Market shares for 35mm SLR pro or semi-pro

Discussion in '35mm Cameras' started by Ruman, Oct 3, 2005.

  1. Ruman

    Chris Brown Guest

    When you watch the TV news, look out for location shots of sporting events,
    social events, etc. where there are lots of photographers present. More
    often than not, they're pretty much all sporting Canon BWLs (Big White

    Of course, they're all using them on DSLRs these days, not 35mm.
    Chris Brown, Oct 4, 2005
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  2. Ruman

    Gordon Moat Guest

    I try to pride myself on doing as much as possible in-camera. I do get
    requests for some heavy digital editing, though mostly only for special
    effects or composite images. I also do quite a bit of Polaroid manipulations,
    which produces unique one-of-a-kind images.
    I think the compact P&S segment is the greatest seller, outside of maybe
    camera phones. High end digital is a low volume product by comparison. Power
    computers and high end digital are expensive for many people, and the costs
    might remain a barrier.
    I read not too long ago that the EU market is the largest market for direct
    digital cameras. While the giant supermarket and department store concepts of
    the US are something being pushed around the world, I don't see the US as the
    main push of digital imaging. Seems to me that Japan is the lead market, then
    fairly equal between EU and US markets for everything later.
    Gordon Moat, Oct 4, 2005
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  3. Ruman

    Gordon Moat Guest

    Glad to be of help.
    Oh . . . I get it . . . he meant the camera gear, not the person . . . that's
    different. I usually see such cameras termed as "Prosumer" models. Going over
    those specifications, one should be careful what they wish for in a camera.
    Spot metering is one of the most misused technologies around, and a good way to
    quickly ruin images. It is not easy to properly use a spot meter, and many
    beginners with such technology often make mistakes.

    The durable construction is important to me, as are some of the other items
    mentioned, but not entirely necessary items for getting compelling images. In
    reality, a professional camera can be any camera that generates income for the
    photographer. I have ran into more amateurs and enthusiasts with top level good
    gear than I have seen professionals using, with the only possible exception
    being certain lenses.
    Not at all. While exact numbers are tough to find, top level Nikon sales have
    not been too far behind Canon sales to professionals. If you only look at 35 mm
    gear, then Nikon and Canon have consistently been the main choices over Contax,
    Leica, Minolta, Olympus and Pentax for a couple decades. The digital SLR realm
    has been a bit different, with Kodak taking the early lead in camera bodies,
    until first Nikon with the D1 and then Canon offered competing products are
    better price points.
    Amongst current professionals using direct digital cameras, mostly 35 mm sized
    SLRs, the main choices have been Canon, Kodak and Nikon. This is mainly due to
    the support offered to professionals using those digital camera bodies. In the
    last three years, Kodak digital SLR sales have been less than Canon and Nikon.
    Exact numbers are hard to find, and Nikon and Canon have both only sold two or
    three professional level bodies each year. Another tough way to judge this is
    that some professionals do buy and use the lower and mid priced digital SLR
    bodies, and even some mid range film SLR bodies.

    Another professional choice is medium format and large format gear. Hasselblad
    and Mamiya have the largest impact into professional medium format choices.
    Large format is more a mixed bag, due to many choices, and that the gear often
    lasts and works for many decades.

    One reliable source has been rental gear information. Most rental places carry
    Canon and Nikon gear in 35 mm or direct digital, and Hasselblad and Mamiya in
    medium format. Few rental places offer gear outside of those brands. The
    reality of being a professional is that gear often needs to be rented. In the
    last tens years, I have seen Nikon gear remain somewhat stable in volume at
    rental places, while the amount of Canon gear has increased. Usually this
    involves lenses, but camera bodies are also available. In medium format, I have
    seen a similar increase in Mamiya gear, with Hasselblad gear about at the same
    levels, and only sometimes Pentax 67 items, or Contax 645. This implies that
    rental places are offering the gear that is most in demand, which increasingly
    seems to be Canon and Mamiya.


    Gordon Moat
    A G Studio

    Gordon Moat, Oct 4, 2005
  4. Ruman

    ian lincoln Guest

    It is however the thing to have and what the 'pros use'. I fell for that
    when i wanted a camera that easily did double exposures. I must have done
    it all of 3 times. unsuccessfully i might add, but at the time most
    magazines had that feature listed in pros and cons.
    Pros don't baby their gear. They use it. It gets used more and it gets
    used without kid gloves like it is the centre of the universe and the cause
    of your current fuzzy warm feeling. They therefore i built for such useage.
    Contax and leica are rated higher but the prices too high. I bought my
    canon a1 on the good enough principle. I first set out to buy nikon. It
    seemed price differential and quality differential were not equal. I
    percieved nikons to be only slightly better than canon but far dearer.

    The digital SLR realm
    Not only that but kodaks efforts were lemons. I never read a favourable
    review. All the supposed advantages of ff except fov were lost. The
    expected quality just wasn't there. In fact it was abysmalin anything but
    perfectly lit studio shots.

    In my opnion sigma would have done better licencing other mounts. They
    should have also stuck with ccd until they perfected foveon which was great
    on paper but didn't live up to expectations.
    I don't think so. Kodak was first to market.Canon and Nikon kept
    leapfrogging each other. Pentax and Minolta left it far too late to join
    in. They simply lost the race to market. Fuji have a great sensor but the
    nikon body built round it is only average and perhaps a little pedestrian
    with the focusing system.

    Olympus open standard initiative was brave, bold but ulitmately let down by
    the sensor size. Regardless of the final image quality its about size the
    same way intel marketed performance purely by processing speed. Thats like
    rating a cars performance purely by cubic inches with no regard for power to
    weight or whether it is turboed or not.

    The other problem with the olympus strategy was no backwards compatibility.
    Having no slr pedigree for at least 10 years didn't help so no lenses to be
    compatible with.

    Ultimately canons r+d and product cycle being powered by other parts of the
    business is a huge advantage over the purely photographic companies. Buying
    3rd party ccds from sony and a mergers with more diversified companies are
    there only hope for competing.

    In the
    ERm do you mean introduced?

    Another tough way to judge this is

    Eos 3v and 20D are back up cameras. I'm not familiar with the nikon line up
    but i should think it is the same for them and the others.
    Fortunately in the digital stampede this gear is more affordable and 2nd
    hand bargains abound.
    Large format is cumbersome and seldom used. When they are used regularly
    they do break down. The front lens is typically the shutter too. Clock
    work. If it saw as many actuations as a pro model 35mm it would expire very
    quickly. The rest of the large format technology is very simple. NO built
    in metering. No film advance of any kind. usually a back plate, bellows,
    ground glass focusing screen, a long rail to mount the whole thing on, a set
    of spirity levels and a few machined gears for fine adjustments and thats
    your lot. It does mean loading your own film in complete darkness or bag.
    Taking a 2 minutes exposure and then realising you haven't removed the film
    guard. Then there is remembering to put it back. Huge great film backs
    that mustn't get the slightest moisture or dust. Hardly superior technology
    or durable.
    The huge marketing machines of the well established and sweetners and other
    bribes. Even non enthusiasts have heard of canon and nikon. Hasselblad is
    mentioned with the same reverance as those who mumur leica. Its just that
    in an ever narrowing market only the big guys are surviving.

    REntal most often takes place on humungously expensive niche items. Items a
    jobbing professional couldn't possibly not afford and/or doesn't need often
    enough to justify buying the item. This merely means pentax is more
    affordable and don't have as many exotic items.
    In the
    This implies that
    you could always imply that without examing any data at all.
    ian lincoln, Oct 4, 2005
  5. Ruman

    Sander Vesik Guest

    Yeah, but would you consider the use of some instrument by them in any
    way to be indicative of its use or usefulness? Besides - the alternatives
    are not being a wedding / for hire photographer or 9 - 5 skulldruggery.
    Sander Vesik, Oct 4, 2005
  6. Ruman

    Paul Bielec Guest

    Obviously, large format is made for studio work.
    As for the durability:
    see that camera my grandfather is standing next to on the right?
    As far as I know, he bought it before WWII. It has been used for all
    pictures until the color and digital photography started being used for
    documents, diplomas, weddings, portait etc. But even today, it is still
    used for most B&W work. I even have on my desk a medium format picture
    of my wife taken with it 3 years ago.
    Paul Bielec, Oct 5, 2005
  7. Have you ever actually used a large format camera? Anyone who has will
    tell you that, yes, the technology is simple, but done with skill the
    results blow away anything you can do in 35mm size, film or digital. The
    equipment has a longevity that makes today's 35mm equipment look like
    paper knickers.

    Also, LF lenses actually work *better* the more they are used. The only
    time I have had problems with mine is since I had to stop using LF
    regularly through back problems. Clockwork does not like being unused.
    Otherwise the most troublesome LF lens I have is the only one with an
    electronic shutter. Further, if your shutter does crap out you can buy a
    new one - even after decades - for a hundred or so; they are all
    interchangeable. Try doing that with a decades-old small format camera.

    Superior technology? No, if you mean lack of gizmos, or convenience (or
    weight, regrettably). Yes, if you mean superiority of results.

    PS - I don't think in a decade or so I ever got close to a 2 minute
    exposure. 1/2 second would be pretty long unless in a dark interior.
    *Have* you ever used a large format camera? Seriously?

    David Littlewood, Oct 5, 2005
  8. Ruman

    Sander Vesik Guest

    But the same pretty much applies to taking snapshots at a party ;-) Well,
    except that money, ofen lots of it, doesn't change hands for it.
    Photographic value of them is still pretty low though.
    Sander Vesik, Oct 5, 2005
  9. Ruman

    ian lincoln Guest

    Considering all your basically doing is a contact print to produce a 10x8 i
    don't doubt it.

    I was a general assistant at a studio. The workhorse cameras were mamiya
    rb67s. My job with the large format was to load the film plates. They were
    double sided. A steel light safe cover on both sides. We are talking 10x8"
    films. I had to use a can of air on every film plate before loading. It
    had to be the correct way round. It had to be in the first groove and not
    the second as the steel cover went on that. If you did it wrong the film
    may sit in the first groove on one side and the second on the other. I also
    had to load the processing machine afterwards/ Most apertures used were f32
    or longer. There wasn't an official f64 on the lens but you could push the
    knob futher. many exposures were timed with a cable release. I also had to
    walk round and fire the flash unit that was behind every window. We are
    talking about a flash powersupply the size of an arc welder base. Even then
    have to wait for a recharge and fire a second or third time to get enough
    power. High end meter used that could add up successive flashes. Flash
    units thelength of a fluroescent kitchen light. Usually two. with huge
    great barn door flaps. You didn't have a 3pin plug it was these industrial
    connectors. WE literally had an entire room built inside the studio. Had a
    semi in their once in 'the cove'. i even had to touch up the wallpaper
    between shots. Multiple exposures were common. One just for the natural
    flash. One to show up the faint glow of the tungsten wall lamps. A gel was
    fitted for that. I saw a multiple exposure using several light sources and
    lighter fluid to do a xmas pudding. A different balanced filter for each
    light source. I also the monthly repair shipments of equipment. The firm
    started out with a huge art dept. A lithodarkroom upstairs and wet
    downstairs. I had the run of the b+w area and the large format processor.
    After a while practically whole dept replaced by one woman with a mac.

    Most of the quality work was iso 50 or 25. Huge great chest freezers of it.
    Largely shot with transparency film. Art dept used to handle the packaging
    and type face and everything of the product. 1 to 1 print.
    ian lincoln, Oct 5, 2005
  10. Ruman

    Skip M Guest
    Skip M, Oct 5, 2005
  11. Ruman

    no_name Guest

    Don't know about Dallas, but for me, it's kind of a reflex from so many
    Canon shooters' "I've got a Canon and the rest of you are just a bag of
    shit" attitude.
    no_name, Oct 5, 2005
  12. Ruman

    no_name Guest

    But, if it pays the bills so you can afford to take the other kinds of
    pictures you want to take ...
    no_name, Oct 5, 2005
  13. Ruman

    no_name Guest

    More than half ...

    Median IQ (the value half of the population falls below and the other
    half is above) is low to mid - 80s.
    no_name, Oct 5, 2005
  14. Ruman

    Skip M Guest

    That's truly an unfair assessment. Look at how many times people who use
    Canon equipment have to defend themselves against assaults from the owners
    of Olympus (Pix on Canvas/Douglas) and the infamous Sigma troll. We get a
    little gun-shy, and tired of defending what shouldn't need defending.
    Skip M, Oct 5, 2005
  15. Ruman

    DD (Rox) Guest

    Clearly you don't know a goddam thing about business, marketing or
    DD (Rox), Oct 5, 2005
  16. Ruman

    DD (Rox) Guest

    Christ, are you not aware that both Nikon and Minolta make big white
    lenses too?

    And since when did sports photography represent the mainstream of the
    image industry?
    DD (Rox), Oct 5, 2005
  17. Ruman

    Ruman Guest

    No I think you misunderstood, this is not about finding out what is
    more popular and going out buying that gear. It was more about a
    claimed speculation and as a result, gathering factual supports
    for/against it.
    Ruman, Oct 5, 2005
  18. Ruman

    Ruman Guest

    So the majority of sports photgs use Canon pretty much (I would like to
    know why though), what about other areas of professional photography
    Ruman, Oct 5, 2005
  19. Ruman

    Tony Polson Guest

    The problem is not a lack of "photographic value" but the fact that
    most wedding shoots involve very similar, formal shots. The poses are
    not natural because of the formality of the occasion. They are not
    only formal. They also tend to be clichés.

    But a wedding is perhaps something of a cliché in itself. Most
    weddings I attend are remarkably similar, simply because to a certain
    extent they tend to follow a set pattern - a series of clichés.

    People feel comfortable with this. The predictable consistency of the
    ceremony and celebrations help to give the participants some comfort
    in what they are doing. And wedding photography can play its part by
    adhering to that sense of the predictable. Unfortunately this limits
    creativity, and gives rise to criticism such as yours.

    There is sometimes an opportunity to be creative when all the formal
    shots are in the bag - but that is often the point at which the
    photographer departs! Whether a different approach represents
    "creativity" is also a moot point. For example, the photojournalist
    approach is an example of an alternative approach that is in danger of
    becoming a cliché in itself.

    Couples who commission purely creative wedding photography are few and
    far between. Even then, there is often pressure from older relations
    for a set of traditional formal shots, so creative wedding photography
    is more often an add-on to a set of formals than something that stands
    alone. There are very few wedding shoots without formal shots.

    At the end of the day, what matters is that the resulting images are
    acceptable to the couple (and their relations) as the main or sole
    visual memory of the happy day. It is what they think that matters,
    not whether some uninvolved person considers the photographic value is
    high, low, mediocre or non-existent.
    Tony Polson, Oct 5, 2005
  20. Ruman

    Tony Polson Guest

    Canon has market share because Canon set out to obtain market share.
    At major sporting events, Canon offers unrivalled service, free loans
    of equipment and subsidised equipment all in an attempt to gain market
    share in a very visible sector.

    Why is it worth spending $ millions on supporting pro shooters?
    Because amateurs see what pros use and think they should buy the same
    brand, even if the consumer gear they buy bears little or no
    resemblance to the professional gear they see. White pro lenses help
    sell consumer glass.

    Nikon did this very successfully for many years. Canon is now beating
    Nikon at the same game. But Canon isn't making any profit, just
    gathering market share. Enjoy it while it lasts!
    Tony Polson, Oct 5, 2005
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