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Thread: Entrly Level Digital MF - The $5k Challenge

  1. #1
    R Shaffer
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    Entrly Level Digital MF - The $5k Challenge

    Hi guys,

    I've been reading/researching up a storm on Digital MF systems. Lots of great info here without much of the bias that seems prevalent on other sites.

    So I would like to get into a digital MF system, BUT I have a pretty tight budget for this. I mostly shoot landscapes and some portraits, all amateur. I have been shooting a Mamiya M645 Pro for the last year and just love it. So I was able to get a used 645 AFDII from Adorama for $1300.

    So for the back I have around $4k +/- to spend. I could get a new ZDb ( $3700 @ B&H) or haunt the auctions for the next several weeks looking for a P21, Leaf 17 or maybe get really lucky with a P25. I am really concerned about the lack of warranty and potentially having a $4k paper weight. Most of the legit phase & leaf dealers seem to sell the lower end used & refurb stuff starting around 6k.

    So my question would be should I chance the big auction site?
    If it works when I get it..... should it continue to work?

    The ZDb, while not quite the equal of some of the others, sure works for my budget and sounds quite capable if used within its limits.

    Any Advise yee sages of the 9micron pixel

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Entrly Level Digital MF - The $5k Challenge

    Hello, and welcome to the site!

    ANY of the backs you mentioned would be great choices. The P25 and the ZDb have the benefit of being fuller-frame if that's important. From an image quality standpoint, the P25 and ZDb are going to almost equal, and the ZDb may have a few of the more modern features. IMO, it's pretty hard to go wrong with a new ZDb with warranty for $3700.
    Jack
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  3. #3
    R Shaffer
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    Re: Entrly Level Digital MF - The $5k Challenge

    Thanks Jack,

    Less crop factor is better, I have a 45mm f2.8 lens I would like to keep using ( as a wide angle ), provided the CA is not too bad. Old lens, not the best coating.

    Makes me feel better about the ZDb.

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    Re: Entrly Level Digital MF - The $5k Challenge

    There is a Hasselblad CFH-22 on sale at LL. "http://luminous-landscape.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=41220". It is a H mount system, but getting a Mamiya mount should not be a problem.

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    Re: Entrly Level Digital MF - The $5k Challenge

    Quote Originally Posted by ajoyroy View Post
    There is a Hasselblad CFH-22 on sale at LL. "http://luminous-landscape.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=41220". It is a H mount system, but getting a Mamiya mount should not be a problem.
    Actually it is a problem ... the CFH backs are fixed H mounts and cannot be changed. CFH backs are not the same as CF or CF-II backs which use the Hasselblad iAdapter system enabling use of one back on multiple camera platforms.

    This CFH back would work on the H2F I have for sale in the F/S section here, and unlike a H1 or H2 provide use of the HCD lenses with DAC corrections in Phocus software.

    -Marc

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    Re: Entrly Level Digital MF - The $5k Challenge

    Quote Originally Posted by R Shaffer View Post
    Hi guys,

    I've been reading/researching up a storm on Digital MF systems. Lots of great info here without much of the bias that seems prevalent on other sites.

    So I would like to get into a digital MF system, BUT I have a pretty tight budget for this. I mostly shoot landscapes and some portraits, all amateur. I have been shooting a Mamiya M645 Pro for the last year and just love it. So I was able to get a used 645 AFDII from Adorama for $1300.

    So for the back I have around $4k +/- to spend. I could get a new ZDb ( $3700 @ B&H) or haunt the auctions for the next several weeks looking for a P21, Leaf 17 or maybe get really lucky with a P25. I am really concerned about the lack of warranty and potentially having a $4k paper weight. Most of the legit phase & leaf dealers seem to sell the lower end used & refurb stuff starting around 6k.

    So my question would be should I chance the big auction site?
    If it works when I get it..... should it continue to work?

    The ZDb, while not quite the equal of some of the others, sure works for my budget and sounds quite capable if used within its limits.

    Any Advise yee sages of the 9micron pixel
    Hi,

    Having had ZD and problems with ZD, I have had Leaf Aptus 65 for two years and am indeed very pleased with it. I would advise going with a Leaf or Phase One and complete forget ZD. Please read through forums and you will see many have sold ZDs because problems, while Phase One and Leaf Aptus are very durable.

    Do consider the P25 and Aptus 22, but also the P30 and Aptus 65 which may actually be cheaper due to their slight more crops of 645. Think about it, also P25 and Aptus 22 are crops of 645. The difference between 48mmx36mm and 44mmx33mm sensor sizes is small. On the other hand, the big advantage is that P30 and Aptus 65 are newer technology sensors, and at least when I bought mine two years ago the Aptus 65 was cheaper for me new than a used Aptus 22! I would recommend the Aptus 65 over P30 since it is newer than the P30, unless you can catch a P30+ which is equal new. These are capable of slight higher ISO due noise than the P25 and Aptus 22, I think that is main difference.

    I also recommend that you test the digital back before you buy it, or buy it on a return policy. You need make sure that the sensor is in sound condition, the sensor is by far the most expensive part on the digital back. I was told by Leaf that changing all else would cost 1-2000 usd only...

    I hope above helps,

    Regards
    Anders

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    Re: Entrly Level Digital MF - The $5k Challenge

    The OP did list a $5K budget... I had a ZD back and it worked fine at ISO 50 and 100, though a bit noisy after that and I think that's been improved in the ZDb. IIRC, the biggest issues with ZD's were folks with the ZD unit CAMERA, not the ZD backs with latest firmware.
    Jack
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  8. #8
    R Shaffer
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    Re: Entrly Level Digital MF - The $5k Challenge

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    Actually it is a problem ... the CFH backs are fixed H mounts and cannot be changed. CFH backs are not the same as CF or CF-II backs which use the Hasselblad iAdapter system enabling use of one back on multiple camera platforms.

    This CFH back would work on the H2F I have for sale in the F/S section here, and unlike a H1 or H2 provide use of the HCD lenses with DAC corrections in Phocus software.

    -Marc
    I considered long and hard on going with one of the H cameras and was leaning that way for a time. In the end I just could not quite get the system to work within my limited budget. Especially if I had to replace my current lenses

  9. #9
    R Shaffer
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    Re: Entrly Level Digital MF - The $5k Challenge

    Quote Originally Posted by Anders_HK View Post
    Hi,

    Having had ZD and problems with ZD, I have had Leaf Aptus 65 for two years and am indeed very pleased with it. I would advise going with a Leaf or Phase One and complete forget ZD. Please read through forums and you will see many have sold ZDs because problems, while Phase One and Leaf Aptus are very durable.

    Do consider the P25 and Aptus 22, but also the P30 and Aptus 65 which may actually be cheaper due to their slight more crops of 645. Think about it, also P25 and Aptus 22 are crops of 645. The difference between 48mmx36mm and 44mmx33mm sensor sizes is small. On the other hand, the big advantage is that P30 and Aptus 65 are newer technology sensors, and at least when I bought mine two years ago the Aptus 65 was cheaper for me new than a used Aptus 22! I would recommend the Aptus 65 over P30 since it is newer than the P30, unless you can catch a P30+ which is equal new. These are capable of slight higher ISO due noise than the P25 and Aptus 22, I think that is main difference.

    I also recommend that you test the digital back before you buy it, or buy it on a return policy. You need make sure that the sensor is in sound condition, the sensor is by far the most expensive part on the digital back. I was told by Leaf that changing all else would cost 1-2000 usd only...

    I hope above helps,

    Regards
    Anders
    Thanks Anders

    I totally agree the P25 & P30 would be great choices. The issue then really becomes the risk of buying a used back. I did check as many reputable used outlets as I could find on the net. And the starting prices for these were above my budget, so my only option would be the big auction site.

    I am just concerned that I would not have nay recourse if there was a problem or get stuck with a big repair bill.

  10. #10
    R Shaffer
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    Re: Entrly Level Digital MF - The $5k Challenge

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post
    The OP did list a $5K budget... I had a ZD back and it worked fine at ISO 50 and 100, though a bit noisy after that and I think that's been improved in the ZDb. IIRC, the biggest issues with ZD's were folks with the ZD unit CAMERA, not the ZD backs with latest firmware.
    I have been shooting Delta 100 ( at EI 80 ) and Velvia 50 almost exclusively for the past year with my 645 Pro. So my expectation with the ZDb back is that as long as I keep the ISO on the lower side, the noise would tolerable.

    With my D200 I do all my B&W conversions with Silver Efex Pro and I usually prefer adding grain to the digital image. It seems to soften the tonal transitions, so I think I could even hide some noise with a bit of grain.

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    Re: Entrly Level Digital MF - The $5k Challenge

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post
    The OP did list a $5K budget... I had a ZD back and it worked fine at ISO 50 and 100, though a bit noisy after that and I think that's been improved in the ZDb. IIRC, the biggest issues with ZD's were folks with the ZD unit CAMERA, not the ZD backs with latest firmware.
    Hmm, I remember it exactly the other way round. Here are some links to various articles and threads on LL:

    http://www.luminous-landscape.com/re...d-review.shtml

    An interesting 2007 thread where someone mentions having had lockups, noise, and worms with his early ZD back. There is other talk about purple blobs, also ZD back.

    http://luminous-landscape.com/forum/...howtopic=20472

    Green tint problem:

    http://www.luminous-landscape.com/fo...hp/t26355.html

    And so on. Paste this into Google and get a bunch of links. Somewhere there was a thread about problems with the ZD from 2009, but I didn't see it on a first glance.

    site:luminous-landscape.com Mamiya ZD problem
    Carsten - Website

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    Re: Entrly Level Digital MF - The $5k Challenge

    I dont know the ZDb but have used the ZD integrated camera/back for a few months before going Hy6 and Sinar. IMO The ZD did very fine at ISO 50 an 100 and still good at ISO 160-200.
    If you can get a used Phase back with guarantee/service - fine.
    If not I would rather get the a new ZDb than a ebay P25 or P21. (as long as you are fine with ISO 160.
    Also keep in mind the shallower DOF of Medium format compared to smaller sensors.

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    Re: Entrly Level Digital MF - The $5k Challenge

    Quote Originally Posted by t_streng View Post
    I dont know the ZDb but have used the ZD integrated camera/back for a few months before going Hy6 and Sinar. IMO The ZD did very fine at ISO 50 an 100 and still good at ISO 160-200.
    If you can get a used Phase back with guarantee/service - fine.
    If not I would rather get the a new ZDb than a ebay P25 or P21. (as long as you are fine with ISO 160.
    Also keep in mind the shallower DOF of Medium format compared to smaller sensors.
    Exactly . Guy had one, I had one and they all worked just fine. In fact the person I sold mine to is still using it happily.
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    Re: Entrly Level Digital MF - The $5k Challenge

    I had one . They are slow compared to the Phase and Hassy backs and limited to ISO 200 max but the files rock . Limit on long exposure is 20-30 seconds which this one is 15 seconds. The LCD is okay nothing special BUT for what it is it works fine as long as you know the limitations of it and can deal with it. I moved up to a P25+ from here and certainly a much faster cam but I have need to go faster. But I never had any issues with the back itself. Most of the issues heard was in the form of the integrated back body. I have read purple once on the back itself but it was a defective unit
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Entrly Level Digital MF - The $5k Challenge

    ISO 50 13 seconds F22 with a 35mm Mamiya lens. Not to shabby. I have a whole thread on the ZD back. Do a search

    I had mine April 2008 time frame
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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  16. #16
    R Shaffer
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    Re: Entrly Level Digital MF - The $5k Challenge

    Quote Originally Posted by carstenw View Post
    Hmm, I remember it exactly the other way round. Here are some links to various articles and threads on LL:

    http://www.luminous-landscape.com/re...d-review.shtml

    An interesting 2007 thread where someone mentions having had lockups, noise, and worms with his early ZD back. There is other talk about purple blobs, also ZD back.

    http://luminous-landscape.com/forum/...howtopic=20472

    Green tint problem:

    http://www.luminous-landscape.com/fo...hp/t26355.html

    And so on. Paste this into Google and get a bunch of links. Somewhere there was a thread about problems with the ZD from 2009, but I didn't see it on a first glance.

    site:luminous-landscape.com Mamiya ZD problem
    Thanks for the links, I had already seen the first two.

    The third link gives a whole new meaning to 'going green'

    Reading here and other sites it seems that the later RAW editors solved the green tint problem.

  17. #17
    R Shaffer
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    Re: Entrly Level Digital MF - The $5k Challenge

    Quote Originally Posted by t_streng View Post
    I dont know the ZDb but have used the ZD integrated camera/back for a few months before going Hy6 and Sinar. IMO The ZD did very fine at ISO 50 an 100 and still good at ISO 160-200.
    If you can get a used Phase back with guarantee/service - fine.
    If not I would rather get the a new ZDb than a ebay P25 or P21. (as long as you are fine with ISO 160.
    Also keep in mind the shallower DOF of Medium format compared to smaller sensors.
    This is pretty much right in line with my thinking, thanks

  18. #18
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    Re: Entrly Level Digital MF - The $5k Challenge

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    I had one . They are slow compared to the Phase and Hassy backs and limited to ISO 200 max but the files rock . Limit on long exposure is 20-30 seconds which this one is 15 seconds. The LCD is okay nothing special BUT for what it is it works fine as long as you know the limitations of it and can deal with it. I moved up to a P25+ from here and certainly a much faster cam but I have need to go faster. But I never had any issues with the back itself. Most of the issues heard was in the form of the integrated back body. I have read purple once on the back itself but it was a defective unit
    Slow is OK by me, two or three frames is the most I ever shoot off. The 30s max usable exposure would probably be where I would occasionally have issues. But I'll have a film back to handle those conditions.

    The images look great.....

    Thanks

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    Re: Entrly Level Digital MF - The $5k Challenge

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    They are slow compared to the Phase and Hassy backs and limited to ISO 200 max but the files rock [...] The LCD is okay nothing special BUT for what it is it works fine as long as you know the limitations of it and can deal with it.
    Like Guy says, fantastic files, slow to use, "only" 22MP. But they're very high quality, fat pixels. Good dynamic range, certainly better than any 35mm DSLR I've used. Curiously, the only thing that bugs me is the small LCD; as I'm getting older I find it hard to read without glasses. That's the main reason I'd like a bigger screen (or a bigger font and bigger histogram even if still on the small screen). The screen isn't very accurate and clips long before the camera, so will tend to make shots look blown when the brightness is turned up for outdoor use. But I can live with that, certainly nothing I'd throw thousands of dollars at to fix.

    If you're coming from 645 film and 35mm digital, prints off the ZD are going to blow you away. Completely different league entirely.

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    Re: Entrly Level Digital MF - The $5k Challenge

    Quote Originally Posted by R Shaffer View Post
    But I'll have a film back to handle those conditions.
    I have a film back I keep loaded with Tmax-100. They're nice motorized backs (motor in body) with digital frame counters and ISO settings. I've been intending to get a second film back for Ektar 25. However, I should warn you that swapping backs between digital and film out in the sticks isn't all it's cracked up to be as it REALLY invites dust. Better to do that indoors, or at least in a car...

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    Re: Entrly Level Digital MF - The $5k Challenge

    Quote Originally Posted by Jan Brittenson View Post
    Like Guy says, fantastic files, slow to use, "only" 22MP. But they're very high quality, fat pixels. Good dynamic range, certainly better than any 35mm DSLR I've used. Curiously, the only thing that bugs me is the small LCD; as I'm getting older I find it hard to read without glasses. That's the main reason I'd like a bigger screen (or a bigger font and bigger histogram even if still on the small screen). The screen isn't very accurate and clips long before the camera, so will tend to make shots look blown when the brightness is turned up for outdoor use. But I can live with that, certainly nothing I'd throw thousands of dollars at to fix.

    If you're coming from 645 film and 35mm digital, prints off the ZD are going to blow you away. Completely different league entirely.
    Totally agree Jan. The files rock and I like 9 micron sensors. Moire can be a issue so keep that in mind on certain subjects.

    I like to describe this back in terms of excellent image quality but limited in speed , ISO and LCD and if that is something you are willing to compromise than it's worth the money. Also C1 can see these files which is a plus for me.
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    Re: Entrly Level Digital MF - The $5k Challenge

    Mamiya 645 AFD II w 22MP Mamiya Digital back + 2 lenses

    This kit just sold on ebay for $4700

    Link; http://cgi.ebay.com/Mamiya-645-AFD-I...item1e5a3de3c5

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    Re: Entrly Level Digital MF - The $5k Challenge

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post
    The OP did list a $5K budget... I had a ZD back and it worked fine at ISO 50 and 100, though a bit noisy after that and I think that's been improved in the ZDb. IIRC, the biggest issues with ZD's were folks with the ZD unit CAMERA, not the ZD backs with latest firmware.
    Well... Jack may disagree which is fine, but... Guy and Jack sold their ZDs at same time and rather quick...

    And Jack and Guy, let us be cautious to recommend something that can lead people into investment of $$ to something that might be a problem. IF the ZD was good my recommendation would be compete opposite.

    Sorry, Jack but you are incorrect that the problem was limited to the ZD camera. It was there same in ZD back, if not more because Mamiya sold more ZD backs than ZD cameras. Actually Mamiya in Hong Kong when I tested out the problem tested all their stock for it, and... they had about 5 ZD backs and only one other ZD camera in stock --- ALL of which had same identical problem.

    Well, here we go the link to my old post; http://luminous-landscape.com/forum/...howtopic=22698

    Please note that what I pointed out there was that the problem related not only to firmware but also HARDWARE, as confirmed by someone deep in the business whos name I will not reveal and who knew how Mamiya developed ZD with lack. In short Mamiya did not design the ZD back proper, likely because they could not or did not want to, due lack of $$$. It is up for whoever to believe that they have done so with the ZDb back which they sold much less of. I believe they did not do anything to hardware to correct the problem because of lack of $$$$. Also not to firmware, although perhaps they might have done something minor with help my Phase One, but doubtful. The big difference can be that CaptureOne was able to tune down the effects of the problem.

    If you read my old post you can read that Mamiya blamed me the user, instead of admitting to any problem. Heck, they still have not admitted to a problem, but if they would have done so and fixed the dang thing I would have praised them . Thus I would advise to stay heck away from it, simply because of above the ZD is high risk.

    The Aptus 22 uses same identical sensor as ZD, but... was proper designed. Thus is excellent. Funny is it not? Dalsa sensors are great, personally I prefer them over Kodak as are in Phase One P25, P30 etc, but that is personal preference.

    Above stated, depending on use the ZD might (read MIGHT) work ok, pending on if you use it in studio lighting with little dark or little black in image (or if you accept boosting blacks to kill the artifacts...). Thus the reality of ZD is that it has a very narrow window of use. Same as such lighting it appears that folks in very sunny environments had less problems... because the ZD needs ALOT of light, else problem shows up. Thus Jack and Guy, your posted photos from ZD was in bright Arizona light was it not???

    Quote Originally Posted by R Shaffer View Post
    Thanks Anders

    I totally agree the P25 & P30 would be great choices. The issue then really becomes the risk of buying a used back. I did check as many reputable used outlets as I could find on the net. And the starting prices for these were above my budget, so my only option would be the big auction site.

    I am just concerned that I would not have nay recourse if there was a problem or get stuck with a big repair bill.
    Honest, I think it is best to either spend more to get a Phase One or Leaf, or to stay with film. Film is still a lovely media. Used digital back prices should keep on falling, as backs get older and new models are sold.

    As I pointed out in above, the main risk is the sensor being in still good condition or not. Perhaps ask them to make test images for you before you buy?

    Perhaps also contact a dealer of Phase One and Leaf to see not only what they can offer you, but also how much they would charge if you have certain problems with a back you pick up from Ebay. Per memory, with Phase One the back go pretty much back to Denmark for any problem, while with Leaf the agent can fix more problems locally. Please correct me anyone if I am wrong.

    Quote Originally Posted by tmessenger View Post
    Mamiya 645 AFD II w 22MP Mamiya Digital back + 2 lenses

    This kit just sold on ebay for $4700

    Link; http://cgi.ebay.com/Mamiya-645-AFD-I...item1e5a3de3c5
    Yes, one more selling off ZD...

    While Leaf & Phase Ones; are being praised... you figure??

    Regards
    Anders
    Last edited by Anders_HK; 16th February 2010 at 19:29.

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    Re: Entrly Level Digital MF - The $5k Challenge

    Quote Originally Posted by Anders_HK View Post
    Well, here we go the link to my old post; http://luminous-landscape.com/forum/...howtopic=22698
    People in the thread who mention they had similar problems with early units got them exchanged, and the problems went away. That was two years ago! Don't you read comments to your own thread?!

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    Re: Entrly Level Digital MF - The $5k Challenge

    Quote Originally Posted by Jan Brittenson View Post
    People in the thread who mention they had similar problems with early units got them exchanged, and the problems went away. That was two years ago! Don't you read comments to your own thread?!
    I have read all of ZD and it was not limited to early units. There has been no post of proof to the contrary of the problem I and others pointed out, except what I stated in the above post. Thus do not slam me, I am only speaking honest truth and knowledge, nothing else. More so, if Mamiya would have had the balls, they would have stuck their heads out to correct the issue and show so had been done.

    Do bear in mind that some had the "purple worm" syndrome as pointed out by Frank Doorhof and that problem was corrected by Mamiya. However, that was a different problem with limited number of ZD backs effected.

    As I stated - due its problem (lack of design, lack in internal software coding) - the ZD has a very narrow window of use, and as such limit the photographic use.

    If you disagree on the problem I pointed out two years ago, please prove a ZD in same test as I did. Nobody has yet done so without the artifacts.

    Is the ZDb better, maybe - if so likely due coding in Capture One. Should one spend a large 5k USD on that, or keep it in bank and wait for used Phase One or Leaf to drop?

    I have nothing against Mamiya and use their products, except I believe they should have produced also ZD to quality. More so... with the knowledge I have of ZD I believe it is being fair to advise of the issue before people drop money on it.

    Mamiya appear to have stepped away from ZD and now into the M-labeled backs my Phase one, see here http://www.dpreview.com/news/0906/09...gitalbacks.asp. If I understand correct they are made by Phase One and are thus highly reputable.

    Regards
    Anders

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    Re: Entrly Level Digital MF - The $5k Challenge

    Anders I have been through 4 backs in less than 2 years so I really don't think I qualify as I had a issue with that back more I am a gear slut if anything. But honestly my issue was speed both shooting speed and ISO and the only reason I have been moving up plus some bigger mpx. I have a P40+ which is about the fastest shooting back you can get and great high ISO. Certainly would rather see people go straight for a P25+ over the ZD no question. It's faster, better ISO and better LCD plus it has Phase One behind it but we are talking 5 k here and actually my old P25+ is in the B&S from Mark but priced around 7500 dollars which I would much rather see him buy. The biggest issue with the ZD is people tend to out grow it pretty fast because it is slow although Jan is still shooting his. It's a matter of needs but I would not mind having one as a backup especially with the IR filter as it is my P40+ needs to go in for repair and back to Denmark no less for a battery button replacement. It get's stuck on full depression and I have to reach in and do a release on the gear. Not serious as far as the back itself just a PITA in the field. Actually am working on that today when to send it.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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  27. #27
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    Re: Entrly Level Digital MF - The $5k Challenge

    Guy,

    Speaking prices, I was surprised when an Aptus 65 sold for 6,800 usd mid last year - http://forum.getdpi.com/forum/showth...light=aptus+65

    I see now one for Hassy available for only 5,900 usd!!!! Here, http://forum.getdpi.com/forum/showth...light=aptus+65 and from what I understand a reputable dealer.

    And... I think mounts can be changed by Leaf, although I am not 100 on it or what is cost to do so... Perhaps check with a dealer/agent.

    Or simply keep look here http://www.optechsdigital.com/usedanddemobacks.htm and other reputable places.

    Whenever I sell/upgrade I hope I will get good $$, but seems current economy is not too well...? +

    Regards
    Anders

  28. #28
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Entrly Level Digital MF - The $5k Challenge

    That is the issue the economy sucks and more people are hanging on to what they have but there are still deals out there but under 5k is going to be tough to get a Phase P25+ or something similar. The problem with the ZD is people outgrow it pretty quick because they want something faster at least I know in Jack's and my case that is what we both realized. Jack went ZD, P45+ to P65+ and I went ZD, P25+, P30+ and than P40+ which is fairly recent . The one nice thing buying Hassy and Or Phase from the start is these OEM's do have some nice upgrade paths sometimes within there own line which not checking here but assume better than off brand upgrades in pricing. I should add leaf in there as well as they also have nice upgrade paths.

    Also what I like to call marketing 102 is the OEM's are trying to rid the market of used backs so people go into new backs, which I believe is the reason some of these upgrade paths are very good deals. They would than go to rentals , spares and finally garbage can to get them off the buying market.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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  29. #29
    TheTubbyPixel
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    Re: Entrly Level Digital MF - The $5k Challenge

    Hi there,

    Don't know if this is of any use, but I have been asked to dispose of 2 Mamiya demo units for a european distributor.

    They are badged Mamiya M31 and comprise mamiya AFD III body and 80mm lens plus 31.6 mp back with a 44.2 x 33.1mm sensor size. My guess is they were P30 backs re-badged. Original price was 12999 when launched in August of last year.

    price is 7999.00 each kit.

  30. #30
    R Shaffer
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    Re: Entrly Level Digital MF - The $5k Challenge

    Thanks to all for the great info & suggestions

    Special thanks to Anders. I really appreciate the time you took to provide such a complete response about the problems you have had with the ZD. I certainly used that information to reevaluate whether or not the ZD would meet my needs.

    Although in the end I decided to go ahead with purchasing the ZDb. It just seemed the best choice at this time. I'll be sure and report back after I have had a chance to make some images.

    Thanks again

  31. #31
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    Re: Entrly Level Digital MF - The $5k Challenge

    Quote Originally Posted by Anders_HK View Post
    If you disagree on the problem I pointed out two years ago, please prove a ZD in same test as I did. Nobody has yet done so without the artifacts.
    It would be more useful to specify test conditions instead of "same test as I did" - because I can't go back in time and replace your camera with mine.

  32. #32
    Senior Member Steve Hendrix's Avatar
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    Re: Entrly Level Digital MF - The $5k Challenge

    Quote Originally Posted by R Shaffer View Post
    Thanks to all for the great info & suggestions

    Special thanks to Anders. I really appreciate the time you took to provide such a complete response about the problems you have had with the ZD. I certainly used that information to reevaluate whether or not the ZD would meet my needs.

    Although in the end I decided to go ahead with purchasing the ZDb. It just seemed the best choice at this time. I'll be sure and report back after I have had a chance to make some images.

    Thanks again

    Well, the plus for you is that even if you decide at some point the ZDb isn't the product for you and you decide to upgrade it, your investment was low, and (currently) trade-in values are up to 3 times the price you paid for it, depending on which product you're trading up to.

    So, you may have a keeper, and even if you don't , little harm done.


    Steve Hendrix
    Steve Hendrix, Sales Manager, www.captureintegration.com (e-mail Me)
    Digital Cam: Phase One | Leaf | Leica | Sinar Authorized Reseller
    TechCam: Alpa | Cambo | Arca Swiss | Sinar Authorized Reseller

  33. #33
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    Re: Entrly Level Digital MF - The $5k Challenge

    Quote Originally Posted by R Shaffer View Post
    Thanks to all for the great info & suggestions

    Special thanks to Anders. I really appreciate the time you took to provide such a complete response about the problems you have had with the ZD. I certainly used that information to reevaluate whether or not the ZD would meet my needs.

    Although in the end I decided to go ahead with purchasing the ZDb. It just seemed the best choice at this time. I'll be sure and report back after I have had a chance to make some images.

    Thanks again
    Hi,

    The point I made here and in other threads is to be informative. As stated by post #19 indeed the ZD indeed also has good sides, albeit because of nature of its (improper?) design come with limitations. Actually, I sold my ZD the other year to a gentleman who read my posts of its problems and he thought in terms of limitations, $$$ and thought he could live with them. He has since sold ZD and upgraded.

    And no, do not try to make same as my tests only, but try understand what I tested it for and what to look for. I would recommend that you test it when you get the ZD (if you buy on a proper return policy you are covered). Do bear in mind that there were some posts (mine included) over at LL of people who first did not see the artifacts. If you know what they look like and where to look then they are there. But, with above said... there is also chance the ZD could also be acceptable for your photography. Perhaps do some tests when you get it to make sure.

    Within its narrow limitations (need lots of light, low ISO, or wider if C1 help?), I remain convinced that the ZD beats 1DsMk3, D3X etc... but there is still a larger gap to Aptus 22, 65, P25, P30 etc.

    Sincerely wish you best of luck!

    Regards
    Anders
    Last edited by Anders_HK; 18th February 2010 at 22:14.

  34. #34
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    Re: Entrly Level Digital MF - The $5k Challenge

    Quote Originally Posted by R Shaffer View Post
    Thanks to all for the great info & suggestions

    Special thanks to Anders. I really appreciate the time you took to provide such a complete response about the problems you have had with the ZD. I certainly used that information to reevaluate whether or not the ZD would meet my needs.

    Although in the end I decided to go ahead with purchasing the ZDb. It just seemed the best choice at this time. I'll be sure and report back after I have had a chance to make some images.

    Thanks again
    Congrats and report back how you like it.

    On one side it is very good that we can learn about the strong side but also about the shortcomings of a system.
    The bad thing is that we might start looking for faults which we might(?) have never found out ourselves and then get concerned. (I am not saying that this has to be the case with the ZDb)
    Of course it depends a lot on the problem and also on the user (what one plans to do with the equipment and how much one is willing to work around).

  35. #35
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    Re: Entrly Level Digital MF - The $5k Challenge

    @ R Shaffer:

    Congratulations on your new purchase, and your foray into MF digital.

    My advise (for what it's worth) is to NOT look for shortcomings of your new kit (as may or may not be suggested in various on-line discussions), but to look for satisfying images you can make with your new kit. Medium format digital is wonderful in my opinion.

    I have seen some fantastic images created with the first generation ZD back (some here on this forum) and would expect the newer back to improve on those. I suggest that once you dive into a new kit such as this, that you spend as much time as possible refining your understanding of it, and ignore any online chatter for a while. Although these fora can be very helpful as well if you have questions. Make some photos that please you with it, and don't read too much about the bleeding edge. There will be plenty of time for that.

    I'm always longing to upgrade my kit, but if I'm honest, I rarely find my kit failing me and my current printing needs.

    Welcome to MFD, with all its pain and financial ruin.

  36. #36
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    Re: Entrly Level Digital MF - The $5k Challenge

    Quote Originally Posted by Dale Allyn View Post
    @ R Shaffer:

    Congratulations on your new purchase, and your foray into MF digital.

    My advise (for what it's worth) is to NOT look for shortcomings of your new kit (as may or may not be suggested in various on-line discussions), but to look for satisfying images you can make with your new kit. Medium format digital is wonderful in my opinion.

    I have seen some fantastic images created with the first generation ZD back (some here on this forum) and would expect the newer back to improve on those. I suggest that once you dive into a new kit such as this, that you spend as much time as possible refining your understanding of it, and ignore any online chatter for a while. Although these fora can be very helpful as well if you have questions. Make some photos that please you with it, and don't read too much about the bleeding edge. There will be plenty of time for that.

    I'm always longing to upgrade my kit, but if I'm honest, I rarely find my kit failing me and my current printing needs.

    Welcome to MFD, with all its pain and financial ruin.
    Best advice I've read in some time!

    -Marc

  37. #37
    R Shaffer
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    Re: Entrly Level Digital MF - The $5k Challenge

    Quote Originally Posted by Anders_HK View Post
    Hi,

    Within its narrow limitations (need lots of light, low ISO, or wider if C1 help?), I remain convinced that the ZD beats 1DsMk3, D3X etc...

    Regards
    Anders
    I'll be very happy if this is the case, within limits of course

  38. #38
    R Shaffer
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    Re: Entrly Level Digital MF - The $5k Challenge

    Quote Originally Posted by t_streng View Post
    Congrats and report back how you like it.

    On one side it is very good that we can learn about the strong side but also about the shortcomings of a system.
    The bad thing is that we might start looking for faults which we might(?) have never found out ourselves and then get concerned. (I am not saying that this has to be the case with the ZDb)
    Of course it depends a lot on the problem and also on the user (what one plans to do with the equipment and how much one is willing to work around).
    Pretty much exactly what I had in mind. Just start taking pictures the subjects I normally shoot and see where it goes.

  39. #39
    R Shaffer
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    Re: Entrly Level Digital MF - The $5k Challenge

    Quote Originally Posted by Dale Allyn View Post
    @ R Shaffer:

    Congratulations on your new purchase, and your foray into MF digital.


    Welcome to MFD, with all its pain and financial ruin.
    Thanks, I agree, good advice.

    I have to say I was pleasantly surprised when my wife agreed with my proposed purchase. Actually I was floored!!

  40. #40
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    Re: Entrly Level Digital MF - The $5k Challenge

    Guy/Jack/et al,

    Can anyone confirm the ZDb works only on AFDII and newer? I just saw one listed on Ebay with a AFD camera, which implies that they play well together.

    Shaffer, which camera body did you get?

    I'm sure MY wife won't approve of a $3700 expenditure...but, hey...I can dream. I got 50% of the sensor for 30% of the price...with an AFD...so I can't complain too much.

    Greg

  41. #41
    R Shaffer
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    Re: Entrly Level Digital MF - The $5k Challenge

    Quote Originally Posted by gsking View Post
    Guy/Jack/et al,

    Can anyone confirm the ZDb works only on AFDII and newer? I just saw one listed on Ebay with a AFD camera, which implies that they play well together.

    Shaffer, which camera body did you get?

    I'm sure MY wife won't approve of a $3700 expenditure...but, hey...I can dream. I got 50% of the sensor for 30% of the price...with an AFD...so I can't complain too much.

    Greg
    Ciao Greg,

    According to my manual, the ZDb works with the AFD. I can't recall exactly what is was I read that had me leaning hard towards AFDII. I'm mostly doing manual focus with the II, so I hope it wasn't focussing speed.

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