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Thread: Mamiya ZD back, substitute or replacement for Mamiya PB-401 battery

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Mamiya ZD back, substitute or replacement for Mamiya PB-401 battery

    Just wanted to post this for the two or three other folks in the whole world that may be using a ZD back The Mamiya PB 401 batteries are outrageously priced, ($169.95 at B&H as of this writing) and precious little information is available about optional replacements or substitutes. HOWEVER, after a little digging, I found that the Minolta NP-400 is a direct replacement and as of this writing is available from B&H for $9.95 -- yes, that's $9.95. FWIW...

    Cheers,
    Jack
    home: www.getdpi.com

    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

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    Re: Mamiya ZD back, substitute or replacement for Mamiya PB-401 battery

    Congratulations on your purchase Jack looking forward to seeing your results.

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Mamiya ZD back, substitute or replacement for Mamiya PB-401 battery

    thanks Peter, but I think this will only be an interim step until I get the back I really want.

    Jack
    home: www.getdpi.com

    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

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    Re: Mamiya ZD back, substitute or replacement for Mamiya PB-401 battery

    Which would be....?

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    Re: Mamiya ZD back, substitute or replacement for Mamiya PB-401 battery

    Jack,
    Glad you were able to track this down and it confirms the research that I did when I first bought the ZD. Pricing a $10 battery at $170 just because it's for a MFDB is an outrage and Mamiya should be ashamed of themselves for this. As for the ZD being an interim step for you... you've been on the slippery slope before. Only difference is this slope is a bit higher (pricewise) than the others. Enjoy and let's see some images when you have time.

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    Re: Mamiya ZD back, substitute or replacement for Mamiya PB-401 battery

    If the ZD was around when I bought into MFDBs - I think I would have pounced...the lens system you already own has a lot to do with one's choices..I am happy with Fuji/blad..but Mamiya make fine glass too - you will have a blast with this camera..I have found the lenses in MF arent nearly a important as in 35mm shooting anyway...teh distinctions even more fine..

    welcome to the club

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Mamiya ZD back, substitute or replacement for Mamiya PB-401 battery

    Thanks guys!

    As far as the Mamiya system, one huge advantage is that via adapeters you can mount older manual focus Mamiya 645 lenses, Mamiya RB lenses and Hassy V and F lenses.

    So, to answer the "which back" question, it will be the new Sinar back with adapter plate for Mamiya. Someday I hope to own a Hy6. Played with one and was immediately spoiled, perfect ergos, ability to go vertical or horizontal (great for portraiture with a WLF) and incredible build-quality... Since the Sinar back can mount up to it too via an adapter, I would probably keep both systems just to be able to use the other glass, and the Mamiya camera itself is not very costly.

    Cheers,
    Jack
    home: www.getdpi.com

    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

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    Re: Mamiya ZD back, substitute or replacement for Mamiya PB-401 battery

    This is great information, Jack. I see on the B&H web site that they not only have 3rd party batteries (more like $19.95), but also inexpensive chargers. Time to buy 2 extra: one for my camera bag, one for home and one in the back of the FJ Cruiser.

    :-)

  9. #9
    Easton
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    Re: Mamiya ZD back, substitute or replacement for Mamiya PB-401 battery

    I specifically signed up just to post here and say THANK YOU!

    You're a life saver!

    I guess that makes me the 4th person in the world to order a ZD back

    Needless to say I just ordered a ton of generics!


  10. #10
    SecondFocus
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    Re: Mamiya ZD back, substitute or replacement for Mamiya PB-401 battery

    I can say that I had the chance to demo the 645ZD back a few months ago and perhaps the first person in the world to have an assignment published with it (well who knows). I did one magazine cover and a couple of magazine features.

    I found the back to be just great, especially for the price. And I had heard about the other batteries too, so that is good for sure!

  11. #11
    Natasa Stojsic
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    Re: Mamiya ZD back, substitute or replacement for Mamiya PB-401 battery

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post
    Just wanted to post this for the two or three other folks in the whole world that may be using a ZD back The Mamiya PB 401 batteries are outrageously priced, ($169.95 at B&H as of this writing) and precious little information is available about optional replacements or substitutes. HOWEVER, after a little digging, I found that the Minolta NP-400 is a direct replacement and as of this writing is available from B&H for $9.95 -- yes, that's $9.95. FWIW...

    Cheers,
    We are mostly all about the image... image.... image.... I just love this type of info..... I consider this (usually overlooked by many photographers) type of information Technical/Financial......... Attention to Detail



    Jack, much appreciated!!!

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    Re: Mamiya ZD back, substitute or replacement for Mamiya PB-401 battery

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post
    Just wanted to post this for the two or three other folks in the whole world that may be using a ZD back The Mamiya PB 401 batteries are outrageously priced, ($169.95 at B&H as of this writing) and precious little information is available about optional replacements or substitutes. HOWEVER, after a little digging, I found that the Minolta NP-400 is a direct replacement and as of this writing is available from B&H for $9.95 -- yes, that's $9.95. FWIW...

    Cheers,
    From my experience the Minolta batteries are as bad or as good as the Mamiya ones.

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    Re: Mamiya ZD back, substitute or replacement for Mamiya PB-401 battery

    Just a heads up. I received my NP-400 $19.95 cheapos, the Impact brand, and they are loosey goosey in the Mamimya charger, as well as the Impact brand charger that B&H sells. The Impact charger has a very dimly lit charging light that doesn't seem to work very well, so I don't know if it is actually charging or not.


    http://tinyurl.com/2ng4v6

    and the charger:

    http://tinyurl.com/2rjpwu

    I am thinking about buying a few more batteries from a different brand, just to make sure I am covered. The only thing that appears different than the Mamiya battery is that these are 1700mah and not 1500mah.

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    Member jdbfreeheel's Avatar
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    Re: Mamiya ZD back, substitute or replacement for Mamiya PB-401 battery

    Quote Originally Posted by Andy Biggs View Post
    Just a heads up. I received my NP-400 $19.95 cheapos, the Impact brand, and they are loosey goosey in the Mamimya charger, as well as the Impact brand charger that B&H sells. The Impact charger has a very dimly lit charging light that doesn't seem to work very well, so I don't know if it is actually charging or not.


    http://tinyurl.com/2ng4v6

    and the charger:

    http://tinyurl.com/2rjpwu

    I am thinking about buying a few more batteries from a different brand, just to make sure I am covered. The only thing that appears different than the Mamiya battery is that these are 1700mah and not 1500mah.
    Ok, it looks like I'm the 5th owner in the world of the ZD Back. I've had it for about 6-8 months and am enjoying it. Yes, it's quirky and the lcd screen is laughable (reminds me of my Kodak SLR/n screen) but I do think about it as my "stepping stone" DB.

    I too have been using the Minolta batteries and Impact charger. It seems, for some reason that they do not hold a charge as long as my oem Mamiya battery but it's hard for me to rationalize that. I agree that the Impact charger is finicky too and the little light is a joke. However, it makes for a good travel set and with the prices of these Minolta batteries, you can have a stock of 5-6 of them and feel confident that you won't lose power.

    -Josh

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    Re: Mamiya ZD back, substitute or replacement for Mamiya PB-401 battery

    Jack,

    Mark Welsh, in his review of the ZD back, at 16-9.net found noise problems with his files with just moderately long exposure, and recommends the following limits

    ISO 50: 8-10 seconds
    ISO 64: 6-8 seconds
    ISO 100: 4-6 seconds
    ISO 160: 3-4 seconds
    ISO 200: 2-3 seconds.

    He also complains that current RAW developers don't do a great job of developing ZD RAW files, and laments that Mamiya does not provide a RAW developer for its files.

    What have you found in regard to these two problems?

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Mamiya ZD back, substitute or replacement for Mamiya PB-401 battery

    I have seen essentially zero noise issues at ISO 50 and 100 on any length exposure, and find ISO 200 quite usable for most images, though it does show a little bit of noise. ISO 400 is visibly noisy, usable but noisy, so I tend to avoid it. Since I shoot primarily landscape, I stuck to ISO 200 and lower most of the time.

    As for converters, I primarily used ACR/LightRoom with excellent results. I am now using C1 more frequently with my Phase back and it does a fine job with the Mamiya files too.

    Cheers,
    Jack
    home: www.getdpi.com

    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

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