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Thread: Mamiya ZD and ZDb

  1. #1
    canon5dshooter
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    Mamiya ZD and ZDb

    Has anyone ever compared the ZD to the ZDb double buffer back? Does the double buffer back have purple blobbing that the original ZD had? Does anyone have any Raw files I can check out?

  2. #2
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    Re: Mamiya ZD and ZDb

    What purple blobbing?

  3. #3
    Jeff Laitila
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    Re: Mamiya ZD and ZDb

    I've got an original ZD Back and I have not experienced any problems at all with it.

    Can you provide a link to some examples of the issue you are referring to? That might help with getting some more comprehensive relies to your inquiry.

  4. #4
    Member jdbfreeheel's Avatar
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    Re: Mamiya ZD and ZDb

    I'll have to dig for posts online, but there was a well documented and well-discussed (argued) issue related to purple blobs in some of the darks (and lights? I forget).

    I had a ZD back that had something that might have been "blobs" but it had a number of other issues (electrical).

    When working, the original ZD with that great sensor, produced fantastic images.

  5. #5
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    Re: Mamiya ZD and ZDb

    The purple blob problem and other teething problems with the ZD back were discussed on the Luminous Landscape forum quite a while back - a search there should turn up some threads.

    I don't recall seeing any reports from ZDb users at all, one way or another.

  6. #6
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    Re: Mamiya ZD and ZDb

    The purple blobs were blotchy areas in deep shadows which had a purple color. Mamiya said it was due to the poor application of some coatings to the sensor and the problem was corrected. Some people speculated it had to due with the back's digital processing. The problem occurred mid-run and appears to be have affected a certain production run. Those posts have faded away, so I'm guessing whatever the issue was, it has since been resolved.

    I've been using a ZD camera for a year. Based on its serial number it's a newer camera model (in the ZD run) and I have not seen "blobs" or "worms". If there is enough light to drive ISO 50, it's a very nice camera.

  7. #7
    canon5dshooter
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    Re: Mamiya ZD and ZDb

    Thanks for the feedback all. I had wondered if this got resolved and it appeared that it has. While the problem was well documented I never saw the resolution so well documented.

    The ZDb , for its asking price on BH, seems like a smoking deal. I'm looking for something that can do autofocus with medium format now that I have parted ways with my P21 + Hasselblad 501c combo.

  8. #8
    canon5dshooter
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    Re: Mamiya ZD and ZDb

    Quick question that is a bit OT, can you mount a contax or hasselblad lens to the Mamiya 645 and still get focus confirmation via the auto focus dot?

  9. #9
    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Mamiya ZD and ZDb

    Quote Originally Posted by canon5dshooter View Post
    Quick question that is a bit OT, can you mount a contax or hasselblad lens to the Mamiya 645 and still get focus confirmation via the auto focus dot?
    You can mount almost any mechanically adjustable MF lens and use it on the Mamiya assuming you have an appropriate adapter. So, Hassy V lenses yes via an adapter, but not Hassy H or Contax as they have electronic apertures and no way to control them from the Mamiya body.
    Jack
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  10. #10
    canon5dshooter
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    Re: Mamiya ZD and ZDb

    Thanks for pointing that out Jack. I forgot about the electronics in the Contax lenses. :-(

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post
    You can mount almost any mechanically adjustable MF lens and use it on the Mamiya assuming you have an appropriate adapter. So, Hassy V lenses yes via an adapter, but not Hassy H or Contax as they have electronic apertures and no way to control them from the Mamiya body.

  11. #11
    SecondFocus
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    Re: Mamiya ZD and ZDb

    Interesting I was just looking at some photos I shot with the ZD back when it was first introduced. I may have been the first person published with it with a magazine cover and a couple of features.

    First, about the purple blobs or whatever. According to MAC Group it was a problem with a few early units but corrected and the backs that had the problem were replaced.

    About the back itself, I found the photos superb and the back easy to use. Yes it was easy to over-run the buffer in the first version but I don't shoot that fast anyway. The newer model would probably be fine for my work.

    I found the colors very accurate and compared to Canon files in regards to color a pleasure, excellent skin tones and I found fabric excellent. Even shooting up to ISO 400 was acceptable for some work.

    I think the back is an exceptional value.

  12. #12
    SecondFocus
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    Re: Mamiya ZD and ZDb

    By the way I shot the ZD back on a Mamiya 645AFDII and Mamiya AF lenses.

  13. #13
    SecondFocus
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    Re: Mamiya ZD and ZDb

    Here is a link to the cover I shot with the ZD on the Mamiya...

    Private Clubs Magazine

    Private Clubs is the membership magazine for Club Corp, owner and operator of approx 170 country clubs and such around the world. They expect fairly high quality photos for their covers and the Mamiya delivered.

  14. #14
    Member dogstarnyc's Avatar
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    Re: Mamiya ZD and ZDb

    I have to add I still have my ZD back and am loathed to part with it. I will have to soon as I want a 39mp back or higher but the ZD was so undersold, maybe if the earlier models didn't have those issues it might have received better initial press, it's a sweet, simple back that is slower than most of the others and really shines in the 50-200 ISO range. Excellent value for money, even as a back up

    Yesterday I was printing some big prints for an exhibition and the files really do pop, it reminded me how much fun I had using it.

    i mentioned on a different thread how my ZD back bailed us out on a fashion shoot in Utah, we had a battery charging problem with a Phase back and bingo, the ZD just 'worked' out there on the salt flats, on the highway.. perfect...

    So canon5dshooter, go get one, but remember it isn't a 22mp machine gun like your 5d.

  15. #15
    canon5dshooter
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    Re: Mamiya ZD and ZDb

    I appreciate all of the feedback provided.

    I think I'll pick one up to try out. The combination of the ZDb for 3700 and a nice used AFD II seems like a great way to get that medium format look with autofocus on the "cheap".

    I'm not a machine gun shooter so the speed of the ZDb will probably exceed my shooting speed 99 percent of the time or more.

  16. #16
    canon5dshooter
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    Re: Mamiya ZD and ZDb

    Hello all,
    I picked up the ZD camera and I notice that I need anywhere from 30 to 50 points of magenta tint to get good color balance on the files that the ZD produces. Has anyone else noticed this?

  17. #17
    Senior Member Quentin_Bargate's Avatar
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    Re: Mamiya ZD and ZDb

    Quote Originally Posted by canon5dshooter View Post
    Hello all,
    I picked up the ZD camera and I notice that I need anywhere from 30 to 50 points of magenta tint to get good color balance on the files that the ZD produces. Has anyone else noticed this?
    No, and I've owned a ZD camera for several years. Try a different raw converter, or try a different white balance.

    Quentin
    Quentin Bargate
    Director of Bargate Murray, Law Firm of the Year 2012 - 2017, ”leading individual”, Chambers HNW guide, 2017, Photographer

  18. #18
    canon5dshooter
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    Re: Mamiya ZD and ZDb

    Thanks Quentin,
    I tried the files in Capture One 5 and they look great. I suspect Lightroom and ACR are totally useless for this camera.

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