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Author Topic: ZD users please check  (Read 32914 times)
Frank Doorhof
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« on: August 17, 2007, 04:25:06 PM »
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I have recently switched my back for one with a newer firmware.
The old one I used on ISO200 and ISO400 several times with good results.

Today I used the new back (new firmware) for the first time on ISO125 and higher, the strange thing is I get a very strange effect in the picture.
It's best described as random strings of purple, it looks like VERY VERY large dust area's but longer streched and with a slightly purple color.

Also with the NEW back I have a slight green shift in the bottom in portrait setting.

The old back was almost perfect with coloruniformity.

I heard from one other user about the purple anomalities so I wonder if there are more.
I have an appointment with Mamiya next week to see if they can solve this for me, but the more people I bring in the better case I have, instead of just changing the back for one that maybe will have the same problem.
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Anders_HK
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« Reply #1 on: August 17, 2007, 06:31:52 PM »
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Frank,

I have not come across same on my new ZD camera with later serial number FD. Nor have I read of it in forums or other writings during all my research of the ZD camera. They must be able to fix.

Regards
Anders
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mcfoto
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« Reply #2 on: August 17, 2007, 07:08:10 PM »
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Frank
I am about to send my ZD camera in for a firmware upgrade to Japan. What firmware upgrade is it that is causing the problem. Even with the problem the iso 400 is outstanding compared to my ZD camera. My ZD is from March 2006 one of the first cameras released. Keep up the good work.
Denis
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Denis Montalbetti
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frankric
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« Reply #3 on: August 17, 2007, 08:36:07 PM »
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I haven't seen any of the purple/green blobs as described with my ZD camera.

I did notice some uneven colours in some shots, so I did some test shooting of white foamboard outside in open shade to figure out what was happening. I found a consistent red/cyan unevenness across the frame as per the attached jpeg. I tried several different lenses and apertures and all showed the same thing. Also took some shots with my Canon 5D at the same time, just to be sure..... They were perfectly even across the frame.

With the centre of the frame set to neutral, Lightroom reports about 1% higher red on the extreme LH side of the frame, a bit less than that on the RHS.

I'd bought my camera from a well known internet dealer with a sterling reputation, so I advised them of my results. They advised that they had seen a similar thing in all the other ZD cameras they had tested and also in their Hassy H3D 39. They said that they felt this was a characteristic, not a fault, but that they would be happy to investigate further if I sent the camera back to them. They also claimed that Mamiya Digital Photo Studio's lens correction function rectified it. I couldn't see that it made any difference, but I didn't look too hard as I've got no intention of using that particular software in my normal workflow.

The problem is readily fixed with a masked adjustment layer in Photoshop, so at this stage I've left it at that.

Anyone else seen something similar? My camera is an FD serial (I understand FE is the latest) using Camera Firmware 1.00 and Firmware 1.03.

[attachment=3033:attachment]

Regards

Frank
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espressogeek
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« Reply #4 on: August 18, 2007, 12:04:57 AM »
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Eeeek, that purple blobing looks harsh. First the M8 issues that cause me to return it now the ZD back is having problems before I pull the trigger.

I saw that ZD back in Nashville too. Have you asked the pro shop what they thought about it? Some of the fellas in that shop seem rather unmotivated to sell me a piece of high dollar kit and that always annoys me.

I'll keep following this thread. Thanks for sharing with us and good luck!
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Frank Doorhof
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« Reply #5 on: August 18, 2007, 01:31:44 AM »
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The coloruniformaty is rather normal indeed, when you measure a tv set you will see the same, and that is not the problem, I have included the file I have send to Mamiya here.

Attachment didn't work
http://www.doorhof.nl/vb/purple.zip don't mind the picture it's not a good one but on this one it was most easily seen.
« Last Edit: August 18, 2007, 01:37:43 AM by Frank Doorhof » Logged
Frank Doorhof
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« Reply #6 on: August 18, 2007, 01:40:11 AM »
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@Anders,
You have the same problem, sorry.
Check your ISO400 shots from the factory on the lower part you can clearly see the purple discollerarisation, look for example at the plateau in the metal standing plate and to the right of that, it's less obvious in those shots but it can be seen.
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Anders_HK
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« Reply #7 on: August 18, 2007, 03:15:33 AM »
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@Anders,
You have the same problem, sorry.
Check your ISO400 shots from the factory on the lower part you can clearly see the purple discollerarisation, look for example at the plateau in the metal standing plate and to the right of that, it's less obvious in those shots but it can be seen.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=133972\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Frank,

Yikes! Thanks (+ unfortunate thanks...     ). Hm... is this serious problem or are we pixel peeping too much? I mean... I sure will check my photo when evening because during day too much light for my display. For most, are we speaking serious problem or simply like implied above perhaps the nature of the sensor (hence UK dealer H3D)?

 

Regards
Anders
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Frank Doorhof
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« Reply #8 on: August 18, 2007, 09:29:33 AM »
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Well follow my link on www.doorhof.nl/vb/purple.zip
I have half my session like this, and for me that means throwing them away.
I can't photoshop this.

A small coloruniformaty problem is a non issue, just select the part and colorbalance, my 20D had the same problem and in 99% of the shots it's not seen, except on gray graduates it's annoying.

But this is MUCH worse.
And in my old back I had clean shots.
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H1/A75 Guy
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« Reply #9 on: August 18, 2007, 10:08:47 AM »
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Frank, Sorry to hear about your current problem. I enjoy your contributions on these forums very much. I also like your work. It would be nice to see you come on over to the dark side and see what you can do with 16 bits.
David
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Frank Doorhof
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« Reply #10 on: August 18, 2007, 11:43:01 AM »
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At the moment I'm looking at what leaf has for options.
However I would have to pay 6000-7000 euros more and at the moment that budget is not available how much I would love to.

Mamiya just has to solve this, this is a ridicilous problem.
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JDBFreeheel
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« Reply #11 on: August 18, 2007, 02:16:33 PM »
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The coloruniformaty is rather normal indeed, when you measure a tv set you will see the same, and that is not the problem, I have included the file I have send to Mamiya here.

Attachment didn't work
http://www.doorhof.nl/vb/purple.zip don't mind the picture it's not a good one but on this one it was most easily seen.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=133971\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Frank and others:

I just purchased by ZD back from K&M Camera in NYC.  Good guys there.  

In the retail box, I found a "Read Me First" card.  It states, "The first time you use your Mamiya ZD Digital Back, first put the ZD Back on the camera, hen place the battery into the battery compartment of the ZD Back.  If not done in this order, you may have the following experience:

In some cases, the first few images may have a green cast visible on the screen.  If so, simply do this:
1.  Turn off the camera
2. Open and close the battery cover, but do not remove the battery
3. Turn on the camera
4. Begin your picture taking

You should see images with the proper colors."

When I took my first test shots on the back, I noticed a green/purple cast on the right side of the shots.  But, after taking the back off, taking the battery out and then putting it back in, I don't see this particular cast.

This begs a few questions:
1) Are these "Read Me First" cards new or have they always been included in the retail packaging?
2) Does this "trick" remove the color cast issues that some of us are seeing or is this a different issue?
3) If there are color issues (casts, blobs, etc), is Mamiya working on a solution or not?

I can't imagine that they'll leave us in the dark forever.  I just made sure to submit my warranty card and if there are issues, I trust they'll take care of them.

Here's hoping. I still love the back, however.

-Josh
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Frank Doorhof
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« Reply #12 on: August 18, 2007, 03:09:59 PM »
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Trust me that's not my problem

I have using the back for over 2 months now.
My first back did not have these problems.
I'm not posting this after my first shots.
I have the new back for 3 weeks now and noticed it yesterday.
During a session the system has been powered down several time.
The purple worms are not something that is solved by removing a battery, in that case I should not have it every session, during the session the battery compartment has to be openend several times because I'm experiencing at the moment big problems with shooting tethered.

It seems like the system is falling apart under my fingers the last few days.

I could not properly test tethered shooting because my cable was not in, it has been in for a week now and have been trying to get the system working ever since.

It does work.....
But it can hang during a session on the first or 40th shot.
The camera will NOT shut down, untill the last picture is send to the PC than it will shut down and I can restart and use it again.
It's not the buffer because it happens during the first or second exposure in a series or the 10th or 8th (totally random).

I have tried everything :
Restarting the back
Restarting the whole system (which seems to work)
A firewire booster straight under the cam with a 15cm cable
A highend 4-5-6-9,9mtr cable

Everything without solving the problem.

Mamiya is working on it I'm told, but now the purple worms and I see that now with other ZD's also, so I'm beginning to get a bit worried.

Again my old back was not showing them
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bcroslin
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« Reply #13 on: August 18, 2007, 04:05:36 PM »
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I'm demoing a ZD back courtesy of Steve Hendrix and PPR and so far the only thing I've seen that is close to the weird purple blobs was when opening up a shadow area in PS ACR on a dark colored piece of furnture. I opened the shadows up at least 2 stops and there was a purple-ish noisy blob. When normally proccessing the file in the Mamiya software I get zero blobs and little to no shadow noise.

The files I've correctly exposed at ISO 100 don't contain any out-of-the-ordinary noise when processed with ACR. The firmware version on the back I have is 0.01.

I'm impressed so far with the ZD back. The buffer doesn't seem to be an issue as I don't hammer on the shutter and normally I shoot on lights so I'm waiting for the pack to recycle.

The LCD on the other hand is nearly useless. If not for the histogram it wouldn't even be worth using. The Canon S850 point and shoot my buddy just bought for $300 has a better LCD! Not sure what Mamiya was thinking.

Frank: what difference did the firmware upgrade make besides purple worms? Is there even a reason to upgrade the firmware?
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Bob Croslin, Photographer
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mcfoto
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« Reply #14 on: August 18, 2007, 07:33:55 PM »
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Hi
Has anyone tried Raw Developer with these files ( problem ones )?
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Denis Montalbetti
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bcroslin
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« Reply #15 on: August 18, 2007, 10:36:46 PM »
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Has anyone tried Raw Developer with these files ( problem ones )?

I ran the file that I was getting the blob through RD and saw similar results when opening the shadows up. If I process the file normally and add the appropriate amount of contrast, sharpening and noise reduction the file looks gorgeous.

Same goes for non-problematic files as well. I forgot just how nice RD is.
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Bob Croslin, Photographer
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Frank Doorhof
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« Reply #16 on: August 19, 2007, 02:27:30 AM »
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Can you please expose at ISO200 ?
When I shoot at ISO50 the files are clean.
When I shoot at ISO100 it's hardly seen.
On ISO200 there are almost in every shot (depending on how obvious you can see them of course, on a nature shot they are hardly seen.

The first back I got crashed on me about every 20-30 frames, the shutter would not fire and the error no dB was shown very much.
This was however something I knew about and did not mention in my review because it was already told by me it would be solved when I got a final release back.
Also firewire was not connected on that back, again something I knew.

The new back has not crashed on me when shooting on the card, to be honest when shooting on the card everything is wonderful on ISO50/100 I absolutly LOVE the quality of the pictures, nothing wrong there

However I had to trash 50% of my location session I shot on ISO200 and that's unexceptable of course.
I will for 95% shoot on ISO50 but I do NEED ISO200 for some location and difficult light work.
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bcroslin
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« Reply #17 on: August 19, 2007, 10:52:18 AM »
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Can you please expose at ISO200 ?
Shooting at ISO 200 I am seeing some funky purple noise. I just exposed a frame and I'm seeing some purple banding in the shadows and a strange purple bubble-like spot of noise.

I don't expect to shoot this back at anything other than ISO 50 and 100 so the noise doesn't concern me that much. I saw some noise with my Valeo 22 Wi at ISO 100 and 200 was totally unusable. Applying Noise Ninja eliminated the majority of the noise in the shadows but it will not clean up the banding or the wierd bubble.

Something that I'm very concerned about is the purple line down the far right side of the frame.

I'm going to do some serious testing today. I'm still sold on the back but the weird purple noise does have me a bit freaked out.
[attachment=3050:attachment]
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Bob Croslin, Photographer
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« Reply #18 on: August 19, 2007, 10:57:56 AM »
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Pinkish-purple fringe on right I noted.
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Bob Croslin, Photographer
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« Reply #19 on: August 19, 2007, 11:59:56 AM »
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Pinkish-purple fringe on right I noted.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=134135\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Bob,

This is exactly the same banding that I saw with my first few test shots upon receiving my zd back.  As I stated in a previous post, I "reset" the back by taking out the battery, removing the back from my afd, and then reattaching and the banding seems to be gone.  While, I agree with Frank that this is not the same issue all together nor is this "temp solution" probably addressing the  issue entirely, I wonder if there's something about "residual' noise build up when the back is used over time. Has anyone heard of this?

I even noticed this purple fringe on the back's screen which, given the poor quality of the screen, is all the more worrisome if we can even see it there.  

I'll do a bunch of test shots today too to see if there are any patterns to this behavior.  Lastly, I wonder if there are connections/patterns between the equipment and lenses we are using.  Do we see the color anomalies using certain lenses, or the afd rather than the afdII?

I'll test today with multiple lenses.  I'm shooting on an afd.

-Josh
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