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Thread: Leica or Ikon

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    Leica or Ikon

    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?

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    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.
    W.A. Crider

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    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    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.
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    Rolleiflexible's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David A. Goldfarb View Post
    But then when I consider how much a Leica costs, I think--too much money for too small a piece of film.
    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
    Sanders McNew
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    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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dxphoto View Post
    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?
    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

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    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

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    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

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    Chazzy's Avatar
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    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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sanders McNew View Post
    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
    As evidenced by the beautiful photograph you recently took with one -and you can put a better viewfinder on them.
    Mark
    Mark Layne
    Nova Scotia
    and Barbados

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