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03-14-2013, 10:13 AM   #1
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Hirakawa at Tamron

QuoteQuote:
Hirakawa Jun, the brilliant lens designer responsible for FA 85mm, FA 43, 77 ltd (and partial 31mm ltd) and several other FA* lenses (Hirakawa Jun - Camerapedia) rumor to be back with Pentax/Ricoh.
QuoteOriginally posted by Ponq Quote
So sorry for my late post.

It seems that Hirakawa-san is working for Tamron now.
I found Hirakawa-san's name on Japanese Unexamined Patent Application Publication #2013-45039.
This was issued by Tamron.
It means .....
An interesting twist to this thread.

But it leads to a few observations.

The Pentax 18-270 is a Tamron design being released under the Pentax brand.

It can't be easy for a company like Pentax to keep designer like Hirakawa-san to sell to 3% to 5% of the market, given his talents...

I'm wondering if there isn't an agreement in place that gives Pentax access to Hirakawa's designs, while allowing him the opportunity to maximize his income by selling to most of the market, not just 5% at max.

If it's true that he designed the Tamron 24-70, which is very highly regarded, it would certainly suggest what ever magic he had, he hasn't lost it.

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.

Just a thought.

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-news-rumors/199899-hirakawa-jun-ba...x-ricoh-3.html


Last edited by normhead; 03-14-2013 at 10:20 AM.
03-14-2013, 10:27 AM   #2
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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.

Just a thought.

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-news-rumors/199899-hirakawa-jun-ba...x-ricoh-3.html
Look forward to see the 24-70 Pentax version....
03-14-2013, 10:50 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by aleonx3 Quote
Look forward to see the 24-70 Pentax version....
At 3-4x the price and a 1 year warranty (or two in the EU vs. 5 years)?
03-14-2013, 10:56 AM - 1 Like   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by snake Quote
At 3-4x the price and a 1 year warranty (or two in the EU vs. 5 years)?
But, but, but it has "PENTAX" on it....................... /sarc

03-14-2013, 11:11 AM   #5
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Remember - Hoya retired him. I'm glad he was able to work in his trade and everyone that buys Tamron lenses can benefit. I don't think that optical designers are piece-work employees and so I believe he is probably just fully employed at Tamron and there was no "arangement" with Pentax. Hoya was run by bean counters who were focused ONLY on the short term when it came to Pentax and "retiring" Hirakawa-san was simply a bone-headed move by some MBA not some machination to bring his genius to the rest of photography.
03-14-2013, 11:31 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Docrwm Quote
a bone-headed move by some MBA
Probably a Harvard MBA. Or a McKinsey consultant (which is saying the same thing).
03-14-2013, 11:42 AM   #7
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QuoteQuote:
I don't think that optical designers are piece-work employees and so I believe he is probably just fully employed at Tamron and there was no "arangement" with Pentax.
When I worked as a cabinet maker, I wasn't piece work either. But my company tracked what I produced, and I was paid accordingly. If Mr. Hirakawa produces a lens that sells 200,000 copies, he will be compensated for more than if his design sells 20,000 copies. That's the way companies keep top producing employees.
03-14-2013, 12:05 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by snake Quote
At 3-4x the price and a 1 year warranty (or two in the EU vs. 5 years)?
If it is priced properly, yes.. here, in Canada, it is 2-years warranty.

03-14-2013, 01:59 PM   #9
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If they track what you produce and your pay is, even partially, contingent on that then it is piece-work. If it's a Yes-No situation with a cutoff then its a bonus.
03-14-2013, 02:14 PM   #10
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NO because, I got a set hourly rate every month, and it was increased as my production went up. Piece work is when you are paid by the piece. My employer paid me the same rate even if I had a couple bad months, because they knew I'd make it up at some point. If it was piece work my income would go up and down with my production rate. You're splitting hairs here.

Or you're trying to tell me that Tamron is going to pay someone who makes a lens that sell 20,000 copies the same as it pays someone who's design sells ten times that. Now, I've seen this happen. The hot shot leaves for a company that will pay him what he's worth. The company that wouldn't pay him a fair wage goes down the tube because they are constantly training new talent at terrific cost. (The position Pentax is probably in at this moment.) My company would lose money on a new hire for 6 months and probably a cost of more than $15k when they lost a productive experienced guy. So the choice is simple, you pay money to the good guy, or you pay money to try and train a bunch of in-experienced guys, hoping that some day they'll be able to do what the experienced guy you wouldn't pay could do. And striking out with about 90% of them.

If you want a stable, predictively productive work force. You pay the good guy. If your an ego maniac that honestly believes you're the universe, you refuse to pay the good guy what he's worth, not caring that you're driving your own company into the ground because you're not big enough to make your ego step out of the way.

I've seen it play out both ways. ( I've also seen employees who thought they were "all that" only to head for greener pastures to discover they weren't "all that" and end up un-employed. Ego can work both ways."

My brother in law worked for a firm that the only way they could keep him was to make him a partner. Their egos wouldn't allow that. Now he's a partner at a competitors and is making what he deserves based on the sales he brings the company. The first company actually found ways to cut his commission rate to half what their other salesmen made, so he wouldn't make more than the egotistical owners.

Piece work, salary, hourly wage, doesn't matter what you call it, these things work out the way they should and the best guys get paid more. This isn't socialism here.

A company that sells 200,000 units of whatever cam pay it's designers more than a company that sells 20,000 of a similar whatever. That has nothing to do with salary vs piece work vs hourly wages.

Last edited by normhead; 03-14-2013 at 02:34 PM.
03-14-2013, 02:54 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
If you want a stable, predictively productive work force. You pay the good guy.
People are expensive. Perhaps Hoya's MBA decided Hirokawa-san, though a talented and valuable person, was not quite so valuable at the time as an employee as the salary required to keep him at Pentax would have indicated. As a consequence they arranged a way for him to retire gracefully, in recognition of his unique reputation in the industry.

That might in fact have been a "good" business decision at the time, and, having sold the company, what does the Hoya MBA care now whether Ricoh wishes he were still at Pentax?

IOW, they didn't want to spend the money. Tamron seems to have induced him to come out of retirement.

Last edited by monochrome; 03-14-2013 at 03:07 PM.
03-14-2013, 03:00 PM   #12
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QuoteQuote:
People are expensive. Perhaps Hoya's MBA decided Hirokawa-san, though a talented and valuable person, was not quite so valuable as an employee as the salary required to keep him at Pentax would indicate. As a consequence they arranged a way for him to retire gracefully, in recognition of his unique reputation in the industry.
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. And if Pentax is able to license his designs, they don't have to pay for all of every design. We get his lens designs, everyone else getes his lens designs, he gets more money than Pentax could pay him , everybody wins, accept for the part where people used to have to pay Pentax exclusively if they wanted to use his designs, and that part wasn't working out so good for Pentax anyway.

I don't care who he works for as long as his lenses are made for my camera, and he doesn't work for Microsoft.
03-14-2013, 03:10 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
That would be my point exactly.
Sometimes I'm not sure whether it helps or hurts your case when I agree with you, but I thought I'd throw my coin in the fountain anyway.
03-14-2013, 04:17 PM   #14
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It's all speculation as to why or how he left Pentax. Maybe he didn't like slow, small lenses or had a hissy fit when assigned the job to do a plastic 35
It is good that he is still in the business and still doing what he loves. I do find it funny in an ironic way though, that those that are believers in the pure capitalist system are blaming the MBA for possibly forcibly retiring the man due to the short term market led thinking that is the capitalist way and has got the whole global finance system in the shit its currently in
03-14-2013, 04:53 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by robbiec Quote
It's all speculation as to why or how he left Pentax. Maybe he didn't like slow, small lenses or had a hissy fit when assigned the job to do a plastic 35
It is good that he is still in the business and still doing what he loves. I do find it funny in an ironic way though, that those that are believers in the pure capitalist system are blaming the MBA for possibly forcibly retiring the man due to the short term market led thinking that is the capitalist way and has got the whole global finance system in the shit its currently in
Believing in the capitalist system and knowing that there are morons in the world are not incompatible or mutually exclusive. Nice try though.
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