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Buying a used Zeiss Ikon ZI
Old 09-21-2014   #1
dugrant153
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Cool Buying a used Zeiss Ikon ZI

Hi folks, I have an opportunity (if it's still in the shop and not sold) to purchase a used Zeiss Ikon ZI. I've put two "half" test rolls (I continued shooting frames from where my other camera left off) and so far looking good. No misses or frame skipping, etc.

First time around, I couldn't get used to the "centering the eye" thing. Second time, it was easier now that I was aware of it.

I'm just curious if there is anything I should look out for when buying one?
Also, while I have a very competent camera tech near by, curious if Zeiss would still service this if there was a major breakdown?

Thanks all! PS: First Post here!
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Old 09-22-2014   #2
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Make sure the focusing patch can go to infinity to ensure it hasn't been knocked off center.

Check that the meter is within tolerance.

Check the leatherette

Check the seals

Check the shutter speed

Check everything you would on another camera

Oh and something that everyone always neglects...check the flash mount. Make sure it fires!

Zeiss should still be offering servicing. Discontinuation didn't happen that long ago. I wouldn't be worried if I were you!
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Old 09-22-2014   #3
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Go and get it!!! It is a great camera!!!

The eyepiece was missing in mine and I have managed to get one from rangefinderstore.com.
Everything else was in excellent condition!

Which lens do you plan to couple with it?
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Old 09-22-2014   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dugrant153 View Post
,,,,,
I'm just curious if there is anything I should look out for when buying one?
Also, while I have a very competent camera tech near by, curious if Zeiss would still service this if there was a major breakdown?
......
If you have concerns, why not take the camera to your nearby competent camera tech and have them look it over for you? It is not a complex camera and there should be no need to return it to Zeiss to repair just about anything. Also, parts are available within the camera repair tech network.
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Old 09-22-2014   #5
kxl
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Zeiss did confirm that the earlier production batches got the RF alignment knocked off during transport, so later batches had tighter tolerances. Zeiss would have fixed the earlier ones for free. According to internet anecdotes (taken them for what you will), those earlier batches were serial #'s 155XXX and lower, while the 'later' batches were serial #156XXX and later. I cannot confirm or deny that, especially because there seem to be a lot of owners of bodies form the 155XXX batches with absolutely no problems.

But even if the above were true, the current/previous owner would have likely taken care of a misaligned RF. So other than the usual checks listed above, you should have nothing to worry about.
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Old 09-22-2014   #6
lawrence
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I bought a s/h ZI and on the whole very pleased, however you should check that the frame selection lever on the front works properly as mine has an annoying habit of sticking when I move it. Also, when I focus (any lens) the frame lines stick for a moment before shifiting into position.

The eyepiece is the same as for Nikon FM2 etc. and the Nikon ones are better made so I'd for one of those (got mine of eBay).
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Old 09-22-2014   #7
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I plan to mate this with a 35mm f1.2 CV lens or a 28mm f2 CV. Seem like great lenses and would compliment my SLR system.
The item will have a 30 day repair period if anything is wrong with it so that's nice to have. Will still have it looked over by the repair guy regardless.
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Old 09-22-2014   #8
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So I'm looking over my test images and I was shooting with a CV 50mm F1.1 from apertures F2.8 to F1.1. Almost all the images appear to be slightly backfocused. I'm quite sure I nailed the focus on quite a few of them but it appears the rangefinder may not be aligned. Doesn't sound like a big deal but... that's something I'd have to take care after purchasing it... ugh. Sounds like it will cost quite a bit of money and work...
Thoughts?
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Old 09-23-2014   #9
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With a warrantee it should cost nothing. Or. Have them fix it before you buy.
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Old 10-17-2014   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dugrant153 View Post
So I'm looking over my test images and I was shooting with a CV 50mm F1.1 from apertures F2.8 to F1.1. Almost all the images appear to be slightly backfocused. I'm quite sure I nailed the focus on quite a few of them but it appears the rangefinder may not be aligned. Doesn't sound like a big deal but... that's something I'd have to take care after purchasing it... ugh. Sounds like it will cost quite a bit of money and work...
Thoughts?

Was that your lens or the shop's? If it was the shop's the issue may be the lens. I've had to return a CV 1.1 that backfocussed by several inches wide open, and would not focus to infinity. My camera was fine with all my other lenses.

edit - just noticed this thread is old, sorry!
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