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The new2004products of the vsystem


Hi everybody.
I would like to ask about the price & availability of the following Hasselblad equipments:
1- Film Scanners,
*** Hasselblad Flextight 646.
*** Hasselblad Flextight 353.
2- V-System Digital Back,
Hasselblad Ixpress V96C Camera Back.
3- Universal Digital Backs,
*** Hasselblad Ixpress 132C.
*** Hasselblad Ixpress 528C.

Appreciating any contribution. Thanks.
Hello Thalmees,

I guess the people who would really know are the ones at Hasselblad/Imacon. Contact them (addresses can be found at - go to Company, then Addresses).

By the way, all of the things you mention being Imacon products, wouldn't that be the "I-System"?

Should this Forum be extended to include a separate I-System section?
Hi Qnu
Thanks for responding.
Hasselblad H1 camera is a hasselblad product in every country except in Japan. But, a part from the body module, hasselblad H1 is originally, a FujiFilm camera(Fujifilm GX645 AF).
What I mean, is the products in my previous post are originally Imacon products, but since it has specifications up to hasselblad standards, it will appear in the market under hasselblad name. Something similar to the H1 FujiFilm camera.

Thanks again.

While Fuji did cooperate (!), the H1 is originally a Hasselblad camera.
Yes, in Japan Fuji wants this thing sold branded Fujifilm. But that does not (!!!) make it a Fujifilm original... ;-)
(There are similar for instances, where a product is rebranded in a particular market).

The Imacon products now appear under the Hasselblad name because the owner of Hasselblad also bought Imacon and decided the two companies should merge, and continue under the Hasselblad name (though the Imacon people are in charge).

The V-system is so called after Victor Hasselblad. And only so after "his" company built the H1 and decided to called that line H-system.
I think it fitting that the Imacon products then should be called I-System.
You have raised some important issues. It's all about brand strategy and it seems (thank God) that Hasselblad might just be on the best course now.

Co-operative product development is a complex brand issue, but every significant case where the brand leader gets into bed with another company without a strong brand in that product segment so that the former can get hold of a product technology requirement, risks disaster for its iconic brand and additionally risks disenfranchising its customer base and product segment legacy.

Hasselblad should only contract Fuji as a supplier and never allow Fuji's brand to appear on the products. Fuji is too big for Hasselblad to try to take over, otherwise that would be a valuable option.

Hasselblad's Imacon takeover / merger is a far better product development strategy to broaden Hasselblad's capabilities in an increasingly developing digital market - buy the capability and integrate it into your overall market and product offer. The Imacon brand should progressively die in some product categories like backs, while it may be retained in categories like scanners where Imacon's legacy is strong (but maybe should eventually be superceeded by the H name anyway).

As Hasselblad's press releases say, it is a premium manufacturer for dual media (film and digital) professional MF equipment.

Hopefully H's great legacy in backwards and forewards product compatability should be maintained - e.g. offering a V series lens mount for H series bodies as it does now.

Sadly other iconic brands like Leica have stuffed around experimenting with new products and new alliances with Japanese manufacturers only to confuse the market and water down its great brand. Those producs often have not reflected expectations of Leica's brand and simply damage it and cause the company to lose its way.

If Iconic brands seek to grow and profit from higher volume product segments (like Leica did), then they should form a sub-brand for those new products in categories not reached previously. It's possible to get the iconic brand image in as well by using it on components like lenses (just as mass production digi companies like Sony and LG have done with Zeiss and Schneider optics labeled on their cameras' lenses).

Hasselblad had to act and did and did so with a good sense of strategy and brand.

The opinions above are my own as a prefessional strategy consultant and are not anything specificly said by Hasselblad.

If the strategy is good then it must be well executed to be successful. Stay tuned.

Isn't Fuji retreating from the professional camera business completely?
So i guess a "take over" of Hasselblad's market share is not to be feared. ;-)

Imacon scanners are already presented as Hasselblad scanners.
Imacon retains their web-presence as Imacon. But for how long?

Hasselblad did not take over Imacon, Imacon did not take over Hasselblad.
It was Shriro, owner of Hasselblad, who bought Imacon too, and squeezed the two together, hoping they will melt together.
The thing is that digital is the future, and MF manifacturers like Hasselblad (not having a single product that can help them into that digital future) were at the mercy of what independent companies like Imacon produced. Now Shriro has decided to stop that folly, take digital matters into own hands, make sure that Hasselblad is controlling those digital things that may extend Hasselblad's lease of life.

Since Imacon provides the important bit (digital is the future, remember), they apparantly (?) thought it best to put Imacon's leaders in charge of the combined Hasselcon operation.

So now Imablad is indeed a company ruling their own future. Indeed a "premium manufacturer for dual media [etc.]".

Brands like Leica have resigned to being fashion accessories (there is a reason why Hermes, producer of shawls and handbags, owns Leica). All they do is continue the brand, without, so it seems, hoping that it (the original brand) will ever be able to fend for itself.
And that means that they will have to (and have planned to do so all along) "milk" the brand for what its worth: introduce cheap, Asian built products, put a red dot on them, and appeal to the snobs who always wanted to have a Leica anything.
Seems to work.

Will that work for Hasselblad too?
Maybe not.

The meat and bones of their reputation is that they are a no-compromise producer of high quality professional medium format cameras (producing CB lenses, or the 202FA, has definitely dented that reputation. But i think they recovered well).
How many of their customers will be interested in Hasselblad branded shawls, or 3 MP miniature digital cameras?

Hands up: anyone here ever visited Hasselblad's Boutique on the web? And bought something?

People are still offering HB Boutique items as "rare" on eBay. That only works because noone seems to know that you can get as many of them as you want, brand-spanking-new.
So my guess (!) is that Hasselblad customers are not fashion victims, easily impressed by brand names. The Hermes/Leica-route may not work.
But i could be wrong, of course.
Hi Qnu. I generally agree with your more specific comments, which I think are consistent with the more macro views I expressed. Mine were focused more on brand direction.

Specifically, Shriro's action was logical and smart - but it is using the iconic Hasselblad brand as its merged business frontline. Today it is a dual media company. How long film remains is anyone's guess and they will wait and see and adjust accordingly like we users will. But, its new integrated business provides it with long term customer value - customers with the security of knowing that the company's product strategy won't leave them in the cold.

The fact, as you point out, that Imacon scanners already bear the H name is indicative of the brand strategy I suggested. But as H reinvigorates its MF business it has a lot of product strategy issues to address to maximise its position, segment share and customer value (share of spend, repeat buys and add on buys etc).

FujiFilm's departure from MF equipment manufacturing is another ex&le of "shake-out" like Bronica's announced departure. Bronica is more an ex&le of companies that were poor planners and too niche focused in rapidly changing market segments.

FujiFilm is an ex&le of a massive company that has fingers in many market segments - some it should not be in and provide it poor returns compared to their core business segments - just as well H did not allow FujiFilm brand on its equipment.

However, I don't completely share your views on Leica and Hermes. I don't agree that Hermes is a "fashion accessories" company. It is a great marketing and brand development company at the very premium end of the market. The group parent company focuses on brand and marketing - the businesses themselves focus on no compromise premium products and customers.

My view is that (as it did with other acquisitions) it saw Leica as an undervalued iconic brand devoid of marketing smarts (an engineering driven product focused company rather than a market focused company). Hermes will grow value by reinvigorating the Leica brand - let the Leica engineers focus on products and Hermes bring in the marketing capabilities - keep an eye on it as I suspect we will progressively see better initiatives from L.

If we look at other industries and iconic brands risking death we get the message. Maserati floundered under uncommitted and incapable owners until Fiat bought it from Citroen. As Fiat's Ferrari business implemented brilliant marketing and product development from the 1990's and became truly profitable, Fiat handed it the Maserati brand to provide it with an opportunity to achieve a volume business and profit growth. Ferrari's brand, marketing and product strategies for Maserati have worked brilliantly so far.

The traditional Swiss watch companies died or were dying by the 1990s and then smart marketers bought them and developed great marketing and brand strategies - companies like hermes were behind that. They defined their market segments and focused on customer value, reinvigorating the brands and demand for the products. Now brands like Rolex, Gerard Perrigeau, IWC and Piaget have never had it so good.

I agree about the silly and irrelevant accessory lines some brands get into. Mostly these are expensive mistakes. If the accessory is relevant to the product category of the brands' mainstream goods, then it can be a positive brand reinforcement initiative. But, Hasselblad pens? Landrover shoes? Porsche neck ties? Give me a break. Yes, Hasselblad could compliment its brand with accessories like vests and even gloves for cold outdoor photography work. But overall these accessory lines are not profit centres, but brand building cost recovery lines, but only if they coonect with customers' view of the brand and what it offers them.

Hasselblad's development of "entry level" products like CB lenses, in my view, is fine so long as it is based on the same no compromise approach used in all other products. These (and I thought rightly or wrongly) ex&les were still premium Hassleblad quality but had fewer features only.

Leica's issues are made more complex by the fact that Leica-Camera does not own the Leica brand. The post War decisions on the company operations break up made a complete mess of that for later generations to struggle with. But its more recent product initiatives have indicated a better strategy. I'm more optimistic than you about that direction. For ex&le the planned release of the digital M seems to be based on a no compromise product strategy that should see an M7D that is in every respect an M just that is has a digi sensor rather than film. I think Leica understands that while Leica's brand is iconic so too is the Leica - M brand. Ultimately the product will tell all.

As you say time will tell.

Thanks for the great discussion.