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Author Topic: Rollie w/ Phase backs  (Read 9825 times)
billy
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« on: October 20, 2007, 03:06:26 PM »
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someone on this forum said that Rollie might be making/ licensing an Hy6 camera body that will work with Phase Backs, something about an announcement at a trade show in NY last week. Anymore info on that? I have a P21/Contax and would love to switch over camera bodies once that camera is available to take advantage of the high flash sync shutter speeds.
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bradleygibson
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« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2007, 03:15:21 PM »
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I suggest you do a search on Hy6 in this forum.  It is being offered by three companies, Sinar, Rollei (actually Franke & Heidecke, but that 's another story), and Leaf (as the AFi).  Pretty much the same camera, take your pick.

There is a wealth of information on this forum about this camera, including some pricing in various regions of the world.

-Brad
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billy
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« Reply #2 on: October 20, 2007, 03:23:09 PM »
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thanks but ONLY interested in Rollei/phase combo and whatever new info came out this week
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samuel_js
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« Reply #3 on: October 20, 2007, 05:11:01 PM »
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I have a P21/Contax and would love to switch over camera bodies once that camera is available to take advantage of the high flash sync shutter speeds.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=147480\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
In case this happen some day, you'll need to change your P21 too, as PhaseOne doesn't offer adapter plates.
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Steve Kerman
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« Reply #4 on: October 20, 2007, 11:53:53 PM »
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Since I contributed a small bit to that rumor, I suppose I should summarize what I know about the past week.  A certain poster on this forum posted what sounded like first-hand information that "the companies" (his plural) were testing a Phase/Rollei combination, and that it would be announced at PhotoPlus.  He then came back and said that he couldn't say any more.  I made the observation that "companies," plural, implied that Rollei/F&H must be actively involved in this effort.

Upon further questioning of the original poster of the information, it turned out that he "felt" that what he said was what was happening; it appears that he doesn't actually have any hard information about what he posted.  The purported announcement at PhotoPlus never happened.

In summary, it appears that the rumor about a Phase/Rollei deal was exactly that--a rumor--and at this point it appears that said rumor had no basis in fact.
« Last Edit: October 20, 2007, 11:55:19 PM by Steve Kerman » Logged
DavidP
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« Reply #5 on: October 21, 2007, 12:49:40 AM »
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You know, I heard the same rumour from the Rollie rep. That something would be happening at the show. That the Hy6 would be working with Phase One backs. I think some of the rumours were coming from dealers and company reps. I wouldn't blame someone on this forum for just repeating them.
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eronald
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« Reply #6 on: October 21, 2007, 02:04:55 AM »
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You know, I heard the same rumour from the Rollie rep. That something would be happening at the show. That the Hy6 would be working with Phase One backs. I think some of the rumours were coming from dealers and company reps. I wouldn't blame someone on this forum for just repeating them.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=147548\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

This game has been played since Photokina one year ago. At that point too I was told by several parties that negotiations were taking place.

Edmund
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thsinar
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« Reply #7 on: October 21, 2007, 05:38:30 AM »
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so it seems that everybody is having his bit of responsibility in this(ese) rumor(s) spreading around. And I gues this "game" will be played even longer, even though it has been proven by hard facts that one should not and never post information without strong proves, written documents, comanies annoucements, etc ...

Thierry

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This game has been played since Photokina one year ago. At that point too I was told by several parties that negotiations were taking place.

Edmund
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Thierry Hagenauer
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eronald
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« Reply #8 on: October 21, 2007, 07:34:08 AM »
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so it seems that everybody is having his bit of responsibility in this(ese) rumor(s) spreading around. And I gues this "game" will be played even longer, even though it has been proven by hard facts that one should not and never post information without strong proves, written documents, comanies annoucements, etc ...

Thierry
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Thierry, as for strong proofs, written documents, and company's announcements, I would like to remind you that ownership of a little company called Sinar was not at all clear back at the time of Photokina, in spite of "official" press releases indicating that it was being bought by Leica ....

[a href=\"http://news.softpedia.com/news/Leica-AG-Acquires-51-of-Sinar-AG-36610.shtml]http://news.softpedia.com/news/Leica-AG-Ac...-AG-36610.shtml[/url]

It seems this was reversed

Edmund
« Last Edit: October 21, 2007, 07:41:06 AM by eronald » Logged
pprdigital
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« Reply #9 on: October 21, 2007, 09:29:14 AM »
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Having attended PhotoExpo this week and slogged through the comntinued murk of information coming directly from these companies, my conclusion at this point is this -

Will a Phase One product ever work with a Rollei Hy6? Possibly. But if it does, a connecting plate will have to be developed. More importantly, this would only be a mechanical connection. There would be no electronic communication whatsoever, the product would work very much like putting a Phase on a 500CM.

This is fine, would it happen, but it would involve flash sync cabling, no communication or control from the software, no advanced electronic features now or in the future as they are further developed through free firmware upgrades to Sinar/Leaf solutions (like RGB-based auto white balance, etc).

The most important fact to bear in mind is that Jenoptik owns this project. Knowing that tells you almost everything you need to know. They own all of the intellectual property rights, and therefore the Rollei version of the Hy6 will always (at this point, anyway) be a film camera solution that - at best - might be mechanically mated to a digital back. There is no benefit to Jenoptik licensing Phase One (or Hasselblad for that matter). They have a partner in Leaf, which helped get the manufacturing numbers up to where they need to be. This is a product that has been developed to speed towards an advanced integrated solution, and the point of that solution is primarily to drive Sinar digital camera sales.

The fact that Phase One or Hasselblad being licensed for electronic communication with a Hy6 would likely provide higher sales of the Hy6 camera and lenses is meaningless. The fraction of profit derived from those sales compared to digital sales is tiny and therefore does not provide a motivating factor for camera/lens sales itself. It's also important to note that the CEO of Sinar is also responsible for a division of Jenoptik itself. So the Hy6 is very much a solution that inheritantly needs to benefit Jenoptik, start to finish.

This is not Jenoptik's fault, they are not being greedy, selfish or anything of the sort. They have a digital camera product now, and they intend to sell it. The fact that Phase One currently does not is of no concern to them. Nor should it be. All of these digital back companies are now on their own. There are currently no major medium format film-only based camera companies left on the market (except Rollei). The present and future of medium format digital is in advanced integrated digital cameras. It is up to each individual company to get up to speed with a solution or ultimately say goodbye.

Steve Hendrix
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Steve Hendrix
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« Reply #10 on: October 21, 2007, 10:41:08 AM »
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Dear Edmund,

we are speaking here about rumors, right. At the time of Photokina, the "Leica" story was not a rumor, but annouced OFFICIALLY to the whole press, the monday morning the day before the opening of the exhibition. It was pretty clear, IMO.

This was valid until the deal was cancelled (for whatever reason, that is not the point), some time in november ( 1 1/2 months after Photokina) and annouced officially in a press release by Jenoptik.

I simply cannot understand why you claim this having been a rumor here, a misinformation, any "non-dit" or lacking documents: all was there to prove things.

Best regards,
Thierry

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Thierry, as for strong proofs, written documents, and company's announcements, I would like to remind you that ownership of a little company called Sinar was not at all clear back at the time of Photokina, in spite of "official" press releases indicating that it was being bought by Leica ....

http://news.softpedia.com/news/Leica-AG-Ac...-AG-36610.shtml

It seems this was reversed

Edmund
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Thierry Hagenauer
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eronald
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« Reply #11 on: October 21, 2007, 12:04:20 PM »
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Dear Edmund,
This was valid until the deal was cancelled (for whatever reason, that is not the point), some time in november ( 1 1/2 months after Photokina) and annouced officially in a press release by Jenoptik.

Thierry
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=147610\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

And it was precisely during that period before the deal was cancelled, when the Hy6 was being launched at Photokina, that various well-informed sources told me the Phase connection was being discussed and would be announced.

Edmund
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vgogolak
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« Reply #12 on: October 21, 2007, 12:39:18 PM »
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Steve, the way you word it is not exactly correct. The Rolleiflex version (note: not Rollei version) of the Hy6 will be fully compatible with both the Sinar and Leaf backs, as it contains the same firmware and electronic contacts. F&H will not be allowed to sell it with another digital back, if that is what you mean.

As for the discussion with PhaseOne: there have been Jenoptik discussions with them when Sinar was to be sold to Leica. But Phase seems to have played the cards too self-assured. They didn't want to pay the asking price from Jenoptik and when the Sinar sale bounced the possible deal with Phase was off (for obvious reasons). Phase has also been too late when the Contax platform went the way of the Dodo and they were interested in taking it over. I am getting the feeling that Phase is losing out here and there. I sure hope they will find a way to get back on track, but the current signs are not very reassuring.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=147633\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

In every situation, from the contax discussion to the most recent, what Phase lacks is capital. The Contax deal died, as I understand it, because Phase was not willing or able to pay Kyocera for their contax equipment line (the machinery)

Phase has the best MFDB as far as I can see and can stay in the forefront, but not by much. They don't need to buy something-they can't afford it, either from a capital or, it seems from management intestinal fortitude point of view. I have seen it so often in my 45+ years of consulting; best products don't necessarily win. You need capital.

Someone needs to BUY PHASE and make something great of it, not just something good.

regards
Victor
« Last Edit: October 21, 2007, 12:41:07 PM by vgogolak » Logged
pprdigital
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« Reply #13 on: October 21, 2007, 04:42:42 PM »
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Steve, the way you word it is not exactly correct. The Rolleiflex version (note: not Rollei version) of the Hy6 will be fully compatible with both the Sinar and Leaf backs, as it contains the same firmware and electronic contacts. F&H will not be allowed to sell it with another digital back, if that is what you mean.

Ah, EDP, the mysterious one with the insider information.  
Yes, that is how I mean it. Even if Phase One or KaptureGroup machined a plate for the Hy6, it would not enable electronic communication, even if by design because of the reason you clarified for me. At least that is my belief.

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As for the discussion with PhaseOne: there have been Jenoptik discussions with them when Sinar was to be sold to Leica. But Phase seems to have played the cards too self-assured. They didn't want to pay the asking price from Jenoptik and when the Sinar sale bounced the possible deal with Phase was off (for obvious reasons). Phase has also been too late when the Contax platform went the way of the Dodo and they were interested in taking it over. I am getting the feeling that Phase is losing out here and there. I sure hope they will find a way to get back on track, but the current signs are not very reassuring.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=147633\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Yes, I believe Jenoptik realized they needed the second partner - at least for now - to get numbers up. I have no information on the negotation process, only the end results. And it is with those results that I see Phase One as no longer needed or desired by Jenotpik. Unless the arrangement with Leaf at some point falls through for some reason and they still feel they need a partner, then I can see those negotiations perhaps opening up again. But otherwise not.


Steve Hendrix
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Steve Hendrix
Steve Kerman
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« Reply #14 on: October 21, 2007, 06:56:24 PM »
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The most important fact to bear in mind is that Jenoptik owns this project. Knowing that tells you almost everything you need to know. They own all of the intellectual property rights, and therefore the Rollei version of the Hy6 will always (at this point, anyway) be a film camera solution that - at best - might be mechanically mated to a digital back.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=147594\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Well... "B" doesn't really follow from "A" here.  It depends on what the alleged "intellectual property" consists of.  If there are patents involved that cover a major portion of the interface, then there might indeed be a problem.  "Trade secrets" and copyrights, however, are essentially irrelevant once the product is in the marketplace.   The interface can be reverse-engineered, and anything learned by doing so is no longer a trade secret.  And while the firmware in the camera is certainly covered by copyright, you can't copyright the interface.

And even in the case of patents, there may well be ways to accomplish what needs to be done that don't infringe on any patents that may be involved.
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pprdigital
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« Reply #15 on: October 21, 2007, 07:18:34 PM »
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Well... "B" doesn't really follow from "A" here.  It depends on what the alleged "intellectual property" consists of.  If there are patents involved that cover a major portion of the interface, then there might indeed be a problem.  "Trade secrets" and copyrights, however, are essentially irrelevant once the product is in the marketplace.   The interface can be reverse-engineered, and anything learned by doing so is no longer a trade secret.  And while the firmware in the camera is certainly covered by copyright, you can't copyright the interface.

And even in the case of patents, there may well be ways to accomplish what needs to be done that don't infringe on any patents that may be involved.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=147694\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

This all may well be true. But from what I am told, there are licensing issues at play here regardless of reverse engineering. If all that was required was reverse engineering and then it's a free for all, why hasn't anyone reverese engineered a product for the H3D? I think there's more to it than that.

And even if that was the case, reverse engineering electronically coupled adapters is a serious R&D project, likely taking years and lots and lots of money.

Which is why it seems to me any Phase One/Hy6 coupling will likely be mechanical one. I could certainly be wrong - this is just my impression from what I know and who I have spoken with.

Steve Hendrix
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Steve Hendrix
Dustbak
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« Reply #16 on: October 22, 2007, 02:04:32 AM »
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And even if that was the case, reverse engineering electronically coupled adapters is a serious R&D project, likely taking years and lots and lots of money.

[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=147697\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Hmmm... I got to disagree with you here, I think. Though I have never closely examined the interface of these cameras I have been pretty closely involved in projects like this in the past.

To begin with there are not that many contact points and not that many forms of communication with the camera (most of the types of communication are known as well) so the amount of work is probably not that extensive. Talking about weeks/months of research and a limited team necessary.

I don't know why there is no back yet for the H3 other than Hasselblad. Could be because there was the option of avoiding having to reverse engineer by using the H2. I wonder whether this changes with the H2F?

Unless the communication is encrypted it should be a matter of weeks/months to find out how to communicate with the body. When it is encrypted (remember Nikon D2x' white balance information?) the situation becomes different (I see no real reason to do this). Still not undoable, your team just got bigger by adding cryptographers and your timespan will be much longer (unless you have a lot of dumb luck), however I am not sure what the legal ramifications would be cracking into the system in that case.

It seems much more likely for Phase to reverse engineer the H3 instead of the Hy6 since Phase was involved in the H project and probably has more knowledge about the H communication to begin with.

Naturally all of this is just MHO and purely based on what I know of electronically communicating systems.

The other difficulty of reverse engineering is that sometimes (on purpose or not) the communication protocols get changed with new firmware. Eventually you end up with a form of playing catch-up.

It could also be that Phase is doing something totally different and will surprise us in the near future. I somehow don't believe they are leaning back and letting the world go by them.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2007, 02:12:53 AM by Dustbak » Logged
Steve Kerman
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« Reply #17 on: October 22, 2007, 02:10:23 AM »
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This all may well be true. But from what I am told, there are licensing issues at play here regardless of reverse engineering. If all that was required was reverse engineering and then it's a free for all, why hasn't anyone reverese engineered a product for the H3D? I think there's more to it than that.

And even if that was the case, reverse engineering electronically coupled adapters is a serious R&D project, likely taking years and lots and lots of money.

Which is why it seems to me any Phase One/Hy6 coupling will likely be mechanical one. I could certainly be wrong - this is just my impression from what I know and who I have spoken with.

Steve Hendrix
www.ppratlanta.com/digital.php
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Steve, I know that neither one of us is a lawyer.  But, I've spent a lot of time and money on lawyers specializing in intellectural property, and have been involved in a number of reverse-engineering projects.  And I'm not aware of anything except an actual patent that can block reverse engineering.  You can't copyright ideas or information, only a particular expression of an idea.  And trade secrets are protected only by their secrecy--if someone else figures it out, then they know the secret, too.  (In fact, that's a major problem with trade secrets--You can attempt to protect something by keeping it a trade secret, but there's always the risk that someone else might come up with the same idea and then patent it, in which case they are now the owner of that technology.)

Regarding your question of why nobody has reverse-engineered the H3D, the more interesting question is why IBM never sued Compaq or Phoenix Techonolgies for reverse-engineering the BIOS of the IBM PC.  The answer is that they dearly wanted to, but couldn't, for the reasons I listed above.

You say that there are "licensing issues at play here"; I would love to know under what legal theory these issues are purported to exist.  As I've said several times now, other than patents, nothing else is really an issue for reverse engineering.

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And even if that was the case, reverse engineering electronically coupled adapters is a serious R&D project, likely taking years and lots and lots of money.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=147697\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Not really.  Unless the interface is encrypted, I expect I could reverse engineer it in 2-3 months, for $2-300,000.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2007, 02:54:50 AM by Steve Kerman » Logged
pprdigital
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« Reply #18 on: October 22, 2007, 09:17:55 AM »
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Steve, I know that neither one of us is a lawyer.  But, I've spent a lot of time and money on lawyers specializing in intellectural property, and have been involved in a number of reverse-engineering projects.  And I'm not aware of anything except an actual patent that can block reverse engineering.  You can't copyright ideas or information, only a particular expression of an idea.  And trade secrets are protected only by their secrecy--if someone else figures it out, then they know the secret, too.  (In fact, that's a major problem with trade secrets--You can attempt to protect something by keeping it a trade secret, but there's always the risk that someone else might come up with the same idea and then patent it, in which case they are now the owner of that technology.)

Regarding your question of why nobody has reverse-engineered the H3D, the more interesting question is why IBM never sued Compaq or Phoenix Techonolgies for reverse-engineering the BIOS of the IBM PC.  The answer is that they dearly wanted to, but couldn't, for the reasons I listed above.

You say that there are "licensing issues at play here"; I would love to know under what legal theory these issues are purported to exist.  As I've said several times now, other than patents, nothing else is really an issue for reverse engineering.
Not really.  Unless the interface is encrypted, I expect I could reverse engineer it in 2-3 months, for $2-300,000.
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Steve:

You're right, lawyer I am not. And what I know of this particular situation is certainly sketchy in terms of legality, licensing, intellectual property rights, etc. I'm guessing to some degree and filling in blanks to another. As we all are seeing, getting to the bottom line fact of the matter is difficult at best.

For whatever reasons, what has been intended to be made clear to me from Sinar themselves is that neither Hasselblad nor Phase One can function electronically with the Hy6. Only Leaf and Sinar. The reasons for why has been worded a number of different ways to me, none of which are clear, and none of which I have - as has been established - an experienced handle on (licensing, intellectual property, reverse engineering, etc).

So, this seems to be real - at least for the present - why it is, I am not sure. But I have also the understanding that there were "licensing" issues or whatever term or framing it would fall under with Hasselblad and the H1 project. And that, from my understanding, no medium format back was ever "licensed", or whatever for the H2, only the H1. With the H2, an agreement was never completed (at least with Phase One). The fact you can use Phase One, Leaf, Sinar on H2 is because it is really no different with those backs operationally than with H1 cameras. But it's evidence that something more than reverse engineering is required.

And it does bring up the question of why Leaf or Phase would not/have not "reverse engineered" their product to go on an H3, try to et the HCD28mm to work, etc. I have a definite sense their is more at work here than what we're seeing.

Regardless, all this could change in the blink of an eye. Next week we could see the Phase One PHy6 or the Hasselblad HHy6.

Steve Hendrix
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« Reply #19 on: October 22, 2007, 09:41:35 AM »
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again, the "various well-informed sources"! I can't beleive it. When then will you stop to believe well-informed sources?. And even if that was true, what would have been wrong to discuss with Phase???

Fact is that myself and here I was asked in January about the adaption of backs other then Sinar and Leaf backs, if not in December when I joined LL. And since then I am saying, repeting and writing the same here. And I am still saying the same about PO. I do remember you that I put my signature with my name and the company I am working for under my posts.

So Edmund, please do not try to involve Jenoptik or Sinar in rumours about PO, this is simply misleading.

Thanks for your understanding,
Thierry


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And it was precisely during that period before the deal was cancelled, when the Hy6 was being launched at Photokina, that various well-informed sources told me the Phase connection was being discussed and would be announced.

Edmund
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« Last Edit: October 22, 2007, 09:42:10 AM by thsinar » Logged

Thierry Hagenauer
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