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  1. #101
    Paul Sorensen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Q.G. View Post
    Pitty that it will come too late for great cameras like the Rolleis.

    But it really would be great.
    I think that if there is a resurgence in interest in film (and I think that there could be) it will help the film and supply companies much sooner than the camera companies. There are still tons of used cameras that are much too cheap considering what they originally sold for. Even folks like myself who are more inclined to buy new cannot even begin to consider it when used might be one tenth the price. Hopefully someone will survive, and others will get back into the business, once there is a viable market for new film cameras.

  2. #102
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sirius Glass View Post
    Hmmm ... I can think of another German camera company that seems to be doing the same thing ... What is the name? ... It is on the tip of my tongue ... I think it starts with the letter "L". Who could that be? Any ideas?
    I'm not sure which German camera company starting with "L" you are referring to. Does it end with an "a" or an "f"? If the former then I cant comment, but I dont think its an accusation that can be levelled at the latter - even though their products can hardly be described as cheap!

    Regards

    Carey Bird.

  3. #103

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    Quote Originally Posted by JPD View Post
    Frankly I believe the high prices of the F&H products play a big role here. They would have sold many more twin lens cameras if they priced them more reasonably. When the 2,8 GX came on the market in the mid 80's they didn't cost more than around € 1300. I can't believe the inflation made the price almost triple. With reasonable pricing and reintroducing the Rolleicord, thwy would have sold many many more cameras. Instead they chose to aim their marketing at rich collectors.
    I think you're partly right, but you don't take into account another factor. How many TLRs did they produce - sell back then? Probably few, but a lot more than they do today. So, given as a fact that the smaller the production, the bigger the price, it's not that strange that the price is so high. Mass production is not an option for them.

  4. #104

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    Indeed.
    There is a bottom price, set by (amongst other things) how many of them you can sell in a year.
    The higher it gets, the fewer cameras you sell. And if it gets higher than anyone will be ready to pay for it, it's time to throw in the towel.
    And that's what Rollei did.
    But then Franke & Heidecke Mk II took over.
    They know now that Rollei did the right thing.

    Rollei's direct competition, Hasselblad, also was/is very expensive. But their history is rather different: they not made a penny selling cameras for many, many years, Victor funding the camera manufacture out of his other, highly lucrative, ventures.
    (A lot like Zeiss' camera lens division - also not a big money making machine, but kept running out of a sense for tradition and - perhaps - love for the craft.)

    If only Rollei/F&H Mk II had had such a backer ...

  5. #105
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    http://www.bjp-online.com/public/sho...ml?page=864695

    So they're dead...at least the film isn't.

    What I find surprising, is that Kodak sold Leaf to Phase One. That seems like a bad move, to me.

  6. #106
    JPD
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anon Ymous View Post
    I think you're partly right, but you don't take into account another factor. How many TLRs did they produce - sell back then? Probably few, but a lot more than they do today. So, given as a fact that the smaller the production, the bigger the price, it's not that strange that the price is so high. Mass production is not an option for them.
    True, but it's a downward spiral. The only way to hold the prices down would be selling more of simpler cameras to keep the cash flowing in. The bulk production at the old Zeiss Ikon, Agfa and Voigtländer factories were simple amateur cameras. Back in the mid 1900's they didn't need to sell expensive "special editions" to collectors every and each year to stay afloat.

  7. #107

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    Quote Originally Posted by JPD View Post
    True, but it's a downward spiral.
    And the only thing at the end of that spiral is bankruptcy...

    Quote Originally Posted by JPD View Post
    The only way to hold the prices down would be selling more of simpler cameras to keep the cash flowing in. The bulk production at the old Zeiss Ikon, Agfa and Voigtländer factories were simple amateur cameras. Back in the mid 1900's they didn't need to sell expensive "special editions" to collectors every and each year to stay afloat.
    I'm not sure if they could make something cheap and affordable. You see, all the other companies you mentioned made these cameras when there was a market for them. Folders, TLRs, whatever, people would buy them. So, Rollei would have to make a product for a specific target group. Of course, there should be a return of investment and then some profit. I suppose (or speculate) that since the 80s, Rollei had lost that opportunity. The market was saturated with choices by many manufacturers. Let's not forget that the Japanese manufacturers copied Rollei cameras but, from some point on, didn't need to. They had the know how, plus they had done their research & development. As a result, they dominated the market. So, Rollei was left with fewer and ever decreasing choices. I guess they were dead some time ago, but they just kept things going, until it became futile. Just like Kodachrome...

  8. #108

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    What Franke & Heidecke Mk II apparently tried to do is make their camera business not their core business, but concentrate on their expertise, and see what else they could do that would make money. They billed themselves as fine mechanical and optical engineering company.
    A good decision, i think. But was it too late already?

    Other firms can (and many do) do the same: see what it is that they can do that does make money and has a more certain future.
    Agfa, for instance, is still doing well.


    You can make money in a market that's spoilt for choice. Why would other manufacturers succeed in such a market, while that same market would be the reason why Rollei would not?
    Rollei could have dominated the market instead of whoever did. Why, they had firmly cornered a large portion of that market, but let it slip. Japanese manufacturers (by the way, they had been in the business for almost as long as Rollei, so not a freshly emerging force, that first had to learn the trade) could take market share away from Rollei by offering thingies people wanted more than Rolleiflexes.

    And that, not a saturated market, is why Rollei eventually folded.
    Take their final attempt, the AF system: it was introduced as "new" several times, at several separate occasions, several years in a row. It failed to raise interest each and every time.
    And that not because people aren't interested in AF. But the market was wanting something else more than 'just' the option to use AF with 3 lenses. A classic case of too little too late.

    The thing that keeps puzzling me is why Rollei quit their digital line. They were among the first to offer 'Rollei brand' digital capture options for their system. Had they kept that up, had they continued targeting the emerging market, they would still be here, doing well.

  9. #109

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    Quote Originally Posted by AutumnJazz View Post
    http://www.bjp-online.com/public/sho...ml?page=864695

    So they're dead...at least the film isn't.

    What I find surprising, is that Kodak sold Leaf to Phase One. That seems like a bad move, to me.
    Kodak needs money to service its debt. Kodak will receive IP licensing payments from the Phase One under the terms of the deal.

    This is preferable to not being able to provide the capital needed to grow the unit and, ultimately, winding up with nothing of value.

    Maybe not the most optimal of long-term strategies but - in my opinion - this is a classic case of "Poor Man's Syndrome". That means Kodak does what it can rather than what it should.
    Digital Photography is just "why-tech" not "high tech"..

  10. #110
    cmo
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    Quote Originally Posted by Q.G. View Post
    Agfa, for instance, is still doing well.
    http://www.agfa.com/en/co/news_event...results_UK.jsp

    Only Agfa Graphics, producing printing plates etc. has acceptable results. These figures are for 2008, before the real beginning of the crisis - and that crisis hit the printing industry very hard.

    Sorry, but "doing well" is something different.



 

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