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Author Topic: Leica Buys Sinar  (Read 6477 times)
BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #20 on: November 27, 2013, 06:40:52 AM »
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I had a vision in a dream last night that this was the result of a bet made between CEOs during a golf game in Dubai. The Sinar CEO lost and got purchased.

Other possible explanations:
- Sinar was about to undergo a hostile takeover by a Chinese bicycle manufacturer,
- An Accenture consultant freshly graduated from Imperial Collegue, son of a famous Goldman trader, issued a 534 pages report proving without the shadow of a doubt that this was the best tax evasion strategy which enabled his father to sell his Sinar shares at a +30% premium, a key condition to kick off the build of his new 52m yacht,

Or...

Leica realized that they had to enter the separate back market but didn't want to do it without offering a matching view cameras built by the highest standards and decided that Sinar was the right partner to deliver such a platform?

Cheers,
Bernard
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nik
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« Reply #21 on: November 27, 2013, 09:23:52 AM »
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Hopefully they buy a decent software company as well...
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Steve Hendrix
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« Reply #22 on: November 27, 2013, 10:00:49 AM »
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Traditionally Sinar has utilized Rodenstock lenses, probably due to the design and the fact that Sinar is a company that has a legacy and current environment for movement-based cameras. Or it could be that there's an advantage for them in their relationship with Rodenstock to be more exclusive toward that lens supplier. Don't know for sure, but the lenses are usually Rodenstock sourced.

There are only (2) current CCD's that Sinar uses, the Dalsa 33MP (75H) that I alluded to earlier (shared with some Leaf products, like the Aptus-II 7) and the Dalsa 48MP, available in 1 shot/4 shot version (86H), and 1 shot/4 shot/16 shot version (eXact), exclusively used by Sinar currently.

Sinar is now (I believe) financially independent of Broncolor. There may be some remaining legacy relational activity. In many regions, Broncolor has replaced the Sinar camera side of distribution with Hasselblad.


What I see is the trend continuing toward either technology acquisition or cooperative sharing by companies that have impressive technology, but for whom the marketplace has presented challenges. As such, cooperation that produces technology/revenue sharing is a supportive endeavor to enable these companies to continue to extend and push the envelope on their respective technical capabilities, which are impressive, but often do not result in mainstream products.

Phase One acquires Leaf, they gain access to all Leaf product users, they gain access to Leaf proprietary technical know how and experience (6MP CMOS Sensor in 2002), advanced live view from CCD and CMOS, CCD internal rotation (Volare, AFi), etc. While teh investment into Mamiya was an obviously needed move to obtain a camera platform to drive, they also smartly leveraged a long term relationship with Schneider optics.

Hasselblad and Sony engage in cooperation (there have been controversial early results, but I feel strongly these are not conclusions and there is much going on behind the scenes technically between these two companies that may not come to bear for a while).

Sinar brings to Leica a software platform, movement-based camera technology, advanced de-mosaicing technology, a substantial legacy of color knowledge, including the recently announced CTM solution, which followed years of development, and high end machining prowess.

https://captureintegration.com/sinar-ctm-the-most-accurate-digital-color-for-studio-photography/

Sinar actually has been making the right moves in recent years - opening their camera platform (P3 small format view camera, Artec and Lantec Tech Cameras) to 3rd party digital backs, and focusing most of their efforts on high end studio reproduction (museums, any critical reproduction or archival market). They have strong niche technology.

So - they have a lot to offer Leica, I think. And, especially from our standpoint, I am encouraged by the reinforcement that Leica can offer Sinar in terms of logistics and facilities. As a dealer for both Leica and Sinar, it helps strengthen the synergy for us with both those manufacturers, which can only bring positive benefits to end users.


Steve Hendrix
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Phil Indeblanc
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« Reply #23 on: November 27, 2013, 11:46:05 AM »
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I think you're right about the areas Leica gaining from Sinar.  It merges their strengths.

Maybe the two can merge some sensor applications/usage from CMOSIS, ST and Dalsa to make some leaps. 
(I wish it was Foveon in the mix of getting a major push to further dev, but that's another thread.)

I do wonder(and dream) what the future brings in the product that these two would first come up with as a team.  I remember the Sinar capture software was VERY robust, but its been years since I played around with it.  Kodak had a nice piece of software for tether also, not so technologically fine tuned, but the layout and forkflow was so fast and logically laid out, much more flexible and streamlined than C1 or others I have used. Well Cheers to these guys.

These long load times with huge files from the HDD sure do give me an excuse to read/write on these great posts....Ok, back to editing pix!
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eronald
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« Reply #24 on: November 27, 2013, 11:58:04 AM »
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Let me bring my alcohol-hazed spongiform perspective to bear on this:

Phase got access to Leaf's customers, and disposed of the Hy6 which was a technically superior camera and therefore a long-term threat. A classic business school case: company with an aging  product and better cash flow buries rival with newer technology bankrupted by dev costs. Oh and by the way, maybe the fact that Leaf used to be related to Kodak explains why it withered away ...

Frankly, I think the customers want to see a better camera with real liveview and reasonable prices; they are now so many "models" it's a wonder any one sells more than one unit a year - H4D new old stock is still floating around, then there is H5D40, H5D50, H5D60, the various MS models, the CFV50, the zombified Leaf Aptus series again with various sensors, the Mamiya labeled solutions, the Phase backs with various imagers and screens (IQ or not IQ), and yes two or three Sinar backs, and I almost forgot one Pentax and one Leica camera. And then the MF guys tell me that IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO GET A NEW (CMOS) SENSOR FABRICATED BECAUSE THE VOLUMES ARE NOT THERE. What a joke. I'll buy the 40 MP Apple watch camera with autostitching 360 degree panoramas, thank you very much ...

Edmund



Phase One acquires Leaf, they gain access to all Leaf product users, they gain access to Leaf proprietary technical know how and experience (6MP CMOS Sensor in 2002), advanced live view from CCD and CMOS, CCD internal rotation (Volare, AFi), etc. While teh investment into Mamiya was an obviously needed move to obtain a camera platform to drive, they also smartly leveraged a long term relationship with Schneider optics.


Steve Hendrix
Capture Integration
« Last Edit: November 27, 2013, 12:24:36 PM by eronald » Logged

Edmund Ronald, Ph.D. 
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« Reply #25 on: November 27, 2013, 12:20:16 PM »
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I wonder if there will be a MF system, Hy6 style with Digibacks, using Leica S glass.
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Steve Hendrix
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« Reply #26 on: November 27, 2013, 02:05:25 PM »
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Let me bring my alcohol-hazed spongiform perspective to bear on this:

Phase got access to Leaf's customers, and disposed of the Hy6 which was a technically superior camera and therefore a long-term threat. A classic business school case: company with an aging  product and better cash flow buries rival with newer technology bankrupted by dev costs. Oh and by the way, maybe the fact that Leaf used to be related to Kodak explains why it withered away ...


Edmund




I don't agree with the simplified and inaccurate premise of your "Classic Business Case".

The Hy6 is not disposed of. In fact, I am pleasantly surprised that Leaf continued to produce digital back solutions for the platform. Since Phase never made a back end solution for Hy6, the only decision they made was not to invest effort and funding toward that platform. In light of their investment into Mamiya, which means that factory floor needs to be in high production, or losses start piling up, that sounds like a smart business decision to me. Nice to know some manufacturers in our industry are capable of making these. Whether the Hy6 is a superior platform isn't relevant, given the circumstances.

In fact, there are so many important details in this case - that are public knowledge - and that are not public knowledge. I believe there was consideration by Phase after the fact with regard to the Hy6 platform/situation. And if the financials made sense, this may have happened. But they didn't - inevitably, Phase One would have been in a weaker position if they went the route of Hy6 instead of Mamiya. Maybe a stronger camera, but having the best product today doesn't guarantee survival or prosperity. A chance to produce great digital backs today and a better camera tomorrow was the better bet in this case, IMO.


Steve Hendrix
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EricWHiss
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« Reply #27 on: November 27, 2013, 04:09:45 PM »
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Up to date, non-tethering backs for the Hy6 would be nice.

+1
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EricWHiss
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« Reply #28 on: November 27, 2013, 04:23:09 PM »
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As far as I know there is nothing now preventing Phase backs on the Hy6 platform, so probably if enough people ask for it they would do it. 

I like Phase backs and the Leaf backs and have used both over the years, but I have to say the AFi solution by Leaf with the rotating sensor and articulating screen is just brilliant!  I would love to see the AFi updated. 

The one thing the Sinar brings to the table from my vantage is the multishot backs - as I am a real fan of m/s backs, but these don't fit into the digitization workflow very well. 
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Mitchell Baum
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« Reply #29 on: November 27, 2013, 06:02:18 PM »
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Ever since the present owner, whose name escapes me, has taken over Leica, the company has played to the high quality of its original mission and market niche, and brought some very innovative and successful products, in their market segment. It is clear that Leica continues to enrich the photography world even though their products appeal to a limited to a segment of the market.
I would expect some sort of innovation coming out of the Sinar acquisition. I think the guy in charge is interested in making a better camera, or better solution to a particular photography task.

The guy has succeeded beyond what everyone thought possible. A seemingly moribund Leica before he took over, continues to be relevant. Who knew?

Happy Thanksgiving,

Mitchell
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eronald
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« Reply #30 on: November 27, 2013, 08:29:01 PM »
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Ever since the present owner, whose name escapes me, has taken over Leica, the company has played to the high quality of its original mission and market niche, and brought some very innovative and successful products, in their market segment. It is clear that Leica continues to enrich the photography world even though their products appeal to a limited to a segment of the market.
I would expect some sort of innovation coming out of the Sinar acquisition. I think the guy in charge is interested in making a better camera, or better solution to a particular photography task.

The guy has succeeded beyond what everyone thought possible. A seemingly moribund Leica before he took over, continues to be relevant. Who knew?

Happy Thanksgiving,

Mitchell

+1
Played his initially mediocre cards beautifully.

Edmund
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nik
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« Reply #31 on: November 28, 2013, 12:05:42 AM »
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+1, but only with a comprehensive software application that tethers well and is as good (at least) or better than C1. No small feat.
This whole thread reminds me of the initial Hy6 thread years ago, so much promise & excitement, so much less delivered in reality.
Assuming a new MF camera is coming from this acquisition, I hope one of the main design goals is communication between lens, camera body, back and software (Hassy H style), not like the initial Hy6.

The potential is there with these 2 companies and i'm very interested to see what they deliver.



I wonder if there will be a MF system, Hy6 style with Digibacks, using Leica S glass.
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #32 on: November 28, 2013, 12:20:58 AM »
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Hi,

Some facts:

- Leica has it's own CMOS sensor, designed by CMOSIS for Leica
- The M (240) is a stitched sensor
- Leica has the S-series using a Kodak (AKA TrueSense) sensor

Here comes speculation:

May be that next Leica S comes with an upscaled CMOS sensor based on the M (240) design? May be that Leica wants to adopt it to Sinar?

Best regards
Erik


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bcooter
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« Reply #33 on: November 28, 2013, 01:16:43 AM »
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May be that next Leica S comes with an upscaled CMOS sensor based on the M (240) design?



Be careful what you wish for.

Personally I think medium format has a place, but it's time they stopped talking about megapixels because that ship has sailed.  I know high pixel numbers sell the unknowing, but to me the advantage of medium format is the ccd sensor and the ability to really work a file deep.



I will repeat this, I believe with all my soul that a ccd file is superior to a cmos file given proper exposure and crafted light. I think it's superior in video and stills and  I'd take an m9 or m8 over a Leica 240 in a heartbeat, I believe the 40mpx Hasselblad shoots an amazing file for skintones and nothing shoots a prettier look that my old p30+ and m8 with profoto flash.



I dunno, maybe it doesn't matter anymore.  

i only buy print magazines when I fly and I've flown a lot lately.  Today just bought a the GQ with George Clooney on the cover and Dec. Vogue with Kate Moss.

I don't believe technical quality is as important as the art, but both those cover images honestly look like they were shot with cell phones and tried to oversharpen with focus.  I'll admit you can't take a bad photo of Kate Moss, so that's a given and I guess George Clooney on white sells, but regardless of creative brief,  lighting or the on camera talent, both images are shameful in technique.

So to me, the thing that medium format needs to do is show great imagery and get their cameras , backs and lenses in the hands of people that are working at the sharp end and show the results, without the fanbodyism.

I own some older phase backs and still use them, I have personal mixed reviews of the companies marketing . . . but  . . .
I don't understand why Phase and all medium format take so much heat.

Honestly,Phase makes the strongest piece of digital equipment I've ever owned and my backs which have been in every condition imaginable have never gone in for repair.  

With the software improvements they are more viable today than they were when I bought them.

I can't say that about any piece of equipment in the digital world of photo equipment.  

I also know some of the "rumors" of why Phase didn't make a back for the HY6 and it came down to smart business.   The Mamiya deal was affordable, the HY6  was more risk, required more initial money and by the time it became more of an option, the commercial world went into crash mode, so the working professional had to change how they worked and be careful on what they bought.

Tell me which direction you would go?

Here's what gets me about this whole conversation.   When the Hy6 was introduced it wasn't clean sheet, still based on the Rollei 6008 and didn't have a wide autofocus lens, had some issues with prisms digital back designs and of all the people that keep saying it's the best camera ever, I'd love to see the metrics of who bought, who didn't.

Leica, I love the look of their cameras, would love to have a reason to buy a S series, but it didn't tether when announced it also has a limited lens set and the lenses are stratospheric in costs.  

Also Leica has been involved with so many third party people nobody can keep up.  The back for the R9 had imacon software, the M8 was aligned with Phase one, the S series, I dunno I think it comes with a copy of lightroom now I guess Sinar software.

But back to the HY6, Leaf still makes a back for it, the software is c-1 which is pretty much the tethering gold standard so what keeps anyone from buying into it today?

In regards to cmos, I guess it's coming in medium format, but unless I see something better than the cmos in the m240 or for that matter any cmos camera, I'll wait.

P.S.  (sorry for the disjointed post but I've been on a plane for a lot of hours).

IMO

BC
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EricWHiss
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« Reply #34 on: November 28, 2013, 01:40:32 AM »
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I wonder if there will be a MF system, Hy6 style with Digibacks, using Leica S glass.

Pretty unlikely this will happen.  Leica has been pretty clear the S system won't have larger sensors and the S glass doesn't have coverage to go to a bigger sensor.
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« Reply #35 on: November 28, 2013, 01:48:14 AM »
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Hi,

It is not about wishing, it is speculations. Facts are:

1) Leica developed it's own CMOS sensor

2) Leica has an MFD camera with a fixed back on a rigid body

3) Leica probably sees the S-series as a long time effort

4) Leica buys the most renowned maker of studio cameras

So what do you make of these facts? What makes sense? That are the questions I am asking.

Best regards
Erik

Be careful what you wish for.


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« Reply #36 on: November 28, 2013, 01:51:21 AM »
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I will repeat this, I believe with all my soul that a ccd file is superior to a cmos file given proper exposure and crafted light.

I'm with you on the CCD v CMOS.  It's hard to explain with science and DR tests, but it's there in front of my eyes.  It might be just the color filter choice and the optimization of most CMOS sensors for high ISO work, but….  

But back to the HY6, Leaf still makes a back for it, the software is c-1 which is pretty much the tethering gold standard so what keeps anyone from buying into it today?

Thank you for writing that  Wink      I don't think it's price because the Hy6 Mod2 with MFDB isn't really different in price than the other platforms with leaf shutter lenses.
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #37 on: November 28, 2013, 01:55:47 AM »
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Hi,

I am pretty sure that CMOS with live view makes a lot of sense on technical cameras and studio cameras.

I don't think Leica prices are astronomic by MFD standards, BTW. Astronomic yes, but not at MFD standards. The Leica S can also use Hasselblad lenses.

Best regards
Erik





In regards to cmos, I guess it's coming in medium format, but unless I see something better than the cmos in the m240 or for that matter any cmos camera, I'll wait.

P.S.  (sorry for the disjointed post but I've been on a plane for a lot of hours).

IMO

BC
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« Reply #38 on: November 28, 2013, 02:06:28 AM »
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Hi,

I am pretty sure that CMOS with live view makes a lot of sense on technical cameras and studio cameras.

I don't think Leica prices are astronomic by MFD standards, BTW. Astronomic yes, but not at MFD standards. The Leica S can also use Hasselblad lenses.



Best regards
Erik





Leica prices are ok, not great but ok.  Lens prices for still cameras are insane and they're good, but not that good.

In regards to cmos, ok, they'll do it, they'll all probably do it, which is fine with me because I'll just buy the ccd version at a better price.

But live view for studio work.  I hear this all the time, can see some of the benefit, but how hard is it to take a shot, look at it on the computer, make an adjustment and take another shot.

That's almost as fast as most cameras live view anyway.

But what do I know, I don't shoot still life.

I still hold to my belief that ccd has a more unique look than cmos as long as you have a little bit of light.



IMO

BC
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KevinA
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« Reply #39 on: November 28, 2013, 03:30:42 AM »
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What I see as a potential threat for a company like Leica, is advancing technology like the Foveon type sensor.
Sigma have shown what this style can do.
 I believe both Nikon and Canon have a patent or two for this kind of thinking. If they can produce a camera body with only a half decent iso range, that handles and has speed, I believe it would clean up in the studio and possible the Landscape market.
I'm not sure where Leica could get that kind of technology from.
Maybe Leica see that too and are covering there options with Sinar, MS backs and a history second to none for camera systems with movements Sinar is a good name to own. There are few players in the "camera with movements market" .
I just wonder if long term Leica think competing in the hand holdable small format camera market is going to be a struggle they can't win. Sure now they are on a crest of a wave, but 10 years from now?
I even wonder how anyone will be able just to produce a product that only takes pictures. We stand a good chance of the mass market point and shoots and top end DSLR's being reduced to a fixed lens sophisticated phone come web connecting device.
Not as far fetched as it might sound. When I think I use to clip films to holders in the dark to dip them in a tank, before drying, loading into an enlarger, printing, then driving them around to the client. The idea of shooting to a tiny card, uploading to a computer and sending the image through the phone was beyond sci-fi thinking. Having a computer was beyond rational thought then.
Now something specialised like a Sinar could still have a place............maybe.
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