It appears the majority don't agree with my idea of what is a good product!
Yes, I have owned Contax 35mm and I still have my Rollei!
I personally do not think we will even see the bottom by May, and I'm planing accordingly.
Side note to Ben, the oddity of my wedding business is that it is already more than triple that of last year (which admittedly was a bit dismal), and I'm sure to book more yet for 2009 based on the amount of inquiries in the hopper right now. It's a strange mix of 50/50 high-end, full package and "Churn & Burn". Frankly, I'd be happy with a majority of Churn & Burn since it's quick, clean and I can do multiples back-to-back. Handling or making albums and prints has never been profitable enough for me compared to shooting and batching a wedding to DVDs. If I chose to do 5 hours for about 2K and minimal processing I could be booked both days of every weekend plus some Fridays until 2011. However, to be honest, I don't want THAT much wedding work.
What has fallen off for me is the commercial work ... I'm doing some accessories stuff for GM, but all the stuff I did for my ad agency evaporated when it went belly up December 31st.
I'm actually looking to move into commercial work though at a lower end, I'm going to spend the next few months working on some manufacturers (much smaller end though) to allow me to shoot the advertising images they send to the retailers for them, for free, to build up portfolio. Then I'll see where I go with it. In these days I think that the more pies you have fingers in the better...
I am beginning to see a bunch of "private portfolio" business crawl out of the woodwork.
I have no idea why.
Be careful with the Free marketing proposition to get started ... it may stop you before you can get going.
My motto when asked to do KMAs is "Oh gee, sorry, I have all the free work I can handle."
Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.
That would be great, but doubtful. The history of Leica is in their own engineered systems and products, practically to a fault. The F&H system is built around a whole other product base, their own manufacturing, and of course, outsourced lenses of some major complexity.
Apart from some likely engineering rivalry, the manufacturing could possibly overlap. It would be nice to see this all under one roof - gee, for a moment, I'm dreaming of a Hy6/S2 overlap... but then again, hard to see. Oh well....
As I think that both, Leica and F&H have some idealism and maybe some "german overengineering" in their products (which I really like) I would think it would be better for each of them to partner with a company working more "grounded", offering some less sophisticated but higher volume products to make money.
So they could keep and develop their prestige products but still would not need to economicly depend on them - because they might have some cash cows in the area of a little less sophisticated cameras and systems.
anyways, I guess its not my business.
Given that PMA has just started I'm just glad I'm not on a Sinar or Leaf stall with a nice shiny and now horribly embarassing Hy6 in my hands...
Well, I don't know why the Hy6 has suddenly become embarrassing....dead maybe, but embarrassing? It's still one of the most advanced medium format digital platforms you can get, and I would bet that there are more than enough already made to cover demand for the next AFi and Sinar digital back releases...at least for a little while. The lens manufacturers (Zeiss and Schneider) are not out of business, so at least that is a bright spot...I don't think we will see that 6x6 film back though, which is unfortunate.
And as others have said, it seems fairly likely that either Sinar (Jenoptik) or Leaf (Kodak) will try to pick up the slack and buy up at least the Hy6 manufacturing part of F&H. They will likely cut loose part that was still making TLR's, Xact2 and any earlier 6000 series items....just keep on the production line doing the Hy6. It can't be that many people.
besides the hy6 I think the potential for the lenses on other platforms is great.. and is being used on alpa and different viewcameras via the rollei lens control and 6000 lens adapter.. I would like to see someone update this into a modern small viewcamera system to replace the limited xact2 which I use. . I do hope sinar/jenoptik or leaf/kodak would do the deed to keep it all going.. and forward... or a dr.kaufman/leica type guy with very deep pockets.
This seems to be the end of one competitor in the digital MF market
Life is an ever changing journey
There are already long threads on this on the various forums. I don't know why it took BJP so long to translate it. Ultimately, insolvency is not the end, just a signal of trouble. Jenoptik owns all the rights to the Hy6, and Leaf has already announced to dealers that they will start manufacturing the Hy6 (probably only if it becomes necessary). Jenoptik is apparently sufficiently happy with sales that a solution is currently being sought for Franke & Heidecke. There is not much more to say here. Time will show what solution they come up with. Manufacturing continues...
Carsten - Website
Admin note: Merging Peter's new H&F thread with the existing H&F insolvency thread...
"Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."
In case it hasn't been mentioned until now, EPd on LL has always delivered scoops on F&H news and has ties to the company.
He wrote: "I have checked with my F&H contacts and past week they have been in full swing, while upcoming week looks normal too. The consultant who is to decide about the legal allowing of the insolvency was going through the books and buildings during last week. It may even happen that the insolvency may not be granted, but if it is it will most likely mean a (temporarily) escape from debitors. Insolvency is supposed to help companies find a way out in difficult situations during difficult times. It is by no means bankruptcy."
They've only contacted me after going to press so the update only goes into the on-line version next week
Yair thanks for posting this link.
Sadly, this merely underlines the fact that making a new camera is not a trivial matter.
I am sure best intentions on the part of Jenoptic in using F&H as the manufacturer never envisioned what looks like failure in the overall F&H business management.
Too many years focusing on digital backs and ignoring what they 'hang off' sees the industry dynamics moving back towards a more balanced status where respect for lenses and bodies in the total strategic picture is underlined in bold.
I am hoping this does not lead to a permanent diminution of back choice. However, in a small industry - it isnt usually natural to see too many competitors as the industry matures - the pressure on consolidation increases. The truly intergrated company usually wins in these niche markets.
The elephant that Phase One has to concern itself with is not the spoof posted in another thread.
If I were Hasselblad I would now go much harder in price reductions - shutting out a still born S2 as well as continuing to increase market share against Phase et al - when people are concerned with the viability of the Hy6/Afi platform.
The sooner production issues can achieve a definitive long term solution the better - time is quickly running out.
I am sure you guys knwo all this anyway.
All the best
"If I were Hasselblad I would now go much harder in price reductions - shutting out a still born S2 as well as continuing to increase market share against Phase et al - when people are concerned with the viability of the Hy6/Afi platform."
It will be interesting to see just how ruthless the Swedes/Danes are willing to get.. Some of that Viking heritage may creep out ;>
I just got back into meduim format the much loved contax. If money was no object I would've been a hy 6 . Such a nice camera but lenses were very expensive even the manual older pq non autofocus were more expensive then used contax lenses. Do not get me wrong the contax is a nice camera. The Leica S2 is nice thought but digital oly I want the option of film black and white that is and right now the leica will be too much money.
there is some information about the Hy6 and Sinar on a German photo news site.
Sinar claims they have the knowlegde and tools to continue building the Hy6 at a Sinar site...