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07-24-2011, 12:34 PM   #1
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Alright, seriously, why there isn't a 50mm/f1.8 lens of Pentax?

I simply cannot understand this phenomenon in any technical, economical or marketing term. I mean, the cheap 50mm f/1.8 lens is an essential for everyone who are not able to buy and expensive prime, and AF, lens, from the some studio photographers to newbies with 'oh dude, I got the background blurred. this is so going to be front page on dA' concerns.

I mean, I might not to get an official answer here but, can anyone please explain this to me why with an answer rather than just: "you know the 35mm is out, the 50mm most probably be out in the next decade".

07-24-2011, 12:45 PM   #2
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Well, when Pentax did have two AF 50mm options (the FA50/1.7 and FA50/1.4), they choose to discontinue the cheaper FA50/1.7. I imagine they had their reasons. While it would be nice from a consumer point of view to have more options, perhaps Pentax just felt that they would make more money selling by only the FA50/1.4.
07-24-2011, 12:55 PM   #3
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The short answer is because Pentax has been known to make bad decisions. Adding a DA L 50mm F1.8 to the lineup would probably be a good move. Hopefully this will change with Ricoh at the helm.

Still, chances are that we'll never see anything like this. The 35mm F2.4 was originally supposed to be a DA L lens, but then they change it to DA last minute. I think that this is a sign of their letting go of the budget prime idea.

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07-24-2011, 12:58 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
The 35mm F2.4 was originally supposed to be a DA L lens, but then they change it to DA last minute.
Someone should tell B&H, they actually have it listed as a "DA L" lens (link)

07-24-2011, 01:11 PM   #5
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I remember that 50mm FA f/:1.4 fits RoHS, while 50mm FA f:1.7 not...

It seems that is the reason why so much FA/FA* was discontinued also
07-24-2011, 01:59 PM   #6
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As far as I know, nobody here is in Pentax management, so none of us really knows why they make their decisions. You could send a note to Pentax and ask them. All we can offer here are speculations, otherwise known as WILD-ASS GUESSES.

I agree with Adam. Pentax made bad decisions; Hoya-Pentax probably made better decisions, whether we like them or not; Ricoh-Pentax will make its own decisions. If *I* ran Ricoh-Pentax (which I don't), I might restart Kx production, a proven cash-cow; and produce a budget line of primes, maybe reincarnations of past lenses. Might happen, might not, we shall see.
07-24-2011, 02:14 PM   #7
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There are many fine K, M, A, F and FA 50 1.4 lenses out there. Those are widely available and inexpensive (except may be the F and FA versions). Each one of these lenses has stablized feature mounted on the modern day Pentax DSLR. This is not even counting the older Takumars, Sears, Ricoh, Mamiya and Chinon brands plus m42 mounts lenses. Manual focus is not a big deal especially in the studio environment as suggested by the OP. IMHO, I fail to see that Ricoh/Pentax would make good money on cheap 50 1.8. I rather see them spend the R&D on the high end stuff.
07-24-2011, 02:32 PM - 1 Like   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by aleonx3 Quote
I rather see them spend the R&D on the high end stuff.
Agreed.

The simple fact of the matter is that if you dont have $350 to spend on a "budget" FA50/1.4 prime, you should stick to your kit lens. After all, your camera cost twice this much.

07-24-2011, 02:51 PM   #9
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With the caveat that I know bugger all about marketing, and this is a wild-arse guess:

Pentax seems to have a slightly different angle into the market - it's flagship lenses are small fast primes. It seems to me if it released budget small fast primes like the Canikon equivalents it would be undercutting itself. I can see the sense the fast 50 and 35mm lenses I have seen from Nikon, since its flagship lenses are big, fast zooms.
07-24-2011, 02:55 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by jeztastic Quote
With the caveat that I know bugger all about marketing, and this is a wild-arse guess:

Pentax seems to have a slightly different angle into the market - it's flagship lenses are small fast primes. It seems to me if it released budget small fast primes like the Canikon equivalents it would be undercutting itself. I can see the sense the fast 50 and 35mm lenses I have seen from Nikon, since its flagship lenses are big, fast zooms.
I think that's a valid perspective.
07-24-2011, 03:14 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by jeztastic Quote
With the caveat that I know bugger all about marketing, and this is a wild-arse guess:

Pentax seems to have a slightly different angle into the market - it's flagship lenses are small fast primes. It seems to me if it released budget small fast primes like the Canikon equivalents it would be undercutting itself. I can see the sense the fast 50 and 35mm lenses I have seen from Nikon, since its flagship lenses are big, fast zooms.
Seems to be that this is precisely what they have done recently, with the one exception of their swerve into budget primes with the 35/2.4.
07-24-2011, 03:24 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Docrwm Quote
Seems to be that this is precisely what they have done recently, with the one exception of their swerve into budget primes with the 35/2.4.
It's a gateway prime
07-24-2011, 03:32 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
As far as I know, nobody here is in Pentax management, so none of us really knows why they make their decisions. You could send a note to Pentax and ask them. All we can offer here are speculations, otherwise known as WILD-ASS GUESSES.

I agree with Adam. Pentax made bad decisions; Hoya-Pentax probably made better decisions, whether we like them or not; Ricoh-Pentax will make its own decisions. If *I* ran Ricoh-Pentax (which I don't), I might restart Kx production, a proven cash-cow; and produce a budget line of primes, maybe reincarnations of past lenses. Might happen, might not, we shall see.
There were a RoHS list of pentax stuffs... But I guess from this list, that it is the main reason...
07-24-2011, 03:34 PM   #14
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I personally don't see why they would want to make a 50mm 1.8, especially with already having a 50mm 1.7. The price really wouldn't be all that different, and it would tend to cut into the 1.7 sales somewhat.

Plus it would up manufacturing cost as the more different products you have, the more expensive it is to make smaller numbers of similiar products, which in turn would probably make the 1.8 the same price the 1.7 was and make the 1.7 price go up a bit.

Some things are bound to change with Ricoh, but I really never understood why some companies did a whole bunch of different speeds of pretty much the same lens... Why have a 50mm 2.8, 2.2, 2, 1.9, 1.8, 1.7, 1.6, 1.4, and 1.2? Surely you can cut out a few of those and it is going to make things simpler and cheaper in the long run.

Maybe they will come out with a crazy fast lens like the Canon 0.95... anybody here actually even get to play with one of those?
07-24-2011, 03:57 PM   #15
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My own wild ass guess is that Pentax doesn't think they can make any money on a 50/1.8 to make it worth their while. I wouldn't be surprised if they happen to be right on this one. Inexpensive lenses have rather low profit margins; have to sell a lot of them to make a profit. With its small market share, it's not going to happen with Pentax. Most newbies are entirely satisfied with the 18-55 and, unfortunately, really have very limited interest in primes; those Pentax users who want inexpensive primes have plenty of legacy glass to choose from. Releasing a series of inexpensive lens would likely not make Pentax any money while at the same time cannibalizing sales of their more expensive lenses.
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