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Thread: Ebony RIP

  1. #1
    Senior Member stephengilbert's Avatar
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    Ebony RIP

    According to Badger Graphic, Ebony will be going out of business at the end of June.

    If you want something from them, you need to order it by June 15:

    Ebony Camera

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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Ebony RIP

    Uber sad to hear
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

    As Oscar Wilde said, "my tastes are simple, I only like the best"

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    Senior Member darr's Avatar
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    Re: Ebony RIP

    So sad to hear. I enjoyed all the Ebony cameras I owned.
    "Creativity takes courage." ~ Henri Matisse
    Darlene Almeda, photoscapes.com

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    Re: Ebony RIP

    One of the most beautiful cameras ever made!

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    Senior Member bab's Avatar
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    Re: Ebony RIP

    Very sad unfortunate these old trusted name companies could never find a way to partner with newer mainstream hardware to make a lively niche for future longevity.
    And the shits of it all is that Hassleblad and Phase could also benefit giving flexibility to their systems.

  6. #6
    Senior Member JoelM's Avatar
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    Re: Ebony RIP

    While Ebony wasn't that old of a company, they filled a niche with high quality and modern functioning cameras. It's too bad that they are going, but that is part of the price we all pay for "progress".

    Joel

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    Senior Member routlaw's Avatar
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    Re: Ebony RIP

    Quote Originally Posted by JoelM View Post
    While Ebony wasn't that old of a company, they filled a niche with high quality and modern functioning cameras. It's too bad that they are going, but that is part of the price we all pay for "progress".

    Joel
    Wow! Such a bummer. But is it progress really, sometimes I wonder. I still have my Ebony, but must say I don't use it much these days. I suppose we are all to blame for the "progress".

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    Re: Ebony RIP

    I have nothing to say about Ebony because I couldn't afford the luxury cameras.
    Still, in my opinon the film producers killed all these classical camera makers.
    Kodak, Fuji and Agfa. Prices UP and availability DOWN. No instant film.
    Too expensive sheet film.

    Thats it.

    Martin

  9. #9
    Senior Member routlaw's Avatar
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    Re: Ebony RIP

    Hmm, I don't know, my perspective is digital killed film. Supply and demand, once demand plummeted and it did, the producers had no choice but to raise prices due to the economy of scale. Back in the 80's and 90's my monthly film and processing cost was anywhere from $800 to $2000. Once I went digital the first year all but one of my clients took the plunge into digital, only one job held out for film in the entire year, and the rest is history.

    Still in many ways I miss the simplicity, (sort of or at times) of film.

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    Re: Ebony RIP

    Quote Originally Posted by routlaw View Post
    Hmm, I don't know, my perspective is digital killed film. Supply and demand, once demand plummeted and it did, the producers had no choice but to raise prices due to the economy of scale.
    I agree completely that digital was the prime enemy. But with cheaper film available many more would have continued to use that medium. It's sad that so many professionals and amateurs decided that digital is the way to produce the images. However, LF film would stand up very well against the digital backs resolutionwise but very few can accept the cost per image with LF film.

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    Re: Ebony RIP

    Quote Originally Posted by routlaw View Post
    Hmm, I don't know, my perspective is digital killed film. Supply and demand, once demand plummeted and it did, the producers had no choice but to raise prices due to the economy of scale. Back in the 80's and 90's my monthly film and processing cost was anywhere from $800 to $2000. Once I went digital the first year all but one of my clients took the plunge into digital, only one job held out for film in the entire year, and the rest is history.

    Still in many ways I miss the simplicity, (sort of or at times) of film.
    A good number of us full time pros not only still use film but in my case, use more than ever. I just did two magazine shoots using large format in the past month and have another lined up at the end of this month. I think price of film is pretty much spot on if not a little low for the times we are in and considering inflation.

    Ebony is closing up shop because the owner / founder wants to retire and does not want the same thing to happen to his company's brand as did Deardorff, better to retire the brand on a good note ratter than watch it flop under new ownership. The brand has also seen more pressure from other excellent brands like Chamonix which is currently my 4x5 system of choice and simply an amazing value.

    Then you have brilliant 25 year old engineering visionaries like Alessandro Gibellini that unlike the old brands, is taking LF into the 21st century in style. I am having him build me a custom camera and it will be fantastic.

    Life is too short to not fully enjoy your hobby / career behind the camera...and it is sure as heck is too short to just settle for digital.
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  12. #12
    Senior Member routlaw's Avatar
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    Re: Ebony RIP

    Quote Originally Posted by Ai_Print View Post
    A good number of us full time pros not only still use film but in my case, use more than ever. I just did two magazine shoots using large format in the past month and have another lined up at the end of this month. I think price of film is pretty much spot on if not a little low for the times we are in and considering inflation.

    Ebony is closing up shop because the owner / founder wants to retire and does not want the same thing to happen to his company's brand as did Deardorff, better to retire the brand on a good note ratter than watch it flop under new ownership. The brand has also seen more pressure from other excellent brands like Chamonix which is currently my 4x5 system of choice and simply an amazing value.

    Then you have brilliant 25 year old engineering visionaries like Alessandro Gibellini that unlike the old brands, is taking LF into the 21st century in style. I am having him build me a custom camera and it will be fantastic.

    Life is too short to not fully enjoy your hobby / career behind the camera...and it is sure as heck is too short to just settle for digital.
    FWIW, I've also been making a living at this for over 30 years. If I brought up the notion of shooting film to any of my clients they would laugh me out of the room. I don't know anyone who has the time, patience or budget for drum scans and film processing. We use to have 3 photo labs in this town, there are none within the state now and its been this way for what has to be some 10 years. So shoot film, send to out of state lab, get results back in a week or so, then send off for drum scans and hope they did a decent job. Its an untenable situation in the 21st century. If that isn't enough many of my clients are in the outdoor recreation industry using synthetic materials with synthetic dyes. I have seen jade green pack cloth turn sky blue no matter what the light source is and no matter the film and we tried every single type of film at the time to in order to correct this. By comparison I can correct it within minutes in PS, if that.

    I also work with lots of artist who are always running late and need something shot as in right now. Simply put film is not a distant remote option.

    Don't get me wrong I respect anyone using film for their own personal work and have thought about getting back into myself off and on, but for paid commercial its just not worth thinking about. E-6 labs have all but gone by the wayside unless you live in a large metropolitan area, and even many of those have closed. And I don't doubt that in some genre's of commercial photography perhaps film might be a viable alternative but certainly not where I live and work and would guess this is the case for the vast majority of people making a living in this field.

    I looked at the Gibellini website, terrible product photography IMO. Really difficult to see or understand how one might benefit over other options on the market, but thanks for sharing. Hope you get what you want going this route.

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    Re: Ebony RIP

    Interesting reply I guess....

    What is a little comical is that you are stating your viewpoint in a way that makes it seem like what you have to say is news to me, like I had better be "schooled" or I may crash and burn, lol!

    We have been in this business roughly an equal amount of time, I have been using digital as far as cameras go since 1994 so it is not like I am not well versed in how and when to deploy their use for jobs or outcomes that benefit from it. I am however very much engaged in using either black and white or color negative film when I see fit and the client is perfectly ok with a materials budget line item that is usually a small fraction of some of the other hard or hired goods costs like talent lodging and meals, props, etc. And living in a world famous ski town, I too, do a lot of outdoor related work. I also do my own scans, run my own film on a brand new Jobo CPP3 and can turn around the film portions of my shoots nearly as fast as the digital ones.

    But I am only one of probably at least a dozen commercial and editorial shooters I know who employ some form of film in their workflow as of 5-6 years ago. I only own a medium format digital back so I can actually more easily use more film, not the other way around.

    And finally, there is a friend of mine based in New York that I have wanted to catch up with when ever I am there doing self promotion. But I always miss him because he is constantly traveling on shoots for Conde Nast, Amex, Vanity Fair, Mercedes, etc. He shoots 100% film in medium format, almost always Kodak Portra....and the guy is just killing it.

    Perspective man, that is the reason we are hired for these jobs so it always amazes me when otherwise competent shooters seem to lack it as they espouse technical norms as the be all end all.

    Just trying to give some perspective.

  14. #14
    Senior Member routlaw's Avatar
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    Re: Ebony RIP

    Apologies if you took offense or it seemed I was "schooling" you are anyone. Not meant that way, just going by what I know on this end. And I certainly don't have any issues with someone who wants to use film for whatever reasons, be it technical, or aesthetical. Again have considered it myself, but don't relish the thought of scanning film and all that goes along with that, let alone processing it while polluting the water supplies at the same time. Wasn't even aware Jobo was still manufacturing their kits, good to know though.

    The only thing I was politely or moderately disagreeing with you on was how many people are using film in this day and age which takes us full circle to the origins of the thread. I suspect and perhaps I am wrong, its probably less than 1-2% even taking into consideration your friend in NYC and others like him or her. Yet I do know of others who have done exceedingly well with film, Nick Brandt comes to mind who only uses a Pentax 6x7 camera with a couple of lenses. The last time I saw one of his shows the large prints were selling for $70,000 each and the smaller ones for $15,000 each. Its my understanding his limited editions usually sell out. And to your point, he apparently invested at some point in a $50,000 Hasselblad digital system and hated it, thought it was a terrible investment and went back to his Pentax 6x7. So as you state there are photographers who do really well with film and prefer it, my contention is its only an extremely minor percentage and most but certainly not all clients will put up with it.

    Truthfully, I have always felt many photographers would have served themselves much better by sticking to film. Not everyone is up to the task of properly preparing digital files for press work. And lets not even get into the garish editing so many digital purist subscribe to that seems to be all the rage these days.

    Thanks for your response, but again didn't mean to offend.

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    Re: Ebony RIP

    Thank you for inspiring me to continue using MF film.

    However in my local nature photography club there is none except me carrying a camera using film.
    What I hear directly or indirectly is that many of the digital photographers believe that using film inherently always is giving inferior results to digital. This is not simply true and I want to prove it.

    But maybe I close up in my photography and just leave others to think what they think.

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    Re: Ebony RIP

    Quote Originally Posted by routlaw View Post
    And lets not even get into the garish editing so many digital purist subscribe to that seems to be all the rage these days.
    How funny !

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Ebony RIP

    The 45SU non-folder was one of my personal favorites -- loved that cam. I often think I'll get back into film and fondly remember using the view cam. But with no labs nearby it would mean building a darkroom and buying a drum scanner... And I really don't have the inclination to do either -- and then the actual thought and memories of wet scanning pretty much kills off the nostalgic buzz
    Jack
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    Re: Ebony RIP

    No worries sir, I probably get a bit defensive about film sticking around, I just love using it now more than ever. Chamonix just announced new cameras that are pretty much like Ebony's non-folding types, they look good and the prices are fantastic.

    Quote Originally Posted by routlaw View Post
    Apologies if you took offense or it seemed I was "schooling" you are anyone. Not meant that way, just going by what I know on this end. And I certainly don't have any issues with someone who wants to use film for whatever reasons, be it technical, or aesthetical. Again have considered it myself, but don't relish the thought of scanning film and all that goes along with that, let alone processing it while polluting the water supplies at the same time. Wasn't even aware Jobo was still manufacturing their kits, good to know though.

    The only thing I was politely or moderately disagreeing with you on was how many people are using film in this day and age which takes us full circle to the origins of the thread. I suspect and perhaps I am wrong, its probably less than 1-2% even taking into consideration your friend in NYC and others like him or her. Yet I do know of others who have done exceedingly well with film, Nick Brandt comes to mind who only uses a Pentax 6x7 camera with a couple of lenses. The last time I saw one of his shows the large prints were selling for $70,000 each and the smaller ones for $15,000 each. Its my understanding his limited editions usually sell out. And to your point, he apparently invested at some point in a $50,000 Hasselblad digital system and hated it, thought it was a terrible investment and went back to his Pentax 6x7. So as you state there are photographers who do really well with film and prefer it, my contention is its only an extremely minor percentage and most but certainly not all clients will put up with it.

    Truthfully, I have always felt many photographers would have served themselves much better by sticking to film. Not everyone is up to the task of properly preparing digital files for press work. And lets not even get into the garish editing so many digital purist subscribe to that seems to be all the rage these days.

    Thanks for your response, but again didn't mean to offend.

  19. #19
    Senior Member chrism's Avatar
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    Re: Ebony RIP

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack View Post
    The 45SU non-folder was one of my personal favorites -- loved that cam. I often think I'll get back into film and fondly remember using the view cam. But with no labs nearby it would mean building a darkroom and buying a drum scanner... And I really don't have the inclination to do either -- and then the actual thought and memories of wet scanning pretty much kills off the nostalgic buzz
    Jack,
    You really don't need a drum scanner for a 4x5. I use my X1 and an Epson V850 and it's rather hard to tell the difference.

    Chris

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