The Hasselblad Lunar was such a secret camera that its designers were banned from taking phones to meetings or even mentioning it in emails.
But the CSC that was developed in a tie-up with Sony and codenamed ‘Pink’, has been officially axed, less than four years after its publicity-fuelled debut at the Photokina camera fest in Cologne, Germany.
Despite being consigned to photographic history, new Hasselblad CEO Perry Oosting was today keen to state that, at the time, the Lunar strategy was a just one.
In an interview in London, Oosting also confirmed what everybody knew – that the Lunar has been discontinued.
Oosting told Amateur Photographer: ‘Last year we sold the last ones. Everything is sold … and there is nothing planned.’
But he added: ‘[In] those days … it was the right strategy to [develop] a wider segmentation audience for Hasselblad. It was absolutely the right thing to do.’
Launched into the market in 2013, the Hasselblad Lunar camera didn’t come cheap. It cost £5,280, which included an 18-55mm lens.
In a wide-ranging interview – at a launch event for the new Hasselblad H6D medium-format camera – Oosting was asked what was wrong with the Lunar. He replied: ‘There was nothing wrong with the Lunar camera, or with the Stellar [a compact camera launched in 2013]. These were great cameras. The thing is, we see the value proposition that we will deliver going forward as different.’
Hasselblad CEO Perry Oosting [Photo credit: Andy Westlake]
Despite the Lunar’s unceremonious demise, the current CEO was loathe to blame previous incumbents for the project.
‘Please, I don’t want to be the one [saying] “look what they did, and so on”, so please do not write that … I want to be respectful – it was a different time, a different approach. It is always easy to say [things] in hindsight. You have many CEOs joining a company, and you know what is the first thing they do? Blame the other guy from the past.
‘No, we need to look at the future. We need to build on the foundation we have.’
The Swedish medium-format giant still has plans to open up its professional-dominated market to a wider audience, though Oosting was reluctant to divulge details of future products.
Oosting would only say that Hasselblad’s next move will be ‘from professional to the prosumer’.
He added: ‘That’s the arena we see as a next step. What it is, when that is, I will not say… and the reason is very simple: Let us now deliver this product [the H6D].
‘Let us under-promise and over-deliver, instead of over-promise and under-deliver.’
One thing is clear, Oosting does not see Hasselblad as a ‘luxury’ brand, telling AP that he has absolutely no intention of churning out ‘bling cameras’.