Lenses & Factoids

Factoids, Links and Further Viewing

1. Frank Doorhof made me buy a ZD back. His blog and enthusiastic reviews were the first detailed reviews online. Frank has written more online about the Mamiya ZD than Mamiya itself has. The thing about Frank is that he can make any camera look great.

2. Frank focus-calibrated several of his autofocus Mamiya 645 lenses by adjusting the AF drive screw on the lens mount. Frank took a lot of flak from forum trolls but he’s a stand-up guy. Frank swapped his Mamiya ZD for a Leaf Aptus 22.

3. Communication errors have been widely reported on Mamiya ZD backs up to October 2007. My back frequently shut down mid-capture. Other users report failures in communication with AFD bodies and difficulties maintain stable tethered connection to PCs in particular; another good reason to buy a proper computer, incidentally. Unconfirmed reports indicate that Mamiya has addressed these and a number of other issues in backs currently shipping.

4. Weird colour artefacts and ‘purple worms’ were widely reported by early adopters. It has been claimed that these problems only affected the initial batch but at the time of writing no official product recall or serial number range statement has been made by Mamiya.

5. Some of the liveliest and most informative discussions about early Mamiya ZD backs took place on Luminous Landscape forums. A number of anomalies were documented here, here, here, and at Fred Miranda here.

6. For most of 2006 and 2007 you could buy a Mamiya ZD camera in the UK, but not in the US. To redress the balance, Mamiya ZD backs first shipped from the US but were unavailable in the UK until September 2007.

7. At the time of writing, Mamiya US offers a free upgrade from the AF body to a ZD-compatible AFD.

8. The Mamiya ZD’s 36x48mm Dalsa-made sensor has a 1.1x effective crop. If you want the best custom-made split focusing screen money can buy your Mamiya AFD, get in touch with Maxwell Precision Optics. Tell Bill I sent you.

9. You can use Hasselblad and Pentacon 6 lenses on your Mamiya 645 via adaptors. It’s also possible to modify Pentax 645 lenses for similar manual focus, stop-down metered use on the AFD. The Pentax FA35mm requires a small modification to the Mamiya’s mirror.