Site Sponsors
Results 1 to 23 of 23

Thread: The Real World

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    2,338
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    52

    The Real World

    Dont want to sound like a party pooper but things in the real world are getting scarier by the minute. Wondering if anyone has thought about the impact on demand for this high end discretionary expenditure? take care everyone - we are just about to go another step down.

  2. #2
    Subscriber and Workshop Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    2,803
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: The Real World

    Peter,

    It is interesting to watch the current crisis unfold from the US. Bear Stearns, IndyMac, Freddie Mac Fannie Mac all unraveling before our eyes. It is somewhat sobering to realize that the majority of the marginal mortgage holders in the US were encouraged to leverage up by the institutions and the industry. The assumption that this could continue indefinitely must have seemed a little risky to them (the homeowners) at some point. I recall relatives talking about the farmers who lost everything in the past generations...encouraged by the bankers to add this or that until a bad couple of seasons turned profit to loss and they were unable to service the debt. There is a billboard along the highway in this area for a program by a man named Dave Ramsey who teaches how to retire debt and live within ones means...it says: Act Your Wage. Not too popular these days I am afraid.

    This is not the result only of our present administration...it has been going on for a long time. Until recently, it was a rare week at our house that we did not receive four to five solicitations for credit card, loan, and second mortgage offers. My shredder had been working overtime for quite a while. I do have the distinct advantage of have had a first home mortgage while Jimmy Carter was in office...18.5% interest rate. That made me realize how careful one needs to be with credit and finance. Value is inherently unstable so one needs to personally assess risk very conservatively...just ask those in Zimbabwe where inflation is over a billion per cent per annum. Not to mention their personal risk from living in such a corrupt system.

    Discretionary income is inherently a western societal blessing or curse...depends on how it influences one's life. In the majority of the third world the increase in commodity and food prices has unraveled a rather narrow survival ledge. I routinely travel and work in some rather destitute areas in West Africa that are much worse off today that 50 years ago. Last November I was talking with some friends that I worked with in Liberia about their experiences during their protracted civil war...their ability to survive and maintain a sense of self and a sense of balance was humbling.

    In the middle ages there were major arguments and theologic discussions about how many angels were able to dance on the head of a pin...it seems that the present announcements by H, S, PO and L leave one wondering if we are not engaging in a similar discussion. Does 60MP really improve the final picture from an esthetic standpoint over say a 16MP or 22MP fatboy pixel sensor...makes it a whole lot larger I assume. When it arrives I am sure that we may need a few more museums to hold all of the wonderful works that will just fall out of the processing software.

    I apologize for the somewhat rambling nature of this response but the last few days have been rather surreal from a product announcement standpoint. Imagine...resurrected ArcBody and Hartblei Super-Rotator 45 in the same week...they must have a rather poor view of our discernment. Oh well.

    Once one has made the shift to larger, slower, hopefully more introspective formats we may have hit a wall with regards to money spent improvements gained. I recall the transition of Mark Tucker from larger ever more detailed equipment to a return to that which worked so well for his personal style...camera plunger eccentric focal points etc. Roger Hicks used to say that non-comercially some of the most effective photos were those done on a small intimate scale...5x7s that are able to be held and viewed as a whole.

    So in these inherently dangerous times, comfort food and those things that work well for us may offer a somewhat safe harbor. I assume that we all could spend years perfecting our art and craft with the present hardware we own. May be a nice topic for a workshop...one lens one back one week in a great location.

    I has been said that character is demonstrated when there is a personal cost. May we all be found to be of good cheer and upright character in that final accounting.


    With most warm regards,

    Bob

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    1,513
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: The Real World

    Peter,
    Do not wish to unravel Bob's sobering perspective on things....thank you, sir. Instead, I had another perspective on your question, and one that straddles the commercial/pro/serious photographer tightropes. Are we seeing a sunrise or a sunset with respect to some of our imaging needs and uses? Not the capabilities, but the uses. This year, I ran into a much greater need to be able to print things rather large for clients. I have been convincing myself that MF is a "need" for some of this. Meanwhile, the rates clients are willing or wanting to pay has gone down with the economy. Follow that with an increasing interest in projected or screen views of things for larger displays, rather than traditional prints. O.K., start do the numbers and suddenly, very large image files have a market that may (or may not) be dwindling in size. So while the technology is coming to get us more detail, more pixels, and all that, the uses for many of the images is display projection, where all of that fine detail and DR we struggle to capture is lost on some plasma screen or 72ppi digital output screen that may not even be color calibrated.

    That should not stop us from advancing where we can, but in the present day, spending a huge amount on gear that may not really pay for itself for quite some time, seems more of a choice some of us would rather not have to make.

    So, does one save more of whatever discretionary moneys they have, contribute them to others that need them more, invest them in things that may promise a brighter future? All tough calls, and tougher when the entry costs keep going higher while the value of the currency used does not increase as fast.

    LJ

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    2,338
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    52

    Re: The Real World

    Bob - I share your sentiments wholeheartedly and best wishes to you and yours, I think you have your head in exactly the right space.

    LJ - I think we are at the point of negative return in terms of marginal utility with photographic gear. Reflecting on what Bob has said and what you implicitly ask - I think that there is more to be gained by the serious photographer in using what he/she has to best advantage -than purchasing the next iteration of the same ol same ol marketing driven truck load of megapixel story.

    I think a clever buyer might focus on yesterdays megapixel monsters - as today's whilst offering even more and more this and that - wont make it any easier to get one of those 1 in a 1000 worth printing large keepers...

    i find myself more interested in the 16 'fatboy' megapixel pixel offering from Hasselblad - than my new but now superseded one month after purchase 39 megapixel ( no longer big boy) back....

    I have far fewer cameras and lenses than I had a few months ago, surprised myself - actually have enjoyed getting rid of stuff I dont use...

    I wish lensbabies would make a MF lensbaby - ala Tuckers gizmo...sharpness and resolution are not what photography is about to me.

    cheers.
    pete

  5. #5
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    23,623
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    2555

    Re: The Real World

    Actually Peter they do make a lensbabies for MF . Mamiya though

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...l_Effects.html

    I thought about getting one actually
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

  6. #6
    Workshop Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Jupiter, Fla.
    Posts
    1,967
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    2

    Re: The Real World

    Peter,
    Don't get me started...not a day goes by when I don't ask myself what the hell were they thinking. By "they" I mean the smart guys... not the average joe in the street but the boys on Wall Street from Goldman, Bear, Lehman, and those bankers at WaMu, Wachovia, Citibank, etc. And if that's not bad enough, spend a moment or two thinking about how the oil companies and producers are raping the world. I'm afraid we're about to reap the whirlwind because of the unmitigated greed of a small minority. Meanwhile, down at the ranch in Florida, you can't give away a home or a condo in the mid-priced range but the $5-$8 million dollar homes are still selling well. There's plenty of discretionary money to be spent but it's in the hands of fewer and fewer folks. Rant over

  7. #7
    Senior Subscriber Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    Posts
    1,306
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: The Real World

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterA View Post
    I wish lensbabies would make a MF lensbaby - ala Tuckers gizmo...sharpness and resolution are not what photography is about to me.
    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...l_Effects.html


    Oops, I see Guy beat me to it. Note to self: reload page to see new comments after returning to computer.

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    2,338
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    52

    Re: The Real World

    Guy - DANG! the only non blad accessory I have any interest in - and they only ( so far ) make it for Mamiya mount !!

    Dave - all sorts of filth can be hidden under the skirts of fake prosperity - that is all an old fashioned capitalist can say in a public place.

    i am still miffed that mamiya has lensbabies and Hasselblad doesn't!

  9. #9
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    23,623
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    2555

    Re: The Real World

    Peter get the P25 plus which you wanted anyway , you get a free Phase Body and lens. Than just get a Mamiya Mount for your Alpa TC , I know someone that has that setup exactly.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Fort Collins, Colorado
    Posts
    2,077
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    1

    Re: The Real World

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterA View Post
    Bob - I share your sentiments wholeheartedly and best wishes to you and yours, I think you have your head in exactly the right space.

    LJ - I think we are at the point of negative return in terms of marginal utility with photographic gear. Reflecting on what Bob has said and what you implicitly ask - I think that there is more to be gained by the serious photographer in using what he/she has to best advantage -than purchasing the next iteration of the same ol same ol marketing driven truck load of megapixel story.

    I think a clever buyer might focus on yesterdays megapixel monsters - as today's whilst offering even more and more this and that - wont make it any easier to get one of those 1 in a 1000 worth printing large keepers...

    i find myself more interested in the 16 'fatboy' megapixel pixel offering from Hasselblad - than my new but now superseded one month after purchase 39 megapixel ( no longer big boy) back....

    I have far fewer cameras and lenses than I had a few months ago, surprised myself - actually have enjoyed getting rid of stuff I dont use...

    I wish lensbabies would make a MF lensbaby - ala Tuckers gizmo...sharpness and resolution are not what photography is about to me.

    cheers.
    pete
    Peter

    I couldn't agree with you more. I loved the files from my Hassy CFV 16Mpx back but sold it because I convinced myself that, since I print my landscapes large, I needed the additional resolution of the H3DII-39. I think i may have been wrong. Don't get me wrong, I love the H3D-39 and it does everything it advertises itself to be. I love the handling of the body (certainly compared to the 503W) and the metering is first rate! There was just some "magic" to the CFV which I don't see with the H3D. I know magic is an overused term in our hobby/industry but I believe it to be true. I know that Marc Williams feels the same way and having sold his CFV ordered the package which includes the CFV II, 503 body and the 40mm CFE IF lens. I believe i will end up buying this package and selling the lens (I already have a mint copy of it and really love it). I can probably sell the new 40 for about $4K which would bring me an effective price for all the other stuff of $8995! Pretty darn good I would say. Since I also have a mint copy of a 203FE I could also sell the 503 and reduce my investment even further.

    Getting too much moolah invested in cameras given the current market. And most of the prognosticaters don't see a turnaround until late 2009 at the earliest so protecting cash is becoming a real necessity.

    Best to you

    Woody

  11. #11
    Super Duper
    Senior Member

    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Royal Oak, MI and Palm Harbor, FL
    Posts
    8,498
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    44

    Re: The Real World

    LOL!

    See, I was right ... this IS the entrance to Hell.

    A thread starts about exercising caution in an ever frightening economical melt-down ... and quickly turns to buy a Phase One back, and FREE (wink,wink) Phase Camera ... considering all the lenses that'll be sure to follow.

    I have two businesses to run. An ad agency with big national accounts ... and my little photographic studio. Both are sucking wind this year and getting worse by the minute ... and it happened so fast it surprised even cautious little o' me. I'm lucky, I own everything outright and can ride out the storm if I STOP NOW and don't overextend myself. I know some studios where it's to late ... in fact, a lot of studios.

    I'm now taking anything I can just to keep shooting. Much of it is at reduced rates, but in a world where word-of-mouth is the lifeline to future business, I just consider it an investment. If the economy improves I can restore my rates to what the traffic will bear. Until then, it's hunker down time. Frankly, if I didn't do this, I could be sitting in my studio stroking my beautiful H3D-II ... alone, with nothing to shoot but bullshit samples that'll earn me squat.

    So, where does a $42,000. investment in more megs fit into this scenario?

    On the other hand, my investment reports just floated in yesterday with record losses ... and I stare at it thinking ... Hell, I should just yank that one and invest in a Phase One P65+
    ... because I could at least offer folks who come to my street corner Hot Dog stand a photo with their Hot Dog.

    "Come and get it. Red Hot Chile Dogs ... with the highest resolution digital photo in the world on the side to send to the folks back home."

  12. #12
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    23,623
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    2555

    Re: The Real World

    ROTFLMAO . It is hunker down time and it better get straighten out soon or I might actually have to go knock on doors for more clients. I'm not in need of the big buffalo gun yet but I am glad it is coming to market. This helps us in driving the other backs down in price. Ideally I would like a backup back and some more toy's to get work done but I have a nice kit and right now will just deal with it but like Marc i don't want to be twiddling my thumbs which I have done the last week and i can't do that. But I leave in the morning for NY for a big gig so that helps but the books are a little too empty for my tastes when I get back.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

  13. #13
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    2,338
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    52

    Re: The Real World

    You are in the right space as far as mindset goes Marc...The markets are down 30% from their highs..the real economy impact(s) are just starting..I dont think that a working pro is going to make more or less money buying into the latest round of megapixel upgrades...

    I dont think gearheads like me are going to pony up for the next iteration of the same ol thing..

    The problem is that the marginal utility of the latest stuff - is delivering diminishing returns to the rational end user. If other constraints are imposed (ala economic slowdown) the MFD manufacturers may find themselves generating less new sales than expected..if their cost structures are based on getting a boost from each new iteration every year - they are in trouble - as the well is about tapped out.

    i would think carefully about counter party risk regarding business viability and sustainability before one spends too much money. A careful look at each supplier as well as the dealer is even more important.

    Now sit back and wait to hear all the declarations from each manufacturer about how strong their business model is - in a 10,000 unit world.

    Much easier to whack in a new you beaut chip - than to develop better bodies and software - thats why the real advantages proceed at a snails pace - and the megapixel wars are the marketing battlefield. The companies are driven by marketers flogging the chip manufacturers next big thing.

    High end products dont have a 12 -18 month product life cycle as top of the pops - usually they last 7-10 years with tiny face lifts every 3-4 years. The MFD market is being driven by commodity economics and logic - when the small size of the market should dictate a different strategy.

    hey just my opinion..what would I know anyway.

  14. #14
    Workshop Member
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    NYC
    Posts
    3,275
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    7

    Re: The Real World

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterA View Post
    I wish lensbabies would make a MF lensbaby - ala Tuckers gizmo...sharpness and resolution are not what photography is about to me.

    cheers.
    pete
    Make your own...

    Any body that will fire without a lens can be used with a phase one for pinhole work (I say Phase because that's what I know; I imagine but cannot confirm that other backs could also do it). A pinhole can be mounted onto the front using any flexible opaque material (I suggest the black plastic which traditional photo paper comes in, but I work above a film processing house, so it's never in short supply). If you hold the pinhole anywhere at an angle or off center then you have tilt/shift like the lens baby. I recommend a piece of aluminum from a coke can pierced by a pin or a jewler's drill and worked over a bit by light sandpaper.

    Check out mrpinhole.com for a good calculator for exposure and size.

    Specifically I've done this with the AFD II which can function as a point and shoot because of the focal plane shutter and option to shoot without the lens.

    I got the kick in the butt to do this from a Phase One Newsletter featuring a pinhole artist, so I should not be given any credit for originality.

    Of course the lens baby is really cool too, but for my money the fun of low-IQ imaging is to do all the work yourself.

    Doug Peterson
    Capture Integration, Phase One Dealer
    Personal Portfolio

  15. #15
    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Los Altos, CA
    Posts
    10,486
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    1031

    Re: The Real World

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterA View Post

    I dont think gearheads like me are going to pony up for the next iteration of the same ol thing..
    Maybe, but then again maybe not...

    I live in the heart of Silicon Valley and I can assure you that people with money are still spending it, albeit selectively. The example is that houses priced at the lower end of the spectrum have dropped about 20% (median price ~ $580K) and new sales are UP by over 20%, and average time on market is around 4 weeks; indicating folks have been sitting on the side waiting for a good opportunity, see it and are acting. Houses in the middle prices (where coincidently most of the new homes also are) are not selling at all, while houses at the $3MM and over mark are selling well, also in an average of 2 to 4 weeks on the market -- and lots of those are "all cash" sales...

    But people are NOT buying new cars (of any description) and are NOT going out to dinner and are NOT taking exotic vacations. They are however buying used cars -- older compacts mostly -- and they are taking simpler local vacations like driving to national parks, the coast or the wine country.

    So I suspect that a select few for whom money is no issue have already placed their order for the biggest new Hassy or Phase backs, and I suspect we'll see an increase in the lower-end back second-hand market volume pretty quickly.

    My .02 -- and all it's worth
    Jack
    home: www.getdpi.com

    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

  16. #16
    Super Duper
    Senior Member

    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Royal Oak, MI and Palm Harbor, FL
    Posts
    8,498
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    44

    Re: The Real World

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post
    Maybe, but then again maybe not...

    I live in the heart of Silicon Valley and I can assure you that people with money are still spending it, albeit selectively. The example is that houses priced at the lower end of the spectrum have dropped about 20% (median price ~ $580K) and new sales are UP by over 20%, and average time on market is around 4 weeks; indicating folks have been sitting on the side waiting for a good opportunity, see it and are acting. Houses in the middle prices (where coincidently most of the new homes also are) are not selling at all, while houses at the $3MM and over mark are selling well, also in an average of 2 to 4 weeks on the market -- and lots of those are "all cash" sales...

    But people are NOT buying new cars (of any description) and are NOT going out to dinner and are NOT taking exotic vacations. They are however buying used cars -- older compacts mostly -- and they are taking simpler local vacations like driving to national parks, the coast or the wine country.

    So I suspect that a select few for whom money is no issue have already placed their order for the biggest new Hassy or Phase backs, and I suspect we'll see an increase in the lower-end back second-hand market volume pretty quickly.

    My .02 -- and all it's worth
    Personally, I don't think it's wise to place an order for anything until the Fat Lady sings at Photokina.

    We don't know what Hasselblad's up to with the 645 sensor they've announced since it can't be the exclusive Dalsa chip for Phase One ... and we haven't heard from Leaf or Sinar ... both of which could raise the bar even higher... or not.

    But I have to admit, the 65+ is delicious sounding for Phase One fans.

  17. #17
    dlew308
    Guest

    Re: The Real World

    I'm curious if Leaf has any news for Photokina.

  18. #18
    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Los Altos, CA
    Posts
    10,486
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    1031

    Re: The Real World

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    But I have to admit, the 65+ is delicious sounding for Phase One fans.
    Not if you're one who likes to do long exposures... And if you are, then maybe the Hassy 50 is looking like king...
    Jack
    home: www.getdpi.com

    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

  19. #19
    Super Duper
    Senior Member

    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Royal Oak, MI and Palm Harbor, FL
    Posts
    8,498
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    44

    Re: The Real World

    Quote Originally Posted by dlew308 View Post
    I'm curious if Leaf has any news for Photokina.
    Me too.

    Doesn't Kodak still own Leaf?

    If they do, whatever may be coming from Kodak may now show up in Leaf backs.

  20. #20
    Super Duper
    Senior Member

    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Royal Oak, MI and Palm Harbor, FL
    Posts
    8,498
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    44

    Re: The Real World

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post
    Not if you're one who likes to do long exposures... And if you are, then maybe the Hassy 50 is looking like king...
    I didn't read the spec's on the 50 ... is it longer exposures now Jack?

  21. #21
    Workshop Member lance_schad's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Phila./NY
    Posts
    1,146
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    19

    Re: The Real World

    Looks like the H3dII50 is still @ 32 seconds max exposure vs 1 hour on P45+ and 1 minute on P65+.

    Lance Schad
    Capture Integration - Miami/Atlanta
    Direct: 305-534-5701 x1 | Cell: 305-394-3196
    Toll Free: 877-217-9870
    Capture Integration
    [email protected]

  22. #22
    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Los Altos, CA
    Posts
    10,486
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    1031

    Re: The Real World

    Quote Originally Posted by lance_schad View Post
    Looks like the H3dII50 is still @ 32 seconds max exposure vs 1 hour on P45+ and 1 minute on P65+.

    Lance Schad
    Capture Integration - Miami/Atlanta
    Direct: 305-534-5701 x1 | Cell: 305-394-3196
    Toll Free: 877-217-9870
    Capture Integration
    [email protected]
    Okay, so the P45+ is still long exposure king
    Jack
    home: www.getdpi.com

    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

  23. #23
    Super Duper
    Senior Member

    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Royal Oak, MI and Palm Harbor, FL
    Posts
    8,498
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    44

    Re: The Real World

    Quote Originally Posted by lance_schad View Post
    Looks like the H3dII50 is still @ 32 seconds max exposure vs 1 hour on P45+ and 1 minute on P65+.

    Lance Schad
    Capture Integration - Miami/Atlanta
    Direct: 305-534-5701 x1 | Cell: 305-394-3196
    Toll Free: 877-217-9870
    Capture Integration
    [email protected]
    That's what I thought Lance. I understand it will go to one minute when the boost in ISO one stop is implimented by Hasselblad.

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •