Good News and Bad News

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Tony Estcourt, Apr 26, 2007.

  1. Tony Estcourt

    Tony Estcourt Member

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    Good News...I have about £1000 to convert to some metal and glass, top of the list at the moment is a Hasselblad SWC. Strangely a lot of the second-hand models Ive seen advertised are black finish. One of the things I like about my 500cm and 501 is that they wear very well, underneath the crome is well, more chrome. Has anyone any comments about how well the black finish lasts?

    Bad News......Amateur Photographer magazine has been "re-vamped" and they seem to have missed Roger Hicks off the back page. I'm thinking of writing a strongly worded letter to someone.

    Good news......In the same edition of AP, Jessops (UK based chain of camera shops) have issued a profit warning. Their business strategy of dropping all second-hand gear and most film cameras in favour of box-shifting digital appears to have fallen a bit flat. I hope that at some time in the future I will get a local camera shop back where you can speak to knowlegable people and I could "eyeball" my future SWC first-hand. I used to have three local camera shops that offered this service, and I bet if they were still around I would have a much lower bank balance.
     
  2. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Member

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    Dear Tony,

    Well, I'm supposed to be there one week in four. If you need more...

    Cheers,

    R.
     
  3. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Last week I went into Jessops in my home town to buy some 35mm B&W film. They had a huge choice of: 1 roll Delta 100, 3 rolls of FP4 and no Tmax

    They were very helpful and their computer told them there was an additional roll of Delta 100 at a nearby (15 miles) store.

    I sent Jessops head office an email, needless to say they didn't reply. The girl in the shop said a lot of customers were complaining about the lack of stock.

    Ian


     
  4. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Member

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    Dear Ian,

    Check their share price. The status quo is not an option for them. They can recover. But will they choose to do so?

    Cheers,

    R.
     
  5. copake_ham

    copake_ham Inactive

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    Low stock levels ("inventory" to us in the USA) is a clear sign of a struggling enterprise.

    Pehaps they're having trouble getting "terms" from suppliers?
     
  6. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    In this case George, it's just deliberately low stock levels of film, it's an attempt to get you to buy a new camera, of the consumer electronics variety. They have good stocks of these :D

    But they have lost touch with what their customers actually want. They used to get my 5x4 Tmax for me, and at a good price, now it's no longer listed on their computer system so they can't order it.

    Ian

     
  7. Eric Rose

    Eric Rose Subscriber

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    anyone short sighted enought to cast off the throngs of analog film users deserves to die a slow and painful death.
     
  8. Tony Estcourt

    Tony Estcourt Member

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    Well on point (2) I've just written to AP at amateurphotographer@ipcmedia.com to let then know that (in my opinion) they really need Rogers continued contribition. This will prevent their magazine from reading like an electronics catalogue.

    I am 100% in control of point (1) where I still ponder the massive problem of chrome vs. balck finish blads. I'm thinking of taking some time from work to concentrate on the problem.

    On point (3) the "market" will decide.
     
  9. David Henderson

    David Henderson Member

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    "This will prevent their magazine from reading like an electronics catalogue"

    Well sadly well over 50% of this mag and others is equipment ads. If it wasn't then you wouldn't want to pay the cover price and the publishers would surely struggle to justify a weekly magazine. View it as a subsidy from those making and selling equipment.

    I do think they are right to make changes to the magazine- its been getting very stale for something that finds its way into my house every weekend . Lets hope that the changes turn out to be improvements and that I get more than ten minutes reading out of it in future.
     
  10. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Well Jessops lost my mother and aunt as customers as well, in their 70's and 80's they have zero interest in computers and digital, and the shop or rather huge chain of shops no longer caters for their photographic needs.

    The irony is the local high street chemists "Boots" (a pharmacist) actually has better stocks of film than Jessops (a so called photographic specialist), so perhaps Jessops really are shooting themselves in the foot :smile:

    Ian


     
  11. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    Me thinks rather shooting themselves in the head. :surprised:

    Steve
     
  12. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Member

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    Dear Steve,

    Their aim was always questionable...

    Cheers,

    R.
     
  13. steven_e007

    steven_e007 Member

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    I had to catch a plane earlier this week and so was doing the 'lets walk around the departure lounge yet again' thing whilst waiting, as you do.

    There was a tiny little 'photographic' shop hidden between the duty free and sandwich shops. More of a kiosk, really, that sold a few cheap digital cameras and binoculars and the sorts of little things you forget. Batteries, memory cards, batteries, cases and mini tripods. And batteries. Plenty of batteries.

    And one wall full of FILM. Including a pretty full range of Ilford, FP4+, HP5+ and the all the Deltas... only SFX anf Pan F was missing. Plenty of colour print, slide and Kodak's C41 BW films, too. So somebody is still buying it!

    Jessops have no excuse...

    Steve
     
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  15. ben-s

    ben-s Member

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    Going back to their roots eh?
    Boots startedout in life as "The Photographer's Chemist"

    <rant>
    I really wish Jessops would refocus on film a bit.

    I was looking at lenses in there the other day, and I asked to see only full frame ones.
    I was told that I didn't really need full frame lenses for my EOS 30D (which was round my neck). When I replied that I wanted my lenses to fit an EOS 1N also, they looked at me like I was from Mars - "What? you still use film?"
    Yes. That would be why I bought a C41 kit off you last week. I seem to recall you found that quite quaint too.
    </rant>

    Now I'd better go and think happy thoughts before I cry :D

    I will take the opportunity to heartily recommend 7dayshop.com though - they have a very good range of film, at very good prices.
    It's always shipped fresh (unless you ordered the reduced outdated film of course).
    The only little annoyance is their variable delivery time. Sometimes your stuff will be with you within a couple of days, other times it's over a week.
     
  16. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Well it took a week but Jessops have finally replied:

    ***************Our Ref: 0012780

    26/04/2007

    Dear Mr Grant,

    Thank you for your e-mail dated 20th April 2007.

    I am writing to you in response to your e-mail enquiry regarding the
    Tmax100, Delta 100 and the FP4 availability at our ************* store.

    At Jessops, we try to provide products to suit all photographic needs.
    Unfortunately, we cannot initially meet the needs of everyone. However,
    we do hope that through comments and suggestions from valued customers
    such as yourself, we can improve our services and provide an enjoyable
    and efficient service for all concerned.

    I would also like to inform you that your comments have been forwarded
    to the Buyers for these products, and we hope your concerns over product
    variety will be laid to rest very soon.

    Thank you again for your comments,

    Yours sincerely,

    Mike Bridges
    Customer Liaison******************

    Perhaps they should reverse their policy of turning their backs against film users, and keeping decent stock levels in each store..

    Ian


    _______________________________________
     
  17. Mick Fagan

    Mick Fagan Subscriber

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    I too believe that keeping stock levels low, is an indicator of either lean or bad times economically for a company.

    Sometimes big firms decide to keep an artificially low stock level of certain items they believe either don't sell, or possibly won't sell easily, compared to other, so called, faster lines.

    Usually they will review the big picture and work out that sales of film have dropped1% this month, another 1.5% this month, so sales of film are falling at a projected rate of say, 8-9% per annum. Therefore the big picture analysis is saying drop stock of film by at least 10% over the next year. In a nutshell, that is how many stock lines are controlled by computer programmes.

    My own business has a fairly similar stock control and re-ordering system. By looking at the monthly readout I can see what the trend is, by and large the trends are accurate. There is always the one or two items that get away, but that is par for the course.

    There are always anomalies, one line of product I have is interesting, the stock control system tells me that the projected sales figures mean the stock at hand, will last for 43 years! It red flags the item(s) and informs me that I may possibly wish to take this item off the automatic re-ordering system. More sophisticated systems will automatically take these items off automatic re-ordering, they then become a non stock item which requires manual ordering each time they are requested.

    This is not abnormal, in fact it's a normal routine for any business.

    This doesn't mean that a chain of photographic stores shouldn't automatically have film in stock for sale, I believe they should.

    But it's either the automatic re-ordering system, or a management directive aimed at either changing their market audience, or they don't have enough money for low moving stock.

    Maybe it's all three!

    Mick.
     
  18. mcgrattan

    mcgrattan Member

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    I was in Jessops recently trying to get developer. A year or so ago, our local shop stocked Ilford DD-X, Ilfosol-S, Ilford LC29, Jessops own Econodev, and Kodak HC-110. They also had a pretty wide range of film.

    This time, they had one bottle of Ilfosol and one of Econodev. I bought the Ilfosol, two weeks later I rang and asked what developer they had in stock -- hoping they'd got some DD-X in, in the meantime -- and was told 'Econodev'. They obviously hadn't restocked in the couple of weeks since I'd been in.

    That's NOT good.

    For me the best mail order film supplier is Mather's of Lancashire. Prices are within 50p of 7dayshop's and you get next day delivery.
     
  19. Soeren

    Soeren Member

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    WHAT?? put a gun to your head pull the trigger and miss? :D
    Kind regards
    Søren
     
  20. Richard Kelham

    Richard Kelham Member

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    Who needs Jessops anyway? The analogue market HAS shrunk so it makes sense to support those companies that are dedicated to it (like Silverprint and Retro in the UK) and let the likes of Jessop go to Hell in a handcart.

    The company has its back against the wall so we probably won't have long to wait...



    Richard
     
  21. Black Dog

    Black Dog Member

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    Tony, you could head into London and try Mr cad (Croydon), Kingsley Photographic and Fox Talbot (both Tottenham Court Road). Mr Cad is a real Aladdin's cave!:smile::smile:
     
  22. midlife crisis

    midlife crisis Member

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    Jessops and things

    Sadly I find that Jessops are not alone in this move away from analogue products. About 18 months ago I needed some fixer in a hurry so I went into town and not on of the three camera shops had any. I have not been back since and have no plans to as I always use mail order.

    On the subject of mail order I also highly recommend 7dayshop. I have used them for some time and although the delivery is sometimes a little slow I have no other complaints. Also if you need fast service I find firstcall-photographic very useful but there prices do tend to be a little higher.

    With regard to AP, I hope they continue to publish Roger's wisdom. I don't read the mag myself but prefer Black and White Photography where I sometimes get the benefit of Roger's wife's wisdom. If you do need more Roger try buying his books - I bought his book on lighting and it is worth every penny.

    Further to the whole issue of giving the what they need, I recently bin my subscription to Practical Photography because they only seem to be interested in helping CaNikon sell more high tech portable computer imaging devices and giving free promotion to Adobe. All I have to do now is decide what toys I am going to buy with the money I have saved by not buying a high end printer, DSLR, extra-wide angle lens, Photoshop and PP.

    Regards
    N
     
  23. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Member

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    Dear N,

    Thanks for the kind words; Frances also thanks you. And if I can put in a plug: don't forget www.rogerandfrances.com. There's a small amount of digi there, not least because we have to use it in order to keep writing for the magazines, though I have to say that the M8 is actually a dicicam I enjoy using. But it's mostly either halide (which I've been doing for over 4 decades) or 'platform free' such as the latest module (up yesterday) on sharpness.

    Cheers,

    R.
     
  24. steven_e007

    steven_e007 Member

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    The trouble with Jessops 'going to hell' is that they will have taken so many other people with them.

    A few years ago they where buying up every photographic shop in the highstreets, then 'Rationalising' (closing them down :mad: ) and just leaving a couple of Jessops branches per town.

    For example, Wolverhampton had something like six photographic shops, a couple of really good well stocked ones, and one Jessops.

    Jessops bought out three, I think. One closed of its own accord and one relocated in an industrial estate and went 'pro' only.

    Now there are just two shops, both branches of Jessops.

    A similar pattern exists in most town, there are very few independant shops left, certainly in the smaller towns. Jessops just swallowed them all up.

    So if they go under - Jessops will have virtually eradicated photography from the high street shops altogether...

    Steve
     
  25. m_liddell

    m_liddell Member

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    Jessops have tried to sell me film 2 years out of date!!

    Trying to get service there is very hard too since staff will dump you in favour of a customer after a new digicam or dslr since they get a fat commission. Asking for 120 also totally confuses their staff.

    I only got to Jessops was an absolute last resort when I *need* to get hold of film asap. I use mailshots.co.uk who are often cheaper than 7dayshop and dispatch first class the same day. 7dayshop takes ages.
     
  26. Richard Kelham

    Richard Kelham Member

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    Hence the name, perhaps?