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Thread: In memoriam F&H

  1. #1
    Subscriber Member Georg Baumann's Avatar
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    In memoriam F&H

    It appears as if all of the 131 employees were fired by July 1st. Still, this has to be officially confirmed, but chances are this is the flippin truth.

    Remains the thought that german tax payers are asked to bail out a bunch of corrupted investment bankers that lost any sense of ethical behaviour in their quest for quarterly profits, while a traditional small enterprise with a reputation for excellence is not even worth to be considered help. <shrugs>

    The loss of F&H is bad news for the entire photographic world IMHO and they can not be substituted but some chinese low labour cost production with questionable quality management strategies.

    I think that this now inevitably closes the doors of F&H and marks the end of a very important and infulencing chapter.

    Crazy times.

  2. #2
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    Re: In memoriam F&H

    All may not be lost yet.
    There is still a chance that Phase One decides to continue Hy6/AFi production.

    One of the tasks of the receiver is to find parties willing to continue production in order to save jobs.
    We do not know how many of the workforce that were dismissed are necessary for production.
    I admit the longer this takes the smaller the possibilty Hy6/AFi production can be saved.

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    Re: In memoriam F&H

    If it does come to past, this has to make the Rollei Branded Hy6 film camera something a rarity wouldn't you think?

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    Re: In memoriam F&H

    In fact I found the Rolleiflex really attractive, but apparently it was somehow crippled and could not accept digital backs? That is right in line with what Hasselblad did with the H2F and the H3D Hasselblad backs. I don't like this at all. Why make obstacles for your customers?
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    Re: In memoriam F&H

    Could someone explain to me why Jenoptik (the real father) doesn't buy the tools and know-how to produce clones of this sweet baby? As far as I know Jenoptik is doing fine. Besides they own Sinar and don't know what else.
    Eduardo

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    Re: In memoriam F&H

    Quote Originally Posted by Uaiomex View Post
    Could someone explain to me why Jenoptik (the real father) doesn't buy the tools and know-how to produce clones of this sweet baby? As far as I know Jenoptik is doing fine. Besides they own Sinar and don't know what else.
    Eduardo
    we dont know yet if and who buys the rights and if and who buys the tools.

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    Senior Member Graham Mitchell's Avatar
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    Re: In memoriam F&H

    Quote Originally Posted by Uaiomex View Post
    Could someone explain to me why Jenoptik (the real father) doesn't buy the tools and know-how to produce clones of this sweet baby? As far as I know Jenoptik is doing fine. Besides they own Sinar and don't know what else.
    Eduardo
    Good question and I have no idea, unless some senior bean counter decided that he doesn't want this on his balance sheet. IMO, there was no point investing in a long-term project like this in the first place if you would give up so readily. I doubt they have made back their initial investment yet. Let's see what happens.

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: In memoriam F&H

    I'm not really sure here but from what I heard years ago Sinar was not that big a deal in Jenoptiks eyes as there bread winner. They are involved in a whole sorts of electronics and such. Anyway it is a great question, on the surface it seems like it would have been a great idea build a back and the camera to go with it. Really without a lot of history lessons on Jenoptik which is a old company just hard to say.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: In memoriam F&H

    Quote Originally Posted by carstenw View Post
    In fact I found the Rolleiflex really attractive, but apparently it was somehow crippled and could not accept digital backs? That is right in line with what Hasselblad did with the H2F and the H3D Hasselblad backs. I don't like this at all. Why make obstacles for your customers?
    Huh?

    The H2F accepts Hasselblad CF/CF-II digital backs and film backs.

    Do you mean that the Rolleiflex could only use a Hy6 back? That was true for the Leaf AFi Hy6 camera also. The AFi version of the Hy6 couldn't even use their own Leaf Aptus backs.

    Are you sure that a Sinar back couldn't be used on the Rollieflex Hy6?

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    Senior Member Graham Mitchell's Avatar
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    Re: In memoriam F&H

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    Are you sure that a Sinar back couldn't be used on the Rollieflex Hy6?
    I'm 90% sure this is incorrect. The only real difference between them is the badges (and firmware). Apart from that, the Leaf has a battery sharing setup, iirc.

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    Senior Member Graham Mitchell's Avatar
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    Re: In memoriam F&H

    In fact, here is a photo of a Sinar back on the Rolleiflex Hy6:


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    Re: In memoriam F&H

    Now it is my turn to say 'huh'? I am certain that I read at the time of release that the Rolleiflex Hy6 would not accept digital backs. Weird. I guess my memory is just flawed. Searching, I have found a post by Graham on photo.net which says that F&H could only sell the Rolleiflex Hy6 in limited markets, such as Russia and China...

    Marc, the CF backs are (were?) very highly priced compared to the H3D backs, and are not really competitive in that sense. And what about the HCD lenses on the H2F; does that work? I mean, really you should just be able to buy an H3D which accepts film backs, film tolerances being that much lower. I don't see the reason for the two lines of products at all.
    Carsten - Website

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    Re: In memoriam F&H

    Carsten - F&H was prevented from selling Rollei branded Hy6 with digital backs in most of their markets for an undisclosed period. The camera itself was never crippled or prevented from working with digital backs. This was part of the deal they agreed to to get the project into manufacturing.

    t_streng - Jenoptik owns the Hy6 and F&H was contracted to manufacture it. No one on the outside knows what conditions were required for Jenoptik to transfer manufacturing, but I have to believe that Jenoptik would have gotten agreement that the death of F&H would allow them to seek alternative manufacturer(s) should they wish to. Sinar is reported to have sizeable inventory (which is not particularly good news in terms of platform sales), so the pressure to get a new manufacturer online doesn't seem urgent. If sales do not warrant it (and given the costs of tooling up for something as complex as this, it is hard to see how they will), perhaps no new manufacturer is going to be called upon.

    Phase has made a sizeable investment in Mamiya. Now I believe it to be against their business interests to be propping up the Hy6 in the form of the AFI. Phase as much admitted that they wanted access to some of the talent and technology that Leaf enjoyed. Aside from possibly closer integration of Leaf backs with Phamiya bodies, I believe that is the extent of their play for the time being.

    Personally, I unfortunately don't see the Hy6 going any further than it already has.

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    Workshop Member ptomsu's Avatar
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    Re: In memoriam F&H

    My feeling is, that the Hy6 system is dead and will not be continued. This can be seen as bad or good, I actually do not care too much, as I happened to own a Rollei system and this was a great system, unless it was far to big and heavy. And the Hy6 is not any better.

    There might be the need for a similar system in the future, when FF MF square sensor ever see the light of the world, but not earlier. I personally am happy to use a Phamiya or H3 system if it comes to size and today's sensor sizes and quality. Anything bigger than that is just overkill and will be for the next many years to come. So I think the decision at Phase to let Hy6 die for now is the right one.

    Although of course it will affect a lot of users of this system. But this is the times today - economy crisis and resetting the way we work, live and play

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    Re: In memoriam F&H

    Quote Originally Posted by ptomsu View Post
    My feeling is, that the Hy6 system is dead and will not be continued. This can be seen as bad or good, I actually do not care too much, as I happened to own a Rollei system and this was a great system, unless it was far to big and heavy. And the Hy6 is not any better.

    There might be the need for a similar system in the future, when FF MF square sensor ever see the light of the world, but not earlier. I personally am happy to use a Phamiya or H3 system if it comes to size and today's sensor sizes and quality. Anything bigger than that is just overkill and will be for the next many years to come. So I think the decision at Phase to let Hy6 die for now is the right one.

    Although of course it will affect a lot of users of this system. But this is the times today - economy crisis and resetting the way we work, live and play
    The Hy6 body itself isnt heavy.
    The lenses are heavy compared to Mamiya lenses due to their leaf shutter, larger image circle, more solid build, and mostly faster available lenses. (50/2.8, 110/2.0, 180/2.8) The somewhat slower lenses are not that big at all (40,80,150 for example)
    If I want a light or compact camera I would not choose MF.
    The 6x6 viewfinder allows to compfortably use a WLF also for vertical shots.

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    Re: In memoriam F&H

    Bradley,
    if Sinar has stock full with Hy6 the question is if this wouldnt maybe be an rgument to try to ensure that the Hy6 will be continued. The announcement would make it much easier for SInar to sell the Hy6 they have in stock. Otherwise I would be happy if they keep some in stock so I know they have all spareparts available for my Hy6


    Quote Originally Posted by BradleyGibson View Post
    ....

    t_streng - Jenoptik owns the Hy6 and F&H was contracted to manufacture it. No one on the outside knows what conditions were required for Jenoptik to transfer manufacturing, but I have to believe that Jenoptik would have gotten agreement that the death of F&H would allow them to seek alternative manufacturer(s) should they wish to. Sinar is reported to have sizeable inventory (which is not particularly good news in terms of platform sales), so the pressure to get a new manufacturer online doesn't seem urgent. If sales do not warrant it (and given the costs of tooling up for something as complex as this, it is hard to see how they will), perhaps no new manufacturer is going to be called upon.

    Phase has made a sizeable investment in Mamiya. Now I believe it to be against their business interests to be propping up the Hy6 in the form of the AFI. Phase as much admitted that they wanted access to some of the talent and technology that Leaf enjoyed. Aside from possibly closer integration of Leaf backs with Phamiya bodies, I believe that is the extent of their play for the time being.

    Personally, I unfortunately don't see the Hy6 going any further than it already has.

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    Re: In memoriam F&H

    Quote Originally Posted by carstenw View Post
    Now it is my turn to say 'huh'? I am certain that I read at the time of release that the Rolleiflex Hy6 would not accept digital backs. Weird. I guess my memory is just flawed. Searching, I have found a post by Graham on photo.net which says that F&H could only sell the Rolleiflex Hy6 in limited markets, such as Russia and China...

    Marc, the CF backs are (were?) very highly priced compared to the H3D backs, and are not really competitive in that sense. And what about the HCD lenses on the H2F; does that work? I mean, really you should just be able to buy an H3D which accepts film backs, film tolerances being that much lower. I don't see the reason for the two lines of products at all.
    Yes, I agree that the CF backs are not competitively priced when bought new ... at least not now after all the other price reductions in the past year. Refurb ones are more competitively priced ... and include the 39 meg multishot which is quite a performer.

    The HCD lenses do work on the H2F when a digital back is mounted, and include DAC software corrections which the H1 and H2 do not do. With film backs being used, the widest lens is then 35mm and the HCD lenses do not work.

    I see the H2F and continued manufacture of the CF line of backs as a transitionary concessions to users with-in Hasselblad's drive toward more and more integration between lens/camera/back and keeping their focus on that philosophy. Evidently there was enough current users with older CFs that wanted a back-up camera or ability to use HCD/DAC after the H2 was discontinued.

    I suspect the "sold as new" volume of both the H2F and CF backs is relatively low, as is probably the CFV back, compared to the H3D line.

    BTW, you can buy a H3D that accepts film backs ... used or refurb. It is the H3D-II that no longer accepts film backs. Not many Pros I know shoot film for professional work anymore ... I'm sure there are some, but I don't know any, and I know a lot of professional photographers.

    What is weird is that the film backs for the H camera are horribly expensive bought new ... but the last two I secured for my H2F were $150. each in mint condition. Kind of tells you where all that is going doesn't it?

    So, for not a lot of $ I was able to add a H2F body and 3 film backs to my existing H system of lenses and finders ... with in-camera flash metering (like my old Contax 645) ... and the ability to use all the 500 series manual focus Zeiss lenses on the H2F with fully automatic aperture operation and focus confirmation in the viewfinder ... which is why I recently sold my 503CWs.

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    Re: In memoriam F&H

    Quote Originally Posted by t_streng View Post
    The Hy6 body itself isnt heavy.
    The lenses are heavy compared to Mamiya lenses due to their leaf shutter, larger image circle, more solid build, and mostly faster available lenses. (50/2.8, 110/2.0, 180/2.8) The somewhat slower lenses are not that big at all (40,80,150 for example)
    If I want a light or compact camera I would not choose MF.
    The 6x6 viewfinder allows to compfortably use a WLF also for vertical shots.
    Larger image circle than the RB/RZ lenses? Really?

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    Re: In memoriam F&H

    The S2 will be a roaring success in MF land terms - it will add to about a weeks worth of CaNikonSon sales - in a bad week, in uzbekistan...



    I just cant take the MF land seriously anymore..everyone of these companies is shoving spiky pineapples up its own client base..

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    Subscriber Member Georg Baumann's Avatar
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    Re: In memoriam F&H

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterA View Post
    The S2 will be a roaring success in MF land terms - it will add to about a weeks worth of CaNikonSon sales - in a bad week, in uzbekistan...



    I just cant take the MF land seriously anymore..everyone of these companies is shoving spiky pineapples up its own client base..
    Entire pineapples in deed, and afterwards they are asked to perform 150 knee bends and 150 sit ups... the quickest one wins a Hy6!

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    Re: In memoriam F&H

    It is a nice thought, but I don't think it'll play out that way. Here's why:

    Manufacturing contracts such as these typically have minimum volume commitments associated with them. (Leaf was signed on to the Hy6 project for this very reason-- Jenoptik needed more volume than they could commit to on their own, and Leaf needed a body they could call their own).

    Relatively low sales combined with this contractual obligation = high inventories (also expensive for Sinar). If these circumstances came to be when Jenoptik had a manufacturer online and in full swing, it is hard to see why things would be any better with a new manufacturer.

    Arguably a new manufacturer might be more expensive than F&H, which wouldn't help the Hy6 price point. And, of course, they'd want their own minimum volume guarantees... Who is going to sign up for these volumes? Phase/Mamiya/Leaf is standing pat, Hasselblad certainly isn't going to bail these guys out, and Sinar's already backlogged with inventory! That leaves... Hmmm...

    To complicate matters, someone'd have to step up for the optics Manufacturing too (again, with new attendant volume committments)--my understanding is that F&H did the assembly and HFT optical coatings of Rollei lenses--decades of experience. All difficult (ie. expensive) to replace.

    It's hard for me to see all that coming together for the Hy6, unfortunately.


    Quote Originally Posted by t_streng View Post
    Bradley,
    if Sinar has stock full with Hy6 the question is if this wouldnt maybe be an rgument to try to ensure that the Hy6 will be continued. The announcement would make it much easier for SInar to sell the Hy6 they have in stock. Otherwise I would be happy if they keep some in stock so I know they have all spareparts available for my Hy6
    Last edited by BradleyGibson; 6th July 2009 at 06:17.

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    Re: In memoriam F&H

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    Larger image circle than the RB/RZ lenses? Really?
    is the RZ/RB lighter than the Hy6? I think Peter was refering to the AFD and so was I.

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    Re: In memoriam F&H

    Quote Originally Posted by BradleyGibson View Post
    It is a nice thought, but I don't think it'll play out that way. Here's why:

    Manufacturing contracts such as these typically have minimum volume commitments associated with them. (Leaf was signed on to the Hy6 project for this very reason-- Jenoptik needed more volume than they could commit to on their own, and Leaf needed a body they could call their own).

    Relatively low sales combined with this contractual obligation = high inventories (also expensive for Sinar). If these circumstances came to be when Jenoptik had a manufacturer online and in full swing, it is hard to see why things would be any better with a new manufacturer.

    Arguably a new manufacturer might be more expensive than F&H, which wouldn't help the Hy6 price point. And, of course, they'd want their own minimum volume guarantees... Who is going to sign up for these volumes? Phase/Mamiya/Leaf is standing pat, Hasselblad certainly isn't going to bail these guys out, and Sinar's already backlogged with inventory! That leaves... Hmmm...

    To complicate matters, someone'd have to step up for the optics Manufacturing too (again, with new attendant volume committments)--my understanding is that F&H did the assembly and HFT optical coatings of Rollei lenses--decades of experience. All difficult (ie. expensive) to replace.

    It's hard for me to see all that coming together for the Hy6, unfortunately.
    Maybe you are right. In this case I hope nobody will buy a Hy6 from now on, so prices will fall dramatically and I can buy a spare body for low money

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    Re: In memoriam F&H

    Quote Originally Posted by t_streng View Post
    is the RZ/RB lighter than the Hy6? I think Peter was refering to the AFD and so was I.
    Oops! don't know where I came up with that one ..

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    Re: In memoriam F&H

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    BTW, you can buy a H3D that accepts film backs ... used or refurb. It is the H3D-II that no longer accepts film backs. Not many Pros I know shoot film for professional work anymore ... I'm sure there are some, but I don't know any, and I know a lot of professional photographers.
    In general I think that Hasselblad's strategy is very clever, and their price-cuts were very well timed. The system is very complete and well designed, and their advertising is very, very good. The system apparently is well matched for the intended uses. I am personally at odds with their ruthless strategy of moving everything in-house and forcing their users to follow, as much as they can, as well as trim backwards compatibility to the minimal needed to string people along. I most of all am unhappy with their continued attempts to kill off the V, one of the most important and loved serious cameras of all time, right up there with the Leica M3.

    Their release of the CFV-39 completely took me by surprise. I had personally voiced my wish for such a thing on several occasions (and locations), as have many others, but most had given up hope at this point. It looks a little as if the management has decided that they need to keep people happy with the brand in these difficult times, and not give people too many reasons to defect, which is sound thinking. But really, releasing a back for the V? Wow, what is next then? A black H3D???
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    Re: In memoriam F&H

    I think it comes down to what ever will create market share and sales than companies like Phase and Hassy will do that. The V is a prime example of many folks having these bodies and lenses been sitting in there closets and Hassy decided to take advantage of it. It creates revenue and eventually will move people up the to the H line. Pretty good thinking. Companies will try and pull more rabbits out of the hat.
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