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Why do ZI rangefinders cost so much even used?
Old 12-12-2018   #1
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Why do ZI rangefinders cost so much even used?

1.7k for a used body? A cosina made camera just like a Nikon FM2? Is it that much better made than a FM2?

New ZIs were 1.425 dollars.

A used Leica M6 in very good condition is around 1.6k... but a new Leica is way more expensive than ZI cameras ever were.

Something does not make sense here.
 

Old 12-12-2018   #2
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Got my second one 2 years ago, from fellow RFF member, for $800. The first one 8 years ago was around the same price. It's been like that for many years, even after the production ceased, until recently.

They didn't sell much of these in the first place, but I don't think the current price is justifiable. And you may have noticed, an used M6 was like $1-1.2k not long ago. Some irrational factors are driving the demand, which in turn has driven the price up. I assume it's part of the very trend that had made the then $600-800 Contax T3 as expensive as it is today.

The ZI itself is an excellent camera, little doubt in that. You'll find few cameras, even a Leica, being that much better than a FM2 anyway...
 

Old 12-12-2018   #3
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Originally Posted by Archlich View Post
Got my second one 2 years ago, from fellow RFF member, for $800. The first one 8 years ago was around the same price. It's been like that for many years, even after the production ceased, until recently.

They didn't sell much of these in the first place, but I don't the current price is justifiable. And you may have noticed, an used M6 was like $1-1.2k not long ago. Some irrational factors are driving the demand, which in turn has driven the price up. I assume it's part of the very trend that had made the then $600-800 Contax T3 as expensive as it is today.

The ZI itself is an excellent camera, little doubt in that. You'll find few cameras, even a Leica, being that much better than a FM2 anyway...

Agree on all counts. The used camera marketplace is pretty irrational; how much is a Nikon f6??? Does a slightly used Nikon f6 sell for 1.800 us dollars? The F6 is hard to top. Ok... a ranfgefinder is a different camera but an inflated price is an inflated price.

A used ZI should sell now for 800 and thatīs already pushing it.. 30% of new at the counter is the usual in most other markets so $500 is it. As excellent as a ZI i will put my money on a Leica M just for the charisma alone. I know ZIs are excellent tools but i will pay the price of tools.
 

Old 12-12-2018   #4
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Ebay "sold" shows them to be sold for less. Just above 1K.
1.7K listing might have lens attached to it.

R series are FM10 Cosina made, not FM2, with RF somewhat slapped on it.
But even they are sold close to 1K mark now.

It makes sense, actually. According to reputable sources film is resurrected. But only new film RF are Leica made.
 

Old 12-12-2018   #5
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Originally Posted by Ko.Fe. View Post
Ebay "sold" shows them to be sold for less. Just above 1K.

R series are FM10 Cosina made, not FM2, with RF somewhat slapped on it.
But even they are sold close 1K mark now.
1k is already expensive for a just CLAed M2 in beautiful shape.. but due to the status and history of this camera itīs acceptable . A Cosina made Voightlander?? Makes zero sense.

Inflated prices will do nothing for street photography, rebirth of film and rangefinder love; nothing. Inflated prices make any idea look silly.
In the face of those prices a film SLR like a Nikon F series w/ Nikon lenses look like a serious, pro camera system to go with.
 

Old 12-12-2018   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by colker View Post
1.7k for a used body? A cosina made camera just like a Nikon FM2? Is it that much better made than a FM2?

New ZIs were 1.425 dollars.

A used Leica M6 in very good condition is around 1.6k... but a new Leica is way more expensive than ZI cameras ever were.

Something does not make sense here.
It's the only camera I own that would be replaced immediately if it died. It's a really good camera. The only downside from my perspective is the reliance on electronics; if the batteries die or if there is an electronic gremlin the camera won't work. It would have been a better camera if it could at least function without batteries, but oh well. I prefer it to Leica.

Almost all film cameras are reasonably priced now imho. Even at $1600 if you assume 5 years of use before a CLA that's a good return on enjoyment for the price (assuming you think a $1600 camera from any brand is acceptable)
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Old 12-12-2018   #7
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It's the only camera I own that would be replaced immediately if it died. It's a really good camera. The only downside from my perspective is the reliance on electronics; if the batteries die or if there is an electronic gremlin the camera won't work. It would have been a better camera if it could at least function without batteries, but oh well. I prefer it to Leica.

Almost all film cameras are reasonably priced now imho. Even at $1600 if you assume 5 years of use before a CLA that's a good return on enjoyment for the price (assuming you think a $1600 camera from any brand is acceptable)
No... prices of used film cameras are all over the place. SLRs, 35mm of medium format, are dirt cheap and its lenses are even cheaper.

Some rangefinder brands are being hyped up. A Leica has always been expensive but a Cosina made camera costing more than new? More than a Leica M6, M5, M4? No way.

I understand the ZI is a great camera and i would not bother w/ this thread if it wasnīt... but the price is hyped up and way out of any sense.
Btw... at those prices it should not die. It should be as everlasting as a Leica.
 

Old 12-12-2018   #8
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Originally Posted by colker View Post
...... Something does not make sense here.
No, it is just the simple economic law of pricing being set by supply vs. demand, nothing else.

If you don't want to buy at the current pricing, then don't. If you don't want to sell at the current pricing, then don't. No need to complicate a simple situation.
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Old 12-12-2018   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by colker View Post
1.7k for a used body? A cosina made camera just like a Nikon FM2? Is it that much better made than a FM2?
What makes you think it is an FM2?

Quote:
New ZIs were 1.425 dollars.
And now there are no new ones... so, prices have gone up.

Quote:
A used Leica M6 in very good condition is around 1.6k... but a new Leica is way more expensive than ZI cameras ever were.
And?

Quote:
Something does not make sense here.
Makes sense to me...this simply sounds like you want a Zi and don`t want to pay the going price.
 

Old 12-12-2018   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by colker View Post
No... the price of used film cameras are all over the place. SLRs, 35mm of medium format, are dirt cheap and itīs lenses are even cheaper.

Some rangefinder brands are being hyped up. A Leica has always been expensive but a Cosina made camera costing more than new? More than a Leica M6, M5, M4? No way.

I understand the ZI is a great camera and i would not bother w/ this thread if it wasnīt... but the price is hyped up and way out of any sense.
Well it's a matter of degree. The prices may be "all over the place" but are still reasonable to me. I spend considerable time walking the city with my camera and enjoying myself, and my time is worth something. My photography expenditures as a whole probably cost me less than seeing a movie every week, despite the cost of the camera. Relatively speaking this is a pretty inexpensive hobby, even if you buy on the high end. (assuming you don't buy cameras all the time of course. I tend to buy and use my cameras for years.)
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Old 12-12-2018   #11
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Originally Posted by colker View Post
Something does not make sense here.
I beg to differ. Ultimately, the market (demand vs supply) determines the average price, except for rare outlier cases. The ZI is a well made, metered RF camera with a lovely VF/RF (which in particular has excellent eye relief for the bespectacled - better than any M body until the M10, in my estimation) - so it is no surprise that it is desired. Whether the market prices are acceptable to any given person is up to said individual.
 

Old 12-12-2018   #12
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What makes you think it is an FM2?

And now there are no new ones... so, prices have gone up.

And?

Makes sense to me...this simply sounds like you want a Zi and don`t want to pay the going price.
I want a ZI just like I want a lot of cameras and the ZI is not even remotely at the top of my list.
Did i say it is an FM2? It is made by the same factory w/ the same type of shutter and construction. Aluminum, light. So yeah.. itīs a good comparison. Not to mention the Nikon FM2 is a legendary camera on its own. Right?

"There is no new ZIs so the price must go up".. have a look at eBay and check prices for Pentax 67, Nikon F3 and other SLRs which are not made anymore.. Try your reasoning and see if it sticks. It doesnīt.
 

Old 12-12-2018   #13
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Originally Posted by Bob Michaels View Post
No, it is just the simple economic law of pricing being set by supply vs. demand, nothing else.

If you don't want to buy at the current pricing, then don't. If you don't want to sell at the current pricing, then don't. No need to complicate a simple situation.
Bob nailed it.
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Old 12-12-2018   #14
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I beg to differ. Ultimately, the market (demand vs supply) determines the average price, except for rare outlier cases. The ZI is a well made, metered RF camera with a lovely VF/RF (which in particular has excellent eye relief for the bespectacled - better than any M body until the M10, in my estimation) - so it is no surprise that it is desired. Whether the market prices are acceptable to any given person is up to said individual.
Thing is.. i see a lot of interest in Leicas. A lot of people buying and yet you donīt see that many being offered. When it is being offered, it sells.

I donīt see ZIs being touted everywhere as the camera to have.. unlike Leicas. ZI are not hard to buy. Lots of them on eBay. The same ones every week. the prices are unrealistic. It does not sell.

Unless one is selling I donīt see why support the idea itīs a well deserved price.
 

Old 12-12-2018   #15
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That price would be too steep for me if I were in the market for something to shoot M lenses with. Why not get an M6 or a Hexar RF? I owned both and they were both excellent cameras. The Hexar is essentially an M7 and you can find them in great shape for around $800. As nice as the ZI may be, it's still gonna be Cosina build quality. Both the cameras I mentioned have excellent build quality.

Of course, with all the great LTM lenses out there, a Bessa R would be my choice, and put the rest of the money into film and fiber paper.
 

Old 12-12-2018   #16
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That price would be too steep for me if I were in the market for something to shoot M lenses with. Why not get an M6 or a Hexar RF? I owned both and they were both excellent cameras. The Hexar is essentially an M7 and you can find them in great shape for around $800. As nice as the ZI may be, it's still gonna be Cosina build quality. Both the cameras I mentioned have excellent build quality.

Of course, with all the great LTM lenses out there, a Bessa R would be my choice, and put the rest of the money into film and fiber paper.
Exactly! At last some reason.

I have an M body and should get another one in the future. I am researching my options.
 

Old 12-12-2018   #17
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Can you direct us to the production specs of the FM2 which state it was made by Cosina? Just curious here. Are you mistaking it for the FM-10?
As for the ZI price, it is a much lower production camera than most others. It is the only equivalent in spec and build to a Leica M6 or M7, many say better. It is very modern as opposed to an M4-P, M4-2, M4 or M2. Again, far fewer ZI bodies were produced than these models.
You can't even compare it to any of the top-shelf cameras by Nikon, Canon, Minolta, Olympus or Pentax and they made many of those in far greater numbers by several orders of magnitude.
The Nikon F3 was made for 21 years so it's easy to find a perfectly working body for under $100. That's almost solely based upon the fact that nearly a million of these were made and they are of extraordinary quality.
The resurgence of using rangefinder cameras has been going on for about 20 years now with folks wanting smaller cameras, largely with simpler operation than the small form factor wonder point and shoots that took over in the 80 through the 90s. A few in the RF aren't quite as simple but offer fully manual simplicity (Contax G1, G2, Konica Hexar RF.)
So, it has come down to utility, hype, the waxing and waning of shooters' preferences as well as collectors.
Like others have said, it's basically supply and demand. If you want it bad enough, you'll pay for it.

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Old 12-12-2018   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by colker View Post
1k is already expensive for a just CLAed M2 in beautifull shape.. but due to the status and history of this camera itīs acceptable . A Cosina made Voightlander?? Makes zero sense.

Inflated prices will do nothing for street photographey, rebirth of film and rangefinder love; nothing. Inflated prices make any idea look silly.
In the face of those prices a film slr like a Nikon F series w/ Nikon lenses look like a serious, pro camera system to go with.
F3HP is outlasting and over performing Leica M2 for three times less.
From specifications POV. From same POV my 40$ EOS300 is better than 300$ F3HP camera. It does all F3HP could do but weights less and AF.

I know your feeling. But RF is not SLR. Not for the quantities it was made and not for the prices it was sold for.
I remember how Cosina made Nikon brand SLR was hundred something at BH and same Cosina based Bessas were four hundreds.

It is hard to be in RF land if you are Nikonian.
BTW, I think my 29CAD Nikkormat does the same what any F camera do.
Takes image by mirror slapping sound or with mirror up and nothing in VF.
 

Old 12-12-2018   #19
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zeiss ikons are selling for $1100-1850, which seems like a reasonable price range considering the alternatives. it’s a great camera, not as heavy as a leica, and designed from the ground up to have a meter and ae. it’s the newest electronic m-mount body, so it’ll last the longest. if you want one, get one now or you’ll have to pay even more for it in the future!
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Old 12-12-2018   #20
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Originally Posted by colker View Post
Did I say it is an FM2? It is made by the same factory w/ the same type of shutter and construction. Aluminum, light. So yeah.. itīs a good comparison. Not to mention the Nikon FM2 is a legendary camera on its own. Right?

"There is no new ZIs so the price must go up".. have a look at eBay and check prices for Pentax 67, Nikon F3 and other SLRs which are not made anymore.. Try your reasoning and see if it sticks. It doesnīt .
1. The FM2 wasn't made by Cosina, it was made by Nikon. The FM10 was made by Cosina.

2. Your comparison with the other cameras doesn't hold up - I bought a Pentax 6x7 with 105mm lens for $110aud in 2011 in Tokyo. Now the absolute cheapest you could get one would be around $600-800aud. Likewise I just bought a mint condition F3HP for around 500. They have gone up in price too. Same with the M6, the Hexar RF, the Hexar AF, ALL point and shoots, the Bessa Rx series, the FM2. All gone up significantly in value over the last few years.
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Old 12-12-2018   #21
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Talking

The swing back to film by Millennial folk have given the price rise..
Innocents in the jungle of cameras that are often faulty, worn out,
badly serviced, have faulty electronics and no hope of repair..
Lomo encourages using crappy, out of date film. sigh.

Some here show hatred for SLR, that changed the look of photography.
Beautiful well composed images, easy lens interchangeability.
What you see is what you get.
RF is nice, I love my M3, M2 and like my M6*..
Mirror blackout last a fraction of a second.
Use other eye to watch scene if it's so bothersome!
My SLR, Pentax and later Nikon made good money.
I enjoyed using and delivering that work.

Never used a Bessa or a Soviet box..simply saw no use to try.
I could NEVER focus a Hasselblad, that does not make it bad!

Prices of film steadily going up.
I never shoot color as Digital is better and easy to control..

The FM-10 made by Cosina.
The Nikon FE and FM's were Nikon.
If prices too high, maybe do more research, attend camera fairs.
There are great bargains out there..
 

Old 12-12-2018   #22
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If your ZI breaks.. even if itīs a small part like a rewind knob. where do you find replacement parts?
If any Leica breaks, you send it to your Leica tech and it is repaired. Thatīs one of the reasons it retains value. Thatīs also why Rolleis keep going. There are parts around.
The Zeiss Ikon is an out of production camera and there is no official dealer. Thatīs why i question those prices. It does not look like an indestructible machine.
 

Old 12-12-2018   #23
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Originally Posted by leicapixie View Post
The swing back to film by Millennial folk have given the price rise..
Innocents in the jungle of cameras that are often faulty, worn out,
badly serviced, have faulty electronics and no hope of repair..
Lomo encourages using crappy, out of date film. sigh.

Some here show hatred for SLR, that changed the look of photography.
Beautiful well composed images, easy lens interchangeability.
What you see is what you get.
RF is nice, I love my M3, M2 and like my M6*..
Mirror blackout last a fraction of a second.
Use other eye to watch scene if it's so bothersome!
My SLR, Pentax and later Nikon made good money.
I enjoyed using and delivering that work.

Never used a Bessa or a Soviet box..simply saw no use to try.
I could NEVER focus a Hasselblad, that does not make it bad!

Prices of film steadily going up.
I never shoot color as Digital is better and easy to control..

The FM-10 made by Cosina.
The Nikon FE and FM's were Nikon.
If prices too high, maybe do more research, attend camera fairs.
There are great bargains out there..
Your post perfectly describes my experience. Pentax 67s, Nikons and Hasselblads that were terrible handling cameras.

Loved Nikon itīs been decades but their full frame dSLR is big and heavy if you are just walking around w/your camera waiting for an image to happen.

Fujifilm digital made me look again at a Leica body which I never bothered about buying a lens for. My small Fuji x30 pays homage to Leica design so I got interested in picking the M again instead of buying another digital camera.. the never ending upgrading on digital bored me. Not to mention having a physical negative is reassuring so I want film. BW film. Color is much better rendered on digital cameras than any film IMO.
 

Old 12-12-2018   #24
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1. The FM2 wasn't made by Cosina, it was made by Nikon. The FM10 was made by Cosina.

2. Your comparison with the other cameras doesn't hold up - I bought a Pentax 6x7 with 105mm lens for $110aud in 2011 in Tokyo. Now the absolute cheapest you could get one would be around $600-800aud. Likewise I just bought a mint condition f3HP for around 500. They have gone up in price too. Same with the m6, the Hexar RF, the Hexar AF, ALL point and shoots, the Bessa Rx series, the fm2. All gone up significantly in value over the last few years.
Prices on Pentax 67 lenses are so low itīs embarrassing. Beautifully built huge glass selling for peanuts.
Leica R lenses and cameras sell for cheap.
Even Hasselblads are cheap. They used to be ultra expensive. Leicas were cheap compared to Hasselblad Zeiss lenses. Now itīs cheap. Made in Sweden. Zeiss Ikon lenses made in Germany. All cheap.

But a Cosina Zeiss Ikon body costs 1800 dollars? I could buy a Rollei F 2.8 in pristine condition for that money. And I can fix the Rollei. I doubt i could fix the ZI.
 

Old 12-12-2018   #25
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Prices on Pentax 67 lenses are so low itīs embarrassing. Beautifully built huge glass selling for peanuts.
Leica R lenses and cameras sell for cheap.
Even Hasselblads are cheap. They used to be ultra expensive. Leicas were cheap compared to hasselblad zeiss lenses. NOw itīs cheap. Made in Sweden. Zeiss Ikon lenses made in Germany. All cheap.

But a cosina Zeiss Ikon body costs 1800 dollars? I could buy a rollei F 2.8 in pristine condition for that money. And i can fix the Rollei. I doubt i could fix the ZI.
I agree that the Ikon is too expensive for what it is, but there are very few low cost rangefinders of high quality. That's pretty much why. Bessa's now cost 800+, a good used M6 is up around 1500 (in US dollars), Hexar's are cheaper but not able to be fixed.
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Old 12-12-2018   #26
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I agree that the Ikon is too expensive for what it is, but there are very few low cost rangefinders of high quality. That's pretty much why. Bessa's now cost 800+, a good used M6 is up around 1500 (in US dollars), Hexar's are cheaper but not able to be fixed.
I rather pay 1000 on a Leica M 2,3,5 than 800 on a Bessa but thatīs me. Bought my M3 for 600 dollars about six yrs ago. At this forum classifieds.
A used Summicron was around 800 dollars then.

I like the ZI... i like most everything about it. Itīs just terribly overpriced. And it does not look like a long lasting camera.
 

Old 12-12-2018   #27
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If your ZI breaks.. even if itīs a small part like a rewind knob. where do you find replacement parts?
If any Leica breaks, you send it to your Leica tech and it is repaired. Thatīs one of the reasons it retains value. Thatīs also why Rolleis keep going. There are parts around.
The Zeiss Ikon is an out of production camera and there is no official dealer. Thatīs why i question those prices. It does not look like an indestructible machine.
Leicas will almost certainly work for longer than ZI cameras, so if longevity and spare parts are a high priority for you then pay the extra and get an M3, M6, M7 or whatever camera you'd like to maintain indefinitely.

If the camera itself is the most important thing then compare features that are important to you and go from there. My M3 sits in a drawer while the ZI gets a lot of use because for me the ZI is superior, more useful and more fun. It doesn't matter how long it lasts because if it dies I'll get another. We're not talking new car money here.
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Old 12-12-2018   #28
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That's just how the market works, plain and simple.
I want a 1967 Mercedes-Benz 190SL. Even more, I want a 1959 300SL. Or even a lowly 1968 280SE. They are not anywhere near the performance of a modern Subaru. They are fickle, can have reliability issues (especially the electronic fuel injected veraions) bad on gas economy, slow and generally fuddy duddy. I don't like the fact they cost so much because compared with a Subaru or Toyota or Honda they can't compete. Why aren't they less expensive?

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Old 12-12-2018   #29
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Old 12-12-2018   #30
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Check this out.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Zeiss-Ikon-...DVZJ:rk:3:pf:0

Zeiss ikon and voigtlander 35 1.4 for $1,300. I just bought an M2 or I would have bought this the second I saw it. Someones getting a great deal!
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Old 12-12-2018   #31
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Originally Posted by colker View Post
If your ZI breaks.. even if itīs a small part like a rewind knob. where do you find replacement parts? .....
From your local camera repair tech, just like any other camera. Now mine does not have a ZI parts camera but he has drawers of others and a network of similar repair guys. When I needed a replacement shutter button, it took my guy one day to find a replacement from a buddy. He had it in his hands in two days and returned my working camera in three days.

These local repair techs are everywhere, just most of you do not know where they are. Mine does no marketing, has an unlisted phone, and no sign in front of his shop. Yet, he stays too busy as all the pros know where he is.
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Old 12-12-2018   #32
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I don't think there is much demand for them and there aren't that many for sale. Ebay has them listed again and again until some sucker wants one and pays. Personally I like the camera, but for the money they are going for I'd get a Leica. Or three Hexar RFs. When the ZI was new, they were selling them in a box with ZM lenses and those cost like $17-2100. They even came with a viewfinder for the odd kits.
 

Old 12-12-2018   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis.Carlson View Post
Check this out.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Zeiss-Ikon-...DVZJ:rk:3:pf:0

Zeiss ikon and voigtlander 35 1.4 for $1,300. I just bought an M2 or I would have bought this the second I saw it. Someones getting a great deal!
Hmmmm.... Based in United States, ke3523 has been an eBay member since 06 Nov, 2018
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Old 12-12-2018   #34
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$740 USD at KEH
 

Old 12-12-2018   #35
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zeiss service in oberkochen still repairs the zeiss ikon, and there’s four years left of legally required service. after that, you can still probably get it repaired for lots of problems. if the electronics were going to fail anytime soon, it would have been a manufacturing defect, so you don’t have to worry that much.
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Old 12-12-2018   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deardorff38 View Post
$740 USD at KEH
Unfortunately, appears to be the non-rangefinder SW version.
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Old 12-12-2018   #37
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Zeiss Ikon is a great rangefinder. Its not a piece of junk that will fall apart quickly. If it were everyone would know about it by now. It is very light, very handy and very easy to use. Great viewfinder and great metering.

If mine breaks it goes in a box and goes to Zeiss for repair. I pull the spare out the drawer and keep shooting. I bought both of mine new several years ago. I haven't had to do that yet. It is one of the best cameras I have ever owned. It is so good that I'll probably send mine in for a factory overhaul in a couple of years even if it still works. The camera is certainly worth the money to have it done.

I had the F6 and I sold it. Nice camera but not as nice as my ZI. For starters, the F6 is way too complex. The ZI is simple and very easy to use. Everyone has their preferences.

As you can tell, for me it is definitely worth the price. For you it isn't. I suspect that if I didn't already own one I would be like you.

Unfortunately not a lot of them were made so it will cost you money to find out what a lot of us already know. Some day in the future most of them will finally be worn out and the prices will drop. That is kind of how it works out.
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Old 12-12-2018   #38
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Cosina is obligated to provide parts & services until 2024. Turnaround usually is fast and the price is reasonable - or even cheap by Leica standard. Goodwill arrangements beyond the period happen at times in Japan, for example Nikon provided service for the F3, F5 and other long-discontinued models for a limited time last year.

The ZI is not a sophisticated camera. You can find substitutes for the mechanical parts from many donors, exactly because, they are all made by Cosina. The electronics are as reliable as any electronic cameras. People are still willing to pay $$$$ for the far-less reliable and far more expensive digital cameras that are guaranteed to be not serviceable in a decade. So I assume there isn't that much wrong in buying into a relatively no-frills electronic film camera.

But don't let these fool us. None of these quantity, quality, support and retail price attributes would fully explain why a certain used camera can be expensive, while another one slumps in price.

Again, it can be irrational. Used gear price is not only just about the camera, but also people-driven. A better explanation may be lying in the demographics of those who are actually buying, using and selling the camera nowadays.
 

Old 12-12-2018   #39
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Comparing ZI to other cameras like FM2 or others has zero bearing whatsoever on the ZI price.

As stated earlier, it’s simply supply/demand.

What is amazing to me is the relatively low price of the Hexar RF which has some truly unique features for an M bayonet camera. This camera represents the other side of the supply/demand equation, they are true bargains! I just sold one here for $675 and it was near perfect and still took a few weeks to move.
 

Old 12-12-2018   #40
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Supply and demand: when I bought a new ZI in 2009, it was on sale.
 
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