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Author Topic: MF cartel broken - new pricing coming?  (Read 28081 times)
eronald
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« on: June 11, 2007, 07:32:37 PM »
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With the second $10K digital MF system from Mamiya suddenly condensed from the vaporware cloud, we should expect a shower of new MF announcements -

- Mamiya has delivered. The competition is holding the sharp end of the nodachi.
- Hasselblad will react fast, is my guess, with some sort of 22MP bundle. They know how important it is to surf the market. Anyway, Fuji will be glad to make them a sensor if no one else wants to throw a great Dane a bone.
- Leaf will probably run crying to Sugar Daddy Kodak to get a cheap sensor to put in their new Rollei clone.
- Sinar have no obvious sponsor, and real problems if MF pricing deflates. Unless of course they turn back into a camera company and just supply Hy6 bodies for Phase and Leaf backs.
- Phase are caught out in the rain.  I'm sure they have a plan. Yes?


It's funny to see vaporware turn into product with such consequences. And no photographer will lament the obscene sticker prices of the MF backs.

I respect all the members of the MF industry, really I do. But they have over-priced their product and the return to reality will be painful.

Edmund
« Last Edit: June 11, 2007, 08:36:25 PM by eronald » Logged
Ray
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« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2007, 08:16:49 PM »
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There'll probably be a lot of crying in the digital MF camp when Canon announces a 22mp FF 35mm DSLR later this year, as everyone expects.

We should not forget that the 2nd FF DSLR that Canon proiduced (the 1Ds2) had the same pixel density as the 2nd cropped 35mm format DSLR (the D60).

In fact, I would imagine there's no fundamental reason why Canon can not deliver a 26mp FF sensor with the pixel density of the 400D.

Acquiring the small handful of Canon prime lenses that could really take advantage of such pixel density (if one doesn't already have such lenses) could still be cheaper than buying into an MF system.
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eronald
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« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2007, 08:42:51 PM »
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My suspicion is that Hasseblad is going to survive this best, because their expensive lenses probably allow them to subsidize the base back-with-body kit.

Canon has an incentive to lower the price of their new body, too: Make people buy the new lenses that can outresolve their updated sensors.

Edmund

Quote
There'll probably be a lot of crying in the digital MF camp when Canon announces a 22mp FF 35mm DSLR later this year, as everyone expects.

We should not forget that the 2nd FF DSLR that Canon proiduced (the 1Ds2) had the same pixel density as the 2nd cropped 35mm format DSLR (the D60).

In fact, I would imagine there's no fundamental reason why Canon can not deliver a 26mp FF sensor with the pixel density of the 400D.

Acquiring the small handful of Canon prime lenses that could really take advantage of such pixel density (if one doesn't already have such lenses) could still be cheaper than buying into an MF system.
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thsinar
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« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2007, 09:17:29 PM »
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Dear Edmund,

I think you see things a little to simple, concerning pricing of MFDB's. You seem not to understand the R&D costs hidden in the costs of a high-hend digital back and, in case of Sinar, its integration into an entire camera system.

And you completely ignore what costs are involved in software developement: somehow these costs have to be integrated in the pricing of a MFDB.

Your speculations are and remain speculations.

Best regards,
Thierry

Quote
With the second $10K digital MF system from Mamiya suddenly condensed from the vaporware cloud, we should expect a shower of new MF announcements -

- Mamiya has delivered. The competition is holding the sharp end of the nodachi.
- Hasselblad will react fast, is my guess, with some sort of 22MP bundle. They know how important it is to surf the market. Anyway, Fuji will be glad to make them a sensor if no one else wants to throw a great Dane a bone.
- Leaf will probably run crying to Sugar Daddy Kodak to get a cheap sensor to put in their new Rollei clone.
- Sinar have no obvious sponsor, and real problems if MF pricing deflates. Unless of course they turn back into a camera company and just supply Hy6 bodies for Phase and Leaf backs.
- Phase are caught out in the rain.  I'm sure they have a plan. Yes?
It's funny to see vaporware turn into product with such consequences. And no photographer will lament the obscene sticker prices of the MF backs.

I respect all the members of the MF industry, really I do. But they have over-priced their product and the return to reality will be painful.

Edmund
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Thierry Hagenauer
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eronald
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« Reply #4 on: June 11, 2007, 09:50:10 PM »
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Dear Thierry,

 The Mamiya ZD camera has been on sale in Europe for some time now, and it actually works. In fact some guys have posted images right here. The new back does not look like vaporware either, and its $10K price is not a speculation.

 Japanese companies have a habit of amortizing their research costs against bigger unit sales; european companies think in terms of elite products with higher unit prices and margins.

 Japanese companies do not necessarily supply inferior products when they deliver lower short-term prices. This may be the mistake *your company* is making here. With the benefit of hindsight, we can see that the old Canon and Nikon "imitation lenses" were actually very good performers, and many of the old Nikon F series cameras are still going strong.

 I just hope the europeans will realize in time what is happening to them, or else Phase, Leaf and Sinar will replay what happened to Leica, Voigtlander and Zeiss Ikon when Nikon and Canon decided they wanted the market.

Edmund

PS - do you really think that Kodak and Dalsa will keep the MF sensor monopoly much longer ?

Quote
Dear Edmund,

I think you see things a little to simple, concerning pricing of MFDB's. You seem not to understand the R&D costs hidden in the costs of a high-hend digital back and, in case of Sinar, its integration into an entire camera system.

And you completely ignore what costs are involved in software developement: somehow these costs have to be integrated in the pricing of a MFDB.

Your speculations are and remain speculations.

Best regards,
Thierry
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« Last Edit: June 11, 2007, 10:01:42 PM by eronald » Logged
thsinar
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« Reply #5 on: June 11, 2007, 10:21:13 PM »
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Edmund,

I have put "speculations" in relation with Sinar and what we might do!, and a little bit in relation with other MFDB manufacturers: you really and always speculate and start topics about what these companies will do, with absolutely no insight and clue of it. This is a bit "disturbing" and at the limit of misleading, IMO: just let things happen.

As for quality: it is not my intention to denigrate a product like the ZD or Japanese products. I have myself JP products at home, like everybody. But let endusers make the experiences and choices if it is good enough or not, when it comes to digital photography in the high-end segment.

Also don't mislead by claiming that WE the european MFDB manufacturers do not see the wind coming: I can at least speak about one of them, and I can tell you that we follow closely what happens in the market, not only on the pricing level, but also concerning the trends and changes in technologies. We are not sitting on our chair and looking at things happening, which you seem to believe.

As for your last question: I have no clue about what will hapen in the sensor market and won't speculate about it.

Best regards,
Thierry

Quote
Dear Thierry,

 The Mamiya ZD camera has been on sale in Europe for some time now, and it actually works. In fact some guys have posted images right here. The new back does not look like vaporware either, and its $10K price is not a speculation.

 Japanese companies have a habit of amortizing their research costs against bigger unit sales; european companies think in terms of elite products with higher unit prices and margins.

 Japanese companies do not necessarily supply inferior products when they deliver lower short-term prices. This may be the mistake *your company* is making here. With the benefit of hindsight, we can see that the old Canon and Nikon "imitation lenses" were actually very good performers, and many of the old Nikon F series cameras are still going strong.

 I just hope the europeans will realize in time what is happening to them, or else Phase, Leaf and Sinar will replay what happened to Leica, Voigtlander and Zeiss Ikon when Nikon and Canon decided they wanted the market.

Edmund

PS - do you really think that Kodak and Dalsa will keep the MF sensor monopoly much longer ?
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eronald
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« Reply #6 on: June 11, 2007, 10:29:59 PM »
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Thierry,

 It's getting pretty late over here, as we both know; and so I would agree there is not much serious meaning attached to my posts

Edmund

Quote
Edmund,

I have put "speculations" in relation with Sinar and what we might do!, and a little bit in relation with other MFDB manufacturers: you really and always speculate and start topics about what these companies will do, with absolutely no insight and clue of it. This is a bit "disturbing" and at the limit of misleading, IMO: just let things happen.

As for quality: it is not my intention to denigrate a product like the ZD or Japanese products. I have myself JP products at home, like everybody. But let endusers make the experiences and choices if it is good enough or not, when it comes to digital photography in the high-end segment.

Also don't mislead by claiming that WE the european MFDB manufacturers do not see the wind coming: I can at least speak about one of them, and I can tell you that we follow closely what happens in the market, not only on the pricing level, but also concerning the trends and changes in technologies. We are not sitting on our chair and looking at things happening, which you seem to believe.

As for your last question: I have no clue about what will hapen in the sensor market and won't speculate about it.

Best regards,
Thierry
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thsinar
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« Reply #7 on: June 11, 2007, 10:31:43 PM »
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That's what I understood, Edmund!

Good night! I am myself just waking up!

Thierry

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Thierry,

 It's getting pretty late over here, as we both know; and so I would agree there is not much serious meaning attached to my posts

Edmund
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Thierry Hagenauer
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« Reply #8 on: June 11, 2007, 10:38:34 PM »
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Good night! I am myself just waking up!

Too bad the same can't be said for Edmund  

Mark
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Lester
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« Reply #9 on: June 11, 2007, 10:47:52 PM »
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Anything could happen, remember the Kodak DCS 660? it has a MFSP of $30,000, what ever happen to Kodak and their DSLR? But then, it was the beginning of the digital camera and Canon did not have a digital camera yet.


Quote
With the second $10K digital MF system from Mamiya suddenly condensed from the vaporware cloud, we should expect a shower of new MF announcements -

- Mamiya has delivered. The competition is holding the sharp end of the nodachi.
- Hasselblad will react fast, is my guess, with some sort of 22MP bundle. They know how important it is to surf the market. Anyway, Fuji will be glad to make them a sensor if no one else wants to throw a great Dane a bone.
- Leaf will probably run crying to Sugar Daddy Kodak to get a cheap sensor to put in their new Rollei clone.
- Sinar have no obvious sponsor, and real problems if MF pricing deflates. Unless of course they turn back into a camera company and just supply Hy6 bodies for Phase and Leaf backs.
- Phase are caught out in the rain.  I'm sure they have a plan. Yes?
It's funny to see vaporware turn into product with such consequences. And no photographer will lament the obscene sticker prices of the MF backs.

I respect all the members of the MF industry, really I do. But they have over-priced their product and the return to reality will be painful.

Edmund
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josayeruk
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« Reply #10 on: June 11, 2007, 11:38:17 PM »
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- Hasselblad will react fast, is my guess, with some sort of 22MP bundle. They know how important it is to surf the market.

[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=122289\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Its called an H3D-22.  
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free1000
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« Reply #11 on: June 12, 2007, 01:10:15 AM »
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The Mamiya ZD camera has been on sale in Europe for some time now, and it actually works. 
Yes. I tried it, didn't like it and went out and bought the Aptus 75 with all the expense that entails. Actually I tried the ZD the same day as the A75.

As I look back through my image library the one thing I regret is buying the Kodak SLR-C as many of the shots I took with it are unusable. If I had paid the extra for a 1Ds they would have been OK.  Buy cheap, buy twice.

In general you are right about prices coming down. But a pixel is not a pixel. Otherwise we'd all be using compact cameras.

The day I can get the quality of a Schneider 35XL digitar on a Canon 1DsIII (with the same degree of movements) will be the day that Leaf et al are truly threatened. Personally I don't think that will ever happen for commercial and technical reasons.

Perhaps MF cameras may need to become more expensive, not less, to handle the increased competition at the 'low' end.

eg: Broncolour flash packs cost $9000 but their business is not threatened by the release of a new hotshoe flash.

This may be a golden age of cheap MF digital equipment!
« Last Edit: June 12, 2007, 01:10:44 AM by free1000 » Logged

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paul_jones
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« Reply #12 on: June 12, 2007, 02:19:43 AM »
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Yes. I tried it, didn't like it and went out and bought the Aptus 75 with all the expense that entails. Actually I tried the ZD the same day as the A75.

As I look back through my image library the one thing I regret is buying the Kodak SLR-C as many of the shots I took with it are unusable. If I had paid the extra for a 1Ds they would have been OK.  Buy cheap, buy twice.

In general you are right about prices coming down. But a pixel is not a pixel. Otherwise we'd all be using compact cameras.

The day I can get the quality of a Schneider 35XL digitar on a Canon 1DsIII (with the same degree of movements) will be the day that Leaf et al are truly threatened. Personally I don't think that will ever happen for commercial and technical reasons.

Perhaps MF cameras may need to become more expensive, not less, to handle the increased competition at the 'low' end.

eg: Broncolour flash packs cost $9000 but their business is not threatened by the release of a new hotshoe flash.

This may be a golden age of cheap MF digital equipment!
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i agree. i have no problem with the prices of equipment at the moment. obviously i would like it cheaper, but for most profitable businesses this is not a major expense.
what i do have a problem with is gear becoming obsolute too quickly. if i knew that i could use the same gear in a competitive industry for at least 5-7 years i wont mind spending more.
when i started photography, there where plenty of photographers with 40k worth of 5x4 and 10x8 gear, but they had a lot of years of life out of the gear.

paul
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andybuk99
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« Reply #13 on: June 12, 2007, 02:51:00 AM »
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i agree. i have no problem with the prices of equipment at the moment. obviously i would like it cheaper, but for most profitable businesses this is not a major expense.
what i do have a problem with is gear becoming obsolute too quickly. if i knew that i could use the same gear in a competitive industry for at least 5-7 years i wont mind spending more.
when i started photography, there where plenty of photographers with 40k worth of 5x4 and 10x8 gear, but they had a lot of years of life out of the gear.

paul
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Totally agree with Paul. I started off when I left school 16 years ago as an assistant and had no equipment at all, just rented as and when I needed it. The studio had masses of equipment that cost a fortune although much of it is still around today 20+ years from being bought. I have just invested in a leaf 65 after the digital bug caught me and although it is expensive I know I have made the correct decision.

It would be superb if the price was cheaper but unfortunately when you jump in and but any state of the art product you are paying a premium (We all know how much cd's cost when they were first released and what they cost now).

As was stated by Thierry you are paying for the R&D which helps produce "wizzier" new kit. It seems to me that people that are worrying too much about the costs of their "tools of the trade" really should  see if their business is profitable enough to support such an expense, if not stick to whatever you can afford, but please for your and everyone's sanity stop moaning.  
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ixpressraf
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« Reply #14 on: June 12, 2007, 03:03:55 AM »
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To all those crying for  cheaper stuff........ if you have to ask for the price, you can't afford it    . First make your business more profittable and then buy whatever system you like. I never hear good money making photographers moan about the price of their Hasselblad or phase back's. They insist on the good service provided by the companies and are willing to pay for that. On the other hand we have the canon or nikon shooter who loves DMFB but actually  can not afford buying into a dmfb ( at least not whitout hurting his wallet ). You can hear them complaining all the time  
Now mamiya is offering a toy for this segment of the market..... but still people keep on complaining.  
Things are never to be perfect, tha's for sure.
« Last Edit: June 12, 2007, 03:04:44 AM by ixpressraf » Logged
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« Reply #15 on: June 12, 2007, 03:16:39 AM »
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As was stated by Thierry you are paying for the R&D which helps produce "wizzier" new kit. It seems to me that people that are worrying too much about the costs of their "tools of the trade" really should  see if their business is profitable enough to support such an expense, if not stick to whatever you can afford, but please for your and everyone's sanity stop moaning.  
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[/quote]
Quote

Hi
One thing that will help to bring the cost down are companies like Bibble, LR & Raw Developer. Since Bibble has come out with a tethered program for the latest Canon cameras & RD is currently working on a tethered program for Leaf. LR, who knows will they build a tethered program in the future? For example if RD had a tethered program for the ZD would that increase the sales of these two MFD products. What if LR came out with a tethered program for most of the digital backs & Canon , Nikon etc. Bibble was the first to do it, who will be next? I would not be surprised if LR is already looking into this.

Denis
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Dustbak
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« Reply #16 on: June 12, 2007, 03:27:14 AM »
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Prices appear to be inflated for MFDB's. Besides that, I find it a very uncomfortable feeling that I have to invest in another new back within a couple of years.

The whole scenario of trade-in programs to lock in customers is another scary thing.

High trade-in amounts need to be paid from somewhere and the only thing that does generate money are new backs. This means somebody buying new into the system pays a sort of 'extra entrance fee'.

Now I believe in the past trade-in backs were destroyed by several manufacturers, now most are offering refurbished models. To me this is an indication that trade-in programs were under pressure or at least started to cost too much money that could not be recuperated by the margins on new backs.

It should be possible to lower the price of new backs, to finance this by stopping ridiculous trade-in deals. This would generate a larger second hand market as well which currently is almost non-existent. A non-existent second hand market can be a sign of market regulation by participants.
« Last Edit: June 12, 2007, 03:33:15 AM by Dustbak » Logged
neil snape
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« Reply #17 on: June 12, 2007, 03:30:12 AM »
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i agree. i have no problem with the prices of equipment at the moment. obviously i would like it cheaper, but for most profitable businesses this is not a major expense.
what i do have a problem with is gear becoming obsolute too quickly. if i knew that i could use the same gear in a competitive industry for at least 5-7 years i wont mind spending more.
when i started photography, there where plenty of photographers with 40k worth of 5x4 and 10x8 gear, but they had a lot of years of life out of the gear.

paul
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=122334\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Exactly what I think. I was waiting for a release of a Canon FF >22Mp but as all of us are still waiting I had to do something. Everything is changing so fast, gone are the days of my youth when my first purchase into a system that would endure was my still used Hasselblad 500 CM .
For still lifes, the new systems seem a tad complicated, and also lack that same feeling of being left with a system that should last a lot longer than they do, forcing a high throughput to make any purchase viable.
I gave up, and bought a 4x5 Canon EOS adapter (Graflock) from China. I did some tests with the 5D on my Sinar yesterday with a Macro 180 Rodenstock. Not as good as a drum scanned film but very usable indeed. Much cheaper than buying 3 new TS Canon lenses, and let's me continue using one  Canon body as the base of all digital capture. While waiting for Canon, I sincerely hope the MF makers will offer some truly competitive pricing for comparable features.
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eronald
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« Reply #18 on: June 12, 2007, 05:23:59 AM »
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Neil -

 Congrats on your new purchases.

 Sinar's life-blood has always been long-lasting precision mechanical hardware; how strange that they defend a back-pricing strategy forcing old clients like you to turn to alternative and complex methods of creating view-camera effects.

 Mamiya has become the distributor of Alpa in Japan, and I'm willing to bet that the ZD back will cause a sudden and immediate spike of sales for the Alpa and its lenses over there.

Quote
Exactly what I think.

-snip-

I did some tests with the 5D on my Sinar yesterday with a Macro 180 Rodenstock.

-snip-

I sincerely hope the MF makers will offer some truly competitive pricing for comparable features.

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« Reply #19 on: June 12, 2007, 06:03:20 AM »
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Thierry,

The price of Sinar, Leaf and Phase backs is to high that's why most pro photogrphers I know use Canon or Nikon and make it work.

I've recently been looking at MF digital again after leaving it for another year and waiting for the price to become more inline with what we can charge for the work vs. running costs on gear.

I'm surprised that it's still so much money for even the 22 MP backs out there.

Can I go to my clients and say I've had to double my rates to pay off a back that costs as much as a 35mm system with a backup body and a full and good set of lenses ?

Medium format always did cost more than 35mm, but nothing like it is now.

Everybody needs to stop trying to recover their full R&D costs on every sale, digital is not new anymore..
« Last Edit: June 12, 2007, 06:04:33 AM by David Anderson » Logged

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