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View Poll Results: Zeiss Ikon Problems?
My Ikon has the "popping" frameline issue. 2 2.30%
My Ikon had the "popping" frameline issue, but I sent it back and now it works fine. 4 4.60%
My Ikon had a different issue, but I sent it back and now it works fine. (please specify in thread) 5 5.75%
My Ikon still/currently has another issue. (please specify in thread) 1 1.15%
My Ikon has worked great since the day I got it, without problem. 53 60.92%
My Ikon had Rangefinder Alignment Problems 16 18.39%
My Ikon had shutter problems 6 6.90%
Voters: 87. You may not vote on this poll

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Zeiss Ikon Problems
Old 12-18-2007   #1
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Zeiss Ikon Problems

I want to get a Zeiss Ikon, but recently I've read about problems, mainly with respect to this frameline "popping" or "ticking" issue:

http://www.rangefinderforum.com/foru...ad.php?t=31692
http://www.rangefinderforum.com/foru...ad.php?t=45839


Based on those threads, it seems a lot of people have had that problem... What I want to know is, how many people have not?


I also read that there RF whites out in bright scenes, and becomes next to usesless in low light envoronments.

Quote:
"Rangefinder patch in Zeiss Ikon however has tendency to white out a lot more often than on MP-3. So, all the benefits of brighter and larger viewfinder disappear in tough lighting conditions since you can't focus at all. These include very bright outdoor lighting conditions and dim lighting indoor. I'd say that on average day I'm guaranteed to encounter this several times through the day - trouble focusing with Ikon because I barely see the rangefinder patch or I don't see it at all."

Has anyone else experienced this?

Last edited by K57H639 : 12-18-2007 at 21:51.
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Old 12-18-2007   #2
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Not had any of these problems. Hope you get it worked out.
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Old 12-18-2007   #3
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no problem with mine.
the focus patch needs your eye centred in the finder which is not difficult to do though some claim to be unable to do so. it takes all kinds i guess...
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Old 12-19-2007   #4
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So far no issue. But as some have already said:

Quote:
Originally Posted by back alley
the focus patch needs your eye centred in the finder which is not difficult to do though some claim to be unable to do so. it takes all kinds i guess...
It's easy to focus with the ZI in bright lighting conditions, and easier in low light.
Again, no issue so far; I hope I don't have any for a long time for it's the only body I own at the moment.
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Old 12-18-2007   #5
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Had no issues with mine so far. Besides leaving it on by mistake and letting the batteries drain. (When am I gonna learn. haha)
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Old 12-18-2007   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbf
Had no issues with mine so far. Besides leaving it on by mistake and letting the batteries drain. (When am I gonna learn. haha)

How long would that take? Seeing as the meter is only active when you half-depress the shutter (right?), how much power is being eaten up when it's just sitting there in something other than the 'off' position?
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Old 12-18-2007   #7
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Not a problem, from day one. The Ikon is by far my favorite M-body for big aperture/long lenses. That pesky rangefinder patch! I read somewhere that it is a feature not a bug. You actually have to look straight through it. Can't say I've shot into the sun with a snow background (but I might later this week) - my guess is that even the vaunted M3 finder might have issues under those conditions.

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Old 12-18-2007   #8
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Well... i left mine on for probably over a week and a half and didnt even know it. Keep in mind, the battery I was using had been an older battery (used) before.


but in any case... just to let you know when my ZI told me the battery was low... it still kept shooting for at least six or seven more rolls of film before it stopped.
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Old 12-18-2007   #9
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My Ikon had a thin frameline on the 50mm frame set...it would disappear in the certain light. I returned the camera and the replacement worked perfectly...but it did take a minute to get use to viewfinder and centering the eye with the glasses I use.

Love the camera and results I get with it.
Enjoy.

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Old 12-19-2007   #10
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I have a rangefinder alignment problem. It can't reach to the position of infinity when the lens already turned to infinity. I will send it back.
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Old 12-19-2007   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by optikhit
I have a rangefinder alignment problem. It can't reach to the position of infinity when the lens already turned to infinity. I will send it back.
The only ZM I have handled in a shop had a misaligned rangefinder, and my new M6TTL that I bought new a few years ago also had to go back for alignment. So it's not uncommon. Add to that the fact that new Leica lenses are sometimes not properly aligned and you can have a very frustrating time. My 35mm Summilux ASPH is currently on the long journey from the Antipodes to Germany to have its insides properly adjusted. Makes you wish for an SLR sometimes!
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Old 12-19-2007   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by optikhit
I have a rangefinder alignment problem. It can't reach to the position of infinity when the lens already turned to infinity. I will send it back.
What did you try to focus on? And how many unsharp pictures at infinity have you got because of this?

Philipp
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Adjusting the Zeiss Ikon ZM rangefinder
Old 02-19-2008   #13
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Adjusting the Zeiss Ikon ZM rangefinder

Quote:
Originally Posted by optikhit
I have a rangefinder alignment problem. It can't reach to the position of infinity when the lens already turned to infinity. I will send it back.
I have come across this posting elsewhere on the Internet:
http://www.kyphoto.com/classics/foru...tml?1197654241

It shows where and how to adjust the ZM rangefinder. However, I do not have this problem with my ZM and therefore have not tried it.

Also, the 2X eyepiece magnifier for the Nikon F2 will fit the ZM...useful in critical adjustments.
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Old 12-19-2007   #14
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optikhit,
Have you tried to focus on the moon? If you don't like the ZI, you will have hard time finding a better rangefinder. Leicas are obsolete.
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Old 12-19-2007   #15
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No single problem with the ZI in 18 months.
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Old 12-19-2007   #16
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Hi, mfogiel. I haven't try to foucs the moon because my ZI's rangefinder cannot align the double images even when the lens is turned to infinity. (when I focus a distant object, it can not reach to the alignment position, even when the lens is already at infinity position, not OVER.) A little bit difficult to describe but I assume you understand me
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Last edited by optikhit : 12-19-2007 at 19:44.
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Old 12-19-2007   #17
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After almost a year, I had a shutter stick kind of open. It was still under warranty from the good folks at Popflash so there was no problem sending to them for repair. I got it back in the same week everything working like it should.

I was dinking around with it at the time and I think I might have tried to crank the film advance while the AE had the shutter open... like an idiot. I saw a thread on the Bessa section where some rod in the bottom of the camera comes unhooked. I don't know for certain but I'm thinking my trouble might have been similar. Even so, it must have been a quick fix and the camera seems no worse for the wear.
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Old 12-19-2007   #18
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optikhit
How far is the "distant" object you are observing which is refusing to align with your lens turned to infinity? - I assume you understand me too... ?
The rf of my ZI is so precise, it will not align at infinity even objects which are 300m away, you have to observe something which is several kilometers away, at least. And in any case, I suggest you place a ruler on the floor, and take some shots with a sharp (and properly aligned) lens wide open, focusing at 45 at e.g. 1 meter mark. Then develop the film and see the results. If you have a misaligned rf it will show, otherwise don't bother sending it for repair.

Last edited by mfogiel : 12-19-2007 at 23:44.
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Old 12-20-2007   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mfogiel
optikhit
How far is the "distant" object you are observing which is refusing to align with your lens turned to infinity? - I assume you understand me too... ?
The rf of my ZI is so precise, it will not align at infinity even objects which are 300m away, you have to observe something which is several kilometers away, at least. And in any case, I suggest you place a ruler on the floor, and take some shots with a sharp (and properly aligned) lens wide open, focusing at 45 at e.g. 1 meter mark. Then develop the film and see the results. If you have a misaligned rf it will show, otherwise don't bother sending it for repair.
Hi, friend, I understand you well. But maybe I make you confused. When I focus to an 80m away object the ZI aligns as the lens turned to infinity. For the object far beyong that distance, it can not longer be aligned.
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Old 12-21-2007   #20
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Those of you who claim that you have an 'alignment problem'; do you really get unsharp pictures? Or is the rangefinder only 'off' at infinity? I.e. what you see through the viewfinder.

My Zeiss Ikon is 'off' at infinity - what I can see through the viewfinder, but it takes 'sharp' pictures at infinity -and elsewhere. - So, then it is no problem. While my M8 - is dead on at infinity, but the Noctilux is takes pictures that is 10 cm 'off' at full aparture.
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Old 12-21-2007   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Olsen
Those of you who claim that you have an 'alignment problem'; do you really get unsharp pictures? Or is the rangefinder only 'off' at infinity? I.e. what you see through the viewfinder.

My Zeiss Ikon is 'off' at infinity - what I can see through the viewfinder, but it takes 'sharp' pictures at infinity -and elsewhere. - So, then it is no problem. While my M8 - is dead on at infinity, but the Noctilux is takes pictures that is 10 cm 'off' at full aparture.
How to fix close focus: the screw at the end of the roller arm.
How to fix infinity focus: the roller.

Olsen, instead of complaining about your noctilux for more then a year now, why not take 5 minutes to fix the problem?
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Old 12-21-2007   #22
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Infinity doesn't mean Alpha Centauri.

It means the end of the street.
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Old 12-21-2007   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ClaremontPhoto
Infinity doesn't mean Alpha Centauri.

It means the end of the street.
Jon
Marek is right. Infinity means "moon" if not Alpha Centauri. If you focus at infinity, and point your RF to the end of the street, you should see what seems to be mis-alignment (it's quite slight but it's here). Conversely, if the overlapping images in the VF align perfectly while you focus at infinity and point at the end of the street, then there's a problem.
Try it and you'll see the difference.
Cheers
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Old 12-21-2007   #24
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My only problem with My Ikon is it's somewhere between here and Japan (Matsuiya) and the anticipation is killing me!

Monday hopefully ... depending on the Xmas congestion in the mail system.
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Old 12-21-2007   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith
My only problem with My Ikon is it's somewhere between here and Japan (Matsuiya) and the anticipation is killing me!

Monday hopefully ... depending on the Xmas congestion in the mail system.

i'm looking forward to your impressions of the zi keith.

joe
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Old 12-21-2007   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by back alley
i'm looking forward to your impressions of the zi keith.

joe

Then of course there's the matter of waiting for the black Luigi 'Grip Case' I ordered for it!
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Old 12-21-2007   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ClaremontPhoto
Infinity doesn't mean Alpha Centauri.

It means the end of the street.
not true.
for RF's
it means a mile or farther away.

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Old 12-29-2007   #28
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Hi,
As the original question included specifiying what was wrong, here goes:
Received new ZI two days ago, took it along today, died electronically after about half a film. Cold out there, but not freezing. Changed batteries twice, even though they test o.k. Came back to life for one shot and went dead again. Is now back to room temperature and still dead (medics amonst you will probably know the CPR-saying that a body isn't dead untill it's warm and dead, well, this one is....)
Cleaned the contacts against all odds, no change. So it's going back to whence it came. But looking at the poll I had a 52% chance of it having no problems, right? (just had to chuck in a peevish remark...)
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Old 12-30-2007   #29
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Oops, belay that message...
Seems the fault is mine and not the camera's. On taking out the film I noticed that it seemed to be at it's end, and while I was thinking the film had been fully transported it in fact hadn't - by a narrow margin. So the camera wouldn't wake up. The film must have been the last of a roll of bulk film. That'll teach me to mark them more clearly.... Anyway, can I correct my vote?
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Old 12-30-2007   #30
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Ah yes... in order for the camera to work the film transport has to have completed. If the shutter isnt cocked/readied then it wont fire. hehe.

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Old 01-18-2008   #31
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Can someone clarify rf adjustment on the ZI? NB23's suggestion apply to Leica M bodies but I thought the ZI was different. Isn't the adjustment under the hot shoe? Secondly, now that the ZI's been out for a few years, are the 'bugs' substantially removed and lastly, will it take as much punishment as an M7?
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Old 01-26-2008   #32
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As this thread is about ZI, problems encountered and has been discussing focussing/alignment I have a question I'll ask here. As I was getting photo's that were disappointing where sharpness is concerned, I made a series of test shots using 3 camera bodies: ZI, VL-R3a, VL-R2. Lenses: VL90mm, VL75mm, VL50mm and VL35mm/1.7 . One shot with a Rollei 40mm. Shots made using a ruler, distance 1 meter to film plane, angle 30 degrees. Wide open. I will give focus as being back focus (+cm) or front focus (-cm). One photograph did not have enough resolution for interpretation, which was difficult for the 35mm in all cases.

ZI VL90 +4 VL75 +4 VL50 +5 VL 35 +2 Rollei40 +5
R3a VL90 -2 VL75-0,5 VL50 -4 VL35 -5
R2 VL90 +2,5 VL75 +3 VL50 +3 VL35 ?

Didn't put the Rollei on the other camera's, because they then won't fit on my tripod.
Obviously rangefinder adjustment is not the only variable. The lens cam is another, but the ZI and R2 are reasonably consistent with all lenses. The R3a is not, which brings me to the last variables: human error in focussing and interpretation. Can't think of another explanation.
However, to get to the ZI, this seems to have the biggest error of the three. Now to my question: Has anyone else done this kind of testing and what were your results? What should be considered tolerable error? Less than what I'm getting I should guess; focus on the eyes and get well focussed ears... (Don't respond to that, I know the distance is bigger than 4cm...)
By the way, I also made some shots with my Olympus OM40, with its own lenses ofcourse. Sorry to say that it won the contest, R3a second, R2 third and ZI last. Bought the ZI for supposedly improved focussing accuracy. Ouch.
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Last edited by lshofstra : 01-31-2008 at 05:00.
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Old 01-27-2008   #33
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Mine died after 1 hour in 0 -1 C...
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Old 01-27-2008   #34
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Ishofstra,
I have tested ZI, M7, R3A with Elmarit 90, Heliar 75, Planar 50. C Sonnar 50, Biogon 35 and Nokton 35 from 1meter distance.
After some lens switching and body switching, these were the conclusions:
ZI and M7 focus accuracy : perfect.
R3A - 5,5 cm backfocus
Lenses:
Biogon 35, Nokton 35 - perfect
Planar 50 - perfect
C Sonnar - this is a separate story described in my comparative test of 2 versions of C Sonnars, however none of them perfect
Heliar 75 - 6 cm backfocus
Elmarit 90 - perfect

FWIW I have also tested my FM3A with a series of lenses:
conclusion: on this body all lenses backfocus 2 cm.

So, as you can see life is not perfect, and you have to test all your lenses and bodies before being able to shoot confidently at wide apertures. I am sure this relates to cameras of any brand and type.
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Old 01-31-2008   #35
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Thanks mfogiel for putting things in perspective. Whether or not this is an acceptable error is however still a question for me. Perhaps I should ask Zeiss customer service...

Added note: Just sent them an email.
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Worn strap eyelet
Old 02-05-2008   #36
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Worn strap eyelet

My problems with a 8 month old Zeiss Ikon:

- VERY worn eyelets after a 4 week hiking/climbing trip in Norway. Not just
chrome worn off but obvious bronce abraision. Camera was in the (execellent)
Zeiss case all time, but hanging on the straps most times (hiked 2 to 14
hours per day). Continuing that over a few trips will destroy the eyelets.
Wondering how expensive/complicated it is to replace ?? And: my (much
heavier) Nikon F6 SLR used similar, does not show as much abraision.

- The 2 small screws on the upper back, holding the upper cover, became loose.
So upper cover (including viewfinder) became a bit loose as well. Used Loctite
to fix this. Hopefully did not misaligne anything.

Also, a Leica M6 user installed some of his Leica M-bajonet lenses to my Zeiss.
Found out they are quite shakey in the Zeiss bajonet. At least compared to
how they fit to the M6. Tested that combo myself. Did not have any problems
with my Zeiss ZM lenses in the Zeiss bajonet, though.

Zeiss body is nice but not bomb-proof.

Best Regards, Peter.
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Old 02-08-2008   #37
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Mine is on my way back to Matsuiyastore within its first week. It has the popping framelines problem. Let's see what the next one is like!
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Old 02-08-2008   #38
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The biggest problem that I'm having my Ikon is that it's that good that I'm considering selling something else so I can buy a second body!
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Old 02-08-2008   #39
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Update.
Here's the answer received from Zeiss, which may be of interest to others because it contains acceptable tolerance according to the manufacturer. The camera is now in the mail.

Dear Mr. Hofstra,
Thanks for your request.
As you already mentioned in your evalution of the fault, the tolerances of the camera, the rangefinder, the lens and the human eye effect the accuracy of focusing.
With a rangefinder system, the human eye should allow to focus within a range of +/- 1cm at an object in a distance of 1m. Combined with the inevitable tolerances of the camera and lens, the focusing should allow an accuracy of +/- 3 cm under these conditions. Different manufactures of camera body and lens may effect that the tolerances increase.
Did you have a chance to make test shots with original Carl Zeiss ZM lenses?
Apart from this, the tolerances in your tests with the ZI camera and your lenses with 40mm and longer seem to exceed the inevitable focusing tolerances.
To make sure that your camera is ok, you can send it to us for checking or adjusting.
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Old 02-08-2008   #40
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An accuracy of +/- 3cm at 1 meter!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Wow that means that my G2 is very very accurate !!!!
This also means that we have to live with some out of focus shots with a 85mm ! Or stop down a 85 mm to at least f8 or even more !!!!
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2 Contax G2 with 21;28;35;45;90
Contax RX with 35mm f1.4 ASPH. FL. EL; 50mm f1.4 ; 85mm f1.4; 85mm f2.8; 35mm f2.8
Canon EOS 400 with 18-50mm f2.8 sigma

Traditional darkroom printer
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