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Author Topic: Mamiya ZD  (Read 15467 times)
Quentin
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« on: March 05, 2006, 07:58:23 PM »
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I can't (yet) fulfill Michael's quest for an owner review of the Mamiya ZD, but I am on the waiting list and I had an opportunity to handle one (two in fact) at Focus on Imaging in Birmingham UK a few days ago.  I even got to stick my CF card in a live one a shoot a few frames.  I am undecided about it so if I don't buy one, I'd be interested to read someone elses review.

Robert White have been promised the ZD since the end of 2004    They and the UK importers are as frustrated as potential buyers at the delay.   Any day now they should have some in.  

My thumbnail impressions to keep you going pending a full review:  big, like a regular dslr on steroids, quite comfortable to hold, mirror slap is reasonable for a MF camera, focusing is OK (tried with a 35mm lens).  Rear screen is too small and you can't zoom in to 100% - you can zoom a little but not enough (wonder if that can be fixed in firmware?).  

Of my 6 raw shots, 5 were underexposed.  The one that was not was shot at 125ISO (base is 50ISO).  There was noticeable noise, but fairly grain like.  I'm guessing this is a 50ISO camera.  Excellent detail, good colour.  I decoded the raw file with both SilkyPix (its big in Japan, and I think its very good) and the latest ACR.  

Noise was the big issue for me.  I would want to try it at 50-100ISO properly set up and exposed.  Lots of detail and the 35mm Maiya lens is obvioulsly very sharp even wide open.

With a Canon 1Ds III mooted for announcement in the fall, if that had 20 plus mp, I wonder why you'd buy the Mamiya in preference.  If it had been released a year ago, it would have been a sensation, but now, the window of opportunity might be narrow.  This is one of the reasons (plus the noise) I am having second thoughts.

Quentin
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Quentin Bargate, ARPS, Author, photographer entrepreneur and senior partner of Bargate Murray, Law Firm of the Year 2013
BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2006, 10:10:11 PM »
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Thanks for the report Quentin.

There are actually ZD for rental available in Tokyo (30.000 Yen a day), but I am not sure whether I want to invest that kind of money to test a piece of equipment that I will most probably not purchase in the end. Your point about the Canon 2Ds (or Nikon D3x) is indeed completely valid...

I am still considering giving it a try though.

Regards,
Bernard
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A few images online here!
bob mccarthy
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« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2006, 07:22:00 AM »
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I am of the impression that med format chips and processes exhibit better dynamic range.

Or is it the Kodak chip which by most reports does very well in DR in the new Leica camera?

Bob
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Gary Ferguson
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« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2006, 10:14:18 AM »
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The UK ZD price at Robert White is 7k. The UK trade is starting to get reasonably regular stocks of used digital backs, there's  P20's for 5-8k and Phase One refurbished and guaranteed P25's at 9-10k.
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Quentin
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« Reply #4 on: March 07, 2006, 04:14:40 PM »
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The UK ZD price at Robert White is 7k. The UK trade is starting to get reasonably regular stocks of used digital backs, there's  P20's for 5-8k and Phase One refurbished and guaranteed P25's at 9-10k.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=59688\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Exactly.  I've also seen a  complete Hassy H1, with P20 back plus 35mm and 50mm lenses, chargers, etc going for not that much more than the ZD (which is body only).  I expect the Hassy setup might deliver better real world results, given the P20 is a proven performer despite being "only" 16mp.  

This is why I now think ZD is a year too late to market.  I expect its price to fall significantly within a few months.  I worry it could signal the end of Mamiya if its not a success.

Quentin
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John Camp
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« Reply #5 on: March 08, 2006, 11:19:03 AM »
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  I worry it could signal the end of Mamiya if its not a success.

Quentin
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Quentin,

This would seem to me to be another reason not to buy it, even if it works okay.

Completely aside from any of its photographic qualities, I think the ZD is already going to be a sales dud. The initial reviews haven't been that good and the competiton is marching on.  If Mamiya goes down, and if you have a problem with the camera, you might find it difficult to get support. Canon or Nikon seems to me to be the better choice at this point.

Mamiya, IMHO, should be figuring out a way to put the ZD back -- not the whole unit -- on every RZ and RB and 645, rather than screwing around with something that's going to get run over by Canon. A decent retrofitted back might do well; there's an ocean of good Mamiya equipment out there...but that doesn't seem to be where they're putting the emphasis.

I'm watching Michael's MF experiments very closely; if I ever decide to go MF again (I'm a former RZ owner) it's probably going to be with the just-going-out back (like the 22 mp backs now.) I don't know what you shoot, but the 22mp backs are "good enough" for anything I need, and I'd hope that the manufacturer will be around to support them.

JC
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Anon E. Mouse
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« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2006, 06:43:22 PM »
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The reviews in Japan are saying noise is a big problem for this camera. And it is very noticable in the sample images.

But I would not worry about Mamiya. They will still make very good fishing rods and Pachinko ball dispensors.  
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Quentin
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« Reply #7 on: March 09, 2006, 05:18:52 AM »
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Quentin,

This would seem to me to be another reason not to buy it, even if it works okay.

Completely aside from any of its photographic qualities, I think the ZD is already going to be a sales dud. The initial reviews haven't been that good and the competiton is marching on.  If Mamiya goes down, and if you have a problem with the camera, you might find it difficult to get support. Canon or Nikon seems to me to be the better choice at this point.

Mamiya, IMHO, should be figuring out a way to put the ZD back -- not the whole unit -- on every RZ and RB and 645, rather than screwing around with something that's going to get run over by Canon. A decent retrofitted back might do well; there's an ocean of good Mamiya equipment out there...but that doesn't seem to be where they're putting the emphasis.

I'm watching Michael's MF experiments very closely; if I ever decide to go MF again (I'm a former RZ owner) it's probably going to be with the just-going-out back (like the 22 mp backs now.) I don't know what you shoot, but the 22mp backs are "good enough" for anything I need, and I'd hope that the manufacturer will be around to support them.

JC
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John, your thinking is similar to my own.  I have now dropped the ZD idea altogether.  even if the camera can be made to work better than now, its much less versatile than a back.

Sadly, I fear the ZD is a dog.   I'll pick one up on ebay in a couple of years for $500     Pro tem, I am experimenting with a 10x8 view camera, and will wait and see how the medium format back market develops.  Michael's new system sounds great, but I am not prepared to spend that much on digital technology at this stage in the game.

Quentin
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BJL
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« Reply #8 on: March 09, 2006, 03:04:13 PM »
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Even though neither Quentin nor I are going to buy one, Mamiya has announced the official UK release of the ZD: 7,000 pounds UK before tax (which converts to just over US$12,000).
http://www.dpreview.com/news/0603/06030903mamiyazd.asp
« Last Edit: March 09, 2006, 03:07:51 PM by BJL » Logged
Quentin
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« Reply #9 on: March 09, 2006, 03:27:16 PM »
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Even though neither Quentin nor I are going to buy one, Mamiya has announced the official UK release of the ZD: 7,000 pounds UK before tax (which converts to just over US$12,000).
http://www.dpreview.com/news/0603/06030903mamiyazd.asp
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=59914\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

They had them (2) at Teamworkphoto in London today - they arrived while I was there.  Robert White expect to get a few next week.

Quentin
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Quentin Bargate, ARPS, Author, photographer entrepreneur and senior partner of Bargate Murray, Law Firm of the Year 2013
Paul Jameson
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« Reply #10 on: March 23, 2006, 09:09:10 AM »
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Mamiya, IMHO, should be figuring out a way to put the ZD back -- not the whole unit -- on every RZ and RB and 645, rather than screwing around with something that's going to get run over by Canon. A decent retrofitted back might do well; there's an ocean of good Mamiya equipment out there...but that doesn't seem to be where they're putting the emphasis.

I'm watching Michael's MF experiments very closely; if I ever decide to go MF again (I'm a former RZ owner) it's probably going to be with the just-going-out back (like the 22 mp backs now.) I don't know what you shoot, but the 22mp backs are "good enough" for anything I need, and I'd hope that the manufacturer will be around to support them.

JC
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John I entirely agree with you. I have an army of RZ gear in waiting, although of corse it would lack the wide capabilities that mamiya talked about a while back about intoducing a 43mm for the RZ. Shame it never made it, perhaps in the future? (PLEASE???)

This would be a brilliant move and one would far greatly consider more than the ZD body.
« Last Edit: March 23, 2006, 09:09:45 AM by Paul Jameson » Logged
Quentin
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« Reply #11 on: March 28, 2006, 09:51:02 AM »
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Not a huge amount of buzz following on from the ZD review.  I don't sense people are clamouring for the camera.  The ZD back might be a different proposition if it ever gets released.  Ho hum  

Quentin
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Let Biogons be Biogons
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« Reply #12 on: March 28, 2006, 10:25:18 AM »
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I suspect that if it had 16-bit conversion and took Contax 645 lenses, there might be a bit more clamouring going on...
;-)

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Not a huge amount of buzz following on from the ZD review.  I don't sense people are clamouring for the camera.  The ZD back might be a different proposition if it ever gets released.  Ho hum   

Quentin
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ivan muller
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« Reply #13 on: March 30, 2006, 09:40:06 AM »
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I had the oppurtunity to test a ZD on tuesday. I made lots of images at different iso's and with different lenses. Raw only. So far I am impressed. Just did a A3+ B&W print from a converted colour file. ISO 50 and image was very sharp and absolutely no noise. At iso 400 noise is very visible at 100%, but once again printed to A3+, B&W it reminded me of slightly grainy film but still very sharp. I have a 50mm shift lens for this camera and although not too wide fits in with my take an interiors (I try to avoid the wide angle look) and at 100% images looked ok even at f16/f22. So far I think it could be a very good buy for the price and quality. Maybe its not as good as phase 1 or leaf or hasselblad but it might just be good enough!

Plusses:
big viewfinder
huge files
wide angle lenses are far better than 35mm
mirror up button on top of body, very easy & quick to use
Price!
Price of lenses

regards

Ivan
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mcfoto
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« Reply #14 on: April 05, 2006, 09:27:11 PM »
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I suspect that if it had 16-bit conversion and took Contax 645 lenses, there might be a bit more clamouring going on...
;-)
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Hi
I will be getting a ZD tomorrow to test and I have already shot with it in the studio I was impressed so far. That is compared to my Canon 5D. This is a iso 50 (RAW) in the studio with flash.   As far as Mamiya lenses go take a look at Popular photography tests. Plus on the Mamiya site there is another test done by Popular Photography comparing Mamiya & Contax. Bottom line there isn't much difference.
 Thanks Denis Montalbetti
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Denis Montalbetti
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ivan muller
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« Reply #15 on: April 06, 2006, 01:24:58 AM »
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Will appreciate your opinion. Have considered geting a 5D but frankly the wide angle lens performance concerns me. Also building up a whole 35mm lens system, that is inherently flawed when I already have a whole bunch of lenses for the ZD makes no sense, to me. I scanned some old 6x7 400iso col negs the other day, and viewed at 100% there was considerable noise. I would say no less than the ZD at 400iso. I think the problem is that in the days of film we very seldom viewed our negs at that magnification. Also when we wanted ultimate quality we were quite happy with velvia 50.  
I suppose we have become spoilt with the canon,s and low noise at 800iso! so much so that we are prepare to put up with inferior quality wides. Makes no sense to me!
Thanks Ivan
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« Reply #16 on: April 10, 2006, 04:58:56 AM »
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Hi
I understand your position as I own three lenses for my Canon 5D have been a user of Canon for 30 years. I use the Mamiya 645 AFD II for jobs with the Aptus 22 ( we rent the Aptus ). Plus I have 4 lenses my favorite being the 55-110 Zoom use it almost every shoot now. The quality is amazing.One of the big advantages with the Mamiya is that you can get used lenses really cheap ie: 400-500 USD for a 45 mm 2.8. Take a look at ebay.
    I am really excited to have the use of a Mamiya ZD for the next few weeks to play with. I really love the size and it feels great! I will try Silypix for a RAW processor and Neat for noise control to. At ISO 50 in the studio the file was excellent. The Aptus still has better colour plus it is a 16 bit file. I am going to have some fun with this camera!!!!.
Thanks Denis Montalbetti
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Denis Montalbetti
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BJL
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« Reply #17 on: April 10, 2006, 02:17:57 PM »
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Have considered geting a 5D but frankly the wide angle lens performance concerns me.
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On the other hand, with the ZD sensor being 36x48mm and the shortest lens for it 35mm, the wide angle coverage is only comparable to 23mm-27mm (depending on desired print shape) on a 24x36mm camera like the 5D, so for now it only makes sense to compare to Canon lenses down to about 24mm. That wide angle coverage limit is about the same for any current medium format system, with no lens shorter than 35mm and no sensor bigger than 39x49mm.

Also, for noise considerations, you should look at color prints unless you only work in B&W: to me, by far the most objectionable consequence of noise is the "confetti" of color noise.


Not that noise at elevated ISO speeds would matter to me in medium format: such large formats are inherently of interest mainly for low ISO speed work, as has been the case for a long time with medium and large format film. The lower aperture ratios available in smaller formats like 24x36mm wipe out any imagined noise level or dynamic range advantage for the larger format except when they are used at optimal low ISO speed.
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Sami Kulju
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« Reply #18 on: April 10, 2006, 04:03:24 PM »
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Hi!

We had an opportunity to use ZD among with several other cameras and MFDB:s couple of days ago. I would say that ISO 50 was pretty good in studio. Actually all cameras were good... :-)

If You like You can check some jpeg:s from our site:

http://www.studiosamikulju.fi/playground/index.html

It is not a test or review. We mainly wanted to get an overall look how these cameras and MFDB:s handle same lightning and subjects. Very non-scientific.

sami
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Sami Kulju / Helsinki - Finland
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rethmeier
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« Reply #19 on: April 10, 2006, 04:38:17 PM »
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Hello Dennis,
are you sure the ZD capture is in 16 bit?
Cheers,
Willem.
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Willem Rethmeier
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