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06-04-2010, 05:10 AM   #166
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QuoteOriginally posted by er1kksen Quote
Not to mention more of them will consider Pentax in the first place (the lack of a cheap 50 doesn't help Pentax sell bodies when every photography professor tells their students to get a fast 50 for their DSLRs).
Did those same professors tell their student to get a fast 85 in the film days ? Isn't that advice simply an outdated habit (from an APS-C crop point-of-view), amplified by a lack of a cheap alternative in most brands ? Look at the runaway success Nikon is having with the unexpensive DX 35/1.8...

So I say what Pentax should produce is an affordable "fast normal". The DA35Ltd is not it. Make it a 28 to "be interesting", maybe, but I think the easiest would be to refactor the FA35/2 as a DA.

I do think they should keep the fast, inexpensive short telephoto (a.k.a. 50/1.4), however.

06-04-2010, 05:18 AM   #167
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QuoteOriginally posted by Blue Quote
Pentax would have to sell a plastic mount lens to about 90% of their dSLR user base for it to net any kind of profit.

It would more than likely be a break even venture. Most people new to dSLR tend to be 'sold' on zooms out of the box and that's what the goober at Bad Buy pushes.
Costs are lower than you think. Nikon makes a profit every time a $130 50mm f/1.8 is sold. Wait. The camera store makes a profit too. Wait. The ship operator that shipped your product here made a profit, too. Wait. The glass supplier makes a profit, too. Wait. The company that supplies the paper box makes a profit, too. Wait...

Plus, the Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 has a metal mount and metal interior. Only the outside contains some plastic. Optically it's no slough, either.

QuoteQuote:
I don't think people with any kind of serious intentions want to try out a crap lens to see if they want to move up to a good one. Trying out a Plasti-Tax 50mm f1.8 to see if you want to move up to a FA 43mm f1.9 ltd would be like test driving a Pinto to decide on buying a Mustang Saleen later.
My $130 Nikkor 50/1.8 AF-D doesn't seem to be of any lower build quality than my $250 FA50/1.4 (now selling for $390, by the way).

QuoteQuote:
Edit: I'm not buying into the notion that Pentax should develop a 50mm lens lesser than the FA 50mm f1.4/1.7. That would be going backwards. What's next, plastic elements?
You obviously are basing your build quality argument on imagination. Just go out and try a $130 Nikkor 50/1.8 AF-D.

It can be made cheaper because an f/1.8 lens can be designed to use less glass - check its smaller front element. The plastic mount may be accounting for $10 max in saving. The reason Nikon might have put a plastic mount on their 35/1.8 is purely for market differentiation, period. Just like the DA*55/1.4 has weather sealing over the FA50. After all, the weather sealing does not cost a lot (witness the waterproof Optio WP line), but will create the differentiation to let you price the lenses $100s apart.

Last edited by wolfier; 06-04-2010 at 05:53 AM.
06-04-2010, 05:39 AM   #168
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QuoteOriginally posted by Blue Quote
What's next, plastic elements?
Hey, that's an idea!
06-04-2010, 05:41 AM   #169
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QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
Look at the user profiles here and their sig gear lists, and you see a failry substantial curve of LBA. So of that 30%, in the absence of hard data, I'd say maybe half get the "fast 50" as lens #2 or 3, and then the LBA crowd accumulate lenses out of both necessity and fetish.

It's likely 1,2,3....many.
The C and N world seem to think otherwise. Their 50/1.8 are called "so good and so cheap, it's stupid not to buy one". Almost everyone I know who's buying a C/N system have got their "nifty fifty". Is there a lens on the Pentax lineup with this reputation and ubiquity?

QuoteQuote:
The pro crowd and the LBA prosumer absolutely drive margins, but that 70% drive gross revenues. Canikon have the market share to easily leverage one for the other; not Pentax.
The pro crowd is a small percentage of all customers now, even for higher end DSLR. Most consumers, believe it or not, use a cheap lens like a 50/1.8, believe it or not, on a $1500 or even $2500 body.

Canikon have the market share, so they can leverage. You can also say that having small cheap primes is one reason that helped them achieve their current market share. i.e. if you stagnate due to "the lack of market share", you'll forever stay where you are without the market share.

QuoteQuote:
Would a cheap 28-50 array make Pentax more attractive? It might, but it would kill the bottom line. They would have to issue the lenses to compete against their legacy glass (the $90 A50/1.7)
I don't see it's a problem. If Pentax knows how many of its customers are buying legacy glasses instead of new glasses, it should release the line of cheaper lenses. Why shouldn't it compete with the $90 A50/1.7? Of course it wants people to buy new lenses instead of used ones.

QuoteQuote:
and would cannibalize their DA35, 40, 55 sales.
These are high-end lenses. My observation is, people who want a high end lens will get one regardless the existence of cheaper alternatives. What cheaper primes will truly cannibalize, are lenses in the used market. People who're prepared to pay cheap keep paying cheap. People who're prepared to pay a lot will keep paying a lot.

I haven't seen anyone who bought the DA35 and DA40 and DA55 *because* there aren't cheaper alternatives. They buy these lenses because these lenses have other qualities that attract them, qualities unattainable with cheaper lenses.

QuoteQuote:
(And it may be part of the puzzle, but the presence of inexpensive 35 primes for Canikon is not what got them their market share dominance in the first place).
See, Canikon did not "get their market share". It's just that Pentax is behind ever since it came late in the AF game. However, I suspect its share dwindled further because a lot of great lenses were discontinued without DA replacements. You know, Pentax *used* to make an F50/1.7 (it was as "cheap" as the Canikon 50/1.8s), FA35/2 (it's discontinued and skyrocketed).

Ever noticed the used price of FA*80-200 vs that of Nikon's 80-200 AF-D? The former still go for $1000+ while the former became more affordable at $500. It's also the result of the discontinuation without replacement.

QuoteQuote:
Would you rather have a plastic mount Nikon 35/1.8 equivalent and an unprofitable Pentax, or a DA 35 Macro and a profitable Pentax? No easy choices for the forum members here, but Pentax has made theirs.
If the 50/1.8 could be made with a metal mount, a 35/1.8 or 35/2 can, too. Remember, the FA35/2 used to sell for $250 new, which is about as cheap as the nikkor 35/1.8. Now it goes for $600 new. Heck, the FA50 used to sell for $250 new. Now $400.

And don't tell me currency exchange is the reason - maybe it's a *small* part of the reason, as I don't see anything else made in Japan getting more expensive in a nearly similar magnitude.

QuoteQuote:
I might also point out that Nikon rumours (Nikon Rumors) has one going of a new Nikon AF-S 35/1.4 for $1,700. Makes the 31 Ltd a bargain.
Again, people who're prepared to pay megabucks will continue to. The problem is, when you're prepared to pay >$5000 for a system (a small portion of your customers), Pentax is the bargain system, but when when you're only prepared to pay <$1000 (most customers), Canikon are.

06-04-2010, 05:53 AM   #170
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I find the whole 'Pentax shouldn't make cheap lenses because it will hurt the sales of expensive lenses'-argument somewhat puzzling. Safe of companies that cash in on prestige (Leica, Bentley, etc.), this does not apply anywhere. Should car makers abandon their compact cars because it hurts the sales of their SUVs?
06-04-2010, 08:27 AM   #171
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QuoteOriginally posted by kevinschoenmakers Quote
I find the whole 'Pentax shouldn't make cheap lenses because it will hurt the sales of expensive lenses'-argument somewhat puzzling. Safe of companies that cash in on prestige (Leica, Bentley, etc.), this does not apply anywhere. Should car makers abandon their compact cars because it hurts the sales of their SUVs?
But they did!!!

The Big 3 made almost 90% of their profits on big vehicles with high margins. When oil went to $140/bbl they lost their high end and went on the Government dole simply to keep producing...something. Well before that, Toyota created Lexus, Nissan Infiniti precisely to create premium brands for the mothership because margins on the lower end were almost non-existent. Until those high-end brands came along there was serious concern about the viability of the Japanese makers as they were one bad 1/4 from a shareholder rout.

They leveraged their market on compacts to get a high-margin product. They used market share gains to push that envelope. At 5%, where is Pentax's market share? The K-x is the market share beast.
06-04-2010, 02:12 PM   #172
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QuoteOriginally posted by RBellavance Quote
Did those same professors tell their student to get a fast 85 in the film days ?
No, the told their students to buy the same fast 50s.

QuoteQuote:
Isn't that advice simply an outdated habit (from an APS-C crop point-of-view), amplified by a lack of a cheap alternative in most brands ?
In many ways, yes.

QuoteQuote:
Look at the runaway success Nikon is having with the unexpensive DX 35/1.8...
I have pointed that out myself. You're not the first to agree with me while thinking you're disagreeing with me.

A fast 28-35 lens in the budget price range would be an excellent product for Pentax to have, and probably more practical for most than a 50mm. Personally, I would rather have the 50mm anyways, but I'm a weirdo. The main reason I've been suggesting a 50mm up until now is because the R+D for an optically excellent 50mm F1.7 in a cheap body is pretty much nonexistent: the optics of Pentax's previous versions have already shown their excellence.

QuoteQuote:
So I say what Pentax should produce is an affordable "fast normal". The DA35Ltd is not it. Make it a 28 to "be interesting", maybe, but I think the easiest would be to refactor the FA35/2 as a DA.

I do think they should keep the fast, inexpensive short telephoto (a.k.a. 50/1.4), however.
Retooling the FA35 would certainly be an acceptable solution as well. I've never said that a 50 is the only way to go. Just probably the easiest.
06-04-2010, 04:07 PM   #173
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QuoteOriginally posted by er1kksen Quote

Retooling the FA35 would certainly be an acceptable solution as well. I've never said that a 50 is the only way to go. Just probably the easiest.
What you are missing is that f/2 is not a particularly fast lens, it's just fast compared to the atrociously slow kit zoom lenses.
Pentax needs a fast ~33mm lens, f/1.4 or faster, they need something between that and the 21, they need something in the 90mm range that isn't a macro, and they need a 135 or thereabouts.
And, they could use something wider than the 15, as well, 2 lenses would be better than one.

Thats at least 5 lenses they need to fill out the present lineup before they start wasting resources on hack lenses that double up on focal lengths that they already have.
What Pentax should have done was not wasted so much resources on all the bloody short zooms that they've made over the past few years, and put some of that into some more quality primes.

06-04-2010, 06:12 PM   #174
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
What you are missing is that f/2 is not a particularly fast lens, it's just fast compared to the atrociously slow kit zoom lenses.
I never said it was especially fast, I just said it would be an acceptable solution to the need for a fastish normalish budget prime for the budding photographer's first non-kit lens.

QuoteQuote:
Pentax needs a fast ~33mm lens, f/1.4 or faster, they need something between that and the 21, they need something in the 90mm range that isn't a macro, and they need a 135 or thereabouts.
And, they could use something wider than the 15, as well, 2 lenses would be better than one.
That's a rather tall order. Give it a few years, eh?

I certainly agree that a fast (legitimately fast like f1.4, since as you pointed out f2 isn't that fast) prime in the 30mm range would be a nice addition to the lineup. I just feel that a budget fastish normalish prime (like a reincarnation of the FA35 or 50mm f1.7) would be more useful at the moment for drawing new users in and keeping them there (which leads to more high-margin lens sales) and would sell a lot more itself. You know, thereby generating more profit that can be invested in R+D for that extensive prime lineup you're asking for.
06-04-2010, 07:58 PM   #175
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QuoteOriginally posted by kevinschoenmakers Quote
I find the whole 'Pentax shouldn't make cheap lenses because it will hurt the sales of expensive lenses'-argument somewhat puzzling. Safe of companies that cash in on prestige (Leica, Bentley, etc.), this does not apply anywhere. Should car makers abandon their compact cars because it hurts the sales of their SUVs?
You still haven't come to grips with just how much of the market Canon currently has even in comparison to Nikon. Pentax would probably be lucky if their company made ~ $5 on a plastic mount f1.7 lens. Your idea of cutting back on elements isn't good regarding performance because it would start resembling the performance of the old A and M 50mm f2 lenses. They weren't bad lenses until you tried one of the f1.7 or f1.4 lenses after which time you realize that the A 50mm f2 is one of the finest paper weights ever made. Let's get back to my original point. Pentax is just now scratching back to challenge 10% of the dSLR market. How many people of that 10% are going to buy one of those lenses? Furthermore, I'd say that 90% of Canons entry level buyers are using the things like a P&S anyway and likely got a Canon as part of the Lemming effect. I don't see anything less than the FA 50mm f1.7/f1.4 being smart because the first thing that is going to happen is that it will get called out by the enthusiasts when a plasticized A 50mm f2 auto focus equivalent doesn't perform as well. Finally, only a little over a year ago the FA 50mm f1.4 was selling for $199 and the FA 35mm f2 for $299. I think Pentax/Hoya really should unscrew themselves and bring back those lenses at those prices for the time being. Problem solved.
06-04-2010, 08:00 PM   #176
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QuoteOriginally posted by er1kksen Quote
I never said it was especially fast, I just said it would be an acceptable solution to the need for a fastish normalish budget prime for the budding photographer's first non-kit lens.



That's a rather tall order. Give it a few years, eh?

I certainly agree that a fast (legitimately fast like f1.4, since as you pointed out f2 isn't that fast) prime in the 30mm range would be a nice addition to the lineup. I just feel that a budget fastish normalish prime (like a reincarnation of the FA35 or 50mm f1.7) would be more useful at the moment for drawing new users in and keeping them there (which leads to more high-margin lens sales) and would sell a lot more itself. You know, thereby generating more profit that can be invested in R+D for that extensive prime lineup you're asking for.
Actually, Pentax had an M 35mm f1.4 lens ready to go and actually put in the catalog several times in the early 80s but it never apparently made it beyond the prototype stage.

M 35/1.4

D -FA that puppy and call it good.

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06-05-2010, 10:31 AM   #177
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I just bought K-x not long ago. I wld want to have a prime lens becoz w/o it, i haven explored the experience in having a DSLR. should I buy a FA50 right now before pentax stops producing it. or should I wait for new lens from pentax. i dont want the DA* as its too $X for me
06-05-2010, 10:40 AM   #178
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QuoteOriginally posted by learnphotography Quote
I just bought K-x not long ago. I wld want to have a prime lens becoz w/o it, i haven explored the experience in having a DSLR. should I buy a FA50 right now before pentax stops producing it. or should I wait for new lens from pentax. i dont want the DA* as its too $X for me
It's only a matter of time before the remaining FA lenses are discontinued, so if you want a new one, this would be a good dime to make the purchase.
06-05-2010, 10:50 AM   #179
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
It's only a matter of time before the remaining FA lenses are discontinued, so if you want a new one, this would be a good dime to make the purchase.
im in dilemma as cheaper and more econ alternative like 50mm f1.8 may be released after i buy a FA50mm.
06-05-2010, 11:09 AM   #180
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QuoteOriginally posted by learnphotography Quote
im in dilemma as cheaper and more econ alternative like 50mm f1.8 may be released after i buy a FA50mm.
I really don't see Pentax wasting engineering time and R&D on a cheap f1.8 when they already have the FA 50mm f1.4. They may repackage it or the FA 50mm f1.7 or f1.4 and call it D FA or something.
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