Lomo got $1.4M to design its Petzval. Why don't camera companies do this?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by RichA, Feb 20, 2014.

  1. RichA

    RichA Guest

    Imagine, Nikon does it, will give you a 70-200mm F/2.8 for $1900 instead of the $2500 it costs to buy normally. Meanwhile, their R&D could be paid for. That has to be worth something. For companies on the red edge of profit, Olympus, it might pay.
     
    RichA, Feb 20, 2014
    #1
    1. Advertisements

  2. RichA

    Paul Ciszek Guest

    Could you please explain what this means? All the words are english
    words, and they appear to be arranged grammatically, but I have no
    idea what you are talking about.
     
    Paul Ciszek, Feb 21, 2014
    #2
    1. Advertisements

  3. RichA

    Peter Irwin Guest

    My interpretation:

    The fact that someone was able to raise 1.4 million dollars by
    selling a Petzval lens by subscription proves that selling a lens
    entirely on preproduction sales can be a viable business undertaking.

    If a highly competent optical company were to try this they might
    be able to make and sell low volume products for substantially less
    money.

    Peter.
     
    Peter Irwin, Feb 21, 2014
    #3
  4. RichA

    Joe Kotroczo Guest


    Yes, but that'll only work for novelty products with no competition. If
    you consider a run of the mill 70-200mm f/2.8, people won't spend the
    money before they've seen test in the trade rags, comparing the new lens
    to, say, offerings from Sigma, Tamron, etc. The Petzval had no
    alternative, no one was going to make another Petzval, so there is no
    risk of a better or cheaper Petzval hitting the market, and supply was
    going to be limited, so there was a high incentive for prospective
    buyers to go along with the pre-sale. For a "normal" lens this is not
    the case.
     
    Joe Kotroczo, Feb 21, 2014
    #4
  5. RichA

    J. Clarke Guest

    He's suggesting that Kickstarter or other forms of crowdfunding be used
    to support photo equipment product development with donors getting a
    hefty discount on the resulting product.

    It's not a terrible idea.
     
    J. Clarke, Feb 21, 2014
    #5
  6. RichA

    Joe Kotroczo Guest

    So, what would be my incentive as a punter to cashflow the development
    of a Nikon 70-200mm f2.8? Why should I spend money on it before I know
    it's going to be better than a similar Sigma or Tamron, or even an older
    model Nikon?

    Rich states "will give you a 70-200mm F/2.8 for $1900 instead of the
    $2500 it costs to buy normally". Why would that be the case? Where does
    this alleged savings come from? From putting up the cash upfront? I
    don't think so.

    Crowdfunding is a great way to find out if there is a market for a
    product _idea_, but not a terribly good way to market an established
    product with existing competitors.

    TANSTAAFL
     
    Joe Kotroczo, Feb 21, 2014
    #6
  7. RichA

    J. Clarke Guest

    So you put up a Kickstarter for a product and nobody kicks. What have
    you lost?
     
    J. Clarke, Feb 22, 2014
    #7
  8. RichA

    RichA Guest

     
    RichA, Feb 22, 2014
    #8
  9. RichA

    Joe Kotroczo Guest

    On 22/02/2014 06:33, RichA wrote:
    (...)
    What I don't get is how a different method of cashflowing R&D and a
    first production run is supposed to lower the cost of the product? Since
    you say yourself you don't know how much R&D costs or how it is funded
    normally, how do you then come to the conclusion that manufacturers
    would be able to offer a first run at a lower price if they use an
    alternate method of funding?
     
    Joe Kotroczo, Feb 23, 2014
    #9
  10. RichA

    RichA Guest

    It doesn't really, it simply helps pay for the initial development without the companies having to shell-out all the funds themselves, plus it's an exciting way for people to get a new lens earlier than they might. Like a contest in way. It's interest marketing via a new mechanism. By offering the lens initially to funders at a lower price, it could entice people who will never buy the lens on their own because the final, retail cost will be too high for them. Sell 5000 of a lens instead of 4000. This could also allow a Nikon to skim off some of the sales that the aftermarket companies might have gotten from people who couldn't afford the Nikon version of a particular lens. If the Nikon version at retail is $2500, the Tamron version at retail is $1800 and you offer the funder a Nikon at say $2000, you've eliminated part of the lower-price competition's sales.
     
    RichA, Feb 23, 2014
    #10
  11. RichA

    Sandman Guest

    Are you seriously suggesting that the Samyang 85/1.4 is a competitor to the
    Petzval? How did you arrive at that conclusion - they're both ~85mm and
    must thus be the same product?
    If those are your only critera, you can buy a coat for "similar price".
    Doesn't mean the coat is an alternative to the Petzval.
    Prototyping and producing lenses doesn't get cheaper just because you have
    Kickstarter pledgers. Even if you pump of the price to full price after the
    campaign, dumping out $2500 lenses for $1900 to thousands of customers just
    because they pledged for it isn't going to work too good. Especially if
    most of the potential customers jump on the campaign instead of paying full
    price.
    Publicity, yes. Economics, not so certain.
     
    Sandman, Feb 24, 2014
    #11
    1. Advertisements

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.