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Author Topic: The state of MFDB  (Read 21060 times)
eronald
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« on: October 20, 2007, 05:02:18 AM »
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In Medium Format with AF, there are now the following cameras left in play after Hasselblad announced the cancellation of the H2:
- Contax (inactive, all backs)
- Hasselblad (closed, Hasselblad backs only)
- Mamiya (active, all backs and their own)
- Sinar/Leaf/Rollei (launch stage, own backs only at this point)

The digital back companies are Hasselblad, Phase One, Leaf, and Sinar and Mamiya.

My predictions (not fact, not rumor, just personal analysis):

- Hasselblad revenues are going to continue to grow, and their system will improve markedly as they re-invest into software and firmware.  Hasselblad can now afford to be commercially aggressive and have added resources for software R&D.

- Leaf have a new system, which can generate an upgrade revenue stream, but sales are going to be under pressure from Hasselblad

- Sinar remain a boutique contender but are in a good position to merge with one of the other players due to the Hy6 card. As a preliminary, they could choose to save some money by merging the R&D for their backs with Leaf.

- Mamiya will continue to act as an open platform for the time being, on the strength of the Phase and their own back sales which will be decent due to the price point. Note the accessible pricing of their lenses. It is clear that Mamiya has the ability to develop good products, while manufacturing and distributing at the lowest cost point in the market.

- Phase One are in a tough spot. They may have been a lead contender technically, but the other players now have them in a platform squeeze. A merger with some existing player or entrant seems increasingly likely.

In summary, I'd say the only "sure things" in the MF market are the inevitable growth of an increasingly aggressive Hasselblad, and the survival of Mamiya as the cheapest solution. Sinar, Phase and Leaf are playing musical chairs.
« Last Edit: October 20, 2007, 05:03:30 AM by eronald » Logged

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Morgan_Moore
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« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2007, 05:53:05 AM »
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Indeed SPL have been outwitted by Blad buying imacon IMO

Sinar/jeoptic have the tools in place but I dont understand them

I think it is because I come from a journalism/street background and them from a studio only background

 for me it is a luxury to have more than 2mins setup and 30s with the subject

nowadays clients have D80s and 18-200s and really cant understand why all the bagage - so that ramps up the time pressure

Sinar  have been trying to peddle studio products for use outside in fast moving locations with little apparent sucess for years

First error was the 60th of the M (and two lens sets!) , next error, HY6, would appear to be lack of wide and lack of transparent integration (and three lens sets!)

Fundamentally they failed to comprehend that while you can have different film stocks in your fridge and caouple of differnt $5000 camera systems you are unlikely to have more than one $30000 back or one $25000 system - so it has to do EVERYTHING

S
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« Reply #2 on: October 20, 2007, 05:57:55 AM »
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Be interesting if Phase do produce their own (adapted?) camera system, as mentioned elsewhere on LL.
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Graham Mitchell
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« Reply #3 on: October 20, 2007, 06:08:36 AM »
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I'm not sure what the purpose of this thread is, other than to repeat mere conjecture.

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- Sinar/Leaf/Rollei (launch stage, own backs only at this point)

It seems you forgot the Rollei 6008 which is not discontinued yet and which takes Sinar and Hasselblad backs as well as the Rollei P20.

Quote
In summary, I'd say the only "sure things" in the MF market are the inevitable growth of an increasingly aggressive Hasselblad, and the survival of Mamiya as the cheapest solution. Sinar, Phase and Leaf are playing musical chairs.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=147350\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Sinar and Leaf both have sizeable parent companies. Mamiya looks weakest of all financially and will be the first to take a hit from the upcoming Canons by offering the least number of advantages. Phase looks most vulnerable.
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« Reply #4 on: October 20, 2007, 06:12:02 AM »
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next error, HY6, would appear to be lack of wide and lack of transparent integration (and three lens sets!)

Transparent integration? Three lens sets??
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eronald
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« Reply #5 on: October 20, 2007, 06:26:45 AM »
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As regards the purpose of this thread, nobody compels you to waste time on it.

I don't think the Rollei is significant in the future equation.

Fuji is clearly backing Hasselblad and Hassy is making money.

Mamiya *now* has a positive cash flow, clearly. For the moment they seem to be ticking along nicely. Of course surprises can arise.

Does Kodak really care about Leaf ? Is Kodak still alive indeed ? The fate of a parent company can impact its offspring too ...
 
Edmund

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I'm not sure what the purpose of this thread is, other than to repeat mere conjecture.
It seems you forgot the Rollei 6008 which is not discontinued yet and which takes Sinar and Hasselblad backs as well as the Rollei P20.
Sinar and Leaf both have sizeable parent companies. Mamiya looks weakest of all financially and will be the first to take a hit from the upcoming Canons by offering the least number of advantages. Phase looks most vulnerable.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=147359\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
« Last Edit: October 20, 2007, 06:27:58 AM by eronald » Logged

Edmund Ronald, Ph.D. 
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« Reply #6 on: October 20, 2007, 06:28:36 AM »
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I'm not sure what the purpose of this thread is, other than to repeat mere conjecture.[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=147359\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

It's very useful to me and probably anyone else who is teetering on the brink of investing heavily in a MFDB/system for the immediate future. Out of such discussions often comes useful info which in turn aids better decision making. I read every thread and post I can on the subject. Can we ever be too well informed? Even if some of it is conjecture...
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Morgan_Moore
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« Reply #7 on: October 20, 2007, 07:29:44 AM »
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Transparent integration? Three lens sets??
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=147360\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

'Rollei' lenses, sinar CAB lenses, and another set I cant remember the name of

for the P3, the M and the HY6

Transparent integration.

I would ideally be after lenses that could move between a view camera and mirror camera (especially at those prices)

the rolleis fit the Xact but I think it is discontinued

the rolleis dont fit sinars own view camera system

and sinars (view camera) lenses dont fit the Hy6

So there is either no integration or it is planned and not communicated properly - a lack of transparency

IMO this would be a reason to think sinar rather than hassy - smooth integration to view camera solutions

SMM
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« Reply #8 on: October 20, 2007, 07:46:37 AM »
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I would ideally be after lenses that could move between a view camera and mirror camera (especially at those prices)

In what way does this make the Hy6 an 'error'? I don't see your point at all.  

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the rolleis dont fit sinars own view camera system

and sinars (view camera) lenses dont fit the Hy6

Why should they?? This argument is ridiculous.
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« Reply #9 on: October 20, 2007, 08:40:27 AM »
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In what way does this make the Hy6 an 'error'? I don't see your point at all.
Why should they?? This argument is ridiculous.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=147374\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Maybe it is ridiculous maybe not - we are all free to our own opinions

My thinking goes like this

Hasselblad offer a great integrated systsem

the system however is limited - particularly in terms of movements and stitching for amazing big files

Sinar is a company that has a background in view camera solutions

Now if they could come to me with a system that smoothly and cost effectively moved my expesive digital back investment and my lens investment between a walk around mirrored solution and a studio view camera based solution then they would have a big selling point to move me into being a customer of thiers

I would have a reason to bin my H system

They would have a clear sales route - 'Hasselblad is a simple walkaround solution but with Sinar we take photography a level further - movement and perspective control'

At the moment they present a simple walkaround solution that is less developed than blad AND a totally seperate view solution

Look at the inegration they were trying to achieve with thier M system and the way it could be used as a rear standard on the P3 - they were on the right track

All they needed was an M2 with leaf lenses that work for both view and mirrored

Simply the last thing I want to do is buy a $4000 rodenstock 28mm for movements AND a mam or blad or rollei 28mm for another $4000 for mirrored use

Right now I own a rodenstock 47 ($2000ish) and a blad 50 ($2500) I have bought virtually the same glass tiwce -how dumb is that ?

I also own a sinar P camera and a sinar back, both being H mount I can swap between the H and the P fast - no screws or dinged chips - if I changed to sinars own walkaround camera i would need a $1000 adapter and screw changes - how dumb is that ?

SMM
« Last Edit: October 20, 2007, 08:55:06 AM by Morgan_Moore » Logged

Sam Morgan Moore Cornwall
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« Reply #10 on: October 20, 2007, 08:55:07 AM »
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I think the state of the MF market is one of the factors why I have not jumped in. I can justify the expense, only if it's a system I think will be relevant to me in five years time. I can see H3 users being locked out of something  that only H4 users will get, I'm not confident other makers will not follow a similar path. That and the lack of raw support in many programs for MFB files. I don't want to spend 30k + to end up in some deadend, either camera or software. The Phaseone upgrade path looks like a bit of a treadmill to me, the constant need to throw large amounts of money at it to keep in touch.
I'm not confident any system will still be around in five years time, wether it's feasable or not I can't say, but if MFB's are to survive I think they must get cheaper, or some commitment from the makers to the existing customers not to make their equipment  next years paper weight.
I still fancy a Leaf though!

Kevin.
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Graham Mitchell
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« Reply #11 on: October 20, 2007, 09:08:16 AM »
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Now if they could come to me with a system that smoothly and cost effectively moved my expesive digital back investment and my lens investment between a walk around mirrored solution and a studio view camera based solution then they would have a big selling point to move me into being a customer of thiers

Some things make sense to move around, like the digital back, and Sinar has done what it can by providing an adapter system.

Lenses don't make so much sense. Everyone seems to be crying for fast apertures, autofocus and leaf shutters for medium format cameras. For view cameras people tend to want large image circles, and they are used to fairly small, simple and light lenses. To make a lens which does it all would price it out of the market for nearly everyone. Better to have specialised lenses.

At least with the larger image circle of Rollei lenses you can use them on a view camera using the right lens mount and a lens controller.

The potential for making a shifting back for the Hy6 is very intriguing, but that's far from reality so we can only speculate.

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At the moment they present a simple walkaround solution that is less developed than blad AND a totally seperate view solution

Less developed in what way? There are more lenses, more viewfinder options, faster flash sync, white balance meter, focus trapping, etc.

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Simply the last thing I want to do is buy a $4000 rodenstock 28mm for movements AND a mam or blad or rollei 28mm for another $4000 for mirrored use

I can certainly understand this, but understand that the Blad 28mm has a small image circle with no potential for shift. To make these lenses with a larger image circle would only make them more expensive and heavier. Would you rather buy one $8K lens which does it all but is heavier than either of the others? For the same price I would rather have two lenses which are better suited to their particular usage. Separate lenses will sell much better too, because most people don't need a lens which can do everything.

As people keep saying, no one camera does it all, and trying to create one which does would price it well out of the marketplace. It makes no sense commercially.

Quote
I also own a sinar P camera and a sinar back, both being H mount I can swap between them fast - no screws or dinged chips - if I changed to sinars own walkaround camera i would need a $1000 adapter and screw changes - how dumb is that ?

So it was ok to spend the money on a Hass H mount for your Sinar P but it's not ok to do the same for a Hy6 mount?? Hy6 mounts for view cameras are on the way.
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« Reply #12 on: October 20, 2007, 09:10:25 AM »
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Morgan, won't that system you're describing be the ALPA ?

all you need is an Alpa XY and the Alpa TC......... and live view, or it's future incarnation where is can work without a computer.
« Last Edit: October 20, 2007, 09:11:11 AM by rueyloon » Logged
Morgan_Moore
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« Reply #13 on: October 20, 2007, 09:20:35 AM »
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Hy6 mounts for view cameras are on the way.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=147386\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

All fair points.

It would be interesting to see the economics of 2 lenses verses one - you may be right

Rollie obvisouly thought thier lenses universal enough to produce both the Xact and the 6008

Personally I think the 6008/Xact system is currently the best thought out especially with the wash of used lenses - but discontinued or will be soon - maybe just bad comms from sinar


As for the HY6 to sinar view camera mount - Ive not seen a press release for that - maybe just bad comms from sinar

have a good day

S
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Sam Morgan Moore Cornwall
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« Reply #14 on: October 20, 2007, 09:26:47 AM »
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Morgan, won't that system you're describing be the ALPA ?

all you need is an Alpa XY and the Alpa TC......... and live view, or it's future incarnation where is can work without a computer.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=147387\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

It would be if you could focus an alpa - they just missed the mirror and the AF or D3 standard live view and chip driven AF - maybe in the future it could indeed be very exiting to have a mirrorles walkabout camera - small ,cheap, light, low vibration, movements, no retrofucus aberations - fantastic - put me on the list

Its almost tempting to saw up a D3 to make such a thing - why did they bother with the C20 mirror

S
« Last Edit: October 20, 2007, 09:31:24 AM by Morgan_Moore » Logged

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« Reply #15 on: October 20, 2007, 09:32:19 AM »
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Morgan_Moore,

At least you can use the Rollei lenses on a view camera if you want, which you can't with the Hass H lenses. This is already possible, and is probably a great solution for an occasional tilt/shift user like me (and perhaps you?). It all comes down to the cost of the lens adapter and controller.

I didn't know about the Alpa solution until rueyloon's post.



http://www.alpa.ch/index.php?path=products...s/lens_adapters
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« Reply #16 on: October 20, 2007, 09:33:20 AM »
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I actually think the MFDB market will grow.  DSLR's are reaching a point where innovations are getting smaller and smaller with each new generation.  Look at the new 1Ds mk3.  The next wave of innovation (image-quality-wise) will be in MFDB's.  If they can start to come down in price (Hassy? Mamiya?), I think the many advantages of MFDB's will start to appeal to all the 1Ds mk 2 and 3 owners out there looking for something better (which is what photographers seem to do nowadays).  I agree that there has to be more longevity with these systems though and only Hasselblad and Mamiya look like they're heading in that direction.  Phase One has the software/ camera back set-up going for it but for how long (Lightroom)?  I'm actually considering investing in a MFDB for the first time at some point in the next year and while I'm no fan of the H-series cameras, I do think they'll be around for a very long time.
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Morgan_Moore
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« Reply #17 on: October 20, 2007, 09:41:49 AM »
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Morgan_Moore,

At least you can use the Rollei lenses on a view camera if you want, which you can't with the Hass H lenses. This is already possible, and is probably a great solution for an occasional tilt/shift user like me (and perhaps you?). It all comes down to the cost of the lens adapter and controller.

I didn't know about the Alpa solution until rueyloon's post.



http://www.alpa.ch/index.php?path=products...s/lens_adapters
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=147395\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I know. pretty cool esp for you as a 6008 man if I am not mistaken

This thread probably just cost you $5000 odd and more if you get a roden 28 too which will SMOOTHLY integrate with this setup - and sort your wide problems if you have them - no screws, no mount changes the gear just all drops together - one set of lenses

IMO this combo is currently the best solution ANY WHERE IN THE MF WORLD esp with the Xact too for big bellows stuff

I almost want to put a 'swap H1 and lenses for 6008 and lenses' on the the FS board right now

I knew none of this three years ago

But in terms of sinar becoming a hassy beating company the tagline

'buy our mirror camera that we are discontinuing, our view camera that we are discontinuing and somone elses compact rise/fall camera'

is hardly a snappy sales slogan

hopefully we begin to agree that sinar got the crown jewels and dropped them in the river

S
« Last Edit: October 20, 2007, 10:09:56 AM by Morgan_Moore » Logged

Sam Morgan Moore Cornwall
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« Reply #18 on: October 20, 2007, 09:57:15 AM »
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- "contender" = "a competitor, especially somebody who has a good chance of winning", this is the definition of this word.

So thanks Edmund, even if I'm sure that you din't mean it that way!

- merging of our R&D: well, I guess that is not something for tomorrow!

- musical chairs: I guess that's the game in which you have to pay attention to the moment when the music stops, isn't it?

 

Thierry

Quote
- Sinar remain a boutique contender but are in a good position to merge with one of the other players due to the Hy6 card. As a preliminary, they could choose to save some money by merging the R&D for their backs with Leaf.

Sinar, Phase and Leaf are playing musical chairs.

[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=147350\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
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« Reply #19 on: October 20, 2007, 10:12:39 AM »
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well, we are here to speak. Ask you questions and I'll try to answer them. May be they won't satisfy you, but let's try.

Quote from: Morgan_Moore,Oct 20 2007, 05:53 PM
Sinar/jeoptic have the tools in place but I dont understand them
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=147356\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Understood, we are well aware of this.

Quote from: Morgan_Moore,Oct 20 2007, 05:53 PM
for me it is a luxury to have more than 2mins setup and 30s with the subject
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=147356\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Not really tried intensively yet, but it shall come

Quote from: Morgan_Moore,Oct 20 2007, 05:53 PM
Sinar  have been trying to peddle studio products for use outside in fast moving locations with little apparent sucess for years
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=147356\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Sinar m syncs at 1/100, but I agree that it has no meaning for location. I said it already, this camera was and still is a workhorse in many studio place, where precise, remote and slave-mode from the computer are necessary (museums, archives, libraries, car studio photography, ...). It might not sell by the tausends, but it does its job.

You present an advantage of the possibility to use 2 different sets of lenses (actually 3, with the Nikon lenses) as a disadvantage, when it is an advantage and allows the use of existing Hasselblad lenses

Quote from: Morgan_Moore,Oct 20 2007, 05:53 PM
First error was the 60th of the M (and two lens sets!)
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=147356\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

We are still working on this one, admitted. Is there any camera system out doing it all and as much as Sinar is doing it?

Quote from: Morgan_Moore,Oct 20 2007, 05:53 PM
so it has to do EVERYTHING
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=147356\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

S
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=147356\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
[/quote]

Best regards,
Thierry
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