Mamiya is a high-powered Japanese company that is best known for its professional film cameras, especially medium-format film cameras such as the Mamiya RB 67, RZ 67, and C-220/C-330, used by advanced amateur and top-notch professional photographers.
Mamiya started manufacturing 35mm cameras in 1949, and in 1982 the company introduced the Mamiya ZM - an advanced version of the ZE-2, with some of the features of the ZE-X, which was actually the last mamiya 35mm slr camera. 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. It should be also mentioned, that mamiya 35mm slr camera has both optical and audio signals indicating over- or under-exposure, pending battery failure, or excessive camera shake. Improvements were also found in the metering modes, shutter release, self-timer, manual time settings and the on/off switch. The ergonomics of the camera body itself were even better, noticeable in the increased body bulge near the film advance lever, for a more comfortable grip.
As it’s transpired from the history of the company, Mamiya gave up on 35mm slr cameras in the early 80s and the ZM is the last of the line. But it’s interesting fact, that the decision was not caused by the producer itself. In fact, J. Osawa & Co Ltd. was the worldwide distributor of Mamiya products and one of the leading trading houses for consumer products; they even sold lenses for the ZE-cameras under their own label. But in 1984 they went bankrupt; it was one of the greatest economic failures in the Japanese history. Apparently this occasion was the main reason to drop the Mamiya 35mm line.
Today Mamiya is a maker of some of the best professional medium-format cameras, which still are the most important product branch of the company (about 40% of the total turnover). Nevertheless, one has to be aware of the fact, that at present, Mamiya is mostly specialized in manufacturing golf equipment and electronics.
Let’s hope that in future Mamiya will be in a position to overcome any crisis or challenge and will pleasure us with new products.
Look for Mamiya digital cameras at our ONLINE CAMERA STORE.
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