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05-29-2013, 03:06 PM   #1786
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QuoteOriginally posted by mecrox Quote
Yup, except if that is true one might argue that the market has also moved on from lavishly priced APS-C lenses too, so that even if Pentax don't move up to FF they are caught with an APS-C line-up which is out of kilter with the times, doubly so if you think that lens motors are expected, not optional, these days. .
Rumor has it that Canon will make more APS lenses. They will also make a new high-end APS model (replacement for the 7D?). Then theres the rumored Nikon D400 and the Pentax K-3. Writing off higher end APS is probably premature...

05-29-2013, 03:10 PM   #1787
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QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
People hesitate to move their feet or change lenses, and will readily accept a loss in IQ and a gain in size, by purchasing a zoom. There are practical decisions that trump technical.
QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
Most of the market, derived from the last 10 years of digital, have absolutely zero reference point for FF in any case. They only remember film as a memory. FF might as well be Rolls Royce.
This is unfortunately, quite true. Even my father, who taught me photography and once had a gigantic collection of Nikon bodies and glass has never delved back in, even while seeing all my gadgetry. He's, much to my dismay at time, completely content to snap away using his iPad, which is nearly always with him. Add to this sentiment the simple fact with built in filters, effects and post-processing of every flavour in every phone, small sensor camera users can approximate being able to "play with an extremely shallow DoF", among a host of other things that reminds them of that Rolls Royce and to their eye and on their FB page it simply looks good enough. But with, as you said the gains in ISO performance, pocketability, on and on... in many ways it's all sort of a marvel, no matter how you look at it or what one might pine for.
05-29-2013, 03:14 PM   #1788
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QuoteOriginally posted by ElJamoquio Quote
Not really. A F/4 normal-zoom FF isn't equivalent to a F/2.8 APS-C... it's better. .
Another useless anekdote: The FA645 75/2.8 weigths only 215g proving once and for all that medium format lenses are in fact smaller and lighter and perhaps cheaper than APS....
05-29-2013, 03:31 PM   #1789
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pål Jensen Quote
Rumor has it that Canon will make more APS lenses. They will also make a new high-end APS model (replacement for the 7D?). Then theres the rumored Nikon D400 and the Pentax K-3. Writing off higher end APS is probably premature...
It's not a matter of "writing off higher end APS". It's about having an overall offer appropriate to the times and changing fashions, etc., and one that is economical to produce. All-metal lenses like the DA Limiteds are really nice things but they are only screwdrive without WR and probably pretty expensive to produce. And, as Aristophanes pointed out, zooms are what so many buyers go for. The current Pentax porfolio was fixed a few years ago now, when times were very different. I think it's looking out of kilter, though that's only my view of course.

However, to keep things in perspective, just one DA Limited where I live will set you back nearly or equal to the cost of an iPhone or Samsung Galaxy 3/4 and more than a reasonable iPad. That's a lot of dough in a market in which dedicated cameras are increasingly seen as expensive and perhaps not as important as they used to appear, when phones and pads can do not as well but "good enough" for many things. Bump up to FF, however, and you're into a straight luxury game if the buyer is not a professional, in which case it might be easier to ask higher prices for your product line. All just speculation.

05-29-2013, 04:24 PM   #1790
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QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
Dumping K-mount is a HUGE risk. DSLR's have a proven track record and have been Pentax's bread and butter. Ricoh bought the K-mount.
To the best of my knowledge, the K-mount has no value; it is a simple design that can easily be copied, and is mostly if not entirely out of patent protection. (The PZ-1p, with the K-AF2 mount, was released 22 years ago.) But your posts are thoughtful and I assume you understand that what Ricoh bought was the Pentax brand--and the loyalty of Pentaxians.

Ricoh also purchased Pentax's other mounts (Q, 645, 67), as well as its lens design expertise and industry connections. The more I learn about the high-end photography market (i.e., kits costing more than $500), the more I think that networking and know-how are what Ricoh purchased.

It is plausible that Pentax had contracts with suppliers (such as for sensors and glass) that made purchasing it worthwhile. I would be surprised if Pentax didn't have sweetheart deals with Hoya. After all, Ricoh might be able to use those contracts for its business imaging products.

Pentax was owned by Hoya, one of the major glass manufacturers. Undoubtedly, Pentax lens designers had an inside glimpse into the Hoya glass projects, and also developed relationships with the people who make the optical glass. If Ricoh was having a hard time interfacing with Hoya, Schott, Corning, or whoever, acquiring those relationships vis-a-vis Pentax--again, not just for photographing imaging uses--would make that acquisition worthwhile.

As an aside, I note that Canon is a major player in both photographic and corporate imaging. I suspect that there is a large crossover in terms of what specialized personnel bring to the table with these markets, something Ricoh lacked before its acquisition of Pentax.

Undoubtedly, the loyalty of Pentaxians is valuable; literally any DSLR that Ricoh might release will have buyers simply due to the Pentax brand. But the numbers are simply unknown. How many Pentaxians does it take to justify a new camera R&D cycle? Probably not enough to justify purchasing the company, or the company would have cost more.

The fact is that most Pentaxians, myself included, were attracted to the brand for its value, which largely hinged on the used market--which is to say, the K-mount. Hoya targeted value-oriented consumers. Ricoh is not. Let me rephrase that: Ricoh, by raising prices, is pushing away the very consumers who represent the bulk of K-mount goodwill. Ricoh is not pursuing what the K-mount brings to the table, although it may well be renewing the K-mount into something better than it ever has been.

What does this all have to do with the K-3? Well: whatever it happens to be, and speculating is less worthwhile now than ever before, will tell us a lot about how Ricoh sees the K-mount. If Ricoh releases a mildly upgraded camera, they will be telling us that the K-mount was secondary to the other sources of value that were offered by Pentax. if Ricoh releases something new and interesting, then they'll be telling us that the K-mount is worth investing in.

At the very least, given Ricoh's track record, I expect the next top-of-the-line K-mount camera to offer an extremely configurable system that experts delight in and which daunts novices. This will be good for those of us who like legacy lenses and geek out with our kit.
05-29-2013, 04:35 PM   #1791
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QuoteOriginally posted by JonPB Quote
To the best of my knowledge, the K-mount has no value; it is a simple design that can easily be copied, and is mostly if not entirely out of patent protection. (The PZ-1p, with the K-AF2 mount, was released 22 years ago.) But your posts are thoughtful and I assume you understand that what Ricoh bought was the Pentax brand--and the loyalty of Pentaxians.

Ricoh also purchased Pentax's other mounts (Q, 645, 67), as well as its lens design expertise and industry connections. The more I learn about the high-end photography market (i.e., kits costing more than $500), the more I think that networking and know-how are what Ricoh purchased.
.
.

I think it's fairer to say that Ricoh bought Pentax because Pentax knows how to make system cameras. Whatever system cameras, but the emphasis is on the system.
Ricoh does not know anything about making system cameras. Because if they had any good knowledge about it, they would never try to develop GXR, which was dead before it was launched.

Ricoh should have better to delivered outstanding compact digital cameras, and think a bit more outside the box.
But they didn't. And I think they recognise that.

However, only now, with Pentax on board, they did something dramatic to their otherwise boring compacts — the new GR is insofar the best GR camera world has ever seen. That camera alone will significantly change the perception of the brand and they will suddenly become serious players in the game. Insofar, everyone ignored them.

MX-1 and GR are eye openers. It's time for much more such compacts from Pentax Ricoh, and the public will start to look more seriously into Pentax system cameras.

Last edited by Uluru; 05-29-2013 at 05:07 PM.
05-29-2013, 04:51 PM   #1792
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QuoteOriginally posted by JonPB Quote
To the best of my knowledge, the K-mount has no value; it is a simple design that can easily be copied, and is mostly if not entirely out of patent protection. (The PZ-1p, with the K-AF2 mount, was released 22 years ago.) But your posts are thoughtful and I assume you understand that what Ricoh bought was the Pentax brand--and the loyalty of Pentaxians.
I think that might be a bit extreme!

The K-mount is more than the physical configuration and aperture lever and A/F/FA electrodes. It is includes the DA digital signaling protocol, the metadata in the lens, the SDM electrodes and signaling protocol, the goodwill and established user base (which, though lower in value than what Nikon and Canon mounts have, is certainly non-zero), and maybe most importantly -- the fact that K-mount is a proven robust lens mount solution that works, no further engineering necessary, and without any significant known drawbacks in the SLR realm.
05-29-2013, 05:09 PM   #1793
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QuoteOriginally posted by JonPB Quote
To the best of my knowledge, the K-mount has no value; it is a simple design that can easily be copied ...
You obviously think about a metal ring with a few holes drilled in it.
When I think of the K-mount, I think of about 20+ million lenses and hundreds of millions of memories recorded with those lenses..

05-29-2013, 05:43 PM   #1794
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pål Jensen Quote
Another useless anekdote: The FA645 75/2.8 weigths only 215g proving once and for all that medium format lenses are in fact smaller and lighter and perhaps cheaper than APS....
That isn't useless, and the article I linked is even less useless.
05-29-2013, 06:12 PM   #1795
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pål Jensen Quote
Rumor has it that Canon will make more APS lenses. They will also make a new high-end APS model (replacement for the 7D?). Then theres the rumored Nikon D400 and the Pentax K-3. Writing off higher end APS is probably premature...
I suspect, however, that these will all come in at lower price points that their predecessors.

High-end APS-C is not so so high anymore.
05-29-2013, 06:21 PM   #1796
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QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
High-end APS-C is not so so high anymore.
I agree, many years have passed since the D2H*. And the Canon 7D is based on a sensor design that is getting long in the tooth.


*the Nikon D2H was released ten years ago...my god time flies.
05-29-2013, 06:25 PM   #1797
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QuoteOriginally posted by mecrox Quote
It's not a matter of "writing off higher end APS". It's about having an overall offer appropriate to the times and changing fashions, etc., and one that is economical to produce. All-metal lenses like the DA Limiteds are really nice things but they are only screwdrive without WR and probably pretty expensive to produce. And, as Aristophanes pointed out, zooms are what so many buyers go for. The current Pentax porfolio was fixed a few years ago now, when times were very different. I think it's looking out of kilter, though that's only my view of course.
I think a well thought out competitive edge Pentax the optical company has done is to crate a line of compact, not too fast, primes that are pancake small enough to put a zoom system to shame, alongside compact bodies like the K-x.

But you still need zooms....

How small those can/should go, hard to say. I find Canikon bloated with the VR and motors IMO, but the market seems to care only a little about that. For a Pentaxian, it's nice to have the choice, and I would argue that is why so many are fiercely loyal to the brand and the Pentax engineers who continue the legacy.
05-29-2013, 06:49 PM   #1798
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The problem with the equivalence argument is that it is based on setting a standard or "sweet spot" of 135 or FF. For the vast majority of the market this is an abstract.

Then when the sensor slides down in size because of cost and body size and power issues and bandwidth (that's a real killer...the power and bandwidth processing), not to mention file size and the fact that most photographers in the world will not EVER process on a PC...because most of the world doesn't not use PC's or laptops...we still try and achieve that APS-C equivalence with smaller sensors and optics.

What the market has told us repeatedly is that they are actually not that concerned about FF equivalence. Not the optical qualities as a standalone killer app, that's for sure. Shallow DOF is not really a market maker. I was tonight at my local camera store and spoke to the sales rep I am on good terms with about their FF sales. He told me the runaway best seller for FF was the D600 kit, and they really don't sell a lot of those, he said. And the sell very little high-end, fast glass, nowhere near compared to what they sell as kit lenses for FF.

In other words, more people will buy an FF camera with a 28-80 3.5-5.6 lens for $3,000 Canadian all taxes in, and they are perfectly happy to use that lens at 55-85mm at f/5.6!!

What's that in APS-C? f/4ish?

So the concept that the market aches for FF to get really shallow DOF is simply not true. The same guy could have saved $1,800 buying an APS-C system and seen little difference in IQ.

Furthermore, the sales guy says when they do sell fast glass, it's often used then re-sold, Craigslist, Kijiji, eBay, local camera club, or back to the store even. The same pricey glass is often re-sold a few times before someone claims it for the long term. For many the value and usefulness of these lenses is exotic. We see that a lot on the Marketplace here.
05-29-2013, 07:31 PM   #1799
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QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
In other words, more people will buy an FF camera with a 28-80 3.5-5.6 lens for $3,000 Canadian all taxes in, and they are perfectly happy to use that lens at 55-85mm at f/5.6!!
I bought my D600 and 24-85 F/3.5-4.5 for $2k US. I could've spent the same amount on a K-5ii with 16-50 but I'm not a fan of that lens. I admit that targeting un-informed consumers is a successful strategy, by and large; but those consumers will want Canon or Nikon... Pentax has an uphill battle to fight for brand recognition.
05-29-2013, 07:38 PM   #1800
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QuoteOriginally posted by Uluru Quote
I think it's fairer to say that Ricoh bought Pentax because Pentax knows how to make system cameras. Whatever system cameras, but the emphasis is on the system.

Ricoh does not know anything about making system cameras. Because if they had any good knowledge about it, they would never try to develop GXR, which was dead before it was launched.

Ricoh should have better to delivered outstanding compact digital cameras, and think a bit more outside the box.
But they didn't.
I agree that the MX-1 is a solid camera release, and the GR an outstanding coup. But I'm not following you: Ricoh should have thought more outside the box, but you use the GXR as an example of them...thinking too far outside the box?

A system camera isn't complex until it comes time to produce a volume of lenses. Ricoh has already shown, with the GXR, that they're happy to use someone else's lenses for their cameras--which makes sense, because cameras are where the money is these days.

I guess I'm not understanding what's so difficult about the "system camera."

QuoteOriginally posted by Quicksand Quote
I think that might be a bit extreme!
I'll never deny that I have a penchant for strong statements. :-)

QuoteQuote:
...The K-mount is more than the physical configuration and aperture lever and A/F/FA electrodes. It is includes the DA digital signaling protocol, the metadata in the lens, the SDM electrodes and signaling protocol...
I have a hard time believing that there exists an oligopoly when it comes to signaling protocol and electrical interface designs for lens mounts--that nobody else could introduce a variant that would withstand legal scrutiny. See, e.g., Sigma's mount.

QuoteQuote:
...the goodwill and established user base (which, though lower in value than what Nikon and Canon mounts have, is certainly non-zero), and maybe most importantly -- the fact that K-mount is a proven robust lens mount solution that works, no further engineering necessary, and without any significant known drawbacks in the SLR realm.
These points I addressed: that the goodwill is in the used market, which doesn't directly profit Ricoh, and that the mechanical mount is out of patent. Coming full circle: Ricoh could have released a GXR mount for K-AF2 (but not later) lenses, fully compatible with both FA and K/M lenses, without buying Pentax, just like they released a Leica M mount.

QuoteOriginally posted by Uluru Quote
You obviously think about a metal ring with a few holes drilled in it.
When I think of the K-mount, I think of about 20+ million lenses and hundreds of millions of memories recorded with those lenses..
Where's the profit in that for Ricoh? Minimal, but I touched upon it. If you don't see that, I'd be happy to expand upon it.

Where's the value in that for us as photographers? Tremendous. The mount is associated with cameras that go back from before I was born until the (hopeful) future, and the lenses span my entire photographic journey so far. I've spent unknown hours thinking about, reading about, and investigating all things Pentax. I'm invested. But that doesn't give Ricoh's business managers any incentive, not one way or the other.

The K-3 will come from Ricoh, not from the fan base. Hopefully there are enough of us to make Ricoh sell the camera we want, but none of us have enough information to determine whether that's the case.
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