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Old 01-18-2007   #51
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Now that is not bad news at all. Stephen seems to me to be the best Big Cheese this forum can have, and make Jorge's good work enduring. And we Dutch know all there is to know about cheese Congratulations Stephen and Jorge.
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Old 01-18-2007   #52
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I have to express disappointment. I had decided in my head that the big news was that from today on, all orders of RFF hats would come with a free R-D1 refurb unit attached to it.

(Do I really need a smiley there?)

Well, Astromart is owned by a big retailer, but it still has advertising from other retailers and it's still one of the two best astronomy forums online, so I'm not worried about that.
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Old 01-18-2007   #53
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Kevin m: How much input do you think a forum owner can have on the forum's content? Unless the owner is content with turning away all members except the few who are in line with his views, no owner dare apply the degree of editorial stamp as you have put it.
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Old 01-18-2007   #54
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I'm with you re: your concerns, Kevin.

I just wish everyone the best. We can only see if it flies after take-off. We lend support. It's a two-way street. Vox populi.

But so far, godspeed, Jorge and Stephen!
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Old 01-18-2007   #55
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Kevin - while I can understand you concerns, I am inclined to give Mssr. Gandy the benefit of the doubt. I do not see this forum becoming a mouthpiece with any editorial oversight on the part of the owner, barring those which mainting the terms of use we already agree to.

And should that become the case - the site won't last long anyway. It is not in anyones best interest to force an editorial view.

Jorge and Stephen don't strike me as people who would make such a decision without considering that danger, and finding a way to prevent it.

I hope anyway.
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Old 01-18-2007   #56
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here's to good times ahead...hopefully.

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Old 01-18-2007   #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevin m
I have to disagree with the sentiments expressed so far because on paper, this is a BAD idea. .....His site, as valuable a resource as it is, also reads at times like a gushing fanzine for all things Cosina/Voigtlander, and I don't want to see that editorial stamp used here.
You made explicit some of my concerns, but I would think that Jorge's continuing presence is testimony to the separation between the two, but then again I am an optimist!

The greatest mistake that could be made here would be for RFF to become the mouthpiece for Voightlander/Cosina USA!
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Old 01-18-2007   #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevin m
I have to disagree with the sentiments expressed so far because on paper, this is a BAD idea.

No offense to Stephen, he's obviously an enthusiast and a decent guy, but he is also a retailer, and I fear we're about to lose our little oasis of objectivity. A forum is first and foremost a place for the free exchange of ideas, and it's bad enough that any one person should 'own' it, nevermind a person whose objectivity is clouded by being the leading importer for one particular brand of camera. Where, for example, will someone turn now for advice about a Cameraquest deal gone bad?

His site, as valuable a resource as it is, also reads at times like a gushing fanzine for all things Cosina/Voigtlander, and I don't want to see that editorial stamp used here.

i think there may be a few others who are also concerned.

i can only say 'time will tell'.

to me, it makes little sense to want to reinvent something that already works well, and that applies to the cq site, cvug and rff.
i think stephen is too smart to apply a heavy hand here and there is no history of behaviour to suggest that.

we shall see...

joe
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Old 01-18-2007   #59
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KevinM,

I understand those sentiments; but I also look at this site as being an extremely busy hub of information and photos and "chit chat".

Someone, somewhere, has to pay for the upkeep.
Bandwidth is not free; neither is hosting and neither are the servers/routers/etc. that carry our little messages to and fro.

It all costs someone, somewhere quite a bit of coin. Jorge has never instilled a "mandatory" membership fee and that's a good thing. A lot of us gave of our own accord - but we gave that once - have any of us given funds to help run the site on a regular basis? I know I haven't. I gave $25 one time a year and a half ago. I doubt that my $25 is still making this site run today.

Jorge is a single individual and I'm sure not made of money - Stephen as well is a single individual but knows how to run a business (otherwise Cameraquest wouldn't be as successful as it is currently) - this marriage may not be one that everyone has wished for but it does make sense.

I don't think Stephen is the type of person to banish anyone who speaks out against Cosina / Voigtlander anymore than Jorge would throw anyone out for speaking ill of the M8 or such. Stephen has yet to log in and say is piece but I really think that, based on what I've had to deal with him for, and how it was handled, and the fact that he is not here 24/7, this site is not going to lose it's ability to allow for differing opinions or viewpoints on camera brands.

Dave
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Old 01-18-2007   #60
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I guess at this point we all eagerly await Stephen's initial policy announcement!
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Old 01-18-2007   #61
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I hope I'm not coming across as being unduly pessimistic, but it's the conflict of interest I'm calling into question and not the character of the parties involved.

Perhaps I'm a bit sensitive to this because I recently left a site where I had participated for many years because a tyrannical site owner thought he 'owned' the content that had been provided for him - gratis - by his paid site members, and that the content was his to sell to advertisers.

And it must be pointed out that Cameraquest has at times posted erroneous opinions as fact, with no recourse to editing to correct the mistake. (I'm thinking of the Hexar RF debacle.)

I hope it works out, too. But I'd rather have something to rely on than hope.
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Old 01-18-2007   #62
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There might be one small problem, does Mango win and I can't call my Contax Gs rangefinders anymore?
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Old 01-18-2007   #63
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BTW, there is another figure that I hope this marriage will help as much as possible and it is that innovative manufacturer, Mr Kobayashi. If he gets strenthened through Stephen's move, this also may help all of us.

Hummm, I am starting to smell a silent Bessa in the horizont and a big hole in my pocket.

Last edited by ruben : 01-18-2007 at 09:48.
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Old 01-18-2007   #64
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Jorge: Thanks for what you have done for RFF all these years. I am still waiting to hear back from you regarding my pm.

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Old 01-18-2007   #65
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Jorge does the change of ownership also include DSLReXchange?
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Old 01-18-2007   #66
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I love RFF and I have nothing but praise for S. Gandy. He has helped me out and been a real resource to us. But I hope RFF will still be able to attract sponsors from the "outside". That would be great.
Steven, please get Broadband.
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of RFF, Jorge, Gandy & Integrity...
Old 01-18-2007   #67
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Thumbs up of RFF, Jorge, Gandy & Integrity...

For sure many of us knew this was coming, and I anticipated the need for broadening the infrastructure of RFF. How much really, could Jorge, supported by a few Moderators handle?

Personally, I feel an enormous amount of Gratitude. My buddy Ruben here in Jerusalem invited me to join RFF in May 2006. From October, when DSLRx opened to SLR's, I became active there as well. Both Forums have helped to open me to the new, to enhance my seeing & vison, and I have made a few Online friends. Semi-retired and over age 60... who could ask for more?

Jorge has promised us in the announcement, that his guiding hand will still be with us. If Stephen Gandy has as much integrity & quality as the fine cameras he sells, then all will be well.

May 2007 be a Blessed year for RFF, it's Members, Owner, Administrator & Moderators.

B'hatzlacha! That means Success!... in Hebrew.
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Old 01-18-2007   #68
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Well, I guess I don't know really what it means to "own" a forum. There's been no better friend of rangefinder cameras (and their owners) than Stephen these past few years, that's for sure. But I do trust that his pecuniary interest in Cosina/Voigtlander doesn't influence the content of this forum, or prevent the current other sponsors from continuing.

But let's wait and hear from him. (In the corporate world, Jorge's announcement would have been accompanied by extensive questions and answers, that would have been thoroughly reviewed by internal committees. outside counsel and public relations consultants!)

Thanks for all you've done, Jorge. May RFF continue in the same way!
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Old 01-18-2007   #69
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I like Gandy's site for a long time: I knew it before RFF and it led me to RF camera, and then to RFF. Those who think Gandy's site is only praising Cosina gear, clearly don't know it. There are resources for Leica (very rich information on Leica), Nikon, Contax and Canon RF cameras. Stephen sells Voigtlander gear, but he appreciates all good cameras.
So for me, the deal between Jorge and Stephen is only good news. But it's not the big announcement I was expecting ... maybe will follow another announcement like the launching of a big, exciting photo contest . We all expect it for a while (not for the prize, though it's not negligible, but for all the excitement and the challenge.
Thanks Jorge for what you did, and good luck Stephen!
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Old 01-18-2007   #70
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffGreene
.....The greatest mistake that could be made here would be for RFF to become the mouthpiece for Voightlander/Cosina USA!
This is an interesting commentary, because in my opinion one of the most qualified features of Stephen's site is that his site itself is not a mouthpiece for Voightlander/Cosina. Certainly this may be the first source of income and Stephen is a commercial representative of Cosina, but the remarkable thing about Mr Ghandi is the way by which he maintains himself at his site as a representative of the rangefinder world first of all.

This is what keeps me highly optimistic, and respectfull of Stephen, from whom I never have bought a single item, but had a couple of email exchanges.

Now, regarding Cosina/Voightlander Japan, Mr Kobayashi in his own peculiar way, according to his high skills, at the end of the day is one of us. No folks, these are not stupid guys looking for propaganda, but high calibre enthusiasts of our same love.

Last edited by ruben : 01-18-2007 at 13:02.
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Old 01-18-2007   #71
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike_j
Well I can't think of anyone better to hand it over to. I hear nothing but good about Stephen Gandy and his commitment to rangefinders.
Hear hear!!!
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Old 01-18-2007   #72
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Congrats Stephen and Jorge. I'm looking forward to good things.
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Old 01-18-2007   #73
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flashover
Jorge does the change of ownership also include DSLReXchange?

yes.

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Old 01-18-2007   #74
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Congratulations to both Stephen and Jorge. To Jorge, thank you for all that you have done to build RFF into what it is.
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Old 01-18-2007   #75
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I met Steve Gandy at a camera fair not long ago -- a nice guy and of course a highly regarded classic camera expert.

The main thing that does worries me (and I've seen this happen before on Hobby sites when sponsors buy them out from the creators) is that there can be a direct conflict of interest between others selling items, for instance on the classified ads. This is only natural of course. I do hope Steve takes the "big tent" approach and realizes that an open and liquid market for buying and selling only helps and enlarges the classic camera/rangefinder hobby as a whole.
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