas.
  32. That 3rd image definitely seems to show the back side of a film advance lever. So... it's either a film camera or a RD-1 style shutter assembly for digital.

    You have to love the suspense! Great looking body, very classic.
  33. The rumor on the CVUG is that it?s a Zeiss branded Bessa R3A (auto exposure). That would explain the rumors that the new R3 has more of a Leica look. That?s where my bet is. <p>It will be interesting to see what focal lengths the new M-mount lenses will come in?the full G series range? And how they will be priced compared to their Leica counterparts.
  34. <img src="$File/BwP-01.jpg" border=0>

    <img src="$File/BwP-03.jpg" border=0>

    <img src="$File/BwP-07.jpg" border=0>

    <img src="$File/BwP-09.jpg" border=0>

    <img src="$File/BwP-01.jpg" border=0>

    <img src="$File/BwP-13.jpg" border=0>

    <img src="$File/BwP-15.jpg" border=0>

    <img src="$File/BwP-19.jpg" border=0>

    <img src="$File/BwP-21.jpg" border=0>

    <img src="$File/BwP-25.jpg" border=0>

    <img src="$File/BwP-27.jpg" border=0>

    <img src="$File/BwP-28.jpg" border=0>
  35. pretty clear on/off switch in front of speed dial (popular toggle type). so what about an M7 knock-off?? this makes sense because it is almost certain that CV was going to introduce an auto bessa at p-kina. either this is the bessa offering (in zeiss clothes) or zeiss has just piggybacked on the bessa auto in the same way that rollei piggybacked on the basic bessa.

    so is that it -- a zeiss m7??
  36. If it's a film camera, it might be motorized (e.g., G2, Hexar RF). They're clearly reviving many styling cues from the old Zeiss Ikon products: the bumps on the bottom (where the keys were located on the Contax II & III to remove the back--a film RF w/digital back capability would be cool) & the 3-lobed bayonet filter ring on the lens (like the B56 mount on Contarex lenses).


    "Peter A Patron, sep 17, 2004; 10:02 a.m.
    where is the rewind knob/crank?

    roger michel Hero, sep 17, 2004; 10:04 a.m.
    on the bottom?? would be typical for a zeiss product."
  37. street price guess -- $2695 with a lens.
  38. Bessa R3 made for Zeiss, M mount, Digital APS sensor. The final nail in Leica's coffin. The big question is when will be available and how much. I suspect the when is within a month, since Steve has been cleaning out his inventory.
  39. I think this is going to turn out to be a re-badged Cosina/Voigtlander R3 - with a hinged film door and AE. In any event, I am glad that my Leica lenses are chrome.
  40. The CVUG speculation mentioned by Sheldon sounds on the money to me. Sadly, this means that the ZI-badged "Bessa" will probably be sold @ a huge markup over the CV product (like the current Rollei 35 RF). However, it will be nice to have the Contax G lenses available in M mount.
  41. If it is a Bessa variant, then at least it has a full-size rangefinder. Hope the shutter's not too loud....
  42. It is was an M bayoneted Contax that could be great - sort of like a Hexar RF.
  43. looks very much like a Bessa to me...
  44. When they were rolling out the teasers every couple of days, the accompanying text one day said something about a flexible solution to preventing color casts in your shots. What could this mean other than a reference to digital white balance? For me, this is the evidence that the camera is digital.
  45. "What could this mean other than a reference to digital white balance?" <p> Poor German translation ;-)
  46. Also, fixing what "color casts"? All my color casts of late have come FROM using digital! ;-)
  47. According to Bob Shell that is the new Zeiss Ikon camera based on the
    Cosina R3A.

    From the rangefinder forum.
  48. It's probably just a jazzed-up Lomo ;)
  49. The rangefinder base of this camera appears to be much wider than the Cosina Bessa cameras.
  50. Unless it is (at least) a full frame M mount digital then it is not that exciting.

    APS sized sensor digital with M mount = Done already with Epson RD-1.

    M mount film based rangefinders = More than enough brands/models for everyone already = commercially doomed.

    Zeiss (only) mount manual rangefinder = why?

    28mm fixed focal length film camera = They are nuts

    One thing that may make commercial sense = Full frame digital rangefinder with M mount and a new range of classic Zeiss made M mount primes to go with it. Oh and with a body price less than the Epson RD-1 AND made in Germany. Now that would get you all going mental!!

    Or maybe an M mount rangefinder/lens mount/shutter unit (a sort of chassis) into which either a complete digital or film 'module' could be interchanged without having to rewind the film!!

    There would be parties here for days or even weeks.
  51. "M mount film based rangefinders = More than enough brands/models for everyone already = commercially doomed. " <p> Seems not to be an issue w/Mr. K of Cosina.
  52. "The rangefinder base of this camera appears to be much wider than the Cosina Bessa cameras." <p> Supposedly one of the issues to be addressed with the new C/V body(ies). Now let's have that C/V 90/1.9 or 100/2.0 ;-)
  53. All the Contax G lenses may be available soon in M mount...
  54. "One thing that may make commercial sense = Full frame digital rangefinder with M mount and a new range of classic Zeiss made M mount primes to go with it. Oh and with a body price less than the Epson RD-1 AND made in Germany. Now that would get you all going mental!!"
    Would not make any commercial sense because to be priced below the RD-1 and have those specs, they would be selling at a loss.
  55. Not necessarily, IF they are buying in volume, figure they can make the body for ~$150, the sensor guts and electronics can be bought from Sony / Nikon / Konolta / even Canon for less than $500 (APS size). I predict ~$1000 - $1500 for the price for the Cosina version.
  56. That was my point. I am describing virtually impossible cameras (impossible at real world prices) which is why the 'real thing' is likely to be much more boring.

    Yes Sheldon. Cosina/V has seen to it that 'another kid on the block' is going to go precisely nowhere. The rebadged CV Bessa R3 variant theory sounds most likely. Maybe the Rollei badged R2 didn't sell too well because fewer people recognise the Rollei 'name' whereas Zeiss is everywhere thanks to the Sony/Zeiss relationship.
  57. Gerry, I was referencing his full-frame remarks. An APS sensor size D-RF would be possible for less than the Bessa RD-1, but im not sure if I would agree with numbers as low as you. However, competition is good, so whatever kind of digital RF (if digital at all) it may be, I would be happy.
  58. It has to be a film camera.

    the only way you can forget about colour cast is to use Tri-X or other B&W film.

    Although the extrusion on the side can be the hinge of a LCD, most of the LCD hinges are very narrow to facilitate rotation. This one is the width of a roll of film.

    It will be great if the G 21mm is available in M-mount.

    Whatever the Zeiss camera, the lens offering means more competition for Leica. The going gets tougher and tougher.
  59. Just passing by, here's my 2 cents:

    Someone posted earlier, mentioning a digital Xpan RF.

    Don't know anything about that at all, but the picture posted at -> photokina 2004 special -> Back with Passion, is taken in the harbour of Gothenburg, hometown of Hasselblad. Go figure... :)
  60. Trevor, I'm not sure if Rollei sells its rangefinder in germany, at least I haven't seen one anywhere and I realy searched for it.

    My local dealer is on the Rollei list, but hasen't seen one.
    It's equaly hard to find a real live Bessa R2 in germany. Seems to be all SE-Asia camera country here :)
  61. "the going gets tougher"

    i'm not so sure about that. more companies making M mount RF gear may or may not be a bad thing for leica. it may bring more attention to the whole sector and suck more people in. i think, on balance, CV has been good for leica, especially since it provided, in essence, an entry level product that, for many people, was a segue to leica. this may be a slihgtly different situation, but i still think it may generate excitement around the RF world (as the hexar did), and ultimately draw more customers to leica. in any event, it is likely to produce more goodies in the short term.
  62. If it is a rebadged Bessa R3A, the question comes up - why is Cosina supposedly bringing
    out a R2A and an R3A. Could one of the models be an Epson/Cosina/Bessa digital under
    the Bessa name?
  63. If it's digital and reliable, I'm in for two of 'em.
  64. The hinge (left) cries out both "film" and "Bessa/Cosina-based" to me. However that's a MUCH longer based rangefinder than the Bessas have. Also the frame lever on the front implies auto-indexing of framelines - whereas previous Cosinas have used a manual lever on the top. Think this RF and viewfinder will turn up in a new "Voigtlander" body?

    Given how close the viewfinder is to the corner - must be bottom-rewind a la Leica M5/CL (?)

    This could be a "real" product with some legs to it - or a run-of-2000 commemorative.

    If it's really M-mount - do we get to spend 18 months arguing over whether the back-focus is precisely the same as an M? 8^)

    Guess we'll know for sure in 10 days...
  65. The people at Zeiss are having the time of their lives right now :)
  66. grg


    Doesn't this look like a bezel of a film counter? Or, maybe not.
    Maybe, it's a power button if the camera is instead digital.
  67. At first I thought this camera had to be digital. It seemed like exactly the sort of thing
    Zeiss, with their Sony connections, would go for. But I'm more & more convinced it's a film
    camera, almost surely a Zeiss-branded version of the upcoming Bessa R3A. As such I find
    it interesting but hardly compelling. I own enough 35mm RFs already. But the lenses are
    another matter. I'm plenty happy at the prospect of Zeiss making M mount versions of the
    terrific G lenses! The camera itself becomes an afterthought.

  68. That's funny that you bring up the Sony connection. If it is digital I wonder if it could use the new Sony CMOS 12mp chip from the Nikon d2x? That way it is way above the Epson RD1 in price/performance and CV gets the film version. If I remember right, Stephen Gandy says there are two cameras coming out, maybe a low end R2 replacement and the film version of the Zeiss digital as a high end model.

    Pure speculation. You should see what I put on
  69. I buy the G1 (Contax, of course) because of the lens. I sold the system because of the body (to be specific, the viewfinder + the noise). For years, I guess how many G-lens will sell in the M-mount. I will be one of the guys to buy all of them from 21 to 90, with the $ less than a couple of leica lens.

    I will keep my M6, but sell the 50 cron.

    By the way, considered the layout of the camera, the Ikon will be film rather than digital (I do hope that I am wrong).
  70. Yay to Zeiss for moving film winding to the bottom! If it's a film camera, I mean. Now,
    what's going on with the R3's film winding corner....
  71. If it's made by Bessa, how come the 3A, shown on the other thread, looks so
    different? Would be very expensive for Cosina to produce an entirely different
    model, rather than re-badge an existing one. <p>
    I think this will be more of a challenge for Leica, if it's seen as a more
    specifically-Zeiss product.
  72. Some magazines, published in the last few days in Japan, are already carrying photos and
    reviews of Bessa R2A/R3A even before official annoucement. From what I can see, its
    finder arrangement is similar to R-D1 and not quite like this one. A going theory is that
    this Zeiss Ikon was more likely based on Hexar RF for M mount lenses. I believe the finder
    has been newly developed to accomodate Zeiss' 1:2 picture size format. My far-fetched
    speculation is that KonicaMinolta, having streamlined their film camera production lines in
    recent years, asked Cosina to collaborate in the area of manufacturing, all under Carl
    Zeiss' direction. The 28mm lens looks more like the Rollei 35RF lenses with M mounts, not
    G series lenses, to me. Or, has Cosina solely struck a deal with Carl Zeiss to make Zeiss
    Ikon branded cameras from here on? Rumors are abundant in Tokyo as well.
  73. an URL from the ContaxG mailing list to the new R3A

  74. Look at the rangefinder base. This is a rangefinder model for film. I bet it takes remounted G 2 glass.
  75. I was sick in bed today, so I put the puzzle together. What a total waste of time!
  76. The hinge and the collar around the lens mounting button are Cosina all the way.

    The viewfinder/rangefinder is quite distinct from any Bessa past, present, or future (R2A &

    Does anyone else think that the small rangefinder window looks longer than normal?

    I think it is significant that all images in the puzzle (including the sample photos) are in
    the long 1:2 format. It must take 1:2 format pictures.

    Given lens coverage issues, digital seems more likely than film. 24mm x 48mm film
    images would mean much more new design and engineering work, wouldn't it? That
    means that the G lenses couldn't be easily re-purposed.

    Of course the Cosina/Epson RD-1 still incorporates the typical Cosina/Bessa hinge.

    I'm actually beginning to lean towards this being a digital camera.
  77. A comparison between two cosina bodies...
  78. Thanks for the photo, which let us see the Biogon is not 28 but 21!
    If the viewfinder covered 21mm FOV...
    Suppose technically impossible to make a zoom viewfinder with rangefinder together, we may still limited to the 45mm Planar rather than the 90mm Sonnar, even the long base length (it looks wider than M!) considered.
  79. Looks like a Konica Hexar RF to me - even with those same details.
  80. The design of the lens mount also looks rather Cosina to me. In fact it looks like there is a
    hood bayonette that strongly resembles the Voigtlander 40/2 SL lens.

    The top housing layout and design does resemble both the Contax G2 and Hexar RF,
    which meshes well with a claim made by Stephen Gandy on the CVUG list, that the the rf/
    vf for both cameras were made by the same sub-contractor.
  81. Here's what I think: Cosina body and lens hardware, rf/vf
    designed by Stephen Gandy's purported Hexar & G2 subcontractor.

    What do people think of my 1:2 format digital theory? That might explain the
    "color cast" teaser. It also looks like the camera has a 21mm lens. Wouldn't
    that lend itself to my theory, giving enough coverage for a digital 1:2
  82. Jonathan, I think it is digital (the color cast comment), but the 1:2 format is confusing. The pictures posted on the Zeiss site clearly show that aspect ratio, and the text clearly says that the new camera took those photos. The lens, though, is obviously interchangable, so the fact that it is a 21 Biogon (which I'm not sure about either) doesn't factor in. If it is interchangable, then any lens with the same mount should work for that format. They wouldn't make it 1:2, put on an interchangable mount, and then say that it only works with this one lens, would they?! Maybe a whole new line-up of lenses for the format? I'm still hoping it's G mount or M mount. There was also some text on the website about "flexibility," so maybe the aspect can be changed, like the Fuji/Hassy? Also, I only saw the close-up segments on the official Contax/Zeiss website, never this whole picture. Can anyone confirm that it came from official sources? This last full picture is a confirmed composite sewn together, and you can tell which parts are original and which are filled in. The earlier full pics, though, are harder to tell. Did anyone see the full picture first hand on the Zeiss site, or is it speculation?
  83. On the official Zeiss site they've posted an update on the camera, but I have absolutely no idea what to make of it. And they even used a previously posted close-up picture.
  84. I did see the full picture on the Zeiss site. As I perused the site & read the Zeiss comments about how they are selective with their partnerships, I thought about who they already have a relationship with that might make this camera. So despite its similarities to the Hexar RF in my mind, Hasselblad jumps out because so much of it looks like a smaller version of the x-pan & because of their existing partnership with Zeiss. I guess we'll know for sure tomorrow or the next day.
  85. The official announcement will be made on SEP 28 at Photokina.
  86. I think Del had a good comment about a switchable aspect ratio. Look at the viewfinder and mask windows, though; they appear pretty normal for 1:1.5 ratio. If there is a switchable ratio, how about the mask moving to 18x36mm? Then the G-series glass would be usable, print processing would be less bothersome, and the Cosina frame wouldn't need to be stretched.

    Even without switchable film format, though, this camera looks very attractive. Bottom rewind makes a lot of sense, clearing more room for the RF with no sacrifice in usability. Long baseline is a Zeiss tradition, looks longer than Leica M. This makes a very good market distinction vs the new Bessas.
  87. The latest text from the "Back with Passion" page at the Zeiss website:

    "Anyone wanting to completely concentrate on the subject when taking pictures has to be able to rely 100% on the system. This includes, for example, the focus remaining in the image plane when changes are made to the diaphragm setting. It works! We'll show you on Sept. 28 at Photokina 2004 in Cologne, Germany. Hall 1.2, booth B040. Until then, don't miss the next piece of our puzzle. It will be online here on Sept. 21."

    What to make of this? Depth-of-field information in the viewfinder? This camera gets curioser and curioser...

  88. Dave, I think they're simply touting the quality of the Zeiss lenses, having the same focus point at all apertures.
  89. Automatic translation of the current teaser:

    Who has the choice, has the torture? No ? the choice! Or do you know a system that offers
    you between 21 mms and 50 mms immediately five different focal lengths? Which exactly,
    we show to you from 28th September, 2004 on photokina in Cologne.



    A camera ࠬa Xpan, (with Leica M bayonet) ?

    Who knows ?
  90. The Zeiss Ikon may come with 21-25-28-35-50mm frames (plus maybe panorama option

    The long rangefinder base may be necessary to improve the accuracy of the low
    magnification finder needed for 21mm frames (or larger if panorama).

  91. Just to clarify for Del, the composite that I posted was made solely from pieces that I
    downloaded from Nothing was added or filled in. Basically I took the small
    picture of the whole camera, blew it up, and then peiced the closeups together on top of
    it. Just a few wasted hours in Photoshop.
  92. Jonathan, thanks for clarifying that! I certainly didn't mean to offend, so I hope you didn't take it that way.
  93. None taken, my friend.
  94. This is a film only camera that is supposed to be a "Hasselblad dealer" product in the
    U.S. It is fully manuel or with aperture priority exposure. I haven't heard prices but
    the lenses are made with the Leica M mount. This camera/lens system could cost some
    where close to Leica MP or is sexy looking and has a couple of focal lengths in "M"
    mount that's thats not available from Leica.
  95. Frank, you can find USA prices, as best they are known now, at

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