Sarah Congdon

Mamiya DM28 test run with lots of comments, pics

A whole lotta snapshots from around my neighborhood and a portrait of a Madison designer, Sarah Congdon.  Mike Crivello Cameras set me up with this demo–the Mamiya 645AFD III, DM28 digital back, 55mm, 80mm, and 150mm.  My biggest complaint is that I didn’t have enough time with it!  What gorgeous files this camera produced!

Specific comments re: the Mamiya DM28…

  • The camera was great to work with.  Though larger even than my Leica R8+DMR, it still felt good in my hand and wasn’t hard to hold.
  • Because it has been sometime since I used medium format, the shallow depth-of-field produced by medium format took some reacquainting.  I love the shallow depth-of-field, but needed to stop down more than I normally do in order to get the depth-of-field I normally prefer.  So where I might normally used f2.8-f4 on my 35mm DSLR, here I was having to got to f5.6-f11.
  • The viewing screen on the back of the camera is mostly useless, or at least it was to me.  I really didn’t use it to review images because it just didn’t look good.
  • The viewing screen was good though for going through the menu system, which was nicely laid out.  Using a touch screen on a camera was pretty neat too, and the screen was quite responsive, whether I used my fingers or the supplied stylus.
  • As for the camera itself, I was a little confused at one point because I could not find the control to change the aperture when in Manual mode!    This was pretty disappointing.
  • I primarily used the camera in Aperture Priority and the meter seemed pretty accurate.
  • My biggest frustration had little to do with the camera and more to do with the software/file compatibility.  Since my  MacG5 desktop computer runs on a Power PC processor yet, I could not access the RAW files.  Since I didn’t have the current version of Phase One Capture (only usable on Intel processor Macs), I couldn’t process the files, even if I had the right processor.  I had to load the files on my Intel processor MacBook with a downloaded current version of Phase One Capture.  The files are HUGE and I could only use Phase One Capture with no other apps running, that’s how much RAM it was chewing up.
  • Aside from my computer issues, it was real fun working with this camera–the lenses were great, the limited depth-of-field was lovely and it really made me long to be using medium format again.  As much as I enjoy my Leica R8+DMR, it’s not medium format.
  • The autofocus was about as fast as I expected—not fast, but not too horrible.  I really wish Mamiya would come up with a focusing screen more suited to manual focus, because the standard screen is NOT.
  • All in all, I had a great time with this system and would definitely rent it for the appropriate assignment.
  • The 55mm lens was the one I used most—very versatile.
  • Very much liked the shallow depth-of-field on the 80mm.
  • Liked the 150mm lens, but wish it had a shorter close focus distance.
  • All lenses seemed pretty resistant to flare.
  • ISO 50 was spectacular, ISO 800 seemed pretty noisy, but I don’t know how it compares to other medium format systems
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4 thoughts on “Mamiya DM28 test run with lots of comments, pics

  1. Pingback: Mamiya DM28 Review over at Mil-Leica - Echenique dot com

  2. Pingback: Leica-lover Tries a DM28 | Mamiya Blog

  3. You also might want to try the Pentax 645D if you want a better rear LCD and AF performance for a MF camera…great bang for buck at 40MP as well…

  4. Pingback: Mil-Leica on the Mamiya DM28 | Mamiya Blog

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