I must agree with what you say. The general consensus in a head-to-head with Leica is that 1) it doesn't weigh as much as a Leica, therefore it's cheap (in a bad way), 2) it's made in Japan, therefore it's cheap (in a bad way) and 3) it's not a Leica, therefore it's cheap (in a bad way).
Originally Posted by Biogon Bill
The camera does need to be judged on its own and not in an A-B feature-to-feature breakdown. Like you would expect from a Carl Zeiss product, it's precision. I had a small issue with the rangefinder, which I've covered on my site. I will attempt to post an update this week, as the camera is now back in my hands, as of today.
The body is well made. Overall design is very good. You could argue that the design is derivative, but in a way, most 35mm cameras draw from others. Exterior covers are magnesium but usually are incorrectly described as plastic or aluminum.
The viewfinder is very large and bright. Of course, there is no rangefinder flare, as that problem is specific to the Leica rangefinder design, and this camera doesn't share that design, nor would you expect it.
28mm framelines are visible without glasses, although you have to peer a bit to the left and right to see them. One person wrote to me and asked if I could see the 28mm lines, as it was very important for him to know that. After I replied, he said he just needed to know because he was a Leica user, although he had no plans to buy the camera (whatever!).
The viewfinder does require correct eye placement -- takes a couple of rolls until you do it intuitively.
The rewind crank is on the bottom, which was required by the placement of the viewfinder.
Another person mentioned to me that Zeiss should have put the film advance on the bottom of the camera, like the Retinas.