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Author Topic: Phase Acquires Leaf  (Read 35209 times)
michael
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« on: June 25, 2009, 09:02:58 AM »
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Below is a verbatum press release issued this morning by Phase One. It has just purchased Leaf from Kodak. It had been rumoured in the industry for quite a long time that Kodak wanted to divest itself of Leaf.

It appears that Leaf and its products will continue under the Leaf brand, which is good news for current and prospective Leaf owners.

Broader implications of this marriage will need to be digested over the weeks and months ahead, but my view is that the continuation of Leaf and its product line is a very good thing for the medium format industry.

COPENHAGEN and TEL AVIV, June 25, 2009  -- Phase One A/S, in conjunction with senior management employees of Leaf, today announced that they have created a new entity, Leaf Imaging Ltd., to purchase certain assets of the Leaf camera business.  The assets include the “Leaf” brand product names, engineering design and production tools. The new entity will also enter into an intellectual property license with Eastman Kodak Company that is royalty bearing to Kodak. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

In collaboration with Phase One, high end Leaf digital camera equipment will continue to be developed in Israel and marketed under the “Leaf” brand through a global network of specialized and dedicated value added resellers.

Leaf high quality digital camera backs with up to 56 Mega pixels and superior resolution and image quality can interface to all leading medium and large format cameras.

“We are committed to exciting future developments for the Leaf brand of products through innovative engineering, worldwide marketing and customer service,” said Henrik O. Håkonsson, President and CEO, Phase One.  “Leaf customers will benefit from the many synergies with Phase One.”

“Since introducing the world’s first digital camera back in 1992, Leaf has been recognized as a worldwide leader in the professional photography market. Our extensive digital imaging and color management knowledge, combined with Phase One’s software and hardware capabilities creates a unique opportunity for the world’s leading photographers,” said Dov Kalinski, General Manager, Leaf.
« Last Edit: June 25, 2009, 09:03:24 AM by michael » Logged
evgeny
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« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2009, 09:06:14 AM »
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Graham Mitchell
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« Reply #2 on: June 25, 2009, 09:16:10 AM »
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Does this mean Phase can use Leaf's arrangement with Jenoptik to sells backs for the Hy6? I don't expect anyone to know that yet but am curious to know the implications.
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michael
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« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2009, 09:23:48 AM »
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The whole question of the Hy6/AFI  system and it's future is very much up in the air at the moment. The next week or two should bring some answers.
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shutay
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« Reply #4 on: June 25, 2009, 09:36:35 AM »
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So today, you can buy digital backs and related systems from Hasselblad, Phase One, Mamiya, Sinar and Leaf. But:

Mamiya = Phase One (as in the M18, M22 and M31 backs)
Now also Leaf = Phase One?

So in some way, the above list becomes Hasselblad, Phase One, Phase One, Sinar and Phase One.

Do Phase one dealers now become Leaf dealers too?
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Carl Glover
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« Reply #5 on: June 25, 2009, 09:38:04 AM »
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Hopefully we will see Phase backs on AFI/hy6 cameras. Fingers crossed...
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ThierryH
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« Reply #6 on: June 25, 2009, 09:45:49 AM »
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That is indeed good news, and I am happy for all the Leaf employees who can keep their job. They deserve it, not simply to disappear.

For the rest, I guess we have to let some time pass and things will become clear.

Thierry
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Rudy Torres
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« Reply #7 on: June 25, 2009, 09:47:12 AM »
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Quote from: michael
but my view is that the continuation of Leaf and its product line is a very good thing for the medium format industry.

Good for the industry, yes, but is it good for Phase One? Let's just say it, there is a possibility of Phase One crushing the Leaf for more of a monopoly approach to the medium format market.
« Last Edit: June 25, 2009, 09:54:45 AM by Rudy Torres » Logged
tom_l
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« Reply #8 on: June 25, 2009, 10:10:36 AM »
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Interesting times,

I also hope that all Leaf employees can keep their jobs now.

I'm really interested to find out what this means for the costumers.

Tom
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michael
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« Reply #9 on: June 25, 2009, 10:14:46 AM »
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Quote from: Rudy Torres
Good for the industry, yes, but is it good for Phase One? Let's just say it, there is a possibility of Phase One crushing the Leaf for more of a monopoly approach to the medium format market.

That makes no sense whatever. If Phase wanted to "crush" Leaf they simply wouldn't have purchased them. Phase was the only company that stepped up to the plate when Kodak decided to divest and Leaf's management went looking for a buyer or partner. I think that it's fair to say that of Phase hadn't acquired Leaf, as of next week there wouldn't be a Leaf any more.

Michael

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bcooter
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« Reply #10 on: June 25, 2009, 10:27:46 AM »
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Quote from: foto-z
Does this mean Phase can use Leaf's arrangement with Jenoptik to sells backs for the Hy6?


No.

What this means is all medium format cameras will be designed by Mamiya, out of lightweight polycarbonate (which might anger a few traditionalists) but will be built under contract by F+H which means they will never come to market.  That way the traditionalists won't be upset.

The software will be a combination of both systems, which will give updates daily instead of weekly and the lcd's will be touch screen but smaller for both brands.

There will be one upside .... Leaf will adopt Phase pricing so the price of a Leaf back will be a dollar a pixel, . . . $51,000,000 and $33,000,000.

There will be a third camera system call the mamleafa 33 and mamleafa 51, only available in Germany.    It will be the lower costs version of the new Leaf, at .90 euros a pixel.

New marketing and website support will be announced soon and outsourced to Sinar who will be acquired by Mamiya, that was acquired by Phase, that sells a special camera in America bundled with a Leaf which is now a Phase.

OK, enough of the funny (or not so funny) stuff.

It would be nice if medium format land ever made an announcement that gave real information and we can all guess, but I assume there is a great deal of redundancy in these two brands so in the end, it's just one brand, one camera and one distributor/dealer network.   But that's just a guess, because that's all anyone can take from this.

Someday, some company (other than Hasselblad) will understand the customer viewpoint when it comes to marketing.    

If you had a burning desire to buy a new medium format camera, would this move you to any single Phase, Mamiya or Leaf Brand, or would it just confuse you?


BC
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Frank Doorhof
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« Reply #11 on: June 25, 2009, 10:31:46 AM »
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I'm for one are glad with this solution.
When I heard the news I also had some sort of reflex of "what ?, could you repeat that please ?"
But the longer I think about it the better I think this can work out.

Just using a crystal ball:

There really are two main players at the moment, Phase one and Hasselblad.
Leaf for me was always the best back but was troubled with cameras, the AFi is great but with the F&H issue it's very hard to sell that I think.
Hasselblad is a well know and respected brand with great MF solutions.
When Phase one bought into Mamiya it was clear that it was a wise choice because IF Mamiya would go down Phase one would have a real problem.
So they secured the way to their own system, the choice of keeping it open was I think a very good one, although I also understand the Hasselblad approach and also there are benifits.

With Leaf getting into trouble it would mean that a LOT of technical engineering/good will/brandname etc. would dissapear and people would be left with two choices.

What now follows could be 100% wrong but it's my opinion so read it as that.
The new Mamiya backs are in my opinions the cheaper/less attractive options for phase one, or in other words backs that can be sold under the Mamiya brand for a better price but are less attractive than the new Phase one backs.

Because Leaf is in my opinion a different product than the Phase one backs it could be very well possible that Leaf is positioned as an alternative to the high-end phase backs or in other words Phase one is creating it's own competition but keeping it in house.

The only real problem we'll have is when Phase one gets into trouble, than we would loose not only phase one but also leaf and Mamiya......
let's just not think about that.

With the coorperation with leaf imaging I think there can be exciting new products, I've always admired the way the files of the Leaf backs looks and how they operate.
I hope phase one will continue to support Leaf capture as a solution or intergrate it into Capture one (but hopefully as an option).

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Rudy Torres
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« Reply #12 on: June 25, 2009, 10:41:04 AM »
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Quote from: michael
That makes no sense whatever. If Phase wanted to "crush" Leaf they simply wouldn't have purchased them. Phase was the only company that stepped up to the plate when Kodak decided to divest and Leaf's management went looking for a buyer or partner. I think that it's fair to say that of Phase hadn't acquired Leaf, as of next week there wouldn't be a Leaf any more.
Michael

It might not make sense right now, but you at least have to recognize the possibility. Phase One might make some announcements, maybe six months or a year from now.
The one thing Phase One has inherited from this purchase is an increase in payroll. It's just a possibility Michael.

- Rudy
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Caracalla
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« Reply #13 on: June 25, 2009, 10:41:55 AM »
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Quote from: Carl Glover
Hopefully we will see Phase backs on AFI/hy6 cameras. Fingers crossed...

locking Phase out of Hy6 platform obviously didn't help....

Having Phase attached to Hy6 will surely protect the investment of existing in terms of good business just a few Hy6 owners and of course
more importantly drastically increase the number of Hy6 cameras on the road/renting companies/stores/etc


Congratulations to PhaseOne!!!

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brentward
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« Reply #14 on: June 25, 2009, 10:46:46 AM »
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The real question for me is, "will capture one now support leaf backs?".
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brentwardphoto
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« Reply #15 on: June 25, 2009, 11:00:55 AM »
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So what happens to the "Strategic Cooperation" announced between Leaf and Sinar in September 2008?

http://www.leafamerica.com/ShowProductDetails/MenuID/1024/

-N
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tho_mas
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« Reply #16 on: June 25, 2009, 11:07:54 AM »
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Quote from: Frank Doorhof
The only real problem we'll have is when Phase one gets into trouble, than we would loose not only phase one but also leaf and Mamiya......
The MFDB market is very small. Virtually every single user counts. With this move Phase "buys" the Leaf user base.
And it's very good to keep the brand "Leaf" so that the users don't have to convert to another church...

I wouldn't worry so much about the future of Phase One... the company seem to be in buying mood and nothing indicates it's pure fatalism.

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michael
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« Reply #17 on: June 25, 2009, 11:16:46 AM »
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I just got off the phone from interviewing a senior Phase One executive. I was told (and given permission to mention publicly) that once the Phase / Leaf deal closes the AFI camera system will not be on the product list available from Leaf and their dealers,

I was told that they will be keeping their options open with regard to the AFI platform, but that for the time being the AFI will not be part of their current marketing program.

Michael

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Peartree
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« Reply #18 on: June 25, 2009, 11:17:43 AM »
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Quote from: brentward
The real question for me is, "will capture one now support leaf backs?".


. . .and will Leaf mos file formats continue to be supported by Adobe and Apple as CaptureOne is a direct competitor?
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Steve Hendrix
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« Reply #19 on: June 25, 2009, 11:25:52 AM »
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Quote from: Peartree
. . .and will Leaf mos file formats continue to be supported by Adobe and Apple as CaptureOne is a direct competitor?


Good question, though I don't see why not since already Phase One digital back files open natively in Adobe.


Steve Hendrix
Phase One
« Last Edit: June 25, 2009, 11:26:18 AM by Steve Hendrix/Phase One » Logged

Steve Hendrix
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Direct: 404.543.8475
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