Go Back   Rangefinderforum.com > Cameras / Gear / Photography > Leicas and other Leica Mount Cameras > Konica RF / Zeiss Ikon ZM Leica Mount Rangefinders

Konica RF / Zeiss Ikon ZM Leica Mount Rangefinders Konica and Zeiss versions of the AE electronic film rangefinder camera

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes

I accidentally bought a 50 Planar...I'm hooked.
Old 09-06-2018   #1
Takkun
Ian M.
 
Takkun's Avatar
 
Takkun is offline
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Sunny South Seattle
Posts: 776
I accidentally bought a 50 Planar...I'm hooked.

My last thread was about my simultaneous excitement and hesitation over replacing my beleaguered Ultron with a Biogon.

Maybe I shouldn't eBay without my glasses.

The package arrived as I was out the door heading up for a day trip. Popped it on and thought my frame lines were stuck for a minute. It turned out to be a 50mm f/2, not a 35. In my defense, the listing definitely was one with every imaginable keyword in the title. (zeiss 'planar, biogon, octagon,' etc etc)

It turned out to be a fortuitous event, as I forgot to pack a 50. I've been using a late model Canon f/1.4, but figured I might resell the Zeiss later, since it's a slower lens and the M8 needs all the help it can get. Between the crop factor, and that my bread and butter work is fast street/candid and architectural work, the 50 length doesn't get the most use in my bag.

I'm just now sitting down and looking through shots from the day, and I'm blown away. Now I really know what people mean by the 3D look of modern glass. I also used to think it was excessive to have several lenses of the same length, but it's an entirely different character, and one I like very much on color/digital so far. Very crisp but not, dare I use the vague term, clinical. Not a boringly corrected lens.

Strongly leaning towards keeping it, even if it means adjusting my budget for 35mm, be it adjustment or new. My small justification is the set of 43mm filters that came with the camera...and the price I got for it.

Now I just want them all.









Not the most compelling images, but show some of the lens' versatility.
__________________
Ian M., Seattle
Current bag contents: Just a Fuji GX680iii. Nothing else will fit.

--
my infrequently updated blog
Finally on Instagram
  Reply With Quote

Old 09-07-2018   #2
ACullen
Registered User
 
ACullen is offline
Join Date: Jul 2016
Posts: 159
I've had my copy for about 18 months and I'd agree its one superb piece of glass. i couldn't decide between it and the ZM50 sonnar but went in the end for the Planar because I already had a Nikkor 5cm f1.4 sonnar. The Planar makes for a contrasting approach compared to the CV40/1.4. The later is more compact and goes wider but the Planar wins for sharpness at all apertures.

I've used the Planar ZM mainly for B&W (HP5Plus primarily) so can't really comment on colour film. I don't have an suitable FF digital body , so no comment there either.

The ZM35 Biogon is a wonderful 35mm lens but I do wish it were a tad smaller. Size isn't a reason to avoid it though. It's size however has seen me keep my Canon 35mmf2 LTM and acquire the CV40 for when I really must have a smaller modern lens. I use these lens on an M2 and CL.
  Reply With Quote

Old 09-07-2018   #3
Peter_S
Registered User
 
Peter_S is offline
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Narvik (Norway); Tbilisi (Georgia)
Posts: 740
If you want sharp with pleasant, neutral rendering at a reasonable price and size, the Planar is hard to beat. Not much out there that compares, except perhaps the VM Heliar 50mm f/3.5, though that is "only" f/3.5.
__________________
--------------------------
www.ps-photo.net
On instagram
  Reply With Quote

Old 09-07-2018   #4
Takkun
Ian M.
 
Takkun's Avatar
 
Takkun is offline
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Sunny South Seattle
Posts: 776
Your Nikkor reminds me of one of my favorite lenses, the F-mount Nikkor-S. I've been meaning to get it AI'd for years. The Planar is a nice contrast and compliment to the older lenses, and I wouldn't have expected the difference to be so prominent--enough that my non-photographer family members could spot. I can see myself using the canon for evening people and street scenes and the zeiss for all else. Who needs medium format with this sharpness?

The 35 and 40 Noktons were on my short list, too. I have the 25/4 and I absolutely love the size, if not so much the speed and optics. The Zeiss 25 is very tempting for architecture, but I don't know if I want to give up that small size.

I'm now itching to trade in for an M9 to see how these do on FF digital, but that's way beyond my budget now! Maybe the M8 will go up in resale value again..

As I mentioned in another thread, I was recently gifted an old Contax RTS setup with the Yashica-made 50 Planar and I'm excited to see how it compares.
__________________
Ian M., Seattle
Current bag contents: Just a Fuji GX680iii. Nothing else will fit.

--
my infrequently updated blog
Finally on Instagram
  Reply With Quote

Old 09-07-2018   #5
Godfrey
somewhat colored
 
Godfrey's Avatar
 
Godfrey is offline
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 9,075
It's very hard to say much bad about a Zeiss Planar or a Leica Summicron that isn't nitpicky.
  Reply With Quote

Old 09-07-2018   #6
Huss
Registered User
 
Huss is offline
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Venice, CA
Posts: 7,616
Zeiss Planar really is a great lens and has far better flare resistance than most of my Leica lenses.
  Reply With Quote

Old 09-08-2018   #7
Takkun
Ian M.
 
Takkun's Avatar
 
Takkun is offline
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Sunny South Seattle
Posts: 776
Quote:
Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
It's very hard to say much bad about a Zeiss Planar or a Leica Summicron that isn't nitpicky.
I spent some time on the ferry home reading up online in hopes of convincing myself one way or another, and that seems to be the consensus. Surprisingly, a lot of people deemed it 'boring'. No, I think AF Nikkors are boring. The Sigma Art, to me, is boring. Or maybe just SLR lenses are boring!
I didn't believe the '3d pop' claim until I saw it with my own eyes, with my own photos.

In other news, I did play around a bit with the Contax setup mentioned and...left it at my parent's place. I don't need to buy into another system, let alone a long dead one, but I've heard good things about the Yashica mount Zeiss system.
__________________
Ian M., Seattle
Current bag contents: Just a Fuji GX680iii. Nothing else will fit.

--
my infrequently updated blog
Finally on Instagram
  Reply With Quote

Old 09-08-2018   #8
Rob-F
Likes Leicas
 
Rob-F's Avatar
 
Rob-F is offline
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: The Show Me state
Age: 78
Posts: 5,989
I picked one up recently. I like the combination focusing ring and focus bump! Why wasn't
this done years ago? Less happy with the short focus throw that results in a compressed DOF scale. I compose shots in depth most of the time. I am looking forward to pleasing results1
__________________
May the light be with you.
  Reply With Quote

Old 09-08-2018   #9
peterm1
Registered User
 
peterm1's Avatar
 
peterm1 is online now
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 5,508
Though my story is about an SLR lens not a rangefinder lens, I feel compelled to record it here.

I recently found a cheap ($15) 50mm f1.7 Rikenon lens for one of their SLRs when in an antique store. I was a little intrigued so bought it believing that these are good lenses and are based on a Zeiss Planar design. It seems I was correct on both counts. It is a lovely lens optically (though mechanically the Rikenon is not the best version of this design and it does seem a little cheaply made by comparison with some other 50mm lenses I have handled from this era).

I asked my camera store guy who knows about this stuff (he is an ardent collector himself) and what he told me was especially interesting and slightly unexpected. Yes the lens is a Zeiss Planar design but further, he said that all Japanese built SLR lenses of this design and aperture (f1.7) and made around 1980 no matter how they were badged were built by the same Japanese lens manufacturer under licence from Zeiss. This is the bit I had not realized though on reflection it makes sense. If a good standard lens could be made for different camera manufacturers by a third party, why not? It benefits all - Zeiss, the manufacturer and each camera maker. Plus ultimately the buyer.

I cannot immediately recall which manufacturer was said by him to be the builder however. It may have been Yashica (given their relationship with Contax) or even Cosina or perhaps Konica but I do know that there were at least a half a dozen 50mm f1.7 Planar lenses which apparently according to my guy all used the identical optics in a third party version of this lens. Though each was mechanically and cosmetically different to accommodate the specific requirements of Pentax, Konica, Yashica, Minolta etc. (I have even seen them badged as auto Sears lenses which seem to be identical to the Mamiya badged version).

It seems that which ever version of this Planar you buy you are likely to get a pretty capable lens. My research also shows that some camera companies later went to a 50mm f1.8 lens as their standard but these seldom if ever seem to have the same reputation as the f1.7 versions.

If anyone has more info on the lens versions of the 50mm f1.7 I for one would like to hear it.
  Reply With Quote

Old 09-09-2018   #10
Hogarth Ferguson
Registered User
 
Hogarth Ferguson's Avatar
 
Hogarth Ferguson is offline
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 637
I don't know, I really like these images.
__________________
My Website
  Reply With Quote

Old 09-09-2018   #11
Takkun
Ian M.
 
Takkun's Avatar
 
Takkun is offline
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Sunny South Seattle
Posts: 776
Hogarth—Thank you; I'm very pleased with them and decided upon adding the 35 to my collection too.

Peter—That's all very interesting. I know that Cosina is a big manufacturer of the glass itself used in optical design and there's a lot of musical chairs in the industry as to who designed versus manufactured what, even more confusing with rebranding (ie, Sears) of the time.

I know Zeiss contracted manufacture of its branded 35mm lenses to Yashica/Kyocera for a time, but I find it a bit suspect that, prior to that, they would have manufactured or licensed lenses for lesser known brands like Ricoh and Konica. Usually its the other way around, like they did with Yashica.

Perhaps he meant they shared the same basic optical formula, the double-gauss design. But it would make sense if many of these came from the same factory for the Japanese brands.
__________________
Ian M., Seattle
Current bag contents: Just a Fuji GX680iii. Nothing else will fit.

--
my infrequently updated blog
Finally on Instagram
  Reply With Quote

Old 09-09-2018   #12
peterm1
Registered User
 
peterm1's Avatar
 
peterm1 is online now
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 5,508
Quote:
Originally Posted by Takkun View Post
Hogarth—Thank you; I'm very pleased with them and decided upon adding the 35 to my collection too.

Peter—That's all very interesting. I know that Cosina is a big manufacturer of the glass itself used in optical design and there's a lot of musical chairs in the industry as to who designed versus manufactured what, even more confusing with rebranding (ie, Sears) of the time.

I know Zeiss contracted manufacture of its branded 35mm lenses to Yashica/Kyocera for a time, but I find it a bit suspect that, prior to that, they would have manufactured or licensed lenses for lesser known brands like Ricoh and Konica. Usually its the other way around, like they did with Yashica.

Perhaps he meant they shared the same basic optical formula, the double-gauss design. But it would make sense if many of these came from the same factory for the Japanese brands.


Yes, I believe what he said to me was that Zeiss licensed a single Japanese manufacturer to make their 50mm f1.7 lens design on behalf of Zeiss both for their own use and for use by any other camera company that wanted to use that particular optical design for their camera products. Hence one Japanese manufacturer ended up making this lens (optically designed by Zeiss) for all or perhaps most of the Japanese market for some period of time.
  Reply With Quote

Old 09-10-2018   #13
oftheherd
Registered User
 
oftheherd's Avatar
 
oftheherd is offline
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 7,905
Quote:
Originally Posted by peterm1 View Post

Yes, I believe what he said to me was that Zeiss licensed a single Japanese manufacturer to make their 50mm f1.7 lens design on behalf of Zeiss both for their own use and for use by any other camera company that wanted to use that particular optical design for their camera products. Hence one Japanese manufacturer ended up making this lens (optically designed by Zeiss) for all or perhaps most of the Japanese market for some period of time.
I don't have a clue about such things but think it likely the have been Konica or Yashica. But Cosina might have been in the running as well.

Konica tended not to have gained public acclaim, but many Pros, especially in Asia, thought it to have some of the best lenses around.

Yashica with its association with and later acquisition of Tomioka, should have been a front runner.

Cosina, from the little I know, was that it was capable of good lenses, bug would make whatever a client wanted.

Again, I am no expert.
__________________
My Gallery
  Reply With Quote

Old 09-10-2018   #14
oftheherd
Registered User
 
oftheherd's Avatar
 
oftheherd is offline
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 7,905
I can add that I extensively used a Yashica 50mm f/1.7 ML as I recall (circa 1970) and thought it was really good glass.

I also extensively used a Zeiss Contax T* 50mm f/1.4 on a Contax 139Q, and later on a 167mt. Incredible lens!
__________________
My Gallery
  Reply With Quote

Old 09-10-2018   #15
peterm1
Registered User
 
peterm1's Avatar
 
peterm1 is online now
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 5,508
Quote:
Originally Posted by oftheherd View Post
I don't have a clue about such things but think it likely the have been Konica or Yashica. But Cosina might have been in the running as well.

Konica tended not to have gained public acclaim, but many Pros, especially in Asia, thought it to have some of the best lenses around.

Yashica with its association with and later acquisition of Tomioka, should have been a front runner.

Cosina, from the little I know, was that it was capable of good lenses, bug would make whatever a client wanted.

Again, I am no expert.
I am inclined to think this is likely too. In the past I never gave much thought to either Yashica or Konica, perhaps because in pre internet times there was not much info available on them apart from word of mouth. Camera magazines certainly did not pay much attention to them in the West with most attention going to Nikon, Canon etc.

But just recently when I researched the subject I found that as you say, both makers' lenses are extremely highly regarded by those who know. And some of their rarer / more sought after lenses still attract comparatively big dollars. F.E. a Yashinon 55mm f1.2 with an asking price of about $800 US + on eBay in several listings. Other lenses are cheaper but that is a lot even for an f1.2 standard lens I should have thought.

A new line of lens acquisitions for me? Oh well there goes my retirement savings.
  Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -8. The time now is 17:01.


vBulletin skin developed by: eXtremepixels
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

All content on this site is Copyright Protected and owned by its respective owner. You may link to content on this site but you may not reproduce any of it in whole or part without written consent from its owner.