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Thread: Mamiya ZD body - anybody here using one?

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    Mamiya ZD body - anybody here using one?

    Anybody here using a Mamiya ZD?
    Maybe I made a mistake but I kind of gambled and won an auction for a Mamiya ZD (the integrated body) + lens for a price which seemed to be quite low and far from all other options to start with digital MF - specially keeping in mind that I still own three older Mamiya 645 lenses (35,70,150).

    It is not my "dream-camera" but I hope that it will let me get some idea of MF-shooting and IQ and give me some more time to make my final decision for a more sophisticated (and probably much more expensive) system.

    I read some reports about vibrations caused by the mirror of the ZD - I also read that I might to have to be ready for a little worse dynamic range compared to other MF-backs?
    And so I am interested to get some feedback if there are any things I should keep in mind when I start to use the ZD.
    I hope that I havent done a mistake but at least I have something to use now and not only something to dream.
    I hope/think that I should be able to sell this camera without much loss in a couple of months when I would like to move on.

    Regards, Thomas
    Last edited by Paratom; 21st October 2008 at 01:02.

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    Re: Mamiya ZD body - anybody here using one?

    Quote Originally Posted by t_streng View Post
    Anybody here using a Mamiya ZD?
    Maybe I made a mistake but I kind of gambled and won an auction for a Mamiya ZD (the integrated body) + lens for a price which seemed to be quite low and far from all other options to start with digital MF - specially keeping in mind that I still own three older Mamiya 645 lenses (35,70,150).

    It is not my "dream-camera" but I hope that it will let me get some idea of MF-shooting and IQ and give me some more time to make my final decision for a more sophisticated (and probably much more expensive) system.

    I read some reports about vibrations caused by the mirror of the ZD - I also read that I might to have to be ready for a little worse dynamic range compared to other MF-backs?
    And so I am interested to get some feedback if there are any things I should keep in mind when I start to use the ZD.
    I hope that I havent done a mistake but at least I have something to use now and not only something to dream.
    I hope/think that I should be able to sell this camera without much loss in a couple of months when I would like to move on.

    Regards, Thomas
    Read back through the archives here. There are many former owners of ZD systems (back or integrated body) here and you will find a lot of information on their experiences.

    Doug Peterson, Head of Technical Services
    Capture Integration, Phase One Dealer
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    Re: Mamiya ZD body - anybody here using one?

    A few weeks ago I bought a used Mamiya ZD and have been overwhelmed by what this marvellous camera is able to deliver in terms of picture quality. From my point of view, there is nothing wrong with your decision to buy one, Thomas.

    Before the ZD I had been shooting with a Hasselblad 503 CW both analogue and digital with the CFD digital back. Compared with the latter, the ZD is a great step forward.

    What I like best about it:
    • The compact size
    • User interface like a modern DSLR
    • Picture quality (ZD and lenses work well together)
    • The ZD and C1 4 Pro are a great combination
    • Speed is very good for a MF camera
    • Image format comparable to my Plaubel Makina 67

    What I dislike:
    • Very tiny display that's hardly usable.
    • ISO 250 is critical, ISO 400 is unusable.
    • The included software is a joke
    • Aperture cannot read ZD RAW files

    In a nutshell, I am pretty sure that you will keep your Mamiya ZD for quite some time as it's form factor and image quality are simply addictive.

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    Re: Mamiya ZD body - anybody here using one?

    Quote Originally Posted by dougpetersonci View Post
    Read back through the archives here. There are many former owners of ZD systems (back or integrated body) here and you will find a lot of information on their experiences.

    Doug Peterson, Head of Technical Services
    Capture Integration, Phase One Dealer
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    I think Doug's comment deserves a slight caveat. (and Doug, the caveat is stated with a ton of respect for your and CIs work).

    Certainly the ZD (both integrated and digital back) has some serious limitations, but as an entry into the MF world, it's decent. I own the DB and despite my first DB suffering from some issues (periodic weird white/snowy frames and a date system that could never remember the date), MAC replaced it with a new back and it has been working quite well.

    As has been noted previously too, some early ZDs had bad purple blobs that was debated ad infinitum for a while but there are certainly usable units out there, using the same 22mpx chip as the Aptus 22, a solid chip.

    For those of us that are using these for hobby and/or very little paying work, who can live with the limitations (small lcd, unusable quality above 200/250 ISO, etc) it is a good system that gets you into a relatively inexpensive lens collection, (and with the db), a very good MF body system (AFD I, II, and now III).

    I do agree that eventually (when one's bank accounts grow, gear envy grows, or pixel peeping needs grow), better DBs may be coveted and purchased by ZD owners. However, as price points continue to fluctuate, I will stick with my ZD DB for a while and be happy with a quality that surpasses nearly all (if not all) 35mm digital formats.

    Enjoy.

    -Josh

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    Re: Mamiya ZD body - anybody here using one?

    Its an excellent professional tool. I have owned mine for over 2.5 years. The so called "limitations" reflect user inexperience, or received wisdom, for the most part. Sure the screen is naff, but the dynamic range and sharpness is very good. Its less good at long exposures. Its an easy to use bargain and trumps the smaller formats.

    Quentin
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    Re: Mamiya ZD body - anybody here using one?

    Thanks guys! First results look fine.
    One has to get used to slow down though (specially been used to a D3 system).
    Regards, Tom

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    Re: Mamiya ZD body - anybody here using one?

    Tom - a couple quick questions:

    1) How useful is the histogram? Is it easy to read and do you think it accurately indicates the exposure?

    2) After the image is taken, how long does it take for the first initial preview to appear?

    3) Have you tried shooting RAW + JPEG, and if so, have you noticed any slow down before the initial preview appears?

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    Re: Mamiya ZD body - anybody here using one?

    I'm also interested in this conversation, as I've been watching the entry end of MFD world for a while. Specifically, I'd love to hear more about the OP's comparison of the ZD with the Hasselblad CFV. Would anyone who's used both care to expand upon this theme a little?

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    Re: Mamiya ZD body - anybody here using one?

    Quote Originally Posted by John Black View Post
    Tom - a couple quick questions:

    1) How useful is the histogram? Is it easy to read and do you think it accurately indicates the exposure?

    2) After the image is taken, how long does it take for the first initial preview to appear?

    3) Have you tried shooting RAW + JPEG, and if so, have you noticed any slow down before the initial preview appears?
    1) I find the histogramm ok to read (vs. the image itself is not ok to see and judge, tiny and color is off)

    2) I would say it is about 1-2 Sec.

    3) Yes, there seems an enourmes slow down. not acceptable. I shoot raw only.

    Some people might not like this comment but in the end I think the Leica S2 concept is kind of a copy of the ZD-concept.
    Of course there are BIG differences in build quality and feel and probably glass as well and design too. but the concept itself...
    And the user interface of the ZD works quite well for me. Very quick acces for DOF preview, exp comp, mirror lock etc etc. It wont win a design award though.
    The S2 is more minemalistic regarding buttons and therefore more control threw the menue (however pretty easy to understand and quick menue)
    Leica please forgive me the comparison.

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    Re: Mamiya ZD body - anybody here using one?

    Nothing to forgive Tom, you are exactly correct. it is the same concept
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Mamiya ZD body - anybody here using one?

    Quote Originally Posted by t_streng View Post
    1)
    Some people might not like this comment but in the end I think the Leica S2 concept is kind of a copy of the ZD-concept.
    I think that is exactly what it is. The ZD is now several years old as a design - took them ages to bring it to market, but when first announced, 22mp was the highest resolution sensor available (back when Phase One's P25 topped the charts). I hope Leica take less time than Mamiya to bring the S2 to market.

    I really like the ZD. Its a well executed concept.

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    Re: Mamiya ZD body - anybody here using one?

    Thanks Thomas. Too bad about the JPEGs because a Epson P5000 (or similar) would be a nice adjunct display for reviewing images in the field.

    Another concept that has been on and off the drawing board is the Pentax 645D. It looks very dSLR centric and in its last version it was mated with the same sensor as the Phase One P30+. The Pentax was last shown at PMA 2007 and the project was subsequently (are very quietly) closed when the Hoya merger (or whatever it was) happened. A couple months ago somebody said the 645D was alive again.

    I would love to see Mamiya update the ZD camera with a new LCD and some other improvements. One catch-22 is how long the Dalsa 22 MP sensor will stay in production.

    Leica needs to address the info presented in the S2's viewfinder - they need to catch up with Canon, Nikon, et al provide some real information about exposure and the amount of EC. Leica design looks clean, but having to go into a menu system to change XYZ is tedious and leads to missed shots - especially when shooting in fast paced settings.

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    Re: Mamiya ZD body - anybody here using one?

    John, I shall also try with small jpgs, which I havent tried yet.
    The display - well its not great at all but I can live with it because I have kind of given up judging IQ from what I see on screen even with 3 inch screens images might look sharp on scvreen but not in reality.
    Important to read the histogramm and to judge exposure. Thats possible.


    Quote Originally Posted by John Black View Post
    Thanks Thomas. Too bad about the JPEGs because a Epson P5000 (or similar) would be a nice adjunct display for reviewing images in the field.

    Another concept that has been on and off the drawing board is the Pentax 645D. It looks very dSLR centric and in its last version it was mated with the same sensor as the Phase One P30+. The Pentax was last shown at PMA 2007 and the project was subsequently (are very quietly) closed when the Hoya merger (or whatever it was) happened. A couple months ago somebody said the 645D was alive again.

    I would love to see Mamiya update the ZD camera with a new LCD and some other improvements. One catch-22 is how long the Dalsa 22 MP sensor will stay in production.

    Leica needs to address the info presented in the S2's viewfinder - they need to catch up with Canon, Nikon, et al provide some real information about exposure and the amount of EC. Leica design looks clean, but having to go into a menu system to change XYZ is tedious and leads to missed shots - especially when shooting in fast paced settings.

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    Re: Mamiya ZD body - anybody here using one?

    I think this maybe the new ZD announced at Photokinia. It looks it 1.2 second frame rate

    http://www.mamiya.com/mamiya-zdb-bac...roductOverview
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    Re: Mamiya ZD body - anybody here using one?

    Yup

    Cologne, Germany – September 19, 2008 – Mamiya Digital Imaging has announced the next model of their digital back – called the Mamiya ZDb 22 megapixel Digital Back – will be shown at Photokina 2008. To further refine the successful Mamiya ZD Digital Back system, the R&D team at Mamiya has developed the new ZDb Digital Back with several useful enhancements.

    To allow longer shooting sessions, the ZDb will have a buffer with up to twice the memory of the original ZD Digital Back – this means that you can continuously shoot up to 22 frames of full resolution RAW files before the buffer is full. The new back is now compatible with SDHC (Secure Digital High Capacity) cards that can store up to 32 gigabytes of images. The Mamiya ZDb Digital Back can also use SD, SDHC, CF I and CF II cards.

    When used with the new Mamiya 645AFDIII, the ZDb Back will display the camera’s 35 custom function controls on the LCD panel. This will make custom camera settings fast and user-friendly. In addition, a beta version of the new Mamiya Remote Capture software will soon be downloadable from our homepage, www.mamiya.com. This software makes shooting tethered with the Mamiya ZDb Back faster and easier.

    Boasting a 22 megapixel Dalsa CCD sensor at an affordable price, the ZDb Digital Back allows the Mamiya 645AFDII, Mamiya 645AFDIII, RZ67Pro-IID and RB67Pro-SD to take razor-sharp digital images - transforming professional quality film cameras into high-end digital systems.

    Pricing and delivery will be announced in the fall of 2008.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Mamiya ZD body - anybody here using one?

    Does anybody have any further thoughts on the comparison between the ZD (back or body) and the CFV/503CWD Hasselblad?

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    Re: Mamiya ZD body - anybody here using one?

    Quote Originally Posted by NonFiction View Post
    Does anybody have any further thoughts on the comparison between the ZD (back or body) and the CFV/503CWD Hasselblad?
    I have used both the CFV back and ZD (body). Now, these two are very different beasts. I have not been very impressed by the image quality of the CFV as it has strong shortcomings in respect to dynamic range and colour rendition (yellow cast). The white balance has mostly been off and the display of the CFV simply does not earn to be called "display". Even though I used an external light meter (Gossen Digisix) that works great with any analogue gear I own (Hassi, Leica or Plaubel) the CFV simply would not get the exposure right. Eventually, one of the worst showstoppers of the CFV for me has always been it's firmware: Tethered shooting sometimes worked and sometimes didn't and RAW-files have had errors and sometimes could not be processed at all.

    In favor of the Mamiya ZD body:
    • Better display (even though still no 'good' display)
    • Integrated light meter
    • Compact and SLR-like look and feel
    • Faster
    • More reliable firmware
    • Greater dynamic range
    • Larger sensor
    • Sharper and detail rich images
    • 22 instead of 16 MP

    To tell you the truth I cannot even think of one single advantage of the CFV over the ZD except, of course, that it is beautifully manufactured and looks great with a Hasselblad 503 CW. So, if you already have a Hassi equipment and would like to keep on using your gear digitally then it is CFV or nothing. In any other case I'd recommend the Mamiya ZD without restriction of any kind.

    Please keep in mind that there is a revised version of the CFV, called CFV 2. I haven't used the latter myself but have heard that it features a better display and is rumored to have slightly revised sensor technology (better IR filter, maybe even a better firmware).

    El.

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    Re: Mamiya ZD body - anybody here using one?

    ElGreco, thank you. That was exactly the kind of thing I'm looking for. I've read very positive reports on the CFV from Marc Williams, whose opinion I respect a great deal, but I've never seen it compared to the Mamiya products that I can recall.

    For someone looking at the very entry level of (field usable) MFD, this would seem an apt comparison, as these two solutions pretty much comprise the entry level right now.

    Thread hijack over.

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    Re: Mamiya ZD body - anybody here using one?

    You should look at the threads on this forum showing absolutely amazing images from John Milich (JLM). All of these were taken with the Hassy 205TCC and the CFV (or perhaps the CFVII) back.

    Woody Spedden

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    Re: Mamiya ZD body - anybody here using one?

    Oh, I've seen John's pictures in that thread, and been impressed, to be sure. Between him and Marc, it has seemed like a great first step into MFD, for the kind of work I do.

    Currently shooting a Rolleiflex and loving it, but (old story) I'm just not crazy about scanning, or paying for scanning, or going to the lab for that matter.

    When the ZD Mamiya (integral body being discussed here and the back both), I was pretty excited--in that way you get excited about a thing that might suit some future version of yourself quite nicely.

    Now I'm nearing realization of that future self, and curious about the merits of the ZD and comparable systems. It's fun, and cheap, to do it this way.

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    Re: Mamiya ZD body - anybody here using one?

    Thomas (or anyone else with a ZD camera) - does it work okay with Sandisk Extreme III cards (16 GB)?

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    Re: Mamiya ZD body - anybody here using one?

    Quote Originally Posted by John Black View Post
    Thomas (or anyone else with a ZD camera) - does it work okay with Sandisk Extreme III cards (16 GB)?
    I only have used it a few days now but so far it worls fine with a 16 GB Sandisk Extreme III. (I use raw only because big jpgs slow down the thing to an unaccaptable time)

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    Re: Mamiya ZD body - anybody here using one?

    Thank you Thomas. I just bought a ZD camera too and if it clears customs in a timely fashion, then it should be here in a week or so. The only CF cards I have are 16 GB Ext III's for the 1Ds3.

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    Re: Mamiya ZD body - anybody here using one?

    John - as I said, seems to work fine.
    Lets see some images when you have received the zd.
    Cheers, Tom

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    Re: Mamiya ZD body - anybody here using one?

    Hopefully the first images by next weekend if the seller ships tomorrow and DHL is timely.

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    Re: Mamiya ZD body - anybody here using one?

    Some more shooting with e ZD, my D3 and my M8:

    The IQ advantage of the ZD seems only valid at low ISO.

    At ISO 200 the D3 allready seems to deliever better IQ than the ZD.

    Shake or the slightest missfocus can destroy all advantage of MF very fast.

    Conclusion for me:

    if one gets everything right, (focus, tripod, low iso. etc) the ZD delievers an advantage in IQ which is easy to detect. Also the tones are quit balanced.
    But you have to nail everything.

    The same is true for the M8, if you hit everything right it can deliever nice IQ, a little sharper than that of the D3. And, as an advantage compared to the ZD: less shake (because there is no mirror slap), and great up to ISO 640 vs 125 of the ZD, plus faster lenses and more DOF at the same f-stop - less need to stop down. However color and tones are more tricky with the M8 IMO, sometimes just fine, sometimes strange (with c1pro)

    D3, maybo not as "brilliant" sharpness but with this camera it is much easier to nail everything (focus, to avoid shake because of great higher ISO, correct exposure (for example just exp bracket at a speed of 11 fms/sec).

    So there seems room for each of them, (there would even be room for another MF-system, with maybe a little better high ISO and a WLF

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    Re: Mamiya ZD body - anybody here using one?

    Contax 645 and Phase One P30+? Or do you want the 503CWD?
    Carsten - Website

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    Re: Mamiya ZD body - anybody here using one?

    From my testing the Phase Backs the best at high ISO is the P30 plus and if you have to venture in that territory it will perform the best.I get very nice results with my P25 plus at ISO 800 the Zd is even pushing it at ISO 200 from when I had that back. MF bottom line you need to be on your toes with any of them. There working camera's that need attention like the M8 does also. I like to call the D3 the lazy man camera, it just gets stuff done without to much paying attention. This is not a dig on any of them , they all have there place in or out of your bag just depends on what you do and more important how you want to work. I like the control factor. I like knowing exactly what wall i am up against and work within that wall, I can't afford to get lazy. But that is ME
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Mamiya ZD body - anybody here using one?

    Just wait until the S2 comes along and hopefully starts to deliver all that control and still allow you to be a bit "lazy" while getting the shots. I am losing sleep over this already ;-)

    LJ

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    Re: Mamiya ZD body - anybody here using one?

    LOL yea maybe lazy but poor as heck
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Mamiya ZD body - anybody here using one?

    The ZD is a ISO 50 machine, 100 if you're willing to sacrifice some quality. The P25 was the same; great at ISO 50 but by ISO 100 the noise levels were that of a 1Ds2 or 1Ds3. And by ISO 200 the Canons won already.

    If the light is good and bright, thus good shutter speeds, then backs like a P25 or ZD are viable. But if light is dropping, then dSLRs rule the roost. With the 1Ds2 I'd cringe alittle at ISO 400, with the 1Ds3 I don't even think twice about shoot ISO 800.

    The P30 does offer some latitude, but at the expense of a smaller sensor. That's a tough trade-off for me.

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    Re: Mamiya ZD body - anybody here using one?

    I need to stop with pixel peeping on instead just use the stuff and see the real results.
    Thank you for those infos. Now if one is limited to 100ISO and needs to further stop down to get enough DOF this gets quit a limiting factor for anything which is not with a tripod or in bright light.


    Quote Originally Posted by John Black View Post
    The ZD is a ISO 50 machine, 100 if you're willing to sacrifice some quality. The P25 was the same; great at ISO 50 but by ISO 100 the noise levels were that of a 1Ds2 or 1Ds3. And by ISO 200 the Canons won already.

    If the light is good and bright, thus good shutter speeds, then backs like a P25 or ZD are viable. But if light is dropping, then dSLRs rule the roost. With the 1Ds2 I'd cringe alittle at ISO 400, with the 1Ds3 I don't even think twice about shoot ISO 800.

    The P30 does offer some latitude, but at the expense of a smaller sensor. That's a tough trade-off for me.
    Last edited by Paratom; 4th November 2008 at 00:26.

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    Re: Mamiya ZD body - anybody here using one?

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    From my testing the Phase Backs the best at high ISO is the P30 plus and if you have to venture in that territory it will perform the best.I get very nice results with my P25 plus at ISO 800 the Zd is even pushing it at ISO 200 from when I had that back. MF bottom line you need to be on your toes with any of them. There working camera's that need attention like the M8 does also. I like to call the D3 the lazy man camera, it just gets stuff done without to much paying attention. This is not a dig on any of them , they all have there place in or out of your bag just depends on what you do and more important how you want to work. I like the control factor. I like knowing exactly what wall i am up against and work within that wall, I can't afford to get lazy. But that is ME
    Guy, I think you are right - the D3 being a lazy man camera. However I would say one still needs to know what one wants to do, but the camera is just predictable. No surprises.

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    Re: Mamiya ZD body - anybody here using one?

    I agree Tom it is a nice camera the D3 and not saying it is not in any way shape or form but the results will not equal a MF system until you compare the noise at the higher ISO than it will edge it out. Reason i said MF is a more working camera because it is a slower process and the tripod will come out more to play but the results make that extra work pay off. Like many have said the ZD is a great start into the MF system you know which wall you are up against and use that system within that range and if you step out than you reach for something else.
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    Re: Mamiya ZD body - anybody here using one?

    Sure guy,
    I just intended to find out the pros and cons of each systems as well as the limits and its amazing again and again that small user errors can destroy the whole advantage of good equipment.


    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    I agree Tom it is a nice camera the D3 and not saying it is not in any way shape or form but the results will not equal a MF system until you compare the noise at the higher ISO than it will edge it out. Reason i said MF is a more working camera because it is a slower process and the tripod will come out more to play but the results make that extra work pay off. Like many have said the ZD is a great start into the MF system you know which wall you are up against and use that system within that range and if you step out than you reach for something else.

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    Re: Mamiya ZD body - anybody here using one?

    Using a ZD back, i am wondering what is the max capacity for SD and CF card that can be used... is 8gb or 16 gb too much for a CF? 2gb max for SD according to Mamiya.
    Any clues? Can't get a clear answer from the Web.
    Thanks

    Stef

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    Re: Mamiya ZD body - anybody here using one?

    Quote Originally Posted by kloud View Post
    Using a ZD back, i am wondering what is the max capacity for SD and CF card that can be used... is 8gb or 16 gb too much for a CF? 2gb max for SD according to Mamiya.
    Any clues? Can't get a clear answer from the Web.
    Thanks

    Stef
    CF 16 gb sandisk ExtremeIII works fine so far in my ZD

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    Re: Mamiya ZD body - anybody here using one?

    Hi Thomas,

    OK, So i guess using a CF 16gb Extreme IV should be ok too, although it doesn't seem to improve the buffer response time between each picture.
    Too bad SD cards can't go over 2Gb indeed...
    How's your experience going with the Zd so far?
    Cheers.

    Stef

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    Re: Mamiya ZD body - anybody here using one?

    Quote Originally Posted by kloud View Post
    Hi Thomas,

    OK, So i guess using a CF 16gb Extreme IV should be ok too, although it doesn't seem to improve the buffer response time between each picture.
    Too bad SD cards can't go over 2Gb indeed...
    How's your experience going with the Zd so far?
    Cheers.

    Stef
    I like the size but have to get used to be limited to low ISO. (compared to my M8 and D3)
    One thing I dont like - it seems there is allways a delay until the AF starts to work after touching the shutter-release.
    I need more time - I work in an office and its dark when I get home. So I only have the weekends right now.
    Cheers, Tom

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    Re: Mamiya ZD body - anybody here using one?

    There's a power save function that delays start up. I don't have the user manual handy... it's one of the custom functions.

    Have you investigated any of the D lenses? They are compatible, but the ZD needs a firmware update. Supposedly cameras produced sometime after April-June, 2007 already have the correct firmware.

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    Re: Mamiya ZD body - anybody here using one?

    John,
    how do you get along with the ZD so far?
    Regards, Tom

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    Re: Mamiya ZD body - anybody here using one?

    It's going very well so far. I updated the 645 Blog section earlier today with some quick pix. Weather permitting, it'll get some more testing Saturday and Sunday. Image quality is really quite good.

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    Re: Mamiya ZD body - anybody here using one?

    I hardly ever take my ZD camera off 50 ISO. In some situations - the studio, for example - its a big plus to have a base ISO of 50. If I was shooting Velvia, I would not have an issue with low ISO.

    I also have a D700 which I use for mostly different purposes. I guess I'm a ZD old timer, having owned mine for 2.5 years now. Looking at the mad prices of new MF kit, I think I'll be keeping mine quite a while longer.
    Quentin Bargate
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    Re: Mamiya ZD body - anybody here using one?

    Quote Originally Posted by John Black View Post
    It's going very well so far. I updated the 645 Blog section earlier today with some quick pix. Weather permitting, it'll get some more testing Saturday and Sunday. Image quality is really quite good.
    John,
    what are your feelings if you would have to compare the ZD to the Mamiya+P25 you had?
    Would you say the P25 had 1 step less noise or 2 steps?
    One thing I understand is that the DR of the P25 should be a little bit better.
    Thanks for the tip regarding the power saving. I deactivated it and the AF delay is much better now.
    Regards, Tom

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    Studio ZD shot

    Here is one example of the ZD camera used for a studio food shot:



    Lens was the 120mm macro.
    Quentin Bargate
    Director of Bargate Murray, Law Firm of the Year 2012 - 2017, ”leading individual”, Chambers HNW guide, 2017, Photographer
    Likes 1 Member(s) liked this post

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    Re: Mamiya ZD body - anybody here using one?

    Hi Thomas, you're forcing my hand a bit. It's only been a couple days with the ZD and I don't want to say anything definitive yet. So, I reserve the right to completely flip-flop When it comes down to file quality, I would not sell the ZD camera for a P25. Some initial impressions:

    1) P25 was cleaner at ISO 50. The ZD looks slightly better than the 1Ds3, and not quite as good as the P25. This depends alot on the lighting conditions and what type of post processing is applied (pushing around shadows with levels editing, etc).

    2) The ZD color is a bit more muted. Quentin's picture above shows that great color is under the surface. I need a month or two for figuring out how to maximize the color potential. The P25 had punchier color, but it always had a reddish bias. Sometimes a couple ticks on the magenta WB slider would take it out, other times the red ran through the entire file and post processing would unearth more and more red. The Kodak and Dalsa sensors have different color personalities. I also have a lot of Aptus-22 raws on hand, and I think I prefer the color sensitivity / response come out of the Dalsa chip compared to the Kodak.

    3) I'm pretty confident that the ZD is beating the 1Ds3 by a wide margin when it comes to highlights. I feel like I've gained 1+ stops in the highlight range (compared to the 1Ds3). Compared to the P25 the DR is probably similar. Usually the P25 files need the lower levels raised on landscapes. With the P25 it was a good idea to meter for highlights, and then boost the shadow tones in post processing. ISO 50 was really clean, so that worked well. With the ZD, it SEEMS to take a brighter picture. i don't feel the need to boost the mid and lower tones. And it's holding highlights well. So, I think Mamiya's tone curve is biased towards getting more DR above the midpoint and they are foresaking some of the shadow detail. So far the ZD seems more workable for how I shoot. I really don't worry about clipped highlights thus far. But again, this is just the first impression, so opinions may change.

    4) The sensor cast from the P25 was horrible and every file needed a LCC correction. It had the typical "Italian Flag" - greenish bias to the left, magenta bias to the right. That drove me crazy. LCC would fix 80-90% of the cast, so the net result was fine. Thus far I have not seen any signs of sensor cast from ZD. I'm sure there is some because that's the nature of things, but at least it's not jumping out and pissing me off.

    5) I've tried ISO 100 alittle, seems okay. I think I'll side with Quentin - I doubt the camera will move off of ISO 50. He has the D700, I have a 1Ds3. If I needed ISO, I'll go with the Canon. If I'm happy with the ZD, the 1Ds3 will be sold and replaced with a 5DII.

    I doubt I will ever go back to a P25. Yes, the files could be good, but the system came with alot of headaches. Used prices have come down considerably, but I still don't think I'd do it. The ZD camera has some brilliant features - like the multipoint AF. The AFD III probably has the same set-up. I probably wouldn't go back to an AFD II.

    If I were "moving up" from a ZD, something like a H3DII-22 really interests me because I prefer integrated approach - things like a single, common battery; the LCD screen for setting the camera options, etc. For me, moving up really only buys better ISO performance. And as said earlier, if I'm going to move into the upper ISO ranges, I'd rather shoot a dSLR.

    If Nikon comes out with a MX system and the ISO and AF performance is there, then that system will be very interesting. There's no way on this planet I'm giving Leica $18k for their S2. Its ergonomics & menu dependency are not well thought out. If Leica re-thinks some aspects of the S2 and gets the price in the $10k range, then I'll give it a hard look.

    In the end the ZD camera is a really cheap way to shoot medium format and it will probably deliver 85-95% of the P25 / Aptus-22 quality. The P25 / Aptus-22 files are presumably better, but the ergonomics (integration) doesn't match up to the ZD. If Mamiya updated the ZD camera with a quasi modern LCD and faster, more responsive throughput, I think they could torpedo the S2. And if slapped a P30+ sensor in there, then they'd really put Leica on its heels.

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    Re: Mamiya ZD body - anybody here using one?

    Added a quick update along with several ZD raw files for download.

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    Re: Mamiya ZD body - anybody here using one?

    John,

    You might like to try SilkyPix as a raw file decoder for ZD raw files. I find its pretty good.
    Quentin Bargate
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    Re: Mamiya ZD body - anybody here using one?

    4) The sensor cast from the P25 was horrible and every file needed a LCC correction. It had the typical "Italian Flag" - greenish bias to the left, magenta bias to the right. That drove me crazy. LCC would fix 80-90% of the cast, so the net result was fine. Thus far I have not seen any signs of sensor cast from ZD. I'm sure there is some because that's the nature of things, but at least it's not jumping out and pissing me off.


    I find that pretty strange . I tested the P25 in San Juan and had no color cast whatsoever. Also I shot the P30 plus at the same time and the files where very close in color. I have the P25 Plus and it is miles above the ZD in terms of speed on all counts. Color I will say the Kodak has a little more punch but I could not get the ZD off ISO 100 tops and very slow to buffer and review. Reason I sold it.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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