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Thread: Frankie/Heidecke Closed. Leaf AFi is now dead.

  1. #1
    dwdmguy
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    Frankie/Heidecke Closed. Leaf AFi is now dead.

    This kind of stinks for all the AFi owners/ lovers.

    http://www.bjp-online.com/public/sho...ml?page=864695


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    Re: Frankie/Heidecke Closed. Leaf AFi is now dead.

    This link has been around for a few days now, with various discussions taking place. The final word will be the court decision due at the end of July. Until then, there is still too much rumour and too little fact. The AFi/Hy6 production may still be picked up by someone else, as the production equipment was leased, and the rights belong to Jenoptik, not Franke&Heidecke. Let's wait and see.
    Carsten - Website

  3. #3
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    Re: Frankie/Heidecke Closed. Leaf AFi is now dead.

    I'm sorry, I did not see the links. This just came across on the BJP news wire and did not know they confirmed it before. Again, sorry.

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    Senior Member Graham Mitchell's Avatar
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    Re: Frankie/Heidecke Closed. Leaf AFi is now dead.

    Might be nice to edit the thread title, as it is quite misleading!

    As Carsten pointed out, it is up to Sinar, Jenoptik, and maybe even other players such as Phase, Kodak, Dalsa or Schneider to make their move.

    Phase must realize that putting the P65+ on the Hy6 with a rotating adapter, leaf shutter lenses, Schneider glass and WLF option would really compete with the Hasselblad H. Rather than reinventing a whole line of leaf shutter lenses for the M645, they could join a proven system. It's such an obvious move.

  5. #5
    dwdmguy
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    Re: Frankie/Heidecke Closed. Leaf AFi is now dead.

    I don't understand how the following is misleading at all:

    However, in an exclusive interview with BJP, Henrik O Hakonsson, president and CEO at Phase One said that the new partnership could spell the end of the AFi system. 'The Leaf AFi is a camera system that is currently on hold,' he tells BJP. 'We have to determine if it is commercially viable and we are still not convinced by it. The new company - Leaf Imaging Ltd - has the rights for the Leaf AFi but we are not going to produce it.'

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    Senior Member Graham Mitchell's Avatar
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    Re: Frankie/Heidecke Closed. Leaf AFi is now dead.

    Quote Originally Posted by dwdmguy View Post
    I don't understand how the following is misleading at all:
    "could spell the end" is not the same as "dead".

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    Re: Frankie/Heidecke Closed. Leaf AFi is now dead.

    Quote Originally Posted by dwdmguy View Post
    I don't understand how the following is misleading at all:

    However, in an exclusive interview with BJP, Henrik O Hakonsson, president and CEO at Phase One said that the new partnership could spell the end of the AFi system. 'The Leaf AFi is a camera system that is currently on hold,' he tells BJP. 'We have to determine if it is commercially viable and we are still not convinced by it. The new company - Leaf Imaging Ltd - has the rights for the Leaf AFi but we are not going to produce it.'
    it only says that the leaf afi is on hold right now.
    It doesnt say anything about other brands like Sinar which also do use the Hy6, and it doesnt say anything what phase will decide in a longer term. (Who knows what would happen if a square 6x6 sensor comes to the market one day.)

  8. #8
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    Re: Frankie/Heidecke Closed. Leaf AFi is now dead.

    Well, I have to say, I am a Leaf owner. First a demo which I had to return and then a purchase. I don't like this either. But to me, and perhaps because I've been in business so long the following quote could not be clearer. I know that we do not like this one bit, I know I wish someone would pick this up and "Produce" it but, again, to me, the writing is one the wall and it's clear.
    I have to say, I AM NOT wanting to start a flame here, again, I don't like it one bit. It's an amazing technology. I think the value is awesome but this is very clear to me. I ca't wish it away:
    I don't know if the BJP released this exact press prior or this is new:

    "The new company - Leaf Imaging Ltd - has the rights for the Leaf AFi but we are not going to produce it.' "

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    Re: Frankie/Heidecke Closed. Leaf AFi is now dead.

    I have no dog in this fight, but it seems to me that Hakonsson's statement that "we're not going to produce it" means just that. They have the right to produce the camera but have chosen not to. Graham is right that they could produce it, but it seems like they won't, unless there is some change.

    Obviously if there were a groundswell of interest, with people clamoring for the camera, they could change course, but isn't the absence of such demand what got the AFI to where it is now?

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    Re: Frankie/Heidecke Closed. Leaf AFi is now dead.

    "We are not going to produce it" could also just be a smoke screen. If he has no intention to produce it, I would guess that he didn't actually pay for the rights to do so. That would just make no sense. His statement about having the rights to the camera probably just mean that he can buy it if he wants to, not necessarily that he has already bought it.

    The AFi/Hy6 rights of ownership and prodution belong with Jenoptik. Leaf has access rights to the platform, but they took delivery from F&H, they didn't make them themselves. When Jenoptik makes a statement about the AFi/Hy6, it means something. When Håkonsson makes a statement about products other than his own backs, it is only politics.

    I am guessing that he offered a low price for rights to the AFi, possibly tried to get exclusive rights (locking out Sinar), and was rejected, and is now using public announcements to drive the behind-the-scenes price down.

    This is all conjecture, however, apart from the rights to the camera lying with Jenoptik.

    Stephen, there have been statements to the effect that the Hy6 was quite popular, with production numbers being very good. The problems lie elsewhere, unless those statements weren't true...
    Carsten - Website

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    Re: Frankie/Heidecke Closed. Leaf AFi is now dead.

    As I see it who would want to take the risk to produce it. To some degree the HY6 serves really no purpose at this point and Phase may just start from the ground up on a completely new body which actually makes more sense at this point since it can serve more backs. Sinar back owners can just switch adapter plates to a new camera and current Leaf owners could have a new adapter for something new. Not knowing all the facts of Contax but also knowing for it's time was the best thing out there no one went to pick up that body either but still viable for some shooters. Just from standing outside the door I see no value for Phase to make this camera for a select group but build a new one that just serves almost everyone. I know there is a lot of passion for this body and understand some of it from a users POV but from a manufacturing POV not sure it makes any sense for Phase to pick it up again. It really only serves there competition Sinar at this point and for Leaf owners there may have to be a hard change for them. We have to realize Phase bought them and could do whatever they want at any given time and actually a little surprised on how they actually want to maintain Leaf. They could have kept the employees and the intellectual properties and just canned everything else and forced there hand to buy Phase products. Something they did not do at least at this time. If i was Phase i would invest in a new body all together and get the most mileage from that instead of continuing a product that only serves part of there company. Just some random thoughts but I think we need to put our feet in Phases shoes and make some logical sense of what is best for Phase One the company.

    Than again maybe i don't understand all this rights and ownership stuff either and i have not really paid much attention to it. I just don't see the HY6 all that popular and if it was it would not be here in this position.
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    Re: Frankie/Heidecke Closed. Leaf AFi is now dead.

    Posted Today
    Latest from British Journal Of Photography

    Title: Franke & Heidecke to close
    Feature: Daily News
    Date: 4 July 2009

    The German manufacturer responsible for 6x6 format camera bodies for both Leaf and Sinar is to close, BJP can confirm. The firm broke the news to its 131 employees earlier this week. The closure could dramatically affect the medium format camera market, days after Phase One announced it would buy Leaf's assets

    Franke & Heidecke owns and develops new products for the legendary Rolleiflex twin-lens camera system, but it also produces a 6x6 format camera body for both Leaf and Sinar, named the AFi and the Hy6 respectively. Last March, it announced that it was going into insolvency, saying it couldn't pay its bills.

    BJP can now confirm that Franke & Heidecke will close its operations before September 2009. In the meantime, servicing and back orders will continue to be fulfilled, according to press reports in Germany.

    Leaf and Sinar didn't return call and email queries as this article was published, however it is understood that Sinar still has significant stocks of its Hy6 system and shouldn't be affected, in the short term, by the closure.

    As for Leaf, last week Phase One announced it was to form a new company, Leaf Imaging Ltd, which would purchase Leaf's assets and enter into an intellectual property licence with Eastman Kodak Company.

    However, in an exclusive interview with BJP, Henrik O Hakonsson, president and CEO at Phase One said that the new partnership could spell the end of the AFi system. 'The Leaf AFi is a camera system that is currently on hold,' he tells BJP. 'We have to determine if it is commercially viable and we are still not convinced by it. The new company - Leaf Imaging Ltd - has the rights for the Leaf AFi but we are not going to produce it.'
    Franke & Heideke's closure could quicken Leaf's AFi death, unless Phase One decides to produce and support the system on its own.

    The full effect of Franke & Heidecke's demise has yet to be felt as it could force another wave of consolidation in the medium format camera market. Check back on bjp-online.com/news for regular updates.
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    Re: Frankie/Heidecke Closed. Leaf AFi is now dead.

    I don't know how the math of the production numbers works out, but I could see it being interesting for Phase to have both a new, improved AFD body, being the sports model (in the sense of streamlined and light, not 10 fps), as well as the AFi for the studio, being the tractor (leaf shutter lenses, rotatable backs, waist-level finder, etc.). It would also help differentiate Phase products from Hasselblad's, while attacking them on their home turf (leaf shutter lenses). Maybe it is too expensive in reality, but as a sofa argument it makes sense.
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    Re: Frankie/Heidecke Closed. Leaf AFi is now dead.

    I guess phase wants to continue with their mamiya 645 lens line, and therefore I agree it does not make much sense for phase/Leaf to produce a body which doesnt support their lenses and is focused on a larger image circle than the phase lenses can provide.
    Now for other companies like Zeiss, Schneider, Sinar it could make sense to continue the hy6 system with the Hy6 body and the Schneider and Zeiss lenses in Rollei mount. If sensor get bigger they could take advantage of Hy6-lenses larger image circle.
    Anyways, all speculation - I will wait for facts.

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    Senior Member Graham Mitchell's Avatar
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    Re: Frankie/Heidecke Closed. Leaf AFi is now dead.

    Quote Originally Posted by stephengilbert View Post
    but isn't the absence of such demand what got the AFI to where it is now?
    This seems to be a common misconception. The Hy6 itself was successful and apparently F&H even expanded the workforce on that production line to keep up with demand.

    F&H's problems arose from the burden of a large and old debt (which pre-dated the Hy6), and this was stated in an earlier press release.

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    Re: Frankie/Heidecke Closed. Leaf AFi is now dead.

    It does make sense but than again maybe some heavy costs producing two . I guess Phase would really have survey the market to see if it would be viable. Just reading the above quotes, I don't think I would bet any money on the HY6 being produced from Phase. If we look at the market in total today there really only 3 bodies being made, Hassy, Phase and the Hy6/AFI. Now it may make a lot of dollar sense for Phase/Mamiya to produce a really great body to handle almost all the backs out there and get a major share of that market alone. Than also do some packaging with Leaf and Phase backs in different flavors. The question remains how ultimately will this affect Sinar even though backed heavily by Jenoptik which has a ton of money, they could easily just call it quits on it if there not selling. In the US Sinar is not nearly as popular than the international scene. We all don't know the true sales numbers but these companies do look at regions on there product lines. The US rental houses are heavily Hassy and Phase.
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    Re: Frankie/Heidecke Closed. Leaf AFi is now dead.

    Bottom line no matter how we slice the pie it is just not that great for the end users in many ways it just limits our buying power. Anyone on the edge these days does not look like survival is a guarantee. I may not like the Hy6 from a personal POV but I would rather see it survive than fail. Just not good things being sucked up and sold off all the time. Makes a large purchase a risk, one reason I did not go into MF for awhile there.
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    Senior Member Graham Mitchell's Avatar
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    Re: Frankie/Heidecke Closed. Leaf AFi is now dead.

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    To some degree the HY6 serves really no purpose at this point and Phase may just start from the ground up on a completely new body which actually makes more sense at this point since it can serve more backs.
    That makes no sense to me. How could it be less trouble to develop a new body, and new interface (which would initially be compatible with no backs whatsoever), and develop a whole line of leaf shutter lenses, and have no used market to make the price of entry to the system cheaper, rather than just adding the Hy6 mount to the choice of mounts Phase already offers?

    And I'm not sure what you mean by the Hy6 'serving no purpose' Its purpose is to take photos and it does so with some of the finest optics available, it offers metering with the WLF and other finder options, it offers a rotating back, AF, the fastest leaf shutter lenses (and therefore fastest flash sync) of any camera, and more. Overall it is probably the most advanced medium format body on the market.

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    Senior Member Graham Mitchell's Avatar
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    Re: Frankie/Heidecke Closed. Leaf AFi is now dead.

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    I don't think I would bet any money on the HY6 being produced from Phase
    How about this as one of many possible scenarios? Sinar backs out of the digital back business and forms a partnership with Phase - Phase makes the backs, and Sinar produces the Hy6 and arTec. That would not be such a surprising outcome.

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    Re: Frankie/Heidecke Closed. Leaf AFi is now dead.

    Phase has no interest in the Rollie glass they want sell there own, so for them it is not a camera worth building. Graham your thinking of yourself which is fine but we need to put ourselves in Phase shoes deciding if the HY6 is a viable option for them to gain market share, you can't do that if you can't sell your lenses and your backs. Bottom line they make money from selling backs and lenses and whatever they build it will be geared to that end, not to use anyone else's glass and they own Leaf now, they can easily switch the mount to whatever camera platform they want along with there Phase backs and that would most likely be a Mamiya mount which serves all there current user base. Making lenses is something they are doing anyway and will stay with a mount of there own which is the Mamiya mount. To them it is NOT a viable asset to make the Hy6. It maybe cheaper to take all the current users of Leaf and the AFI mount and make a adapter for those wanting to switch to a Mamiya mount and do it at cost.
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    Re: Frankie/Heidecke Closed. Leaf AFi is now dead.

    Quote Originally Posted by foto-z View Post
    How about this as one of many possible scenarios? Sinar backs out of the digital back business and forms a partnership with Phase - Phase makes the backs, and Sinar produces the Hy6 and arTec. That would not be such a surprising outcome.

    It still locks out the Mamiya glass in which they own a major share of that company. Not a bad idea but they need to get Rollie in this as well in there camp. If they had all of that than it maybe a great idea
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    Re: Frankie/Heidecke Closed. Leaf AFi is now dead.

    Bottom line i know as a Sinar owner you certainly have big concerns right now, i think everyone understands and thinks about the Sinar owners in all of this. Don't think anyone is saying this is good at all, it limits us end users and that could hurt us in the end with a very small amount of players.

    Anyway on a brighter note Happy 4th everyone.
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    Re: Frankie/Heidecke Closed. Leaf AFi is now dead.

    We've discussed this all before --- the entire MF camera market taken even world-wide is a very, very small market... Any company wanting to compete in it has to be able to offer a product that is relatively easy to manufacture in small quantities while offering a significant profit margin. If the product I produce is better, but costs me 2x as much to build, I need to sell it at 2x the price of the competition. If those small quantities represent say only half of what your two other competitors move, then they are really small, and any good business mind would have to question the merits of sustaining production...

    It matters not if the item in question is perceived as "twice as good" as a competitor's, you still need to sell enough of them at a price that makes them a sustainable product -- and I suspect this is where the Hy6 business model fell apart. If you look at history, you can find numerous examples of *proven* superior products not remaining viable in competition with obviously lesser goods, usually due to price-point, availability and/or service. Factor in for the the Hy6 its only real basic advantage (6x6 with rotating back) coupled with its relatively shallow system depth and it only gets worse for them...

    I understand that Phase did an informal survey of users a while back -- asking specifically how many of their shooters wanted WLF finders with horizontal and vertical capabilities. Apparently the answer was that virtually nobody under 30 cared about having it at all, and only older shooters weaned on the Hassy V and Mamiya RZ considered it any kind of benefit. (To be clear, I fall in the latter camp!) Moreover, most surveyed agreed that a vertical grip option would adequately suffice for most cases -- again I am not one of them -- but nonetheless it is how the current, dominant market seems to be speaking...
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    Re: Frankie/Heidecke Closed. Leaf AFi is now dead.

    Who knows how far down the road Phase may be with their product development. Perhaps a new camera more suited to the 645 technology that has become the standard for MFD ... in which case, why sink money into a 6X6 camera ... with no 6X6 sensor even being speculated upon or rumored to be in development for mass manufacture?

    Since Phase has a stake in Mamiya, why would they produce a camera that only accepts someone else's lenses? The Back and optics are where the money is.
    Heck, all the MFD companies have offered the camera body basically for free to sell backs, lenses and that cash cow ... warranties.

    What's happening is no surprise ... sad, but no surprise.

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    Senior Member Graham Mitchell's Avatar
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    Re: Frankie/Heidecke Closed. Leaf AFi is now dead.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post
    Apparently the answer was that virtually nobody under 30 cared about having it at all
    I hear what you're saying, but I think this is a case of them *not knowing* that they want it. They can't vote for something they have never experienced. Seriously, every 'under 30' photographer I know who handles my camera and looks though the WLF loupe says "wow", so they can see the benefit with their own eyes once they have had the chance to try it.

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    Senior Member Graham Mitchell's Avatar
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    Re: Frankie/Heidecke Closed. Leaf AFi is now dead.

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    in which case, why sink money into a 6X6 camera ... with no 6X6 sensor even being speculated upon or rumored to be in development for mass manufacture?
    1) because it is the only way to fit a rotating 645 back, which is a great feature
    2) they don't need to sink any money into it at all - just add it to their option of mounts

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    Re: Frankie/Heidecke Closed. Leaf AFi is now dead.

    Yes, the Hy6 with a rotating adapter with the P65+ would be a great platform! Surely Phase recognizes this and is only posturing to push down the price. The lens profit question is a fair one, but I think that Phase also realizes that whether or not they own the lenses, the Schneider lenses for the 6008/Hy6 outclass the Mamiya lenses in many cases, and match them in the rest, i.e. the 80D and 150D and maybe one or two other stars. The one missing link is the wide for the Hy6 to match Mamiya's 28mm, but as Graham points out on LL, the new 35mm is apparently more or less ready for production, so that is a short-term concern, not a lasting one.
    Last edited by carstenw; 4th July 2009 at 09:03.
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  28. #28
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    Re: Frankie/Heidecke Closed. Leaf AFi is now dead.

    Quote Originally Posted by foto-z View Post
    How about this as one of many possible scenarios? Sinar backs out of the digital back business and forms a partnership with Phase - Phase makes the backs, and Sinar produces the Hy6 and arTec. That would not be such a surprising outcome.
    why not but in my experience SINAR (even Leica too) is somehow overloaded with pride something like a beautiful looking girl with no charm or intelligence so much not to realize their prime time to score instead they are happy to play with pride but when it gets too late and they are old then they become outdated no matter what they offer.

    I think in my opinion others have proved to be self destructive while Phase and Hasselblad are moving forward.

    one other thing too is I think Phase is clever looking at Hy6 as outdated box and it would be very wise for Phase to work on their own design especially when the big players are moving rapidly in video & stills direction too.

    for sure Sinar is not dead but Hy6 unfortunately I think is.
    Last edited by Alexander Bauer; 4th July 2009 at 09:10.

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    Re: Frankie/Heidecke Closed. Leaf AFi is now dead.

    We are making conjecture without enough facts. Two very different possibilities exist:

    1) the Hy6 was not commercially successful - there were insufficient sales, perhaps production costs (all German) too high, and its differences (WLF, great glass), beloved by some, were not significant enough to give it a significant competitive advantage.

    This is typically the viewpoint from the American market, and thus one would place its odds of coming back into production as "slim to none".

    2) the Hy6 was commercially viable, its advantages are supported by enough of a customer base to be viable, probably European-centric. The lack of American representation is a hindrance, but not critical.

    The closure of the company is due to other pressures (old debts), and the commentary from Phase and others is all negotiating to get something for nothing.

    Assuming there is enough advantage in the camera and its customer base to overcome the recent bad press, the odds of the camera coming back are "so-so".

    From this vantage point, it is unclear which of these scenarios is true. My guess is that the first one is most likely, but the heart wishes for the second.

    Its likely that the Hy6, like many great cameras before it, is history, sadly so. Maybe there are some leftovers....

    Geoff

  30. #30
    Senior Member Graham Mitchell's Avatar
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    Re: Frankie/Heidecke Closed. Leaf AFi is now dead.

    I don't know why people are still guessing about the connection between the Hy6 and F&H's troubles. The F&H press release stated ‘When recent financial and other old liabilities turned up, which had not been known to the new shareholder at the time of the take-over, it became evident that a financial reorganisation would not be possible even by investing further millions.’

    http://www.bjp-online.com/public/sho...ml?page=846120

    Hans R. Schmid Beteiligungs GmbH acquired the majority shares of Franke & Heidecke in September 2008.

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    Re: Frankie/Heidecke Closed. Leaf AFi is now dead.

    I hear you Graham -- not knowing they want it is for sure the reason they don't want it. Unfortunately, as Marc said, it doesn't really matter what we think, know or want, the reality is that for whatever reason, the Hy6 didn't work out. And it is too bad...
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  32. #32
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    Re: Frankie/Heidecke Closed. Leaf AFi is now dead.

    Guy, that's very interesting. It's a good point indeed.

    On other news, I have a lot of older M645 glass that I use and I can't believe a) How excellent their lenses are (were) and b) how cheap they are now on the market. However, I am seeing quite a creep up in prices that I feel is do to a revisiting of film.

  33. #33
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    Re: Frankie/Heidecke Closed. Leaf AFi is now dead.

    I still think it is too early to say completely. It looks bad, that's for sure, but until Sinar has made their announcement and Jenoptik has made theirs, the Hy6 is up in the air, and until Leaf has made an announcement that the AFi is no more, that is up in the air too. I don't give much for the chances of the AFi if Phase doesn't buy it, but I don't take Håkonsson's statement as final yet, just a bit of posturing while they figure out how much they might pay for it, and so on. For the platform to survive, they do need to pick out a manufacturer though, which is another thorny issue. In fact, I would consider the current situation re. the AFi/Hy6 to be similar to the Leaf situation before the Phase announcement: it looks bad, but it ain't over until it's over.
    Carsten - Website

  34. #34
    dwdmguy
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    Re: Frankie/Heidecke Closed. Leaf AFi is now dead.

    Quote Originally Posted by carstenw View Post
    I still think it is too early to say completely. It looks bad, that's for sure, but until Sinar has made their announcement and Jenoptik has made theirs, the Hy6 is up in the air, and until Leaf has made an announcement that the AFi is no more, that is up in the air too. I don't give much for the chances of the AFi if Phase doesn't buy it, but I don't take Håkonsson's statement as final yet, just a bit of posturing while they figure out how much they might pay for it, and so on. For the platform to survive, they do need to pick out a manufacturer though, which is another thorny issue.
    I think this is where I'm a bit confused. Does not Phase own this now? If they don't why did they not buy it?

    I do agree completely with you, even tho' I don't like it, it is not good and I'm quite sure that his statement was indeed final. He doesn't have to say anything more.

    What happens to the poor souls that just purchased this system? I'm sure they have to support it for 10 years but what about updates etc?

    t

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    Re: Frankie/Heidecke Closed. Leaf AFi is now dead.

    Phase bought pieces, but not everything, which is wise. The question is if they bought the rights to produce and market the AFi. Håkonsson's statement makes it sounds like they did without saying so directly. They may only have the option of buying it...

    If Phase doesn't buy and manufacture the AFi, and if Sinar doesn't survive or if no manufacturer is found for the Hy6, then indeed the updates may be done, unless the (unlikely) firmware is open-sourced, as well as alternate arrangements.
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  36. #36
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    Re: Frankie/Heidecke Closed. Leaf AFi is now dead.

    I'd also like to ask a question please?

    I find the Leaf technology awesome for many, many reasons, whey did it never get the respect that it deserved?

  37. #37
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    Re: Frankie/Heidecke Closed. Leaf AFi is now dead.

    Quote Originally Posted by carstenw View Post
    Phase bought pieces, but not everything, which is wise. The question is if they bought the rights to produce and market the AFi. Håkonsson's statement makes it sounds like they did without saying so directly. They may only have the option of buying it...

    If Phase doesn't buy and manufacture the AFi, and if Sinar doesn't survive or if no manufacturer is found for the Hy6, then indeed the updates may be done, unless the (unlikely) firmware is open-sourced, as well as alternate arrangements.
    This makes a lot of sense, and my view is that Leaf was going to bury it anyway. If it was viable Phase would have purchased it just to keep it out of the hands of others even if they did not want it.
    Thx

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    Re: Frankie/Heidecke Closed. Leaf AFi is now dead.

    Quote Originally Posted by dwdmguy View Post
    I'd also like to ask a question please?

    I find the Leaf technology awesome for many, many reasons, whey did it never get the respect that it deserved?
    Not sure it was a question of respect... But as respects the Hy6 body IMO,

    1) It came to the MF digital market late, so many users perhaps also enamored with the potential of the system were not ready to reinvest to convert.

    2) Not everybody thought it was awesome in its current form, needing some revisions in a few areas;

    3) I suspect a significant portion of both the above camps were going to wait for the version II to make sure it would remain a viable product worth investing in;

    In the end, I suspect they couldn't survive that market "wait" since Ver I probably did not generate the resources to warrant developing and releasing Ver II...
    Jack
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    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

  39. #39
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    Re: Frankie/Heidecke Closed. Leaf AFi is now dead.

    Quote Originally Posted by dwdmguy View Post
    I'd also like to ask a question please?

    I find the Leaf technology awesome for many, many reasons, whey did it never get the respect that it deserved?
    Well, it was slow to develop and made a few innovative and bold, but ill fated steps ... like early wireless transfer to a remote unit that was problematic at best, then had difficulties with center-folding on earlier Aptus units that gave potential users pause. Their earlier U.S. dealer network was ... well ... not Hassey or Phase like ... I never attended a Leaf demo where anyone could make the equipment or software work ... I kid you not. The Software was a bit behind ... even behind Flexcolor which was originally more of a scanner program.

    That said, they improved like crazy and that's probably what you are referring to. I had great respect for my later Leaf gear. Unfortunately (or fortunately: -), when I went to upgrade my Aptus 75s to a AFi-7 I was shut out ... and there was zero loyalty discount available to Leaf owners like me. The cost was staggering to get into the AFi which was more expensive than the Sinar Hy6 which came with a better warranty and included the 80/2.8AF lens for less than the AFi.

    I'm all Hasselblad now.

  40. #40
    dwdmguy
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    Re: Frankie/Heidecke Closed. Leaf AFi is now dead.

    I see. that's ashame. I can only hope and do believe that the Phase partnership will be of huge benefit.

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    Re: Frankie/Heidecke Closed. Leaf AFi is now dead.

    If I read the thread I come to the following conclusion:
    -Leaf will not continue the AFI right now, they dont say if they might produce it in the future
    -we dont know what happens with F&H - it is still possible that they are overtaken by another company, but they could also close the doors forever. If this happens the employees could allways work for another company producing cameras and the production equipment will also still exist.
    -we dont know if the Hy6-product has much to do with the insolvency of Sinar, I believe no, others believe yes
    -I assume we also dont have any numbers of sold units compared to other brands. From what I heard there are quite some new SInar-users in Germany. I also dont believe that internet forums can indicate a representetive number regarding market share of brands. I also guess it could differ between US and Europe.
    -some people believe the Hy6-body needs improvement, others feel it is they most flexible and most advanced system. Nearly everybody believes the optical lenses with Rollei mount are of very fine optical quality
    -some believe 6x6 is not needed, others believe that there is a chance for a larger sensor and the larger image circle of the Rollei could become a real benefit in the future.
    -now its hard to say how big or small the chances are for the Hy6 to survive, I admit that i now believe the chances are not too good, but still there.

  42. #42
    andershald
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    Re: Frankie/Heidecke Closed. Leaf AFi is now dead.

    If Phase One has the right to produce the Hy6, but refrains from doing so, does that leave Sinar without a vehicle for their backs?

    I know Sinar has the M system and technical systems, but are those an alternative to the Hy6?

  43. #43
    Senior Member Graham Mitchell's Avatar
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    Re: Frankie/Heidecke Closed. Leaf AFi is now dead.

    Quote Originally Posted by andershald View Post
    If Phase One has the right to produce the Hy6, but refrains from doing so, does that leave Sinar without a vehicle for their backs?
    "rights to produce" and "ownership of a design" are very different things.

    If Phase One has the right to produce the Hy6, it was probably an assignable right bought years ago by Leaf, and now bought by Phase's new company. That does not mean Jenoptik no longer owns the design. Afaik, Jenoptik still owns the design and therefore can still license it or sell it to another party. Sinar is still part of Jenoptik, afaik, so it is unaffected.

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    Re: Frankie/Heidecke Closed. Leaf AFi is now dead.

    Quote Originally Posted by foto-z View Post
    Sinar is still part of Jenoptik, afaik, so it is unaffected.
    Unaffected?
    If the Hy6 will be discontinued it's pretty much certain that Sinar will stop the digital part and will concentrate on cameras. Producing DBs only for the M and tech cameras doesn't make sense at all.
    This is what I expect: Sinar will continue to produce cameras but the digital part is history.

    Quote Originally Posted by foto-z View Post
    Afaik, Jenoptik still owns the design and therefore can still license it or sell it to another party.
    To which one? If it is again a bizzare company without a certain power in the market (i.e. a company to trust in) it will be a desaster. And who would make DBs for the Hy6 then? With Leaf together there was a potential chance for the Hy6 system but without Leaf I don't see any chance for the Hy6.
    The future of the Hy6/AFi is likely at Phase/Leaf or nowhere. And it is only going to happen if there is a chance to produce and sell the platform at a competitive price.

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    Re: Frankie/Heidecke Closed. Leaf AFi is now dead.

    I think Jenoptic has stopped investing in the digi backs via Sinar a while back....way before F&H officially became insolvent. Remember that the latest Leaf backs were going to be Sinar branded in a JV announced only a few months ago...

    The fact that Leaf has been closed down by Kodak means that Jenoptic had no interest in increasing its bets in this market.

    I hope that that no interest does not mean that Sinar in its entirety is also closed down...I hope that Sinar doesn't haev a lot of liabilities and debts at the divisional level - this at least would mean that if Jenoptic did decide to opt out - they would be marketable.

    I have my fingers crossed for Sinar.

  46. #46
    Senior Member Graham Mitchell's Avatar
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    Re: Frankie/Heidecke Closed. Leaf AFi is now dead.

    Quote Originally Posted by thomas View Post
    Unaffected?
    I was referring to Sinar's rights to the Hy6, not the F&H issue!

    Quote Originally Posted by thomas View Post
    If the Hy6 will be discontinued it's pretty much certain that Sinar will stop the digital part and will concentrate on cameras. Producing DBs only for the M and tech cameras doesn't make sense at all.
    Agreed.

    Quote Originally Posted by thomas View Post
    If it is again a bizzare company without a certain power in the market (i.e. a company to trust in) it will be a desaster.
    Agreed again. After what is happening now, the Hy6 needs a strong and committed company to say "we are proud to be continuing production of the Hy6, and are committed to marketing and developing this platform until it is the number one MF platform".

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    Re: Frankie/Heidecke Closed. Leaf AFi is now dead.

    Quote Originally Posted by foto-z View Post
    After what is happening now, the Hy6 needs a strong and committed company to say "we are proud to be continuing production of the Hy6, and are committed to marketing and developing this platform until it is the number one MF platform".
    But actually this can't be Phase. They have to claim this for the Phase/Mamiya platform (either way which camera is "better"). The AFi could - could - be a second option in the line as a niche. But if you think about the current economy there is not much room for an eccentric camera at eccentric prices.

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    Re: Frankie/Heidecke Closed. Leaf AFi is now dead.

    As an interesting side note to all of this is Hasselblad's recent launch of a 39 meg back for the V series cameras.

    Any interest in a Hy6 I may have had is effectively killed by this news. My 203FE system is alive and well with re-newed support well into the digital age.

    Like Peter, I do hope Sinar remains a viable player in the market.

  49. #49
    Senior Member Graham Mitchell's Avatar
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    Re: Frankie/Heidecke Closed. Leaf AFi is now dead.

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    As an interesting side note to all of this is Hasselblad's recent launch of a 39 meg back for the V series cameras.

    Any interest in a Hy6 I may have had is effectively killed by this news. My 203FE system is alive and well with re-newed support well into the digital age.
    Correct me if I'm wrong but isn't there a problem that the new CFV back doesn't rotate? And isn't the flash sync only 1/125 on the 203FE? Is there metering with the waist level finder? Autofocus? Colour temperature sensor? etc. They are such different products. I don't see the Hasselblad V focal plane system as competing with the Hy6 at all. The Hy6 is clearly more similar to the Hasselblad H.

    Phase clearly has a stake in the Mamiya 645 platform, but that is a pretty limited platform. Seems to be no issue for landscape shooters, but I bet the Hasselblad has a much higher share of the fashion crowd. Phase needs a platform to compete with the Hasselblad. Just my $0.02.

  50. #50
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    Re: Frankie/Heidecke Closed. Leaf AFi is now dead.

    Regardless of where Sinar sits these days, I think a lot of would be buyers are switching to other options. With everything going on around them, it certainly makes a would be buyer nervous. Now we also should keep in mind location differences. The European crowd may not be so nervous but here in the states most likely less looking in the Sinar/Leaf direction with Hassy and Phase very popular here. Besides times being tough with competition among themselves along with a down economy just too many doors closing and on a user level too many jobs not being produced anymore. No question my business is down and every shooter out there is feeling the pinch. Seriously and no kidding around we are all looking for a answer when it comes to making a living and staying above the curve. A lot of our buying habits have slipped very low on our priority list.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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