Carl Zeiss AG Press Release:
Oberkochen, August 15, 2006. The Zeiss Ikon SW is the 35mm precision camera for uncompromising superwide photographers. Its lens mount takes any lens with M bayonet, in particular the ZEISS high performance superwide-angle lenses Distagon T* 2,8/15mm ZM and the Biogon T* types from the ZEISS ZM range. An accessory shoe directly above the lens takes the corresponding superwide Viewfinder. A second shoe is built in to take a flash, a bubble level or other accessory. The electronically controlled metal focal plane shutter offers speeds ranging from 1/2000 sec. â€“ 8 sec. in automatic mode (AE-lock is available) and 1/2000 – 1 sec. + B in manual mode. Fastest flash synchro speed is 1/125 sec.
The Zeiss Ikon SW offers the same extremely high image quality as the known Zeiss Ikon rangefinder camera: far above todayâ€™s digital cameras. It is fully integrated into the Zeiss Ikon system. The Zeiss Ikon SW comes without the complex rangefinder and is therefore considerably more affordable than the rangefinder camera.
The Zeiss Ikon SW will be available as of October 2006. List price is 799,00 € (without VAT)
Camera type: 35mm camera with focal plane shutter and TTL light metering.
Film format: 24 x 36mm on 35mm film
Lenses: Intended to be used with short focal length types of the Carl Zeiss T* ZM-mount lens family in combination with an external viewfinder. Other M-mount lenses, including M39 screw mount lenses with an M â€“ mount adapter can be used.
Exposure metering: TTL center-weighted metering at working aperture.
Metering range at ISO 100 and f/2: EV0-EV19 (f/2-4 sec., f/16-1/2000 sec.)
Film speed range: ISO 25-3200 manually set in 1/3 f-stop increments.
Exposure modes: AE with aperture priority or manual; AE lock option for a single exposure or for a sequence of exposures; exposure compensation +/-2 f-stops in 1/3 stops set at shutter speed dial.
LED display: Combination of 3 LED indicates shutter speed setting situation.
Shutter and shutter speed: Vertical-travel metal focal-plane shutter with electronically controlled speeds accurate to 1/12 f-stop.
Range in Automatic mode: 8 sec. to 1/2000 sec.
Range in Manual mode: 1 sec. to 1/2000 sec. in 1-stop increments; B.
Flash synch: Synchronization at 1/125 sec. and longer shutter speeds
Film transport: Rapid-wind manual advance lever, with ratcheted partial advance
Camera body: One-piece aluminum base structure, external magnesium covers, tripod thread 1/4 inch in base, two accessory shoes for external viewfinder and flash
Batteries: One CR 1/3 Lithium or two 1.5 V cells type LR44 or SR44
Dimensions: 138mm W x 72.5mm H x 32mm D (5.4â€ W x 2.9â€ H x 1.3â€ D).
Weight: 395g (13.9 oz.)
Carl Zeiss is a leading international group of companies operating worldwide in the optical and opto-electronic industry. Carl Zeiss AG is headquartered in Oberkochen, Germany. The business groups, which each operate with sole responsibility, are generally ranked first or second in the strategic markets of biosciences and medical technology, system solutions for industry and optical consumer goods. They offer products and services for biomedical research and medical technology, system solutions for the semiconductor, automotive and mechanical engineering industries, as well as high-quality consumer goods such as camera lenses and binoculars. In fiscal year 2004/05 (ended 30 September) the Carl Zeiss Group generated sales totaling EUR 2,222 million. Carl Zeiss has 11,500 members of staff, including 3,300 outside Germany. The Carl Zeiss Group is directly represented in more than 30 countries and operates production facilities in Europe, America and Asia.
The eyeglass business now operates as Carl Zeiss Vision International GmbH and is the number two eyeglass provider in the world. This company is owned 50:50 by Carl Zeiss AG and a private equity company.
So the superwide distinction means this camera does not have a rangefinder/viewfinder, and requires the use of a hotshoe mounted finder. I have a Voigtlander Bessa-L, which has a similar setup, and cost all of $79.
Hah! Sounds like the Bessa is the way to go, then! €799 does seem steep for what really is a box with a shutter and a meter (but then, that’s what most cameras are).
To be fair, the Bessa-L is a Leica screw mount camera, and originally cost around $300. It’s still on closeout at cameraquest.com for $99. More info here: