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Thread: P20+ or Mamiya ZD back?

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    P20+ or Mamiya ZD back?

    Hello everyone!

    This is my first post here. I currently shoot with 35mm digital(5dmkII), large format film, but I'm looking to get into medium format digital. I generally shoot in studio- beauty and on location portraits.

    I don't have a huge budget for a back and a body- ~4.5-5k at most. Luckily, I found someone locally who has a P20+ back and mamiya afd body with an 80mm lens for about 4k.

    Alternatively, I could have a Mamiya ZD back and camera for somewhere in the range of $3600-$3800. I've heard not such good things about the Mamiya though...

    So...

    What should I do?? Is there a huge difference between the 5dII and these backs?

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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: P20+ or Mamiya ZD back?

    I'd think about whether the square format works for you or not as you'll be cropping down from 16mp if not. However, I know that if it were me I'd go for the P20+ in preference to the ZD back in a heartbeat. The Phase One image quality is excellent and it is a 16bit sensor with the xpose+ option for longer shooting plus ISO 800 support. You also get the benefits of Phase One's imaging solution end to end and better support generally.

    I have the P25+ which is really just a wider version of the P20+. It is basically bullet proof. You'll need to be careful with moire with the 9 micron sensor but that has actually only hurt me once in a real world situation.

    With respect to the 5DII comparison, I think you'd need to look at the color and tonality because that's where I think you'll see the difference.
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

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    Re: P20+ or Mamiya ZD back?

    I'm printing mainly 9x12s so the 3:4 aspect ratio would definitely work better, however the square can also work because it will allow me to easily crop the image either way in order to make it fit the 9x12 aspect ratio on either side.

    Thanks for your input!

    Mike

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    Member itsskin's Avatar
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    Re: P20+ or Mamiya ZD back?

    If you don't need square - ZD is much better, IMHO. Just make shure you get a glitchless copy. I own one with RZ and 645 afd III. I also like Dalsa sensor for it's look.

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    Re: P20+ or Mamiya ZD back?

    Ilya,
    Thanks for your input. What things lead you to believe that the Mamiya ZD is better? I'm just trying to figure out what the major differences are between the two backs.

    Thanks.

    Mike

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    Re: P20+ or Mamiya ZD back?

    For a tiny bit more money, I'd look for a Phase One P21+. Depending on your timing, they've been on Ebay in ~$4k range. The ZD can be a good performer, but the shadows are not as clean as the Phase backs and the files are not as flexible in post processing. In handling the image review is slow and the little LCD is useless (1.8").

    The Phase One P21+ is a pretty quick back (as digital backs go). Also, it starts at ISO 100 which offers much more flexibility for portraits when shooting outdoors. In the studio you'll need more power with an ISO 50 back compared to 5D Mark II. That lighting upgrade could be a hidden cost.

    Having owned the Mamiya and Phase backs, I would pick the Phase back over the Mamiya back. There could be other considerations such as tethering, where Phase will win for sure.

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    Re: P20+ or Mamiya ZD back?

    Thanks John. I will look into the p21+ as well, although I suppose that finding one for Mamiya may be difficult- so far on ebay there is only one up for Hasselblad H mount, which is definitely too expensive for my blood...

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    Re: P20+ or Mamiya ZD back?

    Yes, P21+ is better choice out of 3 hands down.
    Zd vs P20 wins because 4:3, resolution and skin tones. But in my oppinion it doesn't go above iso50. Screen is crap - hardly use it at all, and yes, it's slow.

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    Senior Member Steve Hendrix's Avatar
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    Re: P20+ or Mamiya ZD back?

    Mike -

    You might also consider a Leaf Aptus 22 in that price range.

    While it is the same sensor the ZD uses, it is a much better implementation of that sensor and the surrounding chassis and image quality are superior. It's a good bump in sensor size (physically) from 35mm (and from P20), allowing you to maximize fall-off when shooting wide open.

    It also has file compatibility and full tethering support from Capture One, and shoots quickly.

    It needs some light (base ISO is 25), but produces an excellent file with nice transitions throughout the tonal range.


    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

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