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marcg

Leica SF 60 flash - How much is it going to be – what's your guess?

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I see that the cost of the Nissin SF 60 flash ranges from about €225-€280.

 

The cost of the Air 1 is typically about €70.

 

By what kind of factor do you expect that Leica will gouge their loyal customers for the Red Dot version?

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I've finally found a price announcement: –

 

 

Both units are now available for purchase from authorised Leica UK stores and dealers, and online at the Leica Store for the following prices:

  • Leica SF 60 flash unit - £450 including VAT
  • Leica SF C1 remote control unit - £250 including VAT

 

 

 

That's about double the  price for the flash unit
 
That's about four times the price for the commander.
 
Bravo Leica.
 
They really do know how to gouge their fan-base don't they
Edited by marcg

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That's about double the price for the flash unit

 

That's about four times the price for the commander.

 

Bravo Leica.

 

 

They really do know how to gouge their fan-base don't they

I’m not here to defend for Leica on pricing, the following are considerations that would have partially affected the pricing:

 

1. Leica customers price acceptance level;

2. Other Leica flash price structure;

3. Type approval ICC testing by country (you can find several from internet search in March 2018 time frame);

4. Expected to sell in small numbers vs MOQ requirement from Nissin.

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Leica does overdo the pricing for these items. Espescially the price for the commander unit.

4 times the price for it is an excess.

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I’m not here to defend for Leica on pricing, the following are considerations that would have partially affected the pricing:

 

1. Leica customers price acceptance level;  - Leica customers' gouge resistance factor

2. Other Leica flash price structure;                - ditto

3. Type approval ICC testing by country (you can find several from internet search in March 2018 time frame); - Similar to the testing needed for for the other compatible variants, no doubt.

4. Expected to sell in small numbers vs MOQ requirement from Nissin. - could be a function of the gouge factor.

 

... and only partially.  The rest is probably accounted for by the cost of a Red Dot.

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... and only partially. The rest is probably accounted for by the cost of a Red Dot.

I did a quick research on a couple of on-line retailers on Nissin i60a and found that the SF60 is about double or less as the Nissin Nikon & Sony version of i60a sell for different price. So with the factors I’ve mentioned earlier, the pricing of SF60 is still not extravagantly high. If one were to compare the SL90 corn vs SL50 lux price of less than USD$150 then there is less justice as the SL50 lux is suppose to be the reference lens as established by Leica themselves. But then after looking at the image produced by the SL75 & 90, I do not complain about the pricing anymore. Same sentiments go for my ownership of the 16-35 Vario Elmar. Beautiful images. So my desire to own means I have to pay for it.

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...

If one were to compare the SL90 corn vs SL50 lux price of less than USD$150 then there is less justice as the SL50 lux is suppose to be the reference lens as established by Leica themselves. But then after looking at the image produced by the SL75 & 90, I do not complain about the pricing anymore. Same sentiments go for my ownership of the 16-35 Vario Elmar. Beautiful images. So my desire to own means I have to pay for it.

 

Sorry, I don't really understand the sudden move to lenses in this discussion.
 
It makes me feel that we are operating different threads here.
 
Also, your "desire to own" is precisely why Leica are able to gouge their customers.

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Sorry, I don't really understand the sudden move to lenses in this discussion.
 
It makes me feel that we are operating different threads here.
 
Also, your "desire to own" is precisely why Leica are able to gouge their customers.

 

 

 

The reason I move the discussion to the Leica SL lenses is precisely my point that all my rational for 'willing to pay' is all about going after the performance of the lenses, including the flashes and commander ( in the desire to fill light in situation of higher than 1/250 sec shutter speed situation especially to create shallow DOF images).

My rational will be identical to yours if I silo my thoughts to just lights & wireless triggers. But to chase after the images I desire to create, my consideration must include core & primary motivation to support the Leica SL lenses.

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So what you're saying is that you are prepared to pay the excessive prices because of your need. However, you don't deny that the prices are excessive – and of course with lenses, this is down to Leica design and engineering. With the flash units, Leica has had very little input in it and clearly they are extremely overpriced because they are available for other cameras at a fraction of the price.

 

I don't quibble with your need. What I quibble with is Leica's willingness to gouge their customers when all of the other camera manufacturers are prepared to be far more reasonable – and also, presumably, make a decent profit.

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So what you're saying is that you are prepared to pay the excessive prices because of your need. However, you don't deny that the prices are excessive – and of course with lenses, this is down to Leica design and engineering. With the flash units, Leica has had very little input in it and clearly they are extremely overpriced because they are available for other cameras at a fraction of the price.
 
I don't quibble with your need. What I quibble with is Leica's willingness to gouge their customers when all of the other camera manufacturers are prepared to be far more reasonable – and also, presumably, make a decent profit.

 

 

As a photographer, you will understand that the perfect ambient light is the most difficult thing to come by. So one can either wait for the stars to be aligned before taking the shot or create the light you want. Besides a correct amount of light creates crisp contrast on 2D image every photographer chases after. I've waited for this fill light solution with HSS capability from either Leica or any third party lighting supplier for 5 years. To me it is a small price to pay now that it has finally become available. Before this solution offering HSS OCF capability, I was struggling with a Nikon compatible cord to move my Leica SF58 flash off away from my camera hotshoe if I wanted HSS OCF, else I had to compromise with manual flash (which I'm happy to use) with shutter speeds of 1/250 sec or lower, so it means it is tough for me to fill flash in outdoor bright daylight with the aperture of my lens fully open at shutter speed kerb at 1/250sec. If you understand this frustration I had, the price for SF60 & SFC1 is a price I'm willing to pay.

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As a photographer, you will understand that the perfect ambient light is the most difficult thing to come by. So one can either wait for the stars to be aligned before taking the shot or create the light you want. Besides a correct amount of light creates crisp contrast on 2D image every photographer chases after. I've waited for this fill light solution with HSS capability from either Leica or any third party lighting supplier for 5 years. To me it is a small price to pay now that it has finally become available. Before this solution offering HSS OCF capability, I was struggling with a Nikon compatible cord to move my Leica SF58 flash off away from my camera hotshoe if I wanted HSS OCF, else I had to compromise with manual flash (which I'm happy to use) with shutter speeds of 1/250 sec or lower, so it means it is tough for me to fill flash in outdoor bright daylight with the aperture of my lens fully open at shutter speed kerb at 1/250sec. If you understand this frustration I had, the price for SF60 & SFC1 is a price I'm willing to pay.

 

So basically, what I said in post No.12.

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 What I quibble with is Leica's willingness to gouge their customers when all of the other camera manufacturers are prepared to be far more reasonable – and also, presumably, make a decent profit.

 

 

In fairness to Leica, if they sold flashes in the same numbers as Nikon and Canon do, they would be far less expensive.  The number of Leica branded flashes Nissin will manufacture is minuscule compared to their flashes for other bodies.  The non-recurring engineering costs of designing the circuitry to make the flash compatible with Leica TTL protocol, production costs of making the new circuit boards, the costs of changing the production line to produce the version with Leica parts (and back again after production completes), all spread over a relatively few number of units makes them more expensive to produce than Nissin flashes for other camera brands.  And then you have the Nissin profit markup before the flashes are delivered to Leica and then Leica's distribution costs and profit markup.  Which begs the question "Is Leica gouging its customers or is Nissin gouging Leica?"

 

Personally I believe neither is the case.  Small production runs of unique products will always be more expensive (sometimes dramatically so) than mass produced products. 

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I would agree with you if the flash had been conceived, researched, designed, developed, built – by Leica. Then you would be absolutely right.

 

In all likelihood all that has happened here is that Leica have identified a manufacturer of good quality flashes which specialises in providing those products for various camera providers and so they have decided to go down the same path using identical products but with some different coding so that the flash unit talks to Leica cameras.

 

Just as with Panasonic, there is a re-jigging of the firmware, re-branding, and an elevating of the price to suit the brand image

Edited by marcg

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I would agree with you if the flash had been conceived, researched, designed, developed, built – by Leica. Then you would be absolutely right.

 

In all likelihood all that has happened here is that Leica have identified a manufacturer of good quality flashes which specialises in providing those products for various camera providers and so they have decided to go down the same path using identical products but with some different coding so that the flash unit talks to Leica cameras.

 

Just as with Panasonic, there is a re-jigging of the firmware, re-branding, and an elevating of the price to suit the brand image

Looking at the SF60 multiple function round dial ( there is exactly the same dial set up on SF C1), I’ve discovered that it differs slightly from the standard Nissin i60a & Air10 dial. The HSS switch on the std Nissin dial is replaced by a ‘lock’ function on the Leica version. Leica promotion material clearly states HSS function available to 1/8000sec. So I should assume there is a auto detect function for HSS when the camera shutter speed goes beyond normal flash sync speed.

Not certain about other functions, I can see a level of customisation for the Leica version over the standard version now. So to be fair to Leica, the SF60 & SFC1 is not a strictly rebadge product.

Edited by sillbeers15

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Okay, you've convinced me. It's a bargain!

 

Possibly - but like all of the Nissin i40-i60 based flashes it lacks an Auto-Thyrister mode (where the flash controls the flash exposure).  For cameras that do TTL flash exposure well that is not a limitation. But my M-240 does not do TTL well if there is a bright background or light source in the frame. The Auto Mode in my SF-58 (or SF-24D) works perfectly in those situations.  Were I buying a new flash for my M-240 today it would be the Metz-based SF-64..

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