View Full Version : RD-1 and CZ Lenses

01-01-2005, 04:55
I have been considering the RD-1.

My Leica lenses consist of a 28mm (non-asp), 35mm asp., 50 mm summicron, and a 90 tele-elmarit. All the lenses with the exception of the 28mm, and 35mm date from the early 1970's.
If purchased, I would like to use the RD-1 with a 35mm fov lens, ie. a 24-25mm lens.

The 24mm elmarit asp. is out of my price range ($2295) if you factor in the RD-1 cost.

I just came across an ad for the new CZ ZL lenses. Apparently, they are available, and the 25mm is $ 1152.

So this would be a more reasonable?? camera-lens combo.

New real reviews are available from the usual sources.

Any thoughts from the experts??????

Thanks you.


Huck Finn
01-01-2005, 06:44
Martin, could you let us know where you saw the ad & what sources have real reviews at this point. BTW, my understanding is that the lenses will not be available to the consumer for at least 2-3 weeks, but my nformation may be outdated. Thanks for yur post.

01-01-2005, 16:16
Yes, where? I'm very interested in this lens too, and don't see any at the "usual sources". I may have to wait some months for the initial excitement to pass and the pricing to be competitive... $1152 is still very expensive for me. :(

01-01-2005, 20:42
One question to keep in mind in choosing lenses to use on the R-D1 is "What are you going to use for a viewfinder?"

The camera has framelines for 28mm, 35mm and 50mm lenses, with the fields of view adjusted to take into account the sensor's 1.53x "crop factor."

If you're going to use another lens, you have to make sure there's a viewfinder available that will show what that lens will see on the R-D1.

According to the indispensible CameraQuest (http://www.cameraquest.com/epson_rd1_VF.htm) website, Cosina has produced some "D-series" viewfinders that show the view angles of some Cosina lenses when used on the R-D1.

However, the 25mm viewfinder already is sold out! (so apparently a lot of people are thinking along these same lines...)

The remaining available viewfinders are for 12mm, 15mm, and 21mm lenses. (I've already bought a 21mm viewfinder, even though it will be months before I buy a 21mm lens; wanted to make sure those wouldn't run out when I needed one!)

If you can't get the D-series viewfinder you need, you'll have to improvise. A formula I've been using with weird lenses on my R-D1 is:

(Focal length * 1.53)/0.85 = 35mm-format finder you need.

How this works: Focal length is that of the lens; the 1.53 is the "crop factor" of the R-D1's APS-size sensor.

The 0.85 represents the 85% coverage of the camera's built-in finder frames; this provides a safety margin for slight finder misalignments, as well as the fact that a lens' effective focal length increases as you focus closer, so I include it in my calculations for other lenses. I've learned from experimenting with my Tewe variable finder that if you don't include this 0.85 factor, your final picture may be cropped more tightly than what you saw through the viewfinder when shooting at close distances.

Applying those numbers to your 25mm lens tells me that you'd need to find an accessory finder that would work with a 45mm lens on a 35mm camera.

Unfortunately, I've never heard of anyone making a 45mm accessory finder! So your choices might be:

-- Use the camera's built-in 28mm frameline; you'd get quite a bit extra in the picture compared to what you saw in the finder, but you could crop that after the fact.

-- Use the Cosina-Voigtlander viewfinder made for using a 40mm lens on a 35mm camera; this would correspond closely to a 25mm lens on the R-D1 but without the 0.85 safety factor, so you'd need to be careful not to compose too close to the frame edges when shooting closeups.

(sigh) This is what happens when 1930s technology (auxiliary viewfinders) collides with 2004 technology (APS-size digital sensors)! Oh, well, just one more exciting challenge for the determined RF shooter!

01-01-2005, 21:23
This brings up a potential problem for purchasers... It's been customary for Voigtlander lenses wider than 28mm to be accompanied by the matching external finder. But what now is matching, given the different angles of view the lenses have depending on film or digital use? I might want a 25mm film finder, while others would need a 25mm D finder...

01-02-2005, 04:15
The ad that I saw was in Shutterbug magazine (Feb. 2005) from Classic Camera.

When I went on their website, it stated that the ZL lenses were in stock, and provided prices. I will call to confirm that.

In answer to the viewfinder issue, without a 24-25mm finder, I would use the 35 mm frame line in the camera's rf/vf, and be aware that the fov is slightly smaller.


01-02-2005, 06:16
I just spoke with the Classic Camera owner. The Zeiss lenses are not yet in stock. Only several of the less exotic lenses are expected soon. The 15mm, 21mm, and 85mm will probably be available in May, 2005.

He is unaware of any real test results.

I'll keeo you posted.


David Kieltyka
01-02-2005, 07:38
Martin, for a 24 or 25mm lens you'd be best off using the R-D1's 28mm frameline and accepting that you'll get more in the photo than you'll see in the finder. The 35mm frame will show you much less than the lens will see. For an external finder I'd go with jlw's suggestion of using the CV 40mm.

Actually to start with I'd just use your 28mm for awhile and see how you like it. I like using a 40mm lens on my Leica and Bessas, and the 28mm on the R-D1 behaves very similarly. And there's no hassle with guesstimating framing or using an external finder.

For now my R-D1 lens kit is the CV 15mm, CV 28mm Ultron, CV 40mm Nokton (or Leitz Summicron-C) and Zeiss 50mm f/1.5 (or CV Heliar). The lenses are small & light enough that I could carry all six at once if I wanted to.