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Saturday, 28 December 2019


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I agree with the sentiments you described in this post. However, I must quibble with your use of the term "Vaporware". Vaporwear means a product or features that are announced by a company but never delivered. To wit from Wikipedia "In the computer industry, vaporware (or vapourware) is a product, typically computer hardware or software, that is announced to the general public but is never actually manufactured nor officially cancelled. Use of the word has broadened to include products such as automobiles."
Did Contax announce the f/2 lenses and not deliver, or were they products you hoped for but they just never made?

I also play with amateur radio (FCC call sign N8FNR) and find a lot of people on ham radio sites bitch too about wanting this or that. One guy still complains about a software update he wanted from a certain company that he never got 15 years ago. And to top it off he no longer owns the radio.
If you have any interest in ham radio this is my current radio. It is a network appliance and has no knobs. The one I have is on the first photo. https://www.flexradio.com/flex-6400/

" a curious psychological phenomenon: for the intimate, "plain" portraits that I was doing at the time, it wasn't as suitable"

It's interesting. I once walked around Copenhagen, taking portraits of two friends. I used a 100mm Takumar. And one of them observed to me that the camera was much easier to face when I had that distance it gave. (I took half-body shots.)


85 1.4 has another distracting feature: at certain angle model can see big photographer's eye behind viewfinder. But it's very fine and rewarding lens :)
Still waiting for 28-85/2.8 for Contax...

One night last spring, I was relaxing in the main room of the Historic Cascade Lodge on the north shore of Lake Superior. My A7rIII was resting on the table with a Zeiss Batis 25mm. 67mm filter diameter and a tulip style hood for those not familiar. The very size of the thing prompted a stranger to strike up a conversation with the opening line, “That’s quite a lens.”

I also own some of the Zeiss Loxia lenses for this camera. 52mm filter and compact metal hoods. They never attract attention to themselves.

Of course, instead of kvetching and kvailing about the lack of Zeiss 35mm and 85mm f2s Mike, you could have done the really sensible thing and switched systems to Olympus. ;-)

Happy New Year.


I had a Contaflex, a Contax T and a Contax G1.

In 1972 my aunt gave me her old Contaflex when I started my study at art school. Traded it in to make a Canon FTb affordable.
Years later the chique pocketable Contax T was a disappointment. The 38mm f/2.8 Sonnar was not as good as I expected and above that the handling of the tiny rangefinder mechanism was rather fiddly diddly. My fiancee couldn’t handle it at all, so I swapped it with an ugly tiny Safari Green plastic Yashica T4 with a 35mm f/3.5 Tessar. In theory a step back, but if I had to choose I would go for the T4 again. That one never disappointed me.
The Contax G1 and its lenses were a dream. Especially the 45mm f/2 Planar was a stunner. Also had the 28mm and the 90mm lenses but the majority of my shots were made with the 45mm (and the surprisingly good 35mm on the T4!).
I was not the only one that expected that the Contax bodies would get digital successors. Maybe I am wrong, but at the back of the lenses there were contact points that had no function in combination with the G1 or G2. There were rumors that they were for the digital cameras which would be coming soon. Yes, waiting and hoping for future products is a fool's errand.

And a corollary to that advice is, ‘never wait for the mkII version’ that is, rumor has it, just a few months away from introduction. The Next Big Improved model will always be on the horizon, probably the next three iterations of the current model are in development at any one time.
If you want to take pictures now, just buy the current model that meets your needs.
And when that mkII comes out, just ignore it. Or, alternatively, if it has that super wizz bang feature you just ‘need’, then a wait a year for the mkIII model and then buy the mkII for half the introduction retail.

WAIT... are you saying I shouldn't wait for the Fuji 27mm f2 WR lens?? I already bought a new piggy bank just for that purpose!

Just take the effin' picture with whatever you have. Really. There's nothing more vaporous than the photo lost to some purist nonsense. You've either made the images or you have not. Nothing. Else. Matters. Period.

Did you actually use both the Contax 85/f1.4 and f2.8 lenses wide open? Assuming Contax had released the 35/f2 and 85/f2 lenses you coveted, would you have used them wide open as well?

I ask, because I often find photographers who claim they need a piece of gear to address a particular issue (usually technical in nature, such as your example of needing a higher shutter speed to compensate for using a filter) instead of admitting they want it just because, often do so as a way to rationalize its purchase, not because they can't possibly take their photos without it.

And Yes, I'm guilty of having done this as well, although from this side of the camera, it certainly didn't -- doesn't? -- feel that way at the time, even if it later turns out to be precisely the reason I made the change. (*´∀`*)

"Make sure the camera you're thinking of buying has all the lenses you need for your work available now—right now—such that you can buy what you need immediately and replace it readily if it's lost or stolen. When you shop, look at the lenses first, and make sure everything you want is already available—real lenses, in boxes, in stores, order-able and obtainable."

So what happens if everybody does that?

No cameras with new mounts, i.e. DSLR companies going mirrorless or from APSC to FF. What company is going to risk bringing out a new camera with a whole new range of a dozen or more lenses, when it may not catch on, leaving them with a load of stock they won't make their money back on?

And even if they did, there is bound to be a group of photographers complaining that their favorite lens isn't there.

Of course, it's possible I am being overly cynical/pessimistic. There MAY still be enough rebellious early adopters to make the new kit viable...

Alternatively, they can do what they do now. With a new model the companies have a few basic lenses and an adapter so that the buyer can use their older lenses with the new body until the range builds up?

Or, in my case, can actually afford a long lens for my (obsolete) Nikon-1 V2 - an AF-S 55-200mm lens with the FT-1 adapter works pretty well. :-)

The featured comment is spot on except for “Android outsells Apple”. I hate to say this but that is comparing apples and oranges, or maybe lemons ;-). Android doesn’t manufacture anything.

When I was marketing industrial instruments one of our salesmen coined a phrase about missing features -- "This one doesn't have it but yours will."

It was an internal joke with a large grain of truth. We were always improving our products and adding features but never fast enough for our customers or our sales force.

The other side of "This one doesn't have it but yours will" was the customer's frequent, "All you have to do is … "

@Richard Parkin

"Android doesn’t manufacture anything."

Neither does Apple. All of its manufacturing is contracted out. But “Android outsells Apple” is still a true statement, as it doesn't imply manufacturing — just sales.

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