Talk:Contax

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Alliance with Yashica[edit]

"With the emergence of the Japanese camera industry, Zeiss discovered that it was essential to form an alliance with a Japanese maker. Asahi, maker of the Pentax, was engaged first; and it went as far as Zeiss's designing a common lens mount, which became the Pentax K-mount after the two firms parted company. Then, an alliance was formed with Yashica, and a new line of Contax single-lens reflex cameras was born, starting from the RTS of 1975. Numerous models followed, which also included compacts, medium-format reflex cameras, and digital cameras."

This paragraph is misleading to me. If only an alliance was formed, Kyocera would not have had control to shut down Zeiss production. More accurately, whether at first or later, either Yashica or Kyocera wholly purchased Contax.Drhamad (talk) 16:54, 24 March 2008 (UTC)

RX-AF[edit]

Just a note on the RX - AX thing... focus confirmation is a common feature on almost every AF slr out there. It's not neccessary to point this out as a feature on the AX... as an AF SLR, it's expected to have it. It's a unique feature on a completely manual focus SLR, tho, which is why the RX was singled out for having it.

Will edit to correct formatting in around an hour.

The T* discussion is way overkill. It's very, very good multicoating, but at the end of the day, it's just multicoating. More in-depth discussion should be taken up on the Zeiss page, or even the Schott Glass page. Trimming it to size.

IMO this article reads like a press release. Ericd 20:04, 27 Mar 2005 (UTC)

That's the problem with reporting on any product line with a high level of interest among enthusiasts. See any article on any performance car manufacturer, for instance. This article could be even more comprehensive, detailing every little thing the company produced, with a comprehensive run-down on camera features and lens specifications, including full-color MTF charts. Instead, it's best to just report what they currently make (until they stop production completely) and bring up a few past highlights.

3D Effect[edit]

Can someone give me a serious explanation about that "3D Effect". Marketing hype ? Ericd 19:30, 17 July 2006 (UTC)

Need your advice[edit]

This sentence : "After the bankruptcy of Zeiss-Ikon AG, Carl Zeiss AG found itself without a small format camera-maker to sell its lenses to." Was replaced with : "After the bankruptcy of Zeiss-Ikon AG, Carl Zeiss AG found itself in need of a company with electronic camera expertise." by an anonymous contributor. I don't think electronic expertise was essential. As it is difficult to debate with an anonymous contributor, I need your advice. Ericd 15:45, 26 July 2006 (UTC)

"I don't think electronic expertise was essential." You're wrong. Zeiss in 1973 was badly in need of a Japanese camera manufacturer with expertise in designing reliable electronically-controlled shutters AND exposure metering systems. Zeiss' own attempt at an electronically-controlled 35mm SLR, the Contarex/Super Electronic Contarex, was an unreliable camera with numerous design flaws and a failure in the marketplace, renowned only for its lenses (See http://www.zeisscamera.com/Contarex/Page4.html). Zeiss therefore teamed with Yashica, manufacturers of the world’s first electronically-controlled 35mm camera (the Electro-35, a popular and reliable rangefinder model that eventually sold 5 million units) and who not only knew how to mass-produce modern 35mm SLRs with electronically-controlled shutters and exposure metering (Electro-X, etc.) at reasonable cost, but who also owned a high-quality optical factory (Tomioka). To Zeiss, Yashica was a perfect partner for a 35mm state-of-the-art, mass-produced SLR camera with an aperture-priority, electronically-controlled exposure system. Zeiss provided the lens expertise, F. Alexander Porsche Group styled the body (ergonomic study) and Yashica provided the expertise on electronic exposure metering and stepless shutter operation (Real Time System), and also built the camera (Contax RTS) on their assembly lines. Teardown of Contax RTS shows many points of similarity in electronics, circuit boards, resistors, etc. with earlier Yashica SLR designs - virtually nothing is remotely similar to the old Contarex electronics. Most of the Yashica-built Contax RTS cameras are still working away 32 years later, proof of the quality of their electronic components and exposure systems. -26 JULY 2006

Found this in Contax UK's official history: "A solution was found in a partnership with Yashica. Carl Zeiss would continue to design and produce superb optics for camera bodies constructed in Japan. A novel solution that other German camera manufacturers would use later. Yashica was an electronic camera manufacturing giant with tremendous production capability. Yashica was already producing an aperture-preferred automatic camera of the rangefinder type in the 35 GSN when the agreement was inked. It was this electronic camera manufacturing experience and the huge production capacity that drew Carl Zeiss to Yashica. After only one meeting of the Board Of Directors at Yashica, the decision was made to initiate "Top Secret Project 130"." http://www.contaxcameras.co.uk/history.asp

I'm not sure you have fully understood that Zeiss Ikon and Carl Zeiss AG were separate companies. The Contarex was made by Zeiss Ikon not Zeiss. When Zeiss-Ikon went bankrupt Carl Zeiss AG had idea how to build a camera as it has no design bureau nor factory to make cameras. I know that Yashica made excellent cameras and lenses and as you stated it was a perfect partner for multiple reasons that you developped above, that's why I don't see why you emphasize on electronic expertise. Huge production capacity and low cost seems as important to me. However instead of going to a revert war on a single sentence it would be better to develop a bit the reason of the partnership with Yashica. Ericd 20:04, 26 July 2006 (UTC)

"I'm not sure you have fully understood that Zeiss Ikon and Carl Zeiss AG were separate companies."

A: Of course I do. Do you understand that Zeiss Ikon went out of business largely b/c of its failure to create a reliable electronically-operated camera design? With a corporate memory of failed attempts at Zeiss Ikon, Carl Zeiss AG wanted to team with a manufacturer that knew how to build a reliable electronic camera. Other German manufacturers sought to do so as well at the time (remember Leitz & Minolta???) It's not as if the management at Carl Zeiss AG was UNAWARE of what happened to Zeiss Ikon.

"However instead of going to a revert war.."

A: There's no war. It was you who arbitrarily deleted my additions to the wiki w/o prior notice, giving only THIS facetious comment as 'justification':

"(Electronic camera expertise in 1973 ? What else, rocket science in 1802 ?)'

It sounds to me like you didn't even realize that cameras WERE being produced with electronically-controlled shutters and exposure systems in 1973. Now you know - they were. I have backed up my assertion that Zeiss sought a manufacturer with electronic camera expertise with verifiable links, including the Contax official history. Where is the proof to support your assertions? -26 JULY 2006


"Do you understand that Zeiss Ikon went out of business largely b/c of its failure to create a reliable electronically-operated camera design?"

No, I don't understand. Zeiss Ikon went out of business because of very bad management. Main reasons IMO :

- The Contarex, the Contaflex, the Icarex had various and uncompatible lens mount system.

- They produced way to much models often with internal competition between Zeiss Ikon models.

- They had high production cost.


The real problem was not with the already obsolete Contarex line but much more with the modern Icarex http://www.pacificrimcamera.com/pp/zeiss/icarex/35.htm a design that could reasonably compete with the low and middle end of the main japanese SLR makers if it had been reasonably priced.

"It sounds to me like you didn't even realize that cameras WERE being produced with electronically-controlled shutters and exposure systems in 1973." Yes I know of the Canonet, the Yashica Electro and a bunch of others... However there was not much automatic SLR on the market in 1973. I've never heard of Pentax, Minolta or Pentax going out of business because they had no electronic SLR in 1973.

What else ? Well the situation was that Zeiss had excellent lenses but no camera maker. Of course, looking for the future they wished an innovative design with electronic. But suppose my car was destroyed yesterday, I may wish an automatic gearbox. Is logical to write : "My car was destroyed therefore I need a new car." or "My car was destroyed therefore I need a car with an automatic gearbox."

Ericd 23:50, 26 July 2006 (UTC)

Contax I[edit]

I have created a separate Contax I article from material gathered over this page. This allows for illustrations, more notes, developments, etc.

Maybe the page can be tuned accordingly to avoid duplication. Rama (talk) 13:46, 21 July 2008 (UTC)

Images[edit]

It's a bit of a shock to see an unknown compact digital camera as the main image of one of the most iconic cameras of all time. I've added images of the Contax II and Contax S at the top, but haven't removed them from where they were. I've also removed references to East Germany on the image of the Contax S. Firstly, that page refers to a regime that didn't exist when the Contax S was introduced, and secondly it doesn't have any bearing on the camera. Groogle (talk) 23:18, 8 March 2011 (UTC)

No images, discussion of the Contax medium-format cameras, e.g., model 645?74.104.107.154 (talk) 15:53, 16 September 2011 (UTC)

AE MM lens interoperability[edit]

I actually owned contax 159 a few years back, which was an MM camera. I used a T* 50mm AE lens with it quite happily.

The point of the more expensive (at that time) MM lenses was supposed to be that you could use shutter priority or program and the camera would set the lens aperture. The reality was that the MM lens only sported a feature to lock the aperture at minimum (beyond f16, say) and had a small protusion that pushed a lever on the camera to communicate the fact it was an MM lens on the mount.

I know it's original research, but the use of AE lenses on MM cameras was common place as all you needed to do was set the aperture to minimum manually, and jam the camera's lens mount lever with a small piece of plastic.

What I don't know is if this trick was universal across the range of cameras and lenses, or just something on the ones I encountered. Referencing it could be tricky as well, I know longer own a contax so I can't even prove it! — Preceding unsigned comment added by 94.6.88.249 (talk) 14:05, 28 September 2011 (UTC)

Similarities between Contax and Yashica models[edit]

I've just deleted the claim that "The high-end professional and prosumer models were mostly exclusive to Contax, but the cheaper amateur models were in most cases identical with the cameras of Contax' partner Yashica; e.g. the Contax 139 Quartz was identical to the Yashica FX-D quartz." This is incorrect as it stands - there are obvious, major differences between the two models mentioned, and I'm not aware of any other 'identical' models. However, the FX-D and 139 also have clear similarities, and presumably do share a fair number of components, which may be worthy of note. Both cameras could use the 139 autowinder, and the limited (non-TTL) dedicated flash system of the FX-D was also available when used with Contax flashguns. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Rdwperl (talkcontribs) 01:31, 18 November 2012 (UTC)

POV/sourcing issues?[edit]

The article seems to make a lot of unsourced claims about this, that, and the other aspect of the early models being superior to the contemporaneous Leicas. (For example, "It can be said that with a few exceptions, Contax lenses were superior to equivalent contemporary Leica lenses for more than two decades.") Not sayin' they were, and not sayin' they weren't, but shouldn't such assertions be thoroughly sourced? Otherwise, the article starts to sound a bit "boosterish." Drhoehl (talk) 00:35, 8 January 2014 (UTC)