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08-03-2016, 03:06 AM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by wildman Quote
A tiny dying company (Pentax) in a a dying segment (ILC) of a dying sub segment (DSLR) of a dying market (dedicated mass market single purpose cameras)?

In capitalism always follow the money.
Let's see...
#1. There's no "Pentax Company" anymore; there's Ricoh Imaging, part of the Ricoh Group.
#2. Ricoh Imaging is nowhere near dying; they're AFAIK a healthy company.
#3. ILCs are not dying; that can't be, since there's no suitable alternative. There's some market contraction, but losing weight is not the same as dying, isn't it?
Strike 3 and you're out, they say... But that's not all:
#4. DSLRs are about 3/4 of the ILC market.

P.S. You really should take a look at your sig

08-03-2016, 03:18 AM - 1 Like   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by pathdoc Quote
Perhaps you should look at your own signature line for a bit.
It was a speculative answer to a speculative question - hence the question mark at the end of my post.

In other words it wouldn't surprise me at all that my scenario is pretty much what the Sigma marketing people are telling their production people what the future Pentax lens market will most likely look like.

Last edited by wildman; 08-06-2016 at 01:22 PM.
08-03-2016, 03:20 AM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
No, but I'd be surprised if those third party manufacturers aren't looking at the success of the K-1 and noticing the gaps in the modern lens product line...
They're seeing the gaps in the MILCs all right

Regarding Pentax, Sigma should act sooner rather than later - by releasing K-mount versions of selected FF lenses. Gaps will be closed, one by one... if they want confirmation about the K-1's success, they might lose this (small) opportunity.

Tamron... I don't buy the theory about some deal with Ricoh, preventing them to launch their own K-mount versions (perhaps, just for the 24-70 and 15-30...). First, in the past Tamron-branded and Pentax-branded versions of the same lens were available (the 18-250mm); and second, Tamron never gave any indication they would want to launch K-mount lenses, since 2008. Surely that wasn't because of any "deal".

Given a choice, I'd choose Pentax/OEM rather than 3rd-party, by the way.
08-03-2016, 03:34 AM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by dr_romix Quote
why all the third party companies are running away from K mount? All new products have focused on Sony E and Fuji X mounts in addition to Canon and Nikon....
QuoteOriginally posted by stein Quote
.... Not sure how complex is to do the required mods to a newly developed lens to be usable with the K-mount, but... it's probably not just a matter of adding or not adding a screw here and there...
QuoteOriginally posted by Not a Number Quote
As I recall from one post where the poster had spoken to one of the 3rd party lens maker's rep (probably Sigma) the rep said it is an engineering challenge to design lens barrels that can support both the electro-mechanical aperture designs and the mechanical lever system used by Pentax. It isn't very profitable to spend the R&D time as well as perhaps compromising the designs in order to accommodate both systems. With the electro-mechanical design of the KAF4 system this may change.
QuoteOriginally posted by David L Quote
Rising small companies are making K-mount lens:
Irix 15mm f2.4
Laowa, 85mm, 60mm and 12mm f2.8
Kerlee 35mm f1.2

I'm looking forward to a wide angle prime from these companies. Irix 15mm or Laowa 12mm....
The last of these quotes is telling. Companies we've mostly never heard of until recently can provide a fully-manual lens with a K-mount. Major, experienced lens makers have trouble with providing automation.

I hope the KAF4 mount will change things. (My main and back-up cameras will support that mount).

08-03-2016, 03:46 AM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kunzite Quote
Regarding Pentax, Sigma should act sooner rather than later - by releasing K-mount versions of selected FF lenses. Gaps will be closed, one by one... if they want confirmation about the K-1's success, they might lose this (small) opportunity.
Yes - K-mount versions of the most in-demand FF models, and *soon*. With sales to both the K-1 FF and, perhaps to a lesser extent, APS-C user base, I'm convinced it would be profitable for them.

QuoteOriginally posted by Kunzite Quote
Given a choice, I'd choose Pentax/OEM rather than 3rd-party, by the way.
As a general rule, I'd agree... although I have three current Tammys and two current Sigmas in my cross-platform lens line-up, and I like them a great deal. If price is a significant factor (which it usually is for me) and performance between the Pentax and 3rd-party products is very similar, I'm more than happy to go with 3rd-party.
08-03-2016, 04:09 AM - 2 Likes   #21
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KY: Yes, they don't make it more difficult on purpose by themselves; I don't believe so.

DE: That's interesting, your comment about the engineers. It makes sense: Engineers just want to optimize their own designs, not consciously make things more difficult for third parties.

One of our readers asked why you offer so few of your lenses with the Pentax mount, and he also asked about longer telephotos, in particular. If the mounts are fairly simple -- if it's really just a matter of changing out the mount, shouldn't it be possible to make more Pentax lenses? Or is it still just a cost issue, even for a relatively small investment?

[Note, this section has been edited 4/12/14, as I had misunderstood what Yamaki san was saying, see the editorial note following this exchange]

KY: Pentax still uses mechanical parts to control the aperture. So, mechanically, it's totally different from other mounts, even though it uses the same optics. Making a Pentax mount means we have to use special parts just for Pentax mounts.


DE: It's a whole different aperture mechanism that you have to use. Ah, that's very interesting.

KY: Yes. So, we'd like to make as many lenses for Pentax as possible, but with very small demand we cannot make them frequently. For such a lens, the long back-order times are a big problem for us. So we cannot make too wide a product line for Pentax. For example, a 300mm f/2.8 -- maybe we can produce this for Pentax once every few months; but some people may need a 300mm f/2.8 now. We cannot make it so often.

DE: Ah -- you can't afford to carry a large inventory given the small sales volume, but you also have a minimum production run that's economically viable. So you end up having long lead times, sometimes. I see, that makes sense, very interesting.

[Ed. Note: I'd originally misinterpreted Yamaki san's comments here, so he clarified what he was saying in a further email exchange I had with him. I had thought he was saying that Pentax lenses were different simply because they used a mechanical aperture coupling, vs an electronic one. As several astute readers pointed out, they do, but so do lenses from Nikon and Sony.

Yamaki san's point is that lenses with mechanical aperture mechanisms require separate production runs to produce each type, vs an electronic system that would just need a different arrangement of contacts and reprogramming of the lens's CPU.

The problem for Pentaxians is that there just aren't enough of them, so demand for Pentax-mount lenses is small to the point that it's economically difficult to produce them, or at least to do so in a way that would keep Pentax users happy.

The issue is that the smaller a production run, the more costly each individual unit is, due to inefficiencies associated with switching the production line from one lens to another. As the run length becomes smaller, that fixed switchover cost become a bigger and bigger part of the cost of each unit. From a practical standpoint, there's a lower limit on run length, below which it's just not profitable for them to produce a product.

For popular lens models, the minimum production run isn't too big a problem for Pentax users, as there's enough demand that Sigma can produce a batch of lenses often enough to more or less keep them in stock in the retail channel. As you get into slightly more obscure, specialized, or perhaps more expensive glass with less demand, though, the minimum affordable production run for a given model might amount to 6 months, a year, or even a couple of years' worth of demand on the Pentax mount.

As Yamaki san explained to me, it wouldn't be viable for him to produce and market a lens that might be unavailable in the market for 6 months or a year at a time - Potential customers would become very unhappy with Sigma over the poor availability. (And, adding my own interpretation here, how could they efficiently let people know "hey, remember that cool lens we said we were making for the Pentax mount that hasn't been available for the last year? It's available now, so get out your wallets!")

At first thought, you might say "well, what's the problem, they can just build a batch of them, and warehouse them until that batch runs out, then do another run." The problem is, doing so would again increase costs, because holding large quantities of lenses in inventory would tie up Sigma's capital, meaning it wasn't available for other things that would give a much higher return. Even if Sigma were able to borrow additional money to use to hold that inventory, they'd be paying interest on it, which would again increase costs.

So, that's the full story: In my latest email with him, Yamaki san expressed what I believe was very genuine regret that he isn't able to bring more of their lenses to the Pentax mount, but can only do so for the most popular models, that will generate enough demand to be produced sustainably.

---------- Post added 08-03-16 at 05:09 AM ----------

This abstract interview 2014 with CEO Sigma
08-03-2016, 04:34 AM   #22
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Optics QA issues aside, has anyone had trouble with their Samyang (etc.) K-A mount lenses?
08-03-2016, 07:55 AM   #23
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I don't know a lot about lens design, but the clue to me that making a different mount wasn't straight-forward is the Sigma lens-mount swap program. They'll only do it for lenses that are offered in K-mount to begin with. If it were a simple thing to simply swap actual interface then Sigma would have absolutely no reason not to expand this program to ALL lenses for K-mount. It would be an opportunity for them to sell more lenses. Since they won't, it's clearly not straightforward and as such they're comparing ROI for developing K-mount to ROI on developing other lenses for Canikon, and the math doesn't favor K-mount....yet.

08-03-2016, 07:59 AM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by dr_romix Quote
All new products have focused on Sony E and Fuji X mounts in addition to Canon and Nikon
Which new products are focusing on Sony E and Fuji X mounts? Other than Zeiss and Samyang MF, I'm seeing very little for those brands. However dire the 3rd party lens situation may be for Pentax cameras, there's still quite a few more Sigma and Tamron lenses available for the K-mount than for either the E or X mounts.

Third party lenses are primarily developed for Nikon and Canon users, for obvious reasons. Pentax has a small user base, plus, I suspect that many Pentax users do so primarily for Pentax glass. If you're really into 3rd party glass it makes more sense to go with Nikon or Canon mounts, for the simple reason that there's so many more 3rd party options available in that neck of the woods.
08-03-2016, 08:05 AM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by northcoastgreg Quote
Which new products are focusing on Sony E and Fuji X mounts? Other than Zeiss and Samyang MF, I'm seeing very little for those brands. However dire the 3rd party lens situation may be for Pentax cameras, there's still quite a few more Sigma and Tamron lenses available for the K-mount than for either the E or X mounts.

Third party lenses are primarily developed for Nikon and Canon users, for obvious reasons. Pentax has a small user base, plus, I suspect that many Pentax users do so primarily for Pentax glass. If you're really into 3rd party glass it makes more sense to go with Nikon or Canon mounts, for the simple reason that there's so many more 3rd party options available in that neck of the woods.
In addition to the ones you mentioned, new Sigma art lines ( 18-35, 50-100 1.8 ) and some other new companies do not produce K mount lens.
08-03-2016, 10:24 AM   #26
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All we need to turn this around is a new smartphone company to come out with a phone camera that takes K-mount lenses!



08-03-2016, 10:37 AM   #27
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Can you explain...kaf4 ? When ? How ? What we could expect from that ?
08-03-2016, 11:07 AM   #28
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Why no 3rd party support? Because they know that if Pentax targets them then that lens' market is finished. We know Pentax have 4 primes on the way, are you going to put your products up against an optical powerhouse? Historically Pentax have always been about the prime lens, see FA Limited, FA*, A* or even some of the original K's, size is no longer a massive constraint, I will be very surprised if a couple of these new designs won't be a line in the sand or halo product which will go toe to toe with an Otus or ART class competition if only as a reminder to Zeiss / Sigma that they still have it and also to remind it's customers that they still have massive pedigree in the optical business.
S!
08-03-2016, 11:43 AM   #29
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Look at all the third party manufacturers who have never made product for Apple computers and ask yourself, that being the case, how did Apple become one of the most profitable companies in the world? As a long time Apple person, there have been times when I would have liked to have had some software that didn't run on Apple machines. None of those products was ever critical to my computer using experience. Market share is nonsense. Third party support is nonsense. The only thing that matters is are you doing what you love and making money doing it?

Pentax loves making cameras, and they appear to be making money doing it. That's all I need.

One gets tired of these "chicken little" posts declaring Pentax a failure for some reason, like some lens company somewhere in the world doesn't support pentax.

Honestly, you guys have nothing more serious to worry about than Sigma not making lenses for Pentax cameras?

The best thing Sigma could have done for their supporters would have been license K-mount for their Foveon sensors. It's hard to cheer for a company so crippled by it's own management strategies. Simple fact, less K-mount long run will mean less sales. Their lack of technical expertise in addressing the issues is on their engineering department, in not including Pentax in their original design process, but trying to modify a lens designed for another camera afterwards Any competent engineer knows such an approach may or may not be successful.

My current attitude towards Sigma, is "they made their bed, they can go sleep in it."

Given a choice "dump Pentax," or "dump Sigma", Sigma has very little to offer. My heart goes out to those who think they have to have Sigma lenses to have a decent photographic experience. Folks, that's delusional.
08-03-2016, 11:46 AM - 2 Likes   #30
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