Meopta out of enlarger business

Discussion in 'Product Availability' started by Jerevan, Feb 1, 2008.

  1. Jerevan

    Jerevan Subscriber

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    As far as I know it, from the source when I put the question to Meopta about their production:

    "Dear Mr Axelsson,

    It is true that we have stopped the production of photo enlargers and
    accessories.
    We still have some stock, so we are continuing to sell them.

    Best regards,
    Antonin Smid
    Meopta-optika, s.r.o."

    Just FYI. I can't vouch for the accuracy of this, only passing on the information.
     
  2. Uhner

    Uhner Member

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    Too bad, but hardly surprising.
     
  3. JanaM

    JanaM Member

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    Of course it is not surprising. Look here at apug and all the other analogue photo forums worldwide: If a newbie ask for equipment, all say "buy second hand, because it's so cheap". If someone recommends buying new equipment, all the others say "you are an idiot".

    If we want manufacturers staying alive, it is necessary to buy new equipment from the manufacturer. Same with cameras. The second hand market and our behavier is the death of most of our manufacturers. Nobody wants to hear that truth, I know.

    Regards,
    Jana
     
  4. Wolfeye

    Wolfeye Subscriber

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    While I agree with you, the marketplace works that way for eveything. The basic motto of "if you can get it cheaper, great!" is the reason so many companies, not just film and camera ones, have declined or ceased to exist. Part of it too can be blamed it on our throwaway society where it's also cheaper to replace than repair, and THAT is a manufacturer-created fault.
     
  5. haris

    haris Guest


    True.

    There are some manufacturers of enlargers still producing them, like Kienzle and enlargers made under Kaiser name, but if Meopta, whose new enlargers are cheaper then others, went out of business, I am afraid others will too, sooner or later.

    Unless we change ourselves and start to buy new...
     
  6. haris

    haris Guest

    So people start to whining: "Why do you buy Chinese clothing or Japanese cars, buy our products, if you dont buy them I will be out of business". And later that day, same person who are telling this, go and buy something made out of his/hers country because it is cheaper...

    Then again, you can't compare someone like me, to me new enlarger costs one or two of mine monthly sallaries, with someone who pay for same new enlarger 1/3 or 1/4 of his/hers monthly sallary...
     
  7. argus

    argus Member

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    That's very correct and not only for second hand versus new equipment.

    I'm currently in the market for a Gitzo 1500 MK2 series tripod.
    Local (not so small) store says 499 Euro, 40Km away, a bigger store quotes 414 Euro.
    If I cross the border to Holland, it will only cost me 311 Euro. They will ship it to me for 20 Euro extra.
    Neighbouring countries France and Germany sometimes even have higher prices than in Belgium for this product!

    Tax on new goods is 21% versus 19% in Holland (The Netherlands) and even when I can deduct taxes, it still remains a huge difference and I can't imagine where this difference comes from.

    G
     
  8. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    It is too bad to hear about Meopta. Some of their enlarging lenses are fantastic, and my dad uses their enlargers and is very pleased with them. He actually bought his new, while I am a bandit buying used (I can't afford anything else, it's the only way I can practice this craft).
    Thanks for being the bearer of such bad news, Jerevan.
    - Thomas
     
  9. haris

    haris Guest


    Earning. I sell same product as you, but I want to earn 30%, and you want to earn 15% from it. There is reason why in Germany average sallary is 3.000 EUROS per month, and in Italy only 1.500.

    Thing is, if these 30% go to bigger sallaries to employees or more employees so they have less working hours, I wouldn't mind to buy there. But, it usually go to 70.000 EUROS Mercedes instead of 30.000 EUROS Passat for owner of that shop :smile:
     
  10. srs5694

    srs5694 Member

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    Although there's some truth to what you say, consider this: If people who start with darkroom photography today bought new enlargers, then the used ones on eBay would go unsold, and their next stop would be the landfill. From a broader environmental point of view, it makes more sense to continue using these old enlargers than to throw them away and build new ones. Looking on a few more years, this is likely to create supply problems in another decade or two, when equipment runs out and the supply of used equipment dries up; however, enlargers aren't exactly high-tech, so I expect that somebody will begin making replacement parts and/or new enlargers at that time, if there's sufficient demand.
     
  11. Uncle Goose

    Uncle Goose Member

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    This is not new news, Meopta was planning to step out of the photo business for years now and I can't blame them. Meopta now specializes in optics and riflescopes and for that there is still a market, for enlargers there is no market left. I'm glad the Meopta management is clever enough to realize that if they continue making enlargers it would cost them money and a possible the end of the company. I've always been a fan of Meopta, they have made great stuff like Flexaret's and enlargers and I still use them. They may look back to a wonderful history of making photographic gear and I will still use my Flexaret with pride wherever I go to.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 4, 2008
  12. pauliej

    pauliej Member

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    Spare parts and replacement fiddly-bits will also become very difficult to find, if you can find them anywhere. Dont ever break anything, or you will regret it very much.

    paulie
     
  13. pgomena

    pgomena Member

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    So, if I want to keep the enlarger makers in business, I need to buy how many new enlargers during my photographic lifetime? Much as I try, I still haven't worn out my first Beseler!

    As stated in above posts, the manufacturers are dealing with a shrinking market that's flooded with good used gear. There is room for only so many manufacturers in such a market. Meopta was smart to get out, and lucky to have other facets of its business to continue.

    Peter Gomena
     
  14. PHOTOTONE

    PHOTOTONE Member

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    Its the colleges and universities (I would think) who would be the major purchasers of NEW enlargers and darkroom equipment. Those that continue to teach analog photography...which are quite a few.
     
  15. haris

    haris Guest

    That is another thing why Meopta is so good. Meopta enlargers are so low tech, that is very easy to make spare parts if you need them. Either you can make them or any local kraftsman who have tools for metal work can make it for you.
     
  16. tim_walls

    tim_walls Member

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    'tis sad news. My enlarger is a Meopta Magnifax - bought new no less (sometimes, the convenience of buying from a proper store beats faffing around on bleeding fleabay, so sue me.) And I love it - as Haris says, it's such a wonderfully simple but effective piece of machinery. I shall keep the beasty going til I pop my clogs hopefully :smile:.

    (Although eventually I'm going to have to get an enlarger for 4x5"... But I figure I'll just have two enlargers :smile:. Of course, first I need to buy a house I can build a darkroom big enough in... (That's serious - I'm currently in the housing market, and space for a darkroom is one of my requirements :smile:.) Anyway, to stop wandering off topic - great shame, but good luck to them.
     
  17. srs5694

    srs5694 Member

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    There are also high-tech devices that may make this much easier in the not-too-distant future. Specifically, there are 3-D "printers" that can create objects out of plastics when fed computer files that describe those objects. These devices are currently expensive and are therefore uncommon, but the price is coming down. I expect that, even if the price doesn't drop to the point where everybody's got one of these on their desks, they'll be accessible via walk-in or mail-order stores. At that point, you'd need an original part for scanning or a computer file (maybe provided by somebody who's got an intact original) and you'd then be able to get a replacement part quite easily and inexpensively. This specific technology might not be so great if you need a metal replacement part, but if plastic will do, it'll be very useful for helping to maintain enlargers -- and cameras, for that matter.
     
  18. aldevo

    aldevo Member

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    But in most cases plastic WON'T do it.

    Having a custom part manufactured (especially one that must be designed to move or actuate movement) is not an inexpensive proposition.

    Try getting a quote out of, say, SK Grimes for less than $300 unless it's something in their catalog.:sad:
     
  19. aldevo

    aldevo Member

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    I can either buy a new enlarger and shoot very little film and paper or do what I did which was to buy a used enlarger and have money left over for plenty of film and paper.
     
  20. Fotohuis

    Fotohuis Member

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    Meopta stopped already their production over 1 1/2 years ago, so not really hot news.
    Only very speciallized small manufactureres can survive in this shrinking market: Kienzle, Dunco and maybe a couple others.
    The mentioned above manufacturers are both very high qualified German products.
    Both systems can be also modular equipped with the famous Split Grade system from Heiland electronics, Wetzlar, Germany.