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View Poll Results: New ZM or Mint M7? Why?
ZM 446 45.60%
M7 532 54.40%
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Old 06-17-2015   #361
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wulfthari View Post
That's a difficult question, I would say the ZM but its design is NOT that great IMO, for me the M7 is much nicer to look at.
But then again, the ZI is much nicer to use
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Old 06-17-2015   #362
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But then again, the ZI is much nicer to use
Agreed...I also like cameras with AE lock controlled by a separate button like the DDR Praktica, I find it easier to use it when I need it and even easier not to use it when it's not necessary.

Alas, it appears that Cosina needs a good stylist or a studio engineer, the Bessas are even uglier...
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Old 06-20-2015   #363
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Zeiss ikon RF is a great camera! But i would go for the Leica for one simple reason, I think Leica will offer to repair the M7 for a long time!
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Old 06-20-2015   #364
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I vote for Ikon

own both M7 and ZI

on the street, I always prefer the black Ikon...
esp with slide and C41... in fast situation, the metering is not get tricked easily compared to M7 ...

for after sales..

well..

its my 2nd ikon
1st ikon is crushed when I get hit by a drunk driver ...
repair it cost like a new one..
i get my 2nd ikon for < 1000 usd

while the m7 ... its not broken yet..
but my experience from servicing cla and everything of an m6 0.58 that stuck... leica solms charge me 1100 usd..
I assume when one day my M7 broke ..

Leica will charge me cost more than buying another Ikon

but well.. that's just me ...

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Old 11-14-2015   #365
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I do agree that the M7 is repairable, but so is the ZI. And there are times when I have had a repair for one of my Leicas where the repair bill would almost have paid for another new camera.
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Old 11-15-2015   #366
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Apart from Solms there are other possibilities but that is also valid for the Zeiss Ikon. But when you need an exchange of critical parts Leica Solms in Germany can do all kind of repairs. But of course this will have its price. I am using a M7 BTW since 2005 without any problems so far.
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Old 12-07-2015   #367
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But then again, the ZI is much nicer to use
What makes it nicer to use? I have owned both. I don't see the ZI as nicer to use. Different, yes.
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Old 10-22-2017   #368
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I ignore the potential reliability and parts issues in favor of cameras I like to use most for 3 reasons:

1) cameras are so reliable today that they almost never malfunction even with use some like us give them.
2) just about all camera repairs are actually simple and can be performed by just about any camera tech. I know the internet lore is that only a handful of people and the factory can repair cameras. In reality it is just not so.
3) parts are available just about everywhere from the network of camera techs who have a bunch of donor cameras.

example: I destroyed the shutter button on my ZI. My local tech diagnosed the problem, found another tech who had a donor ZI body and shipped the shutter switch from it overnight. Two days later I was back using the camera and it cost less than $100.

Sometimes I wonder if too many suffer from too much internet knowledge and a lack of rational thought.

I see a parallel with those who swear by mechanical shutters and will not use the reliability and accuracy of electronic shutters because they are afraid of a dead battery. That is a concern I solved by spending $5 for a spare battery that I carry in my pocket.
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Old 11-03-2017   #369
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I see a parallel with those who swear by mechanical shutters and will not use the reliability and accuracy of electronic shutters because they are afraid of a dead battery. That is a concern I solved by spending $5 for a spare battery that I carry in my pocket.
I do find it amusing that those who do not grasp the concept of carrying spare batteries, do not have an issue with carrying more than one roll of film. In case they use the one up in the camera.

Perhaps it has something to do with not needing to think about changing batteries, and so never having to wonder how much juice is left?
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Old 11-06-2017   #370
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I ignore the potential reliability and parts issues in favor of cameras I like to use most for 3 reasons:

1) cameras are so reliable today that they almost never malfunction even with use some like us give them.
Then when lightning strikes, it's bl00dy annoying. My Ikon simply dropped dead recently. I turned it on and nothing happened, no lights, no metering, no shutter activation. Changed the batteries to fresh ones, nothing. Ended up having to rewind the half-shot roll of film (what a waste) and now I'm looking for the time to take it in for service. I baby this camera and have only run about ten rolls of film through it in the 9 years I've owned it.

A portentously chilling post in the Zeiss forum by someone with the same issue suggests that the camera could be irreparably dead, and this would pi$$ me off in all manner of ways.

If this happened to my M7, Leica would be able to fix it. It is extremely rare to hear of an irrevocably dead M7.
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Old 11-07-2017   #371
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About the electronic Quartz shutter: My M7 failed once in the Czech Republic, Krnoze, Giant Mountains on 1300m in March at a temperature at -32C in 5 minutes without freezing myself a few pics on 1/125s manual mode. Even at this temperature and in the snow it is impossible to change any battery. The M7 is the only RF camera which I can operate with gloves on.
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Old 11-07-2017   #372
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The M7 is the only RF camera which I can operate with gloves on.
I can operate my Fuji GW690III with oven mitts.
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Old 11-10-2017   #373
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???

I can operate my ZI with gloves on. It is no harder to do than it is with an M. Obviously I prefer to do it without as most of us would since using gloves with any camera is a pain.

Batteries in really cold weather can certainly cause problems sometimes, but alkalines are usually better in this case then lithiums. It doesn't get to North Dakota or Ontario cold here in Nevada (thank goodness) but it does drop below 0 Fahrenheit with rare excursions to 20 below. To be honest I am not usually looking forward to taking photos at those temperatures but when I do the ZI holds up its end just fine.

I really do use my ZI a lot and it has caused me no more trouble then any other camera, less than several I own. It has accurate metering, a very reliable shutter, and a beautiful viewfinder. It is a light and handy rangefinder that can use every Leica M and LTM lens available. I can't understand why anyone wouldn't want to use it. I enjoy Leica as well; my M-A is an absolutely awesome camera. But that doesn't make the ZI any less awesome in its own right. Its just different in a good way.
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Old 11-11-2017   #374
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I can not comment on a Z.I. because I do not have one. However my C.V. Bessa III 667 can not be operated below -15C (CR2 battery) and with gloves it is just so so. Also my Russian/Ukrainian RF are more difficult to operate with gloves however all mechanical I did not tried below -15C. Some times I am in Kiev or L'viv with low temperatures in Winter -30C or even a bit colder. You can replace the 1/3CN Lithium in the Leica to SR44 Silverode batteries who can be operated till -30C, Lithium normally till -20C, Alkaline also -30C but not so stable in voltage then Silveroxide batteries. Below -30C it is all a problem but not only for the batteries ......
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Old 11-11-2017   #375
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I can not comment on a Z.I. because I do not have one. However my C.V. Bessa III 667 can not be operated below -15C (CR2 battery) and with gloves it is just so so. Also my Russian/Ukrainian RF are more difficult to operate with gloves however all mechanical I did not tried below -15C. Some times I am in Kiev or L'viv with low temperatures in Winter -30C or even a bit colder. You can replace the 1/3CN Lithium in the Leica to SR44 Silverode batteries who can be operated till -30C, Lithium normally till -20C, Alkaline also -30C but not so stable in voltage then Silveroxide batteries. Below -30C it is all a problem but not only for the batteries ......
The ZI operates on the usual pair of 2 LR44/SR44 or a single CR1/3N battery. Which means it eats just half what the M7 eats.
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Old 11-11-2017   #376
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Correct because the M7 is using 2x 1/3CN Li or 4x LR44 or 4x SR44. In cold conditions I am using the last option. Normally I use the 1/3CN Lithium variant which is OK for about 2 years in use before they are running out in power.
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Old 11-11-2017   #377
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Batteries and very low temperatures don't mix. I have swapped cold batteries for warm ones kept in a shirt pocket in my ZI. Seems to work and the "dead" ones revive after riding in my shirt pocket for awhile.

But I also own a few mechanical cameras that don't like to work when it gets cold out either. It is not just a battery issue.

I understand that Leica used to service their M cameras with different lubricants if you intended to be working in extreme low temperatures.

I have also heard of problems with film in sub-zero temperatures but have not experienced any problems myself.
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Old 11-11-2017   #378
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+85 to Bob Michaels comments above. Get the camera you want. Shoot it, love it, repair it when you need to. Enjoy your photography and don't stress about the details. Cost of repair is a matter of when not whether. For my part and not looking at the M7 but another M (M4-2 and M6), I chose the M over the Ikon but it could have gone either way. Happy with my choice. Want you to find the same. If the Ikon will do, go for it. If you'll always wonder whether or not you should have gotten the other... then do that one instead. My Bronica has a battery for the shutter. Do I worry about it? Nah. I think it makes it more dependable. Go figure.
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Old 02-08-2018   #379
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I've had neither, nor held either. I do have an M4-2 and an M6TTL and love both. Though I prefer shots taken with a handheld meter for control, a built in meter is a happy thing for travel, family, etc. OP gives no context for what the purchase is purposed, so respond only that there is good service available for Leicas, and when I went down this road a year ago myself, folks mentioned that nothing comparable for the Zeiss Ikon.... though the factory "might". That said, I use and prefer Zeiss ZM lenses on my M's. Size, weight, color, contrast and quality.... they're all there. Best combo for me (emphasis) is Leica M with ZM lenses. I had both cameras CLA'd and though I prefer MF for "prize" photos and wouldn't get sucked into spending ridiculous $'s trying to make a 35mm negative have comparable MF clarity, I really enjoy the negatives printed out of these cameras... even printed large (16 X 20). But that has more to do with my aesthetic and may not be everyone else's.

Ditto to the "buy what you want" thing. Some insist on manual only... no batteries, etc. Follow that if you want. But there are some great cameras out there that will need batteries, and the manual only crowd keeps away, so you can find them at a good price. My medium format camera is a Rollei 6008 and a wonderful rig to shoot with Zeiss's best designed glass (as attested to by Zeiss's own designer)... but I rebuilt a couple of batteries and it's a tank. Don't let a battery freeze you out of a decision that you know is right for what you want to shoot and how you prefer to shoot. Who wants the 1% of the time when things don't work out drive you away from the right decision for the other 99% of the time when they do? I don't live in subzero climate. Most of us don't either. Humanity clusters around the temperate zones. If we were at the poles, our batteries would be made differently. Duh. Have fun!
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Old 02-08-2018   #380
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Both use the same film
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Old 02-08-2018   #381
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Both use the same film
Ferraris and Yugos use the same gas.

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Old 02-08-2018   #382
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I really enjoyed my Zeiss Ikon ZM, it was my introduction to Rangefinder Photography. Cant say enough good things about it when it comes to value for your money and that fantastic viewfinder.
I will never sell my original body Ikon but have my backup body up for sale on RFF. Having second thoughts about even selling it
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Old 02-18-2018   #383
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I really enjoyed my Zeiss Ikon ZM, it was my introduction to Rangefinder Photography. Cant say enough good things about it when it comes to value for your money and that fantastic viewfinder.
I will never sell my original body Ikon but have my backup body up for sale on RFF. Having second thoughts about even selling it

A class camera that really deserved the shift to digital ... a ZD Ikon would have sold very well in my opinion.
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Old 02-19-2018   #384
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I've owned a black ZI (now sold) and use a couple of M2's. I have a Minolta Cle for metering duties.

I thought the ZI would be "the One"; it looked beautiful to me and the viewfinder made my M's feel like they had keyholes to look through!

In the hand though it's a different story; the Leica's feel indestructible and the Zeiss feels fragile to me somehow: the shutter speed dial feels like it might fall apart at any moment and the lever advance somehow feels flimsy.

I've seen heavily used ZM's on ebay with chunks broken off their corners etc. which somehow bother me more than dings and dents on Leicas. I don't baby my cameras too much so the Zeiss left.

Can't say I'm a fan of the M7 either!... the plastic ISO/exposure compensation dial on the back is a real turn-off!... hence my cheap and cheerful choice of the Cle.

I find I get by fine with the "Sunny 16" rule for exposing colour negative film in my M2's (no batteries, no plastic) and am happy to accept errors in exposure as a learning experience
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Old 05-14-2018   #385
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There have been a number of posts about people who didn't like the ZI because it felt fragile. People do respond to cameras differently. I will agree that it does feel lighter than any of my Leica Ms but I don't necessarily equate that lightness to it being fragile.

Six years on now and mine is still chugging along just fine. No parts have fallen off and nothing has died.

In reality I appreciate a bit less weight when I am packing a camera around the mountains on foot.

The shutter construction, the metering, the viewfinder and the weight keep me coming back. It really is quite an amazing camera.

Just finished another roll of Pan F Plus today.
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Old 05-14-2018   #386
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short term, the ZM will be the more pleasant camera to shoot with for most -
in my view by a small margin, not a big margin

long term, the M7 will be more reliable as well as more fixable for years longer
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Old 05-14-2018   #387
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long term, the M7 will be more reliable as well as more fixable for years longer
Yes, provided an independent technician will work on it. If it has to go to Wetzlar, the repair costs may exceed the value of the camera. With film bodies, the current Wetzlar policy is to insist on a mandatory CLA at around €800 for each and every repair job.
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Old 06-03-2018   #388
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short term, the ZM will be the more pleasant camera to shoot with for most -
in my view by a small margin, not a big margin

long term, the M7 will be more reliable as well as more fixable for years longer
Always go with the short term.

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Old 06-03-2018   #389
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The terms are a bit ambiguous. Is short term 5 years? 10 years? 20 years?

My ZI is passed the 5 year window.

My Leica III, which has been getting a little more use recently, is well past 80 years. It was overhauled by Gus last year.

That probably qualifies as long term though it has only been in my hands for a couple of years.
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Old 06-03-2018   #390
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I have Minolta CLE and Ikon.

Ikon is an technogocial marvel. HUGE viwefinder and higher SS. Minolta is lovely and it never failed me in 10 years but Ikon just feels like a perfect tool for taking photos. Leica is cool (had L 6) but in use Ikon 100x.
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Old 06-04-2018   #391
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I was shooting with M7 for years! Wonderful camera!
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toss up
Old 07-21-2018   #392
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toss up

If you want ease of use and wear glasses Zeiss ZM
If you want durability and cachet and don't mind the bottom loading Leica M7
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