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Author Topic: Open Question to Hasselblad and Co.  (Read 1386 times)

Rob C

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Open Question to Hasselblad and Co.
« on: January 17, 2007, 11:59:27 am »

You have/had? the camera manufacturing expertise and the envied position of being top dog in your chosen field. Now, it would appear that like many of the others at your level in the trade you have hit troubled waters and don't know whether to abandon ship and commit totally to the digital raft or stay aboard and hope for a tow.

Why do you appear to have forgotten the easy alternative? You are now in bed with a scanner producer of equal repute - a marriage made in heaven, perhaps - yet you continue to preside over the demise of your analogue masterpieces for want of a simple piece of equipment: a realistically priced, dedicated 120 film scanner.

There is still an enormous amount of goodwill towards your film cameras if not towards your new corporate direction; surely it isn't beyond your ability to get together with your partner and put the brains together and produce a first-class scanner for under the psychologically important price of about £1,000? You might care to remember that selling new camera bodies isn't much more than the tip of the iceberg: all those used and cherished 500Cs etc. still out there have not died and gone to silver heaven - they still operate and produce considered images; at least, they will so do in the right hands. Particularly now, when digital has become so ubiquitous, there is an even greater appreciation of what old Hasselblads are really worth.

And there, in a nutshell, lies their value to you: as with cars, a great second-hand market ensures investment in the new model for those than can afford it. You are Ferrari and Porche; don't blow it!

Keeping these machines working can only be to the corporate good; why not make it easier for people to continue using the cameras by making available a scanner priced to do that? I do NOT mean an inferior product; there is no reason that it should be of lesser worth; pricing is often just a different way of asking how long is a piece of string; that has been obvious in many industries over a long, long time.

Digital print production will inevitable be the only way forward for the huge majority of people. Constraints on space, time, natural resources and willingness to tollerate  the anti-social working conditions of which the wet darkroom is a prime example will continue to make desktop printing the way forward; film is not part of the same  problem at all. Processing a b/w film is child's play, even at home; working from colour neg or transparency is best done via a lab with the workflow that guarantees that chemicals will be kept as they should be. All a pro lab need offer is continuity and lack of fresh variables being thrown into the processing equation.

Why disenfranchise your erstwhile customers by deserting them now by ignoring such a simple solution to their problems and, equally, a great part of your own heritage?

Ciao - Rob C
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