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Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Wishful Thinking Gets the Best of Joe Sanders

From: Joseph Sanders
Subject: RF-4D
Date: November 6, 2006 4:54:17 PM CST
To: Stacie Errera, Tamron

I just wanted to jot a quick note and congratulate you and all of Tamron on your up coming Bronica RF-4D Digital Rangefinder. What a great machine to resurrect the Bronica name with.

Tamron’s vision of melding the user interface and lens mount of the Analog Bronica RF with a great 49mm square sensor is pure genius!!! (Is Kodak your partner on the electronics? I hope not as they seem to screw up everything they touch lately.) In terms of resolution its 19mp sensor fits very neatly between the current crop of medium format backs and high end 35mm based SLRs. It will obviously blow the doors off the 35mm and "cropped" (DX?) sensor systems in terms of depth of field control, user interface, form factor and flash sync but of course the real coup de grace is the analog user interface and square format. Built in Pocket Wizard functionality is some good gravy. I’m satisfied with manual focus, and the 2.2 fps is faster than a medium format back. I also love the fact the swing out LCD a là Canon PowerShot G6 helps overcome almost all the inherent limitations associated with a rangefinder designs. This will certainly broaden the appeal of the camera well beyond the “Rangefinder Snob” crowd. Your pricing of course makes me cringe as $6800 for the body and normal lens is a lot of money for my working man budget but I’m sure the street price will come down to the $6200 territory in 8–14 months and there will certainly be no questioning of the value among professionals. My guess though is that you could sell 10 times as many @ $3500. Given this camera's complete uniqueness, I’m sure it will like enjoy a very long production run relative to the rest of the digital world.

So...congratulations!!! You guys are going to hit this one out of the park assuming lame software doesn’t screw it up. How about using me as a beta tester? Also what order are the announced lenses going to be released? I’m hoping the 29mm ƒ/2 (yum!!) and 162mm ƒ/4 are available when the body comes down the pipe, [and] the rest [will] fill in shortly thereafter.

Joe Sanders

From: Stacie Errera, Tamron
Subject: Re: RF-4D
Date: November 7, 2006 8:15:28 AM CST
To: Joseph Sanders

Dear Mr. Sanders,

This is the first I have heard of this rumor, so I am not sure where or when it started. Please be advised that Bronica brand was dissolved last year and that there is no product under Bronica brand being developed or marketed worldwide.


Stacie Errera
Chief Marketing Officer
Tamron USA, Inc.
10 Austin Blvd.
Commack, NY 11725


Blogger Adam McAnaney said...

Joe's e-mail was amusing. Stacie's, on the other hand, was rip-roaring HILARIOUS!

8:47 AM  
Blogger David Chang - Light and Lens Photography said...

Are you sure about the sensor? ALL the rumours I've seen have mentioned that it was to stay a 645 format ratio (3:4) sensor!

I think you have your lens rumours wrong too: The 29mm you mention was to be rounded to 30 mm (better for marketing) and wasn't going to be that fast, only an F4 (oh well, it matches the other lenses). I don't know where you heard about the 162 mm lens, but I think that must be an error: All the rumours mention that the 135mm F4.5 will be resurrected (giving an equivalent angle of view of a 162mm).

Well, it's good to hear that others have heard these rumours as well. Tamron, of course, must stay silent on the topic for competitive reasons. So I understand the official response. Last I heard, they would "announce" at PMA2007 and possibly ship by year's end. That's wishiful thinking though. The original RF was announced at Photokina, so we may have to wait until 2008, but it might be shipping right away then. :)

10:46 AM  
Blogger Geoff said...

Sigh... It's frightening how close this phantom product description here is to my ideal of a digital medium format rangefinder.

My own personal fantasy is based around a Mamiya 7II being given the Leica M8 treatment (but retaining the 6x7 aspect ratio and with a sensor size of 48mm on the long side ;).

I picked up a 7II at PhotoPlus Expo the other day and immediately forgot about the fact that the lenses (while optically almost second to none) don't have very fast maximum apertures and don't focus very closely and just enjoyed the pure photographic expression of looking through that beautiful (polarized and largely flare-free) range/viewfinder.

I had a hard time remembering why this is no longer the camera for me... sniff! :)

12:31 PM  
Blogger willfurniss said...

Camera perfection! When the mass market is finally appeased perhaps camera makers will be forced to remember the obsessives on the fringe. Gear was far cooler before digital.

4:46 AM  

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