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Thread: * Will we see a Contax revival ? *

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    Senior Subscriber Member Steen's Avatar
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    Lightbulb * Will we see a Contax revival ? *

    So the best piece of 'news' at this year's photokina season was a rumor:

    http://www.zeissrumors.com/2010/09/c...m-kyocera.html


    "(...) The good news today is that the Contax brand is released from Kyocera this year (...). The brandname is now back to Zeiss again. In theory, Zeiss can produce Contax cameras now or grant the Contax name to another camera manufacturer. (...)"


    There's new hope

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    Re: * Will we see a Contax revival ? *

    Hi Steen,

    While I share your hope (of a Zeiss cam), I have to ask- do Zeiss really need that logo so that they can come up with a camera (digital, I assume)?

    Was that the factor holding them back?

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    Senior Subscriber Member Steen's Avatar
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    Re: * Will we see a Contax revival ? *

    I agree the Zeiss brandname would have done equally well. Just think about what a Digital Zeiss Ikon would sound like

    I have always suspected that perhaps Zeiss was, according to the contract with Kyocera, prohibited in introducing any digital 35mm format camera even under its own "Zeiss" brandname in order not to inflict any competition on Kyocera, at least until some day the brandname lease expired ?
    I may be completely wrong about this, it's just a wild guess.

    Zeiss probably needs a partner to build a digital camera.
    Perhaps it would be easier for them to share the Contax brandname with a partner than the Zeiss name itself.
    And it would probably be far more appealing for a capable camera partner to share the Contax brandname ?
    Pure guessing.

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    Let_Biogons_Be_Biogons
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    Re: * Will we see a Contax revival ? *

    Quote Originally Posted by Steen View Post
    I may be completely wrong about this, it's just a wild guess.

    Zeiss probably needs a partner to build a digital camera.
    Perhaps it would be easier for them to share the Contax brandname with a partner than the Zeiss name itself.
    And it would probably be far more appealing for a capable camera partner to share the Contax brandname ?
    Pure guessing.

    Actually, it was my understanding that the control of the Contax trademark actually happened a while ago. I found it curious that this would slip out on the eve of Photokina. But it appears that there was no connection.

    I think Zeiss has learned that licensing the Contax name is NOT the way to go. Rather, as with Cosina, they will partner with an OEM to produce and help design a product line but maintain full control over the trademark. If Zeiss does go digital with a camera body or even a full line, I suspect that they will have at least 2 partners. The range of OEM possibilities is quite limited. Sony is obvious, but I'm not sure that relationship is that close. Cosina (quite clearly), Fuji, Phase One, Sinar (probably too small to help), and Jenoptik (digital expertise, German, and shared distant history but I think they would probably stay in Japan). A Zeiss/Cosina/Fuji partnership for Contax would be an interesting mash-up of existing partnerships.

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    Re: * Will we see a Contax revival ? *

    Interesting . . . but I'm not sure that the amount I loved my RTSII has much bearing on anything we're likely to see in the future.
    A digital Zeiss Ikon seems to have been ruled out, and it's a little hard to see where else they might rejoin the market.

    Just this guy you know

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    Workshop Member ptomsu's Avatar
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    Re: * Will we see a Contax revival ? *

    Oh my, I loved my RTS III - the perfect camera for analog. But I fear we will not see anything comparable in digital in the future - not from Zeiss and not from Kyocera and not from any other vendor who could be allowed to use the Contax brand.

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    Let_Biogons_Be_Biogons
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    Re: * Will we see a Contax revival ? *

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    A digital Zeiss Ikon seems to have been ruled out

    Ruled out by whom? Not by Zeiss as far as I've heard.

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    Re: * Will we see a Contax revival ? *

    For goodness sake, it better be a mirrorless one!

    Sure, there will be a few hundred sales because of nostalgia (they can always do a limited edition, hopefully not Leica style, for those).

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    Senior Subscriber Member Steen's Avatar
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    Re: * Will we see a Contax revival ? *

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    (...) Sure, there will be a few hundred sales because of nostalgia (...)
    what makes you think there would just be a few sales, and only because of nostalgia

    here are some illustrations of Zeiss' participation on photokina 2010, obviously a company with focus on optics
    but on the other hand that's exactly the reason why the brand still has such a strong position in my mind ...

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    Re: * Will we see a Contax revival ? *

    No question about that, Steen.

    IMO, old fashioned RF and SLR concepts are passe.

    Liveview is already here and is going to be the future.

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    Re: * Will we see a Contax revival ? *

    I think a digital M-mount camera with a finder like the Fuji X100 would be very interesting. Based on the buzz around the X100 I don't think I'm alone in that.

    They already have a nice set of M-mount lenses, so "all" they need to do is to find a good sensor to use and license the finder tech from Fuji.

    -Thomas

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    Senior Subscriber Member Steen's Avatar
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    Re: * Will we see a Contax revival ? *

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    No question about that, Steen.

    IMO, old fashioned RF and SLR concepts are passe.

    Liveview is already here and is going to be the future.
    Oh sorry, Vivek, now I get your point.
    I thought you meant that any kind of a new digital Zeiss or Contax branded camera would only get a small attention and only because of nostalgia
    I guess you are right that the development from now on will move towards mirrorless Electronic Viewfinders and I would definitely expect a new digital Zeiss or Contax camera to be of such a new type.
    Unfortunately we probably won't see any new digital Zeiss or Contax camera or any new 35mm format autofocus Zeiss lens line at all in the nearest future.
    At least that is the answer at the end of this Zeiss interview at photokina 2010
    Of course they could have some secret development going on, but I guess there's no reason to be too optimistic about that.

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