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Thread: Leaf moves manufacture to China?

  1. #51
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    Re: Leaf moves manufacture to China?

    Really sad to see all this companies to struggle so hard. Lets not make final conclusions before there are final facts. Too much speculation could make life even harder for them.

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    Re: Leaf moves manufacture to China?

    I would really like to hear from Francke & Heidecke, and a sign of life from Sinar would also be comforting. These companies all have a tendency to be too quiet, especially when there is rampant speculation due to various factors. I am not particularly worried about Phase One, Hasselblad or Leica at this time.
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    Re: Leaf moves manufacture to China?

    @ Tom

    I am not a brand guy either, I have owned almost every brand and they all have their advantages and disadvantages.

    I care meanwhile only for the best (or almost best) and of course affordable solution for me and this can be from any brand. So also my time I stay with one brand is always limited. There are exceptions like the M System and this was also the reason I was going through all the issues with my M( - starting from having each lens individually adjusted in Solms (sometimes twice) etc etc.

    So which system I will chose for MF is still undetermined, but as Leica and all their decisions have really burned me hard in the past years (maybe my own stupidity because I was relying on them) there is definitely a certain amount of reservation for this company from my side. So they need to prove to be ok and if I am still available for an MF system then, it might work out.

    Has nothing to do with the fact that I like some of their approaches especially in the S System Nothing else I said and I am still fascinated by their optical quality.

    What is so difficult here to understand?

    I really stop my conversation WRT this topic now because it is waste of time. Some people want to listen, some not and some do not even want to hear anything bad about Leica. Everyone as he/she likes, I could not care less actually

  4. #54
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    Re: Leaf moves manufacture to China?

    Peter, I agree with you : this seems to end in an useless discussion, you have your opinion - and it seems its not possible to go into a fact based discussion.
    So lets move on. Tom

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    Re: Leaf moves manufacture to China?

    Quote Originally Posted by ptomsu View Post
    WRT Hasselblad and P1 expresstrain - you will never get this from Leica! Especially not if they keep going with their 3-system strategy (M, R-follow up, S). They are just a tiny company, with admittedly GREAT ideas and thoughts and skills, but they only can do SO much .....
    Just to clarify....

    Number of employees:
    Hasselblad ~100
    Phase One ~120
    Leica ~1100

    Leica is about ten times larger than either Phase or Hasselblad. To put this in perspective, Leica has invested the equivalent of Phase One's annual gross revenue in R&D for the S2.

    In the same speech that Dr. Kaufmann mentioned Leica Cinema, he also mentioned a 0.95 Noctilux (I just received my first shipment last week) as one of about 24 new lenses Leica would be releasing in the following 2-3 years (this was Oct 2007). Since then, they have worked towards delivering on that promise with 10 new M lenses, 9 S lenses that will be released in the coming months, and "something else" to follow (most likely AF R lenses). These new lenses aren't just rehashes and updates of older or existing lenses. Each one is brand new and pushes the bounds of what is possible in those given focal lengths. I'm not sure anyone realizes it, but this "express train" of lens designs outpaces Nikon, Canon, Mamiya, and Hasselblad combined.

    I also must say that the three system approach is what I think gives Leica more stability in the market. If you are Leaf, you have one product in several flavors. You make and sell digital backs. There is no diversification. If sales of MFDB slump (they have) you have one choice - cut prices. At a certain point, you can't cut anymore and you've now devalued your product. Revenues are down which hinder future R&D. Without R&D, you can't be competitive by offering innovative and attractive products.

    Leica is well-diversified. The M system has a large following. Leica makes digital and analog cameras, 20 M lenses, and a plethora of accessories. Their sport optics business is strong with an entirely new line of binoculars and spotting scopes. The R system is on hiatus/in development right now until after the S2, but should be in full swing within a year. And, compact digital cameras continue to be a great line for them. The D-Lux 4 has been a run-away success.

    So, Leica has size, resources, fully-funded R&D, a well-diversified business model, an owner who is more focused on long term strategy than short-term quarterly results, and a company with a motivation to succeed. I'd take that bet over a company with lagging sales, stalled R&D, layoffs, drastic price slashing and a limited product portfolio.

    David
    David Farkas
    Leica Store Miami

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    Re: Leaf moves manufacture to China?

    Quote Originally Posted by dfarkas View Post
    In the same speech that Dr. Kaufmann mentioned Leica Cinema, he also mentioned a 0.95 Noctilux (I just received my first shipment last week) as one of about 24 new lenses Leica would be releasing in the following 2-3 years (this was Oct 2007). Since then, they have worked towards delivering on that promise with 10 new M lenses, 9 S lenses that will be released in the coming months, and "something else" to follow (most likely AF R lenses).
    I wonder if the missing lenses and the "Leica Cinema" comment are related?

    So, Leica has size, resources, fully-funded R&D, a well-diversified business model, an owner who is more focused on long term strategy than short-term quarterly results, and a company with a motivation to succeed. I'd take that bet over a company with lagging sales, stalled R&D, layoffs, drastic price slashing and a limited product portfolio.
    (for Peter) Again, Hasselblad, as strong as they look, don't to my knowledge have any diversification. They have the strongest system on the market today, and they totally dominate the two-tone camera market, but if MFDBs slump, they can be hit hard just like Leaf. They will be able to survive longer, but not forever. I hope that no other companies go under, and that Leaf finds a solution.
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    Re: Leaf moves manufacture to China?

    I wrote 25 comments and deleted them all. I just can't say something that is rational at this point. I honestly can't even make a joke out of it.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Leaf moves manufacture to China?

    Give us a hint, Guy
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    Re: Leaf moves manufacture to China?

    I can't laughing way to hard. Back to work for this laddie.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Leaf moves manufacture to China?

    Awwww
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    Re: Leaf moves manufacture to China?

    Quote Originally Posted by dfarkas View Post
    Just to clarify....

    Number of employees:
    Hasselblad ~100
    Phase One ~120
    Leica ~1100

    David
    Way off there. More than 200 for us.

    Is the 1100 for Leica all in the camera division? Or spread across Geo systems, binos etc etc?

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    Re: Leaf moves manufacture to China?

    Quote Originally Posted by David Grover / Hasselblad View Post
    Way off there. More than 200 for us.

    Is the 1100 for Leica all in the camera division? Or spread across Geo systems, binos etc etc?
    I believe the 1100 is across all divisions and not just cameras David.

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    Re: Leaf moves manufacture to China?

    The 1100 as it relates to the company's diversification is relevant to the ability to survive, and so it is the better number to compare in this case. For innovation compared to Hasselblad and others in the camera field, the number of employees of the camera division would be more interesting. David, do you know how many employees there are in the camera division?
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    Re: Leaf moves manufacture to China?

    Hasselblad is owned by a private family owned trading company with a very diversified portfolio of businesses and based in HK. Sinar ( the other one that wont go away ) is part of a large group of companies called Jenoptic. Phase One is ..umm..( 'owned' by management?? ) cant comment on whether it is self financed or whether the MBO had private equity backing. I cant even say wether the software isnt a separate profit center or has its own separate business co-licensing the brand name.

    Do a Porter Analysis on the Industry structure and some undergad economics with a touch of basic accounting - all the answers are text book and inevitable..

    From a customers point of view - make hay whilst the sun shines boys...you better be a professional who can depreciate the 'use' in terms of tax dollars ( quite a silly mindset really) Or a well heeled eccentric with the discretionary income to make such a purchase in flimflammery -MFD is cool , cutting edge and powerful so its worth the outlay -but its a consumable with some kudos/functionality..( another silly mindset)

    Leaving aside issues to do with 'rationalisation of product purchase' - irrespective of market segment or segmentation - any way you cut it..every consumer demographic is feeling the squeeze in terms of total cash-flow going into their bank account - the pain is being felt everywhere.

    MFD is discretionary expenditure - just like anything else really..and it lies at the high end of expenditure which has a very very elastic demand curve. MFD back makers have been focusing on harvesting every nook and cranny of potential in this part of the camera industry, the supply in-elasticity of a few years ago ..has already given in to the force of the elasticity of demand ...there is no fat for them to cut or live off..they have been competing dog eat dog in a high cost low return business forever....

    and the demand for this stuff will fall hard and hurt total industry profitability which run on poor ROI/ROE dynamics - shareholders/owners are leveraged to the downside...big time..

    Anyway we don't know wether Leaf the MFD manufacturer/marketer isnt a different part of the Kodak division - maybe they have been sold off..instead of closed - maybe they bought themselves..or maybe even organised a merger..we will know when the business has something to say to its customers...maybe nothing has changed at all..and it is business as usual.

    dealers will survive - if they are diversified and sell product across all price points..and services on top which they can charge for..but there will be far fewer...

    Companies will merge if they have synergies ..or die if they dont. Hasselblad has the total product offer and integrity to maybe outlast Phase One - depending on Phase One's balance sheet and how much pain the slug a thon would cause..it is a tough call..really and I wont bother to do any more thinking than that - seriously there is no money in the end result ..thats a no brainer.

    When industries get to that mature and decaying state - players either consolidate or die. Simple as that. Hate to say this guys - but our backs from a monetary perspective are a write off in a couple of years..

    Still who cares - if it does'nt matter - the monetary perspective..if it is already a write off and who cares...or already/nearly got the revenue to offset the depreciation..well thats just fine too!

    Everyone else is just sitting on teh sidelines - watching. Look in this thread alone - two people who regularly post - dont shoot MFD. Watchers..waiting -

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    Re: Leaf moves manufacture to China?

    Quote Originally Posted by David Grover / Hasselblad View Post
    Way off there. More than 200 for us.

    Is the 1100 for Leica all in the camera division? Or spread across Geo systems, binos etc etc?
    Thanks for the clarification. Hasselblad is certainly better positioned in the marketplace than Leaf. You control the design and manufacture of camera bodies, lenses, backs, and accessories. IIRC Hasselblad invested $12 million developing the H system back in 2002. Having an integrated system that "just works" is a good thing right now.

    Leica Geosystems, Leica Microsystems, and Leica Camera are three entirely different companies (they split in the 1980's). Dr. Kaufmann's ACM Management owns Leica Camera AG and the 1100 number is just for this company. They make cameras and sport optics only. At least 60% is dedicated to cameras and lenses.

    David
    David Farkas
    Leica Store Miami

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    Re: Leaf moves manufacture to China?

    One minor point regarding the independence of Hasselblad, which is also mirrored with Phase One, is the reliance on the existance of Fuji (and Mamiya, respectively). Phase One is is control of the Mamiya situation, being major investors. I don't know how strong Fuji is. At least their film side must be hurting, but I don't know how large they are or where they derive the greater part of their income (or loss).
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    Re: Leaf moves manufacture to China?

    Quote Originally Posted by georgl View Post
    I'll stop here because it becomes a little bit too off-topic and too political for a photographic board, anyway it's a complex (and important) topic
    yep ... look at the IBM range of Thinkpads. Went to Lenovo and then they lost all US government agencies who used them. The were on the space shuttle once.

    BTW ... I'm Australian ... so not really Pro American ... but I agree with this point.

  18. #68
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    Re: Leaf moves manufacture to China?

    Quote Originally Posted by carstenw View Post
    One minor point regarding the independence of Hasselblad, which is also mirrored with Phase One, is the reliance on the existance of Fuji (and Mamiya, respectively). Phase One is is control of the Mamiya situation, being major investors. I don't know how strong Fuji is. At least their film side must be hurting, but I don't know how large they are or where they derive the greater part of their income (or loss).
    This is the issue right here a lot of bad assumptions on how financially Hassy and Phase truly are, of course sales are down for everyone but amount of employee's and stuff like that means absolutely nothing at all. All I read here is marketing toilet paper. People need to stop making assumptions on this stuff. I WANT FACTS and have seen NONE of anything said here. Seriously all I read anymore about Leica is Kool aid talk. Having 1100 employees is also a huge risk in salaries and everything else when sales are down and no product selling at break neck speed. Being diversified is good but it also can be the death of a company. Obviously you don't hear about that end of it. It's all about managing the risk versus rewarded, you don't see that stuff on the balance sheets. Posturing is the word of the day and that is all I see coming out lately. Easy to do when your products still have not hit the streets.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Leaf moves manufacture to China?

    Having more than 1000 employees (and the necessary profit to pay them) is of course an advantage instead of having just 100 employees. Disadvantages with size usually kick in later (communication & logistics in big companies) while diversification gives more economic safety and R&D are more powerful by the larger budgets and staff.
    I think Leica Camera isn't even diversified enough, the should have never ripped the company apart, they now have many lens manufacturing/assemblies instead of one for different markets (microsopes, photographic lenses, industry...) and electronic know-how needed for digital cameras is "hidden" by Leica Microsystems...
    But at least the can develop/buy electronics not only for the S2 but also for the R10, M9 and hopefully a digital compact, too.

    But we don't have enough information, that's true, I don't think any of the companies has much basic component manufacturing left, the cameras are just assembled, only Leica has it's own lens-know-how. But what happens when Kodak goes nuts and Dalsa is not interested in sensors anymore or Sony doesn't want to share it's market with Nikon... Then we're in big trouble!

    What we know is that Leica invested more into R&D of the S-System than ever before and has a big group of people working on it and I think we noticed the differences already in comparison to other MF-offers - while my M8 feels much more like an MFDB (I think the development staff was about 20 people?).

    What really makes me wonder is the fact that Phase doesn't want to invest into a new die-cast-tool for it's backs (or HSC-machining it directly) but rather brings to cool new backs on the market with the same crappy, small LCD to stay with the same body...

    Hopefully Leica makes everything right, it would be really helpful to have a not-too-small company in the high-end-market!

  20. #70
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    Re: Leaf moves manufacture to China?

    Just came from DMV (I swear time moved backwards), so am in a REALLY foul mood. You've been warned:

    1. Size of firm has nothing to do with probability of continued success. If anything, as Guy suggests, larger can lead to taking one's eyes of the ball, diversifying to fast, decisions made due to internal politics vs. common sense, blah, blah, blah. More firms have been killed by over-expansion than any other single factor in history.

    2. Lets see, Leica PHOTO product portfolio/cushion. Products currently made and selling:

    - M7 (IIRC)
    - M8.2
    - Lenses for same
    - Parts for same.
    - Some bits and pieces of P&S gear in conjunction w/Panasonic.

    - R system - dead, buried and obit published.
    - S system - handful of prototypes, mockups and LOTS of internet-based hype/wishful thinking, Leicaphile mental 'self-gratification', LFI, uh, ahem, 'tests' (ROTFL) -- and Leicaphile-baiting by Zeiss/Nikon/Canonphiles - all of whom of are just as $%^& as the people they try and (all TOO easily BTW) bait.

    Some cheap-seat advice: If you're a cast-iron, die-hard, 'logic is for skeptics', 'my underwear has Leica dots' Leicaphile -- make your life a lot easier and don't rise to the bait every time some $%^& flicks that big red button on your forehead. Watching it happen here, on FM, LUF, etc., is like watching someone fishing with hand-grenades. The first boom and sushi-toss is neat in sadistic way -- but it gets tragic very quickly.

    If you regard the attached as one such 'flick', it isn't, but it case you think it is, just think of much better your blood pressure will be if you put your keyboard aside...

    Oh, if you think the other unit heads at Leica are going to sit there and watch Dr. K, if need be, let the photo line feed of their product line R&D, etc ad infinitum, forget it. Valuable talent will leave IF that should look to be a trend within the firm.

    3. Who gives a @#$%^ what Leica spent on R&D on the S2? They needed to spend what they needed to spend to get the #$%^& thing to where it is now. Same as Hassy did with the V, 200 and H systems, Mamiya with (pick a camera), Leaf, etc., etc. That was the EASY part. If anything Leica has it easy vs Hassy, Leaf, etc. Bang/$$ and integration in digital imaging tech has increased X fold since the other players broke ground in MFDBs.

    4. Being established MEDIUM FORMAT vendors with established markets, established service systems, established dealers (see a pattern here) and established and SELLING products, Hassy/Phase/Mamiya/Leaf get EXPONENTIALLY more bang per R&D and S&M $$ spent than Leica does currently on the S series. Selling someone an M8.2 is a LITTLE different than selling and supporting someone with a MFDB. Whether Leica gets this latter point will the THE sole determinant of whether the S2 ever sees more than 12 pro gear safe's.

    IF the S and it's required support structure becomes a success, then they will see that an improved 'R&D (and Selling & Marketing) leverage' factor - IF it becomes a success. However, the fewer units are sold, the lower your R&D and S&M leverage vs. the opposition.

    4. "....Leica has survived this long despite the glass-1/2-empty growd, etc, etc, blah, sip Kool-Aid, dribble" is like saying "I survived to 43 yrs so far, thus, logically I will live forever." Staying alive DOES NOT correlate to success as a business - it correlates to an absence of terminal abject failure. That's it.

    Being a former corporate M&A weasel and Street analyst, I LOVE business debates, etc, but I REALLY do wish people would put aside, as Guy says, the funny-tasting Kool-Aid AND the "I hate Leica for being, well, Leica" BS and look at things with some cold hard rationality.

    Optimism is always nice and I DO hope they do well, but that doesn't mean I'm going to ignore the HUGE mountain they have to climb to get this baby selling well, nor the huge risk they've taken with this very technologically-tantalizing product.

    There, that felt good. Very cathartic.
    Last edited by robmac; 27th May 2009 at 10:41.

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    Re: Leaf moves manufacture to China?

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    This is the issue right here a lot of bad assumptions on how financially Hassy and Phase truly are, of course sales are down for everyone but amount of employee's and stuff like that means absolutely nothing at all. All I read here is marketing toilet paper. People need to stop making assumptions on this stuff. I WANT FACTS and have seen NONE of anything said here. Seriously all I read anymore about Leica is Kool aid talk. Having 1100 employees is also a huge risk in salaries and everything else when sales are down and no product selling at break neck speed. Being diversified is good but it also can be the death of a company. Obviously you don't hear about that end of it. It's all about managing the risk versus rewarded, you don't see that stuff on the balance sheets. Posturing is the word of the day and that is all I see coming out lately. Easy to do when your products still have not hit the streets.
    I'd like facts too. Any company reps care to share revenue numbers for Phase, Hasselblad, Sinar, or Leaf? Or cash reserves? Or current R&D budget? Net losses/profits? Year over year sales comparisons? Market share stats?

    Because Leica is still a publicly traded company (for now), you can see their financials. The other companies are private and I'm sure are not willing to open their books. I'm not saying they should (I wouldn't in their position), but it's pretty hard to see just who is/isn't posturing right now.

    Drastic and continual price slashings of MFD gear don't exactly create a feeling of well-being in the marketplace. I hear you can get a great deal on a Chrysler right now, too.

    Besides the S2, there are other new products that have already hit the shelves. Every single 21 and 24 Lux that I get goes right out the door. I have a waiting list for the new Noctilux (which I started to receive last week). The 18 SE has been extremely popular and people are still buying new M8s and M8.2s. At our store, Leica C-Lux 3 and D-Lux 4 cameras outsell N and C compacts by about 100 to 1.

    The S2 is really only one piece of the puzzle for Leica. No Kool Aid here. It is simply a product that is different from current offerings and we will have to wait a few more months to see real world comparisons.

    To get back on topic....I guess my point was if sales of Leaf Aptus backs are down X% and it is the only product in their portfolio, where is the money coming from? Lack of diversification could be their undoing.

    David
    David Farkas
    Leica Store Miami

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    Re: Leaf moves manufacture to China?

    Quote Originally Posted by robmac View Post
    Leica PHOTO product portfolio/cushion. Products currently made and selling:

    - M7 (IIRC)
    - M8.2
    - Lenses for same
    - Parts for same.
    - Some bits and pieces of P&S gear in conjunction w/Panasonic.

    - R system - dead, buried and obit published.
    - S system - handful of prototypes, mockups
    - Projectors
    - Binoculars
    - Rangemasters
    - Rifle scopes
    - Spotting scopes
    - A new segment with at least two tripods. I don't mean the tabletop one.

    I don't know why you are trying to keep those last items out by emphasizing PHOTO. It is still part of the R&D, income, and bottom line, same company.

    The P&S stuff is selling like hotcakes and the M system was keeping itself afloat the last I heard. The binoculars are pricy, but so is the competition, and Leica is well regarded there too. I am not sure about this, perhaps David can fill us in, but the various sub-companies in the Leica group may also do consulting work for other companies. In the future, there is Leica Cinema coming, whatever that is, so that will be more diversification when it arrives. And the R system is not dead and buried, but is simply on hold until more manpower is freed up to continue it.

    Let's see Hasselblad's: 1 MF system and a couple of film scanners (!).
    Let's see Phase One's: 1 MF system, and 1 piece of niche software.

    I don't think anyone is trying to say that Phase or Hasselblad are about to go out of business, but the MF segment in general is looking rough, and it wouldn't take too many months of very low sales to kill or severely damage even a strong company in this segment. Let's keep a perspective here: selling to pro photographers is not the most lucrative of businesses If the economy stays bad for another year or two, and the S2 is delayed, then it might arrive in a market with no other players.
    Last edited by carstenw; 27th May 2009 at 11:58.
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    Re: Leaf moves manufacture to China?

    Quote Originally Posted by carstenw View Post
    - Projectors
    - Binoculars
    - Rangemasters
    - Rifle scopes
    - Spotting scopes
    - A new segment with at least two tripods. I don't mean the tabletop one.

    I don't know why you are trying to keep those last items out by emphasizing PHOTO. It is still part of the R&D, income, and bottom line, same company.

    The P&S stuff is selling like hotcakes and the M system was keeping itself afloat the last I heard. The binoculars are pricy, but so is the competition, and Leica is well regarded there too. I am not sure about this, perhaps David can fill us in, but the various sub-companies in the Leica group may also do consulting work for other companies. In the future, there is Leica Cinema coming, whatever that is, so that will be more diversification when it arrives. And the R system is not dead and buried, but is simply on hold until more manpower is freed up to continue it.

    Let's see Hasselblad's: 1 MF system and a couple of film scanners (!).
    Let's see Phase One's: 1 MF system, and 1 piece of niche software.

    I don't think anyone is trying to say that Phase or Hasselblad are about to go out of business, but the MF segment in general is looking rough, and it wouldn't take too many months of very low sales to kill or severely damage even a strong company in this segment. Let's keep a perspective here: selling to pro photographers is not the most lucrative of businesses If the economy stays bad for another year or two, and the S2 is delayed, then it might arrive in a market with no other players.
    Hasselblad - some of the best film scanners in the world
    Phase One - a niche SW which is the clear leader if it comes to support of RAW and quality and useability

    Leica P&S - well what you regard as selling like hotcakes does not really mean they are leading
    Leica M - well somehow I would agree this system keeps itself alive
    Leica Projectors - forget them - almost not available and far too expensive - the old labeling syndrom here again
    Leica R System - DEAD for the moment - sold out - will never start life again
    Leica S System - great concept technically, lot of hot air still and will suffer same things the DMR suffered, once finally available already at the end of it's lifetime because of technical progress
    Leica binoculars - not really the best around - sorry to say but heard that from several people using binoculars in their daily professional life
    Leica cinema - we discussed this, for me just vapourware, they first have to prove what they can achieve
    Leica rest - maybe good - I don't know!

    Not in a good mood for Leica? No I am not! And there are number of reasons as we all know.

    S2 arrive in a market with no other players? If this is the case (which I doubt heavily) then also Leica will not be a player anymore!

    But one of my biggest concerns is the steady change of CEOs - the last one a few months ago. This cannot be good for a company, does not even have lot to do with the CEO quality, but just with providing a steady and trusty stream inside the company and also for the market. They clearly have failed in that discipline!
    Last edited by ptomsu; 27th May 2009 at 12:16.

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    Re: Leaf moves manufacture to China?

    Peter,

    Does this mean that you won't be buying an S2? As a Leica fan, I find that quite disturbing. Won't your negative views seriously impact Leica's chances of success?

    A week or two ago, when you were planning to buy an S2--maybe--I began putting money aside. Now that you think Leica is worthless--maybe--I don't know what to do.

    Please advise.

    Thank you

    Life is a never changing journey.
    Last edited by stephengilbert; 27th May 2009 at 12:38.

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    Re: Leaf moves manufacture to China?

    Quote Originally Posted by stephengilbert View Post
    Peter,

    Does this mean that you won't be buying an S2? As a Leica fan, I find that quite disturbing. Won't your negative views seriously impact Leica's chances of success?

    A week or two ago, when you were planning to buy an S2--maybe--I began putting money aside. Now that you think Leica is worthless--maybe--I don't know what to do.

    Please advise.

    Thank you

    Life is a never changing journey.
    You need to make up your own mind. Never count on someone other's opinion, because everyone has different preferences and thus your decision might easily be very different from mine.

    Also I did not say I would not buy an S2 if it really holds what it promises and if the price is right. But judge for yourself and with the knowledge you should have about the fast evolution in the digital world - especial digital photography - how long do you think the S2 will be able to defend it's unique and outstanding position once it sees the light of market before another vendor shows just something remarkably better? It will not just depend on the lenses, it will depend on the sensor, the firmware, the post processing SW etc etc - you know this of course. But will it be enough for you for enough timespan (because of the expected high price?

    Only you can tell for yourself.

    The other facts are facts and we can argue about their importance for buying an S2 but in the end of the day they are more important for some people as for others.

    PS: if your life is a never changing journey then your life is boring - and I do not believe that this is really the case .....

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    Re: Leaf moves manufacture to China?

    Carsten,

    With all respect due:

    The S2 will make/break Leica as a photo products developer. Hopefully the former, not the latter, but:

    "Oh, if you think the other unit heads at Leica are going to sit there and watch Dr. K, if need be, let the photo line feed off their product line R&D, etc., ad infinitum, forget it. Valuable talent will leave IF that should look to be a trend within the firm. "

    As in any company, where it's Leica with M/S bodies and binocs, etc., or SAAB with cars and fighter aircraft, each unit has to stand or die on its own. It comes a point where screwing the 'also rans' within a firm (which Im sure they consider themselves as) to keep a pet project product(s) flush with cash is no longer doable or tolerated internally -- regardless of who owns what stake.

    As for ''..selling like hotcakes..' That's relative vs Canon, Sony, Nikon, et al which sell far, far more P&S units per $$ spent in R&D accordingly than does Leica.

    Leica, the photo products developer is what we are concerned about. I doubt many hard-core Leicaphiles would feel good about the firm if Leica's photo market shrunk under it but the cinema/binoc, etc units thrived (relatively speaking).

    Hassy's future depends on it's MF cameras, not it's scanners. Phamiya's on it's current cameras, a future integrated unit and it's photo software, Leaf on it's backs, etc. Leica as a viable competitor to any of the preceding depends on the success of it's cameras, in this case the S2.

  27. #77
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    Re: Leaf moves manufacture to China?

    Quote Originally Posted by stephengilbert View Post
    Peter,

    Does this mean that you won't be buying an S2? As a Leica fan, I find that quite disturbing. Won't your negative views seriously impact Leica's chances of success?

    A week or two ago, when you were planning to buy an S2--maybe--I began putting money aside. Now that you think Leica is worthless--maybe--I don't know what to do.

    Please advise.

    Thank you

    Life is a never changing journey.
    LOL, brilliant! If you don't like Peter's current opinion on the S2, just wait 5 minutes. Sorry, Peter, but you you flip-flop so much on this issue that I am getting dizzy.
    Carsten - Website

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    Re: Leaf moves manufacture to China?

    Quote Originally Posted by robmac View Post
    The S2 will make/break Leica as a photo products developer.
    Huh? Let's make clear that this is your opinion/guess. No one here has this kind of information.

    It comes a point where screwing the 'also rans' within a firm (which Im sure they consider themselves as) to keep a pet project product(s) flush with cash is no longer doable or tolerated internally
    Could be. But this isn't the current situation, so it is rather hypothetical. Parts of the photo line are selling well, parts aren't. What the overall picture is I don't know, and I don't think that you do either.

    As for ''..selling like hotcakes..' That's relative vs Canon, Sony, Nikon, et al which sell far, far more P&S units per $$ spent in R&D accordingly than does Leica.
    I am sure that Leica's profit margin per camera is much higher in this segment, so that is a meaningless comparison. There is much more to this than any of us know.

    Leica doesn't look weak right now, a different situation than 5 years ago. The MF segment in general does. I had tipped Mamiya to be the next to die, but Phase jumped in. Leaf was a mild surprise, but to be honest, I would not be shocked even if the next company was Hasselblad or Phase. I don't think they will be, but we just don't know. Time will tell.
    Carsten - Website

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    Re: Leaf moves manufacture to China?

    Carsten we have to remember you can throw any amount of money to keep a company floating or more important a section of the company for as long as the willing party is willing to do that, but that does not always mean it is profitable but more likely survivable until the next round of products hits the decks or the market climbs again. My guess is Leica is in survival mode until the S2 comes to play. It's been a long time since the release of there last major camera and there may have been a load of money thrown at it to go a 2 year span until it becomes a profit center again with new product. Also the sports optics has done well . This all goes back to my original point one part of the company can be dipping in pig crap and the other doing well but unless you are sitting in those board meeting no one knows but what we do see is the balance sheet that is averaged. When problems arise and I have seen this is when say there are 5 major divisions in a company and 3 of them hit the wall the other 2 can't cover them and than everything hits the fan blades. Like I said things could be in survival mode for many companies like this but what keeps them going is another division. Seriously Phase does not seem short of any money and just dumped a load of money in Mamiya and my bet will suck something else up under it's wings very shortly. The issue is no one here really knows how much money is backing Phase and Hassy for that matter.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Leaf moves manufacture to China?

    You are right, we don't know. What we do know is how much money is backing up Leica, and what they earn. Right now, I would not say that they are in survival mode, more like ramping up for future projects, while perhaps breaking even between over- and under-performing units. The point is that there is a plan for each unit, and most of the plans look good. The one question mark is the R system. Yes, they do intend to return to it and bring it back to life, but what is their angle? Adding autofocus won't kill Canikony, even if they fix the mediocre performers in the excellent lens lineup.

    Anyway, Leica is interesting to watch, and at the moment they are gearing up for all kinds of things. In five years we can discuss their success/failure over a glass of wine, but in the meantime, it is all speculation, good or bad.

    Phase and Mamiya, I don't know. I sure hope you are right. All the MF companies have something different to offer, and they are all neat in their own way. The Mamiya is probably the weakest camera at the moment, but it is still good, and with Phase backing Mamiya, I expect improvements. However, given that they are privately owned by a few individuals, how long can they hold their breath while the industry is under water?

    I don't really know anything about Hasselblad. They are probably in the best shape of all in the MF segment, with a pretty complete system on hand. All they need is a focal plane shutter body, and they would have it all. But how are their finances going to hold up in an economy where everyone is waiting or going for the D3x? How committed are their Hong Kong owners? What about Fuji?

    All open questions. It is interesting to discuss, and more facts are always welcome, like David brings in from time to time, but really, we know so little.
    Carsten - Website

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    Re: Leaf moves manufacture to China?

    Quote Originally Posted by carstenw View Post
    LOL, brilliant! If you don't like Peter's current opinion on the S2, just wait 5 minutes. Sorry, Peter, but you you flip-flop so much on this issue that I am getting dizzy.
    Well in Peter's defense this really is tough call and I have been in the same situation as well as many MF shooters. Obviously this is a risk with a lot of money involved. Buying a Canon, Nikon or a M8 is almost a no brainer and get your money almost entirely back. MF is a different breed and really hard to make a decision. One of the issues is obviously Leica is well known for great optics but never been in this market and everything else that goes with it and not going to list them off like marketing toilet paper either for the better or worse. The big issue it is not out and no way to test it or see where it is at. Now Peter's situation is he wants to move on something and right now flip flopping is normal since he knows what is coming to a certain degree 4 months from now. Now I will also say the marketing or better word posturing on it is over the top. I can argue every good point about it with a counter point. For something that is not on the street a complete waste of time until than. Not that any MF system is better or worse they all have limitations on something but we are not hearing that part and let's face facts and i am a leica fan boy but some of this stuff is just coming off the ridiculous planet on some of these forums. It's hard to ignore it when you are trying to make a decision. And a decision that a load of REAL money. No one in there right mind wants to make a mistake and trust me I get the e-mails saying they made a mistake on a system and asking for advice. Believe me these are not rare messages but becoming more normal and folks are up against a wall. Okay I am jumping out of this conversation But this is a big investment.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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  32. #82
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    Re: Leaf moves manufacture to China?

    I admit survival mode is not the best choice of words but until someone goes down like a brick we can only speculate. Myself i am not worried about my investment in Phase/Mamiya for a second. I felt I made a good choice than and still do.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: Leaf moves manufacture to China?

    Yes, the Phase system seems to fit your needs very well. Still, I can't help but wonder what would go on in your head if the S2 came out and looked good. Just 3 more months, then we can put a lot of the speculation behind us.
    Carsten - Website

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    Re: Leaf moves manufacture to China?

    Honestly all I really want is just a updated body. Once phase /Mamiya gets that out the door most anyones issues will be gone except maybe the big LCD which still does not bug me. Just a more fluid body would be nice.

    BTW the S2 fits my hand very nicely , just not willing to take a chance on it until 2nd quarter next year and that is if everything hits all it's marks. I feel no need to jump on it at all
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: Leaf moves manufacture to China?

    buying photographic gear might be a never ending journey but the topic of this thread is leaf and there are probably a few guys around (including me) who - after having bought leaf products - are pretty much concerned about the future of this company.
    so why are you folks flooding this post with your half-baked nonsense about products you never seriously worked with. why are the majority of posts and the most silly and dogmatic positions coming from guys who are only dreaming but don`t even possess a mf?
    better to start your own "i always know better than you thread" or simply pick up whatever system you have and shoot a few frames. (and leave this thread to those who can contribute some relevant information)
    its a thorny way to achieve widom
    best
    wolf

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    Re: Leaf moves manufacture to China?

    Perhaps you can explain how ownership of a Leaf back makes you more qualified to comment on Leaf's current status than anyone else?

    No one appears to know what is going on with Leaf these days. Do you prefer an empty thread slipping off the bottom of the 1st page?

    Welcome to the ranks of the dogmatists and better-knowers, by the way. You clearly satisfy the requirements
    Last edited by carstenw; 27th May 2009 at 14:48.
    Carsten - Website

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    Re: Leaf moves manufacture to China?

    Carsten - yup, just my chicken-bone readings. Them and a $1.50 will get you a cup of coffee (stay out of Starbucks however).

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    Re: Leaf moves manufacture to China?

    thanx so much! it makes me proud having been upgraded that fast.

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    Re: Leaf moves manufacture to China?

    Hey, no problem, you sure came in with a bang.

    But you are at least partially right anyway. There are a few people here who speak out a fair amount, yet don't own an MFDB. I am probably the worst offender. I know I am opinionated, but I try to keep it fun and fair. But why am I here?

    I came here while planning to buy an MFDB, hoping to pick up some knowledge and learn some things in advance, so that I would be more ready. I also came to figure out what to get. I ended up buying the Contax 645 with 80/2, 35/3.5 and 120/4 macro, a kit which I really like. Especially the 35 and 120 really please me. But so far only film.

    I was hoping to make a quick sale of my Leica WATE, and so partially finance my ascent to MDFB ownership ranks in fairly quick order, but it appears that the second-hand market is just as dead as the new market at the moment. Having no other money on hand at this time, I guess I will have to sit tight for a while, or if there is little hope on the horizon, just get the A900 that I have been eyeing on the side. I guess that would make me happy for a while.

    Meanwhile, the technical threads here are drying up a bit, and the number of photos being posted has also gone down. I don't know if the economy is at fault, or if people are just too busy to post. Either way, what I came for is in short supply at the moment, and my upgrade is taking longer than planned.

    So, I think it is only fair if I leave this forum in peace until the time that I am also an MFDB owner. I might continue to read, but I promise not to post. I will reserve that for forums where I am closer to the goal, or am already an owner.

    Having said that, I feel compelled to point out that the real value of this forum, as in any other, comes from the people who post helpful technical information and photos, not from armchair strategists who just happen to be MFDB owners. People like Don, Jack and Guy give this place what makes it worth hanging out. There are many other MFDB owners who don't contribute much knowledge or art, and I don't see them as being very different from myself, in effective terms. I would hope that they recognize themselves and resolve to be more active in real terms.

    Anyway, good luck to all, and I wish you great light. Maybe we'll meet here again one day under more favorable terms (i.e. me having an MFDB).
    Carsten - Website

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    Re: Leaf moves manufacture to China?

    Unfortunately confirmed the the Leaf dealer in Israel:

    LEAF is discontinued

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    Re: Leaf moves manufacture to China?

    Quote Originally Posted by evgeny View Post
    Unfortunately confirmed the the Leaf dealer in Israel:

    LEAF is discontinued
    Hope this statement is accurate because it is going to impact seriously on owners of Leaf backs

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    Re: Leaf moves manufacture to China?

    Quote Originally Posted by evgeny View Post
    Unfortunately confirmed the the Leaf dealer in Israel:

    LEAF is discontinued
    Hi,

    It appears that your original post was proven incorrect in the first page of this thread. Thus, why should we believe your statement here????

    We know they are up to something because quiet. All websites up and running, simply we are to wait until they announce. Perhaps it is their way to reorganize and secure future growth in business?

    Or, do you have any hard facts to anything you have posted here??

    Regards
    Anders

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    Re: Leaf moves manufacture to China?

    Quote Originally Posted by carstenw View Post
    LOL, brilliant! If you don't like Peter's current opinion on the S2, just wait 5 minutes. Sorry, Peter, but you you flip-flop so much on this issue that I am getting dizzy.
    I might flip flop on what I like, yes, this depends on some daily mood, I admit!

    But WRT the facts I do not flop if you read this all carefully.

    1) For me the concept behind the S2 is great!

    2) For me Leica glass is stellar (although they have also some less good designs, but for the S2 I think will be perfect as these are new designs optimized for the S2).

    3) There is one real competitor in terms of stellar glass and this is Zeiss - from my experience back from analog times, I preferred Zeiss even more than Leica - needs to be seen how this translates into the digital age.

    4) I have my concerns with the timeliness delivery of this S2 product (market window for the camera).

    5) I have my concerns with the ability of Leica to follow up successfully (and this definition is for sure something individual) all their system (product) trains.

    6) I have huge concerns with Leica being able to build a working support infrastructure for their S System - which Pro's will accept.

    7) I have concerns if Pro's will accept or even switch over to Leica S2 from their existing equipment - so how to generate market.

    8) I have huge concerns with Leica if it comes to good enough and timely follow up - new versions of the S2, extended lens range, new R system, new M9 etc etc - directly related with too many product lines.

    9) I DO NOT care if they have diversified enough etc, this is their part and the have to decide. What I care is that they manage to be right in time to market with new products - and yes unfortunately they have a big gap currently, so this buts even more burden on them!

    10) I see the difference between Leica quality (IQ) and other vendor's quality (IQ) shrinking - this is a process already being seen over many years (decades) and especially in today's digital world it is even more noticeable - shall mean the premium price you pay for their products is often not worth the difference you get!

    If I look over this list there are more concerns than glory and love for a perfect technical solution. This is my opinion and it has been always and does not change daily, not even yearly.

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    Re: Leaf moves manufacture to China?

    WRT LEAF and their future:

    Although I am not a customer of them I am concerned about their company and future and my feeling is the go down the road and will be bought in best case by someone else. Just my personal feeling and I hope it will be a good future for them and their products, but I doubt.

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    Re: Leaf moves manufacture to China?

    I am NOT going to suggest that you two kiss and make up

    One point I will make Carsten is that IMHO the internet is a very ordinary venue for display of photography. Sure it is good to share - but for me ..it is the print that matters. A lot of my work is personal and to be frank - for this forum it would be considered pretty much off topic - I dont have access to dramatic landscapes or beautiful models - I shoot boring landscapes and boring urban shots and street. The littel commercial work I have done is copywitten and off topic anyway - it is editorial reportage in style and not typical magazine spread - again so what?

    Another point to share with you - technical internet chatter is NOT photography. Everything I have learned is self taught - that is the fun for me in photography. A lot of peopel dont have the technical language or experience to seperate crapola from wisdom - take care what you ingest and repeat - most stuff you read is BS.

    Too much pixel peeping on here as far as I am concerned ..too many BS 100% crops as if they mean anything to an image maker.

    Regarding posting pics- seriously, how many people on here are qualified to critique - which genre for what audience?

    This is a great place to say hello to old friends and people I have known for years. Most of whom dont need an internet forum to help them with any gear decision.

    Why not cool down and relax - criticising people on the internet is a waste of time and energy. -

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    Re: Leaf moves manufacture to China?

    Quote Originally Posted by Anders_HK View Post
    Hi,

    It appears that your original post was proven incorrect in the first page of this thread. Thus, why should we believe your statement here????

    We know they are up to something because quiet. All websites up and running, simply we are to wait until they announce. Perhaps it is their way to reorganize and secure future growth in business?

    Or, do you have any hard facts to anything you have posted here??

    Regards
    Anders
    Please don't believe me.
    The web sites doesn't matter, Contax 645 has web site, too, so what.

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    Re: Leaf moves manufacture to China?

    Quote Originally Posted by evgeny View Post
    Please don't believe me.
    The web sites doesn't matter, Contax 645 has web site, too, so what.
    Well, the Contax is long dead but my Leaf agent still picks up phone on holiday today.

    - Facts matter. It appears you do not have any. Correct?

    Or... post facts and explain with detail.

    If not, only show

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    Re: Leaf moves manufacture to China?

    All of these discussions are focused on the makers of MF digital gear.

    The real question is the state of professional photography, which is where the sustaining sales will come from ... or not.

    In general, it is deplorable.

    Investments in gear are still being made, but for many like me, it's a shifting target as to where the money will come from. To enhance success (AKA: survival) my focus has shifted from MFD type work to DSLR and rangefinder investments ... because that's where the paying work is for me right now ... and for the foreseeable future. No matter how I run the numbers, what my MFD stuff is worth verses what an upgrade would cost is not a viable business move.

    Trust me, I'm not alone in this.

    The market place is ferociously competitive. More dogs fighting for less bones. And the dogs are getting bigger as the bone pile dwindles and top dogs go for things they never competed for in the past.

    It would not surprise me to see two companies left standing if this pace keeps up ... Hasselblad and Phase One.

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    Re: Leaf moves manufacture to China?

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    All of these discussions are focused on the makers of MF digital gear.

    The real question is the state of professional photography, which is where the sustaining sales will come from ... or not.

    In general, it is deplorable.

    Investments in gear are still being made, but for many like me, it's a shifting target as to where the money will come from. To enhance success (AKA: survival) my focus has shifted from MFD type work to DSLR and rangefinder investments ... because that's where the paying work is for me right now ... and for the foreseeable future. No matter how I run the numbers, what my MFD stuff is worth verses what an upgrade would cost is not a viable business move.

    Trust me, I'm not alone in this.

    The market place is ferociously competitive. More dogs fighting for less bones. And the dogs are getting bigger as the bone pile dwindles and top dogs go for things they never competed for in the past.

    It would not surprise me to see two companies left standing if this pace keeps up ... Hasselblad and Phase One.
    Kind of what I say as well!

  50. #100
    Member beamon's Avatar
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    Re: Leaf moves manufacture to China?

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Okay I am jumping out of this conversation But this is a big investment.
    LMAO. Guy's jumping out again! Face it Guy, you're like most of us. This stupid thread is pure speculation on nearly everyone's part, but it's like eating peanuts...you can't stop!

    Heck, I don't even have a dog in this fight. Only MF work I ever did was weddings ~1965-1975. Finished that stint up with a Graflex XL. Anyone old ebough to remember that 2.25 x 2.75 inch format? Ya had to be young, then, to walk around all day with that 15 pound high voltage battery slung from your shoulder.

    Ok, I'll retreat into reading mode, again, but keep posting the graet stuff, folks; wouldn't miss it for the world.
    Roger
    Leica M6, M8.2 & assorted Leica glass

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