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Thread: Zeiss finders on the M9

  1. #1
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    Zeiss finders on the M9

    I used to highly recommend Zeiss viewfinders. They are incredibly bright. I also have a few Zeiss ZM lens such as the Sonnar 85/2 ZM and the 25/2.8. Of course I love their 30 year SWC Biogon lens. I also owned the 21/2.8 ZM before.

    However, I can no longer recommend Zeiss products. Why? Take a look at the following photos. The first one is just hand held using the Zeiss 15mm Viewfinder lining up the horizontal framelines with the lines on the wall etc. It’s very loosely done and I am not directly parallel to the wall so there’s a slight tilt and distortion, not a problem.

    The second one is taken with the 25/28mm Zeiss Viewfinder with the camera on the tripod and I lining up the framelines as careful as possible. See the problem?

    Yes, the framelines are tilted. This does not happen on the 15mm VF, or the 21mm and 25mm VF I once owned. I understand things can get out of alignment, especially since this is a used item. I am prepared to have it fixed if the price is right. So I emailed Zeiss support, having done business with them previously when they adjusted my Sonnar 85/2 ZM.

    The conversation (I have to respect their “confidentiality” and not posting the actual email) basically went like this:

    (Zeiss Person): there is nothing wrong with the viewfinder. Zeiss does not recommend using the finder on non-Zeiss cameras (oh yea, like there are zillions of Zeiss Ikon being used compared to the Leica M? Dream ON). You have to adjust for it.

    Me: but the other viewfinders work fine!

    ZP: you can send it to us for inspection, I can tell WITH CERTAINTY that there is nothing wrong with the viewfinder.

    ****

    With certainty? Without looking at it, and with all the other Zeiss finders working just fine on the same camera? Really? Wow. And this would be the last time I purchase a Zeiss viewfinder. You be the judge of the photo evidence. I will rather spend $150 and get a Voigtlander Cosina finder than dealing with such arrogance. So much for the legendary Zeiss quality.







    (blog at Zeiss Customer “Support” » Richard Man Photography)

  2. #2
    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: Zeiss finders on the M9

    If you want to know for sure call Tony at Popflash and get the right person at Zeiss to discuss. Obviously its possible to have a misaligned finder . He referred me to a Leica rep that was very responsive .

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    Re: Zeiss finders on the M9

    you talked to the wrong person. contact richard schleuning at zeiss usa. he was very helpful on a couple of lens CLAs awhile ago.

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: Zeiss finders on the M9

    Quote Originally Posted by MCTuomey View Post
    you talked to the wrong person. contact richard schleuning at zeiss usa. he was very helpful on a couple of lens CLAs awhile ago.
    This is the person I talked with and he was very helpful .

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    Re: Zeiss finders on the M9

    That's the person I talked to at Zeiss, and he wasn't helpful this time. He was helpful last time when I needed my 85/2 Sonnar adjusted.

    I just bought a CV25mm from Tony.

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    Re: Zeiss finders on the M9

    The Smoking Gun, see the photo of the framelines in the viewfinder. We leveled everything as best we can using bubble levels. The internal M9 framelines are “dead-on,” definitely good enough for framing purpose. As you can see, the framelines inside the Zeiss finder, as marked by the red lines, are tilted. Notice that the finder is just sitting on top of the camera, not in the hotshoe, so it has nothing to do with “rotational” axis with respect to the center of the lens etc.


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