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  1. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by clay View Post
    I swear I have been afflicted with this 'glance at a subject line' dyslexia thing lately. So when I saw this post, I would have sworn that it said 'Are there monkeys for manufacturers in film cameras?'
    You are not alone, that has made me do a double-take at times also.

  2. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by thuggins View Post
    Most of the postings here reveal a fundamental lack of understanding of how manufacturing and (especially) marketing work. Manufacturers exist to sell products, and they have marketing departments to create demand. Digital *anything* is a dream come true on both counts. You have to replace the digi-thing every couple of years, even if it is still perfectly good. Whether someone actually wants to buy a new 35mm SLR is of no concern to them. Film cameras last a lifetime (or longer). My OM-1 will never be rendered useless because the drivers don't work on the newest Operating System.

    The situation is even better for marketers. Digital is "new" and "cool", just like the emperor's new clothes. That's what's given us the megapixel mania, with image quality actually degrading as new models push beyond the limit of what the technology can achieve. People don't care about image quality, they just want to brag they have the most pixels.

    Jim hits on a very good point as well. New cameras were always grossly overpriced. They could get away with this because the market had few manufacturers, and they were all willing to play the same game. There is a new dynamic now that never existed before. "That auction site" has created a marketplace for used equipment, creating competition that never existed before. Unless you lived in NYC or were willing to spend months scouring classified ads, the chances of finding a specific piece of used equipment used to be pretty slim. Now you have dozens of choices. And as soon as one piece sells, another one is up for bid.
    Where have you been all of my life? I ask because for most of my adult life -- certainly since the mid-60s -- there's been a thriving market for used cameras and until fairly recently it had little effect on sales of new ones. But now demand for cameras and lenses is so weak that making and selling new ones isn't very profitable.

    Look at the market for enlarging lenses. There's a glut of first-class used ones.

    Do you remember how low the prices of thread-mount Leica bodies and lenses to fit 'em went in the late '60s/'70s because of the great rush to SLRs? That great rush nearly killed Leica despite their switch to much nicer bayonet mount RF cameras. Well, now there's a great rush to digital and manufacturers of film cameras, perhaps excepting disposables, are in Leica's old position. And they're much better managed than Leica ever was.

  3. #13
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    I'll get on my "human nature" soapbox
    and theorize that thanks to the narcissistic side of us, the real "spender" (with deep, deep pocket) will not want to be caught dead with thousands of "commoners" with black DSLRs and digi P&S. So to look "chic" and "fashionable", they would be looking at niche manufacturers.

    Now, if I were a niche player, wouldn't it be wise to cater to these "spenders"?

    Of course if this is as easy as I made it sound, we won't have the M8, will we?

  4. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by oldglass View Post
    I'll get on my "human nature" soapbox
    and theorize that thanks to the narcissistic side of us, the real "spender" (with deep, deep pocket) will not want to be caught dead with thousands of "commoners" with black DSLRs and digi P&S. So to look "chic" and "fashionable", they would be looking at niche manufacturers.

    Now, if I were a niche player, wouldn't it be wise to cater to these "spenders"?

    Of course if this is as easy as I made it sound, we won't have the M8, will we?
    I have no love for range-finder cameras, I do not dislike them, but I prefer an slr.
    That said, the Leica concern now has the R8/R9 onto which can be attached a digi back.
    If this catches on, I wonder will we see Nikon producing an F7 with similar qualities.
    Of the Leica reviews I have read, it seems that even people who do not like its quasi-Exakta shape. once they use it think it is better than the best from either Canon or Nikon, at least in film form.

  5. #15

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    I imagine that some of the companies that are getting OUT of the 35mm camera biz (Canon, Nikon, etal) will keep some of their blueprints and such around so that SOMEDAY, when the youngsters find grandpa's or Aunt Elmer's old film-type antique in the attic and re-start the APUG forums, asking "Where do you put the memory cards in the Canon AE-1 cams?" and such and discover film again, someone will get the bright idea to re-manufacture some of these old classic film cameras again. What comes around goes around, or something like that. And the pricepoint will be what it has been ever since day 1 of capitalism, Whatever the Market will Bear.

    Paul

  6. #16

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    Film's a niche market, and SLR's in particular are a market well beyond saturation with used kit. Leica managed to almost destroy their market by building essentially the same camera for over 50 years. Why buy an M7 when an M3 will do almost everything the M7 will for far, far less. Leica survives on the M8 and offering individualized cameras (Exactly the options you want, for the asking) as well as the collector market. And the lack of inexpensive interchangable RF's until recently gives Cosina/Voightlander and Zeiss the only real growth market for film shooters, because they are the only ones not competing against the used market (since even a used M2 or M3 in good condition costs more than an R2a) and they also offer some innovations not available elsewhere (flip-open backs, shutter speed meter readouts, ultra-wide-oriented VF's on the R4's).

    Apart from the very high-end (F6, EOS 1v, R9) and cheap student cameras (FM10) for people too dumb to buy used, there is no market today for new 35mm film SLR's. That may change in the future, but not anytime soon. especially since low-end AF SLR's are pretty much unwanted (they're the only SLR's dying fast enough that there might be a market in the near future).

  7. #17

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    Whose money?
    Last edited by walter23; 02-19-2008 at 07:15 PM. Click to view previous post history.
    The universe is a haunted house. -Coil
    .

  8. #18

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    As I said earlier, right now film is in a valley, natural wave, and digital is riding the newer is better, naturally extreme peak.

    As has happened with other mechanical (or electro-mechanical) products, fairly quickly the chaff falls by the wayside and only the best survives.
    Several, although it may be the same guy in multiple journals are already saying that in the 35mm area of the digital world, most likely what ever Canon and Nikon systems use will the be the only ones surviving in the not too far future.

    Digital becomes obsolete far faster than film ideas do, and the article I read, in a book store, predicted that the 4/3 system has a dim future, and anyone not latching onto whatever system Canon and Nikon think works best are history, that included Fuji and Sigma.

    I am not in the insider group that he gets his opinion from, but if I were betting, I would let some money ride on that opinion.

  9. #19
    DBP
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    I suspect that another factor driving the glut of used cameras is that sales were particularly high in the 1960s and 1970s as SLRs entered common use among non-professionals. Many of those are now entering the used market due to the advanced age of the original owners. Unlike prior generations of cameras, however, the difference in performance between those and the current models is not great. Meanwhile, serious film photography is less popular than it was then. Add to that the widespread access to the market for used cameras (and everything else) as a result of the internet, and you have a natural imbalance between supply and demand. Until that evens out, either through attrition of the used camera supply or an increase in users, the market will remain depressed.

    Fundamentally, there is no technology built today that will make an SLR perform any better than a Nikon F3, assuming you want manual focus and fairly simple metering. And yet there are hundreds of thousands of cameras that are close to that performance standard already available. And good film cameras last an extraordinarily long time. So why would a manufacturer expect to sell any?

  10. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by DBP View Post
    Fundamentally, there is no technology built today that will make an SLR perform any better than a Nikon F3, assuming you want manual focus and fairly simple metering. And yet there are hundreds of thousands of cameras that are close to that performance standard already available. And good film cameras last an extraordinarily long time. So why would a manufacturer expect to sell any?
    A camera that has a nearly full range of shutter speeds, without battery, is better than a F3.
    I think the LX was the last one.
    Bobby

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