bForumb Magazine Cancelled bVictorb for Digital Announced

agripix

New Member
For many years, I have subscribed to, and enjoyed, Hasselblad's 'Forum' magazine. I found it to be of high quality, and have a good mix of content - photo portfolios, and technical discussions. Now and then, even a special 'historical' issue about equipment. Of course, in recent years that equipment was mainly the 500 and 200 series family, with a little Panoramic and Technical thrown in. My Forum collection is a treat for rainy winter days !

To my dismay, 'Forum' is suddenly gone, and in its place is a very large (13x19 inch ?) glossy magazine 'Victor' touting the latest H series. The CEO of 'Fujiblad' editorializes that the modern digital age is here and we need a modern digital-focused magazine. Without writing it, he also indicates that support for the Hasselblad Film Camera and the millions of owners has ceased. (Ironically, he raves about 230 meg files etc, which of course I easily get from a scanned MF negative or positive. Ho Hum.)

So, I'm 'sad' that my collection for years and years of wonderful Forum magazines has ended. I'm 'mad' that I practically need help to open and read this huge US $16 advertising brochure, and that there is not a library shelf that exists in my house to hold such an monster magazine (already crushed by the mailman).

Am I the only one who was attached to 'Forum'. By the way, I have digital equipment so this is not a 'them v. us' issue. I am appalled how quickly 'FujiBlad' has kicked us to the side of the street.

Comments anyone?
 

semmelblad

New Member
I do agree. Especially with it's last editor the Forum was of exceptional quality and interest for me. The Victor magazine is not bad but a completely different thing. Interesting technical issues but as you say, it has much more the character of an advertising brochure and I would add: lifestyle magazine. The V-system, film and especially the users of both may not be present there.

If anybody has forum issues to give or sell away, please tell me, especially issues from the 1960s, my collection is not complete.

Ulrik
 

qnu

Banned
Colin,

I agree too.

There's one thing though you got completely wrong. This guy you're talking about is definitely not from "Fujiblad".
He's from "Hasselcon".

Or rather still from "Im a con"?
\clipart(wink}
 

qnu

Banned
Colin,

I agree too.

There's one thing though you got completely wrong. This guy you're talking about is definitely not from "Fujiblad". He's from "Hasselcon".

Or rather still from "Im a con"?
 

qnu

Banned
Oh %#*!

I didn't hit the send button the first time. Honestly!
How else could i have managed to remove the line break and correct the faulty wink-tag?

And since we "are not permitted to delete messages more than 0 minutes old", all i can do is apologize.
And appeal to the moderator to let us please delete posts "more than 0 minutes old".
 

gjames52

New Member
Colin:

One more kick in the teeth!

Now that they have clearly shown their lack of loyalty, you now know how fast they drop support for their digital products when the new platform arrives.


Regards:


Gilbert
 

brucec

New Member
> With respect, have any of you folks considered the fact that if the > smallish Hasselblad/Imacon Company did not make any money they > would go broke and there would be no service for anyone fullstop? > Golden Rule #1 to stay in business = make reasonable profit. (this > includes photographers!) > > Bruce >
 

qnu

Banned
Bruce,

Another business rule one should heed if one should want to stay in business:

Don't snub your customers.

Don't turn your back on loyal customers, who kept you in business for over 50 years, nor scare potential new customers away.

Doing both, at the same time, is even worse.

Do you think that this small company did indeed consider that?
And if so, what makes you think so?
 

fotografz

Active Member
Hmmm, when was the last time someone here, or any professional photographer you may know (I know many), bought a new V system camera/kit, and a reasonable range of Zeiss lenses for it at approx. $3,000.+ each?

In other words, who are those "potential new V customers?" And of course that begs the question of who then are the loyal customers? ... people who happen to love V stuff (all of us here?), but aren't buying anything any more?

I have purchased 2 new V system cameras in the past year (loyalty hero?). Why? Because the dealer was price dumping them to get them off their shelf. $1,500. for a brand new 203FE USA body for ex&le! I would not have purchased it other than that. I also bought 2 new V lenses, but it was for the same reason ... they were priced at used levels for brand new with warranty.

People in the business of making photographs aren't buying, wedding and event customers are gone (abandoned MF altogether), most advanced amateurs seek used gear of which there are myriad ex&les.

That they still make any of this stuff is amazing. That they bothered to make the CFV back, and CFV kit was even more amazing IMO.

We loyal customers sent them a message loud and clear. Now they are the bad guy for listening to that message?

In contrast to that, pros are swarming all over the H system and plopping down big money for the HD kits and a whole new set of HC lenses. How do I know that? I participate in an international blog devoted to it, and it's "swarming" with the newly loyal Hasselblad users, of which I am one.

Some of you may not like that, but you aren't the ones keeping the company in business ... those mentioned above are.
 

floridarich

New Member
Marc A. Williams,

Loyalty is a thin veil between parties. When thinking of loyalty I wonder what are the obligations of each party, if any?

It may be that the only loyalty a company has to its consumer or professional customer base, after product purchase is; (1) warranty work, (2) some period of availability for parts and maintenance.

There is no expressed warranty by either Consumer or Professional customer that they have any loyalty or obligation to purchase more of a manufacturer's products at future dates.

Existing 'V' system's technology base has changed with image capture, storage, and transfer medium. CFV backs are being manufactured and offered for sale, which preserves 'V' Camera/Lens systems. With this change in technology Hasselblad is no longer a purely mechanical device manufacturer, it is now a digital device manufacturer.

Unfortunately 'V' system Digital backs being offered at $10,000 and up and are at much higher price points than a simple mechanical 'V' system film backs. An interesting question is; "Will V systems digital backs ever be produced and offered for sale at $1,000 per back?"

Our V systems are antiques, yet still capable of producing images. Our Digital age has not prevented V systems from being used.

Richard
 

qnu

Banned
Marc,

I said potential customers, not potential V customers.

Loyalty to customers is not just about providing service and parts. It also involves being able to guarantee customers that their not unsubstantial investment is not spend on something they can only use today, is junk that needs to be replaced (involving another substantial investment) tommorrow.

I certainly would think again before sinking serious amounts of money in the H-system now Imablad has shown they don't like us to use new items on stuff they introduced as long ago as last year.

The loyal customers are the ones who over the years kept investing in their V-System, updating and expanding their equipment. The ones who would now like to carry this investment over into the age of digital.
To be fair, they can.
But the lack of interest Imablad shows in this line is worrying nonetheless.

The loyal customers are the ones too who would consider switching camera system to get on the Digido, and - being loyal customers - were planning to let that new system be the H-System.
Here the "i certainly would [etc.]" thing applies again.

All the while, the competition (Canon!) is raking in the customers companies like Imablad are losing.
Good business sense, Bruce, to help your customers-to-be to decide not to spend their money on your product after all.
Canon is grinning all the way to the bank. And back. And to the bank again, and ... etc. Who needs a marketing department with competition like that offered by Imablad?

That Imablad bothered to make something like the CFV isn't amazing, Marc. Far from it.
Had they not done so, they would be where Bronica, Contax and Pentax are today. Apparently, and luckily, they are not complete morrons there in Copenhagen.

But, i fear, it was too little. And it came too late.
They are bad guys, Marc, because they did not listen to us, their customers, enough. Yes, we, their customers are demanding things (see above) they don't deliver, and no longer buy the things they do. What's Imablad's response?

The market was screaming for affordable ways to lift Hasselblad into the digital age years ago already. Hasselblad never came with a suitable reply. They only made things more expensive. ("Because" a CEO once said, "we can". Yes, we see that now...)
Until now, now they have this CFV thing. But again: too little too late.

And still the market is screaming for a less expensive H-System.
Have they learned anything? Do they listen now?

So off to Canon's gift shop it is... In droves.
Apropos 'swarming': your 'BLOG'-company really is a rather exclusive club, Marc.
And how many HD2-39 owners there would not like that wide angle option they can't get unless they spend another multi-$K, not just to get a lens, but to buy a new camera and digital back again, just to put that lens on?
All happy customers, no complaints about this 'business model' and the lack of backward compatibility there, Marc?
"Amazing"!
 

agripix

New Member
I'm breaking my own rule here, offering a further comment.

First, I assure you (dear reader!) I'm not a luddite or any other 'ite' I hope, and I have digital and analogue products. For ex&le, I use a traditional hand compass in the woods, and a Digital Sat Nav in my car! Why, I even use an '05 Leica DLUX2 in B&W Mode Manual Exposure, with its 2.5" screen, as my 'new Polaroid back' - I can match my three lenses, ISO, and exposure for a quick check!! No more Polaroid paper trails. (Of course, Leica just replaced the DLUX2 after about 12 months ... whereas my M3 has been at the top of the heap all these years because the perfect machine was 'updated' everytime new film came on the market.) Oops, off the theme.

I do understand where professionals must always be competitive and cost effective. I've learnt a few lessons in the business world in the last 40+ years of company ownership. At the front, and in the thick of things, or take up needlework.

My gripe ? What is 'ticking me off' is that in this new, madly spinning world of product pushing (not just cameras by the way), the end users (read 'the people who keep businesses afloat') are the new R&D Departments. But 'we' get to 'pay' to do this work for the company. In the past, we always had to pay a small slice of the R&D budget of a company indirectly, by investing in new product where some of the product sale price incorporated R&D.

But here, it seems, we are now also the proving ground - at our expense.

And if you give up $50,000 this year to ConaBlad or whomever, chances are you will give it up next year again if you must be (legitimately) at the leading edge. The price isn't the issue to me - I can buy what I want - but the mad rush of product to market at consumer expense is insane. And when the 500/200 product (which, incidentally, grew the company to where it is) is now set to be ignored, I get 'ticked off'.

Where is the 22 or 39 back with full 2x2 sensor for the hundreds of thousands of 500/200 owners with their zillions of lenses?

The VICTOR magazine says it all. "That was then - this is now. Thanks for getting us here. Buy or Bye."

Frankly, I think the spirit of that inventive man, Victor, must be very very ticked off, too.
 

qnu

Banned
Frankly, I think the spirit of that inventive man, Victor, must be very very ticked off, too.

I think so too.
 

gjames52

New Member
> With respect, have any of you folks considered the fact that if the > smallish Hasselblad/Imacon Company did not make any money they > would go broke and there would be no service for anyone fullstop? > Golden Rule #1 to stay in business = make reasonable profit. (this > includes photographers!) >

Your business plan is good for short term-failure!

The impetus for this conversation was the discontinuance of a periodical (Paid for by the customers) not by the bottom line. This decision is a business blunder, as Forum would continue to be an excellent avenue to their customers.

Having worked for the largest company in the world, where many years ago I was at the forefront of technology and witnessed the changes from traditional R&D: to let the consumer do it. That too, was a blunder. I also learned that it is not always an ability problem that retards implementing new technologies and products.

As, for buying new I have always purchased new, with the exception of buying discontinued and no longer available new products. Many times in the past few years I encouraged others to buy new if they wanted to keep Leica and Hasselblad in business.

So, perhaps you jumped to your conclusion, or just made a false assumption. Great Marketing strategy Bruce!

Regards:


Gilbert
 

rogerrichards

New Member
Cjames52 wrote:
>Having worked for the largest company in the world, where many years ago I was at the forefront of technology and witnessed the changes from traditional R&D: to let the consumer do it. That too, was a blunder. I also learned that it is not always an ability problem that retards implementing new technologies and products. >

I do not understand your argument here, whereas Bruce seems to make a plausible business case.

All formats are still supported and Hasselblad, wishing to stay in business, are pushing their digital case. The mag is different to 'Forum' as are their new products different from their film range. Like it or not, that is where the market lies - the new look magazine reflects the current trend in hi art digital photography, and the outlook of many of todays pro photographers. I like it

Roger Richards.
 

gjames52

New Member
I do not understand your argument here, whereas Bruce seems to make a plausible business case. >

Perhaps, you and Bruce should go into business together!

Regards:

Gilbert
 

dirk

MFF-Founder
Administrator
I do think that Hasselblad should have offered digital solutions for the V system earlier - at a reasonable price.

IMHO they made the same mistake as Contax did. They offered interesting stuff only for the new system, but did not "update" the old system. Even if it would have been for a limited time, they would have made tons of money with that, intead of smashing the H System on the table with the words: "eat or die".

There would be room for both systems, if they would have started earlier with a digital V system. Now, money forced them obviously to decide for only one system for the future. This is a strong bed, especially with these high prices. Reminds me again to Contax...

It is like selling train tickets. You have to make a compromise between sales numbers and ticket price. If the ticket price is too high, only few will buy and you are depending to 100% to only a few customers. If you make it too cheap, you will not make enough profit, although many will buy it.

But sometimes you have to make a loss for a limited time to push your system into the market and gain reasonable market share.

Canon showed this perfectly with the Canon 300D. Once people have your system, they buy more and more lenses or upgrade to newer models and do not want to switch anymore. Canon had over 65% market share (DSLR) at that time. Now they are still the biggest player, athough they are offering also a lot more expensive models and lenses and Nikon gained back a lot.

MF is a very tough market and market share on the whole is shrinking a lot. So this is a third criteria for being able to survive. But with too expensive products and no support for old systems, no real interaction with its client, they will go the same way as Contax did.

Leica has learned that lesson. Look at the Leica DMR and the Leica M8. Their future is still not bright, but none of the old Leica users have a reason to switch now to Canon, except for the money. But the same money they had before too in analogue times, so IMHO this is not an issue. Prices are not that different compared to the old times and they users have not to buy everything new, which is always a major concern in these price regions...

Just my 2 cents...
 

fotografz

Active Member
"All the while, the competition (Canon!) is raking in the customers companies like Imablad are losing."

"All happy customers, no complaints about this 'business model' and the lack of backward compatibility there, Marc?"

I find it interesting that Canon is used as a model here, since they are the first major camera company to totally walk away from the past without much consideration for their old loyal FD customers when the EOS system was introduced. Talk about lack of backward compatibility.

I lived through that one, so I understand the emotional reaction to Hasselblad going the route they apparently have taken. However, as you point out, they are THE competition now because of making that break with the past ... just ask the once pro market leader Nikon.

In contrast to that, I can use every C, CF, CFi, CFE lens I own on my H2D camera because Hasselblad when through the effort of designing and offering the ingenious CF adapter.

BTW, few consider Canon the competition for MF digital backs. Those who think they are anywhere near equal usually end up quite disappointed, or didn't have that high of image quality standards in the first place.

"The market was screaming for affordable ways to lift Hasselblad into the digital age years ago already. Hasselblad never came with a suitable reply."

What market? Hasselblad was a camera company. There have been digital solutions for their cameras since digital backs started being offered. If they tried back then they would have been competing with the likes of Kodak who did offer a more reasonably priced (relative term) digital back that was VERY advanced for its' time.

Even the now ancient Kodak Pro-Back Plus will out perform the Canon 1DsMKII in terms of image quality. Which begs the question: If that was what you were after, did you buy that solution then? I did, 2 of them in fact ... my Pro-Back on a 555ELD is what earned the money to move on to the bigger backs as they became available.

In fact, I only recently moved on from my Kodak Pro-Back and Pro-Back 645C ... the latter being as close to the CFV as you can get ... totally portable, 16 meg square sensor, ACR supported, etc.

BTW, I know of a mint Kodak Pro-Back/555 ELD kit for sale for a song comparatively speaking ... the whole thing for considerably less than a IDsMKII body alone.
(Kodak still services them).

There really is no need to get into a huff over this. It is what it is. We are all lovers of the fabulous tools invented so many decades ago. They are in plentiful supply, they are easy to get serviced, and will be so well beyond the life span of most here. I love them beyond any utilitarian tool I now use (except my MP3 : -) Hasselblad is part of my own history in photography, and as such holds a special place compared to the Johnny come latelys.

AND, I would be the first to que up for a 6X6, 40+ meg square sensor CFV ... but for what that would cost, I'd hazard a guess the buying line would be a relatively short one.
 
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