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Thread: The mamiya ZD revisited

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    Wink The mamiya ZD revisited

    A few years ago when i was only using Hasselblad H3d camera's i got a mamamiya ZD for testing from a frien. I shot a few hundred frames and came very quiqkky to the conclusion this was the worst camera ever made, probably the worst digital or even electronic device ever produced. It had a color cast from green to magenta, ugly colors, very poor DR,... in one word, it was worse as the original D1 from 1999.
    Now, september 2010 i bought a ZD relatively cheap because it was an ideal camera to experiment with IR ( as the IRcut filter can be replaced within seconds for a IR filter). So i did some shooting and i must admid i really am surprised by it's great image quality. No color casts, great colors, great camera to use, in fact way better than any Mamiya645, Hasselblad H or contax solution.
    This time i used CS5 rawconverter. Maybe that is the reason for the quality improvement or maybe i just must be the lucky guy who got the perfect ZD.
    I wonder if there are still users of the ZD and if there still is a market for this camera.

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    Re: The mamiya ZD revisited

    Today i have done some shooting with my Hartblei Super Rotator 45mm. So easy in use is this camera!!! The only downside to me is the extreme long waiting period to see what i have shot..... and the tiny tft, wich is unlike the enormous viewfinder really dated out of the end of last millenium.
    Last edited by H3dtogo; 17th September 2010 at 02:33.

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    Re: The mamiya ZD revisited

    I'm using a ZD back, not quite the same beast, but related.

    C1 does a super job on the files. at ISO 50/100 it's awesome.

    Most of my work is in the studio with strobes, but I do shoot a fair bit of natural light. The type of shooting that I do lends itself to b&w, and color is seldom a problem.

    In terms of IQ I'm really happy. The ergonomics/reliability leave a bit to be desired.

    If anyone cares to take a look, drop a note at djonesii at yahoo dot com.

    Dave

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    The mamiya ZD revisited - IR filter question

    I am also still using a zd back. I managed to get the Mamiya sliding adapter and so am using it on a tech camera. I am really pleased with the performance. I also use C1. I have found that its much easier to use and get results than when I use a modern digital high resolution back. I suppose you need a much better technique with the modern backs.

    I am interested to get started with IR photography. I saw in your original post that you have bought a special IR filter to put over the zd back in replacement for the original ir cut filter. What advantages is there here when compared to using the zd back with ir filter removed and a filter on the lens. Any advice really appreciated to get me started on IR photography.

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    Re: The mamiya ZD revisited

    I shot quite abit with the Mamiya ZD (dSLR) and did not have any sensor cast issues. After using the Phase One P25, I was very familiar with sensor cast, so when the ZD didn't have any, I was very relieved. Most likely Mamiya (or Dalsa) had a calibration file burned into the firmware or something (Dalsa also supplied some of the electronics past the sensor).

    In C1 version 5.2 Phase One opened up the LCC feature, so you may be able create a LCC file to correct the sensor cast. I have not tried LCC in version 5.2; I sold the ZD a year ago.

    The ZD's rear LCD is pretty poor, I used to check the histo and that was about it. If Phase / Mamiya updated the ZD with a P40+ sensor and a good rear LCD, then probably could challenge the Pentax 645D very easily. As a camera, I really enjoyed the Mamiya ZD would consider buying one again - especially with a contemporary sensor that could do a nice ISO 400-800.

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    Re: The mamiya ZD revisited

    Ditto here - ZD back and C1 Pro. Crappy screen and slow display... but excellent IQ.

    So C1 5.2 adds LCC support to the ZD back? That would be a good reason to upgrade, which I've been punting on... When I peruse the list of changes I almost never see anything that appears relevant to me so I tend to skip upgrades when I have a working setup.

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    Re: The mamiya ZD revisited

    I traded in my ZD Camera for a H4D-50. I always loved the ZD and thought it was underrated. It had faults, sure, but it was desinged when the Phase One P25 was king, and lost ground by delay in release. Image quality at base ISO was excellent provided you did not under expose too much. Lot of headroom. Nice handling for a MF camera. Rubbish rear screen but useable.
    Quentin Bargate
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    Super Duper
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    Re: The mamiya ZD revisited

    Quote Originally Posted by H3dtogo View Post
    Now, september 2010 i bought a ZD relatively cheap because it was an ideal camera to experiment with IR ( as the IRcut filter can be replaced within seconds for a IR filter).

    How much was the "cheap" price, if I may ask?

    Would you share any images?

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    Re: The mamiya ZD revisited

    I tried the ZD camera but decided against it.

    Pros:
    - Good IQ @ ISO 100
    - Easy handling

    Cons:
    - Iffy AF
    - No power supply connection
    - Bad FW connector (4-pin)
    - Bad tethering sw
    - ISO 200 unusable

  10. #10
    FabianB
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    Re: The mamiya ZD revisited

    Quote Originally Posted by Quentin_Bargate View Post
    I traded in my ZD Camera for a H4D-50. I always loved the ZD and thought it was underrated. It had faults, sure, but it was desinged when the Phase One P25 was king, and lost ground by delay in release. Image quality at base ISO was excellent provided you did not under expose too much. Lot of headroom. Nice handling for a MF camera. Rubbish rear screen but useable.
    Hello Quentin,
    I would be very interested in how you judge the Mamiya ZD compared to the Sony A900 and the Kodak SLR in terms of color and microcontrast. I've always been tempted by the Mamiya ZD for landscape work but have never been able to try one out. Personally I like the Kodak a little better than the Sony, other options on the market such as the Canon 5d mk2 are excellent in many respets but I've never like their output visually.

    Greetings,

    Fabian

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    Re: The mamiya ZD revisited

    Quote Originally Posted by John Black View Post
    I shot quite abit with the Mamiya ZD (dSLR) and did not have any sensor cast issues. After using the Phase One P25, I was very familiar with sensor cast, so when the ZD didn't have any, I was very relieved. Most likely Mamiya (or Dalsa) had a calibration file burned into the firmware or something (Dalsa also supplied some of the electronics past the sensor).

    In C1 version 5.2 Phase One opened up the LCC feature, so you may be able create a LCC file to correct the sensor cast. I have not tried LCC in version 5.2; I sold the ZD a year ago.
    All medium format sensorts show lens cast when used with wide angle lenses close to the sensor or with lenses with lots of movement (e.g. a view camera with tilt/shift applied). Dalsa sensors (in general) shows less lens cast than Kodak sensors; however it's still there and often not obvious until/unless you correct it.

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