Saw a 35 and a 50 in a camera shop today. They are very solid feeling, dont know about that silver color though, not my cup of tea, think the black looks better despite the front chrome mount. Not too keen on the lens shades I guess, they look a little "thick" I guess but the plus side is when mounted they wont come off when you dont want them to.
Saw the Zeiss Ikon body in the shop too. Thank goodness, its about time they arrived in China. It was a chrome body, I dont like that chrome at all, the black looks better to me but they didnt have one. I dont know what everyone is on about with the light flimsy feel, it feels a hell of a lot more solid then my canon eos 30v or old ae1. I like how you can see which film is in the camera, im the kinda dolt who changes film types a lot just for fun, somtimes I forget whats in the camera. As for the viewfinder I only have a mamiya 6 and an old contessamat to compare it to but its a big difference. Very bright, very nice I thought. While I like the bigger focus patch on the mamiya 6 over the ZI, the veiwfinder in the ZI seems more contrasty and just better somehow, and that said, the mamiya 6's veiwfinder already seems pretty good to me. The shutter noise seems fine to me, its not as intrusive as my contessamat thank goodness and its probably a wee bit quieter then the mamiya's. When I stuck the 35mm lens on the camera and the framelines popped up I was quite pleased with how easy it was to see them while wearing my glasses, I could even see the shutter speed tree on the side fine, its similar to my mamiya's display (in fact almost exactly the same) but in the frame rather then outside of it where you cant see it most of the time, although I can see where in an odd bright situation where this would become difficult to see since its hanging in frame. In my hands the camera seemed ok but I wouldnt want to be changing shutter speeds in a hurry while looking through the veiwfinder, that front opening for changing shutter speeds is awfully small for me, probably leave the camera on auto anyway though. The bottom winder seems ok to me although I can see a lot of crap getting stuck in it after a while. Overall I had a good feeling about the body, its very tempting to get one rather then save for a M7 and use the money on good glass.
About photos ive seen taken with the lenses:
On the whole I see that the black and white photos are pretty dark and pretty grey, this could be a editing thing but just about the only bright proper shots ive seen have been a few on here by Jano and still a couple of them are a wee dark still. A japanese site which I cant seem to find again has a bunch of bw shots on it and they are all dark and very grey as if thats all there was...
While searching pbase I found this fella http://www.pbase.com/photochoi/planar&page=all
and his photos. These shots remind me a bit of the photos on the ZI website, the sky blues are kinda anemic looking and the skin tones are not so great. For the most part the colors are just sorta dull compared to other zeiss lenses and the leicas. Look at the shot that guy took planar-28 I have seen these plants all over china and I know they are a very bright and rich yellow color but in the photos they look just....icky. Even a good number of the photos on Mike Elek's site look kinda dull in the color area to me...
While im sure that a good amount of photoshop tweeking would make them stand out more it just seems weird...Am I the only one who sees the photos like this or what?
Anyho, in closing, the body looks like a winner to me, love that glasses friendly peep hole. The lenses look to be build well but I would want to see more shots from people using them or try them out for myself before I bought one. My impressions at the end are if I got a ZI body (black obviously) which im kinda leaning more over to, then I would want to stick some leica glass in front of it like the 35 cron asph ive been lusting after.