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Thursday, 02 October 2008

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Entering the Zeiss booth and mounting a ZE (50 1.4) on my camera (40D) put a big smile on my face. Some brands do have that magic feel. While I had handled Zeiss lenses before, I was still impressed with the build quality of it. I'd say build perfection. I had overlooked the fact that there would be no aperture ring and was pleasantly surprised to see the focus confirm flash while focusing it. The magic toned down slightly when I noticed how hard manual focusing was in that aps-c viewfinder. I somehow expected to find the sensations I have on my old pa OM-1. I'd recommend a dedicated focusing screen (for that matter, Zeiss had a few canon bodies on display with Katzeye focusing screen on that helped) or a 5D I guess.

Glad Zeiss entered the game !

I'm glad that Canon saw the Zeiss EOS lenses as an opportunity, and not as unwelcome competition.

Though I'm sure that the manual-focus nature of the Zeiss glass made that decision a bit easier.

I hope this upcoming Bessa 667 will not be horribly expensive because I have no doubt that it will be substantially easier to use than my Rolleiflex TLR that was manufactured in 1950. Also, I am sure that the lens that ships with it will be much better than the lens built into that Rolleiflex due to wonderful improvements in lens coatings since 1950!

Awesome. I'll be buying two 667's.

Great news that the Zeiss lenses are fully Canon approved. I have two EOS film SLRs & one DSLR. Can't wait to try one of these lenses, esp on the film.

I normally like dark, subdued colors on stuff, but this folder really cries out for the metal finish that the Fuji version has been shown with.

My one single problem at this time is how to motivate spending over $1000 on a film camera to my wife...

Nice news, thanks for the confirmation.

In his dismissive (p)review of the ZE lenses (http://kenrockwell.com/zeiss/ze.htm), Ken Rockwell states definitively: "One bit of caution is to understand that these lenses are not made by either Canon or by Zeiss. They are third-party lenses completely unaffiliated from Canon. Canon does not sell them, does not approve of them, and certainly has not provided electronic, mechanical or any other design information to Zeiss."

However, you state what I always believed to be the case: Zeiss partnered with Canon to develop these lenses. I'm sure that Canon (whose current emphasis is generally on uber-zooms or exotic primes) sees the value of putting Zeiss glass on Canon bodies. Just imagine the image quality that will result.

I just ordered a Brightscreen focusing screen for my 5D and am looking forward to the day that Zeiss releases its entire SLR line in ZE mount.

From the previous post: "Price could be as low as the $1,200–$1,500 range"

I find the new Fuji and Voigtlander cameras charming, and I'm happy that someone is still making new film cameras, but I do have to wonder... Why pay >$1,000 for one of these? For much less money you can buy a used folder and have it refurbished. Or you can buy a used Fuji GA645. If you really want 6x6 or 6x7 format, you could go for a used Mamiya 6 or Mamiya 7. Any of these strike me as cheaper/more flexible cameras. And all of them are relatively light and compact and feature rangefinder-ish designs.

I'm NOT trying to be a provocateur here, and I'm not trying to dissuade anyone from buying one of these and supporting the continued development of film cameras. I'm just wondering why it is that people are so keen on these cameras as this price.

Best,
Adam

"I'm NOT trying to be a provocateur here, and I'm not trying to dissuade anyone from buying one of these and supporting the continued development of film cameras. I'm just wondering why it is that people are so keen on these cameras a[t] this price."

Adam,
Well, I can't tell you that, but I can tell you why I am. It's because it will probably have an accessory diopter eyepiece. I had a beautiful Agfa Super Isolette for a while, and I loved it, but I had a hard time seeing the rangefinder patch. I *almost* epoxied an old Canon FD -2 diopter to the Agfa's eyeiece, but in the end I couldn't bring myself to vandalize the old camera, given what nice condition it was in.

New cameras are always considerably more expensive that similar used cameras, of course, but in my experience older cameras always have one or maybe two Achilles' Heels or "gotchas" of one sort or another, problems current when they were made that have since been solved.

The other aspect is that when you use a new camera, you can replace it easily and keep working without a hiccup if it is lost or stolen. Older cameras can be "unique" if only because they've been "run in" a certain way, and much more troublesome to effectively replace when lost. I imagine there are people who don't care about this one whit, but it's always made me somewhat uncomfortable to shoot with a camera if I'm uncertain whether it can be replaced.

Mike J.

Adam wrote:
"If you really want 6x6 or 6x7 format, you could go for a used Mamiya 6 or Mamiya 7. Any of these strike me as cheaper/more flexible cameras. "
A Mamiya 6 (rangefinder not the old folder) or 7 probably wouldn't be much cheaper, in good condition from a dealer with some kind of warranty (like KEH). An older folder would be but it probably isn't going have a good bright rangegfinder and aperture priority AE.

Adam,

What you get compared to an old folder is:

* Large, bright viewfinder with parallax-corrected frame and coupled rangefinder

* Built-in meter with choice of aperture-priority AE or manual metering

* New lens design, with modern coatings

* New shutter

* Mechanics without 50+ years of wear and tear

* Probably, flatter and more accurate positioning of film

As Dave points out, a clean Mamiya 7 with warranty from a dealer won't be much cheaper, and the new folder will in any case be much more compact when folded for carrying, and probably lighter too.

The Mamiya 6 is an iffier proposition for many buyers, especially at today's prices, because parts are no longer available to repair the wind mechanism.

I'm not sure yet whether I'll get one of these new folders myself, but it's easy to see why so many medium format fans find the concept very appealing.

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