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05-12-2016, 09:55 PM   #1
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K1, K-mount and Samyang autofocus lenses

As we all know Pentax DSLR market share is very low. It's also not a secret that Pentax lacks modern full frame lenses. The last Sigma Art(50 and 20mm f/1.4) and Tamron (35, 45 and 85mm f/1.8) lenses do not come in K-mount. Most of the Pentax lenses are old or only cover crop but not full frame sensor. Yes, there is a wide variety of old film-era lenses but they are not optimized for digital cameras, most of them are manually focused and this will prevent K1 from showing its full potential.

On the other hand last week Samyang announced their first autofocus lenses - for Sony E-mount. Samyang do not produce autofocus lenses for the other brands and the reason is that only Sony E-mount is an open standard, but Nikon, Canon and Pentax K-mount are not.

And I was thinking - what is Pentax make K-mount an open standard? Then it will be very easy for Samyang to add autofocus in their current K-mount lenses (14mm f/2.8, 24, 35, 50, 85mm f/1.4, 135mm f/2). In this way Pentax systems will become far more attractive because one will be able to buy modern, good and affordable autofocus lenses. Many amateur photographers will choose Pentax over Canon or Nikon and Pentax market share will jump up drastically. Ricoh will not lose anything - the sales of current Pentax lenses will not be affected because of their very compact size and excellent image quality. So it's a win-win situation - Pentax increases its market share, Samyang sells more lenses and we the customers will have a larger choice of good autofocus lenses.

So what do you think guys? Do you consider that making K-mount an open standard will be a good move for Pentax?

05-12-2016, 10:29 PM   #2
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The original PK-mount is an open standard as far as I know. I don't know if this standard contains later additions, but definitely the AF signal layout is not an open standard. This means a re-enginieering for companies willing to offer Pentax AF-glasses, a tedious task, and one with a certain risk to implement failures. For C and N this maybe ok, as the sheer mass of produced units will earn them enough money even if later adaptions / corrections have to be made, but Pentax certainly is not a mass market ... at least at the moment .


So I agree with you. Pentax should open the layout of their AF signal processing, too. This would potentially help to get more attention of lens producers.
05-12-2016, 10:30 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by TheGamer Quote
So what do you think guys? Do you consider that making K-mount an open standard will be a good move for Pentax?
From a business perspective, I don't think it would be a good move at this time. Third-party manufacturers already can make AF lenses in the K-mount if they pay the appropriate royalties.

The seven D FA lenses currently available are all excellent optically, and if Ricoh wants to continue developing more without losing money, they need a certain sustained sales volume. If people start buying off-brand lenses in lieu of genuine options, genuine lens development could be jeopardized.

Every Pentax camera that Ricoh releases has a fairly clear target audience these days. In the K-1's case, it's old-time Pentax fans, and those fans aren't going to complain about the lack of modern primes. Ricoh isn't seeking out new users with the K-1 (though that's not to say that some newcomers won't join up). Note, however, that there are 5 new D FA lenses on the roadmap for launch starting in 2017.

That said, Ricoh does need a long-term game plan. DSLRs are in decline and innovation will be necessary for future cameras to stand out. The Theta is a great example of a forward-thinking product, and I hope Ricoh makes such devices in the future.

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05-12-2016, 11:59 PM   #4
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To me it looks like Ricoh are finishing to milk the skinny cow of k mount , given that af is still the same as previous cameras , sensor not made by Ricoh , and image processor likely the same as k3. That being said , k1 belongs to photographers cameras seeking high image qulity. Whats delinjng is the number of photographers wanting high iq. Given that riocoh needs news dfa lenses they could have created a newmount. But they'v chosen the milk their existjng hser base. However who knows what they are currently boiling? The k1 does not have any significant innovation, it's basically a bundle of features of previous cameras + largers sensor.


Last edited by biz-engineer; 05-13-2016 at 02:12 PM.
05-13-2016, 01:18 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by biz-engineer Quote
The k1 does not have any significant innovation, it's basically a bundle of features of previous cameras + largers sensor.
Do you know any FF camera that is different from this, released the last 10 years?
05-13-2016, 04:19 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by TheGamer Quote
As we all know Pentax DSLR market share is very low. It's also not a secret that Pentax lacks modern full frame lenses. The last Sigma Art(50 and 20mm f/1.4) and Tamron (35, 45 and 85mm f/1.8) lenses do not come in K-mount. Most of the Pentax lenses are old or only cover crop but not full frame sensor. Yes, there is a wide variety of old film-era lenses but they are not optimized for digital cameras, most of them are manually focused and this will prevent K1 from showing its full potential.

On the other hand last week Samyang announced their first autofocus lenses - for Sony E-mount. Samyang do not produce autofocus lenses for the other brands and the reason is that only Sony E-mount is an open standard, but Nikon, Canon and Pentax K-mount are not.

And I was thinking - what is Pentax make K-mount an open standard? Then it will be very easy for Samyang to add autofocus in their current K-mount lenses (14mm f/2.8, 24, 35, 50, 85mm f/1.4, 135mm f/2). In this way Pentax systems will become far more attractive because one will be able to buy modern, good and affordable autofocus lenses. Many amateur photographers will choose Pentax over Canon or Nikon and Pentax market share will jump up drastically. Ricoh will not lose anything - the sales of current Pentax lenses will not be affected because of their very compact size and excellent image quality. So it's a win-win situation - Pentax increases its market share, Samyang sells more lenses and we the customers will have a larger choice of good autofocus lenses.

So what do you think guys? Do you consider that making K-mount an open standard will be a good move for Pentax?

Samyang produces the 85mm with the A setting on the aperture ring so either they have paid for this, or its part of the open platform of K mount, to autofocus the lens is in engineering terms not that hard, as almost all Pentax primes are screw drive and Pentax do not seem to want to abandon that system, all that is needed is a screw coupler in the back of the lens and a drive bar to the existing focus mechanism, this would not infringe Pentax copyright I think, as this is the same as everybody else's screw drive system.
Many "good" autofocus lens for Pentax are still out there, but although the K1 is said to be for existing customers by some, anybody looking for a full frame DSLR system would be mad to overlook it, so the number of lens on the used market may decline, I think this may already be happening as many of the more exotic optics have disappeared already, and other are now much rarer than previously,
The skinny cow of K mount is in fine health as she was designed with the future in mind, and if a APSC ICLC appears in the future, why would it have a different mount, and milking the skinny cows of AIS for Nikon and EOS for Canon have paid dividends for them for decades.
05-13-2016, 02:17 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Fogel70 Quote
Do you know any FF camera that is different from this, released the last 10 years?
yes most ff dslr are this way. some innovation in in smartphones and mirrorless software.
05-13-2016, 09:12 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by TheGamer Quote
... and the reason is that only Sony E-mount is an open standard ...
that's an information, can you please share pointers to Sony E-mount details/documentation.

Thanks

05-13-2016, 10:37 PM   #9
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This is the official Sony announcement: Sony Global - News Releases - Sony Discloses Basic Specifications of the "E-mount" for Interchangeable Single Lens Cameras without Fee.

Specs are not publicly available for download. It seems to me as if only companies can apply for the documentation but I might be wrong.
05-14-2016, 12:11 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by TheGamer Quote
This is the official Sony announcement: Sony Global - News Releases - Sony Discloses Basic Specifications of the "E-mount" for Interchangeable Single Lens Cameras without Fee.

Specs are not publicly available for download. It seems to me as if only companies can apply for the documentation but I might be wrong.
this was just argued on dpr, see below.

as for the availability of ff k-mount glass, there is a metric ****load of it out there, no shortage whatsoever, if you are limiting yourself to only the very latest af lenses you are putting yourself at a rather large disadvantage.

"First: Only "qualified" corporate entities can even start the process of requesting the specs. - "Disclosure is made only to legal entities which satisfy the qualification criteria predefined by Sony, as a licensee of the Basic Specifications. Application from individuals will be declined."

Academic research institution like University of Kentucky (dpreview user ProfHankD) - Nope.

Small (self-employed) company like Phigment Technologies ( https://www.phigmenttech.ca/lmnex/index.php?page=product ) - Nope.

Most well-known adapter manufacturer in the industry (Metabones) - Nope. Metabones® - "We are not licensed, approved or endorsed by Blackmagic Design, Canon, JVC, Micro Four Thirds, Olympus, Panasonic or Sony. Our Smart Adapter and Speed Booster were developed independently without any involvement by the aforementioned companies."

In addition, they are stated to be "basic" specifications. We don't know the exact definition of "basic" but the fact that Metabones has not received protocol assistance from Sony indicates that it isn't even enough to make an adapter that emulates an LA-EA3, let alone a full-blown native lens (much more complex protocol). Most likely it's mechanical specifications only, enough for dumb adapters but not enough for autofocus."
05-14-2016, 03:21 AM   #11
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I think the K mount is old enough that anyone who wants to can easily find out basic specs and build a lens. As to whether or not auto focus is easily done with it, the problem (as with all of these) isn't the mount, but figuring out how the lens interacts with the autofocus system in the camera. My guess is that Samyang has just reverse engineered this for Sony, like Sigma does for all their mounts. As to whether they ever release k mount auto focus versions, I think it probably depends more on Pentax's market share and what they think they can sell, as opposed to whether the K mount is open source or not.
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