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Thread: The Shake Up: SINAR

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    Subscriber Member Georg Baumann's Avatar
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    The Shake Up: SINAR

    Well, honestly, I am not too astonished about it anymore.

    If true, then Sinar has fired all staff in Germany. Client requests will be served from headquarters in Switzerland according to a usually very reliable source of mine.

    If anyone is wondering about Jenoptik in particular, it might be useful to compare the trend, and looking at the attached speaks volumes from where I am standing.

    Red=NASDAQ
    Blue= Jena

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    Senior Member Graham Mitchell's Avatar
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    Re: The Shake Up: SINAR

    I received an email today from Helga Frorath, who was working at Sinar Germany. She told me they will be setting up a webshop in Switzerland. So at least one German staff member isn't being fired. It seems like a restructuring is in place.

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    Subscriber Member Georg Baumann's Avatar
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    Re: The Shake Up: SINAR

    Hi Graham,

    restructuring is a nice description.

    I seriosuly wonder what will happen on the short run with Jenaoptic, for sure worth keeping a close eye!

    As Guy said in another thread, SINAR sales volumes in US (and Canada as I happen to know) are completly neglectable, they just never made it there, now sales is more than only threatened in Europe....

    In general terms, without a certain sales volume, I would not call this restructuring anymore, but time will tell....

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    Re: The Shake Up: SINAR

    Quote Originally Posted by Georg Baumann View Post
    Hi Graham,

    restructuring is a nice description.

    I seriosuly wonder what will happen on the short run with Jenaoptic, for sure worth keeping a close eye!
    As far as I understand Sinar is just one very small business range of Jenoptik.

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    Re: The Shake Up: SINAR

    "restructuring" is it called nowadays?

    be that as it may... the further moves are predestined

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    Subscriber Member Georg Baumann's Avatar
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    Re: The Shake Up: SINAR

    Quote Originally Posted by t_streng View Post
    As far as I understand Sinar is just one very small business range of Jenoptik.
    True, I am just wondering....

    It started at 5.55 euros on January 2, 2009 and had a closing price of 3.50 euros in trading on the Xetra on March 31, 2009. As such, the Jenoptik share underperformed against the two comparison indices, the Dax and TecDax, losing nearly 37 percent of its value over the 1st quarter 2009.

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    Re: The Shake Up: SINAR

    George, I'm not sure how you make a connection between the posted chart and Sinar's prospects. Perhaps you're aware of some other information that you could share with us. The following charts were taken from Jenoptic's website and, putting aside the share price, they don't seem to have done too badly for 2008. Having said that I'm not overly optimistic about the MF market for any of the companies... but then again, I'm pretty pessimistic about the state of the world economy at large so take my opinion for what it's worth.

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: The Shake Up: SINAR

    Just not good news coming from there camp it seems.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: The Shake Up: SINAR

    From BJP

    Title: Franke & Heidecke: Sinar reacts to news of closure
    Feature: Daily News
    Date: 6 July 2009

    Sinar, one of the medium format camera makers directly affected by the closure of Franke & Heidecke, is still studying plans regarding its Hy6 camera, BJP has learnt

    On 04 July, BJP revelead that Franke & Heidecke, the German manufacturer responsible for 6x6 format camera bodies for both Leaf and Sinar, had told its employees it was to close.

    Speaking to BJP, a Sinar spokeswoman reacted to the news: 'Unfortunatly the final decision about the Sinar Hy6 camera is still pending,' she says. 'Sinar is still confident this product will continue. A final decision is expected around end of July.' Sinar refused to comment further.

    Leaf, whose AFi system is based on the same camera body as the Hy6, has yet to return calls and emails for comment. For more updates, check bjp-online.com/news.
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    Re: The Shake Up: SINAR

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Just not good news coming from there camp it seems.
    Can't argue with that Guy and I'd be inclined to say that all this bad news does nothing positive for the MF industry as a whole. Wish I had a crystal ball at the time I switched from Leaf to Sinar and loaded up on Rollei glass My main concern as a current owner is continued service, if needed, rather than the delivery of promised (but not delivered) additions to the lineup.

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    Subscriber Member Georg Baumann's Avatar
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    Re: The Shake Up: SINAR

    Quote Originally Posted by David K View Post
    George, I'm not sure how you make a connection between the posted chart and Sinar's prospects.
    Hi David,

    I did not make that connection, just looking at Jenaoptik in general, the chart was from their website as of today as well.

    Then again, common sense would make that connection. I would think that any company in such position would think about getting rid of costly ballast, and as suich I would see Sinar for them.

    Time will tell....

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    Re: The Shake Up: SINAR

    Completely agree David , I am more worried about the current owners more than anything. We all buy hoping service and support will be around plus parts and system advancements. Not sure what Sinar owner should do here , give up and unload it or buy spares and hang on for dear life. Bad situation no matter what happens just does not give the current owners a lot of confidence and that I feel really bad for them which obviously includes you. Just too much money at risk here.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: The Shake Up: SINAR

    "As Guy said in another thread, SINAR sales volumes in US (and Canada as I happen to know) are completly neglectable, they just never made it there, now sales is more than only threatened in Europe...."

    Just as an FYI, I live in Toronto, tons of people shoot MFDB Here and lot's of Phase and Hasselblad rental options.
    I don't know anyone who shoots Sinar, I have never ever seen a Sinar back, and when the espirt65 was announced I was even planing to go to NYC for the day to check it out, but 3 times I tried, there was non for me to see...
    which is a shame.
    Kinda strange, Back in the film days 80% including myself shot Sinar 4x5.
    am

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    Subscriber Member Georg Baumann's Avatar
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    Re: The Shake Up: SINAR

    Quote Originally Posted by David K View Post
    My main concern as a current owner is continued service, if needed, rather than the delivery of promised (but not delivered) additions to the lineup.
    David,

    I would not think you need to worry about that, but prudence is certainly a good advisor.

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    Subscriber Member Georg Baumann's Avatar
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    Re: The Shake Up: SINAR

    Quote Originally Posted by arashm View Post
    Just as an FYI, I live in Toronto, tons of people shoot MFDB Here and lot's of Phase and Hasselblad rental options.
    I don't know anyone who shoots Sinar, I have never ever seen a Sinar back,
    Well, you missed me then. I was there last year shooting with one. But seriously, yeah, I guess it would be difficult to locate Sinar users in Canada.

    Btw. Love Toronto and Ontario, been there last year for the first time. If I can manage that one of these days, I plan to go to canada for a longer time, up to BC.

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    Re: The Shake Up: SINAR

    Quote Originally Posted by Georg Baumann View Post
    David,

    I would not think you need to worry about that, but prudence is certainly a good advisor.
    I certainly hope you're right but I can't help but think about how much I paid for several years of additional warranty coverage that just might not be available.

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    Subscriber Member Georg Baumann's Avatar
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    Re: The Shake Up: SINAR

    Quote Originally Posted by David K View Post
    I certainly hope you're right but I can't help but think about how much I paid for several years of additional warranty coverage that just might not be available.
    Hmmm, if I would be in your shoes, I would certainly get a further written confirmation, just in case.

    I still do not think you need to worry, they just have to have something in place to honor those contracts, then again, there is always murphy's law.

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    Re: The Shake Up: SINAR

    Quote Originally Posted by Georg Baumann View Post
    I would think that any company in such position would think about getting rid of costly ballast,
    Well said Georg. I have little doubt that is precisely what this entire F&H/Leaf/Sinar shakeout is all about...
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    Re: The Shake Up: SINAR

    I will not be surprised if there will be two MFDB players by the end of this year - Hasselblad and PhaseOne, similar to 35mm CaNikon's two-main-players market.

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    Re: The Shake Up: SINAR

    Actually, having heard various rumours about Sinar, Jenoptik, Franke&Heidecke and so on, including some insider information about possible outcomes, what has happened is for me very positive, almost a best possible outcome. Sinar Germany, which is what is being closed down, is a marketing branch of Sinar in one of their largest markets. During good times these sorts of sub-companies make sense, to handle a lot of volume. In a time like this with the economy in a shambles, they are just overhead.

    The fact that they have looked at their business, and decided that they need to trim overhead and run the company as lean as possible is just restructuring (yes, that is what restructuring is, I don't understand the comments about that, and of course, Sinar AG in Feuerthalen is still there), is very positive, because it means that they are still looking forwards, still thinking about the core business, and still have enough optimism left to trim something like this, which apart from Sinar's German customers won't affect anyone at all.

    No product has been cancelled, no service has been limited (enough staff for support and warranty handling has been left standing), and there is still some room for optimistic hopes that the economy will have time to recover before Sinar has to take any further actions.

    Apart from business as usual, trimming overhead is just about the most healthy sign that Sinar could send out. They still operate as a functional business.

    On a different note, Hasselblad's price-cutting move also makes sense in the economy of today, and with Leica being an added competitor in the near future (if all goes according to plan).

    However, I really can't understand Phase One's move. In a time like this, when sales in general must be dropping (although the P65+ seems to sell well), it is surely not a time to splurge, and the partial Leaf acquisition has me stumped. It smells like desperation to me, but I could of course be wrong. It just feels like Phase feels more and more marginalized with their tech, and wanted to expand in some kind of way. I think that the AFi would have made a stronger statement than just getting a few good engineers and a little intellectual property. Let's face it: Phase doesn't really stand in the shadow of anyone when it comes to digital backs; rather, it is the camera-side which is behind Hasselblad et al. The one exception might be the skin tone issue, where Leaf owners have been raving about the great skin colour for years.
    Last edited by carstenw; 6th July 2009 at 10:19.
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    Re: The Shake Up: SINAR

    Quote Originally Posted by evgeny View Post
    I will not be surprised if there will be two MFDB players by the end of this year - Hasselblad and PhaseOne, similar to 35mm CaNikon's two-main-players market.
    I think the marketshare distribution breakdowns of the MF and Pro 35mm markets already match. Two players dominate the market (each with specific niches where they dominate) with a third player also in the mix (Sony / Sinar).

    Of course this does vary by geographic and stylistic niche.

    For what it's worth digital backs are my job and much of my recreation and I've only seen one Sinar back outside of the tradeshows.

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    Re: The Shake Up: SINAR

    and I thought SINAR is not in trouble

    I knew they didn't make a lot of sense by refusing to make me a deal but I thought they were too proud and could never anticipated SINAR is in trouble.

    now I have to look at Phase or Hasselblad and from what I see on this forum Phase looks good.

    2nd options would be as one of my assistants suggested D3x is the most reliable MF system that you can get today, of course he was joking but that's just on my mind now.

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    Senior Member kdphotography's Avatar
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    Re: The Shake Up: SINAR

    Quote Originally Posted by carstenw View Post
    ....On a different note, ....However, I really can't understand Phase One's move. In a time like this, when sales in general must be dropping (although the P65+ seems to sell well), it is surely not a time to splurge, and the partial Leaf acquisition has me stumped.

    ..... Let's face it: Phase doesn't really stand in the shadow of anyone when it comes to digital backs; rather, it is the camera-side which is behind Hasselblad et al.
    Just speculation, but Phase One seems to be healthy---and when you have cash/assets in a difficult economy, sometimes it pays off to take a "contrarian" stance (and invest) rather than retract and hide in the shadows. To me, I see Phase One not looking at the present. They are looking beyond to the future. (And I'm hoping they listen to Guy and release a super-duper camera body...)

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    Re: The Shake Up: SINAR

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Completely agree David , I am more worried about the current owners more than anything. We all buy hoping service and support will be around plus parts and system advancements. Not sure what Sinar owner should do here , give up and unload it or buy spares and hang on for dear life. Bad situation no matter what happens just does not give the current owners a lot of confidence and that I feel really bad for them which obviously includes you. Just too much money at risk here.
    For my part I see no sense in unloading my Sinar stuff. First of all there will be service by Sinar hired people in Germany at least until beginning of next year, and I expect until then there will be a concept how the service and support in Germany will be continued - I am pretty sure there will be local service in the future.
    Even if I wanted to unload my Sinar back and Artec, there would be no other tech camera with the same functions be available (besides maybe Arca Swiss) and there would be no back for nearly the same price which would offer me the same resolution combined with good higher ISO, without micro lenses and in that size.
    I believe that the situation at Leaf (who should supply the next generation backs for Sinar) has hit Sinar even arder than the Hy6-situation.
    First the news made me nervous but overall I also prefer if Sinar shrinks a little. The fact that the GmbH Sinar Germany is liquidated doesnt mean that there will be no service in Germany any more. I believe other back manufacturers never even had a own local company in Germany.(maybe I am wrong-I am not sure)
    Of course I am not happy how things develop, but on the other side it could be much worse.

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    Re: The Shake Up: SINAR

    In my opinion Sinar will be out of the digital back business in the next few months and will revert to being a high end camera manufacturer.
    Nick-T

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    Re: The Shake Up: SINAR

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick-T View Post
    In my opinion Sinar will be out of the digital back business in the next few months and will revert to being a high end camera manufacturer.
    I agree

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    Re: The Shake Up: SINAR

    Quote Originally Posted by Alexander Bauer View Post
    and I thought SINAR is not in trouble

    I knew they didn't make a lot of sense by refusing to make me a deal but I thought they were too proud and could never anticipated SINAR is in trouble.

    now I have to look at Phase or Hasselblad and from what I see on this forum Phase looks good.

    2nd options would be as one of my assistants suggested D3x is the most reliable MF system that you can get today, of course he was joking but that's just on my mind now.
    I have a D3X ... and a Sony A900 ... as well as a H3D-II MFD system ... I can assure you he was joking.

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    Re: The Shake Up: SINAR

    Quote Originally Posted by Georg Baumann View Post
    Well, honestly, I am not too astonished about it anymore.

    If true, then Sinar has fired all staff in Germany. Client requests will be served from headquarters in Switzerland according to a usually very reliable source of mine.

    If anyone is wondering about Jenoptik in particular, it might be useful to compare the trend, and looking at the attached speaks volumes from where I am standing.

    Red=NASDAQ
    Blue= Jena
    Absolutely sickening developments.

    As a Hasselblad owner/user the LAST thing I want to see is lack of ANY competition from innovative companies like Sinar and Leaf.

    On a different note (silver lining in a thunder cloud) ... this could be good news for Leica.

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    Re: The Shake Up: SINAR

    This MFD world is melting under the weight of its own irrationalities. There simply arent enough people left standing to keep the market size going as it was.Leaf goes and maybe Sinar too - but takes a significant number of burned customers down with them..

    These customers arent going to say oh well - I will just now switch to Hasselblad or Phase - some might many wont.

    So the remaining duo will be left fighting over a smaller per annum unit sales battlefield - which is crowded with an ever increasing used body market for the person who never bought in the first place but might pay up for a nice mint used back....

    The annual oo ahh about another 10 megapixels crammed into the same sized chip cos tehcnology always gets better and last years this is just the beez knees ads get pulled from the glossy sites to be replaced by thsi years beez knees - that party is over folks..

    So what do I see from my cynical and charred rooftop ?

    I see the smartest guys, with big smiles and nice manners, sliding carefully, slowly, chatting away and cracking jokes moving purposefully and privately out of the seating rows...towards the exit doors..hoping that no one notices and that they can maybe get 60 or 50 or 40 cents in the dollar for the gear they already own ..on their way out - before the door slams.

    Meanwhile the single most important issue regarding the survival of the market is not being adressed by the players - all those three year warranties blah blah blah..what are they worth if the companies are no longer there?

    Best thing everyone can do is in their minds totally write off the dollars they have spent - and realise that if no one is buying new at current prices and value propositions - maybe the companies who wish to play - have to get prices and other incentives down to actually competing against the real competition - CaNikon. if they cant - well they are walking dead too..

    the best value propositions will be the Leaf and Sinar backs sold new @ 20-30 cents in the dollar. of course existing players wont want to see this - hence the BS new Leaf company - it aint about a merger it is about protecting fire sales that will crush who is left..the last thing needed is not only a large used market but a new market selling cheaper than 3 year old backs...


    Just my 2cents worth - thats all I have left of my fun dollars - after these MFD players have finished with me!

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    Senior Member Graham Mitchell's Avatar
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    Re: The Shake Up: SINAR

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterA View Post
    There simply arent enough people left standing to keep the market size going as it was.
    I just hope they listen before it's too late. How many times have we heard people clamouring for feature X, and the MF makers keep offering more of feature Y? If they produced the right sort of medium format camera at the right price, it could be a runaway success.

    I can just imagine the fanfare made by Canikon when they announce to the world a new 'revolutionary' supersized sensor for even better image quality, larger viewfinder, etc. They wouldn't be able to make enough of them to keep up with demand.

    The market exists, they just don't know how to grasp it.

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    Re: The Shake Up: SINAR

    Yeah Graham

    That is exactly the right analysis. Build the better (i.e. most usable) mousetrap and the world will still beat a path to your door.

    Down with the marketing hype. Build us a camera we can really use!

    Just my usual whistling past the graveyard dearge. (H3DII-39 and the millions of lens dollars and accessories nightmares LOL)

    I am now really anxiously awaiting the S2

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    Re: The Shake Up: SINAR

    Well the Hy6 taught us that a new MF camera system isnt an easy thing to do. It came to teh market very late and allowed Phase One to actually survive.

    The Leica S2 is an interesting camera at a very uninteresting price.

    If the market was big enough to get CaNikon interest - they would already be there.

    if teh MFD back makers reduce price to actually threaten CaNikon hihg end - that is when the CaNikon cards will be played ...

    In the meantime Canikon is just watching teh MF players die slowly one after the other..it is a cruel torture

    The true high end player will end up being RED if/when they bring out their DSLR type body with FFMF and 617 chips. These cameras are slated for price points already posted - which are teh same as MFD camera backs where - just 3 years ago.

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    Re: The Shake Up: SINAR

    Quote Originally Posted by foto-z View Post
    I just hope they listen before it's too late. How many times have we heard people clamouring for feature X, and the MF makers keep offering more of feature Y? If they produced the right sort of medium format camera at the right price, it could be a runaway success.

    I can just imagine the fanfare made by Canikon when they announce to the world a new 'revolutionary' supersized sensor for even better image quality, larger viewfinder, etc. They wouldn't be able to make enough of them to keep up with demand.

    The market exists, they just don't know how to grasp it.
    I seriously doubt that it exists, so it doesn't matter if they know how to grasp it or not.

    IMO, it's all just going back to where it all started ... a couple of smaller specialized companies making equipment for people who actually need it to make a living ... those that see it as a business write-off rather than as an investment to be sweated over at every speed bump. It appears to me that the recreational MF format digital bubble is simply in the process of bursting because of the economy.

    While I think the S2 may be a very nice 'tweener solution, we will see how many people who choked at the $8 price tag of the top Pro 35mm DSLRs will rush to pony up $20K+ not to mention Leica style lens price tags ... PLUS gladly go to the slaughter house with their existing gear and lay it on the alter.

    I would love one. But I can't be without a view camera. So for me it is simple ...

    love the one you are with ... and go make photographs.

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    Re: The Shake Up: SINAR

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterA View Post
    Well the Hy6 taught us that a new MF camera system isnt an easy thing to do. It came to teh market very late and allowed Phase One to actually survive.

    The Leica S2 is an interesting camera at a very uninteresting price.

    If the market was big enough to get CaNikon interest - they would already be there.

    if teh MFD back makers reduce price to actually threaten CaNikon hihg end - that is when the CaNikon cards will be played ...

    In the meantime Canikon is just watching teh MF players die slowly one after the other..it is a cruel torture

    The true high end player will end up being RED if/when they bring out their DSLR type body with FFMF and 617 chips. These cameras are slated for price points already posted - which are teh same as MFD camera backs where - just 3 years ago.
    I've been watching "RED" for some time now Peter. It'd be interesting to know how they are doing as a company these days. The commercial film industry isn't exactly booming what with the switch to "alternative media" on the part of advertisers ... which funds a huge amount of the rental business even in Hollywood. Video businesses are going south at about the same rate as photo studios these days.

    We live in an odd time for all this stuff.

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    Re: The Shake Up: SINAR

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    love the one you are with ... and go make photographs.

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    Re: The Shake Up: SINAR

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterA View Post
    .....

    The true high end player will end up being RED if/when they bring out their DSLR type body with FFMF and 617 chips. ......
    Marc - you get no argument from me on that point - hence the if/when statement and yes it is hard times relatively - I take no joy being a doom and gloom fella- it isnt my nature...but reality bites as they say..

    however if they deliver a useable dslr configuration + the megapixel at each frame + the video at that price point - it kinda forces the price down issue for current incumbents even more..as I have said on a few occasions - single shot megapixels > than 40 meg - for me the archetypal hobby shooter - well I have no interest or need...and I dont 'sweat' the lost cashola from my playing in MFD I write it off the day I buy it...
    Last edited by PeterA; 7th July 2009 at 01:29.

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    Re: The Shake Up: SINAR

    The following press release is only tangentially related to what's happening at Sinar headquarters but I thought some US based users might find it worthwhile reading. I've also learned from one of my friends at SBI that they will be distributing some new products that will likely be of interest to some of our members. Not allowed to say what it is yet, but it should be publicly disclosed within a week or so.

    July 7, 2009 – Edison, NJ

    On June 30, 2009 Bron Elektronik and Foba AG purchased the shares of Sinar Bron Imaging (SBI) previously owned by Sinar AG. SBI is now wholly owned by Bron Elektronik AG and Foba AG. Prior to June of this year Bron Elektronik AG, Sinar AG, and Foba AG owned the company. SBI will continue to distribute Sinar products in the United States and to work closely with Sinar on marketing and support of the Sinar line.

    “The market for professional photographic products has changed dramatically in the past year. The new ownership structure will provide SBI with additional flexibility with which to address and respond to a rapidly changing marketplace.” Said Michael Hejtmanek, President of Sinar Bron Imaging.

    As a part of this change, new support and warranty policies will be put in place on Sinar products sold by SBI. Please contact your dealer or see the www.sinarbron.com for more information about service and warranty.

    Sinar Bron Imaging will continue to operate under the same trade name until a new name is announced in the next few months.

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    Re: The Shake Up: SINAR

    Thanks David,

    The way I read this is that Sinar ( Jenoptic) have sold their interest in the US distributor. If so, we se another example of cost down - much like closing down their dealership in Germany...

    One could read this as a positive indicator for Sinar - exiting non-core aspects of their business - which would indicate (at the very least) some attempt is being made to stay in business...

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    Re: The Shake Up: SINAR

    Peter,

    You're correct that Sinar has sold it's share (40%) to the remaining shareholders. My understanding is that it's related to the fact that the losses being incurred by SBI were not equally attributable to the shareholders' interests. The good news is that SBI continues in business, albeit without Sinar as a shareholder, and there's still someone to talk to should problems arise. The prospect of having to deal directly with someone in Switzerland at Sinar headquarters is not an attractive one. I had enough difficulties (language and otherwise) getting through to F&H, when they were still repairing Rollei lenses, to last me a lifetime.

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    Re: The Shake Up: SINAR

    Hi friends,

    I was reading this string about Sinar in Canada. I live in Montreal, Quebec, I have been doing professional photography here for the last 20 years using Sinar and Broncolor.

    For the last 15 years about there has not seen one professional tread show and since Lisle Kelco lost the Sinar brand we have not been serve properly.

    Even when I had to replace levels on my P2, I had to deal whit SBI in the States. I think if Sinar wants to make a break true here, they must really make a big effort in promoting there products.

    The other problem is that the markets have been dropping for the last 5 years. In the last 6 mounts I know like 6 Photographers that have close there studios, due to the lack of work.

    I for one would love to shot with the Sinar backs, accept it would be impossible to amortize it in a reasonable time, even a Nikon d3x is hard to amortize. So I had to shot using Nikon since the clients don't have the money to pay us properly and we are competing agains new comers that ready to work for credits.

    I am confident that in a year or two the markets here will have recover and we might be able to have proper representation from Sinar.

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    Re: The Shake Up: SINAR

    Some news today from BJP

    Title: Franke & Heidecke facing the end
    Feature: news
    Date: 8 July 2009

    The German company behind the Rolleiflex twin-lens camera system and the 6x6 format camera body for both Leaf and Sinar has closed, BJP can reveal. Its closure also deals a heavy blow to the Leaf AFi system and reshapes the entire medium format camera landscape.

    Last week, BJP learnt that Franke & Heidecke had sent a letter to its 131 employees, spelling the end of all operations. Paul Franke and Reinhold Heidecke formed the company in 1920, when they launched the Werkstatt fur Feinmechanik und Optik, Franke & Heidecke workshop. The company developed and successfully marketed the Rolleiflex brand and became a major player in the medium format camera market.

    When digital took over, Franke & Heidecke developed the 6x6 body it marketed under the Rolleiflex Hy6 name, and licensed to Leaf and Sinar, which respectively sold it under the AFi and Hy6 brands.

    Already, the news of Franke & Heidecke's demise has claimed one victim: the Leaf AFi camera system, which BJP can confirm is now on hold. Ziv Argov, head of sales and marketing for Leaf Imaging - a company created by Phase One and former managers at Leaf - tells BJP that while it has the rights for the Leaf AFi, it 'is not planning to manufacture it. With the complex situation in Germany, the Leaf AFi is currently on hold'.

    He adds: 'Leaf Imaging will not be selling the AFi on Day One of operations. We have to determine its viability. We are very interested in participating with others in making the system commercially available. Obviously, this will require one more partner with production capabilities, including lenses, shutters, and so on.'

    Franke & Heidecke's closure only precipitated the demise of the AFi system. Last month, in a wide-ranging interview with BJP, Henrik O Hakonsson, president and CEO at Phase One confirmed the AFi system was being re-evaluated after Phase One agreed to form Leaf Imaging to buy Leaf's assets. He had warned that the system's fate would be determined by Franke & Heidecke's financial situation.

    Sinar is also affected by the Franke & Heidecke closure. Speaking to BJP, a Sinar spokeswoman reacted to the news: 'Unfortunately the final decision about the Sinar Hy6 camera is still pending,' she says. 'Sinar is still confident this product will continue. A final decision is expected around end of July.' However, the company is refusing to comment further in an effort to control its message, according to the spokeswoman.

    The financial troubles at Franke & Heidecke started last year after the firm partnered with Hans R Schmid Beteiligungs to inject new finance to support an increase in its production of camera systems and lenses. However, by January this year the company appeared to be running into difficulties and it announced that its chief executive officer would leave the company following disagreements with the new partner, who had become the majority shareholder as part of the investment deal.

    'In view of different views regarding past and future policies and cooperation with the new partner Hans R Schmid, Mr Bodo Fischer offered his resignation from the management of Franke & Heidecke, an offer that was accepted by the company,' the firm said in a statement in January.

    In a March statement, the company said it was being forced into administration.

    Closure
    However, after three months of negotiations with the German government and banks, Franke & Heidecke told its employees on 01 July that it would close down and end all its operations by September this year, putting an end to 80 years of Rolleiflex cameras and the two-year old collaboration with Jenoptik, Leaf and Sinar to produce the 6x6 medium format camera.

    The 'open' digital platform initiative came after Hasselblad announced its H3D camera would no longer be made compatible with competing digital backs (BJP, 18 October 2006), citing a lack of co-operative investment from other makers.

    The development of the camera was, at first, largely financed by Jenoptik, which hoped to recuperate the costs by 'franchising' the camera to Leaf, and by distributing it through its subsiduary company, Sinar.

    It is widely expected that Franke & Heidecke's demise will reshape the entire medium format camera market, with Sinar expected to communicate the future of its product lines this month.

    Check bjp-online.com/news for further updates.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: The Shake Up: SINAR

    Quote Originally Posted by MMPhoto View Post
    Hi friends,

    I was reading this string about Sinar in Canada. I live in Montreal, Quebec, I have been doing professional photography here for the last 20 years using Sinar and Broncolor.

    For the last 15 years about there has not seen one professional tread show and since Lisle Kelco lost the Sinar brand we have not been serve properly.

    Even when I had to replace levels on my P2, I had to deal whit SBI in the States. I think if Sinar wants to make a break true here, they must really make a big effort in promoting there products.

    The other problem is that the markets have been dropping for the last 5 years. In the last 6 mounts I know like 6 Photographers that have close there studios, due to the lack of work.

    I for one would love to shot with the Sinar backs, accept it would be impossible to amortize it in a reasonable time, even a Nikon d3x is hard to amortize. So I had to shot using Nikon since the clients don't have the money to pay us properly and we are competing agains new comers that ready to work for credits.

    I am confident that in a year or two the markets here will have recover and we might be able to have proper representation from Sinar.


    Think of all that heritage ...

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    Re: The Shake Up: SINAR

    I have a peace in my heart.

    Imagine all MFDB manufacturers were closed, and no MFDB is produced anymore, and no support exists at all.

    So, I end up with a working MFDB equipment, which worth 1/2 - 1/3th or so of what I initially paid.
    So what?
    I actually use Contax 645 with DB backs that became a history. I don't run to buy a Nikon D3x or upgrade (every year) to a 50MP back.
    I use what I have and still happy. I can buy a replacement on eBay, I don't know for how long, but probably for an 1/10th of the price that someone else paid at demand times. I replace broken equipment, not repair it, and that costs me less.
    When eBay "stocks" will end or I decide to change the platform, that will be easy.

    Photography tools will ALWAYS be available.
    Last edited by evgeny; 8th July 2009 at 07:46.

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    Re: The Shake Up: SINAR

    Good point. I suspect there are a few folks out there still driving Ramblers and DeSoto's and they disappeared several years ago...
    Jack
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    Re: The Shake Up: SINAR

    I think the real trick here is ignore this stuff and use your gear until you either want to move to something else or run it into the ground and get the most out of it. There should be plenty of Sinar gear around for the next 3 years anyway new or used to supplement any parts you may need. Service should be around and cross your fingers and hope all goes well. Very little can go wrong with a back, very little. Plenty of backup camera's out there on the used market to sustain you. I know in Mamiya if Phase happen to crook the untimely I could survive a long time just on used bodies. Just keep plugging along
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: The Shake Up: SINAR

    Personally I'm feeling better about the future of Sinar than a week or two ago. There are clearly new plans and changes, which is not the sign of a company about to close its doors. What we don't know is the future of specific product lines.

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    Re: The Shake Up: SINAR

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    I think the real trick here is ignore this stuff and use your gear until you either want to move to something else or run it into the ground and get the most out of it... I could survive a long time just on used bodies.
    Hear hear, Guy.

    -Brad

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    Re: The Shake Up: SINAR

    These actions are inevitable in the current marketplace. What I see is Sinar dealing with the realities on the ground. They must transition their business model and operational costs in order to maintain profitability or at least break even until things improve.

    It could be that they will not succeed and we will be left with 2 players. The players left standing will be in a better position to withstand the worst economy in our lifetimes.

    If Sinar is to succeed they can't wait until there is little hope like F&H. They were at the point of desperation even before the economy really turned south. How long did it take them to final produce a sellable Hy6 after announcement. Similar to Mamiya with their ZD and new glass. Those delays simply mean they didn't have the cash to develop the products people wanted to buy. By the time they were in a position to produce sellable product they didn't have the cash to meet demand and credit was simply not available, due to the economic situation, to pull them through. Had they been ready 2 years earlier things might have been a lot different.

    Sinar has sellable products, is well respected in addition to having production rights to the Hy6. Are they in the same position as F&H in terms of profitability? Maybe but hopefully not.

    I laugh when I hear the banter about Hasselblad and Phase One. To me, most if this is baseless ranting. Both companies have excellent products, well established marketing channels, and devoted customers. Hasselblad is a couple years ahead of Phase/Mamiya in terms of camera functionality but both systems have strengths and weaknesses. Let's not forget that Hasselblad is the one cutting prices not Phase One and Mamiya is selling cameras and glass.

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    Re: The Shake Up: SINAR

    I am asking myself - where exactly would I be - without the benfit of all this wise advice?


    Thanks Gents - I will definately sleep easier knowing that I can always use what I own..it is truly a remarkabkle observation.! Trully insightful thinking.

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    Re: The Shake Up: SINAR

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterA View Post
    I am asking myself - where exactly would I be - without the benfit of all this wise advice?


    Thanks Gents - I will definately sleep easier knowing that I can always use what I own..it is truly a remarkabkle observation.! Trully insightful thinking.
    Hate to say I told you so.

    Seriously whatever you have in your hands will last at least 3 years in digital life before you may want something else and in that time you still can get all the parts and service you need to support it. By than I know for a fact you will buy something else , in fact I'm willing to wager the farm on it.

    And that includes the tractor bud
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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