Thank you very much for your writing. I think I've got a good view on the camera.Originally Posted by Biogon BillNo, firecracker, I'm not a manufacturer's rep. Far from it. (chuckle)
I have not experienced any problems with finder alignment. I haven't heard of many & don't really expect to. Among the quality control procedures that Carl Zeiss AG instituted at Cosina is an inspection of each camera before it is boxed to leave the factory. Mine came with a certificate, signed by the quality assurance inspector who checked the camera. Rangefinder misalignment is an obvious problem that can easily be caught by such a check. The rangefinder is a delicate instrument which can be knocked out of alignment in shipping. Even Leicas experience this problem new, out of the box. Such problems should be rare.
I have no idea about the durability of this camera. Only time will tell over the long run. It seems well made to me & I haven't experienced any problems in 6 months of use. In use for back packing, it's light weight should be an asset. However, this is the kind of circumstance in which Leica's heavier duty construction would also be an asset. Everything is a trade-off. If I were taking the ZI back packing, I would make sure that it is in a well padded case - as I would with almost any camera I would carry in such a circumstance.
My lenses with this camera include CV, Leica, & Rollei as well as the ZM 35/2 Biogon. My longest lens is a CV 75/2.5 & my heaviest is a chrome 50/2 Summicron. Balance feels fine to me with all of them. The heavier weight of a Leica M is usually described as an asset in taking hand held shots at slow speeds. However, the balance between camera shutter & the pressure required to release the shutter is a significant factor in this regard. The Leica shutter has considerable resistance built into it. Its depth of travel is 2.0 mm. The ZI shutter's depth of travel is less than half that - only 0.9 mm. This balances perfectly with the lighter weight of the camera, but offers sufficient resistance to prevent premature firing.
Two little publicized quality points for the ZI: immediacy of response matches a Leica M - only 14 ms of shutter lag - and the range/viewfinder is better than a Leica with no flare & no rangefinder parallax as well as being brighter, having more viewable frame lines, & having a longer effective base length for a finder with 28 mm frame lines.
A ZI & an M7 both have their advantages. For me the viewfinder of the M7 was the selling point, but you can't go wrong with an M6 or M7 either.
Now I just have to find a friendly camera shop to actually let me press the shutter button only once!