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Old 01-16-2019   #321
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The X-Pan was a high end / low volume release ... made during a time when film was widely used and the companies were making a lot of different film cameras. Now you are asking a company to remake this film camera without thinking about the fact that they are not making any film cameras. Do you understand how much they have to do in order to make a camera from an infrastructure standpoint? The Rollei 35 was a huge success and was not niche at all. The Nikon Df is a reskinned D610 with a D4 sensor...

Yes, Leica is a niche company because they do not sell in huge volumes. They are also a luxury boutique company. They are not trying to compete with Sony, Nikon, and Canon on volume. That makes them niche.
The Rollei 35 is a high end zone focus camera. There isnīt a more niche concept.. It sold well proving its worth investing in high concept cameras.. just like a film camera nowadays would be.

The Xpan is another high concept camera that cannot be thought as anything but a niche product. It was made in low quantities therefore its tall prices on the used market. That does not make Hasselblad a niche company. It would be ludicrous to call them such thing. Otoh how many digital cameras does HBlad sells? They are VERY expensive. Is it a niche company? Or is it a high end digital camera company as Leica?

Photo gear companies do it all the time: they invest on niche products.

Do you want to separate niche companies from mainstream based on product or sales? When Leica looked for a partnership w/ Minolta, Leica made it clear it thought of itself as a mainstream camera company.

No matter where the Nikon Df came from. At its price tag, it would be hard to sell in huge numbers. It was a high concept digital camera w/ LESS features. It did not make video. Nikon titanium compact was also a high concept high end compact camera w/ a tall price. Nikon is willing to do niche cameras. It brings them recognition as an avant garde company.
 

Old 01-16-2019   #322
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I didn`t say hundreds, you did.
I didnīt want to sound too optimistic.
 

Old 01-16-2019   #323
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The Rollei 35 is a high end zone focus camera. There isnīt a more niche concept.. It sold well proving itīs worth investing in high concept cameras.. just like a film camera nowadays would be.
But at the time, they were making a lot of film cameras. AND it sold for 50 years! Now they are not making 35mm film cameras at all. It is not easy to design a new camera, make an assembly line, market it, and sell it for a normal price that can compare with used prices when film is not being sold in the volumes it used to be.

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The Xpan is another high concept camera that cannot be thought as anything but a niche product. It was made in low quantities therefore its tall prices on the used market. That does not make Hasselblad a niche company. It would be ludicrous to cal them such thing. Otoh how many digital cameras does HBlad sells? They are VERY expensive. Is it a niche company? Or is it a high end digital camera company as Leica?
Hasselblad is certainly a niche company. They cater to a small group. Niche simply means "a specialized market."

Quote:
Photo gear companies do it all the time: they invest on niche products.
I agree, but only when it makes sense to. If a company is currently not making any film cameras, it is not easy to get back into that business and just do it again.... based on a small uptick on film sales.

Quote:
Do you want to separate niche companies from mainstream based on product or sales? When Leica looked for a partnership w/ Minolta, Leica made it clear it thought of itself as a mainstream camera company.
Really? I thought they just needed Minolta`s expertise in making the SLR they wanted to make. Also, this was 30-40 years ago. Leica isn`t sold in Best Buy. They are sold in serious camera stores and its own boutique stores.

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No matter where the Nikon Df came from. At its price tag, it would be hard to sell in huge numbers. It was a high concept digital camera w/ LESS features. It did not make video. Nikon titanium compact was also a high concept high end compact camera w/ a tall price. Nikon is willing to do niche cameras. It brings them recognition as an avant garde company.
Yes, you are correct. They were willing to make a niche film camera when all they made were film cameras just like they were willing to make a niche digital camera when they are making mostly digital cameras.
 

Old 01-16-2019   #324
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Nothing will be presented. Itīs an opinion forum.
I just tell it like i see it. You donīt agree? fine. If you are right no one will be posting pictures done on film in a couple years. If i am right, you will see an advanced electronics AF film camera being launched by one of the major players. RF or SLR. Itīs a fun bet.
Somehow you've imagined my position.

If your wish is correct, here is what will occur:

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I want Nikon to sell us something in the 1k price range for camera body! And lenses in the $600 range... W/ nikon pro quality.
I'm a skeptic of that conclusion, for all the reasons posted earlier.

Here is another reason: it wasn't that long ago that Canon discontinued their last film camera. However they actually stopped producing the camera much earlier, 8 years earlier in fact...it took that long to sell them.

I've never said or even implied "no one will be posting pictures done on film in a couple of years."

Film will most certainly continue.
 

Old 01-16-2019   #325
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Somehow you've imagined my position.

If your wish is correct, here is what will occur:
"Originally Posted by colker I want Nikon to sell us something in the 1k price range for camera body! And lenses in the $600 range... W/ nikon pro quality."

I'm a skeptic of that conclusion, for all the reasons posted earlier.

Here is another reason: it wasn't that long ago that Canon discontinued their last film camera. However they actually stopped producing the camera much earlier, 8 years earlier in fact...it took that long to sell them.

I've never said or even implied "no one will be posting pictures done on film in a couple of years."

Film will most certainly continue.
I donīt know Canon. Nikon still fabricates a film camera.. the F6. Itīs an expensive camera. They could trickle it down to a 1k film model. I donīt know if they will..
 

Old 01-16-2019   #326
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I donīt know Canon. Nikon still fabricates a film camera.. the F6. Itīs an expensive camera. They could trickle it down to a 1k film model. I donīt know if they will..
That had a sub 1000 film camera the FM10... discontinued 2017. The chances of bringing back a new model film block seem to be zero sir.
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Old 01-16-2019   #327
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I donīt know Canon. Nikon still fabricates a film camera.. the F6. Itīs an expensive camera. They could trickle it down to a 1k film model. I donīt know if they will..
This is a little bit of a possibility... really.
 

Old 01-16-2019   #328
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The dozens of film camera blogs and hundreds of followers. The hundreds of YouTube videos..
Don't look now, but even digital photography has its blogs and Youtube videos...
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Old 01-16-2019   #329
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Don't look now, but even digital photography has its blogs and Youtube videos...
Itīs exactly my point.. Both digital and film are markets to cater.
 

Old 01-16-2019   #330
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Well Nikon did, in 2000 and 2005.

I mean, it was a limited-run, special remake of their classic S3 and SP rangefinders, but still - who else has ever done such a thing?

I have a Nikon SP 2005 and if things get really dire in film manufacturing I'll buy as much bulk 35mm I can and shoot that camera forever.
This ^^^^
The price would be astronomical.
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Old 01-16-2019   #331
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This is a little bit of a possibility... really.
And we know Nikon can be quite temperamental w/ their decisions. Those classic rangefinders reenactments. The FM3A. Keeping the F6 alive

My gut feeling says Nikon wants to be legendary. They wonīt give up easily from that charismatic behavior. I hope!
 

Old 01-17-2019   #332
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Nikon is already legendary no?
 

Old 01-17-2019   #333
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Nikon is already legendary no?
Exactly. They wonīt step down from the greatness, from their perceived role.

A legend keeps returning to its legendary actions. Mythology 101.

You mean they could retire, sit by the porch and conform till some other brand dethrones?
 

Old 01-17-2019   #334
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Nikon is already legendary no?
Donīt they have market analysers telling them all it was said here about how small is the RF market and how impractical is film? Are they silly? Old and stupid?

Why did Nikon release the S3 then the SP or the FM3A? Was it a move to make a couple bucks? Or was it to show they have a love for their own photographic tradition?
 

Old 01-17-2019   #335
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Canīt Nikon risk another couple bucks and show everyone they are still the leading force when it comes to winds of change in the photo world?
Itīs funny when Nikon seems way more risk taking in the name of photographic tardition and excelence than you guys on a rangefinder forum love fest..
 

Old 01-17-2019   #336
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What is known is that Nikon lost a lot of money on those, and the photographic industry was enormously different 19+ years ago than it is today...

Would be really cool, no doubt, for them to re-issue or modernize a new film camera, but the chances of a repeat are somewhere between slim and none.
 

Old 01-17-2019   #337
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What is known is that Nikon lost a lot of money on those, and the photographic industry was enormously different 19+ years ago than it is today...

Would be really cool, no doubt, for them to re-issue or modernize a new film camera, but the chances of a repeat are somewhere between slim and none.
How do you know what are the chances? You donīt.

Did Nikon expect to make any money on those RF reissues? Tell me..:
 

Old 01-17-2019   #338
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Well we can say with certainty that Nikon didnt make enough money to keep those cameras in production. Nikon would not leave money on the table.
Did they ever intend to keep those cameras in production? The SP and S3 reissues were limited editions.

Btw.. i am not pretending S3 or SP reissue should be the measure of Nikon for any new film camera.
On the contrary.. i bet on a contemporary design w/ nostalgia touches here and there. Film.. but electronics. Mechanical may be too expensive.
 

Old 01-17-2019   #339
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Clearly the release of these cameras was a way for Nikon to measure the demand for a new film camera. Had there been staggering demand you can be very certain that Nikon would have filled that demand.

The demand was not there.
Clearly?? Are you kidding? Nikon launched a 5 thousand dollar camera w/ no meter to assess the interest in a film revival?

You are joking right?

Nikon was showing off. Nothing else.

If they wanted to measure interest in film they would launch 700 dollar camera, auto focus and 3 auto meter programs.
 

Old 01-17-2019   #340
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That could be doable. Does Nikon have any big name pro that still uses film at times?
 

Old 01-17-2019   #341
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That could be doable. Does Nikon have any big name pro that still uses film at times?
they work w/ photojournalists and wildlife photographers. It would not be hard for them to look around and find a couple names in fine arts to patronize. Thatīs where film has been mostly active.
 

Old 01-17-2019   #342
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What kind of cameras do fine art photographers use?
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Old 01-17-2019   #343
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What kind of cameras do fine art photographers use?
Phil Forrest
All kinds. 35mm. 120. 8x10.
 

Old 01-17-2019   #344
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What kind of cameras do fine art photographers use?
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Fine art or artists? 😉
 

Old 01-17-2019   #345
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Art photography seems like such a small niche to market a niche product to...
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Old 01-17-2019   #346
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nikon

nikon tried this 13 years ago -- but it was as an instant collectable and they lost money on every one .
only 2500 black sp with all black 3,5cm 1.8 were made
many of those are being used now -

art photographers use some really low tech or oddball items

there are so many film cameras for sale used -- that it seems not a good decision to make another from scratch.
 

Old 01-17-2019   #347
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How do you know what are the chances? You donīt.
For all the reasons previously posted in this thread.

 

Old 01-17-2019   #348
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For all the reasons previously posted in this thread.

You donīt know.

I bet on Nikonīs sensibility to Japanese collectors and passionate photo geeks.

All this rational talk gets trumped by passion every day of the week.

Film should be dead already and it keeps coming back.

Cameras should be dead already and we should all be clicking on Samsungs and iPhones but cameras are here.
 

Old 01-17-2019   #349
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Yeah, all of us skeptics are clueless, business decisions are entirely made upon wishful thinking, passion, and dreaming.

 

Old 01-17-2019   #350
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nikon tried this 13 years ago -- but it was as an instant collectable and they lost money on every one .
only 2500 black sp with all black 3,5cm 1.8 were made
many of those are being used now -

art photographers use some really low tech or oddball items

there are so many film cameras for sale used -- that it seems not a good decision to make another from scratch.
Nikon didnīt try this. They released a limited edtion, expensive, for collectors. It had nothing to do w/ the film renaissance.

And if you think a non metered 5000 dollar camera is nikonīs try to go along the young crowd who is shooting film.. well... think again.
 

Old 01-17-2019   #351
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The demand was not there.
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Clearly?? Are you kidding?
Yes, clearly. They didn't even sell all of the SP 2005s at their original retail price, either.
 

Old 01-17-2019   #352
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Yes, clearly. They didn't even sell all of the SP 2005s at their original retail price, either.
clearly Itīs an expensive collectors camera .

clearly Itīs an expensive collectors camera .

clearly Itīs an expensive collectors camera .

Released before the film renaissance.

It wasnīt a camera made for the young crowds shooting film NOW.

 

Old 01-17-2019   #353
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All true, but it wasn't exactly a financial success for Nikon, at the time, and there was a lot more film being shot in 2000 and 2005 than there is now.

Do the bean counters there want to take another bath, considering the current state of the digital photography market, the rise of Sony as a major competitor, the recent release of their new mirrorless, and many other factors?

Slim. None.
 

Old 01-17-2019   #354
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Clearly?? Are you kidding? Nikon launched a 5 thousand dollar camera w/ no meter to assess the interest in a film revival?

You are joking right?

Nikon was showing off. Nothing else.

If they wanted to measure interest in film they would launch 700 dollar camera, auto focus and 3 auto meter programs.
Actually no, Nikon was not showing off. At least, not initially. And back in the late 1990s, it was a rangefinder renaissance, not a film renaissance.

There used to be an interview style article on the Nikon Japan website about how the reissue Nikon rangefinder project came about. Basically, the marketing guys at Imaging Company (now called Imaging Business Unit) saw the rangefinder renaissance unfolding in the late 1990s and wanted to join the party. The camera they decided to produce was the chrome Nikon S3, because it was the easiest option to put into production, and their initial plan was to sell 10,000 units PER YEAR. Yes, you read that right, the initial plan was to sell 10,000 units per year. Mito Nikon was commissioned with manufacturing the reissue S3 cameras (right next to the F3 production line I heard) and Tochigi Nikon was commissioned with manufacturing the reissue 50mm lenses.

But as we now know, it became apparent very quickly that the camera wouldn't sell very well. Fast forward to late 2001, and the project was folded with approximately only 8,000 units sold. The number is approximate because it was not intended as a limited edition, and Nikon has never released the actual number sold other than "approximately 8,000 units".

Move forward to 2002, and Nikon finally caved to all the Nikon collectors that complained they really wanted a black paint reissue rangefinder, not a chrome reissue rangefinder, and released a black paint version, the Nikon S3 Limited Edition Black, as a limited edition, 2,000 units only. The word on the street here in Japan is that it was a way for Nikon to use up remaining parts at the factories. Two birds with one stone!

Move forward to 2005, and Nikon again caved to all the Nikon collectors who complained that they actually wanted a black paint Nikon SP reissue, not a lowly Nikon S3, which was the budget model to the SP. So after lots of painstaking work figuring out how to manufacture the complicated finder of the Nikon SP (the reason the Imaging Company marketing guys initially went with the S3) Nikon did another limited edition, this time 2,500 units only with a different lens, a 35mm f1.8 instead of a 50mm f1.4.

So there you have it. The limited edition Nikon SP reissue of 2005 was certainly Nikon showing off to say, "yeah we still got it", but the chrome Nikon S3 reissue of 2000 was just a bad marketing decision, and the subsequent black paint Nikon S3 reissue was just Nikon clearing out unused parts.

By the way, most Nikon employees I've met don't have a clue regarding the company's history and past cameras. Especially those under 40 years old. "Did Nikon even make film cameras???". Ahhhh yeah, Nikon did actually.
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Old 01-17-2019   #355
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Actually no, Nikon was not showing off. At least, not initially. And back in the late 1990s, it was a rangefinder renaissance, not a film renaissance.

There used to be an interview style article on the Nikon Japan website about how the reissue Nikon rangefinder project came about. Basically, the marketing guys at Imaging Company (now called Imaging Business Unit) saw the rangefinder renaissance unfolding in the late 1990s and wanted to join the party. The camera they decided to produce was the chrome Nikon S3, because it was the easiest option to put into production, and their initial plan was to sell 10,000 units PER YEAR. Yes, you read that right, the initial plan was to sell 10,000 units per year. Mito Nikon was commissioned with manufacturing the reissue S3 cameras (right next to the F3 production line I heard) and Tochigi Nikon was commissioned with manufacturing the reissue 50mm lenses.

But as we now know, it became apparent very quickly that the camera wouldn't sell very well. Fast forward to late 2001, and the project was folded with approximately only 8,000 units sold. The number is approximate because it was not intended as a limited edition, and Nikon has never released the actual number sold other than "approximately 8,000 units".

Move forward to 2002, and Nikon finally caved to all the Nikon collectors that complained they really wanted a black paint reissue rangefinder, not a chrome reissue rangefinder, and released a black paint version, the Nikon S3 Limited Edition Black, as a limited edition, 2,000 units only. The word on the street here in Japan is that it was a way for Nikon to use up remaining parts at the factories. Two birds with one stone!

Move forward to 2005, and Nikon again caved to all the Nikon collectors who complained that they actually wanted a black paint Nikon SP reissue, not a lowly Nikon S3, which was the budget model to the SP. So after lots of painstaking work figuring out how to manufacture the complicated finder of the Nikon SP (the reason the Imaging Company marketing guys initially went with the S3) Nikon did another limited edition, this time 2,500 units only with a different lens, a 35mm f1.8 instead of a 50mm f1.4.

So there you have it. The limited edition Nikon SP reissue of 2005 was certainly Nikon showing off to say, "yeah we still got it", but the chrome Nikon S3 reissue of 2000 was just a bad marketing decision, and the subsequent black paint Nikon S3 reissue was just Nikon clearing out unused parts.

By the way, most Nikon employees I've met don't have a clue regarding the company's history and past cameras. Especially those under 40 years old. "Did Nikon even make film cameras???". Ahhhh yeah, Nikon did actually.
Thank you very much for sharing the back story of those Nikon reissue cameras. I own both the Nikon SP 2005 and original black paint SP. It’s amazing to see them sitting on the table at the same time and compare them side by side.
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Old 01-17-2019   #356
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Thanks Jon, great information! Unfortunately this reveals even more reasons why we will likely never see such a project again.

All three Nikon reissues are incredible tributes to the originals. And yet the Rangefinder Renaissance was still not enough to support the production.

More history which documents the RF renaissance, courtesy of Stephen: https://cameraquest.com/rfren.htm
 

Old 01-17-2019   #357
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Nikon didnīt try this. They released a limited edtion, expensive, for collectors. It had nothing to do w/ the film renaissance.

And if you think a non metered 5000 dollar camera is nikonīs try to go along the young crowd who is shooting film.. well... think again.
What would a new camera in 2019 or 2020 cost? Sure, maybe not $5000 but it sure won't be $600 either, not unless Nikon chooses to subsidize the "film renaissance" by bleeding red ink.
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Old 01-17-2019   #358
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What would a new camera in 2019 or 2020 cost? Sure, maybe not $5000 but it sure won't be $600 either, not unless Nikon chooses to subsidize the "film renaissance" by bleeding red ink.
Something along an FM 2 level. How much would that be?
 

Old 01-17-2019   #359
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Google tells me an FM2 was $364 in 1983. According to an inflation calculator, in 2017 dollars that is about $900.

How many FM2's were made? I can't find that number via a few minutes of Googling. I am sure the economy of scale was vastly higher than today, so my guess is that something like that would have to retail at well north of $1000.
 

Old 01-17-2019   #360
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonmanjiro View Post
By the way, most Nikon employees I've met don't have a clue regarding the company's history and past cameras. Especially those under 40 years old. "Did Nikon even make film cameras???". Ahhhh yeah, Nikon did actually.
For shame! And Nikon even has its own museum.

Does Nikon have a corporate archives? I know Leica has, and Polaroid donated theirs to Harvard Business School.
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