Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2008/03/25

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Subject: [Leica] Another ZM lens on the horizon
From: mark at (Mark Rabiner)
Date: Tue Mar 25 09:26:52 2008

> Mark, I understand the point that you are making however the lenses made by
> Kyocera under the Contax brand were certainly not junk. I have owned and
> used a number, from the fixed 35 in the T3 and 28-56 zoom in the TVS111,

I realize the glass in them competed well with Nikon and or Canon but they
looked like Vivitar on the outside straight out of the 70.s
They looked like junk. As they pretty much do now.
Put one next to a Hasselblad or Contarex or Contax lens from the 60's there
is not comparison. 
Put one next to a Nikon or Canon lens.
Or put one next to a Leica lens.

I love slow glass and that gives you an advantage because you really can
have it cost a fraction of the competitions jacked up in speed glass and
have it be well worth it.

Zeiss seems to have a secret policy that one its not really a Zeiss lens it
doesn't look at all like one. Like from the other side of the room.
They act like its an accident but I don't think so.
They could easily make sure the finish of an optic matches what goes into

> through the G series lenses and then some of the N series. I would say, up
> until the later and cheaper AF lenses that were part of the N range, they
> performed extremely well and I could never fault their fit and finish
> either. I have no personal experience with the Contax/Yashica mount earlier
> lenses.
> Similarly to the Kyocera Contax lenses, the Made in Japan Zeiss ZM lenses
> are really well made and designed and perform splendidly. The couple of
> specialized lenses in that ZM range that are made in Germany are
> considerably more expensive. At least equal to Leica pricing, in fact.
> My subjective opinion on the ZM 4.5 C Biogon 21 is that it can hold its 
> head
> up in the company of the spherical Leica designs, regarding accuracy,
> resolution, contrast and saturation. Only in adverse against the light
> scenes do I see performance (wrt flare) below that of my Summicron 28 asph
> for example.
> It doesn't hurt the ZM range that many lenses are of modest maximum
> apertures. Vastly easier to correct. Like the Summarits too, a range of
> compact and more modestly priced options for an M outfit.
> Cheers
> Geoff
> -----Original Message-----
> From:
> [] On Behalf Of
> Mark Rabiner
> Sent: Tuesday, 25 March 2008 08:26
> To: Leica Users Group
> Subject: Re: [Leica] Another ZM lens on the horizon
> If Cosina is making
>> their own lenses with Zeiss advice, then I'm surprised that Cosina is
>> okay with that. Zeiss is obviously getting a chunk of the profits for
>> its "advice". I don't care what the "brand" is, to be honest. Most of
>> my colleagues who aren't shooters have heard of Canon, Nikon, and
>> Minolta. I walked into a reception at the college with a Contax, and
>> nobody had ever heard of that.
> Yes I see you are talking about stuff Cosina is doing.
> But all I saw was
> "Looks like a new 35/2.8 Biogon..." and then one more sentence.
> And if you could get a 35/2.8 Biogon for one fifth the price of a Leica 
> lens
> then there is nothing to think about. No "option".
> Forget Leica!
> Leica however does not have a company else ware make its glass at a 
> fraction
> of its normal coast with it not looking anything like a real quality Leica
> lens and with parts interchangeable between lenses.
> If they did people might start calling them "Leica lenses".
> Zeiss had previously had Kyocera turn out junk for it with it's name on it
> and it didn't care what happened if people were going to buy it.
> Leica does it with Panasonic point and shoots. Along with Schneider and
> Zeiss.
> But with that new law a yuppie cant buy a point and shoot without a German
> name on the front rim I think they're off the hook.
> Nobody really thinks they're shooting "Leica glass" when they're shooting a
> hundred dollar Panasonic with LEICA on the front rim.
> Mark William Rabiner
> _______________________________________________
> Leica Users Group.
> See for more information
> _______________________________________________
> Leica Users Group.
> See for more information

Mark William Rabiner

In reply to: Message from hoppyman at (Geoff Hopkinson) ([Leica] Another ZM lens on the horizon)