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Thread: Mamiya ZD SLR

  1. #1
    Jeff Laitila
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    Mamiya ZD SLR

    Hello all, I've been looking for a Mamiya ZD SLR, but they are pretty much impossible to find on the used market.

    But I know eventually I will come across one, so I would like to know what a good used price would be for one so I can act quickly when the opportunity presents itself. I'm not looking to rob anyone, just looking for a range of what the current market price is for a used Mamiya ZD SLR.

    The most recent sale I have seen here was $4,900 for a three lens set back in January of this year. (I wish I had seen that sale back in January!) Has anyone seen anything more recent?

    Thanks,

    Jeff

  2. #2
    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Mamiya ZD SLR

    My .02 only, but you would be seriously better off buying a used AFD2 body with a detachable ZD back over the ZD unified SLR. With the former, you can upgrade, and it is easier to keep clean. Plus they are more popular and about the same prices used.
    Jack
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    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

  3. #3
    Jeff Laitila
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    Re: Mamiya ZD SLR

    Hi Jack,

    Yes, I have thought about that. As far as upgradability, the digital back is the only smart way to go. But for my style of shooting, a more compact setup would be of great benefit.

    I'm shooting with a Mamiya AFD and Kodak DCS pro back now, and believe it or not, but this is what I use for street photography when I feel like punishing myself and I leave the M8 at home.

    I was planning to get the ZD SLR so I could do a true comparison between the body formats to see if the size, bulk, weight savings of the ZD SLR are worth the trade offs you mentioned before deciding to either;

    a.) Sell the AFD/DCS pro back set in favor of the ZD SLR, or

    b.) Stick with the AFD and sell the ZD SLR and DCS pro back and put those funds towards a ZD (or or other) back.

    But if my patience wears thin in my search for a ZD SLR, I may just go straight for a ZD (or other) digital back.

    Thanks for the reply.

    Jeff

  4. #4
    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Mamiya ZD SLR

    Hi Jeff,

    Okay, now it makes total sense!

    The ZD back renders *very* similarly to your DCS back -- in fact, I would say the practical difference is basically the ZD sensor is the same height and 12mm wider -- oh, and the ZD battery lasts about twice as long
    Jack
    home: www.getdpi.com

    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

  5. #5
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    Re: Mamiya ZD SLR

    I'm pretty happy with the Mamiya ZD and since they sell for ~$4500, it's an expensive way to enjoy a 48mm x 36mm sensor. The ZD body has several advantages over a AFD / AFD II:

    1) Rechargeable batteries - which last ~400 clicks and hold their charge extremely well between uses. Battery life is similar to a Canon 1Ds2. Whereas the AFD II eats through batteries like M&M's. And with a digital back, now there are two sets of batteries to tend to.

    2) The ZD has three selectable AF points like the AFD III. With the direction button on the back of the camera, a simple click selects left, right, center or wide (all three points ganged together).

    3) The camera is fairly light compared to adding a digital back to a AFD II.

    4) Sensor cleaning is a non-issue because the dust settles on the IR filter. The IR filter is removable. I remove the filter from ZD and clean it with sensor swabs.

    5) There's no crop factor to contend with the focus screen.

    The biggest drawback of the ZD is its LCD (same limitation with the ZD back). In terms of checking images in the field, forget about it. It's fine for reviewing the histogram, but not much else. The next drawback is the limited ISO range, but that's par for the course with the P25, Aptus-22, H2D-22, etc.

  6. #6
    Jeff Laitila
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    Re: Mamiya ZD SLR

    Jack,

    That's good news as I am absolutely loving the colors that the Pro Back produces.

  7. #7
    Jeff Laitila
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    Re: Mamiya ZD SLR

    John,

    Actually, your continuing Mamiya ZD SLR review is one of the main reasons why I am interested that camera. Small world.

  8. #8
    Super Duper
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    Re: Mamiya ZD SLR

    One other point: there has been some reports of stability and quality problems with the ZD back, but not with the ZD camera. There are some threads on LL about this.
    Carsten - Website

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    Senior Member kdphotography's Avatar
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    Re: Mamiya ZD SLR

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Laitila View Post
    Jack,

    That's good news as I am absolutely loving the colors that the Pro Back produces.
    The Kodak Proback is a wonderful MFDB----loved using mine for quite sometime. The software is great---particularly liked the Kodak Custom Looks software module.

    I'd be more inclined to sit tight for a bit, and buy a better back than the ZD or ZD camera.....

  10. #10
    ddk
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    Re: Mamiya ZD SLR

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Laitila View Post
    Jack,

    That's good news as I am absolutely loving the colors that the Pro Back produces.
    You're not going to get those from any other back, that, plus the Kodak software and square format are the reasons that I still shoot with mine regularly; in spite of owning other higher end backs. I understand your need for compactness, but how much of a difference is there?

  11. #11
    Super Duper
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    Re: Mamiya ZD SLR

    I have used a ZD for a few weeks and found the IQ at low iso very good.
    I also think the user interface works quite well.

  12. #12
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    Re: Mamiya ZD SLR

    Jeff - You pulled quite the coup on the ZD purchase

  13. #13
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Mamiya ZD SLR

    Yea I wanted that Extension tube number 2 in the worst way. LOL

    Almost bought the whole thing just for that. LOL
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

  14. #14
    Jeff Laitila
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    Re: Mamiya ZD SLR

    I know,

    I've been holding out for a ZD SLR, but that deal was way to good to pass up.

  15. #15
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    Re: Mamiya ZD SLR

    Quote Originally Posted by carstenw View Post
    One other point: there has been some reports of stability and quality problems with the ZD back, but not with the ZD camera. There are some threads on LL about this.
    I had the ZD camera (slr) but sold it. All ZDs (camera + back) appear plagued with the problem I posted by title 'ZD has Problem' over on LL. The problem appear to stem from lack of design. Image quality-wise, Leaf and P1 20Mp backs are superior. But yes, the ZD camera did not have the lock ups that were reported by ZD back users.

    Above said, I did much like the interface of the ZD camera. Would be shame if P1 does not develop it with proper internals.

    Anders

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