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Old 12-08-2012   #41
bwcolor
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Originally Posted by Roger Hicks View Post
And, of course, it's not exactly Zeiss. More Cosina.

Cheers,

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Yes, but I would think that Zeiss will make the decision as to how support continues, much like Kyocera set things up with the Contax line. You would know better than I in that you are inside looking out.
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Old 12-08-2012   #42
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"And, of course, it's not exactly Zeiss. More Cosina."

I'm curious about how this works. The US warranty is from Zeiss. Does Zeiss actually keep parts & fix ZI bodies in US, or do they send them back for repair to Cosina in Japan?

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Old 12-08-2012   #43
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Originally Posted by thompsonks View Post
"And, of course, it's not exactly Zeiss. More Cosina."

I'm curious about how this works. The US warranty is from Zeiss. Does Zeiss actually keep parts & fix ZI bodies in US, or do they send them back for repair to Cosina in Japan?

Kirk
I recently had problems with my Zeiss Ikon SW and contacted Zeiss to inquire where I should send my camera to. I was told to send it to Zeiss in Germany, as it is a Zeiss camera officially. Their service is top notch!
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Old 12-08-2012   #44
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I forwarded mine to the U.S. Zeiss representative and he handled the Germany side of things. Much the same with my Contax RTS III, which went to Tocad and from there to Japan. As long as there are parts we should be fine.
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Old 12-08-2012   #45
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Sad times. Though I've never owned one, I really appreciated how the Ikon offered so much at a much more affordable price than a Leica. I hope this just means something better is going to come from Zeiss.
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Old 12-08-2012   #46
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Perhaps time to pick up another ZI before the prices start inching up.

I find that my ZI is the best camera I have ever used. I've tried to bond with the Ms -- having owned an M4 and then an M6. Both got sold as I prefer the ZI, mainly for the VF. Maybe an M3 will do the trick?
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Old 12-08-2012   #47
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Heads up, anerjee or others: Popflash has reduced the price on what seems to be their last black body to $1400.

Kirk
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Old 12-08-2012   #48
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I am not really surprised. I wonder which rangefinder to get for a while now, and I would never consider a new ZI when for the price I can get a used M6TTL with recent CLA and 6 months warranty. Even used ZIs are around 700 to 800 depending on condition.
The reasons to get a new ZI instead of a used M6:

1. Amazing viewfinder, i.e. bigger, brighter, no flare, uncluttered.
2. Longer effective RF baseline in a camera with 28 mm frame lines.
3. Quicker shutter response time to capture The Moment.
4. It's new, not someone else's refurbished camera.

The best things about this camera are different than the best things about the M6 TTL. Everyone has their preferences.
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Old 12-08-2012   #49
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I love mine. It just feels great to bring it to my eye. It has become my go-to 35mm camera (replacing my Nikon FE2). The 35mm f/2 is such a nice lens on it.

There was only a few slight issues that I would have liked to seen updated. One is the red shutter speeds can get lost on the side of the viewfinder. I'm left eye dominate and use it to frame. If I use my right eye, it doesn't seem as bad.

Another is the grip material wears. I have seen some nice leather done in the other thread, so it's not a big deal.

The last is that mine goes through batteries faster than I would have expected. My Nikon FE2 probably does double the rolls per battery set.
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Old 12-08-2012   #50
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I've handled one and the VF was indeed nice, but I never understood putting it on the market. It seemed to me that it was in-between the Bessas and Leicas quality-wise and maybe 10 years too late.

I wonder if they made any $$ out of it?

On the other hand, a digital one makes a lot of sense.
I think that being between a Bessa and a Leica quality was precisely the point of putting it out.

Canon and Nikon, for example, have for decades had their entry level, intermediate, and advanced SLRs. The build quality of a pro camera isn't necessary for someone who isn't subjecting their camera to the same amount of abuse. Nor is the price that goes along with it.

The advanced features of a pro camera aren't necessarily desired or needed by many amateurs. Neither is the price that is required to include them.

Providing choices is a great service to the consumer. Carl Zeiss AG emphasized certain attributes in their design and implementation of this camera and ignored other features that could have been included. For those who value what makes this camera special, that was a good thing.

I agree that it was 10 years too late. It took the Rangefinder revival, stimulated by Cosina's manufacture of affordable RF cameras and putting them in the hands of users, some of whom then wanted more. The timing was what it was. Something no one could control. The past decade or so has been an exciting time for rangefinder fans. It's too bad that it had to happen in the shadow of the digital revolution. OTOH, without the digital world that created the internet, it's unlikely that word of a RF revival and sales of new RF products could have been as successful as they have been.
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Old 12-09-2012   #51
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Sad. I really love mine, and was contemplating getting a 2nd one.
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Old 12-09-2012   #52
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Sad. I really love mine, and was contemplating getting a 2nd one.
I have seriously been considering a second one but I can't decide between buying new or used.
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Old 12-10-2012   #53
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Some good deals to be had here: https://www.leicashop.com/?id=242896

Less than $2000 for a new Ikon and the 50mm Sonnar, for those of you who don't have to pay VAT on imports.
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Old 12-10-2012   #54
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I think it all has to do with Rangefinder being DIFFERENT, so much publicity for this "obsolete" camera system and mainly Leica. Leica is the big winner, I also doubt that cosina Bessa will live long. The leica M7 and MP will stay on the shelves of these exclusive Leica Boutiques, but not many new will actually be produced. Leica progress will not stop at M-E and "M" for sure.
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Old 12-10-2012   #55
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Its funny - I just was thinking that Its been a long time since I heard ANYTHING about Zeiss Ikon ZM camera. I remember times when people aften talked about it, but not lately. And the very first thing I see - is this thread that ZM camera is no more. Never had one, but wouldnt mind trying one. But even now - I find it to be way too expensive for what it is. And since it'll not have support soon - I would really expect for it to go much lower. Anyway - its sad news. And it tells me that its unlikely that Zeiss will be working on ZMD. Too bad.
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Old 12-10-2012   #56
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Originally Posted by Rangefinderfreak View Post
I think it all has to do with Rangefinder being DIFFERENT, so much publicity for this "obsolete" camera system and mainly Leica. Leica is the big winner, I also doubt that cosina Bessa will live long. The leica M7 and MP will stay on the shelves of these exclusive Leica Boutiques, but not many new will actually be produced. Leica progress will not stop at M-E and "M" for sure.

I can't see any reason for Cosina to discontinue the Bessa range. All the development costs are history and they can just keep churning them out as required in whatever quantity satisfies the market.
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Old 12-10-2012   #57
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Its funny - I just was thinking that Its been a long time since I heard ANYTHING about Zeiss Ikon ZM camera. I remember times when people aften talked about it, but not lately. And the very first thing I see - is this thread that ZM camera is no more. Never had one, but wouldnt mind trying one. But even now - I find it to be way too expensive for what it is. And since it'll not have support soon - I would really expect for it to go much lower. Anyway - its sad news. And it tells me that its unlikely that Zeiss will be working on ZMD. Too bad.
Interesting take on all this: "Way too expensive for what it is."

1/3 the cost of an M7. But ZI is the one that's "way too expensive"? Hmm / . . .
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Old 12-11-2012   #58
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Originally Posted by Huck Finn View Post
Interesting take on all this: "Way too expensive for what it is."

1/3 the cost of an M7. But ZI is the one that's "way too expensive"? Hmm / . . .
When Zeiss rangefinder was introduced, I tried it. OK the finder was nice and also the film loading. I could not , however escape the feeling that it felt about the same as canon rangefinders, they were also "OK"" but lacked something vital. The feel was somehow "flimsy" like a toy camera. I have a feeling that a serious camera must have some "weight", some "presence".
leica has it, all the way from M3 in 1954, you cannot argue on that. same applies to Bessas, the feeling these cameras is not "serious"...
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Old 12-11-2012   #59
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I shot a Zeiss Ikon for a while, I did like much about it except the loading and the wind-on. The loading is certainly slower than an M for me, and the wind-on never felt great. I still have an SW which I use with a 21, and it too has this lack of something in the wind-on. Better tho than any of the Leica viewfinderless models as the SW has a very good meter.

Shame they are gone. I've always thought about giving the RF model another try, hope used prices don;t get too crazy...
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Old 12-11-2012   #60
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When Zeiss rangefinder was introduced, I tried it. OK the finder was nice and also the film loading. I could not , however escape the feeling that it felt about the same as canon rangefinders, they were also "OK"" but lacked something vital. The feel was somehow "flimsy" like a toy camera. I have a feeling that a serious camera must have some "weight", some "presence".
leica has it, all the way from M3 in 1954, you cannot argue on that. same applies to Bessas, the feeling these cameras is not "serious"...
I certainly can argue on that. The "feeling" is just that - a feeling. There's absolutely nothing objective about that. Feelings vary from person to person. And they really have nothing to do with taking good photographs.

I'm glad that a Leica camera works for you. I hope that the $5000 price tag works for you too.

Fact is that the Zeiss Ikon is a superb photographic instrument - objectively better than a Leica M6 or M7 in some ways, i. e. longer effective base line; larger, brighter finder with no flare and less clutter; shorter travel distance for the shutter release button, resulting in quicker response.

With the digital revolution resulting in many smaller, lighter cameras, I'm surprised that we're still talking about the heft of a Leica as an important factor since we've adapted to these smaller, lighter cameras. At this point, even my small Olympus Pen in 4/3 format seems big compared to a lot of what's out there.

It seems to me that what's important about a camera is that it is balanced with all of the components working well together. For example, the shutter release button ona Leica M has to trave 2 mm to activate the shutter. This requires some pressure and the weight of the camera creates just the right balance. In contrast, the shutter release button on the ZI has to travel only 0.3 mm and can be activated with a lighter touch. This too works well with the lighter weight of the ZI. It feels just right.

Obviously a Leica M is a superb photographic instrument, better than a ZI in some ways and superb in its own right.

Te demise of the ZI has to do with the demise of film photography in general. I don't really see it as a reflection on the camera nor an indication that something is lacking in it.
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Old 12-11-2012   #61
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Too bad they stopped production. I was considering buying one last summer. I did play with one at a store and was very impressed by the viewfinder compared to the M6 and Bessa.

With all the great film camera available used at a good price, I assume that sell high end film camera is not a good business model anymore...
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Not Leica vs Zeiss
Old 12-11-2012   #62
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Not Leica vs Zeiss

I hate to break the news, but this really isn't a Leica vs Zeiss vs Bessa thing. It really doesn't matter whether you prefer to work with Leica, Zeiss or Bessa, or something else entirely.

With the demise of the ZI line we have lost an M Mount rangefinder. We lost one of our choices. Losing one of our choices is never a good thing, but we don't have that many film rangefinder choices to begin with so losing one of those few seems a little harder to accept.

I read posts here saying that Bessa may be next. But what about Leica? No one wants to face that possible reality but it is there. If Zeiss can't make money making a quality rangefinder that was built by a Japanese company, at what point will Leica realize that the film rangefinder model is no longer sustainable?
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Old 12-11-2012   #63
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Interesting take on all this: "Way too expensive for what it is."

1/3 the cost of an M7. But ZI is the one that's "way too expensive"? Hmm / . . .
Well, I'm not sure why you immediately go with M7 comparison. Personally, I'm a fan of Konica and very much prefer Hexar RF to Leica and others. Actually the only Leica that agrees with me is my M5.
Since ZI is discontinued and will not be supported for much longer it sort of falls into Hexar RF category and I prefer Hexar, which IS less expensive. That all. Considering everything, to ME it appears that ZI should really be in the same price range as Hexar. But I'm sure you will disagree with this....
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Old 12-11-2012   #64
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Since ZI is discontinued and will not be supported for much longer it sort of falls into Hexar RF category and I prefer Hexar, which IS less expensive.
I expect that support for the Zeiss Ikon will be provided for at least 5 years or so, so definitely longer than "not much longer".

As for the Hexar RF, I tried to source some parts directly from Kenko Tokina for mine a few years ago when I briefly owned one, and there were already almost none available. The situation will have only gotten worse since then. And with its motor drive etc. there's a lot more that can go wrong with the Hexar RF anyway.
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Old 12-11-2012   #65
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I expect that support for the Zeiss Ikon will be provided for at least 5 years or so, so definitely longer than "not much longer".

As for the Hexar RF, I tried to source some parts directly from Kenko Tokina for mine a few years ago when I briefly owned one, and there were already almost none available. The situation will have only gotten worse since then. And with its motor drive etc. there's a lot more that can go wrong with the Hexar RF anyway.
Well, sure, Hexar hasnt had support for a long while and there are possible issues, yet having had several of them over the course of few years - they all are still going strong and offer better user for my needs. Plus I can get 2 Hexars for the price of ZI. YMMV
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Old 12-11-2012   #66
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So if Zeiss called a halt to production of the camera ... that is actually manufactured by Cosina, what happens to the tooling?

I suspect a lot of the internals of the Ikon and the Bessa are very similar and as long as the Bessa continues to be manufactured that is good for the Ikon owners who do face an orphaned product eventually.

As pointed out above the real blow is the reduction of choice if you want a new film rangefinder.
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Old 12-11-2012   #67
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Well, sure, Hexar hasnt had support for a long while and there are possible issues, yet having had several of them over the course of few years - they all are still going strong and offer better user for my needs. Plus I can get 2 Hexars for the price of ZI. YMMV
So what's the big deal regarding support then?

As for the price, I can get two Hexars for the price of one ZI, two ZIs for the price of one M7, and two M7s for the price of one MP, but so what. I wouldn't want to shoot with the crappy 0.60x Hexar RF finder anyway

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I suspect a lot of the internals of the Ikon and the Bessa are very similar and as long as the Bessa continues to be manufactured that is good for the Ikon owners who do face an orphaned product eventually.
Agreed.
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Old 12-11-2012   #68
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If Zeiss can't make money making a quality rangefinder that was built by a Japanese company, at what point will Leica realize that the film rangefinder model is no longer sustainable?
My guess would be "when they start losing money making them". But then, they will probably keep making them for a while longer.

As for support, I got faith in Zeiss. They repaired a 40 year old lens for me and had the parts they needed. If it becomes unrepairable at some point (which I'm sure it will), I would have gotten a lot of use out of it.

To me, it is not a camera I would compare to the M7. I know they have the same AE function, but the Ikon is my "Iggy Pop Camera": Light on its feet and in your face. The Leica M's feels totally different, for better and worse. It became a lot easier to appreciate the Ikon for what it is once I stopped blaming it for what it isn't.
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Old 12-11-2012   #69
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So what's the big deal regarding support then?

As for the price, I can get two Hexars for the price of one ZI, two ZIs for the price of one M7, and two M7s for the price of one MP, but so what. I wouldn't want to shoot with the crappy 0.60x Hexar RF finder anyway



.
Well, that "crappy" finder is good enough to use with M-Hexanon 50/1.2, which is good enough in my book.

But than again, I never said ZI was a bad camera, just for me it was not worth the money being asked for one.
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Old 12-11-2012   #70
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It is a pity they are stopping the production, but let's face it: there is very little market for new film cameras nowadays. If I find it hard to explain to many on this forum the utility of continuing to shoot B&W on film only, then go figure... as this is the main strong point of any film camera left around.
However, Zeiss is foremost an optical powerhouse, and it is more important to the RF community, that they continue to produce the lenses and viewfinders.
Actually, I would not at all be surprised, if this move is a preamble to some digital Zeiss Ikon camera, as the full frame sensors are becoming cheaper, and the microlens technology is out there. An alternative could be, that Sony will come up with a next Nex equipped with a FF sensor capable of handling well the Leica mount lenses, and a decent EVF, as this could also be a natural platform for the LM Zeiss glass.
I continue using:
Zeiss Ikon SW - 12 to 25mm glass, preferably 15
Bessa R4A - 21 to 28mm glass, preferably 28
Zeiss Ikon - 28 to 90mm glass, preferably 35
M7 0.58x - 28 to 35mm glass,preferably 35
M4 - 35 to 90mm glass, preferably 50
M7 0.85x - 50 to 135mm glass, preferably 50 ( I have taken the 75mm frame out)
MP 0.85x - 50 to 135mm glass, preferably 75
I prefer to shoot 85mm and longer on SLR's.
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Old 12-12-2012   #71
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Well, I'm not sure why you immediately go with M7 comparison. Personally, I'm a fan of Konica and very much prefer Hexar RF to Leica and others. Actually the only Leica that agrees with me is my M5.
Since ZI is discontinued and will not be supported for much longer it sort of falls into Hexar RF category and I prefer Hexar, which IS less expensive. That all. Considering everything, to ME it appears that ZI should really be in the same price range as Hexar. But I'm sure you will disagree with this....
I completely agree with you.

Ten years ago the Hexar filled the mid price niche between the Bessas and Leica. After their demise, ZI emerged to fill the same niche.

Hexar is less expensive simply because it is older and was built when it was cheaper to build. Eventually used ZI's will be cheaper too.

I understand why you prefer a Hexar in that it is more Leica-like in some ways, has more of the Leica feel. It's a very nice camera. I wasn't trying to criticize that. Was just saying that's a personal preference and not really a knock on the Zeiss Ikon.

The Hexar experience is a good example of what has happened in the RF world. Good cameras are introduced, capture some of the market for a while, and then fade away. Leica has the brand that keeps selling and that was true even before digital. Rangefinders are just a tiny niche market with that niche becoming smaller all the time these days.
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Old 12-12-2012   #72
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Well, I'm not sure why you immediately go with M7 comparison. Personally, I'm a fan of Konica and very much prefer Hexar RF to Leica and others. Actually the only Leica that agrees with me is my M5.
Since ZI is discontinued and will not be supported for much longer it sort of falls into Hexar RF category and I prefer Hexar, which IS less expensive. That all. Considering everything, to ME it appears that ZI should really be in the same price range as Hexar. But I'm sure you will disagree with this....
I completely agree with you.

Ten years ago the Hexar filled the mid price niche between the Bessas and Leica. After their demise, ZI emerged to fill the same niche. I went to the M7 comparison because I was responding to a comment criticizing the ZI for its price tag. Leica is the natural point of comparison when talking high price.

Hexar is less expensive simply because it is older and was built when it was cheaper to build. Eventually used ZI's will be cheaper too.

I understand why you prefer a Hexar in that it is more Leica-like in some ways, has more of the Leica feel. I wasn't trying to criticize that. Was just saying that's a personal preference and not really a knock on the Zeiss Ikon.

The Hexar experience is a good example of what has happened in the RF world. Good cameras are introduced, capture some of the market for a while, and then fade away. Leica has the brand that keeps selling and that was true even before digital. Rangefinders are just a tiny niche market with that niche becoming smaller all the time these days.
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Old 12-12-2012   #73
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But than again, I never said ZI was a bad camera, just for me it was not worth the money being asked for one.
None of these cameras are worth the money that's being asked for them. It has to do with economy of scale. Price only comes down when there's enough demand to warrant mass production.

A Teszla electric car isn't worth the money that's being asked for it. But if I want a Teszla, a Zeiss Ikon, or a Leica M7, I have to pay the high price they're asking. That's the economics of a niche market.

Te demise of the ZI is no different that the demise of any of the Nikon or Canon film cameras. Can't get them any more either. ZI has had a 7 year run, which is pretty typical of the life cycle of any camera.
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Old 12-12-2012   #74
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After reading all the posts here, I cannot help the feeling "It is all between the ears"
The whole concept of shooting with a rangefinder is based on the way a guy feels and thinks in his brain. The good part of it is that the bosses of Leica and Cosina are both "rangefinder fans" they will make the money on something else: Mr Kaufmann with his wood & paper mill business, Mr Cosina ( what`s his name?? Koyobashi something...) They both can afford this "lovely hobby" of producing stuff for the concept that should have been dead over twenty years ago.. let`s be happy with this phenomenon.
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Old 12-12-2012   #75
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This thread has me thinking about rangefinder history,

Rangefinders were still common in various forms into the 1970's. By the 1980's, Leica was really the only serious rangefinder brand left standing. Over the last 20 years there have been various attempts to provide an alternative to Leica. Cosina/Voiglander has done a magnificent job of offering cameras and lenses built to a price point.

Each incarnation of equipment over the past 20 years that has attempted to provide a high quality alternative to the Leica M series has been interesting in its own right.

- Contax G AF
- Konica Hexar RF
- Zeiss Ikon

All had great glass that couldn't be found on an SLR camera. All provided great cameras, each with its own attractive advantages.

I'm pessimistic that a new alternative RF system will emerge in the future. How much longer the Leica M system will continue must also be in question.
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Old 12-12-2012   #76
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I discovered my nearest Zeiss dealer is only 30 minutes drive away so went and had a look (and bought a used ZM body...oops).

He was unaware of any dealer notification of suspension of manufacture.
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Old 12-12-2012   #77
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Originally Posted by Huck Finn View Post
This thread has me thinking about rangefinder history,

Rangefinders were still common in various forms into the 1970's. By the 1980's, Leica was really the only serious rangefinder brand left standing. Over the last 20 years there have been various attempts to provide an alternative to Leica. Cosina/Voiglander has done a magnificent job of offering cameras and lenses built to a price point.

Each incarnation of equipment over the past 20 years that has attempted to provide a high quality alternative to the Leica M series has been interesting in its own right.

- Contax G AF
- Konica Hexar RF
- Zeiss Ikon

All had great glass that couldn't be found on an SLR camera. All provided great cameras, each with its own attractive advantages.

I'm pessimistic that a new alternative RF system will emerge in the future. How much longer the Leica M system will continue must also be in question.
Leica M will "always" be there... If you are into the "Leica culture" you know that the new factory in Wetzlar will start to produce those out of stock parts that the old cameras need. They will be pricey, though.
Another thing is then , what will be the future of Leica S and the other, "consumer" models, I understand there will be a new factory in Portugal, too for these other lines.

And the price of a new leica, everybody is complaining ?
I look at it this way: If we take the M-Monochrom with $ 8000,- price tag. if the life span will be in line with other M leicas it will easily live 20 years. That will be 400 dollars per year. If it has a life span of double that, like my M3 DS, it is only half of that... that is like pocket money...
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Old 12-12-2012   #78
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Well with that perspective I guess my pre-war Contax II or my Sears Tower Type 3 will "always" be there as well, since I'm still shooting them and they can still be repaired. I think the point was that "new" rangefinders may have a limited lifespan.
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Old 12-12-2012   #79
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Leica M will "always" be there...

And the price of a new leica, everybody is complaining ?
I look at it this way: If we take the M-Monochrom with $ 8000,- price tag. if the life span will be in line with other M leicas it will easily live 20 years. That will be 400 dollars per year. If it has a life span of double that, like my M3 DS, it is only half of that... that is like pocket money...
Yeah, why is anyone complaining about the price of a Leica when a Leica S can be had for only $23,000 at the discount houses? LOL.
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Old 12-12-2012   #80
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"I look at it this way: If we take the M-Monochrom with $ 8000,- price tag. if the life span will be in line with other M leicas it will easily live 20 years. That will be 400 dollars per year. If it has a life span of double that, like my M3 DS, it is only half of that... that is like pocket money..."

Most digital cameras die soon after the warranty expires, they are designed to do that.
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