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03-14-2013, 06:49 PM   #16
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This is all pure speculation, but knowing about Japanese HR, I don't think these explanations are very plausible. What often happens is that a company decides to thin down the workforce and looks for a "humane" way to do it. Remember that laying off employees is still considered to be a pretty shameful mark of failure in Japan. HR departments often put together a fairly generous voluntary redundancy package aimed at anyone over a certain age, say 45. It would be seen as fair to offer this to all employees, not just to target specific "low-achievers". Often, the employees that realise they are still highly-employable will decide to take the offer and walk straight into another job, especially if they have some grievance with the company.

I think the notion that an employee would be getting much more money because the products they develop are successful is also quite alien to mainstream Japanese business culture. Bonuses are typically strongly related to company performance and less closely to individual achievement.

This might not seem to be good business sense, especially when the idea of performance-related pay and paying extra for talented people is so ingrained in many countries. Certainly, they risk loosing good people. But the alternative is reputitional damage in the long term and being seen as a bad employer, which could make it difficult to attract smart graduates in future and even impact sales. It's a different way of thinking.

As for Hirakawa-san, we'll never know but at least he's still making lenses.

03-14-2013, 07:02 PM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
I bet when Pentax releases it's FF you'll see Hirakawa-san's 24-70 released as a Pentax lens. People say there will be no good FF lenses available... I'm guessing Pentax is way ahead of you guys. That 24-70 done with Pentax build quality would be a Canikon killer on FF.
My lens line-up is pretty complete at this point, but that 24-70 would be a really nice addition. I do hope that it comes to Pentax mount eventually!
03-15-2013, 01:24 AM   #18
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And i think Tamron's just needing one more stuff from Pentax and it'll be even better!

The thing that couldn't be "brought" over is: SMC... If only.... Haha!
03-15-2013, 02:41 AM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by SyncGuy Quote
And i think Tamron's just needing one more stuff from Pentax and it'll be even better!

The thing that couldn't be "brought" over is: SMC... If only.... Haha!
Why not? SMC is possibly proprietary, we don't truly know, and there are many variants of it, so odds are, other companies are using it, too, either under license or outright. The japanese optics industry is very, very incestuous and not as cutthroat as we think.

03-15-2013, 06:47 AM   #20
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IIRC Pentax lenses no longer use SMC coating, but a newer, harder coating better suited to modern glass formulas and sensor technologioes. I believe the new coating is branded HD, so new lenses are HD PENTAX DA 560mm F5.6 ED AW or HD PENTAX D FA 645 Macro 90mm F2.8 ED AW SR.

It will be interesting to see what they do with the first new mainstreeam lens they issue with the new coating.
03-15-2013, 04:22 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
IIRC Pentax lenses no longer use SMC coating, but a newer, harder coating better suited to modern glass formulas and sensor technologioes. I believe the new coating is branded HD, so new lenses are HD PENTAX DA 560mm F5.6 ED AW or HD PENTAX D FA 645 Macro 90mm F2.8 ED AW SR.

It will be interesting to see what they do with the first new mainstreeam lens they issue with the new coating.
I wonder if that coating will be added to all Pentax lenses, or if the SMC coating will remain for FAs etc. I recently ordered, but couldn't obtain a DA 15. Makes me wonder if they've used up old stock before starting new runs with the HD coating.
03-15-2013, 05:17 PM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
I wonder if that coating will be added to all Pentax lenses, or if the SMC coating will remain for FAs etc. I recently ordered, but couldn't obtain a DA 15. Makes me wonder if they've used up old stock before starting new runs with the HD coating.
I just have an intuition that Ricoh is about to embark on a campaign of change at Pentax - one new thing after another after another, really putting their stamp on the company. The world economy will expand some for at least a couple years, they're near the end of their restructuring, Thom Hogan is suggesting Pentax will withdraw to an internet-only business model, and James Malcolm is doing interesting things at Pentax Ricoh Americas. There's something behind the deals on the FA Limiteds - probably not sinister, but there is no earthly reason to offer rebates to move that stock.

Every so often I have an intuition.

But tonight I'm going to sit back and watch Jack Black and Steve Martin in The Big Year and enjoy the background Birding images and gear spotting.
03-16-2013, 09:41 PM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
IIRC Pentax lenses no longer use SMC coating, but a newer, harder coating better suited to modern glass formulas and sensor technologioes. I believe the new coating is branded HD, so new lenses are HD PENTAX DA 560mm F5.6 ED AW or HD PENTAX D FA 645 Macro 90mm F2.8 ED AW SR.

It will be interesting to see what they do with the first new mainstreeam lens they issue with the new coating.
Yep... HD or SMC, whichever it is... So long as it's the coating from Pentax. If they could bring it over, that'll be sweet I guess..

03-20-2013, 04:08 PM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
That would be my point exactly. I'm sure the potential is there for Tamron to sell more of each lens design than Pentax is. Therefore his salary is spread out over more copies, meaning more money for him and each lens is cheaper, at the same time. .
I seriously doubt that this is how it works. Lens designers are almost certainly hired with a fixed salary. Lens designers do not decide which lenses that gets designed or markedet; thats done by the decision makers and product planners who incidentally do not design lenses.
03-20-2013, 04:10 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by robbiec Quote
It's all speculation as to why or how he left Pentax.
He certainly left long before Hoya. I heard about 13 years ago that he was not any longer employed at Pentax but hired on a consultant basis...

While he certainly have designed some interesting optics; notably the 43 Limited and the 77 Limited (come to think of it, thats about the extent of it), theres no shortage of brilliant lens designers at Pentax. As far as I know, Hirakawa was not involved in the design of the superb 31Limited and the totally stunning FA* 200/4 Macro, surely one of the best telephoto designs of all time!

Last edited by Pål Jensen; 03-20-2013 at 04:22 PM.
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