[rollei_list] new Zeiss Ikon- a hollow construct?

  • From: Jan Decher <Jan.Decher@xxxxxxx>
  • To: rollei_list@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Fri, 6 Nov 2009 09:19:13 -0500

Throwing in the Zeiss Ikon with some of these Chinese-made rebranded "Rollei" things is not really fair. The ZM cameras and lenses are a well-reasoned compromise by Zeiss Oberkochen in a tough ecomomy and they are collaborating with a producer in Japan whose lenthusiasm for rangefinders has helped RF cameras to survive and be affordable today.

I use two Cosina-made Zeiss lenses (21mm and 35mm C-Biogons) whose price-performance ratio is excellent(!!) and I am thinking of buying another one (1.5/50 Sonnar or 4/85Tele-Tessar). I also have used the 1.4/40mm CV lens and might consider buying the new collapsible nickel 2.0/50 Heliar for my M3 (an actual Heliar design!)

I too was hopeful that the new Zeiss Ikon would be closer to the classic Contax IIa/IIIa - fully manual with selftimer and the cassic finger wheely... But, I am sure, If a true Contax successor was built in Germany we would probably not be able to afford it.

This is what's happening with the current Leica S2 and M9 gear. The prices are completely out of step with economic realities. Right now on the Leica Users Group, there is so much ridiculous reasoning to justify buying the $7000 M9 body hat I had to turn the digest off. This, after everybody just got over buying the already overpriced M8 - now worth less than half its new price!

I think, Zeiss wanted to avoid this trend (also learning from its earlier mistakes!) and designed a mid-priced M-mount camera and lenses, a decision I highly commend - because it actually makes it possible for me to enjoy new Zeiss glass on a whole variety of cameras.

If F&H, in order to survive, had to move production to Japan, it would be very sad, but Japan clearly has excellent craftsmen and a viable market for classic designs - and maybe than I could afford the FW I can not currently afford...

From: Hauke Fath <hauke@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Subject: [rollei_list] Re: The other Rollei, the true Rollei.
Just like Voigtländer (to which F&H {old} did the same after they took over the fab from Zeiss Ikon). We're lucky that the Cosina guy picked up the
Voigtländer brand to label high-quality cameras and lenses - "Rollei"
labels mp3 players and usb sticks.
This is the New World - move production to China, and make a profit off the "intellectual properties". Look at the New Zeiss Ikon, btw - it's the same
hollow construct.
Make that: repacked. I am pretty sure that the Chinese companies who build
the cheap digital p&s cameras offer custom "branded" shells.
When the person who invested last into F&H {new} announced the company was broke, he hinted at the fact that F&H was little more than the workbenches. All rights to products remained with Rollei GmbH, tools and machines were
leased. Makes you think the fab was spun off to exactly that goal.
Sure, anything that makes money, as long as the brand is still warm.
That's the new economy.
Amen, brother.

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