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Funny....I was just about to ask the same thing. A dealer with whom I spoke said the finder is superior to the M7, but otherwise the two cameras are similar. Certainly the price on the Ikon is much better, and the lenses are cheaper as well. Many of the lenses, and the body, are made by Cosina. I do not know the build quality of the new Zeiss Ikon, nor how the camera feels in the hand(s).
I spoke to a Leica dealer who also sells the ZI. He knew I was in the market for either a second-hand M7/M6 TTL, or a new ZI so I don't think he had a vested interest in 'selling' either to me over the other. He said that the ZI is nice and seems accurate (he also said better viewfinder) but that it just didn't feel anything like a Leica in terms of feel or build quality. However, whether he's a Leica purist or not I don't know. I'd be interested to handle one and find out - just wondering if anyone already has. Whether it'll live up to its marketing hype as being a rangefinder platform for Zeiss 'cine' lenses remains to be seen I think...
"Imagination is more important than knowledge" -A. Einstein
And directed me to it - he felt it fit my personality - dunno what he was trying to say! I know loads of stuff, honest! However, unfortunately, the source as you can see is a little vague - I too would like to know in what context Einstein said this, or specifically to what he was referring... Since I don't know, however, I'll let my imagination run wild James
Judging from the numbers, M3 has the best focusing accuracy. Other factors important to look at includes the brightness of the primary and secondary images. So, do go to the shop to compare the brightness of various models.
The advantage of the choice of mechanical camera like MP/M3 include reliability and the resale value. Electronics can fail in adverse conditions and with time.
Before the Ikon becomes available, I had a gut feeling that Ikon body would not be as good as M3 or MP, because it uses an electronic shutter. It would not be as quiet as the mechanical shutters and also it is less reliable. I trust the mechanics of the old days rather than modern electronics.
I want reliability, good resale value, quiet shutter. This is why I went for MP and M3 before the Ikon came up. Since I made the decision, I have not regret at all.
Joseph -- Thanks for the insight. I understand your line of thinking. The heightened accuracy gained from the longer rangefinder base on a Leica was one of the reasons I rejected a Voigtlander as a starter rangefinder (along with lack of wideangle frame marks). I don't totally mistrust all electronics - I think if they're well designed and constructed they can be fairly bullet proof - just as mechanical designs can be good or bad. The Leica mechanical shutter certainly seems to have stood the test of time and proven very reliable by all accounts. The MP looks like a lovely camera, but its even more expensive than the M7 second hand, and the M7 was pushing my budget quite a bit. I think on balance, I'll go for a mint condition M6, or M6TTL. It sounds like they're reliable and, if you think about it, so many photographers have taken so many great photos with them, they can't be all that inaccurate! I'll just get a service and align when I buy... James