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02-14-2010, 05:03 AM   #1
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How do we put some pressure on Tokina?

Ok I realize we are a small brand and there may be side deals in place between Pentax and Tokina. (the 16-50, 50-135mm etc are the same lens except the SMC coating/SDM).

I was on another forum that discusses all brands and several members were discussing the Tokina 12-24mm. Cosmetically it's a little different than the Pentax version but I'd bet money, it's the same lens internally (sans SDM/SMC).

So in checking B&H for the Tokina version and then the Pentax version. My jaw dropped.

Then the 16-50mm Tokina Pentax

Then the 50-135mm Tokina Pentax

So lets say these are 3 key lenses for your kit.

Now before you jump to a conclusion, you have to add the B&H items to your cart for a better price. IE the 16-50mm Pentax is actually $769.00 vs $1029.00

But in all the lenses I checked that were either rebranded or similar. The differences are stark.

So my question is, how do we pressure Tokina to make more lenses in PKA mount? Get a letter campaign going? If we had a choice in something like the 16-50 or 12-24mm, the prices would drop on Pentax versions and give us some real choices.

Here's Tokina's contact page. But I suggest we all send emails to the USA distributor no matter where you live. The email address is here:
Tell them where you live and what you want. I just think a flood of letters to one place might just make them pay attention.

So lets all write THK with our wants and support for the Tokina lens line up. I know I want the 11-16mm available.

02-14-2010, 10:07 AM   #2
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The lack of Tokina lenses in Pentax mount is almost certainly a product of the collaboration between the two companies in designing lenses. The consensus is (and it makes perfect sense) that Tokina has an agreement to not compete with Pentax by selling identical lenses in the Pentax mount. So if they're not selling their own version of the 16-50, it's not because they wouldn't like to. It's because they're contractually prohibited from doing it. I don't think any pressure the user community can provide can possibly match up with the pressure of the legions of lawyers at the Hoya Corporation.
02-14-2010, 10:13 AM   #3
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I would suggest that Tokina is hardly in a position to be calling the shots in regards to their partner relationships. They probably are extremely grateful for the work/business. I have been a Tokina fan for some time and their current offerings are a faint shadow of their previous lines. The quality is still there, but their market share and strength as a company appears to be waning.

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02-14-2010, 10:15 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by aerodave Quote
The lack of Tokina lenses in Pentax mount is almost certainly a product of the collaboration between the two companies in designing lenses. The consensus is (and it makes perfect sense) that Tokina has an agreement to not compete with Pentax by selling identical lenses in the Pentax mount. So if they're not selling their own version of the 16-50, it's not because they wouldn't like to. It's because they're contractually prohibited from doing it. I don't think any pressure the user community can provide can possibly match up with the pressure of the legions of lawyers at the Hoya Corporation.
Yep, that's my reading of the situation too.

02-14-2010, 11:04 AM   #5
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I often wonder if the rebranding of the Tokinas into Pentax was just to get rid of excess stock Tokina couldn't sell.

And, well, to be honest...I'm not even sure SMC actually means SMC anymore.
02-14-2010, 12:15 PM   #6
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Peter,

Interesting post.

With the 16-50 and 50-135, I didn't mind paying the premium for the Pentax lenses because they're weather-sealed. That made it worth while for me and I'd pay it all over again because that feature alone makes these lenses critical to my kit.

Having said that, I've given up waiting for anything wider than the 16-50 to happen in the DA* line. And for the price of the 12-24mm in Canada (as I'm sure you're painfully aware of), it's not worth it. Hoya in all it's forms has lost out on a sale and that speaks louder than any letter ever will. Besides, I think the Sigma 10-20 will do just fine in that role when it arrives.
02-14-2010, 12:22 PM   #7
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I know that certain lenses would not be released as PKA at the moment. Also that we are a small line compared to the big 2. But my read of the Canikon shooters is that many of them buy Canikon lenses in this quality range (Tokina's are mostly upper end, faster lenses). It's mainly because of the VR/IS. If they are going to spend the money on quality glass, they go the extra distance to buy anti shake.

We don't have that issue. If the lens is equal in optical quality, mechanical construction etc. then SR isn't a concern. Big plus for us.

So my point is, can we get some of the none competing Tokinas to be made available. Consider how many f4-5.6 10-20mm's are out there. If we had an 11-16mm f2.8 available, I'd bet you'd see a flood of Sigma's on Ebay to move to the Tokina. The other is the 80-400mm. Yeah a bit slow but a very nice focal range for someone who wants a one lens solution. Seems like a decent lens for half the price (and size/weight ) of the Bigma.

If we as a group started buying quantities of these 2 lenses in numbers that made Tokina actually notice, maybe they would rethink the next contract with Pentax and broaden the available lenses available to us.

Just a thought.
02-14-2010, 12:34 PM   #8
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Yes Andrew you are right about WS and I should have included that in my original post. But in bringing that up, aren't the Tokina's different enough that they could be available at the same time as Pentax variants. Those like you that really want SDM, SMC and WS will pay the premium. Those that don't really care as much or are prepared to forgo those features on a tighter budget, will look at another brand.

I'm in the same boat. I want to add a 12-24mm to my kit. SDM/WS are really not issues for me with an ultra wide. Plus the 12-24mm currently doesn't offer these anyway.

But at nearly $1000*? I've owned this lens. To have it side by side with the DA16-45mm (at around $300), you can barely tell the difference. Sorry but there's not $6-700 worth in that lens. Particularly when the Tokina shows it can be built and sold for about half.

I'm not saying the Sigma is a bad lens (although the Pentax 12-24mm is superior in the corners to it). I actually like Sigma lenses quite a bit. I think we'll see even more new Pentax shooters with the next round of bodies. I'd hate to see then get excited about the K-8 and then put the Visa card back in the wallet because lens prices are so out to lunch.

If you factored in the average 6-7 lens kit for many shooters at today's prices, you could nearly get a D300s free.

Edit: *Here we're looking at close to $1000 CAD for the 12-24mm once shipping and tax is factored in. It's the same or higher for the EU crowd.


Last edited by Peter Zack; 02-14-2010 at 01:32 PM.
02-14-2010, 01:21 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Peter Zack Quote
I want to add a 12-24mm to my kit. SDM/WS are really not issues for me with an ultra wide. Plus the 12-24mm currently doesn't offer these anyway.

But at nearly $1000? I've owned this lens. To have it side by side with the DA16-45mm (at around $300), you can barely tell the difference. Sorry but there's not $700 worth in that lens. Particularly when the Tokina shows it can be built and sold for about half.
Exactly Peter. I want to like the Pentax 12-24... but even at its street price of about $700 U.S., it's just not worth it for an extra 4mm at the wide end over my DA* 16-50 and DA 16-45. The Sigma 10-20mm is available under $500 and would give me an extra 6mm over the 16-50 and 16-45. Yes, it's not quite as good in the corners as the Pentax 12-24, but I'm still not convinced the Pentax is worth the extra cost (at least to me in my particular situation). If Tokina's 11-16mm f/2.8 (or a Pentax variant) were available to me, there'd be no question which route I would take.

I've said this before and I'll say it again: I'd like to keep my keep my kit all Pentax. And I'm willing to see what's coming from Pentax at PMA. But if I don't see solid evidence that the company is at least preparing to fill some of the huge gaps in its lens lineup (an updated - and non-cryptic - lens roadmap would be the absolute minimum), then I will begin filling the holes in my own lens lineup with third-party glass. And once I make a given purchase, I will no longer be in the market for that lens - even if Pentax eventually introduces a product that I had been looking for. I can't be the only Pentaxian who feels this way.
02-14-2010, 01:47 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by lithos Quote
I often wonder if the rebranding of the Tokinas into Pentax was just to get rid of excess stock Tokina couldn't sell.
That would be an interesting theory if there were any Tokina lenses rebranded as Pentax. As far as I know, though, there aren't. The lenses in question are officially listed as "co-developed" lenses, and the consensus is, Pentax did the design work, and Tokina benefits from Pentax' designs by being able to sell the designs into the larger Canon & Nikon market. That's probably certainly how they are able to sell them cheaper - they didn't have to pay as much for the R&D, and the higher volume on Canon and Nikon allows them to get by with a smaller profit margin and still recover whatever costs they did have.
02-14-2010, 02:35 PM   #11
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Douglas of Sweden has looked up the patents on the lenses and has found that Pentax owns the patents on all of the copromoted lenses, except for the DA 12-24 (possibly the reason that there hasn't been a DA * version of it?). Therefore, the question is more one of what Pentax wants than what Tokina wants. Hard to see a way where Tokina can release a lens where Pentax owns the patent in a K Mount. Also hard to see Tokina deliberately offending Pentax, since Pentax could easily raise licensing fees on what must be Tokina's bread and butter lenses.
02-14-2010, 02:44 PM   #12
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You know that sound that a balloon makes after you blow it up and don't tie the end? The PFFFFFTTTTTT it makes as the air releases?


Oh well.
02-14-2010, 03:06 PM   #13
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After our deep dive into the minds of the Japanese camera manufacturing community, I'll to back to the OP's point: Write both companies and let them know what you think.

Doesn't even cost a postage stamp. If we had a bit less analysis-at-a-distance and more direct communication with the vendors, we might get some of what we want.

I like to hypothesize about the direction of business relationships as much as anyone. It's part of my job - a part I particularly like. But jeeez. It gets little done.

Write them a note. Takes about the same amount of time as adding yet another post.

And yes. I know this has all been written before. Just seemed my turn.
02-14-2010, 06:06 PM   #14
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While what everyone says is true, I like Peter's idea. After all, money talks and bullshit walks. What if they got several hundred maybe even a thousand emails asking for Pentax mount. Tokina is more dependent on Hoya glass blanks than they are Pentax in reality.
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