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Thread: Phase One => not for photographers

  1. #51
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    Re: Phase One => not for photographers

    I think this whole discussion overlooks some very important points. Talk of "rich guys" or uniquely successful Pros only being able to afford the premium products doesn't really focus on the fact that there will always be premium products and there will always be companies who are attempting to sell products cheaper hoping to be able to offer a good enough package to get their share of customers. The "tension" between these competing interests is good for photography as a whole. The market place will resolve these issues and we All will benefit.

  2. #52
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    Re: Phase One => not for photographers

    Fotografz said pricing is based on what the market will bear....not our personal wish list.

    He is absolutely right. Phase doesn't owe us anything except value for our money. They are under no socialist obligation to appeal to any particular group, wealthy, professional or otherwise.

    I've had a long career in marketing and one thing I know for sure - in the long run the customer determines the price anything will sell for. If you charge too much, you go out of business. If you charge too little, you go out of business. The customer alone decides what is too much.

    (The only exception is with monopolistic services such as those of government...!)

    Bill

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    Re: Phase One => not for photographers

    Quote Originally Posted by GrahamWelland View Post
    Yes, and if you've ever used an Aptus, any Aptus, you'll also quickly realize what a joy they are to use too vs a button driven DSLR.
    AMEN

    Really enjoy my Aptus... b.t.w. when will there be release of the Aptus-III with similar features to IQs, but LEAF way??? Should be simpler than for Hassy, due Leaf is Phase One company ... waiting...

    Regards
    Anders

  4. #54
    Shelby Lewis
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    Re: Phase One => not for photographers

    There is another misconception in this thread... one that says working pros (and by extension, not "rich" guys) don't shoot MF digital. They may not shoot aptus ii-12 or iq180. I know it is, indeed, a small segment but I know several wedding and portrait photographers not on this board who have moved to at least part time MF work due to the low prices available in the refurb/used markets. Several more have plans to...

    This is actually a great time for phase/leaf to put out new uber-backs... since the other backs remain in production, and the used/refurb market continues to become more affordable, there is now a very wide range of prices/capabilities available to the working photographer.

    I've gotten into a leaf 28mp system, two lenses, and camera body for way under $10K. This is less than d3x pricing (although markedly different capabilities).

    (I think it's a great time for MF. Just look at all the 22mp backs being bought and used on this board these days! ZDs, Aptus 22, you name it!)

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    Re: Phase One => not for photographers

    Quote Originally Posted by Hauxon View Post
    Being typical is no necessarily being normal, right?!
    Aye

    I mean i wouldnt mind is upgrade to IQ180 / 160 would cost me like 3-5K if i were to give up both of my 22mp backs and couple of 645 older bodies tossed in - i most likely will be there tomorrow, ordering one. LUCKILY its a bit more So temptation, while there is a bit less.

    Yet - i really really want one. B/c want full frame and b/c i do know i can use quality and better ergonomics - as i am very very touchy about it. Speed - dont care that much, 1.1fps is fine with me, i have good sense of timing on when to press button. And weather sealing is something i am kind of touchy about, being traveling and shooting out on the streets/fields a lot.

    I know that single publication in magazine wont pay for it. Heck, i am sure that at present day it will take a bit of time to rebound those money, given that i wont pick up 6-8 weddings in row (i wont. i hate it. i really really REALLY do hate it, its like too much hard work), but oh well

    Point to my rumble is - it would be nice to have things we really want in life to be cheaper and more "affordable". But nice things do cost. And it takes time to get there Overwise next time you shooting some event (wedding, graduation, party..whatever) - every uncle Ron and his dog would be standing there with nice gear on, unknown to bunch of scruff , who like to call themselves "photographers" and shoot pictures and then you will have to wait through another cycle of consumer education till people realize that not everyone with good camera is photographer who deserves to be paid. As it is been for past year, with 35mm FF marching on.

  6. #56
    Workshop Member ptomsu's Avatar
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    Re: Phase One => not for photographers

    Actually there is nothing new about all of this. The IQ series is top of the market today and it costs its price. This is only fair and of course a vendor needs to make use of such an advantage.

    If I would really need a IQ80 or IQ60 I would simply buy one and of course I could find a way how to finance it, as almost anybody can if this is a serious and needed tool to have. I simply do not see the need currently for me.

    And unfortunately I still do not see the Phase camera being up to the level of the IQ backs. Or at least I cannot get used to it.

    I see it as the world best backs with world leading SW and the world best lenses (if we talk about Schneider glass) but the missing link between those 2 high quality things is the camera body in the middle. If I am allowed to dream and this would be Leica made body, then the whole chain would be consistent. If I dream even more and there would be also some Leica made lenses then even better.

    But reality is what is offered today. Maybe for tech camera shooters a IQ back is a real advantage and there is then also the Phase body gone out of the way. But I again am no tech camera shooter.

    So let the photographers find out themselves what they need and with what system they are happy. IQ backs in combination with C1Pro are definitely leading edge and not topped by anything on the market today. Thus unfortunately Phase can dictate the price and will continue to do so for a long time to come

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    Re: Phase One => not for photographers

    Quote Originally Posted by SergeiR View Post
    ...

    Point to my rumble is - it would be nice to have things we really want in life to be cheaper and more "affordable". But nice things do cost. And it takes time to get there Overwise next time you shooting some event (wedding, graduation, party..whatever) - every uncle Ron and his dog would be standing there with nice gear on, unknown to bunch of scruff , who like to call themselves "photographers" and shoot pictures and then you will have to wait through another cycle of consumer education till people realize that not everyone with good camera is photographer who deserves to be paid. As it is been for past year, with 35mm FF marching on.

    I agree (still waiting for that P30+ to hit the $3k mark ). You will be surprised how many guests at weddings have same gear I do. Luckly, that's not the criteria when brides book me

    I tape all the names on my gear and it's funny to see the guest trying to see what cameras I use

  8. #58
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    Re: Phase One => not for photographers

    Quote Originally Posted by SergeiR View Post
    Point is - photography is not a cheap hobby by itself. It still cheaper than bikes or cars though. Professional-side wise..
    Ah... Those new digital backs are just as expensive as my Porsche...

    I won't even compare them to the price of my '02 stang...

    *sigh*

  9. #59
    Shelby Lewis
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    Re: Phase One => not for photographers

    Quote Originally Posted by Ronan View Post
    Ah... Those new digital backs are just as expensive as my Porsche...
    I had the money to buy my new back (not one of THOSE backs ) because I still drive a toyota corolla I bought in 1998!

    All the models/musicians that I shoot will think my gear is the best in town! (as long as they don't see what I drive up in.)

  10. #60
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    Re: Phase One => not for photographers

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Caulfeild-Browne View Post
    Fotografz said pricing is based on what the market will bear....not our personal wish list.

    He is absolutely right. Phase doesn't owe us anything except value for our money. They are under no socialist obligation to appeal to any particular group, wealthy, professional or otherwise.

    I've had a long career in marketing and one thing I know for sure - in the long run the customer determines the price anything will sell for. If you charge too much, you go out of business. If you charge too little, you go out of business. The customer alone decides what is too much.

    (The only exception is with monopolistic services such as those of government...!)

    Bill
    This will be my final reply to the thread.

    * When you decide to produce something you have to decide the target audience for your product. It may be the photographer requiring the cutting edge in image quality witch is willing to pay premium for the product. It might also be the traditional medium format user of the film days, willing to pay some but not the price of a sports car for the film back replacement.

    * Phase One and other manufacurers have costs they need to cover when selling the product, roughly R&D, manufacturing, marketing and profit. Basic manufacturing and materials for a single digital back is not more than few thousand usd. Now Phase needs to decide if they are able to sell 10000 units or 100 to cover the costs. This is initially what decides the price, there may be a market for 200 units at $45000 or 2000 units at $15000 or 10000 units at $9990.

    * This thread is about if the desicion to produce few hundred units a year is the right desicion for these companies at this point in time. Changing strategy is risky, why change something that works, right? Well I think companies constantly need to rethink their business and some day sooner or later this model won't work anymore. Running an organization is about detecting change and responding to it, we know all too well how the lack of acting to changes makes empires crumble. We have been looking at lot of companies die or merge lately so it's not an off world assumtion to believe the selling a few hundred units a year is simply not working for these companies.

    Hrannar Φrn Hauksson
    Hrannar Hauksson
    http://www.hauxon.com

  11. #61
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    Re: Phase One => not for photographers

    Quote Originally Posted by Shelby Lewis View Post
    I had the money to buy my new back (not one of THOSE backs ) because I still drive a toyota corolla I bought in 1998!

    All the models/musicians that I shoot will think my gear is the best in town! (as long as they don't see what I drive up in.)
    I'm a car guy... and a watch guy.

    My 2 vices... but i don't drink or smoke...



    To stay on topic, those companies choose to charge those ridiculous prices... because they can.

    But give it time, the market will grow larger and the DMF backs will drop in price.

    Or buy used, they don't retain much value as soon the newer/shinier version is out.

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    Re: Phase One => not for photographers

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike M View Post
    The first time that I ever looked at a photography forum was about 3 years ago. I surfed through the endless galleries and conversations and couldn't figure out how anybody could possibly be making money shooting any of it. It was as if every discussion revolved around types of photography that I knew to be a loser in terms of making money. (decent executive lifestyle type income etc)

    Then it dawned on me that the average photo enthusiast isn't really seeing much of the commercial photography that makes money so maybe they don't even know it exists. Maybe they aren't aware of it simply because they aren't the audience. For example, a really competitive architectural photographer might be shooting some of best jobs in the country but the work will only be seen by a handful of potential buyers for the buildings. Or maybe a competitive product photographer might be shooting some of the best products in the country but the audience for the products is so small that only a few thousand or tens of thousands of people will even see his work in the catalogs.

    Many of the higher paying and exclusive photography jobs are designed for and only seen by a small audience. Maybe this is why there is often a disconnect between what some of the more exclusive photo companies are doing and the opinion that exists about their decisions in the forums.

    There are many thousands of photographers around the world shooting these jobs, but they are doing it mostly anonymously. They aren't famous, and most people don't know who they are and have never seen their work. These are the people that really need certain types of exclusive gear to meet their demands. They can't function without it, and while there aren't that many people with the demand they certainly have the money to pay for it and just think of it as another business expense. What is a 40,000 dollar camera in a studio space worth 7 figures already packed with 500k worth of lighting gear? The cost of a new camera system is just another drop in the bucket. There aren't a lot of photographers out there like this, but there are enough for a handful of camera makers to do just fine if they are accommodating to their needs.

    Maybe the bottom line is that a hobby is a hobby and business is business. Try not to imagine that what's seen in mainstream advertising, photo hobby magazines, blogs, forums etc is all that there is to the commercial photo industry.
    Mike, you make some very good points that I wish were more widely understood. I can confirm from personal experience that what you say is true. I spent over 20 years of my career doing the hard yards as a freelance advertising photographer, shooting commissions for ad agencies, initially in Australia, and eventually internationally.
    Most of the early years were spent acquiring equipment - the 5x4 system, the MF system, the 35mm system, the Lighting system blah, blah.
    Then, along came digital. My first setup, a Leaf DCB1 set me back nearly 60K back in '95. The re-investment cycle since then has run, on average about 3.5 years. My rule of thumb has been that a back has to return a minimum of 10x its purchase price over that 3.5 year cycle or it wasn't worth it. With the exception of a bleak few years I had in the mid-naughties (which had more to do with personal challenges than professional ones), the gear has paid its way, and then some. In that time, I have owned Phase One H5, H10, H25, P25, P45+, P65+, Aptus 12 and with my wifes permission, (she's known as The Finance Minister) I'll soon order an IQ180.
    My professional ethos has always been that my clients should always get more than they are expecting. My best shot ever is always the shot I am about to do. As such, I have always sought out the company of the brightest creatives, shared ideas and studios with the brightest photographers and just as importantly, shot with the best tools available at the time.
    I am not special. These characteristics are shared by many top photographers. They set high standards for themselves, then set out to raise the bar. The point is, this is NOT a small club. It's just an invisible one. For every "megastar" photographer who gets the photo-press's attention, there are 100 who are shooting just as good work, and making just as much, if not more money. (See Annie L's and Marcus Klinko's recent histories for great examples of how all is not as rosy as it sometimes seems).
    Vitriolic statements like the ones that start this thread, simply do not help spread understanding of our shared love, photography.
    For starters, the Pro-user MF market is much bigger than many realise. Volume is well into the thousands, not the hundreds mentioned.
    At the top end of this market, if your Logo doesn't start with P or H, you are barely a bit player (sorry Mr.L).
    The recent bitching about Phase One's upgrade policy really surprises me. This is the one company that has CONSISTENTLY maintained an upgrade program. Try upgrading your Canon or Nikon. Good luck.
    Try selling your Canon or Nikon after a new model has been announced. I'm pretty sure it will be worth roughly 1/10th of what you paid for it, even if it's barely a year old. Here we have Phase offering 65% trade in value for a P65, even if its 3 years old. Hrannar, get off your high horse mate. Incidentally, I've never had trouble selling a used Phase back, and sometimes got more by selling it than taking advantage of the trade in offer. Believe it or not, there are people out there who are actually grateful to get a used back.
    Hrannar, I consider my Phase One back the single most valuable tool in my entire kit and certainly not a novelty item.
    My 14+ year experience as a customer of Phase One's has been that they as a company are the company MOST focussed on the photographers needs. I base this opinion on their deeds, not the spin from their PR department. The features in this latest generation of backs simply confirms this.
    I think the more understanding there is that there exists a community of high-end users that is pretty much invisible to the average enthusiasts, and that this is the audience that Phase and Blad primarily play to the needs of, the better understanding we can have behind these discussions.

    Mike, thank you for injecting some balance here. Hrannar, I would love to hear one day that you have made whatever adjustments you need to so that buying a Phase back is not such a stretch for you. Owning one is both a privilege and a pleasure.

    Cheers,
    Siebel
    "In the end, it's all about the pictures"
    www.bryansiebel.com

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    Re: Phase One => not for photographers

    I think that every new leap forward is accompanied by a new wave of "Wants 'n Gimmes" ... whether it bears any relationship to the task at hand or not ... it does however bear a direct relationship to financial means. Thus the gnashing of teeth, and wails of despair

    The camera companies have been very successful at attaching unwarranted levels of desire to their ever evolving products, irrespective of the actual application. We then do all the justification necessary ... and will plop down $10,000. or $20,000. for incremental features/IQ we may or may not use or take advantage of ... but make it an indispensable need in our brains.

    Suddenly what was your baby, your killer kit, the thing that brought joy and allowed you to take the images you wanted, is a worthless piece of crap not worthy of your talent and vision

    Of course all we NEED is an animal fur, a lean-to, fire, and a quantity of protein to survive ... we WANT more. We are hard wired for that ... and this forum is the poster child for amplifying WANT.

    Abandon Hope, All Ye Who Enter Here!

    -Marc

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    Re: Phase One => not for photographers

    Quote Originally Posted by ptomsu View Post
    And unfortunately I still do not see the Phase camera being up to the level of the IQ backs. Or at least I cannot get used to it.

    I see it as the world best backs with world leading SW and the world best lenses (if we talk about Schneider glass) but the missing link between those 2 high quality things is the camera body in the middle. If I am allowed to dream and this would be Leica made body, then the whole chain would be consistent. If I dream even more and there would be also some Leica made lenses then even better.
    I think Phase One have heard this lament from so many people not that I would not be surprised if the next "big thing" from them was an all new body.
    BTW, I agree the Schneiders are awesome, but I rank the Mamiya/Phase 150/2.8D as the sharpest reflex lens I own.

    Cheers,
    Siebel
    "In the end, it's all about the pictures"
    www.bryansiebel.com

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    Re: Phase One => not for photographers

    Quote Originally Posted by siebel View Post
    I think Phase One have heard this lament from so many people not that I would not be surprised if the next "big thing" from them was an all new body.
    BTW, I agree the Schneiders are awesome, but I rank the Mamiya/Phase 150/2.8D as the sharpest reflex lens I own.

    Cheers,
    With most of the newer lenses sharpness is now rarely the issue (at least in the longer focal lengths), but "Character" is a whole other matter.

    -Marc

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    Re: Phase One => not for photographers

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    ...

    Suddenly what was your baby, your killer kit, the thing that brought joy and allowed you to take the images you wanted, is a worthless piece of crap not worthy of your talent and vision

    ...

    -Marc
    Ain't that the truth

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    Re: Phase One => not for photographers

    perhaps what phase should have done was leave the screen alone and develop a wi-fi or even hardwired link to use one's own I-phone or I-pad without need for a laptop. would have to have been much, much cheaper

  18. #68
    Senior Member Steve Hendrix's Avatar
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    Re: Phase One => not for photographers

    Quote Originally Posted by jlm View Post
    perhaps what phase should have done was leave the screen alone and develop a wi-fi or even hardwired link to use one's own I-phone or I-pad without need for a laptop. would have to have been much, much cheaper

    As nice as it would be to be able to shoot wirelessly to an iPad, I would much prefer the current enhancements, for the overall market. Wireless iPad capture is a sexy, limited market. Phase One would have been fried, flombeed, boiled in oil, if they announced an 80MP product with wireless iPad tethering and the same screen as before.

    I believe the new chassis that is in place now with all of the new components and electronic ciruitry, and enables the new screen technology, would probably be necessary anyway for even a chance to have wifi communication.


    Steve Hendrix
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    Re: Phase One => not for photographers

    Quote Originally Posted by jlm View Post
    perhaps what phase should have done was leave the screen alone and develop a wi-fi or even hardwired link to use one's own I-phone or I-pad without need for a laptop. would have to have been much, much cheaper
    The LCD is the most visible component change from the P+ series. However every piece of electronics has been changed - literally not one piece of electronics other than the sensor is the same.

    There are, for instance, 9 cores worth of processing power (a main 1-core processor with a GPU, a 4-core image processor custom designed by Phase One for use with their files, and four auxiliary/speciality processors.

    If Phase One had released a new series of backs without a new LCD.... o my.

    Doug Peterson (e-mail Me)
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    Re: Phase One => not for photographers

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Spinnler View Post
    ... Hasselblad will not be able to compete with its backs in the near future. The fact that they lost the anti-competition lawsuit...
    Paul, do you have any further information about that please?

    Regards,
    Kai

  21. #71
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    Re: Phase One => not for photographers

    Quote Originally Posted by siebel View Post
    ....
    Mike, thank you for injecting some balance here. Hrannar, I would love to hear one day that you have made whatever adjustments you need to so that buying a Phase back is not such a stretch for you. Owning one is both a privilege and a pleasure.

    Cheers,
    I may someday buy a digital back. After all I'm not the struggling photographer, I'm a computer scientist and am able to buy stuff for my hobby if I like, ...the "rich" amateur guy! (not really rich, wish I was ) I still find the backs are unrealistically priced and will use my Mamiya 7 for medium format exposures alongside my Canon/Zeiss combo. I may consider the Phase One/Hesselblad route when they decide I'm worth of their interest.

    Hrannar
    Hrannar Hauksson
    http://www.hauxon.com

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    Re: Phase One => not for photographers

    Morning All and Happy New-year. (late)

    About this topic, yes I find that the prices for digital back are on the high side. First we must agree that these backs are high end and their is a lots of development to produce them.

    As for myself I rent the back to be use on either my 4x5 Sinar P2 or my Hasselblad when the job calls for high end work. I spent a lots of moneys on getting a full 4x5 system with 5 lenses and accessories, Hasselblad with 3 lens and accessories plus my Nikons with 7 prime lenses. with 2 broncolor power pack with 6 heads and all accessories. I think that I am well cover to shot any thing.

    Now these days most of the work I have been doing is to be use for websites or 8x10 size sales sheets or magazine ads, the budgets for that type of work can't support the expense of owning a MFB. If you can't afford to amortize the MFB with in a logical time then you can't afford to finance it.

    My bottom line is. I have all the gears to shot high end jobs, it is up to date and paid for. Now I just need to get the MFB.

    When the commercial work will support the investment I will buy till then I will rent when needed that way I get the newest back with out having to worry about the end of the month payment. For now I think that is the best way to go and invest in keeping up yo date what I have by replacing with the new lenses or new power packs or the new software.

    That is my point of view as for investing my hard earn income. Michel

  23. #73
    Senior Member malmac's Avatar
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    Re: Phase One => not for photographers

    An interesting thread which I have followed but not contributed to until now.

    I don't know if Hrannar Hauksson is right or not, but I seem to be one of the folk that he is referring to. Run a small photo business with my wife - weddings, family portraits etc -

    But I have just last week ordered an IQ160 and a Cambo camera.
    Why?
    Because I am lucky to have some money and figure why not.
    Will it ever pay for it's self? NO.
    Does that mateer to us? NO.

    Why? Well I went to Art School and then spent 30 years doing a job that I only liked sometimes (yes my fault).

    Now I have quit that job, I am doing what thrills me.
    What thrill me the most is when I get a beautiful image on my screen.
    I hope everyone enjoys that same joy, what every camera system they choose or can afford.

    Cheers


    mal

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    Re: Phase One => not for photographers

    Sorry I missed this discussion two months ago.

    Anyway I believe Hrannar is correct in that P1 is mainly targeting the super-rich with the $20k+ bodies.
    I also believe that targeting the super-rich is a very solid business model looking into the future, I would refer to the novel "Super Sad True Love Story", which provides some alarming insights as to where our society is going.

    I think Hrannar, as a non pro, may have missed the division of the pro market into completely separate segments:

    - Wedding, senior, family shooters and journalists (low end) have no need for MF, as Canon provides a perfect answer to their needs.
    - High end "in-demand" fashion and commercial shooters are able to afford high end gear.
    - Mid end pros can get get excellent value in used MF gear with a $10k back + $10k lens set, although I estimate about 90% of them opt for the much more simple Canon 1Ds or Nikon equivalent.

    As a mid-end pro making a living off this, I went into the used MF path, ending up costing me at least twice what I estimated in advance.
    Prior to that I had a Canon which I felt was a little limiting in reaching top quality.
    But in truth I did it in large part for the love of the equipment and because I could afford it.
    If it was a cold business decision, Canon provides more than sufficient pro-grade results for half the cost.

  25. #75
    Senior Member leicashot's Avatar
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    Re: Phase One => not for photographers

    I agree with the OP, but the topic was bound to come up with some resistance by forum moderators as they have a great relationship with the forum.

    When looking to sell my M9/Noct to fund a medium format camera, my gear price got me now where near the PhaseOne price. Besides that I don't see the advantages of using the PhaseOne over Hasselblad. Also, Hasselblad lenses are available for rent at most places, and I haven't seen much for PhaseOne.

    As per LLoyd Chamber's review on the Hasselblad, I have doubts over whether PhaseOne or even Hasselblad lenses can resolve the amounts of high megapixels that these medium format manufactures are putting out. Per pixel sharpness IMHO, seems to max out at around 40MP. How most professionals can afford such upgrades is beyond me, especially when most would never need over 40MP anyway. I'm sure most serious amateurs would disagree with me, but I'm a practical guy trying desperately to be realistic about such upgrades/performance/price value.

    Without any user experience with PhaseOne I have to admit, the IQ interface looks pretty awesome, but putting iPhone technology into a camera back is not enough justification to charge luxury car prices. I would never see such a return on investment, I'm sure of that.

    .....this is why I agree that they repositioning themselves in the market like Leica, because the prices aren't really comparable to Hasselblad for what you get. The difference is that I believe Leica will succeed with this, and PhaseOne may not. 90% of Pros I know using MF use Hassy, so PhaseOne have a big jobn on their hands, no matter what their target market segment(s) is(are).

  26. #76
    Senior Member Steve Hendrix's Avatar
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    Re: Phase One => not for photographers

    Quote Originally Posted by leicashot View Post
    I agree with the OP, but the topic was bound to come up with some resistance by forum moderators as they have a great relationship with the forum.

    When looking to sell my M9/Noct to fund a medium format camera, my gear price got me now where near the PhaseOne price. Besides that I don't see the advantages of using the PhaseOne over Hasselblad. Also, Hasselblad lenses are available for rent at most places, and I haven't seen much for PhaseOne.

    As per LLoyd Chamber's review on the Hasselblad, I have doubts over whether PhaseOne or even Hasselblad lenses can resolve the amounts of high megapixels that these medium format manufactures are putting out. Per pixel sharpness IMHO, seems to max out at around 40MP. How most professionals can afford such upgrades is beyond me, especially when most would never need over 40MP anyway. I'm sure most serious amateurs would disagree with me, but I'm a practical guy trying desperately to be realistic about such upgrades/performance/price value.

    Without any user experience with PhaseOne I have to admit, the IQ interface looks pretty awesome, but putting iPhone technology into a camera back is not enough justification to charge luxury car prices. I would never see such a return on investment, I'm sure of that.

    .....this is why I agree that they repositioning themselves in the market like Leica, because the prices aren't really comparable to Hasselblad for what you get. The difference is that I believe Leica will succeed with this, and PhaseOne may not. 90% of Pros I know using MF use Hassy, so PhaseOne have a big jobn on their hands, no matter what their target market segment(s) is(are).

    It's difficult to get a sense of market share and "Pro" use of a product just by looking at those around you. Phase One has dominated the Pro market for a long time. I feel Hasselblad has made some inroads, but still have minority market share among Pros (and the market in general).

    I don't see any significant difference in pricing between Phase One and Hasselblad. Both companies have always offered products up to $30K and higher. Both companies currently offer a 60MP kit solution for $39K-$40K. In fact, Phase One also offers a 60MP kit solution that is $3,000 less than the Hasselblad 60MP kit. What has changed for both companies is the demographic that purchases in that price range, so as a result both companies do market to the "wealthy enthusiast".

    http://www.incredibletravelphotos.co...p/wsD/cacoast/

    http://www.phaseone.com/en/PODAS/Info/Intro.aspx


    While you don't feel Phase One will succeed in the wealthy enthusiast market nor do you feel Phase One is succeeding in the Pro market, I will say that Phase One is certainly succeeding somewhere, because they just completed a record quarter, as did we.


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    Re: Phase One => not for photographers

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Hendrix View Post
    ...I feel Hasselblad has made some inroads, but still have minority market share among Pros (and the market in general).

    Steve Hendrix
    I think its the other way around - at least in Europe.
    Quentin Bargate
    Director of Bargate Murray, Law Firm of the Year 2012 - 2017, ”leading individual”, Chambers HNW guide, 2017, Photographer

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    Re: Phase One => not for photographers

    Quote Originally Posted by leicashot View Post
    I agree with the OP, but the topic was bound to come up with some resistance by forum moderators as they have a great relationship with the forum.

    When looking to sell my M9/Noct to fund a medium format camera, my gear price got me now where near the PhaseOne price. Besides that I don't see the advantages of using the PhaseOne over Hasselblad. Also, Hasselblad lenses are available for rent at most places, and I haven't seen much for PhaseOne.

    As per LLoyd Chamber's review on the Hasselblad, I have doubts over whether PhaseOne or even Hasselblad lenses can resolve the amounts of high megapixels that these medium format manufactures are putting out. Per pixel sharpness IMHO, seems to max out at around 40MP. How most professionals can afford such upgrades is beyond me, especially when most would never need over 40MP anyway. I'm sure most serious amateurs would disagree with me, but I'm a practical guy trying desperately to be realistic about such upgrades/performance/price value.

    Without any user experience with PhaseOne I have to admit, the IQ interface looks pretty awesome, but putting iPhone technology into a camera back is not enough justification to charge luxury car prices. I would never see such a return on investment, I'm sure of that.

    .....this is why I agree that they repositioning themselves in the market like Leica, because the prices aren't really comparable to Hasselblad for what you get. The difference is that I believe Leica will succeed with this, and PhaseOne may not. 90% of Pros I know using MF use Hassy, so PhaseOne have a big jobn on their hands, no matter what their target market segment(s) is(are).
    RE: Lens resolution ... keep in mind that some of the higher meg count backs get there by means of a larger sensor ... most current 40 meg cameras are crop frame. I'd agree that it seems many lenses from the film era are getting maxed out ... but both Phase and Hasselblad offer software corrections and are introducing new optics to fill in the gaps ... and Leica jumped right in from the ground up. Plus, many use technical cameras and for the most part, the lenses are not an issue there.

    Most commercial photography professionals AREN'T riding the upgrade train, and quite frankly they never did. We tend to look at the high-end minority of shooters like it was common-place, but it simply isn't. Also, how many professional commercial photographers use which system is somewhat irrelevant ... many use both because they rent.

    One highly viable area of photography well represented on this forum is landscape shooters ... urban and nature ... and the bigger backs can and do make a difference in the hands of these expert shooters be they professional or enthusiast. Some people buy sailboats and exotic cars, and some buy high-end cameras.

    I use a big meg back mostly in the studio for highly demanding commercial work ... but mostly shoot at ISO 50 tethered to a computer and employ up to 5,000 w/s of light ... can't shoot my jobs with a Canon ... trust me I tried.

    -Marc

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    Senior Member Steve Hendrix's Avatar
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    Re: Phase One => not for photographers

    Quote Originally Posted by Quentin_Bargate View Post
    I think its the other way around - at least in Europe.

    The reality is that - as of today - it's really hard to tell. How would one know? You take a look around at the Pros you know, the forums you participate in, etc. But if you haven't actually seen numbers, there's really no way of knowing. I will say, there are many Pro photographers that other Pro photographers are not aware of - many. I've been told numerous times by local Pro photographers that there are only 3 or 4 real medium format candidates in their town, when I knew of many, many more. In Atlanta, which is not a big market despite being a relatively large city, most photographers when asked how many other Pros shoot Phase One (or any medium format, would struggle to come up with 4 names, when in fact there are at least 15-20 times that, just in the Atlanta area itself.

    Historically, Phase One has been the dominant digital back for the pro market. Some years, there have been strong efforts by competitors - I think Hasselblad has done well the past few, I know Leaf had a very good year in 2006, for example.

    I only know from sales numbers in the US, having seen numbers from both manufacturers over the years. I can't speak for Europe, but I can for the US, having seen those numbers.

    In addition to ownership, Phase One has definitely dominated the rental market (and still does - no question), at least from the digital back standpoint. But the majority of Phase One rentals are certainly on the Hasselblad H1/H2 camera.


    Steve Hendrix
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    Senior Member etrump's Avatar
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    Re: Phase One => not for photographers

    Interesting thread indeed. The person making the original post has obviously never owned Phase products or dealt with the company. They are both a dream to deal with, great products and great people worth the money IMO.

    MF products are pricey but the quality difference was obvious to me with the first exposure i made on the P30+. The difference in price pales in comparison to the cost to staff a studio running or travel expenses for a busy landscape photographer. Add in marketing and production costs and the difference to upgrade to the best kit available doesn't seem so high, especially with the generous trade-in programs if you stay current.

    In the past twelve months I have been in 22 states, Argentina, Australia and Antarctica. I couldn't imaging spending the money required to travel and not have the best equipment to do my job. Seems silly actually.

    Phase has the broadest market strategy in the MF marketplace. Anyone who can afford a D3x and full kit of lenses can opt into MF with phase, leaf or Mamiya products for a small price premium.

    I know several Canon/Nikon shooters who have or are contemplating the jump to MF by purchasing one of the trade-in backs. There is as much a market for those recon'ed backs as there is for the backs they are traded in on. They usually run out of them once the upgrade cycle nears completion.

    As Don Libby mentions, the P45+ is still a great back and like him I have several P30+ and P45 images that well and I haven't owned one for a few years now. With each new version of C1 I can go back and reclaim a few images from those archives of hard drives. On of my most popular images was a P30+ file from which C1 v6 allowed me to finally produce a quality print.

    Phase is at the top of the MF food chain because they push the envelope. Their technologies are not cheap to develop. I recently met a few of the Phase One staff at an IQ180 release party and they are very passionate about keeping their customers on the leading edge of what is available. They are already working on the upgrade for the IQ series backs and you can't even get them yet. Chip design, software, hardware engineering is a constant cycle and keeping those wheels in motion is not cheap. As incredible as it is those technologies are they do make their way into their lower end offerings.

    My suggestion is compare the entry level and slowly upgrade to the higher end. The difference in quality is worth the money.

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    Re: Phase One => not for photographers

    Quote Originally Posted by etrump View Post
    Interesting thread indeed. The person making the original post has obviously never owned Phase products or dealt with the company. They are both a dream to deal with, great products and great people worth the money IMO.

    MF products are pricey but the quality difference was obvious to me with the first exposure i made on the P30+. The difference in price pales in comparison to the cost to staff a studio running or travel expenses for a busy landscape photographer. Add in marketing and production costs and the difference to upgrade to the best kit available doesn't seem so high, especially with the generous trade-in programs if you stay current.

    In the past twelve months I have been in 22 states, Argentina, Australia and Antarctica. I couldn't imaging spending the money required to travel and not have the best equipment to do my job. Seems silly actually.

    Phase has the broadest market strategy in the MF marketplace. Anyone who can afford a D3x and full kit of lenses can opt into MF with phase, leaf or Mamiya products for a small price premium.

    I know several Canon/Nikon shooters who have or are contemplating the jump to MF by purchasing one of the trade-in backs. There is as much a market for those recon'ed backs as there is for the backs they are traded in on. They usually run out of them once the upgrade cycle nears completion.

    As Don Libby mentions, the P45+ is still a great back and like him I have several P30+ and P45 images that well and I haven't owned one for a few years now. With each new version of C1 I can go back and reclaim a few images from those archives of hard drives. On of my most popular images was a P30+ file from which C1 v6 allowed me to finally produce a quality print.

    Phase is at the top of the MF food chain because they push the envelope. Their technologies are not cheap to develop. I recently met a few of the Phase One staff at an IQ180 release party and they are very passionate about keeping their customers on the leading edge of what is available. They are already working on the upgrade for the IQ series backs and you can't even get them yet. Chip design, software, hardware engineering is a constant cycle and keeping those wheels in motion is not cheap. As incredible as it is those technologies are they do make their way into their lower end offerings.

    My suggestion is compare the entry level and slowly upgrade to the higher end. The difference in quality is worth the money.
    Yes, "Let them eat cake!" ...

    Despite the rambling endorsement ad for Phase One, it wouldn't hurt to go back and re-read the OPs original post. It is easy to blow off his appeal using our own lofty justifications ... especially here on a forum that attracts those able to foot the bill (or at least the vocal members seem to, including me BTW).

    Perhaps think back to our own entry, or an earlier part of our own photographic experiences. Heck, it wasn't all that long ago when I had to take out a loan to buy a Hasselblad V camera to shoot film for commercial jobs. But hey, it was worth it, you bought it and used it forever ... or so we thought.

    Then the paradigm shift to digital media (print and electronic) changed everything overnight. I went into debt for a $12,000 Kodak back ... but in that time of transition from film to digital, you could charge a digital capture fee and justify the line expense as off-setting the film scanning charges. In many cases that way of paying for digital gear has now evaporated for most working photographers. The point is ... if you were in on the ground floor, the upgrade path curve was a bit more gentle, and many of those riding the upgrade train have a history stretching back some time. However, add up the actual cost of 10 or 15 years of upgrades if you dare. It is a sobering exercise.

    Frankly, there has been a second paradigm shift in the past 5 or so years ... where the new product cycles are growing closer together and are bigger jumps (technically and financially) and the curve has become ferociously steep ... this, while the income producing potential of photography has become generally lessened, and the over-all demands for image quality has most certainly been down-sized as electronic media went on the ascendancy (the competition for digital backs isn't against $9K Nikons, it's $2,500 5Ds). Add to this the expense of now needing to upgrade your lens systems, which both major players are doing, and we're getting into some pretty rarified usage and financial territory.

    It will be interesting to see how long-term this business model will sustain itself before it is indeed a product category for governments, institutions, wealthy dabblers, and a few highly successful photographers (if it isn't already) ... where not so long ago, one could spring for that V camera or RZ and be on the same image quality level as the rich and famous ... where knowledge and talent was the key perceptual determinator for the majority of working photographers. Note the word "perceptual" because this "better gear" has oddly become inextricably linked to somehow equating to better work no matter how vociferously we'd deny that ... there is definitely an air of superiority attached to it thanks a great deal to the marketing efforts of those duking it out for market share.

    Just an alternative thought or two.

    -Marc

  32. #82
    Senior Member etrump's Avatar
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    Re: Phase One => not for photographers

    His original post sounded like a sour grapes gripe about not being able to afford the top of the line equipment.

    It is naive to think that P1 only sells a few hundred units of their backs. Truth be known, there is probably a thousand unit backlog already.

    If that were the case Phase would already be gone.

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    Re: Phase One => not for photographers

    Quote Originally Posted by etrump View Post
    His original post sounded like a sour grapes gripe about not being able to afford the top of the line equipment.

    It is naive to think that P1 only sells a few hundred units of their backs. Truth be known, there is probably a thousand unit backlog already.

    If that were the case Phase would already be gone.
    "The truth be known ... " Really? Is that a full brainwashing, or just a light rinse?

    "Sniff, sniff, how vulgar ... the riff-raff can't afford to eat cake? ... just sour grapes methinks ... here, here, what, what ..." (in my most insensitive British, mouth full of marbles voice ...)

    I guess I don't care either. Whaaaatever! (in my best valley-girl inflection).

    Maybe they can do a reality show about the OP, and the thousands of disenfranchised photographers out there? Sponsored by Pentax


    Just yanking the old chain for grins.

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    Re: Phase One => not for photographers

    I thought this was GetDPI. Looks more like Lu-La.

    ... must have made a wrong turn in Albuquerque ...

  35. #85
    Senior Member KeithL's Avatar
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    Re: Phase One => not for photographers

    Quote Originally Posted by MGrayson View Post
    I thought this was GetDPI. Looks more like Lu-La.
    You've got problems, for some unfathomable reason I keep thinking this place is GetDP1.

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    Re: Phase One => not for photographers

    Quote Originally Posted by KeithL View Post
    You've got problems, for some unfathomable reason I keep thinking this place is GetDP1.
    I got DP1. Two of the four 16x24 prints hanging in my house were taken with it. Damn fine camera!

    , I know... we now return you to the Phase/Hasselblad wars.

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    Re: Phase One => not for photographers

    Quote Originally Posted by MGrayson View Post
    I got DP1. Two of the four 16x24 prints hanging in my house were taken with it. Damn fine camera!

    , I know... we now return you to the Phase/Hasselblad wars.
    On the contrary ... Hassey and Phase are lumped together in this one ... it's a photographic class war ...

    Come on ... warm up that funny bone.

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    Re: Phase One => not for photographers

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    On the contrary ... Hassey and Phase are lumped together in this one ... it's a photographic class war ...

    Come on ... warm up that funny bone.
    Well, this has been a multi-faceted thread (mixed metaphor?). True, the OP was lamenting the price of Phase MFDB, but we had a pleasant interlude on exactly which manufacturer represents Pros and which is for "Gentlemen Photographers" (how's that for a euphemism? I include myself solidly in that category, as I have the artistic eye of a house plant, but love glass, precision machinery, and computers. For that matter, why am I posting here? I don't .. yet... have any MF digital gear, and if I get some, it will almost certainly be Pentax, and that barely counts ).

    OK, funny bone warmed up. Carry on!

    Matt

  39. #89
    Senior Member Steve Hendrix's Avatar
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    Re: Phase One => not for photographers

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    On the contrary ... Hassey and Phase are lumped together in this one ... it's a photographic class war ...

    Come on ... warm up that funny bone.

    Well, the OP sentiment is - let's assume - reasonable to have, so to keep from veering into DP Review territory....

    I really hate car analogies, but who is BMW's targeted customer? Wealthy drivers, yes? Why do they market their cars to this niche instead of a product for all drivers? Why do they price their cars so high? What are the answers to these questions?

    Perhaps BMW could produce cars at a lower price point. I don't drive an expensive car (my money goes to....other pursuits, guess what they are...), so I'm not intimately familiar with that category, but my wife Rachel is and we've both passed by Mercedes Benz models that were targeted at a more thrifty market and even at a glance, these vehicles seem a pale comparison to their more expensive siblings. As a result, we've seen these companies play with this market, rather than dive in. My moral to the story - Phase One could make products that are more affordable for more photographers, but they likely wouldn't fare as well. Nor would there products at this price level that offer as compelling a mix of features at larger sensor sizes.

    Phase One's true strength is in producing large sensor products that, in the right hands, result in amazing images. The core nature of their products is the large sensor portion, which necessarily pre-determines a large degree of the cost, and as a result, the price. So, the question becomes, are they marketing to this segment and is that the strategy, or are the development costs of their solutions naturally going to arrive at this price point and thus, they are smart to advertise to this segment? Is the dog wagging the tail or the tail wagging the dog?

    As I've said before, there's a large user market with these products, much larger than is known by just looking at what's around you. The photographic market itself is much larger (in terms of knowing these photographers) than is known. It stands to reason many of them use products and you have no idea what they use, who they shoot for, etc.

    It would be great if these products weren't so expensive. That said, many pros, non-pros, and users of all stripes and sizes own and continue to purchase these products as they are improved.

    http://www.captureintegration.com/ou...y/our-clients/

    Just perusing this list, there's a wide range of photographic applications and users, architectural, commercial studio, landscape, editorial, portrait, reprographic, commercial fashion, etc.

    Photography equipment has always been a purchasing challenge for professionals, and it is even more so today with digital. Certainly the record quarter of this year owes a great deal to the wealthy user market - whether they are pro or not. The wealthy user market is not restricted to enthusiasts. But my belief is that if the commercial market is not purchasing medium format in the same numbers they have in the past, it is a result of the business climate and changing business model of commercial photography (note I am not stating "the economy"), as well as very capable products on the market (Canon 5DMK-II, Nikon D3, etc) that fulfill most general commercial needs satisfactorily. And yet, just last week, one of my Leaf 33MP users upgraded to the Aptus-II 12 80MP. He shoots food, mostly.

    That said, we sell so many pre-owned units, we don't see these as "rich people's hand me downs". We sell large sensor solutions, that still have unique capabilities, from $4,000 on up. There's also brand new products that start at $7,990.

    So, I would say, in response to the OP, that the latest and greatest in large sensor technology has a cost. But the option of purchasing and using large sensors is certainly much more viable than he stated. And we believe Phase One will continue their success as a leader and innovator in this segment.


    Steve Hendrix
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    Re: Phase One => not for photographers

    paraphrasing a quote about cars..."If I had all the money I'd spent on cameras...I'd spend it all on cameras".

  41. #91
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    Re: Phase One => not for photographers

    Quote Originally Posted by jlm View Post
    paraphrasing a quote about cars..."If I had all the money I'd spent on cameras...I'd spend it all on cameras".
    Now THAT is a funny bone at work ...

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    Re: Phase One => not for photographers

    Let me make another analogy. The US Air Force put a lot of money into the development of the F-22. Then congress, in all their wisdom, decided to cut the production in half. Divide the development cost into half the number of planes. Whopping!. Then they divided production in half again. Monstrous! I think they cut that number as well, so we now have each aircraft costing hundreds of millions of dollars per copy.

    Somewhere in the thread a wise person suggested that many thousands of units could be produced instead of many hundreds of units. If that were the case the R&D costs would far less per unit allowing the companies to sell their backs for a price that more people could afford. That decision is, of course, made by each MFDB manufacturer. It is not our money on the line so we must accept their decisions. We can lament that decision, but we can't change it.

    Greg

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    Re: Phase One => not for photographers

    Quote Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
    Let me make another analogy. The US Air Force put a lot of money into the development of the F-22. Then congress, in all their wisdom, decided to cut the production in half. Divide the development cost into half the number of planes. Whopping!. Then they divided production in half again. Monstrous! I think they cut that number as well, so we now have each aircraft costing hundreds of millions of dollars per copy.

    Somewhere in the thread a wise person suggested that many thousands of units could be produced instead of many hundreds of units. If that were the case the R&D costs would far less per unit allowing the companies to sell their backs for a price that more people could afford. That decision is, of course, made by each MFDB manufacturer. It is not our money on the line so we must accept their decisions. We can lament that decision, but we can't change it.

    Greg
    Yes, but I'm going to have to counter that profitability is determined by more than just the development cost and that the reduction of the development costs is based on the presumption of the appropriate number of increased sales. And I believe that the number of increased sales would be insufficient to provide the necessary revenues to produce profitability at the price levels most users would have in mind.


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  44. #94
    Senior Member KeithL's Avatar
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    Re: Phase One => not for photographers

    Quote Originally Posted by jlm View Post
    paraphrasing a quote about cars..."If I had all the money I'd spent on cameras...I'd spend it all on cameras".
    Now, if I had all the money fotografz has spent on cameras...


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    Re: Phase One => not for photographers

    Quote Originally Posted by KeithL View Post
    Now, if I had all the money fotografz has spent on cameras...

    I'd settle for all the money Guy has spent on multiple purchases of the SAME lens!

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    Re: Phase One => not for photographers

    Steve,

    Point well taken. However, how can you go from $14,000 for the H4D31 and $18,000 for the H4D40 to forty grand for the H4D60? No one will get me to believe that the chip for the 60 (primarily the only difference) can raise the cost of the camera $26,000 to $30,000. Now, I have the 60 so I'm only making an argument most others have considered. Thankfully I was able to go the upgrade path.

    Think about it. If enough sales were generated to allow the 31 to be $7-10,000 and the 60 to be $20-24,000 how many more photographers would be enticed to enter medium format digital land. Just thinkin'.

    Greg

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    Re: Phase One => not for photographers

    Quote Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
    Let me make another analogy. The US Air Force put a lot of money into the development of the F-22. Then congress, in all their wisdom, decided to cut the production in half. Divide the development cost into half the number of planes. Whopping!. Then they divided production in half again. Monstrous! I think they cut that number as well, so we now have each aircraft costing hundreds of millions of dollars per copy.
    This is just a recognition that the value of the R&D is greater than that of the plane itself. Much of what's done can be shared and reused in other projects. I've been part of many similar projects myself, and the key to success is understanding the value created. Not every product has to be a success to be a profoundly good investment. Understanding this is key to a successful long-term product strategy, and often the people in the project themselves (especially more junior staff) see it as a failure when in fact it's a success. Not sure how this relates to Phase One though.

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    Re: Phase One => not for photographers

    It is not for photographers - it is for people who confuse state of the heart with state of the art.

    Maybe there is also something else and that is keeping the rest of the pack at some distance by the brute force of expense. In the film days amateurs and photographers were easy to recognise, because irrelevant of the talent the pros had to put up a high initial investment in gear to start out. Today with all those 5d like cameras even regular folks can do pro like work, given they are skilled enough.
    Last edited by T.Karma; 3rd April 2011 at 16:40.

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    Re: Phase One => not for photographers

    Quote Originally Posted by T.Karma View Post
    It is not for photographers - it is for people who confuse state of the heart with state of the art.
    Good one!

    Greg

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    Re: Phase One => not for photographers

    Ok, I just noticed this thread and read it from beginning to end. To the OP, getting into medium format even back in the film days meant a significant investment of money (remembering to bring the value of a dollar up to current standards). Medium format was not a be-all, end-all, do-it-all camera format. Never has. It was a means to grant photographers access to higher-quality negatives without having to jump up to large format.

    Many film photogs who wanted to move up to medium format, did so by tapping the secondary market at a significant level of savings. This time-honored tradition remains the same in the digital era. The DSLR revolution has programmed us to always buy new and that is a misconception that needs to be overcome if one wants to proceed in this business with requiring TARP funds.
    Carlos Echenique | Carlos Echenique Photography |Olympus OM-D E-M1 MK II | Olympus Pen-F - M.Zuiko 17mm f/1.8, M.Zuiko 25mm f/1.8, M.Zuiko 45mm f/1.8, Rokinon 12mm f/2 NCS, M.Zuiko 75mm f/1.8, M.Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO, M.Zuiko 40-150mm f/2.8 PRO

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