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Holy Cow! 51 percent of the shares in Sinar remain with Jenoptik.

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
What is going on?

"51 percent of the shares in Sinar remain with Jenoptik.
Jena, 13. December 2006
The Jenoptik Group rescinds the sale of its 51 percent of the shares in Sinar AG to Leica Camera AG.
The sale of the Sinar shares to Leica Camera AG had been agreed and published at short notice at Photokina in Cologne at the end of September 2006. The transfer of the shares to Leica Camera AG was subject to contractual conditions which have not been fully completed to date. By rescinding from the contract, Jenoptik intends to avert damage from Sinar AG due to unclear ownership structures. Jenoptik reserves the right to assert against Leica Camera AG claims for damage resulting from the failed sale. At present, other business relations between Jenoptik and Leica Camera AG are not effected by today's decisions.
The measure was supported by the market success of the new Hy6 medium-format camera for professional photographers, which Jenoptik developed in conjunction with partners, amongst others Franke & Heidecke. This camera, to which experts give excellent marks, was presented by Jenoptik at this year's Photokina for the first time. It will be distributed in the market also by Sinar, as had originally been planned. This means that Sinar will remain part of the activities in the digital imaging area of the Jenoptik Group."

So the Hy6 will still be made, but not under Leica's influence.

What does this mean in terms of Jenoptiks view of Leica's stength?

What is the meaning of this? http://www.jenoptik.com/cps/rde/xchg/SID-26EE34DB-91B73C7C/jenoptik/hs.xsl/4582.htm

Leica drops Sinar?

It seams that Leica is not going ahead with the purchase of Sinar


Jenoptik was responsible for the failed M8 launch, but the press release states that : that this will not affect the working relationship between Leica and Jenoptik.

The making of the M8 may have been probably one of the most heroic actions of the digital revolution, in the line of the Contax full frame and Mamiyas RZ and the introduction was a bit underwhelming for a camera that is 99% image, so something had to give...

Michael Fontana

pro member
this means that Sinar will continue to adapt backs on its 4/5', and stop to develop MF-cams on its own, as they did for a good while - but without very big success... and I'm not to sure about the Hy6's future.

Sinar has for me - living some 200 k's away fom its factory, owned 5 of these cams.. - two chapters:

The first one is with the inventor, Carl Koch - he died nearly a year ago - who brought - in the mecanical, physical aera - Sinar into a leading position and reputation, through his knowledge, "bricolage" and never ending, time-consuming adaption of the basic cam for the some new skills. There was a module-system, which allowed the photographer to adapt the cam to all needs. Perfect!

The 2nd. chapter starts with the Digi-aera, and its huge needs for ressources to develop a state of the at-cam. We shall not forget, that Sinar has been a family enterprise; and the analog -digi-transition is quite a huge step - for such a enterprise-structure. The Sinar-Handy, a beautifull cam, was given up, (I'm glad I kept one of these) meanwhile this would have been a very good entry to digital photography.

Sinar spend TONNs of money, to develop/adopt the sensors for the Sinar-cams; a good while ago, sort of every year, there was a newly developed back coming out. One of the problems was, that they were to fast for the market, not a lot of photographers were ready for the digi-transition.
One should not forget, that these backs were very pretty expensiv, the quality not really superior to 4/5', so not a lot of photographers changed the boat.

Later on, Sinar bought the chip-technology; to Kodak, they payed quite a reasonable cheque for beeing the only, getting the chip for the first year...

Meanwhile Sinar's PR didn't stopped the slogan: "We got it now " on each new backrelease, the photographers were disconcerted by the bunch of the releases. Then, they made some PR-bugs, saying, "you're not a pro photographer, unless you've the newest sinarback" which obviously was a shot in the own knee, as we all know....

Here, they switched the distributor several times, and the photographers were further away from the "factory, they were familiar".

In the Carl Koch aera, Sinar was a must here, now its' one of some possibilties...

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Hi Michael,

That is very interesting history. Peope ahead of the pack sometimes get the spoils or might get injured instead!

Sinar is now with Jenoptic and no doubt the Sinar back will be part of the the new Hy6 platform along with Leaf. These two backs for sure will provide photographers with great capabilities.

We only know for certain*, that Leaf Aptus backs will be on this new platform some 4-8months from now.

I am concerned that the back wil be designed for the Aptus and there may be a different version for Sinar. Having identical bodies would really help everyone!


(*If anything is certain, as some announcements form photokina are like promises made at a New Years Eve party and fade as the hats are discarded and the alcohol wears off!)

Michael Fontana

pro member
Asher Kelman said:
Hi Michael,

........ Having identical bodies would really help everyone!


(*If anything is certain, as some announcements form photokina are like promises made at a New Years Eve party and fade as the hats are discarded and the alcohol wears off!)
I fully agree, maybe this was the point for Leica to give up.