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Thread: Leica cafeteria

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    Leica cafeteria

    Conversation recently overheard in Leica factory cafeteria:

    Dettleff: (Chief of R & D)
    "All the S2 bodies and lenses are ready to ship. They are thoroughly tested and are perfect. By the way, how much are we charging for them?"
    Dieter: (Chief of Marketing)
    "...15,000 euros for the body and 5000 for the 70mm kit lens. We're giving a discount of 1,000 euro..so, the total is 19,000 euro or about 26,000 dollars.
    Dettleff: "..Emmh...Why don't we flood the market with cheap S2 bodies, say 5000 euro and adapters for old Hassy V, Pentax, and Mamiya lenses? Most pros won't replace their old Phase, Hassy, Leaf, Sinar systems overnight. If the S2 with 70mm only cost 9k or 10k euros, they'll be able to "slide" into our system and then add our really-expensive-money-making-lenses later on when they find out how easy it is to manually focus with the S2 and what a great picture it turns out. I mean, who wants to hand hold a front heavy Hassy H or a Phamiya all day when you have a beautiful S2 snuggled up against your eye. Remember, we have a new proprietary lens mount...no bodies...no lens sale. They'll buy our lenses eventually because everyone agrees they are the best. If we keep the cost of the bodies low, pros can have back-up bodies which really defines who a pro is anyway. Fed Ex doesn't save you...Another body in the your camera case will. Or at least the rental company can have several extra bodies ready to go. We can charge more for the S3 later. The test for the S3 are going well...full HD video and in-body image stabilization look great so far. Video from this camera with our lenses is just spectacular. It look so good that I'm worried Red or Sony might try and buy us.

    Dieter: "...Dettleff, you might have something here. I can't do your job, but your sure can do mine. I'm going to run this by Dr. K. If this works I owe you a really good Kirschwasser.

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    Re: Leica cafeteria

    Nicely done. Only weak point - it assumes logical market-entry tactics will enter the pricing equation on the S2.

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    Re: Leica cafeteria

    I doubt that Dr. K. came back to Dettleff

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    Re: Leica cafeteria

    Immaginative and cute first post, Sully, welcome!

    There seems to be all sorts of speculation on how to properly price the S2, and most of it is built around the price where they could make the most inroads in the marketplace. This usually means a lowball pricing that, once successful, will allow them to then sell into an established base with the more profitable lenses.

    It strikes me that Leica will more likely take the route that history has shown to be their forté. Mindful that with the current market being what it is, German pragmatism may dictate an 'offer them Leica quality for a price that will yield enough profit to continue R & D" attitude. Somehow, I just don't see Leica willing to sell at a price that means losing money on each sale. If Leica quality and performance can't sell into the distressed market, then the German bankruptcy courts will have another client in their files.

    Loss leaders are creditable in a normal market (whatever that is ), but if the market stays lousy for a protracted period, the concept will not work.
    Roger
    Leica M6, M8.2 & assorted Leica glass

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    Workshop Member ptomsu's Avatar
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    Re: Leica cafeteria

    Do not underestimate the money Dr. K is willing to put into Leica and their survival. So this might end up in a rather high price and wait till the S2 can be sold again, once the market has recovered.

    Even if this makes no sense because the concept of the S2 will be outdated in almost another 1 or 2 years. And then a S3 has to see the light of the day.

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    Senior Member Graham Mitchell's Avatar
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    Re: Leica cafeteria

    Fun post but if anyone was drinking kirschwasser, it was the eavesdropper

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    Re: Leica cafeteria

    The concept of the S2 won't be outdated in X years, but the specs might. With a complete system in place, it is easy to take the S2 and update electronics, sensor, AF, and whatever else needs it, when market needs dictate it.
    Carsten - Website

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    Re: Leica cafeteria

    I am starting to question if this will even come into the market as it stands today and may just wait for a better recovery period to hold out for. Tell ya right now i am not waiting for it.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Workshop Member ptomsu's Avatar
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    Re: Leica cafeteria

    Quote Originally Posted by carstenw View Post
    The concept of the S2 won't be outdated in X years, but the specs might. With a complete system in place, it is easy to take the S2 and update electronics, sensor, AF, and whatever else needs it, when market needs dictate it.
    Market needs (MF competition) already dictates the update today. Bringing a whatever new format larger than 35mm and then only 37MP is kind of a joke - sorry.

    And it gets more and more a joke as every month passes by and we do not see this wonderful camera.

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    Re: Leica cafeteria

    You mean because there are 4 backs which have sensors which are 25-40% larger in area, or 15-20% larger linearly, in the MF world, a 37MP sensor is a joke? You still believe in the megapixel fairy, don't you? If you can state a single solid use case where 50MP is enough but 37MP too little (I strongly assume that the 60MP variant will retain its very large price differential significantly beyond this summer), then I will salute you, and no, I don't mean the hand-waving kind of "every pixel counts" vague variation.
    Carsten - Website

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    Workshop Member ptomsu's Avatar
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    Re: Leica cafeteria

    Quote Originally Posted by carstenw View Post
    You mean because there are 4 backs which have sensors which are 25-40% larger in area, or 15-20% larger linearly, in the MF world, a 37MP sensor is a joke? You still believe in the megapixel fairy, don't you? If you can state a single solid use case where 50MP is enough but 37MP too little (I strongly assume that the 60MP variant will retain its very large price differential significantly beyond this summer), then I will salute you, and no, I don't mean the hand-waving kind of "every pixel counts" vague variation.
    Actually I do not care if 40 or 50MP, but I definitely care if 40 or 60MP or even more

    The point I want to make here is - it is again coming down to the usual delay, delay, delay thing of Leica. If they had the S2 ready for shipment at last PK 2008, then it would have been a great and interesting solution.

    Now they will bring this beast earliest autumn 2009, real shipment will then start 2010, if not later. Judge yourself which systems/Megapixels etc in the MF area will then be available for which amount of money and which IQ coming out of the box.

    I think this is the answer already implied

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    Re: Leica cafeteria

    I don't understand two things.

    First of all, how does a 32000+camera Euro (guessing here) product make a 15000 product obsolete?

    Secondly, what application needs the extra 17% in print length enough to pay 17000 Euro extra, and are you *actually* going to pay that? That is the cost of two S2s...

    The end result is a combination of sensor and optical technology. It is not clear that Phase One's total result will even reach the 17% improvement that the sensor alone promises. We will have to wait and see. I think it is a safe bet that it won't for all focal lengths, although it might for some...

    The camera and the first four lenses are shipping this year. That is enough for some buyers to start with. I don't know why you essentially say that nothing is there until everything is there.

    Finally, Leica is not even aiming at the top resolution backs, but at the border between DSLR and MF. I doubt that anyone is considering buying an S2 instead of a P65+ or an H3DII-50. I don't know why you make this comparison.
    Carsten - Website

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    Re: Leica cafeteria

    Quote Originally Posted by ptomsu View Post
    The point I want to make here is - it is again coming down to the usual delay, delay, delay thing of Leica. If they had the S2 ready for shipment at last PK 2008, then it would have been a great and interesting solution.
    Actually, the S2 was always promised for end of summer 2009. So, no delay here.

    As far as the announcement at Photokina and not delivering for 9 months...Let's say that Leica didn't let any info out about the S2 at PK08 and kept it a secret. Then, with a month's notice just came out with the S2 in Aug/Sep 09. I'm sure the time from Photokina until the product launch would have be riddled with criticism about Leica being too secretive or stagnant.

    Instead, Leica is being open about the S2 development and using feedback as part of the process. Many at Photokina requested a dedicated AF/AE lock button. By PMA, this was implemented. Isn't it nice to have a camera company that is receptive to customer wishes? Leica didn't just announce an idea. They showed 20 working prototypes with lenses. I'll remind you that Phase had non-working mock-ups of leaf shutter lenses behind glass at Photokina with no indication of price or delivery date. They still don't.

    Now they will bring this beast earliest autumn 2009, real shipment will then start 2010, if not later. Judge yourself which systems/Megapixels etc in the MF area will then be available for which amount of money and which IQ coming out of the box.
    Real shipments will start at introduction. There is no reason to delay once the camera is shipping. Will it be tough to get initially? Sure. Many have already pre-ordered the S2. They will surely get the first units. Demand from rental studios will also absorb much of the early supply. So, if you are currently on the fence, maybe you're right. You will have to wait a few months before you can get your hands on one.

    As far as other MF systems coming to market.... seriously? The MF companies are having enough trouble selling through what they already have, even with the massive price cutting. Why would they invest more money into an oversaturated and depressed market? These companies are really just trying to survive right now. Leica, on the other hand, started their investment in the S2 long before the financial crisis, and has an owner/investor who has both the long view in mind and the money to back up this effort. Can you really see Phase or Hassy or Leaf putting 30+ million Euro into making a new camera platform, especially right now? With the P65+ and H3D-50/60 just introduced a few months ago, I really, really doubt anything truly new or innovative will be launched by P, H, or L in the next 5-6 months.

    And, for those who would have criticized Leica for not announcing pricing at Photokina, doesn't it seem like the smart move now? There have now been two rounds of price slashing amongst the MFD players since the fall. I'm sure, if things continue the way they are, there will probably be another. By waiting quietly on the sidelines and repeating the mantra, "The S2 will be competitively priced to comparable MFD systems at the time of introduction," Leica gets to swoop in and price the S2 correctly at launch time. Pretty clever, if you ask me.

    David
    David Farkas
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    Re: Leica cafeteria

    The S2 promises to be an integrated hi-res hi-optic product. Its not the highest res, altho its likely to be the highest optic, and among the most (if not the most) critically aligned.

    There is likely a market niche for this, esp. between DSLR and MFDB. Where exactly depends on many factors. It is interesting to see how we all have speculated on this, and still don't have it nailed down yet. Maybe we need the camera now?

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    Workshop Member ptomsu's Avatar
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    Re: Leica cafeteria

    Quote Originally Posted by dfarkas View Post
    Actually, the S2 was always promised for end of summer 2009. So, no delay here.
    Actually October 2009 is no longer summer 2009 - at least in my understanding. One can argue this is only one months and actually one months is not the issue. But the knowledge built up over the last decades when Leica has a product ready it still takes months or years before they can ship efficiently except if you are privileged and have your own channels to get things faster.

    Quote Originally Posted by dfarkas View Post
    Instead, Leica is being open about the S2 development and using feedback as part of the process. Many at Photokina requested a dedicated AF/AE lock button. By PMA, this was implemented. Isn't it nice to have a camera company that is receptive to customer wishes? Leica didn't just announce an idea. They showed 20 working prototypes with lenses. I'll remind you that Phase had non-working mock-ups of leaf shutter lenses behind glass at Photokina with no indication of price or delivery date. They still don't.
    I agree, this is one good thing about Leica today. I would like to see Phase One doing similar things. On the other hand I know that HaBla is doing this all the time. So in best case Leica learned from HaBla here.


    Quote Originally Posted by dfarkas View Post
    Real shipments will start at introduction. There is no reason to delay once the camera is shipping. Will it be tough to get initially? Sure. Many have already pre-ordered the S2. They will surely get the first units. Demand from rental studios will also absorb much of the early supply. So, if you are currently on the fence, maybe you're right. You will have to wait a few months before you can get your hands on one.
    Not sure how this works in the US, but here in Austria I can test and try the S2 a soon as it arrives at our local representation. And they will have one demo equipment. And they told me, if I want one I can get one in October (or when the S2's start shipping). No reason for delay? Sure there is not, but I am not sure how well you know Leica over the past decades in being able to ship, even when a product was ready. And I really doubt this has changed. Just take the new Noctilux for example or the fast wides for the M system. You have to wait several months once you order.

    Quote Originally Posted by dfarkas View Post
    As far as other MF systems coming to market.... seriously? The MF companies are having enough trouble selling through what they already have, even with the massive price cutting. Why would they invest more money into an oversaturated and depressed market? These companies are really just trying to survive right now. Leica, on the other hand, started their investment in the S2 long before the financial crisis, and has an owner/investor who has both the long view in mind and the money to back up this effort. Can you really see Phase or Hassy or Leaf putting 30+ million Euro into making a new camera platform, especially right now? With the P65+ and H3D-50/60 just introduced a few months ago, I really, really doubt anything truly new or innovative will be launched by P, H, or L in the next 5-6 months.
    Right, the other MF companies are trying to survive. But the situation is even worse for Leica. They do not have a market established in MF, nor do they still own a SLR market any longer, after messing up the R system over the last decades. Instead they need to build new trust and a new customer base. What they have is an insane financing, I call it insane, because someone (Dr. K.) is burning money in this company and their developments. Of course, as long as this is done, there will be development and maybe they are lucky to reach the right point in time and economy, that one of their developments takes off. Maybe this is the S System - who knows. But the others like Hasselblad have done these developments many years ago, or would you consider the H System ust something they built over night based on the V System???? And they are still developing, maybe not in the optimal steps (I would have skipped the 50MP back and directly gone to a 60MP back as Phase One did), but they are not sleeping, nor standing still, and investing a sane portion of their revenue in new development. From the business perspective I trust this approach actually more than the Leica approach.

    Quote Originally Posted by dfarkas View Post
    And, for those who would have criticized Leica for not announcing pricing at Photokina, doesn't it seem like the smart move now? There have now been two rounds of price slashing amongst the MFD players since the fall. I'm sure, if things continue the way they are, there will probably be another. By waiting quietly on the sidelines and repeating the mantra, "The S2 will be competitively priced to comparable MFD systems at the time of introduction," Leica gets to swoop in and price the S2 correctly at launch time. Pretty clever, if you ask me.

    David
    There was only one round of price slashing since PK2008 and I would actually love that there have been more rounds. The real positive thing I see in another MF-like system, which at least is generating some competition in this market is, that it hopefully will fore another price slashing round. So I do not consider this a specifically smart move by Leica, but a necessity for them to price the system competitively once they can start shipping. Not sure what one can call clever here.

    David[/QUOTE]
    Last edited by ptomsu; 14th April 2009 at 22:51.

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    Re: Leica cafeteria

    David - the S2 has a mountain of issues to climb and I wish leica all the best. I want them to make a pile of money and totally change the landscape of high megapixel photography in SLR form.












    .....then I want them to develop the full frame M with 20 megapixels and some decent high ISO- and will buy one for sure .



    Best
    pete

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    Re: Leica cafeteria

    [QUOTE=PeterA;91945]
    .....then I want them to develop the full frame M with 20 megapixels and some decent high ISO- and will buy one for sure .
    /QUOTE]

    Good idea Peter. Yes, they can do that right after they release the R10, which, if its any good and I can still afford it by then I'll take one and the full frame 20 megapixel M!

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    Re: Leica cafeteria

    Given the current price of a H3DII-31, how much more will they drop the price before the S2 is even in production? Leica really need to get a move on before Hasselblad is able to kill the S2 before it even hits a single dealers shelves. Remember Leica needs to establish a system, bring out lenses, sort out dealers and support and rentals and that is before they start to recover the R&D costs. The big H has none of those problems, the R&D is probably all long paid for and their -31 system is already under what most would expect the S2 to go for and you bet they'll drop it further drastically by the end of 2009.
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    Workshop Member ptomsu's Avatar
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    Re: Leica cafeteria

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Rubinstein View Post
    Given the current price of a H3DII-31, how much more will they drop the price before the S2 is even in production? Leica really need to get a move on before Hasselblad is able to kill the S2 before it even hits a single dealers shelves. Remember Leica needs to establish a system, bring out lenses, sort out dealers and support and rentals and that is before they start to recover the R&D costs. The big H has none of those problems, the R&D is probably all long paid for and their -31 system is already under what most would expect the S2 to go for and you bet they'll drop it further drastically by the end of 2009.
    Ben,

    same thoughts here!

    Hasselblad is already significantly cheaper today compared to Phase One and I am sure they will further drop prices of their 31 and 39MP bundles as soon as their 60MP back comes to market - which is expected in July 2009, so a further price reduction should follow same time or maybe a few months later. Maybe they wait tlll the Leica S2 hits the market and then drop their 39MP bundle significantly below the Leica price.

    This is what I would do in their place and actually I am hoping for another price drop before I go and buy.

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    Re: Leica cafeteria

    Price battle already began - latest reduction for Hasselblad

    H3D2/31MP Bundle - €9.990.-

    http://www.hasselblad.com/promotions...-campaign.aspx

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    Re: Leica cafeteria

    I thought that said $9990! I was almost buying my ticket to the states...
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    Workshop Member ptomsu's Avatar
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    Re: Leica cafeteria

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Rubinstein View Post
    I thought that said $9990! I was almost buying my ticket to the states...
    No, its EURO unfortunately

    But it should be an indication where we could be with a S2 price in autumn

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