With new 35mm-form-factor cameras about to be nipping at their heels more ferociously than ever, Tokyo-based medium-format cameramaker Mamiya and Tel Aviv-based digital medium-format back maker Leaf have joined forces to form a new brand.
The beginning of the press release says pretty much everything you need to know:
New "Mamiya Leaf" Brand Delivers Strong Worldwide Synergy
Companies Integrate Products, Consolidate Worldwide Support, Service and R&D
TOKYO and TEL AVIV, January 16, 2012—Mamiya Digital Imaging, a trusted manufacturer and developer of medium-format cameras and optics, and Leaf Imaging Ltd., a leading manufacturer and developer of digital backs for the medium and large-format photography markets, today announced that they have created a new, worldwide Mamiya Leaf brand that integrates both companies’ product lines into one complete medium-format digital camera system offering, streamlines new product development and establishes more efficient customer sales and support.
The new Mamiya Leaf brand represents a synergy of the best that these two companies can offer as highly competent suppliers of comprehensive, fully-integrated high-end digital photography systems comprising digital camera backs, bodies and lenses. Together, the companies are focusing on delivering new Mamiya Leaf camera systems. Unified support from worldwide Mamiya Leaf partners/distributors is also expected to be a major advantage for photographers; they will now be able to enjoy one-stop expert service for all of the various components of a Mamiya Leaf medium format digital camera system.
Naturally, there's a website.
Note: Links in this post may be to our affiliates; sales through affiliate links may benefit this site. More...
Original contents copyright 2011 by Michael C. Johnston and/or the bylined author. All Rights Reserved.
Featured Comment by Oren Grad: "At least in the United States, this announcement raises more questions than it answers. Phase One, which controls both Mamiya and Leaf, has been grappling for many months with the problem of how to position the two brands. This is at least the third different branding/marketing identity for Mamiya in the U.S. over the past year.
"Now they've redirected the mamiya.com website to the existing, partially-baked Leaf website. All the information about legacy products—including all film cameras—is gone. Are they dropping them? Is there still support of any kind? No way to tell.
"The Leaf website is designed to channel all inquiries via email or the existing Phase One support forum—I can't find a phone number any more. Is the intent to sell high-end products while forcing all direct support to go through dealers? That's a possible strategy, but, if so, they need to be clear about it.
"And so on. Until they explain more, this feels like a big step backward."
Featured Comment by Will: "Mamiya's backs have, for at least two years, been nothing more than rebadged Leaf Aptus II backs. Meanwhile, PhaseOne's cameras have been nothing more than rebadged Mamiya cameras. And PhaseOne has a (controlling?) stake in both firms. There really doesn't seem to be any 'there' here, just a reshuffling of the corporate deck as lines blur and things become ever slightly more confusing for the consumer."
Featured Comment by Brian Woolf: "As a commercial studio/still life photographer, I have used a Leaf Valeo 17wi(17 megapixels) medium-format digital back (MFDB) since 2005. The quality, detail and sharpness is incredible in a studio environment with studio strobes, on a 4x5 Sinar p with film-era lenses. Last week I tried to get away with a Nikon D300 (12 megapixels) and an 85mm PC Nikon lens and was so disappointed with the quality, compared to what I was used to, that I switched back to the Leaf back. If you have only used a 35mm system, you would be amazed at the difference of any MFDB. The only 'catch' with these MFDBs is that you get the best out of them with strobes.
"Another important thing to consider, as a pro, you are selling your work and handing over your image files to a client, art director, retoucher or pre-press people that sooner or later see everything in the industry. You are being graded by them on the technical quality of your work, how sharp, how much detail, the tonal range, etc., against other photographers' work that they have seen. You really should be doing the best you can, not just 'good enough,' if you want to get the next job."