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Zeiss Ikon for the camera or Zeiss Ikon for the lenses

mohican

Well-Known Member
I'm now seriously considering Zeiss Ikon as a system and just wanted to hear what you guys think about it in general. While we're all waiting to see some production Zeiss Ikon cameras (and not the "Limited" edition), I'm actually thinking that it might be a good idea to get ZM lenses, even if I end up not liking the camera that much.

The catch is - I don't have any M-mount rangefinders at the moment. So, to see whether I should get into it, I'm thinking perhaps I should buy a Rollei 35RF or Voigtlander Bessa R3A (or R2A) and Zeiss ZM Planar 50 f/2.0(how can one live without it?) and Zeiss ZM Biogon 35 f/2.0 and see what I can get with it? What do you guys think?

Or perhaps someone already tried the Zeiss Ikon or ZM lenses?

Thanks!
 

wang

Well-Known Member
This is the first time I am using a lens with an angle as wide as 110 degrees. This is the first roll from my ZM15 2.8. Everythings become more dramatic.



This lens is quite special in the way that it comes with a central filter with T*. This is the first time I see a T* coated filter for photographic instruments. Last time I saw this kind of T* filter was in a Zeiss surgical microscope.
 

fotografz

Well-Known Member
I just ordered a chrome ZM 28/2.8 and hood for my chrome Leica MP3 LHSA. Leica doesn't make the 28/2 ASPH in a chrome version so I went with the Zeiss. I'll report back on it's performance after a trial roll.

That ZM 15mm better be good Joseph. It costs an arm and a leg.
 

wang

Well-Known Member
Does the ZM15 worth an arm and a leg. Let's see.



This is not a very interesting photos, but it could help us to see how good or how bad the lens is. The original file was a 227Mb (7920x5328) tiff file scanned by 5400 on Kodak gold 100. Photo taken by ZM15 at f8 with central graduated density filter. The scan was done without GEM and without ICE. You can see the upper margin of the negative.



The 2nd photo is a direct crop ( about 800x800 ) from the original 227 MB file. Yes,it is grainy. It shows a good amount of details. The sky was the background and it has a very small margin of flare around it. The margin of flare looks quite even to me.



The third photo showed details similar to the 2nd one.



The 4th one is the right upper corner. It shows the "pull" of the lens. Acording to Zeiss, it has about 4% of distortion at this position. The resolution at this point is not as good as the earlier photos. The small part of the sky has a small blue margin at the outer edge.



This is the last one and it showed similar degree of fringing as the 4th one.

I am quite pleased with the performance of this lens. With the central g. density filter it has good illuminations even at the corners. It has good resolution and contrast in most areas. Although you can see the distortion and resolution drop building up at the corners, this degree of reduced corner performance is quite acceptable for a lens with an angle of 110 degree.

I should think this lens performs better than N17-35 at 17mm. Would others agree with me ? Sorry about the grain and artefacts.
 

fotografz

Well-Known Member
What's important about a lens like the 15mm isn't just the resolving power, which we all would expect to be decent given that it's a Zeiss wide angle.

Distortion control should be stellar for a range-finder type super-wide lens, especially one that is this expensive. Color fringing at the edges should be close to nonexistent also. Shots that have straight lines near the edge of the frame will be most revealing.

My ZM 28/2.8 Chrome arrived yesterday. Nicely made lens. We'll see how it stacks up against my Leica 28/2 ASPH. in practical everyday use. I've bet my hard earned money that it will do just fine.

This piece completes what I consider the perfect Range-finder kit. An all mechanical, non-battery dependent, super quiet camera, a sharp 28mm wide angle (that doesn't require a separate finder ), a stellar fast aperture 50mm, and a fast 90mm that is a more forgiving portrait lens than a razor sharp optic for shooting test patterns.

 

wang

Well-Known Member
OK, So you wish to see some straight lines. It just happened that I took one before your last posting. Straight enough ?





Concerning the Leica, I suppose different people have different taste. I prefer ZM25 to ZM28. Yes, I agree that carrying an extra viewfinder could be something extra, but Zeiss viewfinder is something worth carrying. Zeiss 25/28 viewfinder has bigger and brighter view than Leica .58 view.


 

fotografz

Well-Known Member
Yes it's all personal preference and what you are using the equipment to achieve.

For my work, speed is of the essence. Capturing the "decisive moment" rangefinder style. Metering, focusing, framing all in one place at the same time. My primary use of the M is street photography and candid work at weddings and events.

The photo above while nice, doesn't demonstrate the 15mm correction of distortion. The use of superwides often involves lines of a building that are parallel to the frame edge. Whether there is barrel or pin cushion distortion is therefore a critical issue. I assume since this is a Zeiss, and a Zeiss wide angle at that, the distortion is minimal or non-existent.
 

fotografz

Well-Known Member
If you are referring to me Joseph, I used to have a C/Y 28/2. I just sold it. I liked that lens a lot because it focused so close ... the subject could almost be touching the front lens element. Distortion was minimal and color rendition all Zeiss.

I have sold, or am in the process of selling, all of my C/Y, N, and 645 Zeiss lenses and cameras. Beautiful glass, but time marches on and I have a business to run.

Today I take delivery of a Hasselblad/Imacon H2/39 Digital kit, to go with all HC AF lenses from 35 to 350 ... and a CFV Imacon back for my 503CW for all my Zeiss CFE and CFi lenses from fisheye to 350 mm ... as well as the SWC.

This makes all systems optionally film or digital except the Leica M and Hasselblad 200 series gear. Hopefully Leica will make good on the promise of a Digital M by year's end.
 

wang

Well-Known Member
Marc, it is quite hurting to see them go, especially like C-Y 28 2, C-Y 85 1.2. They are irreplacable stars.

I won an SWC a few days ago for USD2600. Here it is.



It is the older version of 38mm CF as oppose to CFi. I brought this version because someone says the older version has better contrast whereas the current version has better corners.

Which version do you have ?
 

fotografz

Well-Known Member
903SWC, the non-CFi version which is suppose to be a marginally better performer over-all ... it's probably splitting hairs with a lens so good.

I'm using the VC waist level finder on mine because it has a diopter correction ... the stock one is too blurry for me.

 

wang

Well-Known Member
Hey, who is the first person to know about this new lens ?

Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
$File/CSonnar_1.5_50_ZM.EN.pdf

(copy the whole line and paste, instead of just clicking the underlined URL)

C Sonnar 50 1.4 ZM T* something completely new, sensational isn't it ?
 

mohican

Well-Known Member
This 50/1.5 Sonnar seems to have unusually shaped diaphragm blades. I wonder why.

It would be curious to see how it compares to Planar 50/2.0 in real life.

At 850 Euro listed price I am personally not going to rush and buy one of these considering that at least on the paper in terms of MTF data available Planar 50/2.0 is a better choice. One area where this new Sonnar is slightly better is a distortion at edges of the frame, but it's not that significantly better. And obviously it's slightly faster than Planar, but then again at just under 1-f/stop difference it's not that much faster and there is also the Summilux which is probably better.

So, I'm bit surprised they're doing this. I'm guessing they're either counting on renewed interest from people that used Contax II back in 50's or they anticipate some real demand for it. If this lens was primarily needed for Japanese market I think they're making a big mistake. Focusing too much on Japanese market alone is what's partially to blame for Contax demise.

Since my first post I did get Zeiss Ikon and Planar 50/2.0. It already got a bit of a beating on my hiking trips and so far I really love it. It won't replace my Aria when it comes to flash photography though, but I like it so much that I wish Zeiss would design a fully mechanical Ikon as well.
 

mohican

Well-Known Member
I have had Ikon for close to 10 months now. Recently it completely quit on me. Shutter wouldn't work, I couldn't wind film, it was totally dead. I sent it in for repair and turns out it happened because it took a hit (probably against one of the rocks on my numerous hiking trips). What was unpleasant to hear from repair guy though is that internally it's all plastic and electronics. All that metal you see outside is useless if a hit results in all components inside being dislodged and ICs disconnected from each other.

So, I give up, I will have to cough up some money for a real Leica.

Now I only have to figure out which one - used single-stroke M3 or used/new MP with 0.85 finder...
 

fotografz

Well-Known Member
Sorry to hear of the Zeiss Ikon mishap Mike. I had considered this camera for the extra stop in shutter speed over a M.

M3 verses the MP: if you don't need an internal camera meter, and don't care if aux. viewfinders are needed for anything wider than 35mm ... then find a recently reconditioned M3. Great viewfinder, and obviously a robust camera. Check the viewfinder for de-silvering.

I like the MP also, and used one for awhile before moving to the MP3 shown above. You can consider an 0.72 finder and a Leica 1.25X magnifier. I use 3rd party magnifiers on my 2 M8s:
a 1.15X on one and a 1.35X on the other. These particular mags feature an adjustable diopter but aren't available in the USA, so a friend in Holland secured them for me and sent them along. Prior to that I had bought 2 mags that didn't have diopter adjustments which I need. If you go this route and don't need a diopter, let me know ... I'll sell you one of these for less.
 

mohican

Well-Known Member
Marc,

What is the brand name for those non-Leica magnifiers you got from Netherlands? 0.72 with magnifier is option that I may consider, but without trying it first hand it sounds a bit cumbersome (viewfinder piece+magnifier+my glasses) and may make it impossible to see 35mm framelines. On .85 at least theoretically it should be possible...

With M3 there are too many hidden underwater rocks - you never know what you got unless you're getting it from a really trustworthy dealer and even then, considering most of those M3s are like 40 years old it's somewhat riskier proposition than getting MP. Having internal meter is a huge plus - I frequently carry Gossen light meter with me, but not at all times and it's not always convenient (or wise) to use external meter, so having built-in meter is a big deal for me.

Mike.
 

rfcontax

Active Member
Try megaperls:
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!


I have the 1.35 one for my RD-1s. Very good, multicoated. Inbuilt diopter correction. Not much quality diff vs the 1.3 leica one i have.
 

fotografz

Well-Known Member
That's the one listed above by Robert.

I recently used the 1.35X and 1.15X on a pair of M8s to shoot a wedding ... one with a 75 Lux and the other with a 28/2 ASPH mounted. I had zero out of focus shots of almost 200 done.

I notice that there is a 0.85X available also ... which may relieve the eyeglass issue.
 
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