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Author Topic: Phase: Poker face or nothing up their sleeve?  (Read 24603 times)
pss
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« Reply #20 on: March 30, 2007, 03:26:06 PM »
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...and this whole time phase is outselling every other back maker.....and with the amount of business they seem to have grabbed from leaf and the performance of the P30, i would not be surprised if they would sell more backs this year then ever before....while some are worrying that phase does not have a body to sell to.....contax, mamiya, H1/2, hass V system, most 4x5 systems (and field systems)...i think that covers about 90% of the actual cameras in the actual hands of people?

and most important: most of those people are much more likely to upgrade their back (to another phase of course) then switch to some new system.....

oh...and there is also the small detail that phase also sells software for 150-500$ per licence.....and other companies are losing out on back sales because the software they are giving away for free just does not do a good job.....

yes i worry about phase too.....


i would also bet that there will be a way to put phase backs on the Hy6...no matter what anyone says....if the camera sells well enough, there will be an incentive for someone to come up with some adapter....this is DMF so price really is no problem.....i mean sinar charges 2300$ for the emotion adapter for 6008......i think for that much i can have something custom built.....
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Gary Yeowell
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« Reply #21 on: March 30, 2007, 04:10:39 PM »
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Have to agree with you Paul, when i hear speculation that Phase are somehow missing the boat i have to chuckle. My P30+ which is on order is in a very longggggg queue, and the factory are working flat out to fill back orders, they must be shitting themselves about the ZD!

Gary.
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« Reply #22 on: March 30, 2007, 09:56:22 PM »
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Have to agree with you Paul, when i hear speculation that Phase are somehow missing the boat i have to chuckle. My P30+ which is on order is in a very longggggg queue, and the factory are working flat out to fill back orders, they must be shitting themselves about the ZD!

Gary.
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Phase isn't missing any boats. They are in one of the best positions to be in as a back manufacturer. That's precisely why I'd expect them to make a body deal of some sort this year.

It's their leadership which allows them to sit back and watch everyone else pre-announce this and that while they lay plans to do some very interesting stuff.

I expect we'll hear something this year. Time will tell.
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« Reply #23 on: March 31, 2007, 01:20:50 AM »
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Absolutely right, Matt, except for the "UK" part:

Sinar is exclusive distributor of the professional Rolleiflex 6008 System as well as the Rollei x-Act 2, except in Japan, China and Russia This applies also to the Sinar Hy6.

Best regards,
Thierry

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Direct Source Marketing is no longer the distributor of Rollei.  The worldwide distributor is Sinar with the exception of the UK I believe.   In the United States the distributor is Sinar Bron Imaging.

I do believe DSM has Rollei Stock they are still blowing out, but they should have no ability to get the Hy6. 

Matt LaPointe
Sinar Bron Imaging
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(219) 670-9905
mlapointe@sinarbron.com
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« Last Edit: March 31, 2007, 01:21:28 AM by thsinar » Logged

Thierry Hagenauer
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« Reply #24 on: March 31, 2007, 04:32:21 AM »
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Hi
The game in MFD all changed last Sept 2006. Hasselblad have gone there own way & they wanted to stop production of the H2. I think you know where Hasselblad is headed. The Hy6 project is Sinar & Leaf. Phase can continue to make backs for the H1,H2 & Contax but there is no 28mm or new RD. There is a great oppprtunity to build a strong relation ship with Mamiya. Regardless of the ZD, Phase has a more developed product.
Denis
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Denis Montalbetti
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« Reply #25 on: March 31, 2007, 06:14:12 AM »
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...and this whole time phase is outselling every other back maker.....and with the amount of business they seem to have grabbed from leaf and the performance of the P30, i would not be surprised if they would sell more backs this year then ever before...

All true. But being the dominant player in the market today does not guarantee Phase One anything in the future. Ask Netscape, they owned 99% of the internet browser market, today the number is in the low single digits. If Phase One is to continue it's leadership position it will have to do more then produce an excellent digital back. It's competition is changing the playing field, making proprietary tightly integrated closed camera/back systems the future norm and they will need to respond.
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Let Biogons be Biogons
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« Reply #26 on: March 31, 2007, 07:24:49 AM »
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Remember they have new ownership - a software company iirc - and I bet they have their sights set on a digital future for Mamiya, having that sort of background. So that excludes Phase. Also, the money is not in the camera bodies, especially with so many bodies on the used market at the moment. Really I don't see what Phase can offer Mamiya right now.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=109629\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Graham,  I agree.  I would not have seen the Phase One/Mamiya deal as optimal for either party.  For Mamiya it is providing some sort of back-up plan in case their own development of the digital side (the ZD's) does not work out.  For Phase One, Mamiya was the only hardware manufacturer left and isuppose they felt they needed to hook up with SOMEONE.


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You seem to forget that Contax owns all the lens designs for that camera.   They are all Carl Zeiss lenses.   

It was my understanding (and I may very well be wrong) that Carl Zeiss was integral in the design of that camera and holds rights to it as well.

Sometimes some posters on this board over simplify the legal and ownership hurdles to what seem like great ideas.   

Carl Zeiss would love to have ability to have that camera (or a successor) in production again.   However it just doesn't seem to be in the cards anytime soon.
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Matt,  I think that's right to some extent.  First, let us be clear about a couple of things.  "Contax" doesn't "own" anything.  It is just a marketing name.   The lenses for the Contax 645 were designed, manufactuered and marketed as "Zeiss" lenses.  Look at the packaging and labeling, it doesn't say "Kyocera" anywhere.  it doesn't even say "Contax" anywhere on the box. (Only on the lens information sheet does it say "Contax 645 mount").  Yes, the lenses are clearly ZEISS products, even if the OEM manufacturer for them was Kyocera, and their designs owned by Zeiss.

Now, that is not to say Kyocera had no role in the development of those lenses.  Kyocera developed all the electronics in the lenses, and I believe OWN the intellectual property associated with the electronics AND lens mount.  And that is the rub.  It's not so much the Contax name that is the issue here.  I believe that Zeiss could have done something with another name, if the license for the Contax name was the only issue.  But it is the technology of the 645 -- the body-lens interface, lens mount and lens control that is the issue.  This is what is owned by Kyocera and what Kyocera is apparently not giving up.  Zeiss or anyone else, can not do anything with the Contax camera platforms without an agreement with Kyocera that would give them access to  the technology.  There are legal and ownership hurdles, just not the ones that many people think.

The Contax 645 would have been an IDEAL partner for Phase One -- and Phase one and Kyocera had gone very far down the road in licensing the Contax 645 technology (and perhaps tooling) to Phase.  But my understanding is that the Phase One board of directors (in an act of extreme short-sightedness) rejected the deal.  Especially, given the well known fact that Kyocera had a Contax 645 MkII model ready to go, this is a very distressing situation.  Phase, without a body, had no place to go other than run over to Mamiya, which is a much less attactive proposition for them than Contax would have been.

Quite frankly, and hindsight here is especially valuable, if Kyocera management had their sh*t together when they were having problems sorting out the N Digital (an extremely promising, but flawed DSLR) they should have brought in a digital partner like Phase One.  If they had done this then, Contax might still be with us, and might just have a very nice share of the professional market.  The still-born Phase One-Contax deal ultimately might have been just too late.  

It is my view that Kyocera is being exceptionally foolish by not licensing their Contax technology and not selling off the Contax license -- their shareholders should be very annoyed.  The sense is that this is not about money to Kyocera (rumour has it that they even have destroyed all the Contax tooling).  It is about, in some sense, sticking it to Zeiss.   In the end, however, all Kyocera really ended up doing it is sticking it to their loyal customers.
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« Reply #27 on: March 31, 2007, 08:01:42 AM »
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But my understanding is that the Phase One board of directors (in an act of extreme short-sightedness) rejected the deal. 

If this took place before Hasselblad's decision to close their system it would have been understandable. Not wanting to go into competition with the camera manufacturers that you want cooperation from. The more open environment that existed then was perfect for Phase One. Why upset the apple cart? Of course things are different now.
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« Reply #28 on: March 31, 2007, 12:53:40 PM »
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All true. But being the dominant player in the market today does not guarantee Phase One anything in the future. Ask Netscape, they owned 99% of the internet browser market, today the number is in the low single digits. If Phase One is to continue it's leadership position it will have to do more then produce an excellent digital back. It's competition is changing the playing field, making proprietary tightly integrated closed camera/back systems the future norm and they will need to respond.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=109848\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


you are assuming that people WANT an integrated solution....i don't think that is necessarily the case...there are some advantages and some disadvantages and for me the disadvantages  by far outweigh the advantages....
everybody wants an open system...everyone....
the idea that in 5 years we will all have to buy the H7D is frightening and honestly ridiculous.....because my mamiyas will still be working (if not i can just buy new or used bodies) and i will have upgraded my phase back several times....and there will STILL be by far more contax, mamiya, H1/2 bodies floating around and you might be able to pick up a P45+ for 5000.....and who needs more then (almost) 4x5 quality every 1.5 sec? IT WILL STILL WORK!!!
or maybe i will have switched to Hy6 with a phase back or a sinar back.....

teaming up with one body maker might cut out others....and in phase's case they are selling to ALL cameras.....why get into a business that we all know is loosing money....everybody knows that making bodies is only profitable if you sell the lenses/accessories and Dbacks with it.....phase already does that....they already sell the items with the (arguably) highest margin...Dbacks and software...
the R&D for a new improved contax with lenses would be a major expense/risk and would they sell more backs because of it? do they sell less because they are NOT taking the risk?

i would be far more afraid (as a Dback maker) that the product is getting "too good"....the backs already never really get bad or need to be replaced and quality is getting ridiculous....
yes it will get better, but at this rate what will the top of the line be in 5 years? P80++? 25-6400asa? 16bit, 3frames/sec, 80mpix on a 6x4.5 chip? sounds great, i would like that.....do i need it, no....will my mom suddenly feel the urge to buy a camera like that? no...her cellphone cam will be just fine...
what i need is a camera/back/software combo that WORKS and delivers the quality i need....no lock-ups, hick-ups, software glitches, firmware updates,.....
phase delivers all that TODAY for all platforms (camera and computer) and really has no competition anymore....leaf was the competitor and they somehow blew it.....don't know why or how, but they did.....
hasselblad is trying to do all that and maybe they are trying too hard? maybe it is just too hard to do it ALL? and do it well? they are trying to muscle their way to the top....maybe it will work for them......and in a way it will keep phase on their toes....otherwise we will never see the P80++....which is actually fine with me as well.....
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« Reply #29 on: March 31, 2007, 02:13:23 PM »
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If this took place before Hasselblad's decision to close their system it would have been understandable. Not wanting to go into competition with the camera manufacturers that you want cooperation from. The more open environment that existed then was perfect for Phase One. Why upset the apple cart? Of course things are different now.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=109856\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
They should have seen it already when talks between HB+imacon or HB+phase for possible mergers/buyouts arose... not when the H3D entered the scene...
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Axel Bauer
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« Reply #30 on: March 31, 2007, 04:11:02 PM »
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Remember right at the beginning when the Hy6 was touted as a totally open system?
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narikin
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« Reply #31 on: March 31, 2007, 05:29:36 PM »
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And as you point out Zeiss would be happy to have another platform for it's lens line.
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Unfortunately Zeiss seems to be run by a generation of people who think releasing a new film camera range in 2006 is a great idea. That's how wide of the mark they are with their strategy at present. I wish to the heavens they could get on-message and tie up with Phase to release a killer MF package, but sadly the people at the Zeiss' helm are too busy re-inventing the steam engine as a means of transport.
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Graham Mitchell
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« Reply #32 on: March 31, 2007, 07:28:25 PM »
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Remember right at the beginning when the Hy6 was touted as a totally open system?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=109924\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

In what way is that Hy6 not open? It is not programmed to accept only specific digital backs. As has been said here many times, no-one is stopping Phase or anyone else from making a Hy6-compatible back, just as they make Contax-mount backs.

The Hass H3D body DOES limit the camera to using Hass backs. That's the difference.
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« Reply #33 on: April 01, 2007, 03:36:22 AM »
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In what way is that Hy6 not open? It is not programmed to accept only specific digital backs. As has been said here many times, no-one is stopping Phase or anyone else from making a Hy6-compatible back, just as they make Contax-mount backs.

The Hass H3D body DOES limit the camera to using Hass backs. That's the difference.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=109957\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Not exactly Graham,

What has been said is that neither Sinar nor Leaf is planning to manufacture adapterplates. Sinar is not helping out anyone that has plans to manufacture adapterplates.

Whether Phase is allowed to make a back that will fit Hy6/AFi has been left in the middle. It has been stated Phase is not a part of the Hy6/AFi project. It is unclear whether there is IP that needs to be addressed when building a back to fit the Hy6/AFi. It is unclear whether the IP holders are willing to license to parties like Phase.

An open system, in my vocabulary, welcomes everyone that is willing to develop upon it. For an open system the Hy6/AFi should have its communication protocols published or made available upon request, should provide a developerskit and be willing to help 3rd parties built products (if only by providing all necessary documentation and information).

At the moment, as far as I understood, when you want to built a back (if you are allowed IP wise) for the Hy6/AFi you are forced to reverse engineer the communication protocols. There is no knowledge how difficult that has been made or whether any proprietary technology or encryption has been used to make this particularly difficult.

The same applies for the H3D. When you want  to built a back for that thing (again if you are allowed IP wise) you have to reverse engineer it as well.

The difference between Hy6/AFi and Hasselblad is that the first has more than one participant however this doesn't make the first an open system.
« Last Edit: April 01, 2007, 06:24:33 AM by Dustbak » Logged
BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #34 on: April 01, 2007, 09:01:01 AM »
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you are assuming that people WANT an integrated solution....i don't think that is necessarily the case...there are some advantages and some disadvantages and for me the disadvantages  by far outweigh the advantages....
everybody wants an open system...everyone....
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=109894\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Well, 99% of photographers have been using the totally closed systems offered by Canon and Nikon and I don't remember hearing so many complaints about this.

I really don't think that most of the photographers out there really care. They want something whose ROI is good. Whether the system is opened or closed is in itself very far down the list.

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the idea that in 5 years we will all have to buy the H7D is frightening and honestly ridiculous.....because my mamiyas will still be working (if not i can just buy new or used bodies) and i will have upgraded my phase back several times....and there will STILL be by far more contax, mamiya, H1/2 bodies floating around and you might be able to pick up a P45+ for 5000.....and who needs more then (almost) 4x5 quality every 1.5 sec? IT WILL STILL WORK!!!
or maybe i will have switched to Hy6 with a phase back or a sinar back.....
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=109894\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

As long as the prices of MFDB stay high, the need to buy a body with the back is irrelevant. The body is essentially free compared to the back.

Being able to speak to a single provider for a system has a clear value. Openess is nice as an idea, but the promoters of openess have IMHO so far failed to come up with a strong business case. The whole thing always end up looking more like Phase One PR instead of putting the photographer's business needs at the center of the discussion.

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teaming up with one body maker might cut out others....and in phase's case they are selling to ALL cameras.....why get into a business that we all know is loosing money..../// would they sell more backs because of it? do they sell less because they are NOT taking the risk?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=109894\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Well, Phase is able to sell for Hassy today, but what about in one year from now? Can you be sure that the H3D/H4D will accept Phase backs? Few new people invest in Contax, the Sinar project might end up being closed to Phase... From a strategical standpoint, it would appear to be foolish not to try to secure a strong platform for Phase backs.

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leaf was the competitor and they somehow blew it.....don't know why or how, but they did.....
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=109894\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Do you have figures to back that up? It appears to be that Leaf is doing pretty well out there both in terms of sales and technology. More than a few photographers think that have the best products on the market for many applications.

Phase is probably a clear leader, but, except for people working for Phase One, I really don't think that any of us would benefit from Leaf becoming too small a player.

Cheers,
Bernard
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« Reply #35 on: April 01, 2007, 09:33:00 AM »
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If this took place before Hasselblad's decision to close their system it would have been understandable. Not wanting to go into competition with the camera manufacturers that you want cooperation from. The more open environment that existed then was perfect for Phase One. Why upset the apple cart? Of course things are different now.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=109856\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I don't think the decision of Hassy to close their system was the relevant point on the timeline.  Rather it was the acquistion/merger of Hasselbald and Imacon (through the parent companym Shiro) that is relevant.  It was the linkage that was important.  Closing the system was easily anticipated and the logical intent and result of the merger.  The Phase One - Contax deal was after this.  Phase had the foresight to realize that the market was going in this direction, but unfortunately they could not convince the guys on their board (Lego Venture Capitalists and others).  Quite frankly, I think that the industry realized that the evenual product in the industry would look more like the Mamiya ZD product than something with interchangeable backs.  So to continue to participate in the market it would be essential for them to work with a manufacturer in some way (merger, alliance/JV, or become one).  Hassy/Fuji was essentially taken, and out of the remaining makers (Contax, Mamiya and Pentax) Contax/Zeiss was clearly the most desirable partner.  Phase management proposed the right move at the time, and their board should be smacked around (if not replaced) for being stupid.
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« Reply #36 on: April 01, 2007, 10:03:29 AM »
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So assuming that the Phase board has pulled their collective head out of their collective... darkroom... where does that lead them?

Contax dead, kyocera not going to do anything with it, so a no go. No Phasetax.

Mamiya ZD competes, but can they go it alone or will they also partner with Phase on the high end on a body? I am hearing the collective opinion that it's too much of a competitive situation for a full on body-phase tie up. No Phasiya, then...

Hy6 Many official comments that Phase is not part of the project. I don't see them passing up a chance to get on board this and then spending time to reverse engineer it. So no Phy6

Is there anything else out there besides these options for a body tie up?
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« Reply #37 on: April 01, 2007, 11:05:16 AM »
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So assuming that the Phase board has pulled their collective head out of their collective... darkroom... where does that lead them?

Contax dead, kyocera not going to do anything with it, so a no go. No Phasetax.

Mamiya ZD competes, but can they go it alone or will they also partner with Phase on the high end on a body? I am hearing the collective opinion that it's too much of a competitive situation for a full on body-phase tie up. No Phasiya, then...

Hy6 Many official comments that Phase is not part of the project. I don't see them passing up a chance to get on board this and then spending time to reverse engineer it. So no Phy6

Is there anything else out there besides these options for a body tie up?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=110045\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

This is the consequence of the lack of foresight.  

It may be that Contax is the only option that still remains -- its but it is different than you suggest.  Phase licenses the Contax designs and technology and get it made by an OEM.  The only question is whether the parties can re-visit their agreement and whether Kyocera can get over their resolve to screw Zeiss.  Otherwise, Phase will be left out in the cold in the MF market and be left to making backs for large format cameras (if they can survive on that alone).
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« Reply #38 on: April 01, 2007, 11:20:57 AM »
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Well, 99% of photographers have been using the totally closed systems offered by Canon and Nikon and I don't remember hearing so many complaints about this.

Actually many people have praised the Canon electronics but cursed the lenses. In effect, they would like an open mount to allow them to use better lenses.

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The body is essentially free compared to the back.

That might be so but are people really selecting the back and then being stuck with whatever platform that backs mounts onto? Personally I'd always start building a system by looking at the lenses, then selecting the body and digital back accordingly. YMMV.

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Can you be sure that the H3D/H4D will accept Phase backs?

We already know that it won't.
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« Reply #39 on: April 01, 2007, 02:35:34 PM »
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Well, 99% of photographers have been using the totally closed systems offered by Canon and Nikon and I don't remember hearing so many complaints about this.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=110032\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

we are talking about MF systems....

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I really don't think that most of the photographers out there really care. They want something whose ROI is good. Whether the system is opened or closed is in itself very far down the list.
As long as the prices of MFDB stay high, the need to buy a body with the back is irrelevant. The body is essentially free compared to the back.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=110032\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

my point exactly.....there is no money in bodies and all i really care about is that the "box (or room/camera!)" works...flawlessly...

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Well, Phase is able to sell for Hassy today, but what about in one year from now? Can you be sure that the H3D/H4D will accept Phase backs? Few new people invest in Contax, the Sinar project might end up being closed to Phase... From a strategical standpoint, it would appear to be foolish not to try to secure a strong platform for Phase backs.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=110032\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

there are still tons of H1/2 out there.....you are missing the point: i am not sure hass can win in the long run if a new customer has to decide between a camera or a back.....if i want THAT quality/look/speed that phase provides, i won't just buy a H3D because i want a hasselblad....i will just buy a phase and a H1/2 if i HAVE to have a hasselblad.....in other words: i won't shoot kodak because that's all i can shoot with (with a certain camera) if i really want to shoot velvia, because that is the look i like.....this is not necessarily about better or worse......it is a personal opinion/decision...what works better for me....and a camera is at the bottom of the list because it influences the look the least.....there are certain features everybody likes to see in their personal choice for a camera, but all in all they are similar and there are choices....

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Do you have figures to back that up? It appears to be that Leaf is doing pretty well out there both in terms of sales and technology. More than a few photographers think that have the best products on the market for many applications.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=110032\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

of course i have no figures.....i only know that i switched to phase from leaf after being a very strong leaf/dalsa supporter, i have seen several people i know switch, several dealers have told me the same thing and here in this forum more people have switched.....i have yet to see or hear about a single person switching from a P30 to a aptus 65.....


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Phase is probably a clear leader, but, except for people working for Phase One, I really don't think that any of us would benefit from Leaf becoming too small a player.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=110032\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

i don't want leaf to disapear at all, i am completely with you....the more players the better....especially with hasselblads relentless marketing....
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