Stephen Gandy at CameraQuest is accepting refundable deposits for those who want a Bessa III 667 from his first shipment, due in June. Announced price: $2250.
Anybody know the last time a new 6x7 or larger folder was introduced?
(Thanks to Charles Mason)
Featured Comment by Harry Lime: "Very nice, but at $2250 very expensive. I suppose its relative compactness is a big selling point but for that money or a lot less you could buy...
- A mint Hasselbad with filmback and 2.8/80
- A Bronica 645RF with several lenses
- A Mamiya 7 II with lenses.
- A mint Rolleiflex or several Rolleicord with a full overhaul.
- A mint Plaubel Makina 67 2.8/80mm or 4/65
All of these options are equally portable and provide competitive or better performance. I was very interested in this camera, until I saw the price. Does it really cost Fuji/Voigtlander more money to make one of these than it does Nikon to make a D300? Do I really have to get a job with AIG to be able to afford one of these?"
Featured Comment by Tim Bradshaw: "I disagree that this is an incredibly expensive camera. I think, rather, it's probably about what you'd expect to pay for such a thing.
"Rather, I think that we've all become spoiled by how amazingly cheap things, if made in sufficient quantity, have become. It is astonishing that you can buy a DSLR for well under $1000, and even more so that you can get a perfectly decent laptop for much less than that. There's a lot of technology in these things, and a lot of design goes into them. I don't completely understand what makes them so cheap, but I'm guessing that manufacture in large numbers is important.
"If they made this thing for almost nothing it still would not sell in large numbers, because just not that many people are interested in medium-format, however cheap the camera. The only difference if they did that is that they would not be able to cover their design costs, and would lose money on it.
"I'm a (bad) guitar player, and since I'm kind of bored doing what I do most of the time, I've wondered about making guitar amps. I got as far as trying to work out costs, and it's basically depressing. If I actually wanted to eat, I'd have to charge well over £1000 for an amp (okay, quite a nice amp), and perhaps nearer £2000. The amp I use, which is a pretty nice but not 'boutique' model, was £500, and you can get fairly minimal amps for around £100 now. And these are valve (tube) amps. Someone setting up in the business, unless they had really significant funding to cover the start-up costs, would simply have to go for the high-value small-production-run market. And the valve guitar amp market is a lot bigger than the medium-format market, where the start-up costs probably dominate the recurring costs for any plausible sales volume.
"I'd encourage anyone who doesn't believe this to pick something of interest to you that you might be interested in making and do the costings properly, remembering what your time needs to be billed at if you would like to eat. It's a salutary experience.
"So, no, this isn't expensive: everything else is cheap."
Featured Comment by Craig Arnold: "Despite the price I find I cannot imagine not having one. Oh dear, looks like my 5DMkII is going to have to wait."