Phase One Acquires Mamiya Digital Imaging

Phase One Acquires Mamiya

Phase One just acquired Mamiya Digital Imaging and took over their factory as well. This will strengthen the Danish company by making them the only medium format camera company that has full internal control of all critical components in a world class imaging system. 

The story between Phase One and Mamiya didn't start today. It all began in 2009 when Phase One bought 45 percent of Mamiya Digital Imaging's shares. Before that, Mamiya was seemingly struggling to adapt to the digital era. But in 2012, with Phase One on board and Leaf joining as well, new products made their way to photographers. For example, the 645DF+ introduced this very same year. However, it seems like quite a few photographers mixed up the two brands — Phase One and Mamiya Leaf — as they shared a similar camera body platform.

With this acquisition, Phase One has now full control over the development and manufacturing of their cameras, shutters, and lenses. Until now, they had to rely on Mamiya and other partners for all of their products. Even though one might suppose Mamiya's engineers will still be in play, this will probably make things easier, and thus faster for Phase One.

As far as what this deal will change for the company's future products, nothing is certain. We can only make wild guesses. One thing is sure, according to Phase One Vice President Niels V. Knudsen, it is only for the best: "This is the best news in many years for quality-focused photographers and imaging companies as Phase One works to consistently raise the bar in medium format photography."

Let's wait and see what is going to happen in the next couple of months or years.

[via DPReview]

Quentin Decaillet's picture

Quentin Décaillet is a photographer and retoucher based in Switzerland specializing in portrait and wedding photography.

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First Leaf, now Mamiya. It'll be interesting to see if Schneider remains independent, especially as tech cam lenses aren't the hottest commodity these days.

In the press release, the new president of Phase One Japan states 'Phase One Japan is committed to developing new and custom designed masterpiece leaf shutter optics in close partnership with top photographers, imaging companies and long term design partner Schneider Kreuznach.'

So definitely a strong partnership. Will it change and become one single company? Not so sure. It might, but Phase One doesn't seem to have any interest outside the photography field. Schneider also has a strong presence in cine lenses, projection lenses, and some other industrial things. Only the future will tell :)

I thought Mamiya made their own optics? Is that history? Sad if so.I hope this will strengthen the production company, but typically stuff like this involves layoffs.

I didn't know Japanese companies could be owned by foreigners either. I thought they had to be Japanese-only.

Pentax better get their act together. Phase One is trying to kill them. Pentax needs it's own version of C1 for one thing, being as they're shut out of C1.

Mamiya does – or should I say did - make their lenses. But they weren't leaf shutter lenses. Only Schneider's are. So it seems like Phase One has bought Mamiya, but has plans to team up with Schneider to produce more leaf shutter lenses. As to who will manufacture the lenses, it isn't clear. I guess they will share the design with Schneider but then get them produced in the acquired Mamiya's factory.

Regarding Pentax, I don't think they are dead just yet. Their system remains way cheaper and quite interesting. However, their MF camera is hardly appealing for photographers that use flash on most shoots. With a sync speed of 1/125s it can become very limiting comparing to the 1/1600s of Phase One cameras.

It's very interesting as to why there hasn't been any LS lenses for Pentax system up till now. Can't be that hard right? Instead they released 360 camera and teasing for 35mm body? It's just weird. They could have dominated the MF market with just some LS lenses and a proper software.

The lack of modern LS lenses for Pentax 645Z is the only thing that keeps me from getting a loan...

High speed sync monoblock flash for Pentax