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11-10-2012, 07:39 AM   #1
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Farming out...Pentax's solution?

Would it not make sense for Pentax to completely contract out it's lens manufacturing?
1) they can still design it
2) dictate quality control similar to that big fruit company
3) keep the cost down, possibly by cross mounting for different companies

What do you think?
Possibly to Sigma,Tamron, or Tonkia?

Any opinions welcome

Thanks

Randy

11-10-2012, 07:58 AM   #2
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Why? You never have as much control when you farm out production. Perhaps moving it back to Japan would be a good idea, but farming it out to another company - no.
11-10-2012, 09:16 AM - 1 Like   #3
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Long, long ago, other companies farmed out lens manufacturing to Asahi. How things have changed. Owning a Pentax or Takumar lens once meant you owned one of the best made products in the world. I cringe thinking about it. When you farm out everything, you become a little vulnerable I think. You may save some money but you risk having quality issues and there are enough of those already. If your supplier screws something up, you still take the heat because your name is on it. I think Pentax is doing the same as the the other camera mfgrs. are, building some of their own and farming out some also. I think I'm safe saying that Pentax is still here today not because of the cameras but the superb optics you can mount on them. Farm out the consumer zooms like Canikon does and build the Limiteds and * lenses in house.
11-10-2012, 11:56 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by reeftool Quote
I think I'm safe saying that Pentax is still here today not because of the cameras but the superb optics you can mount on them.
I agree. Legacy Pentax lenses are held in high esteem by anyone who knows SLR glass. Too bad their bodies (with a few exceptions) haven't kept up with the industry as well. No FF choice, less-than-stellar A/F, and so on. But the DSLR bodies are good enough for a prosumer/advanced user and the glass is still high quality.
JMO
Ron

11-10-2012, 12:41 PM   #5
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I wouldn't be surprised if this isn't already done to a fair extent. Not completely, but enough to meet some cost target. Companies keep this info highly private so it's hard for outsiders to know.

M
11-10-2012, 01:40 PM   #6
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there have been lenses produced in conjunction with other brands notably Tokina and Tamron.
11-10-2012, 02:00 PM   #7
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One of my many hobbies is collecting 1:24 scale die cast cars. The premier producer of these was an out fit named Danbury Mint. DM is a large company and sells many other collectibles besides die cast cars. However, they learned first hand what having a third party produce your product can mean. Late last year, the factory in China that produced these cars was closed down and seized by the Chinese government for non payment of taxes. All of the assets, including hundreds of molds used for DM's products were in the items seized, and to date, from what I understand, the Chinese government has refused to have much dialog with DM about getting them back, let alone reopening the factory. So a company that was introducing 5 or 6 new die cast models each year has not introduced one since the middle of last year. There is speculation that DM may never offer die cast models again.

That's what can happen when you don't own your own production facility.
11-10-2012, 02:45 PM   #8
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Zeiss has been doing this quite a lot and quite succesfully. I don't know though if in Pentax' case there would be much to gain.

11-10-2012, 02:46 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by rbefly Quote
Too bad their bodies (with a few exceptions) haven't kept up with the industry as well. No FF choice, less-than-stellar A/F, and so on. But the DSLR bodies are good enough for a prosumer/advanced user and the glass is still high quality.
JMO Ron
Not that I mean to give you a hard time personally here but I disagree with this statement. That's their market, the more casual normal user and the more advanced hobbyists. Pros do use their gear, sure, but they're not really aiming for the pro market at present. They've never actually really been about that market. They actually make very, very capable gear for the market they sell to. I admittedly tend to get cranky when people make such a big deal out of their lack of upper pro level gear, FF et all. It's just not really been their niche.

I think it might change. The K5 series has quite a few pros using it and the fact that other manufacturers seem to think the serious hobbyists want a lower end FF DSLR just might prompt them to go there someday, but honestly I don't think Pentax has ever aimed at making cameras for the needs FF and is willing to spend 10K on a camera user.

The fact that they have been used professionally when their gear is meant more for the family user and serious hobbyist says a lot about the quality of their gear to me. That I am a working photographer and I can actually use my entry level Pentax DSLR, a K-x, to do my work, at least for anything that doesn't require me to hit the beach or go out in a heavy rain, that's pretty darned good. Yeah, I want an upgrade to a K-30 or a K-5 so I can have a camera with some WR so I can photograph outside more in less than stellar conditions and hopefully make more money but I can actually do just about anything except for maybe really high end sports shoots and I don't really need to spend 5-10K with Pentax to do it.

Not keeping up with their market, with the industry? I definitely do not think that's accurate. I've looked at similar level cameras from other makers. Same money=less camera, IMHO, which is why I'm such a devoted Pentaxian. No, they may not make cameras per se for the pros but their hobbyist level cameras go a lot farther than they are often given credit for doing. When they actually come out and say they're going for that pro market and they're going to build higher end cameras then I'll expect much more. In the meantime I'm not going to judge them by those standards, condemn them for not making cameras for a market that they've never really courted. Judge them by their market and what they do for it, yes, but not by what they don't even try to make. Don't even say they're trying to make.

But buck for buck, same exact level of stuff, I'd stack my Pentax gear up against the competition any day. MHO, but I don't think they lag behind at all. In fact I think they exceed the standards of the market they are aiming for more often than not. Most of the time when I see people comparing other maker's cameras to theirs they aren't even staying in the same level. That's hardly fair. You can't just compare a camera that costs half again as much to one that's made to be sold at a less expensive level and then announce the less costly one is inferior yet we see that done all the time. Put the $500, $800 or $1200 Pentax DSLR up against a competitor's same level DSR then talk to me about how their are behind the industry. K-30, K-5's they totally kick butt for their price level....

Last edited by magkelly; 11-10-2012 at 02:54 PM.
11-10-2012, 02:53 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by magkelly Quote
Pros do use their gear, sure, but they're not really aiming for the pro market at present. They've never actually really been about that market.
The 6x7 and LX were certainly meant to make an impact there.
11-10-2012, 02:56 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by lytrytyr Quote
The 6x7 and LX were certainly meant to make an impact there.
Were they? I've never actually seen ads from Pentax that suggested so. I've always gotten the impression that their market was families, and serious enthusiasts. Even the 6x7 ads I've seen more aimed at serious hobbyists.
11-10-2012, 03:03 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by magkelly Quote
Were they? I've never actually seen ads from Pentax that suggested so. I've always gotten the impression that their market was families, and serious enthusiasts. Even the 6x7 ads I've seen more aimed at serious hobbyists.
From

Film Cameras : Products | PENTAX RICOH IMAGING

"PENTAX medium-format SLR cameras are designed to meet the strict standards of the most demanding professional."
11-10-2012, 03:15 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by lytrytyr Quote
From

Film Cameras : Products | PENTAX RICOH IMAGING

"PENTAX medium-format SLR cameras are designed to meet the strict standards of the most demanding professional."
Well I'll be darned that's the first official thing I've actually seen with the words "professional" and "Pentax" in the same paragraph....
11-10-2012, 03:16 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by magkelly Quote
I've looked at similar level cameras from other makers. Same money=less camera
Unfortunately, though, since April 1, 2012, in the US market, it's been like same money = more lens.

We've been having a discussion about this on another thread:

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-news-rumors/203956-pentax-k-01-dro...ml#post2162116
11-10-2012, 06:55 PM   #15
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Smarter than that would be to make the FA and DA limiteds in other mounts and use the profits to fund more lens development. Probably the 10-17 too (the only zoom fisheye!).
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