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Mamiya ZE-2 quartz favori envoyer Print
Photos by Sylvain Halgand text by Sylvain Halgand. From the collection of Sylvain Halgand
France Version française

Chronology of the Mamiya brand  New window

Manufactured in Japon from 1981 until (After) 1984.
Index of rarity in France : Infrequent (among non-specialized garage sales)
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Inventory number: 1590

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Mamiya ZE-2 quartz

The  Mamiya ZE released in 1980 was the first in the ZE series, which marked a real start of the brand in the large consumer's market concerning the 24 x 36 mm SLR. Until then, the NC 1000 and NC 1000S had not really been adopted by a large number of amateurs.
From the beginning, , this series included the ZE-1, automatic with overriding possibility, and the Mamiya ZE-2, a dual-automatism version.
The great novelty of this range was the quartz control, already available on the Contax 139 and the electric lens controls. Looking at the back of a lens of the range, we see two sets of contacts, one of four and one of six. The ZE has only three contacts, the ZE-2, six. The manufacturer had therefore foreseen possible developments.
On the ZE-2 speed barrel, there are speeds from 1 second to 1/1000, plus B . One speed is set apart, marked X. It is 1/90. This speed of synchronization is mechanical and allows to use the device even without batteries. Selecting one of these speeds stops the lightmeter and switches the camera to manual mode. The automatic mode is marked by a red dot which is in fact a pushbutton to override the automatism and allows to turn the barrel. Right next to the Auto mode is the AEL position (L for Lock) which is an automation, but with exposure memorization by pressing the trigger button lightly.
In the viewfinder, the speed is indicated by LEDs. The last one displays "LT" for Long Time, for slow speeds (longer than 1 / 30th). If there is a risk of under or overexposure, a LED flashes in the viewfinder and an audible signal sounds (you cannot silence it!). When there is a risk of camera shake (speed lower than the focal length of the lens: 1/200 for 200 mm), a beep will sound again.
The camera is powered by four V 76PX batteries, which must first be inserted in a small container whose locking system could have been patented by Tupperware. This container) slips vertically into the camera, through the base plate.
The gaskets on the back are becoming sticky with age.