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Thread: Why Phase One/Mamiya need to update their camera system!

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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Why Phase One/Mamiya need to update their camera system!

    The following is not for the squeamish ...

    I'm sure that my Phase One DF body hates me ... last week my shutter decided that it wasn't really interested in working under mirror lock up, auto timer release mode and so in a fit of spite decided to spontaneously do this to itself:



    Click, click, click, clunk.

    Now if this was only the first Mamiya shutter to fail it would be one thing. This is #3 since 2001 for me. #1 was on an AFD, #2 on an AFD II, and now #3 on the supposedly new & improved DF. At least the first two just keeled over and didn't detonate like this one.
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

    As Oscar Wilde said, "my tastes are simple, I only like the best"

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    Re: Why Phase One/Mamiya need to update their camera system!

    That's not too bad over the course of 10 years.

    Both my 1DsIII and my 1DIII threw their shutters within a month of each other, they were both 3 years old. My first Canon body is going strong still, a 1DII. I know the new owner and follow up with it's health after 6+ years.
    So my next Canon body should last around 3 years before throwing it shutter and that would put it at the same failure rate.

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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Why Phase One/Mamiya need to update their camera system!

    Mark,

    I hear you. However, when I compare this to my Nikons, of which I've owned every pro version since the D1 to the D3x, my Nikon failure rate has been zero percent.

    No harm done but I'm definitely not a Phamiya fan boy. This was the final failure during a two week photo trip of 3500 miles which included a sick aperture blade in my 120 macro, a slipping AF clutch on my 300 APO and a lost hood for my 45D (excellent lens btw!).

    Btw, my Alpa, P40+, Aptus 65 and Nikon outfits were flawless as usual.
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

    As Oscar Wilde said, "my tastes are simple, I only like the best"

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    Porpoise
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    Re: Why Phase One/Mamiya need to update their camera system!

    Quote Originally Posted by GrahamWelland View Post
    Mark,

    I hear you. However, when I compare this to my Nikons, of which I've owned every pro version since the D1 to the D3x, my Nikon failure rate has been zero percent.

    No harm done but I'm definitely not a Phamiya fan boy. This was the final failure during a two week photo trip of 3500 miles which included a sick aperture blade in my 120 macro, a slipping AF clutch on my 300 APO and a lost hood for my 45D (excellent lens btw!).

    Btw, my Alpa, P40+, Aptus 65 and Nikon outfits were flawless as usual.
    Just to assess the statistical significance, how many camera bodies did you have, and how many shutter actuations (ball park)?

    MTBF for Canon 1D family is 200-300,000. Nikon D3s are said to be 300,000 as well. As the shutter for any MF is larger/heavier and has to travel further (perhaps even faster) I would be much surprised if MTBF even on the next PhaseOne model is beyond 100,000, the same figure as the Canon 5D. That is just 5,5 hour at 5 fps.

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    Re: Why Phase One/Mamiya need to update their camera system!

    Quote Originally Posted by Porpoise View Post
    Just to assess the statistical significance, how many camera bodies did you have, and how many shutter actuations (ball park)?

    MTBF for Canon 1D family is 200-300,000. Nikon D3s are said to be 300,000 as well. As the shutter for any MF is larger/heavier and has to travel further (perhaps even faster) I would be much surprised if MTBF even on the next PhaseOne model is beyond 100,000, the same figure as the Canon 5D. That is just 5,5 hour at 5 fps.
    At the time I had two bodies. The 1Ds had ~200k and the 1D had ~300k. If we figure the annual production rate of 1D type bodies is 100k, those failures are noise. AFD/645AF/645DF body production probably tops out at 50K max and is probably closer to 10-15K.

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    Re: Why Phase One/Mamiya need to update their camera system!

    Quote Originally Posted by GrahamWelland View Post
    Mark,

    I hear you. However, when I compare this to my Nikons, of which I've owned every pro version since the D1 to the D3x, my Nikon failure rate has been zero percent.

    No harm done but I'm definitely not a Phamiya fan boy. This was the final failure during a two week photo trip of 3500 miles which included a sick aperture blade in my 120 macro, a slipping AF clutch on my 300 APO and a lost hood for my 45D (excellent lens btw!).

    Btw, my Alpa, P40+, Aptus 65 and Nikon outfits were flawless as usual.
    Doesn't sound like an easy trip. Glad the rest of the gear worked just fine.

    All my Canon lenses have been in to CPS at least once. One needs to go back for trip 2 and one for trip 3. I use my equipment hard and I expect that I need to send them in for servicing. I'm not using my 645 in the same fashion as the Canons and I don't think I'll ever do that unless they really, really, really improve the body. My RZ lives in the studio and only sees daylight if I really want to play, or need to do macro work.

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    Re: Why Phase One/Mamiya need to update their camera system!

    That is an unfortunate and very ugly sight. Yuck.
    George T. Griswold, Jr.
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    Re: Why Phase One/Mamiya need to update their camera system!

    Quote Originally Posted by Porpoise View Post
    As the shutter for any MF is larger/heavier and has to travel further (perhaps even faster)
    Actually we know the fastest the shutter can travel and be fully open 1/125th of a second. Any speed after that is really the offset between the two curtains.

    So the main weakness would be it's large and clunky and can easily deform and cause injury to itself. So hope cheap/expensive is a replacement on a 645? On most 1D bodies it's $400-500 depending on your CPS discount.

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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Why Phase One/Mamiya need to update their camera system!

    Quote Originally Posted by GrahamWelland View Post
    As the shutter for any MF is larger/heavier and has to travel further (perhaps even faster) I would be much surprised if MTBF even on the next PhaseOne model is beyond 100,000, the same figure as the Canon 5D. That is just 5,5 hour at 5 fps.
    Definitely a high energy shutter. It pretty much sliced into the top leaf and when I removed the back it literally "popped" and sprung out the top leaf from the body.

    The thing about MTBF is that it's a statistic and encompasses everything from failures at 1 actuation through to many 100k's for lucky folks, but the mean average is somewhere around 'x'. Mine obviously is an outlier at 5k or so. The body had a bump in February but was fully checked and serviced by Phase One. I wouldn't be surprised if my shutter failure is related to that event months ago - a hidden time bomb perhaps?
    Last edited by GrahamWelland; 23rd July 2011 at 08:29.
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

    As Oscar Wilde said, "my tastes are simple, I only like the best"

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Why Phase One/Mamiya need to update their camera system!

    I just shot 4k in three days. Lol
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Why Phase One/Mamiya need to update their camera system!

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    I just shot 4k in three days. Lol
    I rest my case ... I think in your case the flying shutter probably doesn't have time to flop around on super slow motion mirror up/time release, tripod mounted long exposure of a waterfall & flowers.

    I recently shot an HDR timelapse with my Nikon D700 and that was 2700 images in 2.5hrs on the single battery. Humming along sweetly and it'll probably last forever.
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

    As Oscar Wilde said, "my tastes are simple, I only like the best"

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    Senior Member johnnygoesdigital's Avatar
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    Re: Why Phase One/Mamiya need to update their camera system!

    Graham,

    Yikes! Is there any way to isolate the focal plane shutter when using mirror up and Leaf shutter lenses only, so as to keep it open? Not only does this help in vibration, but limits this kind of result too. The incident you mentioned previously, i'm sure played a role in this. Perhaps one of the shutter blades was stiffer or was binding in the curtain, but agree that a DF2 would be welcomed. I know there's a new model coming...

  13. #13
    jeffacme
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    Re: Why Phase One/Mamiya need to update their camera system!

    It is a bummer but stuff happens. I have had two canon 1 series shutter failures in the past. A 1ds mk2 at about 75K and a 1ds around 200K.

    My DF has nearly 30k shutter cycles and no problems. I think you are correct that the bump relates to the shutter failure. The 645 is a mature design though and many a wedding shooter has decades on the design so hopefully yours is an isolated incident.

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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Why Phase One/Mamiya need to update their camera system!

    Jeff,

    I agree. S..t happens ... no point worrying about it. Still cheaper than a divorce or car wreck .... LOL. Just sharing pics so folks can see what CAN happen. Those that know me also know that I take this stuff in my stride ...
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

    As Oscar Wilde said, "my tastes are simple, I only like the best"

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    Re: Why Phase One/Mamiya need to update their camera system!

    Graham, I'm assuming you transport the body a lot and possibly over rough terrain. Mamiya recommend popping the back off when transporting it, this causes the body to lock things down (you can reattach the back immediately as things wont reset until you power on and soft release the shutter). I'm sure it was in the Mamiya user manual. Obviously I cannot confirm if this also locks the shutter open in addition to the mirror, as I'd need to take the back off the check! It would make sense that the shutter is closed when the camera is in ready mode, it is certainly locked open when the back is removed.

    Paul

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    jeffacme
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    Re: Why Phase One/Mamiya need to update their camera system!

    Yes no fun but way cheaper than a divorce or car wreck.

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    Senior Member johnnygoesdigital's Avatar
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    Re: Why Phase One/Mamiya need to update their camera system!

    Quote Originally Posted by wentbackward View Post
    Graham, I'm assuming you transport the body a lot and possibly over rough terrain. Mamiya recommend popping the back off when transporting it, this causes the body to lock things down (you can reattach the back immediately as things wont reset until you power on and soft release the shutter). I'm sure it was in the Mamiya user manual. Obviously I cannot confirm if this also locks the shutter open in addition to the mirror, as I'd need to take the back off the check! It would make sense that the shutter is closed when the camera is in ready mode, it is certainly locked open when the back is removed.

    Paul
    +1 for this suggestion.
    If a camera has to be sent in because of a prior incident, I would suspect that as a possible factor in contributing to the shutter malfunction, as opposed to a design flaw in the DF. Many cameras have been jostled with no apparent effect. Unless this is a repeated issue with several models, i'd be hesitant to blame the design.

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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Why Phase One/Mamiya need to update their camera system!

    I think that we're just going to have to agree to disagree about the shutter design and removal of the back. That's just not practical and I've never seen any other Mamiya / Phase One shooter baby their camera this way and I haven't seen this in the DF manual either.

    As regards the design, as I mentioned, this is the third Mamiya/Phase One shutter failure I've had over the years and has historically been a well known weakness of the system. I've shot with the Mamiya 645 system since the '90s and only the AF bodies have caused me grief - not with film actually but their digital systems integration has been flaky and gradually got less flaky by the DF. If I look at the actual shooting time since 2001 when I got my first AFD then it probably works out at three failures in five years of active AF system shooting - I don't consider that a great track record.
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

    As Oscar Wilde said, "my tastes are simple, I only like the best"

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    Re: Why Phase One/Mamiya need to update their camera system!

    Have you upgrade to 1.23 firmware?

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    Senior Member johnnygoesdigital's Avatar
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    Re: Why Phase One/Mamiya need to update their camera system!

    Im relatively new to Phase/Mamiya and wasn't aware of historically faulty shutters, but your points are well taken. My H4 had leaf shutters with secondary curtain shutters (fabric) and always performed...for the most part. The convenience of a focal plane and leaf shutter working in tandem might prove to be the culprit, as dedicated leaf shutter lenses still have to wait for the focal plane shutter to open on the second press of the release. Good luck with your camera, I hope you're shooting with it soon.

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