Mamiya: Wikis

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Mamiya Digital Imaging Co., Ltd.
Type Camera and lens manufacturer
Founded May, 1940
Headquarters Tokyo, Japan Japan
Key people Seiichi Mamiya, founder
Industry Digital Imaging and Photography
Products Cameras, Optical and other products
Employees 200
Website Mamiya Japan
Mamiya America Corporation

Mamiya Digital Imaging Co., Ltd. (マミヤ・デジタル・イメージングー株式会社 Mamiya Dejitaru Imejingu Kabushiki-gaisha ?) is a Japanese company that today manufactures high-end cameras and other related photographic and optical equipment. With headquarters in Tokyo, it has two manufacturing plants and a workforce of over 200 people. The company was founded in May 1940 by camera designer Seiichi Mamiya (間宮精一) and financial backer Tsunejiro Sugawara.

Mamiya originally achieved fame for its professional medium-format film cameras such as the Mamiya 6 and the Mamiya Press series. It later went on to develop the industry workhorse RB67 series, the RZ67 and the twin-lens reflex C-220/C-330, used by advanced amateur and professional photographers. Mamiya also heralded the establishment of the 645 format for professional photographers, of which its current 645 model is the 645AFDIII. Mamiya has been recently developing digital products, namely the Mamiya ZD products and a new D range of quality lenses.

Contents

History

Many Mamiya models over the past six decades have become collectors' items. The earliest Mamiya-6 medium-format folding camera, the 35 mm Mamiya-Sekor 1000DTL, the lightweight 35 mm Mamiya NC1000, the 6×6cm medium-format C series of interchangeable-lens twin-lens reflex (TLR) cameras, and the press cameras of the Super/Universal series are highly valued. Mamiya also manufactured the last models in the Omega line of medium format cameras.

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Medium format

Mamiya C330 twin-lens reflex camera

In 1970, Mamiya introduced the RB67 6×7 cm professional single lens reflex (SLR). The RB67, a large, heavy, medium-format camera with built-in closeup bellows was innovative and successful. Previous medium-format professional cameras used the square 6×6cm format which did not require the camera to be rotated for photographs in portrait orientation, problematical with large and heavy cameras when tripod-mounted. The RB67 had a rotating back which enabled photographs to be taken in either landscape or portrait orientation without rotating the camera, at the expense of additional weight and bulk. The RB67 soon became widely used by professional studio photographers.

The RB67 was followed by the improved RZ67 in 1982. These cameras established Mamiya as medium-format professional camera manufacturers, together with Hasselblad, Rollei, Bronica and Pentax.

In the 1990s, Mamiya introduced the Mamiya 6 and Mamiya 7 6x6cm and 6x7cm rangefinder cameras, compact and quiet cameras which are reputed for the extremely high optical quality of their lenses.

The Mamiya ZD and the Mamiya ZD Digital Back were announced in September 2004 and first shipped to Europe in March 2006. The ZD is a large, professional digital SLR camera with a 22 megapixel digital sensor manufactured by Dalsa. The ZD Digital Back fits the 645AFD camera models and provides it with digital functionality.

35mm

35mm SLR Mamiya ZE

Mamiya started manufacturing 35 mm cameras in 1949, with 35 mm point-and-shoot compact cameras being introduced later. The excellent Mamiya-35 series of rangefinder cameras was followed by the Mamiya Prismat SLR in 1961 and the Mamiya TL/DTL in the mid-to-late 1960s. The SX, XTL and NC1000 were other 35 mm SLR camera models introduced by Mamiya. One of Mamiya's last 35 mm SLR designs was the Z-series. The original entry-level ZE model was an aperture-priority-only SLR; the ZE-2 added manual exposure; the ZE-X added shutter priority and full program automated mode, and (with a dedicated flash and an EF-series lens) focus-priority flash exposure). In these models the aperture ring had no direct connection to the diaphragm, allowing the camera body to override the set aperture, and the lenses could communicate a considerable amount of information to the camera body via electrical contacts on the mount.

The Mamiya ZM, introduced in 1982, was essentially an advanced version of the ZE-2, with some of the features of the ZE-X. It was the last Mamiya 35 mm camera produced. It had an aperture-priority automatic time control, based on center-weighted TTL readings, an automatic shutter-speed range from 4 seconds to 1/1000, and a manual range from 2 seconds to 1/1000. Visual and audio signals indicated over- or under-exposure, pending battery failure, or excessive camera shake. Metering modes, shutter release, self-timer, manual time settings and the ergonomics of the camera body were also improved.

In 1984 Osawa, one of Mamiya's major distributors, filed for the Japanese equivalent of bankruptcy and, soon after, Mamiya discontinued 35 mm camera production to focus on the medium-format professional market.

Mamiya America Corporation

In the United States, the trademark for "Mamiya" is not owned by the original company in Japan but rather by a wholly separate entity called Mamiya America Corporation, (M.A.C). As such, any and all products that bear the name "Mamiya" are controlled by them and has this resulted in a considerable rise in retail pricing when comparing the same products to ones sold outside the US. M.A.C. also owns the tradename "Sekonic" (light meters).

Camera products (as of 2008)

6×4.5cm format

Mamiya 645 Super

The Mamiya 645 manual focus series

  • The M645 (discontinued) was manufactured from 1975 to 1987. Non-interchangeable back.
  • The M645 1000S (discontinued) was manufactured from 1976 to 1990. Non-interchangeable back.
  • The M645J (discontinued) was manufactured from 1979 to 1982. Basic entry-level camera, non-interchangeable back.
  • The Mamiya 645 Super (discontinued) was manufactured from 1985 to 1993.
  • The Mamiya 645 Pro (discontinued) was manufactured from 1993 to 1998.
  • The Mamiya 645 Pro-TL (discontinued) was first released in 1997.
  • The Mamiya 645E (discontinued) was first released in 2000. Entry-level camera, non-interchangeable back, popular among beginners.

The Mamiya 645 auto focus series

  • The Mamiya 645AF was first released in 1999.
  • The Mamiya 645AFD was first released in 2001.
  • The Mamiya 645AFD II was first released in 2005.
  • The Mamiya 645AFD III is on the market since June 2008 and is also available branded as a Phase One camera (known as Phase One 645AF).
  • The Mamiya 645DF also available branded as a Phase One camera (known as Phase One 645DF).
Mamiya RZ67 Pro I

The 22 megapixel ZD Back for the 645AFD II and, with an adapter, the RZ67 Pro IID, was announced at the 2006 Photokina. In March 2008, Mamiya announced new products 80 mm D lens, 150 mm D lens and 45-90mm D lens. These, along with the 645AFDIII, and an adapter to use digital backs with the RB camera series became available later in the year.

Digital products (as of 2009)

In 2009 the Mamiya M series digital backs were released (M18, M22 and M31) all featuring high pixel counts with large CCDs and compatibility with the Mamiya 645AFD range and RZ/ RB series (via specially manufactured adapters). The M22 is intended for 4x5 inch view cameras. Mamiya DM digital backs will also be launched in selected regions. In the final quarter of 2009, Mamiya released its Mamiya 645DF camera, the latest and digital-only version of the famed 6x4.5 format AF camera series. The Mamiya 645DF has many improved features including mirror-up delay, lack of shutter lag, AF preference with priority on speed or precision, and compatibility with the new leaf shutter lens range (Mamiya Sekor AF 80mm, 55mm and 110mm D lenses with in-built leaf shutters). With these lenses attached, flash synchronizations speeds of up to 1/800 of a second are achievable, although the camera can also be programmed to use the focal plane shutter even if a leaf shutter lens is attached.

6×6cm format

  • 6/6MF — electronic 6 cm × 6cm, 6 cm × 4,5cm and 35mm panoramic rangefinder camera (discontinued)

6×7cm format

See also

References

  • Shell, Bob (1992). Mamiya Medium Format Systems (Hove Pro Guides). United Kingdom: Hove Books. pp. 208pp ill.. ISBN 9780906447765.  

External links


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