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08-31-2016, 07:40 AM   #1
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Why do companies remove In-lens Image Stabilization in k-mount version of lenses?

Why do companies like tamron and sigma remove the in-lens image stabilization from Pentax versions of their lenses? What bugs me is that we get charged the same price for lenses that have removed features.

If removing the feature really saves them money, why can't they pass on some savings to us? If the manufacturing cost differences are marginal, why not just leave it on?

As a corollary to that, imagine if these lenses kept the image stabilization features. Why would I want it if we have SR?
  • It's possible that in some circumstances (or future tech) could make in lens stabilization better than our current SR.
  • IF in-lens stabilization worked together with SR, we could have potentially 4+ stops of stabilization.
  • Or we could do novel combinations like the stabilization on in the lens and potentially do pixel-shift handheld*.

*obviously tripod use would still be ideal but in instances were we find ourselves in a perfect moment for PS but don't have a tripod, PS could still be an option with in lens image stabilization.

What do you guys think? Am I alone in this boat?

08-31-2016, 07:56 AM   #2
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Generally speaking, I believe it's because Pentax has SR built in. Sony users are usually in the same boat. Their bodies, such as the A-mount A99, feature "SteadyShot" shake reduction, and third party lenses for A-mount typically don't come with shake reduction as a result.
08-31-2016, 07:58 AM   #3
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If you can reduce production cost but maintain the same asking price, you increase profit. Its just good business. Knocking off a few dollars would likely not result in more sales, so it's best to keep the extra profit.

As for your bullet points.
1. It's also possible that our future SR will be better than in lens stabilization.
2. Its hard to see how they would help each other. At the moment they only conflict so if you have both you should turn one off.
3. My K-3II is already rated at 4.5 stops of stabilization.
08-31-2016, 07:59 AM - 3 Likes   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by serothis Quote
we get charged the same price for lenses that have removed features.
There's your answer. They sell them for the same price, but they cost less to produce.
QuoteOriginally posted by serothis Quote
If removing the feature really saves them money, why can't they pass on some savings to us?
Tamron, and Sigma (and Ford, and GM, and Nikon, etc.) aren't in business for the purpose of making consumer goods. They're in business to make money. That's not a bad thing, it just is.

As an analogy:
Sigma's income comes from their customers; your income comes from (assuming you aren't self employed or independently wealthy) your employer.
Let's say your employer pays you $3,000.00 per month and you spend $300.00 per month on commute costs.
You move closer to work and you save $200.00 per month on commuting.
Do you pass that savings on to your employer and work for $2,800.00 per month?


Last edited by Parallax; 08-31-2016 at 08:22 AM.
08-31-2016, 08:00 AM   #5
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  • Future tech isn't here, current in-lens stabilisation is not better.
  • It would be nice to get the lens complement the in-body stabilization, but they has separate gyroscope, and accelerometer and algorithm, they aren't communicating. It would require a complete design change, a new system. (Sony E-mount cameras has this feature, but I think they aren't better)
  • Pixelshift needs much more precise stabilization, it moves micro meters. The sensors arn't good and fast enough for this task now.
08-31-2016, 08:03 AM - 1 Like   #6
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We should also consider volumes - the price might be the same, but per-product total cost is higher.
08-31-2016, 08:14 AM   #7
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Given the reluctance of either company to release new designs in K-mount, I'm more concerned about them just dropping support for K-mount altogether. If there's not enough money in cut-down versions to be worthwhile, there surely isn't enough in full-fledged versions.
08-31-2016, 08:22 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Venom3300 Quote
If you can reduce production cost but maintain the same asking price, you increase profit. Its just good business. Knocking off a few dollars would likely not result in more sales, so it's best to keep the extra profit.
QuoteOriginally posted by Parallax Quote
There's your answer. They sell them for the same price, but they cost less to produce.
Is it good business? As an example, Sigma specifically said they reluctant to make some of their lenses available in k-mount citing low demand from pentax users. Clearly we're not buying. That might be in part to our market share but when I look at lenses price and feature set are a huge consideration.

I bought the FA43 instead of the 35mm art or the older 50mm non-art in part because of price. I'm debating getting the DFA 100mm macro because of WR over sigma's 105mm macro even though the pentax is more expensive.

QuoteOriginally posted by 08amczb Quote
  • Future tech isn't here, current in-lens stabilisation is not better.
  • It would be nice to get the lens complement the in-body stabilization, but they has separate gyroscope, and accelerometer and algorithm, they aren't communicating. It would require a complete design change, a new system. (Sony E-mount cameras has this feature, but I think they aren't better)
  • Pixelshift needs much more precise stabilization, it moves micro meters. The sensors arn't good and fast enough for this task now.
Future tech isn't here but the precedent is set now. If we can convince companies to change the trend now, when faster/more precise/higher range image stabilization does become available it'll be more likely to be added to pentax variants of lenses.

The Lens IS and SR combo is kind of iffy (hence the big IF) but that's something major pentax could bring to the table in future lenses. I'm not sure if it would be possible with the current contact pins but a communication pipepline with the lens to use them in tandem could be huge.

What about pixel shift using a mono pod. Much more stable then handheld but still not as stable as a full tripod. (I honestly haven't tried PS without a tripod)

08-31-2016, 08:27 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by serothis Quote
Is it good business?
If it's more profitable, then yes, it's good business.
08-31-2016, 08:31 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Parallax Quote
If it's more profitable, then yes, it's good business.
But if they're talking about not making their lenses with a k-mount, clearly their current strategy is not profitable.
08-31-2016, 08:35 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kunzite Quote
We should also consider volumes - the price might be the same, but per-product total cost is higher.
That is an important point.

QuoteOriginally posted by Parallax Quote
If it's more profitable, then yes, it's good business.
We do not know whether it is more profitable, less profitable or equivalent profit to offer a separate design that lacks a feature offered for other mounts for the comparatively low volume K-mount lenses.
08-31-2016, 08:51 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Parallax Quote
As an analogy:
Sigma's income comes from their customers; your income comes from (assuming you aren't self employed or independently wealthy) your employer.
Let's say your employer pays you $3,000.00 per month and you spend $300.00 per month on commute costs.
You move closer to work and you save $200.00 per month on commuting.
Do you pass that savings on to your employer and work for $2,800.00 per month?
The other part of the equation is this. My employer says to me, "we're down sizing, you have the option of taking a pay cut or we can find some else to do the same job for less money."

My employer probably doesn't care about my expenses (and as a customer I don't really care about company's expenes) but at the same time I'm expect to do a certain task for a XX amount of dollars. When I interviewed for my job I had to show that I was either the best person for the job or comparable to other candidate and would do it for less money.

I wouldn't get away with saying "I expect equal or more pay but i'm going to do less for you" (like the new tamron rebadges DFA's)
08-31-2016, 08:57 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by serothis Quote
But if they're talking about not making their lenses with a k-mount, clearly their current strategy is not profitable.
And you just answered your own question. Making K-mount lenses is (possibly) not profitable even when they are charging a premium. So not charging that premium lowers profitability even more.
08-31-2016, 09:51 AM - 1 Like   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by serothis Quote
Why do companies like tamron and sigma remove the in-lens image stabilization from Pentax versions of their lenses? What bugs me is that we get charged the same price for lenses that have removed features.

If removing the feature really saves them money, why can't they pass on some savings to us? If the manufacturing cost differences are marginal, why not just leave it on?

As a corollary to that, imagine if these lenses kept the image stabilization features. Why would I want it if we have SR?
  • It's possible that in some circumstances (or future tech) could make in lens stabilization better than our current SR.
  • IF in-lens stabilization worked together with SR, we could have potentially 4+ stops of stabilization.
  • Or we could do novel combinations like the stabilization on in the lens and potentially do pixel-shift handheld*.

*obviously tripod use would still be ideal but in instances were we find ourselves in a perfect moment for PS but don't have a tripod, PS could still be an option with in lens image stabilization.

What do you guys think? Am I alone in this boat?
I think the primary reason is to make things easier for the end user. If both the lens and camera have stabilization, and you use default settings, most of your photos will be blurry since the systems will more or less cancel each other out. Best to avoid that possibility as customers might just blame the lens and send it back as defective, even though it wasn't.

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08-31-2016, 10:07 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
And you just answered your own question. Making K-mount lenses is (possibly) not profitable even when they are charging a premium. So not charging that premium lowers profitability even more.
Not really. Deciding whether or not to make a lens in a certain mount only speaks to the total profitability not which combination of price and features is the most profitable.

QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
I think the primary reason is to make things easier for the end user. If both the lens and camera have stabilization, and you use default settings, most of your photos will be blurry since the systems will more or less cancel each other out. Best to avoid that possibility as customers might just blame the lens and send it back as defective, even though it wasn't.
Mac suggested the same same. It just irks me that we pay more for less.

EDIT: I feel like this might be something people don't care as much about. I guess It would be nice to have more options. And if pentax could come up with a protocol to get in lens stabilization and SR to work together that could be huge.

Last edited by serothis; 08-31-2016 at 10:25 AM.
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