Earlier this year, NetSE Group – the company behind Oprema Jena and Meyer Optik Göerlitz – filed for bankruptcy. The insolvency proceeding has now been opened, and all the lenses pre-financed by crowdfunding will not be delivered. In other words, if you have preorder any of these lenses on Kickstarter – it looks like you can kiss your money goodbye.
Well, that’s a shame. It looks like the Oprema Jena lenses may not come to fruition. The company behind them, Net SE Group has filed for bankruptcy. They’ve also applied for de-listing from the German stock exchange.
After a wildly successful 287% funded Indiegogo campaign on the Biotar 58mm f/2.0 lens and over $500,000 raised for the Biotar 75mm f/1.5 Kickstarter, many rejoiced. Now, Net SE CEO, Stefan Immes is reported to have been in a serious traffic accident and is no longer able to lead the company.
The death of Bowens earlier in the year was met with surprise from many photographers. But it paints a fairly clear picture. That even though more people are using flash now than ever before, some flash companies are struggling. Perhaps it’s a lack of innovation or lacklustre customer support. Maybe they simply can’t keep up with the demand. Or it could simply be good old-fashioned competition.
Whatever the reason, the flash landscape is changing. The gear’s evolving, new faces are appearing and old ones are leaving. Another very familiar face that’s leaving now is German flask maker Multiblitz. After 69 years in the industry, they’re calling it quits.
Just over one year ago, Bowens along with Calumet were snapped up by investment company Aurelius. At that time, their press release waxed lyrical about the future of Calumet, but barely a mention for the Bowens brand.
An inside source has told DIYP that Bowens has now gone into liquidation. We’ve also had this confirmed by two other independent sources. Although we’ve yet to receive official confirmation from Bowens themselves, we believe the information to be quite solid. We’ll be following the situation closely as information comes in and updating this post as necessary.
“It has been a joy to share our passion for photography with you all of these years. We’ll miss each other and we’ll miss all of our customers. Thank you for everything.”
That was the last post written by Calumet on their US Facebook page before it disappeared along with their website last morning. And just as abruptly as their online sites closed down, their retail stores in the US closed down as well. Reports have been coming in from different locations across the country of employees that couldn’t even get inside the buildings to see what was going on. Just like that, they were informed that they no longer work for the company anymore.