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Author Topic: MF cartel broken - new pricing coming?  (Read 25825 times)
eronald
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« Reply #80 on: June 14, 2007, 07:53:56 AM »
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In Europe you can now buy 3 cheap new cars for the price of a P45+ system. Maybe cars have got cheaper

Edmund
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Edmund Ronald, Ph.D. 
thsinar
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« Reply #81 on: June 14, 2007, 10:41:12 AM »
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why the hell should France not been an interesting market for Sinar? And why "of course"Huh

Edmund, France is not my country of responsibilities: that's why I am not there. But I bet the right people representing Sinar shall be.

Thierry

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I think there's the Paris MF meet, which is yearly, and where usually people come to show their wares. Of course, France is not an interesting market for Sinar.

Edmund
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Thierry Hagenauer
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« Reply #82 on: June 14, 2007, 11:52:18 AM »
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What no-one seems to have pointed out is that the number of digital backs which sold last year is double the number of MF camera bodies. In other words, a lot of photographers must be using used bodies.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=122650\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
yep. I'm on my P45+ (upgraded from P45) but its still on my 10 year old Contax 645 body. there's simply nothing out there to make me think of investing in a better/newer body.

personally I don't care for the look or feel of H series Hasselblad, and, sorry for saying this, but the HY6 just looks silly and handles poorly with that ridiculous star-trek control panel/ hand grip. who the heck designed that? (and yes I have held one, before you ask)

I'd love to get a new 2007 body with 2007 digital quality lenses, to go with my $30k back, but there just isnt anything out there....
Hopefully Mamiya/Phase can deliver the goods soon.
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thsinar
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« Reply #83 on: June 14, 2007, 12:03:01 PM »
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then I can only suggest you to hold it in your hands once again, but not just for 5 minutes (I'm sure you didn't have more the first time): IMO, it's the ultimate comfort in handling combined with the right balance in your hand. None MF camera I have hold yet can match the balance (and weight) together with this handling. Whatever one thinks about the control panel.

Best regards,
Thierry

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sorry for saying this, but the HY6 just looks silly and handles poorly with that ridiculous star-trek control panel/ hand grip. who the heck designed that? (and yes I have held one, before you ask)

[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=122820\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
« Last Edit: June 14, 2007, 12:03:26 PM by thsinar » Logged

Thierry Hagenauer
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« Reply #84 on: June 14, 2007, 12:32:06 PM »
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In Europe you can now buy 3 cheap new cars for the price of a P45+ system. Maybe cars have got cheaper

Edmund
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=122785\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

It's not what it costs, it's what will it make. If I thought buying a Phaseone and camera system would earn me an extra £30k + I would buy one. I can't see how it would do that. I'm shure it would earn me more than I could with 3 small cars though....then again, Taxi anyone?

Kevin.
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bwpuk
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« Reply #85 on: June 14, 2007, 12:43:07 PM »
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The cost of a state-of-the-art MFDB is about 10x the cost of a basic 35mm DSLR, such as the Canon 5D, is it not?

Hasn't a similar price differential always applied between 35mm film camera bodies and MF film camera bodies? What's changed?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=122769\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

No it hasn't always applied to MF and 35mm film cameras. A Hasselblad 500cm has never been 10x the cost of say a Nikon F5. The cost of the new digital MF equipment is one of the reason MF is dying. Unless it gets cheaper and encourages more people to use it rather than their megapixel 35mm FF cameras it'll get even more expensive. As the numbers of MF shooters dwindle even further the back makers will have to increase their prices even more to maintain their margins and the gear will be even more of a niche market for them. Eventually they could even disappear if they start losing money.

I'm sure the new Mamiya back will give perfectly adequate quality for many pro's out there. I just hope Mamiya deliver what they promise. If they do it will be a huge boost for medium format photography.

Barrie
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pss
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« Reply #86 on: June 14, 2007, 12:55:30 PM »
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In Europe you can now buy 3 cheap new cars for the price of a P45+ system. Maybe cars have got cheaper

Edmund
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this is a ridiculous argument......if you want to get into the cement business, you will have to buy a cement truck which will cost you more then 2 P45+....and buying two P45s will not help you pave a driveway.....
the P45 is a high end specialized tool....and as such it is fairly cheap.....i don't think you understand the cost involved in shooting 4x5 or 8x10 film ! for a studio that needs that resolution, a P45 is a HUGE money saver....
i don't need a P45...my P30 cost me less then half of a P45 and it is the best image capturing device i have ever owned....and it will be the cheapest by next year....
if your work cannot support the 500$-700$/per month in payments.....well then you don't need the back! very simple....if you are fine shooting with a 5D then what is the rush to get a DMF back! there are many thing the back won't do as well anyway....

btw: do mercedes prices come down because you can buy a fiat for less then 10.000? you get what you pay for....and some people would never spend the money on a mercedes....
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Eric Zepeda
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« Reply #87 on: June 14, 2007, 01:27:38 PM »
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All I can say is I'm on set right now with a H2/P30 with the clothing designer over my shoulder exclaiming how good the shots are. Here in NYC there's a healthy MFDB market. Discerning clients can see the difference and are willing to pay for it. We're halfway thru a 50 shot women's swimware lookbook. Life is good and so are the bikinis...
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feppe
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« Reply #88 on: June 14, 2007, 04:05:43 PM »
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Reflecting the impact of high production cost on a given market only is a business practise unheard of. There is zero reason why Europeans alone should pay for those higher company taxes.

Not really. Taxes are a real expense, and market segments and geographic locations have different tolerance to prices. A good example is pricing of cars in Europe. As Finland has over 100% car tax (you read that right, one hundred percent), car manufacturers have to sell cars really cheap there to be able to sell any. This results in Finland being one of the cheapest places to buy cars in Europe, if you don't have to pay the Finnish car tax - ie. if you are not a Finn. Restrictions on importing/exporting cars within Europe make cross-border competition of little concern.

Even then, the price discrepancy of MFDBs between EU and US is glaring. I've thought about the pricing and the only reason for it I can come up with is that the US market has less tolerance for higher prices. At today's exchange rate, a PhaseOne P45+ pricing in the UK would be 37,000USD (no VAT included). I know nothing about the business in the US, so others are more qualified to give their opinion how 37,000USD for a P45+ sounds - I found a USD price of 22,000 which would mean a hefty 68% premium. (And what's up with MFDB pricing apparently being a state secret, can't find prices anywhere?)
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bwpuk
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« Reply #89 on: June 14, 2007, 04:37:13 PM »
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Not really. Taxes are a real expense, and market segments and geographic locations have different tolerance to prices. A good example is pricing of cars in Europe. As Finland has over 100% car tax (you read that right, one hundred percent), car manufacturers have to sell cars really cheap there to be able to sell any. This results in Finland being one of the cheapest places to buy cars in Europe, if you don't have to pay the Finnish car tax - ie. if you are not a Finn. Restrictions on importing/exporting cars within Europe make cross-border competition of little concern.

Even then, the price discrepancy of MFDBs between EU and US is glaring. I've thought about the pricing and the only reason for it I can come up with is that the US market has less tolerance for higher prices. At today's exchange rate, a PhaseOne P45+ pricing in the UK would be 37,000USD (no VAT included). I know nothing about the business in the US, so others are more qualified to give their opinion how 37,000USD for a P45+ sounds - I found a USD price of 22,000 which would mean a hefty 68% premium. (And what's up with MFDB pricing apparently being a state secret, can't find prices anywhere?)
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=122851\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Feppe,

Like you I've been puzzled by the difference in the US and EU pricing for MFDB's. It appears that the market in the US is more open with less controls. Maybe I'm wrong on this. However, I wonder if this restrictive pricing behaviour is even still legal in the EU anymore? I don't think I'm allowed to purchase a MFDB from whatever country I choose!

Barrie
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Christopher
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« Reply #90 on: June 14, 2007, 04:37:57 PM »
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btw: do mercedes prices come down because you can buy a fiat for less then 10.000? you get what you pay for....and some people would never spend the money on a mercedes....
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=122834\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

ähm.. I really hope Phase and Hassi and Leafe are not near the same as mercedes in price, quality and value, because if you really ment that statement, than the backs would be really poor value for money. I know mercedes really good, and yes they produced nice cars. Important "produced" , because that is 5 years ago...
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feppe
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« Reply #91 on: June 14, 2007, 05:35:22 PM »
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Feppe,

Like you I've been puzzled by the difference in the US and EU pricing for MFDB's. It appears that the market in the US is more open with less controls. Maybe I'm wrong on this. However, I wonder if this restrictive pricing behaviour is even still legal in the EU anymore? I don't think I'm allowed to purchase a MFDB from whatever country I choose!

Barrie
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=122855\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

There was a discussion about this on this board earlier. The one market rules for Europe do suggest that agreements - cartels, essentially - to limit distribution through contracts are illegal. This doesn't hold for imports outside of Europe, though. But Europeans should be able to buy their Phase backs from any country in Europe without restrictions, which I believe is not the case these days due to exclusive distribution rights - which are illegal in almost all cases, and I'm sure they are in this case.

The problem with getting the issue fixed is that somebody has to take one of the MFDB manufacturers and/or resalers to court, as they are unlikely to relinquish control just by seeing the laws that make it illegal. Of course properly applied pressure and grassroots campaigning, blame and shame, etc. might be effective as well, if they are not responsive.
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #92 on: June 14, 2007, 05:43:41 PM »
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Feppe,

Like you I've been puzzled by the difference in the US and EU pricing for MFDB's. It appears that the market in the US is more open with less controls. Maybe I'm wrong on this. However, I wonder if this restrictive pricing behaviour is even still legal in the EU anymore? I don't think I'm allowed to purchase a MFDB from whatever country I choose!

Barrie
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=122855\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

What puzzles me most is that in Japan, a P45+ costs 5.200.000 Yen list price, which is about 42.000 US$... that nearly twice as much as the price you mention above. From what I have heard, it seems difficult to negociate much below list price around here.

The Japanese price makes sense relative to the EU price in Euro, but if Phase is not loosing money selling it at 22.000 US$ in the US, then they/their dealers are making totally outrageous margins in EU and Japan.

Another thing that amazes me even more is the price of the Leaf backs in Japan. A A75s goes for 4.400.000 list price, although there is zero reason why Leaf would be affected by the very strong Euro/Yen change rate. They have simply aligned their Japanese prices with Phase (considering the slightly lower market value of their 33MP offering compared to Phase 39 MP), although they get their sensors from Canada and much of the rest locally in Israel. It would appear that they make even more money on photographers in Japan...

Very concretely, I could consider investing into a P45+ at 22.000 US$, but there is no way I would think of paying 42.000 US$... Considering a 3 years plan, that makes a 7.000 US$ difference a year, not even considering the cost of credit.

Mamiya is going to hit those guys hard everywhere, but even more so in Japan. The Mamiya back goes for 1.000.000 Yen here, which is 3 to 4 times cheaper than the corresponding Leaf/Phase 22 MP offerings.

Cheers,
Bernard
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feppe
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« Reply #93 on: June 14, 2007, 05:56:30 PM »
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What puzzles me most is that in Japan, a P45+ costs 5.200.000 Yen list price, which is about 42.000 US$... that nearly twice as much as the price you mention above. From what I have heard, it seems difficult to negociate much below list price around here.

The Japanese price makes sense relative to the EU price in Euro, but if Phase is not loosing money selling it at 22.000 US$ in the US, then they/their dealers are making totally outrageous margins in EU and Japan.

Another thing that amazes me even more is the price of the Leaf backs in Japan. A A75s goes for 4.400.000 list price, although there is zero reason why Leaf would be affected by the very strong Euro/Yen change rate. They have simply aligned their Japanese prices with Phase (considering the slightly lower market value of their 33MP offering compared to Phase 39 MP), although they get their sensors from Canada and much of the rest locally in Israel. It would appear that they make even more money on photographers in Japan...

Very concretely, I could consider investing into a P45+ at 22.000 US$, but there is no way I would think of paying 42.000 US$... Considering a 3 years plan, that makes a 7.000 US$ difference a year, not even considering the cost of credit.

Mamiya is going to hit those guys hard everywhere, but even more so in Japan. The Mamiya back goes for 1.000.000 Yen here, which is 3 to 4 times cheaper than the corresponding Leaf/Phase 22 MP offerings.

Cheers,
Bernard
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=122874\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Well, this is why I bought my Canon 30D and two lenses when I visited the US. It was much cheaper than buying in Europe, even with the outrageous customs and duties when importing it myself.

For those of us who don't care to pay the euro premium, buying an MFDB back in the US is considerably cheaper, even when factoring in the price of the trip. Just make sure the warranty is international. How messed up is that for a European product sold in European markets to Europeans?

Ok, I need to go to bed before my blood pressure goes up further.
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Ray
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« Reply #94 on: June 14, 2007, 08:40:57 PM »
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No it hasn't always applied to MF and 35mm film cameras. A Hasselblad 500cm has never been 10x the cost of say a Nikon F5. The cost of the new digital MF equipment is one of the reason MF is dying. Unless it gets cheaper and encourages more people to use it rather than their megapixel 35mm FF cameras it'll get even more expensive. As the numbers of MF shooters dwindle even further the back makers will have to increase their prices even more to maintain their margins and the gear will be even more of a niche market for them. Eventually they could even disappear if they start losing money.


[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=122830\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

It depends on which 35mm film cameras you are comparing with which MF film cameras. My first MF film camera was a second hand Fuji GSW690 III 6x9cm format, fully manual with a fixed 65mm lens. The new price at the time was A$3000-3500, about 10x the price of a Minolta Dynax 5 with included 28-80 zoom lens.

I remember thinking at the time that the price difference seemed very excessive, especially considering that the cheaper camera had all the automatic functions as well as interchangeability of lenses.

A P45 is less than 10x the price of a Canon 1Ds2.
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pss
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« Reply #95 on: June 14, 2007, 09:34:02 PM »
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ähm.. I really hope Phase and Hassi and Leafe are not near the same as mercedes in price, quality and value, because if you really ment that statement, than the backs would be really poor value for money. I know mercedes really good, and yes they produced nice cars. Important "produced" , because that is 5 years ago...
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=0\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


well you could also argue that hasselblad used to produce much better quality cameras and lenses....or that leaf used to be the leader of the pack.....
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John_Black
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« Reply #96 on: June 14, 2007, 11:02:16 PM »
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Not only has the number of professional photographers shrunk, but as well the number of MF systems sold in the world, dramatically. There is also a serious study which put the figures of MF bodies sold in 2003 at some 20'000 units (worlwide), then 12'000 in 2004, 8'000 in 2005 and may be just over 5'000 in 2006.

Thierry

The years listed happen to coincide with the 1Ds, D2X, 1Ds2, 5D and D2Xs.  Coincidence?  Or is that where the medium format market went?  For a studio shooting medium format that couldn't justify investing $20k$-$30k in medium format digital back, the high resolutions dSLR offer(ed) a viable option.  

As for the number of photographers... what those lists don't capture is how many new people enter running a business out of a second bedroom.  I'll agree that number of large studio is declining, but I bet there are a lot of new, part-time photographers running under the radar (so to speak).
« Last Edit: June 14, 2007, 11:03:44 PM by John_Black » Logged

Dustbak
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« Reply #97 on: June 15, 2007, 01:50:08 AM »
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There was a discussion about this on this board earlier. The one market rules for Europe do suggest that agreements - cartels, essentially - to limit distribution through contracts are illegal. This doesn't hold for imports outside of Europe, though. But Europeans should be able to buy their Phase backs from any country in Europe without restrictions, which I believe is not the case these days due to exclusive distribution rights - which are illegal in almost all cases, and I'm sure they are in this case.

The problem with getting the issue fixed is that somebody has to take one of the MFDB manufacturers and/or resalers to court, as they are unlikely to relinquish control just by seeing the laws that make it illegal. Of course properly applied pressure and grassroots campaigning, blame and shame, etc. might be effective as well, if they are not responsive.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=122872\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


No, that is not necessary. You can report suspected market manipulation or other breaches of European competition law directly to the commission that can investigate this. You can even do that via email.

Naturally you can take them to court but that would be going at it the hard way.
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bwpuk
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« Reply #98 on: June 15, 2007, 03:09:23 AM »
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Well, this is why I bought my Canon 30D and two lenses when I visited the US. It was much cheaper than buying in Europe, even with the outrageous customs and duties when importing it myself.

For those of us who don't care to pay the euro premium, buying an MFDB back in the US is considerably cheaper, even when factoring in the price of the trip. Just make sure the warranty is international. How messed up is that for a European product sold in European markets to Europeans?

Ok, I need to go to bed before my blood pressure goes up further.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=122878\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
I think you might find if you did fly to the US to buy a MFDB that:  1)  The dealer you approached wouldn't sell you one if they knew you were from the EU, because their contract with the back manufacturer forbids them to sell outside their geographic area. &  2) The warranty would be for the US only.  

I don't think you'd have trouble buying any other sort of photographic gear with an international warranty.

Cheers

Barrie
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feppe
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« Reply #99 on: June 15, 2007, 05:43:58 AM »
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No, that is not necessary. You can report suspected market manipulation or other breaches of European competition law directly to the commission that can investigate this. You can even do that via email.

Naturally you can take them to court but that would be going at it the hard way.
[{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Thanks for the tip! quick googling... "The Consumer Liaison Office in the Directorate General for Competition is responsible for receiving information and requests concerning competition problems faced by end consumers and customers."

Here is a contact form to report potential abuses:

[a href=\"http://ec.europa.eu/comm/competition/forms/consumer_form.html]http://ec.europa.eu/comm/competition/forms...sumer_form.html[/url]

I hope someone with first-hand knowledge of restrictive competitive practices and contractual agreements within European MFDB market would file a complaint using the above form.
« Last Edit: June 15, 2007, 05:47:46 AM by feppe » Logged

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