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Thread: MF... will it survive?

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    MF... will it survive?

    10x8, 7x5, 5x4 ...all dead! The light sensitive area is shrinking all the time... MF sales continue to drop as higher resolution and better IQ FFs become cheaper all the time, will the makers be able to support low demand lenses which are necessary to justify a camera body production? Will they be able to further lower the costs to achieve more appeal? ...or is it the end of the road for MF?

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    Re: MF... will it survive?

    ????

    You can still buy 4x5 and 8x10 cameras and film.

    Do you have sales figures showing the MFD sales are down?

    The price for FF cameras have been fairly stable over the last few years.

    These type of threads come up from time to time at GetDPI, but don't get much traction, simply because the premise is usually false. You should join Luminance Landscape, it is a better place for this type of speculation.
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    Re: MF... will it survive?

    A good big'un is better than a good small one!
    Bill CB

    www.billcaulfeild-browne.ca
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    Re: MF... will it survive?

    Among all the talk of resolution, DR, colour accuracy etc etc, I have to say one of the prime reasons I like MF is the ability to crop extensively. I can pull out the centre quarter of the frame and still have a 20 mp image that will give great 24 by 30 inch prints.

    I don't have a Nikon D800 - but can it do that?

    Bill
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    Re: MF... will it survive?

    Quote Originally Posted by Theodoros Fotometria View Post
    10x8, 7x5, 5x4 ...all dead!
    Not true. I just bought a 5x7 Technika and really enjoy using it. I thought it would be easy to find lenses and lens boards for this but they are being bid up quite quickly on the auctions - same with the expired 5x7 film so clearly people are using these formats.

    I also shoot a lot of MF film and use MF DB too. I think for as much as people go to their iPhone or cell phone cameras for reg, stuff the excitement of doing photography brings more people back into these larger formats.

    It may be that less of the larger format and MF is being done by pros, but I don't think less is being done.

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    Re: MF... will it survive?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Caulfeild-Browne View Post
    Among all the talk of resolution, DR, colour accuracy etc etc, I have to say one of the prime reasons I like MF is the ability to crop extensively. I can pull out the centre quarter of the frame and still have a 20 mp image that will give great 24 by 30 inch prints.

    I don't have a Nikon D800 - but can it do that?

    Bill
    So Bill... you are among those that will abandon MF for FF when res is enough to leave you a 20mp crop of the center... yes?

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    Re: MF... will it survive?

    Quote Originally Posted by EH21 View Post
    Not true. I just bought a 5x7 Technika and really enjoy using it. I thought it would be easy to find lenses and lens boards for this but they are being bid up quite quickly on the auctions - same with the expired 5x7 film so clearly people are using these formats.

    I also shoot a lot of MF film and use MF DB too. I think for as much as people go to their iPhone or cell phone cameras for reg, stuff the excitement of doing photography brings more people back into these larger formats.

    It may be that less of the larger format and MF is being done by pros, but I don't think less is being done.
    Actually "dead" means that it's not in production.... or that there is no demand to support a production... The only view cameras that are still in production are of 2x3 image area... in the extremely rare case that a customer wants larger image area, there is usually a NOS or left on the shelve replacement part at a good price...

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    Re: MF... will it survive?

    Another one of these threads?

    Digital MF has been dead for months now, ever since the D800, or the Nokia cell phone. I forget which. I know I threw mine away as soon as I heard the news.
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    Re: MF... will it survive?

    Quote Originally Posted by Theodoros Fotometria View Post
    10x8, 7x5, 5x4 ...all dead! The light sensitive area is shrinking all the time... MF sales continue to drop as higher resolution and better IQ FFs become cheaper all the time, will the makers be able to support low demand lenses which are necessary to justify a camera body production? Will they be able to further lower the costs to achieve more appeal? ...or is it the end of the road for MF?
    Am I in a right forum?
    Is this a stock market forum?

    Pramote
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    Re: MF... will it survive?

    Where are you getting your production information?

    Currently for sale new at B&H:

    Large Format Cameras| B&H Photo Video

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    Re: MF... will it survive?

    Quote Originally Posted by Shashin View Post
    Where are you getting your production information?

    Currently for sale new at B&H:

    Large Format Cameras| B&H Photo Video
    Strange... they are all in stock at 1 quantity of each!!!! IMO the only two things that may keep MF alive is 1.Multishot.... 2.View & Technical camera compatibility (of up to 2x3 size)... However, if "true color" single shot sensors will be developed and lenses with movements will become cheaper for 35mm size cameras, I don't think that MF will make it! All current view camera makers, offer DSLR compatibility and the MFDB owners have become slow in replacing their older backs... D800E did convince many studio shooters not to advance to MF... what will happen when in 2-3 years D800E will have a better replacement? I own an Imacon 528c and make painting reproduction with it, ....what should I advance to? ...there is nothing around that would provide me a worthwhile replacement! ....And the ultra hi-res MF backs, the only thing that they provide than the intro models is more pixels.... Hardly enough to justify the investment IMO...

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    Re: MF... will it survive?

    Well, I'll tell you by the crowds at the Hasselblad Booth at Photokina and the intense interest in their products there, I would say you, OP, will be dead before MF is dead.
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    Re: MF... will it survive?

    Yeah, yeah. MFD is dead, film is dead, and Shakespeare is dead. Same old story.

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    Re: MF... will it survive?

    These conversations get boring. It has occurred literally *every* time a new dSLR is released.

    In actuality revenue and unit sales for Team Phase One have been increasing year-over-year for several years in a row.

    The reports of the death of medium format are not just greatly exaggerated; they are dead wrong.

    A select number of other companies struggled or failed during the global economic crises, but I don't think you should confuse that with general industry demise. Otherwise we'd assume the era of cars is over because GM struggled for a year or two.
    Doug Peterson , Digital Transitions | Email
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    Re: MF... will it survive?

    What I don't hear is real reasoning... if people think it will survive, they should backup their opinion answering to "why it will survive" or to "what has to be done" for MF to be more appealing.... I did that before when I said, that MF has to emphasize at areas that FF can't be competitive (multishot, view and Tech camera compatibility) and even enhance in these areas, or even provide new functions that will differentiate it further (user ability to remove Bayern pattern?, user interchangeable sensors?). IMO, by building bigger DSLRs like Leica or Pentax does, or by closing the system like Hass did (they even stopped the CFs !) they can only commit suicide! MF was always about modularity and IQ... If they turn the cameras into "just bigger DSLRs" as they currently do, the IQ/value balance of FF cameras will more and more balance against MF... at the end you'll have MF users saying "what the hey!" with some new FF DSLR which will provide them with IQ as good as they could achieve only yesterday with MF... and thinking that "they were working well yesterday with lesser equipment", there is no need for the TOP anymore....
    So... instead of having people telling me (or to themselves) how good their IQ 180, or P65+ or H5-50 is or how "bad" a D800 is, isn't it better if we start discussing/suggesting what the makers should do to ensure survival?

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    Re: MF... will it survive?

    I see where you are coming from Theodoros. The trouble is, I am not sure you will find many people here terribly interested in having that discussion. This is purely a personal impression, but the sense I have is that people here know what value they get from using their MFDBs, feel that the images thus produced speak for themselves, and that speculating in such a way just doesn't add a great deal to their priorities. Please take this in the spirit in which it is intended - i.e. sharing a view on why you may not get the debate you are seeking...

    Best wishes,

    Ed
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    Re: MF... will it survive?

    Theo

    You have certainly rattled our cage with your confrontational stick.

    I suspect that your real intention was to generate some positive vision for the next 10 years of MF that you may feel is missing.

    After about 90 years of building air cooled boxer motorcycle engines - BMW has just released a partially liquid cooled boxer engine. Things change and so will MF - as consumers we can choose to buy or not buy but really that is probably the limit of our influence.

    As a photographer I know the equipment I have is still much better at recording the scene than I am at pointing it in the right direction at the right time.

    "and so to bed."


    mal
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    Re: MF... will it survive?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ed HUrst View Post
    I see where you are coming from Theodoros. The trouble is, I am not sure you will find many people here terribly interested in having that discussion. This is purely a personal impression, but the sense I have is that people here know what value they get from using their MFDBs, feel that the images thus produced speak for themselves, and that speculating in such a way just doesn't add a great deal to their priorities. Please take this in the spirit in which it is intended - i.e. sharing a view on why you may not get the debate you are seeking...

    Best wishes,

    Ed
    The thing is Ed, that most disasters in history (IMO, if MF dies it will be a disaster to photography as an art), happens when a media loses its traditional values, what happens here currently, is that makers (in a straggle to survive) take the wrong information on customer needs and are attacking the media's own values which is the same as committing suicide... I wish that people come back to their senses and start demanding MF modularity back... It would force Hass and P1 to sit around a table and work on MF user's needs rather than trying to serve customers that seek only sharper DSLRs... I own an 11 lens (4 via adarters) Contax 645 system and a (Contax back fit) Fuji GX680 5 lens system, on which I share my Imacon 528c back... The whole system costed me about half of what one spends for a modern high resolution back with its dedicated camera an standard lens... ....and it can do 10 times better what it does, while at the same time it does 99% as well of what they do! ...All that due to its modularity and special functions! I don't consider Pentax 645 or Leica S as being MF... IMO, a larger image area isn't enough to make something MF! ....MF is all about serving its traditional values, ...if this will vanish, MF will vanish with it! I agree with you that there are many that never thought (or are incapable) of a proper discussion... (at least not in forums anyway), but forums is where MF makers look for much of their marketing info and as such, it's worth trying... let's hope then that you prove wrong and that this discussion will go on for months having people suggesting HDMI outputs for large screen quality LV previews and huge data storage, bringing modularity back and thus allowing S/H market to grow back (look at the prices of all those Bronicas, RBs, RZs, C645 etc...), the makers have to understand that by not supporting a basic very cheap market that could provide a wide spread base for the media, they kill the higher market up... Do you know that most of the MFDBs they take as part exchange they destroy...? We better start suggesting and discussing then, ...otherwise we also take our own eyes off....

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    Re: MF... will it survive?

    MF...will it survive?

    Much depends on the MF companies themselves. They'll need to move forward at a pace that is perhaps greater than have in recent years.
    http://www.keithlaban.co.uk
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    Re: MF... will it survive?

    Quote Originally Posted by malmac View Post
    Theo

    You have certainly rattled our cage with your confrontational stick.

    I suspect that your real intention was to generate some positive vision for the next 10 years of MF that you may feel is missing.

    After about 90 years of building air cooled boxer motorcycle engines - BMW has just released a partially liquid cooled boxer engine. Things change and so will MF - as consumers we can choose to buy or not buy but really that is probably the limit of our influence.

    As a photographer I know the equipment I have is still much better at recording the scene than I am at pointing it in the right direction at the right time.

    "and so to bed."


    mal
    I think my discussion with Ed covers my intentions Mal... look at this thread that Tim (Tashley) created... http://www.getdpi.com/forum/medium-f...n-warrior.html ...that's what I mean, although I disagree on his judgement on the comparison he makes between his MFDB and DSLR, Tim is judging that his MFDB is an overkill for his use... so he decided to sell his high-end back in favor for the DSLR... However, the back remained unsold (the whole MF camera basic kit) for some months and Tim has it back... he tried another test to justify keeping it, but it seems not to work for him. I believe that there are many feeling like Tim does currently... Thanks for posting Mal... I expect you to try and contribute as much as you can in this discussion... I think that it may contribute to help makers in the right direction if we stay on topic and have a wide spread conversation on our thoughts on the future of MF... If only we avoid how much better MFDBs IQ is and how "crappy" DSLRs are ...BS and concentrate in suggesting them our real needs and ways to expand the base of the market!

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    Re: MF... will it survive?

    I may be the only individual who finds that a Hasselblad H4D50 has much better files than a D800e.
    The Hasselblad lenses (to me) are vastly superior to the Nikon/Zeiss lenses in sharpness.
    The Hasselblad viewfinder is brighter enabling me to compose easier.
    Stanley
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    Re: MF... will it survive?

    Quote Originally Posted by stngoldberg View Post
    I may be the only individual who finds that a Hasselblad H4D50 has much better files than a D800e.
    The Hasselblad lenses (to me) are vastly superior to the Nikon/Zeiss lenses in sharpness.
    The Hasselblad viewfinder is brighter enabling me to compose easier.
    Stanley
    True Stanley, my opinion is it applies for all MFDBs, ...but !!! ...As where all, by Bill, Sashin, EH21, landscapelover, Doug, Al or Stephen at the beginning of this tread!
    Last edited by Theodoros Fotometria; 17th February 2013 at 07:58.

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    Re: MF... will it survive?

    Quote Originally Posted by Theodoros Fotometria View Post
    True Stanley, my opinion is it applies for all MFDBs, ...but !!! ...As where all, by Bill, Sashin, EH21, landscapelover, Doug, Al or Stephen at the beginning of this tread!
    I suppose they are (me aswell) already at the end of this thread while you are the one who is still at the very beginning of it...

    PS: MF will survive, don't worry.
    Last edited by MaxKißler; 17th February 2013 at 08:29.

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    Re: MF... will it survive?

    Quote Originally Posted by Theodoros Fotometria View Post
    What I don't hear is real reasoning... if people think it will survive, they should backup their opinion answering to "why it will survive" or to "what has to be done" for MF to be more appealing...
    Actually, the burden of proof starts with you. You started this but offer no evidence that your hypothesis is actually true. Certainly the large-format film market is far from dead. MFD sales are still going with no real decrease. Those contradict your whole argument.

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    Re: MF... will it survive?

    Large format cameras are still in production ... look at Ebony as an example.
    "Creativity takes courage." ~ Henri Matisse
    Darlene Almeda, photoscapes.com

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    Re: MF... will it survive?

    Quote Originally Posted by stngoldberg View Post
    I may be the only individual who finds that a Hasselblad H4D50 has much better files than a D800e.
    The Hasselblad lenses (to me) are vastly superior to the Nikon/Zeiss lenses in sharpness.
    The Hasselblad viewfinder is brighter enabling me to compose easier.
    Stanley
    I have both and the Blad is still in it's own league,the D800E is excellent in it's own right and very versatile but for high end I.Q the blad is still top dog

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    Re: MF... will it survive?

    Quote Originally Posted by Theodoros Fotometria View Post
    .As where all, by Bill, Sashin, EH21, landscapelover, Doug, Al or Stephen at the beginning of this tread!
    Sorry, but I do not have to continue participate in a thread if I don't want to. Besides, you seem to not understand my response--you have no argument.

    Anyway, have fun with this.

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    Re: MF... will it survive?

    Quote Originally Posted by MaxKißler View Post
    I don't mean to offend you but I suppose they are (me aswell) already at the end of this thread while you are still at the beginning...
    No offense taken Max... I know that they are at the end of the thread as far as which IQ they prefer (I am too)... I never created a thread to discuss this though... I am convinced that better IQ is not enough for MF to survive (as it has happened with even larger image areas in the past - loosing to worst quality smaller areas), ...hence, I thought of discussing MF (now lost) values which I see (as Ed predicted) none to understand (at least up to now)!!! May be people are posting into threads without ever care on the subject maybe they just don't read what they are commenting back to... ...One thing is for sure, with culture like that behind MF, ....it is dead for sure!!!

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    Re: MF... will it survive?

    I thought for some time if I shall get into this, but Theodoros is right- the question must be asked ! But it should be asked and added.....survive in the actual form ?

    MF Digital arose from a transformation around 1993/4 putting chips into conventional backs to be used on existing MF bodies. We still have this base concept and this , to my understanding is the weakest point today for such a system. In the semipro range the makers (and I include Leica and Pentax into this context) have achieved higher quality of output by integrated solutions on smaller systems which now rival highend systems of the standard make. Of course an IQ180 or a H5200MS are in another league of resolution. But all the rest of usability, lens availability/variety and workflow have suffered from a lack of broad support as the base is eroding now (due to cameras like D800/E).

    The value of such an entry system has risen comparably more than the performance of the highend compared to their actual stellar price points.
    So it is legitimate to ask how this gap will work in the future.

    I am 100% sure that a MF system as we know it today will not be available anymore in let´s say 2020. The chips will become smaller (unfortunately) and the integration of functionality will produce more electronic solutions in highly complex , more compact bodies.

    It is now the task for Pro Photographers as Theodoros and all others to clearly express their interest to keep modular funktionality and the freedom to customize such a system to their needs. if this will not happen the next steps are clear : the actual hybrid systems will become fully electronic and proprietory, with no chance of user interferance. this will also be the end of viewcameras and frames as well as all other peripherals connected to this.

    Closing Eyes, ears and mouth and hoping this will not happen is the wrong strategy. If Photographers want modular Pro gear they will have to fight for it and express their interest explicitely !

    Thanks Theodoros for asking ! And the others should think what they can do ,so the gear they use now and they like will be available in some years of time, yes - even with improvements that will allow working pro´s to certifiy their investment to their customers price calculations.

    Greetings from Germany
    Stefan
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    Re: MF... will it survive?

    The problem here is you hit a forum where its members have been so saturated by this comparison stuff that no one is really interested anymore. I switched to a Nikon D800 from my Phase gear for personal reasons not business or image quality reasons and although its very good it's simply not MF quality and CMOS sensor never have been better than CCD till this date and not sure you will ever see the smoothness of file outside the big sensors of MF. I miss it and I have owned just about every system known and reality is you can get somewhat close but still no cigar. Outside the IQ people here just like to shoot the format and love to shoot tech cams with some of the best lenses made . It's not about the money it's about the experience and joy of working with the bigger format. These comparison constantly avoid this fact that folks just prefer to shoot the format , enjoy the best IQ and knowing they have the best image makers they can own. For many this is there hobby and frankly its a cheap hobby too compared to planes, trains , boats and automobiles . To some its dirt cheap to invest 50k and just go enjoy there art. Nothing wrong with that and a lot of folks simply just don't get that thinking at all. I teach workshops and as a Pro my gear is minimal compared to what the attendees bring or buy to go to the workshops. I'd kill to have there gear but also my hobby is golf and I spend a lot of money on that. This struggle between formats has been around for the 40 years I have held a camera in my hand and will never go away nor will the format. Instead of new many are buying used through the economical slump. Also outside of the IQ and Credo backs nothing really new has hit the market in the last 2 or 3 years so just less new product to buy right now but used no one has real numbers on but I'm close to the dealers and used business is booming, we just don't see it.

    Sure MF folks need to lower costs and innovate, no question about it but so does every industry out there. Business and industries have cycles and right now many industries are in a down cycle. I worked in Aerospace for a lot of years and those cycles of aircraft purchases are all over the map but they go high at times and also drop at times.

    As far as debating format and such many of us really are annoyed by it and simply not interested in hearing the same old swan song that keeps getting repeated daily. It's honestly seriously getting extremely old. Also when guys like me that been around forever and report there findings its good enough for them to listen,understand and honestly just ignore the constant debate and go out and have fun with there art.
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    Re: MF... will it survive?

    Quote Originally Posted by Stefan Steib View Post
    ...but Theodoros is right- the question must be asked ! But it should be asked and added.....survive in the actual form ?
    Why? We are photographers. The camera manufacturing industry is a completely different field. In fact, having worked in both, I would say photographers have a very strange view of camera manufacturing. What happens to camera development is not in our control beyond some crude economic forces--we buy cameras.

    The question is absolutely irrelevant. Naturally, it would help to start with a real premise rather than a manufactured one.

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    Re: MF... will it survive?

    Quote Originally Posted by Stefan Steib View Post
    I thought for some time if I shall get into this, but Theodoros is right- the question must be asked ! But it should be asked and added.....survive in the actual form ?

    MF Digital arose from a transformation around 1993/4 putting chips into conventional backs to be used on existing MF bodies. We still have this base concept and this , to my understanding is the weakest point today for such a system. In the semipro range the makers (and I include Leica and Pentax into this context) have achieved higher quality of output by integrated solutions on smaller systems which now rival highend systems of the standard make. Of course an IQ180 or a H5200MS are in another league of resolution. But all the rest of usability, lens availability/variety and workflow have suffered from a lack of broad support as the base is eroding now (due to cameras like D800/E).

    The value of such an entry system has risen comparably more than the performance of the highend compared to their actual stellar price points.
    So it is legitimate to ask how this gap will work in the future.

    I am 100% sure that a MF system as we know it today will not be available anymore in let´s say 2020. The chips will become smaller (unfortunately) and the integration of functionality will produce more electronic solutions in highly complex , more compact bodies.

    It is now the task for Pro Photographers as Theodoros and all others to clearly express their interest to keep modular funktionality and the freedom to customize such a system to their needs. if this will not happen the next steps are clear : the actual hybrid systems will become fully electronic and proprietory, with no chance of user interferance. this will also be the end of viewcameras and frames as well as all other peripherals connected to this.

    Closing Eyes, ears and mouth and hoping this will not happen is the wrong strategy. If Photographers want modular Pro gear they will have to fight for it and express their interest explicitely !

    Thanks Theodoros for asking ! And the others should think what they can do ,so the gear they use now and they like will be available in some years of time, yes - even with improvements that will allow working pro´s to certifiy their investment to their customers price calculations.

    Greetings from Germany
    Stefan
    Thanks for the reply Stefan... I don't fully accept your prediction of things to come, but I am afraid that this is where things are heading too... in return, I think that if this is the future, maybe 2020 won't be reached at all by P1 or Hass...
    Let me give you an example..., let's say that I want to upgrade my 528c with a modern "true color" multishot back, perhaps with even more resolution... don't I have to try it first? How can I be sure that the enormous investment required will be better than my 528c...? Now, I have only two choices, the Sinar Exact or the 200MS.... but Sinar doesn't make a Contax fit adapter anymore, while Hass only makes the back as a dedicated H5 project.... , besides with Exact, I have to buy another back (!!!) to use in single shot with card... Now, that's crazy... I don't want a camera with leaf shutter for art reproduction..., I want even light distribution on the paintings! ...besides, I love the Zeiss 120m for the job OTOH, because in Sinar they don't make a Contax adapter, I have to change for ...Mamiya for focal plane shutter and not be able to use my superior glass.... Wouldn't be easier if Hass was making the back as a CF with adapters for Contax (as they used to until 3 years ago) ? ...don't they just throw customers out of the window trying to sell a complete camera system? Aren't they inexcusable in Mamiya that they don't offer an interchangeable VF (what? MF camera without WLF? ...Jesus!) ...All these have to change Stephen! ...all these have to change or MF has no future! Clearly things where much better 4 years ago..., IMO it started to fade when they thought of taking MFDBs in part exchange and instead of returning good equipment back to the market (even of other manufacturers) and create a new wider digital MF base, instead they where (and still are) turning it to ...rubbish! ...Let's hope they will find their senses back...

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    Re: MF... will it survive?

    Given Nikon's stock plumment, you may well ask if tradional cameras will survive.

    Nikon Stock Plummets 19% After Cutting Profit Forecast, Biggest Drop Since 1985

    Tom

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    Re: MF... will it survive?

    Quote Originally Posted by tsjanik View Post
    Given Nikon's stock plumment, you may well ask if tradional cameras will survive.

    Nikon Stock Plummets 19% After Cutting Profit Forecast, Biggest Drop Since 1985

    Tom
    OK Tom... I suggest you create a thread about this... meanwhile, in this thread you are... !!!!

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    Re: MF... will it survive?

    Guy - Extremely well said!! Thank you.

    Marty

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    Re: MF... will it survive?

    Tom´s question is not off topic I think.
    Nikon and also Canon + all the other Camera Makers are facing the same kind of threat from the smartphone industry.
    Highly integrated multifunctional devices take over a full market segment which is the backbone of turnaound in volume for these companies.
    The sales numbers for compact cameras are dropping now since several years around 30-40 % (on the very low end even 60%) in a row.
    Smartphones sales have reached e.g. 27 Mil Pieces a year compared to 3mil. (Germany alone !).
    If you count in the absolute numbers, the low margins in these lowend markets and the necessary structure to support these sales channels you know that their existence is also threatened.
    The new winners are companies like Samsung or other Makers of Cameras AND Smartphones who are now doing hybrid solutions like the Galaxy Cam.

    The scheme is similar. The base is eroding, the volume is shrinking and the actual business modell looses the main selling proposition.

    The consumer camera industry had analyzed this some time ago and came out with initiatives like MFT, proposing standardized mounts and universally usable lenses, the core idea is right , the actual result was more or less poor. But we can see on other markets (like the Blueray disc) that as soon as a standardized base is established the market can thrive and money can be earned and thus stability is reached.

    If the medium format industry will not understand that now it is the time to do a proposition for a universal platform with interchangeable , modular lenses, backs and camera bodies - even with an extension and adapters for existing mechanic solutions, I fear the chance will be missed to survive as an independent industry. Hasselblad has somehow commited already that they do NOT see their future in the MF business, the whitepaper they presented at the launch of the Lunar system shows they want to become an image exploiting maker of luxury sony bodies. No matter how much you like this or not, at least it shows they have analyzed their situation and try to survive in a medium and long range.

    Phase/leaf is absolutely quiet about a future concept and only says they sell better than ever before. Congrats if this is the case. But even then- how long will this be stable ?

    I think a Vision is what drives ALL successful companies.
    Customers want to hear those.

    Please make us keen buying new stuff !

    Greetings from Germany
    Stefan
    because photography is more than technology - and " as we have done this all the time "
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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: MF... will it survive?

    Okay back to the question of innovation. From what I see without fundamental changes in sensors , size and costs than very little can be done to change simplybecause we are at the wall with CCD technology and without a significant new change they have nowhere to go or develop the current technology any further. The IQ is the latest and greatest back but its features not sensor changes. To really get to the next level of size, weight, noise levels, higher Iso , live view and features like that we only have CMOS to do that as our current technology base and we have yet to see a CMOS back but trust me its being looked at , worked on, debated and tossed around in engineering labs or Phase and Hassy would be pretty stupid if they where not. Problem is we are not flys on the wall in those meetings.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: MF... will it survive?

    Quote Originally Posted by Theodoros Fotometria View Post
    OK Tom... I suggest you create a thread about this... meanwhile, in this thread you are... !!!!
    LOL. I thought your contention was the FF IQ was better and so impacting the MFD market. We find the company making the D800 "medium-format killer" is not doing well, but yet the sale of MFD is doing very well. That seems very on topic.

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    Re: MF... will it survive?

    Quote Originally Posted by Shashin View Post
    LOL. I thought your contention was the FF IQ was better and so impacting the MFD market. We find the company making the D800 "medium-format killer" is not doing well, but yet the sale of MFD is doing very well. That seems very on topic.
    You thought wrong... read the posts! I'm telling you (and some others) right from the beginning! This is not a post trying to compare FF with MF... it's about MF losing its own values and the danger that this has for its survival... The (inevitable) improvement of DSLR IQ can of course influence things, but this (or any comparison) was never my subject... ...again, read the previous posts!

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    Re: MF... will it survive?

    Quote Originally Posted by Stefan Steib View Post
    I think a Vision is what drives ALL successful companies.
    Customers want to hear those.

    Please make us keen buying new stuff !

    Greetings from Germany
    Stefan
    And this is where I think your hypothesis falls down. You are taking the need for bells and whistle which drive the low-end market is needed at the high end. As a photographer, the quality of the image is the only thing that counts for me. If I have more technology, that is great, but if not, that is fine too. I am a professional and I can get all my camera systems to work for me if it delivers the quality I need--and lets face it, how hard is exposure and focus anyway?

    And this has always been true. AF, AE, motor winders, zoom lenses, auto bracketing, multi-point AF, etc always came in 35mm before it hit medium format. This technology is clearly absent in LF. Naturally, there are narrow fields where the technology is helpful, but MF was really never used in those fields and thrived.

    Photography is fundamentally an art. There is an emotional, not rational, connection to it. It is not the bottom-line account type mentality that drives the creative process. Until that is factored in, you are simply not going to understand the market. Give me a well designed camera with great quality that I can control focus and exposure and I will do just fine. And personally, I want a camera I can use for a long time. The point of photography is not buying cameras--that is consumerism.
    Likes 2 Member(s) liked this post

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    Re: MF... will it survive?

    Quote Originally Posted by Theodoros Fotometria View Post
    You thought wrong... read the posts! I'm telling you (and some others) right from the beginning! This is not a post trying to compare FF with MF... it's about MF losing its own values and the danger that this has for its survival... The (inevitable) improvement of DSLR IQ can of course influence things, but this (or any comparison) was never my subject... ...again, read the previous posts!
    I guess I am confused. From your original post:

    MF sales continue to drop as higher resolution and better IQ FFs become cheaper all the time
    BTW, this is called a conversation and so we can go off in tangents if we so choose. You have no control over this.

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    Re: MF... will it survive?

    I can't see how you can say that MF is lacking in modularity. Especially compared to the past!? From my eyes it's much the same as it's always been. In fact its better as we never had lens adapters in the film days. You would buy into a system and that was it, you would be using just Mamiya/Hasselblad/Bronica/Fuji etc. Ok so you may not be able to get the latest back to fit your contax 645, but manufacturers have to draw a line somewhere. Especially when you are talking about systems that are not as greatly adopted as others.

    What I think MF needs to do to survive is to bring costs of backs down closer to that of the smaller formats. I've been looking at MF and tech cameras for a while now, and while I could easily pick up a camera and lenses there is no way I could afford a back to go with it all. I can't even justify renting one for jobs, leasing is out of the question also.

    It needs to be more like the days of film where the price jump between pro 35mm, MF and LF wasn't actually that great.


    By the way LF is far from dead. Look at Ebony/Shen Hao/Linhof/Sinar/Arca Swiss/Walker for various cameras in various large formats.

    If this post is off topic please feel free to delete.

  43. #43
    Senior Member Nathan W. Lediard's Avatar
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    Re: MF... will it survive?

    Quote Originally Posted by Shashin View Post
    And this is where I think your hypothesis falls down. You are taking the need for bells and whistle which drive the low-end market is needed at the high end. As a photographer, the quality of the image is the only thing that counts for me. If I have more technology, that is great, but if not, that is fine too. I am a professional and I can get all my camera systems to work for me if it delivers the quality I need--and lets face it, how hard is exposure and focus anyway?

    And this has always been true. AF, AE, motor winders, zoom lenses, auto bracketing, multi-point AF, etc always came in 35mm before it hit medium format. This technology is clearly absent in LF. Naturally, there are narrow fields where the technology is helpful, but MF was really never used in those fields and thrived.

    Photography is fundamentally an art. There is an emotional, not rational, connection to it. It is not the bottom-line account type mentality that drives the creative process. Until that is factored in, you are simply not going to understand the market. Give me a well designed camera with great quality that I can control focus and exposure and I will do just fine. And personally, I want a camera I can use for a long time. The point of photography is not buying cameras--that is consumerism.
    I couldnt have said it better myself!

    But here is my two penneth in addition..

    One reason I shoot MFD, quality. I want to deliver my clients the best quality I can.

    This is my job, I have to use this tool day in day out, I want it to be a pleasure to use. My Hasselblad is a pleasure to use.

    Even with fast glass my 35mm digital just cant give me that 3D look , that certain something, that I get from a larger chip...

    Higher than 1/250 flash sync...

    The huge viewfinder that makes manual focus when needed an actual viability (although with True Focus I rarely need it)

    etc etc etc,,,,

    Did you notice something? I didnt mention megapixels! why? well thats actually lower on the list of reasons , my reasons for shooting MFD...

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    Re: MF... will it survive?

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Okay back to the question of innovation. From what I see without fundamental changes in sensors , size and costs than very little can be done to change simplybecause we are at the wall with CCD technology and without a significant new change they have nowhere to go or develop the current technology any further. The IQ is the latest and greatest back but its features not sensor changes. To really get to the next level of size, weight, noise levels, higher Iso , live view and features like that we only have CMOS to do that as our current technology base and we have yet to see a CMOS back but trust me its being looked at , worked on, debated and tossed around in engineering labs or Phase and Hassy would be pretty stupid if they where not. Problem is we are not flys on the wall in those meetings.
    My opinion Guy, is that improvement in Higher Iso or Size or speed are important, but not first priority for MF users... They will always prefer the couple of stops that fast FF glass will provide them for LL and this will always give the advantage to 35mm (equivalent) format... IMO, it's the turn back to modularity that is the first which should MF makers be after... If MFDBs for instance had adapters, one could invest in the back only and look for the rest of the system in the future... what a 5 lens Bronica ETRSi system would cost him today? ...more than 6/700? OTOH... his MFDB would be much more salable in the S/H market and his investment much safer... In other words, it would create a huge "marketing base" which is a fundamental for healthy business... clearly MF makers did the mistake to abandon "skilled" photographers that couldn't invest huge amounts, but could create the most out of equipment that is now... Another thing IMO, is all these implementation of P, S modes and electronics that a traditional MF photographer would never use... serious photographers don't like to be treated as idiots from makers... and what about those LCDs on bodies... who needs more than a speed control on a body? ...and the lack of interchangeable finder in some bodies? ...now that's a joke, isn't it?

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    Re: MF... will it survive?

    Quote Originally Posted by craigosh View Post
    I can't see how you can say that MF is lacking in modularity. Especially compared to the past!? From my eyes it's much the same as it's always been. In fact its better as we never had lens adapters in the film days. You would buy into a system and that was it, you would be using just Mamiya/Hasselblad/Bronica/Fuji etc. Ok so you may not be able to get the latest back to fit your contax 645, but manufacturers have to draw a line somewhere. Especially when you are talking about systems that are not as greatly adopted as others.

    What I think MF needs to do to survive is to bring costs of backs down closer to that of the smaller formats. I've been looking at MF and tech cameras for a while now, and while I could easily pick up a camera and lenses there is no way I could afford a back to go with it all. I can't even justify renting one for jobs, leasing is out of the question also.

    It needs to be more like the days of film where the price jump between pro 35mm, MF and LF wasn't actually that great.


    By the way LF is far from dead. Look at Ebony/Shen Hao/Linhof/Sinar/Arca Swiss/Walker for various cameras in various large formats.

    If this post is off topic please feel free to delete.
    No... this is no way of topic... (Nathan above is!!!) just a (welcome) different view that I disagree with... You see, I consider ability to change light sensitive area, choose another one, change the VF, the screen or use my light sensitive area on another camera, ...much more of modularity than being able to use some more lenses... A different POV I think...

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    Re: MF... will it survive?

    I think you're generalizing a bit too much Theodoros.

    My RZ system for example is increadibly versatile. There are several different finders and backs to choose from. It even enables me to shoot film! It's very cheap second hand and you can get it all new if you want as it's still in production.
    Your Contax on the other hand is a dead platform (I'm sorry but you have to face it). Now you blame a certain manufacturer for not supporting it, I mean does that make sense? From the manufacturer's position it certainly does not. Would you sell backs (for very little money at best) to customers who buy their cameras on the second hand market while you could earn so much more through the sale of lenses, vertical grips etc?

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    Re: MF... will it survive?

    I'm gone for the day folks just keep it friendly.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Senior Member MaxKißler's Avatar
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    Re: MF... will it survive?

    Please tell me what it is that you are missing from todays MF industry. Is this all just about multishot technology?

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    Re: MF... will it survive?

    Quote Originally Posted by tsjanik View Post
    Given Nikon's stock plumment, you may well ask if tradional cameras will survive.

    Nikon Stock Plummets 19% After Cutting Profit Forecast, Biggest Drop Since 1985

    Tom

    This news doesn't surprise me. It was just a matter of time. Nikon/ Cannon were driven enormously by dslr sales over the past many years. Now that virtually everyone owns a dslr and given the base level cameras offer more then average public needs (those who only shoot and upload to facebook, flickr). There is no reason for them to continue the buying cycle.
    Medium format is best left as a niche market for it to be successful. I personally do not own a MFDB..shoot medium & LF film. Look at Ilford, they are doing very well.

  50. #50
    Senior Member Nathan W. Lediard's Avatar
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    Re: MF... will it survive?

    Quote Originally Posted by Theodoros Fotometria View Post
    No... this is no way of topic... (Nathan above is!!!) just a (welcome) different view that I disagree with... You see, I consider ability to change light sensitive area, choose another one, change the VF, the screen or use my light sensitive area on another camera, ...much more of modularity than being able to use some more lenses... A different POV I think...
    Off topic? how so? I am giving examples of why I choose DMF, I am sure I am not the only one.. that means that there are photographers buying digital medium format equipment, if people are buying it then the chances of survival are higher are they not?

    Sorry I didnt spell it out, but I thought it was clear enough reading between the lines

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