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Saturday, 10 May 2008


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Can something desirable (and digital) to go behind it be far away?

Who can say, Stephen? A digital Ikon (a "DIkon"?...naw...different name) seems extremely unlikely to me. I suspect that it's far more profitable for Zeiss to make M-mount lenses targeted squarely at Leica's wildly-priced 'Lux's and 'Cron's. Note that Leica is now scrambling to produce "economy" models (i.e. < 1 mo. average salary) in its 'Rit' line.

For my own M cameras I use mostly Leica lenses...which are superb. But I also use Zeiss lenses...which are also superb for much less money. They also have a small design advantage over Leica lenses; their aperture rings offer 1/3 stop detents. That's very handy sometimes.

If Zeiss is willing to introduce a new lens for a small part of the the ever-shrinking film camera market, then film is not as dead as some would like to believe. Still, one has to wonder how many of these they hope to sell--a few thousand? If they can produce them more efficiently than Leica produces theirs or are willing to accept lower profit margins, more power to them.

Mike--I disagree with your 45.5 mm EFL calculation. EXIF data from M8 when used with a 35 mm lens shows a 'full-frame' film focal length equivalent of 47 mm. Calculation:

Diagonal of film frame : Diagonal of M8 sensor = 4 : 3

4/3 * 35mm = 46.7mm

(Zeiss is rounding down the 1.3333... crop factor to 1.3; using the rational number 4/3 is both quicker and more accurate.)

Never take a sales bunny at his word! ;-)



Talking of film.. For this month's National Geographic Magazine, on China, 3 of the five photographers shot with film. I think you can tell.....

Hmm, Digital sensor, Analog focus Ikon - it's a Daikon, I say!

But seriously, a Zeiss (or Voigtländer/Cosina) digital rangefinder at a...shall we say less stratospheric price point than the Leica would be very welcome news. I occasionally look over the used Bessa cameras at the local store and wonder if I really shouldn't be using film as well.

Probably very nice, but I wonder why anyone would buy this in favour of the 35/2.5 Summarit that is faster and smaller.

"Probably very nice, but I wonder why anyone would buy this in favour of the 35/2.5 Summarit that is faster and smaller."

...By the time the price stabilizes a few months after introduction, the Zeiss will probably end up just about 1/2 the price of the Summarit. Or very close. Reason enough, for many people.

Mike J.

what amazes me about the Zeiss Ikon/ZM line is not only is it functional, well-made, and produces quality images but it LOOKS beautiful as well.

Hmmm... Like I really need another 35mm LTM/M-mount lens. (Perhaps I do, as I only have three - which is a small number by some counting!) My UC-Hexanon is a similar size and a stop faster. My Summaron is smaller, though slower. My M-Hexanon has the "modern" look, though is a fair bit bulkier. Each renders quite differently, and I select among them accordingly.

And therein lies the problem in Leica RF mount gear for manufacturers. They're not only competing with other manufacturers but also with old stock from themselves and others - often made many decades ago. I own only one RF lens that I bought new (for the record, a CV 28mm Ultron) - and no cameras bought new. Yet I have a fair number of lenses and camera bodies.

That's good for photographers, I guess. Its a circumstance that's been good to me anyway. But selling into this kind of market must be a tough way to make a living.


MikeF: Yes, you actually do need another 35. Just ask Tom Abrahamsson. ;)

Unless it came in a k-mount I'd have little practical use for this lens. And even then it would face steep competition. But had I spare money for useless 3D artifacts I'd get a copy or two of this simply to regard as a sculptural form in those spare moments when I am not fixated on the LCD screen.

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