Leica or Ikon

Discussion in 'Rangefinder Forum' started by dxphoto, Jul 6, 2007.

  1. dxphoto

    dxphoto Member

    Messages:
    196
    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2005
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Besides the legend of Leica, technically speaking, is there major advantages of using Leica? I know Ikon has longer effective base length, Ikon can also use Leica lenses.. what else?
     
  2. waynecrider

    waynecrider Member

    Messages:
    2,297
    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2003
    Location:
    Floriduh
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I guess if you look at the life span of both brands you'll obviously see that Leica has had the better continuance. Beyond that I can only suggest that there are more parts and repair people available in case of need, and more used cameras available on the market. I have heard good things about the new Ikon tho, over in the rangefinder forum, but if I had the money to pick I'd go with he company that had the better track record.
     
  3. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    17,980
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2002
    Location:
    Honolulu, Ha
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    Just having the chance to pick up and look through one of each at PMA in March, the rangefinder on the Leica M7 was much easier to use than the Zeiss Ikon. A longer base should make the Ikon more accurate, but I found it harder to see the Ikon's rangefinder patches in the low light of the exhibit hall.

    But then when I consider how much a Leica costs, I think--too much money for too small a piece of film.
     
  4. Rolleiflexible

    Rolleiflexible Member

    Messages:
    1,274
    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2005
    Location:
    New York Cit
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    My brother David, until last month I would heartily have agreed with you. But I have recently learned that older screwmount Leicas in less-than-pristine condition may be had for a song these days. They are quirky machines -- jewellike in construction, a joy in the hand, but squinty to frame and focus. If you play to the character of the old screwmount lenses, they can repay dividends.

    Sanders
     
  5. elekm

    elekm Member

    Messages:
    2,059
    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2004
    Location:
    New Jersey (
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    There is no right or wrong choice. Both offer similar features, a long history in photography and an excellent lineup of lenses.

    What it comes down to is how the body feels in your hand. And that's something that only you can answer. I had a Leica M6, but for all its beauty, I sold it, because there were several things that bothered me enough to not want to use it.

    In case you're wondering, I absolutely hated the shutter release and how the release point was much too deep. I never warmed up to the film loading system, and I didn't like how the rangefinder patch would sometimes turn white and make it unable to focus. I also didn't like that the rangefinder patch moved as you focused, forcing you to move the camera with it. That bothered me too. I can understand the advantage to this, but I didn't like it.

    Now, I could have bought this or paid to have that altered, but why?

    For me, the Zeiss Ikon is a much better camera. I've used it in all kinds of conditions and have never had a problem focusing. Most people like the Zeiss Ikon's film loading system, but I'm lukewarm on it. I don't mind that the rewind is on the bottom. I love everything else about the camera, including its near perfect balance.

    But that's my subjective opinion, and I strongly urge you to handle both cameras and form your own opinion. You might find that the Leica feels right, and there's nothing wrong with that. A fine camera. Not for me, but an excellent photographic tool.

    Finally, it's the Zeiss Ikon, not the Ikon. I don't know why that always irks me, and I guess it's petty of me to even mention it. Even so, it's a Zeiss Ikon, not an Ikon.
     
  6. rpsawin

    rpsawin Subscriber

    Messages:
    517
    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2002
    Location:
    Orrtanna, PA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I found that the Leica "felt" right in my hands the first time I picked it up. The feel of the camera was solid, balanced and the controls well laid out. I knew that the Leica was a camera I would enjoy using and that has certainly held true.

    While I know the ZI is a fine camera I did not have the same reaction when I picked it up and used it. I had the same reaction with two CV's as well. I just did not connect with these cameras. In short they did not "feel" right.

    For some this approach is a bit too woo-woo but for me it works and ultimately the experience of using a particular camera/lens must be enjoyable.

    Best regards,

    Bob
     
  7. John Simmons

    John Simmons Member

    Messages:
    934
    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2004
    Location:
    Michigan
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I have a Zeiss Ikon (ZI) and love it. The viewfinder is the brightest I have ever used on a rangefinder....even more so than a friends Leica MP that I borrowed to compare. Admittedly the ZI does weighs less and does not feel as sturdy as the MP but what do you want for $2,200 less?? The ZM lenses are every bit as good as their Leica equivalents...as Erwin Puts confirms on his website. Looking at photos taken with my friends MP and my Zeiss Ikon I could not tell the difference at all. If money is no object go with the Leica camera and glass. If you want to achieve the same results for a fraction of the price then go with the Zeiss Ikon.

    Regards,
    John
     
  8. HerrBremerhaven

    HerrBremerhaven Member

    Messages:
    861
    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2006
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I have yet to see or handle the new Zeiss Ikon, though I use to own a Leica M3, and have recently used a Leica M7. The M7 I got to try out was a 0.85x and had the 1.25x magnifier; probably as close to M3 memory as I could get, though subjectively the M7 seemed better. Considering that the Leica reps let me try that M7 with a 90mm lens, and that the Zeiss Ikon doesn't really accomodate a 90mm as well, I would lean towards the M7. However, it really depends upon what lenses you want to use with the camera. As others stated, try to handle both cameras, then decide.

    Ciao!

    Gordon Moat
    A G Studio
     
  9. Chazzy

    Chazzy Member

    Messages:
    2,950
    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2004
    Location:
    South Bend,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Does the Zeiss Ikon have through the lens flash metering which can communicate with a (dedicated?) flash? My Minolta x700 does it, so I would assume that such a recent design as the Zeiss Ikon would have it--but I have learned that it is better not to assume.
     
  10. Mark Layne

    Mark Layne Member

    Messages:
    919
    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2003
    Location:
    Nova Scotia
    As evidenced by the beautiful photograph you recently took with one -and you can put a better viewfinder on them.
    Mark
     
  11. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    17,980
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2002
    Location:
    Honolulu, Ha
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    Fair enough, but I had such a thing in my Voigtlander Vitessa-L. The 50/2.0 Ultron is probably my favorite 50mm lens for 35mm, the only problem being that it's 35mm, so I sold it.
     
  12. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Member

    Messages:
    4,913
    Joined:
    May 17, 2006
    Location:
    Northern Aqu
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    Well, I've used all of 'em, and reviewed 'em for the comics, and my favourite comment comes from another reviewer (I apologize for forgetting who, but I think it was in AP. Or it might have been the BJP):

    If Voigtlander, ZI and Leica were all made by the same manufacturer, their prices would accurately reflect their position in the market place.

    Voigtlanders are superb cameras, and incredible value for money.

    Leicas are, well, Leicas....

    ZIs are somewhere between. Even my wife Frances Schultz, who likes the ZI very much and finds it easiest of all to hand-hold for long exposures, says she's want to try the ZI and MP side by side for 6 months before making a decision (the MP has better metering and M-series Leicas have a longer track record).

    And all the Zeiss lenses we've tried are superb.

    See also
    http://www.rogerandfrances.com/sgallery/g zi i.html

    Cheers,

    Roger
     
  13. copake_ham

    copake_ham Inactive

    Messages:
    4,090
    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2006
    Location:
    NYC or Copak
    Shooter:
    35mm
    This would seem to be correct.

    My expectation is that CV positions the Voigtlander at the low price point versus the Leica. This leaves the middle for the ZI that it builds for CZ under supervised license.

    I'd guess that CZ is really more interested in developing its lens line (both as to f-lengths built under license by CV and those built in-house) but realizes that it needs a quality (if not necessarily, top quality) body to provide a systemic opportunity.

    For this reason, I would not expect many "improvements" to the CV-constructed under CZ supervision ZI body going forward. But it probably is a good "buy" - especially as "price pointed" against CV's own R3M etc.
     
  14. troym

    troym Member

    Messages:
    20
    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2006
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Although the ZI does not have 90mm framelines, its 85mm framelines have virtually the same coverage. I've used a 90mm lens on the ZI and the framing is spot on.

    If you intend to use 75mm lenses, however, the ZI doesn't really accommodate those.
     
  15. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Member

    Messages:
    4,913
    Joined:
    May 17, 2006
    Location:
    Northern Aqu
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    Seconded. Taking the MP 90mm frame as 100%, the ZI 85mm frame is identical; the M2 is 3% bigger; the R2 is 6% bigger; the R3A, 3% smaller.

    Test: cameras on tripod at fixed distance, edges of horizontal field of view marked with film canisters.

    All in-camera frames are 'scant', not least because they do not change size to accommodate focusing variations: the zoom TEWE finder, with separate indices for infinity and 1m/3 feet, shows almost 20% more at infinity and 12% more at 1 metre; the Russian turret finder shows 9% more; and the Voigtlander accessory finder (which has twin frames for infinity and close-up) shows 12% more at infinity and 6% less at 1m.

    I'm currently waiting for an 85/2 from Zeiss to compare coverage...

    Cheers,

    Roger (these figures are from www.rogerandfrances.com, but they're in one of the paid-for modules, the ZI test).