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Author Topic: Has every ZD / ZD back owner given up  (Read 137221 times)

Anders_HK

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Has every ZD / ZD back owner given up
« Reply #40 on: September 06, 2007, 09:10:01 am »

Quote
Hi
I have spent the last 5 days going into Sydney shooting APEC as a photo journalist would with the ZD. It is a brilliant camera & this one is 16 months old ( no upgrade). My Canon 5D sits idle at the moment. It is light weight & easy to use......... BUT for some reason I feel & maybe there are pixel peepers out there or Mamiya haters.........SORRY.............BUT this is becoming stupid!!!!!!!!!I am getting great results & if we loose Mamiya that is it for AFFORDABLE MFD PERIOD. If you don't like the ZD format buy something else! Yes Leaf is better but that ZD camera is brilliant!!!! It truly is a MFD SLR camera. I have been using RD on a MAC..........I don't know what else to say!!!!!!
Denis
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Denis,

I agree with you.

The ZD camera is amazing to me in that in its shape of a DSLR being medium format! In fact its weight with lenses weighs no more than top of line Nikon or Canon (although focal lengths and widest aperatures are tradeoffs, but if I would go back Nikon I would have same weight, only more variety of focals..., do I need them?). The comparative low weight of Mamiya medium format is amazing in itself.

With the ZD we are at lower $$ than any medium format digital (same cost as top of line Nikon or Canon, which is still alot of $$$) and have attributes of the larger medium format: 3D, greater DOF control, pop, truly great DR & truly amazing exposure latitude (coming from D200), improved color over DSLRs and ease of working with files. Thus the ZD impress me. I like Mamiya. I love my 7II too which I got my first Velvia 50 from the other day. Dang. It is good. Velvia magic! Before I only shot it in 135. I wish Mamiya to excel and improve on what they have with the ZD. Yes, it is lots less $$$ than other medium format digital offerings, but like you I am also much impressed by the ZD camera body. Ok, reviews wrote of the flimsy CF door. Personally I do not see problem. The one thing on body is the shaping of holding it in one hand when walking around. So what? Image quality is what counts.

Apart from all of above, I very much hope that Mamiya indeed fully support us with any deficiencies there may be, and in taking swift actions to correct them. I even wish that there will be a ZD II with a higher MP Dalsa sensor. And... that Mamiya will offer the incentive of an affordable rebuild of our already ZD camera bodies with a higher pixel sensor and improved performance. As of course also to improve on noise or any other issue that may be current.

Ken Rockwell wrote of the Mamiya 7 that he thought the build was not very good, but it would still capture amazing captures. I'd say the build of both 7 and ZD are good. Ok, not the gold that Nikon has on lenses... but so what? Photography is what matters. Not the aesthetics or gimmicks. One thing I do like on the ZD camera compared to D200, is that the controls are much more simple and what I need for photography, not the complex computer that the D200 seemed to me.

These are indeed what I value in the ZD camera.

Regards
Anders
« Last Edit: September 06, 2007, 09:20:54 am by Anders_HK »
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Henry Goh

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« Reply #41 on: September 06, 2007, 09:19:30 am »

sigh... I only wish to see more images for myself...

Guess it is too much to ask after all.

Henry
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Anders_HK

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« Reply #42 on: September 06, 2007, 09:34:10 am »

 
Quote
sigh... I only wish to see more images for myself...

Guess it is too much to ask after all.

Henry
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Henry,

I hear you  

From my first shoot... waterfall. I am only starting out with my ZD camera... too silly of me in backlight not to use expsore compensation, no worries... I think I used +1.5!!! in SilkyPix on both... unheard of for DSLRs....  one made a great print in my office... beats a much larger HDR print from D200 hands down. The HDR from D200 looks plain flat.

A third photo from my second landscape shoot is posted also. I stood there waiting for an opening of light for about one hour, waiting in the one spot I liked. Since these I have re-read SilkyPix manual and can propably process better. It is a very good program, also for the ZD.

Mamiya...??? mmm....  

Regards
Anders
« Last Edit: September 06, 2007, 09:37:48 am by Anders_HK »
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doncody

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« Reply #43 on: September 06, 2007, 09:41:20 am »

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Denis,

I don't see anyone being a Mamiya hater. When I headed to our pro shop to demo the ZD back, I had to go back to the studio because I forgot my checkbook. I had all intentions of trying it, looking at files on my laptop and taking one with me. But that didn't happen, because the ZD BACK does have some problems and Bob simply couldn't see what was obvious that his back showed some of the same color blobs. We can say til we're blue in the face that most won't use ISO 400 but the color blobs are showing up at lower ISOs as well or if recovering shadow detail.

We all need to realize that the ZD camera and ZD back are two completely different products in nearly all respects except for the sensor. One has been out for years and works for its owners and the other is new and showing signs of issues that kill my confidence on the product. That's why I want to see samples and hear experience from other ZD back owners, and I'm sure other people want that as well because the ZD camera is not and will not be available in the U.S. for sale or support. So the back is the only Mamiya branded option here. At the moment, comparing the two ZD products doesn't work for potential buyers to get any idea of image quality.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=137681\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Thanks John, that's the point I was trying to make in my earlier post.  It appears to be a QC problem with the most recent batch of wafers/sensors, which I believe Frank pointed to.  I guess the question is...is that in fact the problem, and when will it be fixed?  Has anyone bought a BACK recently and didn't have problems?  
By the way I'm pulling for Mamiya on this one, and like others was ready to pull the trigger until hearing of these issues.
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Anders_HK

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« Reply #44 on: September 06, 2007, 09:46:24 am »

Quote
At the moment, comparing the two ZD products doesn't work for potential buyers to get any idea of image quality.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=137681\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

John,

From what I can tell from my ZD camera FD series, it is same image quality as the ZD back. Both ZD back and camera are same.

Regards
Anders
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David Blankenship

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« Reply #45 on: September 06, 2007, 10:14:28 am »

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Thanks John, that's the point I was trying to make in my earlier post.  It appears to be a QC problem with the most recent batch of wafers/sensors, which I believe Frank pointed to.  I guess the question is...is that in fact the problem, and when will it be fixed?  Has anyone bought a BACK recently and didn't have problems? 
By the way I'm pulling for Mamiya on this one, and like others was ready to pull the trigger until hearing of these issues.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=137683\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Don,

I feel the same as you on the Mamiya ZD camera & ZD Back, I am waiting for the Mamiya to sort out it's color issues as I have a $5000.00 Kodak SLRN camera sitting in the cabinet with less than 2000 exposures on it and I don't won't to make another repeat of this bad purchase with the Mamiya ZD.     So I will wait another 3 to 5 months for the ZD  color issues or QC problems to be worked out.  I am rooting for Mamiya and ALL MFDB companies to lower the price of their products.  I personally don't like upgrading every 1.5 years on digital  cameras, why can't we just upgrade the SENSOR and download new FIRMWARE.  I enjoy reading new Camera manuals about as much as reading STEREO  INSTRUCTION MANuals..............NOT........      


db
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David Blankenship

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« Reply #46 on: September 06, 2007, 10:31:35 am »

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Anders,

I don't think your camera does this:

Image of car overexposed by 0.5-1.0 stops

ZD camera owners are saying they can overexpose and recover highlights well. Look at that image at the tire and bumper. 100 ISO with purple crap in the darker values.  That's why I say, at the moment, the back and camera are not comparable in image quality. If and when Mamiya has this worked out then purhaps they will be.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=137693\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

John,

I like your work on your website , especially the series section.   The image you posted wasn't all that bad in the tire and bumper area, especially if you burn it down 10 to 15 percent. Do you have a  better example of the purple fringing in the shadows.

db
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mtomalty

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« Reply #47 on: September 06, 2007, 11:47:53 am »

[quot]
 The image you posted wasn't all that bad in the tire and bumper area, especially if you burn it down 10 to 15 percent.
[/quote]


Well,it may not be all that bad but it's really not that good.

If you were shooting commercially and had to reproduce,within a few percentage points,
the color of that bumper you'd have a problem or,at the very least, additionl work to
repair the problem that you would not have with competing products.

John,what I find curious about your posted test image is the tire area.
I get the impression that there is some sort of branding type of text on the tire that is
there but is impossible to define what it is.
Is there,actually,something there or am i just imaging this.  I would expect a 22 Mp capture
to easily render this information,even in flatly lit shadow areas.

Mark
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ronno

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« Reply #48 on: September 06, 2007, 12:27:54 pm »

Quote
Hi
I have spent the last 5 days going into Sydney shooting APEC as a photo journalist would with the ZD. It is a brilliant camera & this one is 16 months old ( no upgrade). My Canon 5D sits idle at the moment. It is light weight & easy to use......... BUT for some reason I feel & maybe there are pixel peepers out there or Mamiya haters.........SORRY.............BUT this is becoming stupid!!!!!!!!!I am getting great results & if we loose Mamiya that is it for AFFORDABLE MFD PERIOD. If you don't like the ZD format buy something else! Yes Leaf is better but that ZD camera is brilliant!!!! It truly is a MFD SLR camera. I have been using RD on a MAC..........I don't know what else to say!!!!!!
Denis
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Useful information!
Hey mcphoto, how much more D.R. would you guess you are getting with the Mamiya over your 5D?
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David Blankenship

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« Reply #49 on: September 06, 2007, 12:33:26 pm »

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Mark,

That image was shot at 2.8 with the 80mm. I was actually focusing on the headlight to look at how well it dealt with highlights and fringing at blown areas, not expecting to see purple in the darker tones.

Here is another example of a properly exposed image 100 ISO, crop 100%. First one is all flat no adjustments and the second is the same image with saturation boost to show a purple V shape slightly angled. Not a reflection, because I have a sequence of 4 frames from 100-400 ISO when the same thing shows up to some degree in each one and then turns green in the 400 shot. I am not trying to make a huge deal out of all this, but there is an issue with these backs right now, or some of them. With very few people providing examples, it is hard to tell if it's isolated or no one is buying these backs.

normal

saturation boosted

I have never seen issues like this in cameras I have owned or used. To me it is unacceptable to go out on a shoot with a ZD back and not know if and when and under what circumstances garbage is going to show up that requires major post work to fix. The reason I am so particular on the darker tones is that I have a lot of personal shooting I am just now getting started with that will be all new portfolio work for a completely new direction in my shooting. I would love to have a $7K back to do that work with for the resolution and greater range of tones than using my Canons.

David, thanks for the comments. My samples may be subtle but in my mind a back where I need to have heavy amount of blacks be 0,0,0 to get rid of some of this just won't work. Not for what I will be working on.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=137712\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

The  purple fringing look of the  ZD files are very similar to my Kodak SLRN files.  My remedy to that problem was buyng a Nikon D2X camera and putting the Kodak SLRN back in the box it came in.   I  am hoping  that  Mamiya can work out the problem by December 2007.  I would rather spent $8000.00 on a 22 mp back than $16,000.00 to $18,000.00.  

db
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Frank Doorhof

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« Reply #50 on: September 06, 2007, 01:18:47 pm »

@MCfoto,
I don't know if you mean me by Mamiya hater (because in the same sentence leaf is mentioned).

YES I did switch to Leaf.
But I don't hate Mamiya however I do have a big problem at this moment.

I made a very enthiousastic review based on an OLD back, I found the quality absolutly wonderful, when I switched backs all the artifacts came out.
According to Mamiya this was ONE batch so I kept quiet, but I see ALOT of those shots popping up from all over the world.

For me I have two choices.
I can keep my mouth shut and be a bad reviewer or I can say something.
The question is how serious will Mamiya pick it up.

I have ZERO experience with the ZD camera but on almost ALL samples from the ZD back I have seen up untill now I see the purple artifacts (like a sort of stamps).

I think it's very important to let Mamiya hear this, I don't believe it's pixelpeeping, let's be totally honest with each other, although it's the cheapest MF system out there, it's still a whole lot of money and I expect some problems like a bad LCD, slow in buffer etc. etc. all of that is NO problem as long as the outcome is ok.
I would even accept a limit to ISO200.
But as you can see on the shot of the car from John look at the bumper it's clearly seen.

NOISE is not an issue for me that's normal but this is really bad, I also believe that Mamiya is working on it and will fix it, so I'm a bit at a crossroads, I love Mamiya alot and think that in basic the product is stunning, however with the purple artifacts it's unusable for ME.
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david o

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« Reply #51 on: September 06, 2007, 01:30:41 pm »

I think unhappy ZD back owner will make more noise than happy ones.
Always hard to tell if it's only a bad batch or if it something that affect the entire production. It would be nice to know fir sure.
BTW Frank what is the difference between your New ZD and your old and why did you end up with a 'new' zd back (before your leaf)
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SeanPuckett

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« Reply #52 on: September 06, 2007, 01:58:04 pm »

I can easily see problems in the car wheel/bumper and portrait shots.  I think "livid" would describe my feelings [if I had spent] $6K on a back that produced imagery like that.  To my eye, it looks like some sort of firmware-applied shadow noise reduction that has bad parameters or goes a little ape sometimes -- maybe this came on as a result of Mamiya's push to increase the ISO through software.  I wonder, is there a back setting to disable all noise reduction?

Edit: To clarify, I do not own a ZD Back; I had strong intentions but became distracted by urgent projects and now Frank's "purple worms" alarum has me watching from the side again.  I still believe in the ZD Back as a concept, but this latest round of problems is worrisome.  I'm not liable to believe that the new Nikon/Canon studio shooters will do everything I wish MFDB to do, but my mode right now is: wait and see.  Mighty players are moving quickly.
« Last Edit: September 06, 2007, 02:12:07 pm by SeanPuckett »
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Anders_HK

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« Reply #53 on: September 06, 2007, 03:30:48 pm »

Quote
Anders,

I don't think your camera does this:

[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=137693\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
John,

Please make following test with your back:
Post subject lighted by diffused light.
Subject: black non reflecting material in half of frame (black neoprene or camera bag material as example). White in other.
Average metering will work. No exposure compensation thus needed.

Can please someone else with ZD camera do same test and tell what serial (FA-FF?). Please feel free to email me confidentially using yousendit.com.

Regards
Anders
« Last Edit: September 06, 2007, 03:44:18 pm by Anders_HK »
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Quentin

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« Reply #54 on: September 06, 2007, 06:10:16 pm »

Having checked a few images from my ZD Camera, "FE" series, I don't see anything as bad or even close to the purple issues on the samples from the some ZD backs.  I mainly use Silkypix.  With a lot of pulling detail out of shadows, there is some colour noise, but it is completely zapped by the colour noise slider in Camera Raw for example, using default settings.

I realize this does not help ZD back owners, but it is relevant to other ZD Camera owners also reading this thread.

Quentin
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Snook

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« Reply #55 on: September 06, 2007, 07:14:28 pm »

Quentin, I am beginning to wonder if you really even have a ZD..:+}
Why don't post some images like I ask a while back please..
Thanks..
Snook
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mcfoto

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« Reply #56 on: September 06, 2007, 08:42:41 pm »

Quote
Useful information!
Hey mcphoto, how much more D.R. would you guess you are getting with the Mamiya over your 5D?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=137715\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Hi
I don't really compare the ZD to the 5D. I compare the ZD to the Aptus 22 & in the studio @ iso 50 they are very close. When for example I shoot clouds the ZD has incredible depth in comparison to the 5D. In the next few months I will be getting the 1DsIII & a few newer lenses. That should be interesting since the new Canon will have 14 bit, the same as the ZD. I still feel that in the low iso 50-100 the ZD will perform better due to the larger sensor ( physically ).
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Anders_HK

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« Reply #57 on: September 06, 2007, 10:59:31 pm »

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Anders,

I don't know what the miscommunication is here. You own a ZD camera and this discussion has steered toward any experience and the issues of the ZD BACK. There is no conflict here regarding the ZD camera. While yes they both should give the same image quality, there is a very distinct issue with files I have seen from multiple ZD backs that others have seen as well.

I am not attacking you in any way. I understand that it might seem helpful for ZD camera owners to give their experiences, but I and others are specifically looking for ZD back user experiences because the back is not demonstrating the same quality of files as the camera.

I don't know what more to say.
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John,

Sorry about any misscommunication.

There is the ZD back and ZD camera. Based on what my agent says they have same internals, only the back is newer. I know what I see from my camera. It looked very similar to what Bob Croslin posted here before on the fence. It does not look same as the very clear stamped that Frank Doorhof described. I am not certain about your bumber and wheel. Neither of us want to do fix of this is postprocessing, right? Are the problems back and camera related?

I am told by my agent that Mamiya is working on this problem, but they are not clear of status or if they are only working on the problem of the back.

I would very much appreciate if you for comparative purposes make same test as I did, described in above post. The bluish/purplish appear to show up primarily in dark areas. Yours on bumper and wheel did so also. Frank Doorhof was on skin.

The discussion is not only ZD back. I am also curious if other ZD camera owners see problem, especially if earlier serial numbers before any upgrade show similar.

Regards
Anders
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Anders_HK

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« Reply #58 on: September 07, 2007, 01:05:08 am »

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Anders,

No intention of a members only club on the ZD back, heck I don't even own one, just was and still am very interested in it since I have a full AFD kit sitting around collecting dust at this point. No real dust of course, it sits in a lovely case if someone wants to buy it though. I don't know how long my patience will be waiting for Mamiya to really give the green light on the gone purple worms.

It is very good to hear feedback as yours regarding the Mamiya rep's comments on "we know there's an issue and working on a solution." That's more than some other companies can say when they crawl into their cave during newly released sort-of beta testing gear that needs something seriously fixed.

All feedback is good from both camera and back owners. At some point the image quality of each will hopefully converge for the better.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=137807\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

John,

I do like the ZD. Stepping up from DSLR (D200), the dynamic range is wonderful and impress in three ways to me:
- great exposure latitude
- much more you can do in PP and maintain details
- no need for HDR, saves time and besides HDRs look bland in comparison.

I am sure you read Frank Doorhof's other statements of the medium format attributes. I agree on those.

We shall hope Mamiya clear any problems a.s.a.p. What they have in ZD back and camera are great products at competitive price. I wish all problems were solved and they were working on improved noise performance at the higher ISOs and new lenses at decent pricing. The camera is really lovely in its DSLR handling.

We should applaud and encourage them.

Regards
Anders
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stefan marquardt

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« Reply #59 on: September 07, 2007, 03:20:10 am »

Quote
John,

Please make following test with your back:
Post subject lighted by diffused light.
Subject: black non reflecting material in half of frame (black neoprene or camera bag material as example). White in other.
Average metering will work. No exposure compensation thus needed.
Anders
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=137739\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


hi anders, just did your test (even though I knew the results before that). my old zd shows far more noise than your example. the only difference: yours shows wurmy shapes - mine shows more normale noise in smaler spots.

purely based on the sample you mailed me, i think the problem your are experience is that you dont give the sensor the amount of light it needs. the sensor (like most mf-sensors) screems out for lots of light. Never mind using iso 400:  I always expose for iso 25! and then you get clean shadows. i have seem this before on cameras like the sigma sd9 and the kodaks. if you want a camera for iso 400 (or underexposed iso 100) save yourself the money and get a canon.

otherwise: set it to iso 50, overexpose till the highlight-warning on the camera histogram blinks wildly. dont bother lookig at the camerameter (till last week, I didn´t even realise, I could meter with the ZD and old lenses). use the histogramm and expose to the right.
 and: experiment with different raw processors. for example: RD hadles noise different to the mamiya software or acr.

as for the wurmy-shapes: I had a sigma sd9 exchanged for the same thing. dont know, perhaps they droped some fluff on the sensor when the were puting it together. You might want to get it exchanged for a sensor that shows more fine graine noise. but than again my warning: if you start seen those things - you propably didnt get enough light onto the sensor.

perhaps I got it all wrong though.

stefan



p.s. about the purple wurms: are they always in the same position?
(if they are, that would point to a bad sensor)
« Last Edit: September 07, 2007, 06:05:51 am by stefan marquardt »
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