Who's shooting with Zeiss Ikon ZM

Discussion in 'Rangefinder Forum' started by Andrey, Mar 6, 2008.

  1. Andrey

    Andrey Member

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    *Rambling alert!*

    I've had one more canon body stop working on me last day. :mad: This left me without a "good" film system. I have a couple of bodies here and there with random 50mm lenses on it, but no wides, no teles in one package.

    Now I am rethinking my equipment history and the cost/benefit ratios of the equipment I bought.

    From that, considering I am not a heavy user, any new body I probably wouldn't be able to wear down.

    I regret not buying the FM3a while it was still new at BHphoto. I almost pulled the trigger on it, but then decided to buy into Canon FD. A wonderful journey filled with shutter squeaks, erratic bodies and ruined shoots.

    I don't want to bother with fully mechanical cameras anymore. Just like mechanical watches, they're largely a thing of the past. I want to know what time it is, and quartz does quite a good job.

    So, I want:
    1) an electronically timed shutter
    2) easily accessible batteries
    3) a new body that is currently manufactured

    Bessa seems one obvious choice, but I don't see the real quality in it. 600 bucks for a camera is cheap.

    New leicas are out of the pricerange.

    Zeiss Ikon ZM seems like a good choice and fits the bill. It only costs as much as a prosumer DSLR and seems to have a decent viewfinder specs at .72 magnification, which I need for my wides.

    It seems I have found my cam.

    Does anybody have one?
     
  2. Pete H

    Pete H Member

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    Hi Andrey,

    I bought one in January this year, with the 50 mm Planar. It's perfect for what I want (lightweight system for travelling & street photography) but of course it's a rangefinder, so no teles, no macro. Think I'll be getting some wider lenses soon :smile:

    What are you looking for?

    cheers
    Pete
     
  3. Aurelien

    Aurelien Advertiser Member

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    I have one too, since its importation in Europe. It's a very wonderful camera body, and a wonderful lens (planar 50mm). Viewfinder is one of the greatest on the market (if not the best) ! Clearly, think it's better than a leica for a better price.
     
  4. Donald Boyd

    Donald Boyd Member

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    I would probably buy one if the price comes down.
     
  5. Matus Kalisky

    Matus Kalisky Member

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    The 85mm lens has a killing price :sad: . Also - if the weight is a concern a similar setup from Voigtlaender would be lighter. But I agree - it is a woderfull camera and the viewfinder is tempting. If you can afford the body plus the lenses you want - I do not see a reason to hesitate. Last but not least - you can mix lesnes with other systems as well (I have the Voigltaender 90/3.5 Apo Lanthar in mind here)
     
  6. lns

    lns Member

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    I have one too. It's fantastic. You read that it's less durable than the Leicas, and it kind of feels that way because it is so much lighter. However, I have had absolutely no problems with it, and I think that is basically internet mud-slinging. The widest frameline is 28mm. -Laura
     
  7. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    I have a ZM I've found it to be a great camera - with a great viewfinder. I use an 90mm/3.5 Apo Lanthar as my long lens in my kit. My normal lens is the 21mm (yes, I have the excellent 50mm Planar - but I rarely ever use it).
     
  8. Leon

    Leon Member

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    dont write off the bessa bodies on quality grounds - the newer models are very good quality for the price. And the r4a has the 21mm frame lines in the viewfinder - dont forget, if you're shooting wider than 28 on the ZI, you'll need auxiliary viewfinders making focusing an extra difficulty (if the wider lenses you'll be using are rf coupled ....). The step from slr to rangefinder shooting is quite large as I'm sure you've considered
     
  9. Lee Shively

    Lee Shively Member

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    The big plus for this camera is the number of lenses available. Not just the Zeiss and Voigtlander lenses, but the older Leitz M-series lenses and the even older Leica screw mount lenses of various brands that are adaptable to the M mount. Of course, in my opinion, the Bessa R2A looks even better based solely on price.
     
  10. elekm

    elekm Member

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    One advantage of the Zeiss Ikon is the wide base rangefinder. It provides for accurate focusing -- much more than the Bessa.

    However, with wide lenses, you can get away with small focusing errors.

    The Bessa cameras are great value for the money. And the build quality and use of metal parts (instead of plastic) seem to have increased with each subsequent model.

    The earliest camera -- the L -- is very lightweight with a lot of plastic ... a lot. Even so, it has worked well enough for me. And my Bessa-R was a very good camera.

    The Zeiss Ikon sits in a very nice niche in terms of price for those who can afford more than a Bessa but aren't willing or aren't able to afford a Leica M.

    The Zeiss Ikon body is very tight without being heavy. Excellent build quality. And the viewfinder is good for the 25mm lens, as well.

    I've been very pleased with it.

    If I were to recommend a rangefinder to a novice and to someone who wanted a new camera and not used, I would suggest trying the Bessa cameras first.

    The rangefinder experience isn't for everyone.
     
  11. cmo

    cmo Member

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    Well, I had one - for one single day from my dealer.

    My verdict:

    - Best finder in a 35mm RF ever, much better than my M6 even, lightyears ahead a Contax G or a Bessa.

    - Leightweight, almost a little plasticky like a consumer SLR

    - Loud shutter, unpleasant noise, just like a Bessa. How can such a small camera make such a loud noise? Even my Canon VT from 1955 or so is quieter.

    So, I decided not to buy it. For a street shooter the shutter is a show stopper. But I would like to have that finder...:D

    If Zeiss decides to make a "ZI2" with an acceptable shutter I will be among the first to buy one.
     
  12. PVia

    PVia Member

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    Get a used M2 or M3, easily found for under $1,000 these days...
     
  13. cotdt

    cotdt Member

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    that camera satisfies not one of the OPs three listed requirements.
     
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  15. PVia

    PVia Member

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    oops...I shouldn't try to read APUG in the morning before my eyes open
     
  16. Andrey

    Andrey Member

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    I'd get a screwmount body, but I want a wide rangefinder and M mount. not LTM

    I think if I'll be getting 35/1.2, I'll be shooting it wide open most of the time and I need the wide rangefinder base.
     
  17. cotdt

    cotdt Member

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    I would still just get an SLR. I shoot a 15mm f/3.5 lens through it and it is easy enough to focus, especially with the better screens. a fast 35mm lens is a walk in the park with an SLR, you'll get a ton of fine focus range.
     
  18. zenrhino

    zenrhino Member

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    I had one in my hands recently and the build quality-to-price was the deal breaker for me. I wear stuff pretty hard, which is a big part of why I use a Nikon F5 and manual focus (metal bodied) lenses. I'd heard way too many people complain way too much about body/quality issues with the Bessas to sink $1,300 into a ZI. I'm too risk averse for that.
     
  19. cotdt

    cotdt Member

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    what's wrong with the build quality? are you equating heaviness to build quality?
     
  20. Alex Bishop-Thorpe

    Alex Bishop-Thorpe Member

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    I'm looking at getting an R2A (half as much as the Ikon), but I've heard this about the build quality too. Just as passing remarks though - can anyone expand on this? I've heard the rangefinder can come misaligned, but this is rectifiable. What is wrong with the build quality? What breaks in the Cosina Rangefinders?
    (slight topic hijacking)
     
  21. Tom Stanworth

    Tom Stanworth Member

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    Very different beasts. No SLR is as small and discreet as a 35mm RF with small lens. People react better when I use my leicas because they think it is more of a P&S than anything else. lenses are far smaller and more pocketable...kit can be made to disappear and the Leica can go under the coat etc. Much more discreet and much easier to travel light with supreme optical performance, esp at low speeds. I specifically bought the Leica when I became fed up with street shooting using a SLR. I would use pretty well any RF over an SLR for walkabout photography. Half the weight, half the bulk, quieter etc
     
  22. cotdt

    cotdt Member

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    A Nikon FG or one of the smaller SLRs with a 20/3.5 lens is just as small. I don't see any size advantage for the rangefinders like Leica, Bessa, or Zeiss.
     
  23. firecracker

    firecracker Member

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    Well, then you stick with the Nikon! I have a FM with a 50mm pancake lens, and I know what you mean. But with such a SLR kit, it's very limiting to go compact and light weight, which is sort of why I don't really buy any other lens for my FM. The most benefit of RF in terms of the size issue is however to fit a compact 35mm lens or something wider, which might be a matter of one's preference. 35mm lenses for SLR cameras are pretty big to begin with...
     
  24. Andrey

    Andrey Member

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    3.5 is slow. I want a 2.8 at least, and I want to shoot it wide open.
     
  25. Rol_Lei Nut

    Rol_Lei Nut Member

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    Hmmmm...

    Nikon FM with 20mm, 35mm and 105mm:
    1579 grammes.

    Leica M6 with 21mm, 35mm & 90mm:
    1080 grammes.

    For an extra 190 grammes I can add a 15mm to the Leica kit... :D

    Not to mention that the rangefinder kit is FAR more compact.
     
  26. cotdt

    cotdt Member

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    you'll still be hanging the camera around your neck so practically it makes no difference the tiny size advantage of a rangefinder over an SLR. you still can't put them in your pocket because of the protruding lens. The Nikon FM in your example is medium-sized SLR, but there are smaller ones that pretty much equal the size of the rangefinder. the main problem with the smaller lenses is the handling. the lens focusing is too close and awkward.