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Zeiss Ikon "M" camera system


Announced on September 29th 2004, the Zeiss Ikon is a "new" rangefinder-based camera system by Zeiss. At first only one body (silver chrome 0.74) and seven (mostly wide angle) lenses were offered. What raised a few eyebrows was that the body was for 35mm film, and that the lenses and body were fully compatible with the Leica M lens line.

The official Zeiss Ikon website can be found at:


While Mike Elek's Zeiss Ikon website (er, make that "shrine"!) is at:


Feature summary


Overall Information

See the Zeiss FAQ at <>

FWIW the ZI body and all lenses should be available as of Q1 2006!

Dec 2004 pricelist

Camera body
Zeiss Ikon Camera body $US 1617
Distagon 15mm/2,8 $3796 / € 3541 Euro
Biogon 21mm/2,8 $1307 / € 1219 Euro
Biogon 25mm/2.8 € 1075 Euro
Biogon 28mm/2.8 € 972 Euro
Biogon 35mm/2.0 $1042 / € 972 Euro
Planar 50mm/2.0 $824 / € 768 Euro
Biogon 28mm/2.8 € 972 Euro
Zeiss Finder 25/28 mm € 386 Euro
All lens hoods € 77 Euro

All (list) prices were compiled from information from <>, <> & <>. VAT may or may not have been added to the Euro prices - contact dealers yourself to check this.

N.B. dealers are free to undercut these prices if they wish. For instance, Hong Kong Leica Dealer Dr Joseph Yao contacted me in April 2005 to note he sells the following Zeiss items at subtantially lower prices than the (current) list:

Just a quick note to inform you that four of the Zeiss M lenses are now available [as of 25 April 2005]:
Zeiss Biogon T* 2.8/28mm ZM lens US$895
Zeiss Biogon T* 2.0/35mm ZM lens US$895
Zeiss Planar T* 2.0/50mm ZM lens US$695
Choice of chrome or black, worldwide shipping included.
Zeiss hood for Biogon 35 and Planar 50 US$79

The ZI body

Looks like a cheaper Leica, but better quality than the much cheaper Voigtländer Bessa alternatives. Time will tell. Initial reviews, despite carping about the "lower quality build than a Leica", all tend to agree that the oversized "high eye-point" viewfinder is pretty good (see links at bottom of page).

<LUG - v28/msg1485054.html> (Oct 2004) contains a paragraph of commentary by Stephen Gandy about the Zeiss Ikon prototypes on display at the 2004 Photokina.

ZM lenses

According p.4 of the Zeiss Camera Lens News Newsletter (No.20, September 2004):

With the ZM lens range for 35 mm still photography, ZEISS introduces at Photokina 2004 a set of newly designed lenses that brings to still photography the enormous optical performance, the resolving power, stray-light suppression, mechanical precision and durability of ZEISS cine lenses.

So it appears the Zeiss Ikon resurgence is mainly a platform to allow stills photographers to use Zeiss cine lenses. Cool! Remains to be seen how good they are when compared to old Leica favourites though…

Links to reviews, samples etc.

A note about possible broken links

This FAQ has over 900 external links. Over time it is inevitable some of them will break. If you are bothered by this, see this detailed topic elsewhere in the FAQ.

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