Mamiya Digital Imaging Co., Ltd. Type Camera and lens manufacturer Industry Digital imaging and photography Founded May 1940 Headquarters Tokyo, Japan Key people Seiichi Mamiya, founder 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 645DF. Mamiya has been recently developing digital products, namely the Mamiya ZD products and a new D range of quality lenses.
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. In 2009, Phase One, medium format digital camera manufacturer from Denmark purchased a major stake in Mamiya and the two companies develop products together.
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.
In the 1990s, Mamiya introduced the Mamiya 6 and Mamiya 7 (6x6cm and 6x7cm, respectively) 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.
Mamiya started manufacturing 135-film cameras in 1949, with 135-film 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 135-film SLR camera models introduced by Mamiya. One of Mamiya's last 135-film 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 135-film 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 135-film 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 thus 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)
6×4.5 cm format
The Mamiya 645 manual focus series
- The M645 (discontinued) was manufactured from 1975 to 1987. This was the first model to offer a 6x4.5 cm frame, allowing 15 shots on a standard 120 roll film. The M645 was a true system camera, with interchangeable viewfinders and lenses. It used an electronically controlled cloth focal plane shutter offering speeds of 8 seconds to 1/500 second in one-stop increments. The camera featured a mirror lockup, as well as selectable multi-exposure. Film was carried in cartridges that could be pre-loaded, but no capability existed to allow changing of film magazines mid-roll. A waist-level non-metered finder was available, as well as a non metered pentaprism and three varieties of metered prisms (CdS, PD-S and AE). The metered prisms read the aperture dial through a mechanical coupling.
- The M645 1000S (discontinued) was manufactured from 1976 to 1990. This camera added a 1/1000 second shutter speed to the M645, as well as a self-timer and a depth-of-field preview lever.
- The M645J (discontinued) was manufactured from 1979 to 1982. This was a stripped down version of the M645, with the mirror lockup knob removed.
- The Mamiya 645 Super (discontinued) was manufactured from 1985 to 1993. This was a new camera with a moulded plastic shell on a diecast metal frame. Its features are as for the M645 1000s (indeed it is able to use the same lenses and film cartridges). It added removable film backs, whereby a dark-slide could be inserted and the back removed mid-roll.
- 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).
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.
6×6 cm format
- 6/6MF — electronic 6 cm × 6 cm, 6 cm × 4.5 cm and 35mm panoramic rangefinder camera (discontinued)
6×7 cm format
- RB67/Pro-S/Pro-SD — mechanical 6 cm × 7cm SLR medium-format camera
- RZ67 Pro I/II/IID — electronic 6 cm × 7cm SLR medium-format camera
- Mamiya 7|7/7 II — electronic 6 cm × 7cm rangefinder camera
Mamiya introduced the Mamiya ZD, which was a compact medium-format camera, in 2004. Rather than taking the form of a digital back solution, it was all built into one unit, much like a 35mm camera. This camera utilized the Mamiya 645AF lenses and had a resolution of 22mp. The solution had technical difficulties and became delayed. At the same time, Mamiya also announced a ZD back which had the same specification but was intended to be used with the Mamiya 645AFDII / AFDIII. The ZD back was even more delayed and, once it was introduced, it was already outdated.
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). All the backs are compatible with 4x5 inch view cameras. 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 1/1,600 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. 2010 saw the release of 3 Mamiya DM Systems (Mamiya DM33 System, consisting of a 645DF camera body and 33MP digital back, the Mamiya DM28 System, consisting of a 645DF camera body and 28MP digital back, and the Mamiya DM22 System, consisting of a 645DF camera body and 22MP digital back. A new logo and webpage were also launched.
- Shell, Bob (1992). Mamiya Medium Format Systems (Hove Pro Guides). United Kingdom: Hove Books. pp. 208pp ill.. ISBN 9780906447765.
- Mamiya Digital Imaging Co., Ltd. (Mamiya Japan)
- Mamiya America Corporation
- R.Herron's Collecting Mamiya 35 mm (Collector site for Mamiya 35mm)
- Karen Nakamura's Mamiya RB67 Pro Site
- Mamiya film camera instruction manuals English – PDF
- Phase One make significant investment in Mamiya Digital Imaging (Press Release)
- Mamiya ZD camera and back (Press Release)
- Mamiya Netherlands site
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