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09-04-2011, 07:55 AM   #46
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I agree completely that if Pentax is to go full-frame, it should not be a 'me-too' offering. They will never be able to compete with Canon and Nikon on their own turf; to attempt this would be suicidal. The Pentax offering must be different; and it must play to Pentax's traditional strengths.

To this end I would suggest the following: Pentax should offer a 'small-bodied' (small is, of course, relative) weather-sealed camera that appeals to (as Falcon-eye says) the "image perfectionist." And the affordable way to achieve this is to eliminate (a) auto-focus; and (b) 'movie-mode'. (Those who insist on these features should really consider the Canikon route.)

Let us not forget that the most expensive--and arguably the most coveted-- (small format) full-frame digital camera in the world is the Leica M9-P. And Leica users--obsessed as they are with IQ--seem perfectly happy to live without these 'features'. (Consider, too, the number of manual focus lenses sold by Zeiss and Voigtlander to Canon and Nikon users.)

If image quality is your first concern, then auto-focus and video become much less of a priority.

As for shortage of lenses, I think it all but certain that Zeiss and Voigtlander/Cosina would immediately re-introduce their Pentax mount offerings if there was a Pentax full-frame. And let's think about Pentax's own 'war-chest'.

Does Pentax-Ricoh really need to spend huge amounts of money on R and D when they have design jewels like the A* lenses. I would purchase a new A* 85 or A* 135 in a heartbeat were they to become available.

But what about the 'legacy lens' issue? One forum member suggested that Pentx-Ricoh does not want to maintain lens compatibility because it would lose future sales. I'm not so sure about this. There are many Pentax dslr users whose principal reason for buying Pentax was that they already owned so much Pentax glass. I believe it would be a mistake for Pentax to abandon that user base.

Just imagine: a digital full-frame with real manual focus accuracy; real wide-angle fov; real 35mm dof; and all w/o the inherent limitations of range-finder photography.

Whether or not such a camera should have an anti-aliasing filter or not is debatable. Also debatable is the extent to which the camera should be burdened with 'me-too' features like camera-top lcd displays.

I just hope that Pentax (Ricoh) will consider the history of the brand and get back to basics. This is, to my thinking, Pentax's 'niche'.


Last edited by Byrd-2020; 09-04-2011 at 08:19 AM.
09-04-2011, 08:14 AM   #47
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I don't think I would buy a Pentax FF without AF and movie mode...
At least for me one of the major points in wanting Pentax FF is to use my FF lenses on it in their true focal length and functionality. If I really just wanted FF for some type of idea that I will get better image quality, I'd just buy a Canon/Nikon FF or get a 645D (somehow).

The only way they could get away without offering AF is if it was mirror-less.
09-04-2011, 08:15 AM   #48
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QuoteOriginally posted by Christine Tham Quote
If you want good glass, be prepared to pay for it. And the EF 200mm f/2 L II is actually quite affordable - a friend of mine bought it - I can borrow it any time. The 300mm is rather more expensive (and also heavier).

Canon lenses are generally more expensive than Pentax, but they are also higher quality, so you get what you paid for. Anyone who is in the market for a full frame camera should be prepared to pay for quality.

By the way, here's a photo I took on my friend's 200mm lens (love that shallow DOF!):

I assure you I am aware of the price of the prime L glass of Canon, top Nikon glass, top Sony glass etc. currently in production. The EF 200mm f2 L is $5600 whereas the f2.8 L II is $819.99. The EF 300/4 L IS USM is $1399, the 300/2.8 L IS USM is $4879 and the 300/2.8 IS USM II is $7299. There are sevaral L 400s in the current catalog with the 5.6 at $1339, f4 at 6469, the f2.8 USM at $7999 and the II version at $11499. The 500, 600 and 800 are really expensive. However these aren't exclusive to full frame either.
09-04-2011, 08:27 AM - 2 Likes   #49
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It certainly looks like there are a lot of good opinions out there on what a full frame Pentax should be like. Iím surprised by a number of you resigning to not even want one! This scenario is least appealing to me, because were I to own two systems I simply wouldnít have the ability to use the great FA limiteds. Were I to do that though, I would probably get a Nikon D700 and a 35mm 1.4, 50mm 1.8, and 85mm 1.8 lenses. Which I have to admit wouldnít be the WORST thing that could happen. But since weíre speaking of hypotheticals here, Iíll stick with what Iím likely to use.

Iím also surprised at how many people want super telephotos in full frame. Why bother? The Pentax 200mm 2.8 is Ėe to a 300mm 2.8, is image stabilized, and is only a thousand dollars. The 300mm f4 is similarly inexpensive! And you have limited depth of field at those magnifications, and Pentax is the only system that due to the APS-C sensor and SR stabilization keeps the size and cost of their teleís down without sacrificing quality. For me APS-C is a great tele format. Canon can keep their uber expensive enormous telephoto lenses, AFAIC.

I was also surprised at how many of you expect the Pentax full frame to be cheap. It should or would probably be chearp-er, than a D3SÖ But it SHOULDNíT be inexpensive. I donít want a camera that sacrifices anything to be accessible to more people. Any moderately successful professional can afford a $3000 dollar body. The K-5 is currently around $1,300 dollars for a body and delivers pro grade build and performance. What I would expect, is a step up, and I expect to pay for it. Weíre not talking Leica prices here. And if youíre an amateur or student then my advice here and what I tell everybody is embrace the K-5! Itís extremely high quality! And the lens line up is better than youíll find for any system anywhere, on APS-C. Whatís even better is, nearly ANYONE can afford a multi lens system. Not true for Canikon.

I guess the core tenants of my argument here are:
1. I would like to see a Pentax professional system that utilizes both APS-C and Full Frame to make the best possible multi-format system.
2. I donít think a full frame option has to be cheap.
3. With their current APS-C line up, a Full Frame lens line up can be limited to focal lengths where it makes the most practical sense: Fast primes, specialty lenses, maybe a couple zooms (but I donít think the zooms are important because they can make them smaller and just as good in APS-C).
4. One last thing: Pentax will thrive in their differences rather than their similarities. If they take the Apple route, instead of appealing to the lowest common denominator, while not falling victim to the Leica elitism, they will find a market who enjoys standing out from the crowed. A great camera does a few things very well, but doesn't have to do EVERYTHING well. That's who I feel about my Pentax, and my X100, and that's why they're hype generators.

09-04-2011, 08:52 AM   #50
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QuoteOriginally posted by Sperdynamite Quote
I would like to see a Pentax professional system...
And there's the nub. A pro system requires a pro support network, or it ain't pro. A parallel: an automobile model isn't just a rolling vehicle; it's also the road and fuel and maintenance infrastructure, without which it goes nowhere. Disposable consumer cameras don't need a support system; non-disposables do, and pro cameras need the costly sort of systems Canikon have built. So we can fantasize all we want, but if we expect a pro camera, I'll bet we don't see a Pentax FF until the Pentax-Ricoh support system is fleshed-out. Will they go with entry-level FF, without the pro.net? ?Quien sabe? Who knows?

Last edited by RioRico; 09-04-2011 at 09:10 AM.
09-04-2011, 09:09 AM   #51
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
And there's the nub. A pro system requires a pro support network, or it ain't pro. A parallel: an automobile model isn't just a rolling vehicle; it's also the road and fuel and maintenance infrastructure, without which it goes nowhere. Disposable consumer cameras don't need a support system; non-disposables do, and pro cameras need the costly sort of systems Canikon have built. So we can fantasize all we want, but I'll bet we don't see a Pentax FF until the Pentax-Ricoh support system is fleshed-out.
Actually, Ricoh has a pretty sophisticated "pro" network set up for their copier and office management division here in the U.S. Friday I received and announcement from my University that our Post Office and copiers will be ran by Ricoh. I guess Canon got a boot up their arse. Plus, in some areas, Canon and Nikon are still a "mail" proposition to get repairs and replacements. Pentax could rectify their situation to be on par in that regard by turning around repairs on items like the K-5 and DA* and ltd series lenses instead of this current silliness. The next step would be to have some "centers" in places other than NYC. They need a presence in LA, Atlanta, Chicago, DC, Seattle, Tallahassee () perhaps Houston or Dallas, but the bare minimum for the U.S. would by NYC, LA, Chicago and Atlanta in addition to their central office in Denver.
09-04-2011, 10:13 AM   #52
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QuoteOriginally posted by Blue Quote
Actually, Ricoh has a pretty sophisticated "pro" network set up for their copier and office management division here in the U.S. ... They need a presence in LA, Atlanta, Chicago, DC, Seattle, Tallahassee () perhaps Houston or Dallas, but the bare minimum for the U.S. would by NYC, LA, Chicago and Atlanta in addition to their central office in Denver.
Quite right, and that was what I was hinting at. The skeleton of the pro.net exists; it needs to be fleshed-out, expanded. The cities you mention, plus SF, Honolulu... and that's just major USA population and media|shoot centers. The pro.net must be global because one country or continent can't support the business. So when we see offices in major hubs flagged as Ricoh-Pentax Support Centers, we can guess that a pro FF (or better 645) is on the way.
09-04-2011, 10:20 AM   #53
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Depending of your understanding of what a pro-network and service is.

For Nikon/Canon sports they are actually on side with major sports events. When your lens fals down on world cup atletics or soccer, you just walk to their service point and get a new lens on the the same time. I don't see that coming in very near future.

One day return is another way to put up a service. That would already be a great improvement. This would already help a lot of people. You make a call and they send you a lens that arrives at your door sometimes even before you have send your lens/body to them. (this kind of service is available for more sorts of goods).

Remember that those services don't come for free. You have to be a member and pay a yearly fee.

09-04-2011, 10:21 AM   #54
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The network of support that Canon and Nikon have built is truly impressive, and for certain photographers that alone should be a major factor in their purchasing decision.

However, not all professional photographers require that kind of support system. And I would certainly consider Hasselblad a pro system, and they offer far less support than even Pentax. Leica considers themselves professional, and you can expect to wait months for repair.

The amount of support you need really just depends on the kind of photography you do. Simply having a back up body and the option to rent a body if I really need to is enough. Even when I lived in Minneapolis MN I had a local rental house that would deliver day-of in an emergency. Now I'm in NYC and I can pretty much get whatever I need when I need it. Having a Nikon facility nearby is not as helpful as a 2nd body or the option to rent a camera.
09-04-2011, 12:22 PM   #55
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Crop is misunderstood. A pocket-cam sensor has incredible crop.

Cost? Moore's law will make the full frame sensor very affordable in time.

Size? The full frame DSLR can be made smaller than existing ones.

Price? FourThirds has excellent but expensive huge lenses for their smaller sensor system. Lens cost seems more dedicated by the speed and glass grade, not sensor size. A 500mm f5.6 wouldn't cost as much as a 300mm f2.8. Not that there's anything wrong with re-introducing the 300mm f2.8. It would sell.

In the film days, they had a 600mm. DFA*500mm f5.6 would fill the gap.

Last edited by pz1fan; 09-04-2011 at 12:37 PM.
09-04-2011, 12:51 PM   #56
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The so-called "Moore's law" is talking about transistor count, not IC size. If you want to apply it to imaging sensors, talk about more and more megapixels.
09-04-2011, 01:10 PM   #57
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QuoteOriginally posted by Blue Quote
I assure you I am aware of the price of the prime L glass of Canon, top Nikon glass, top Sony glass etc. currently in production. The EF 200mm f2 L is $5600 whereas the f2.8 L II is $819.99. The EF 300/4 L IS USM is $1399, the 300/2.8 L IS USM is $4879 and the 300/2.8 IS USM II is $7299. There are sevaral L 400s in the current catalog with the 5.6 at $1339, f4 at 6469, the f2.8 USM at $7999 and the II version at $11499. The 500, 600 and 800 are really expensive. However these aren't exclusive to full frame either.
Actually, they are even more expensive here in Australia. For example, the EF 200mm f2 L II that I mentioned is A$7000, the 300mm f2.8 L II is around $8000. And they used to be a LOT more expensive before the A$ appreciated.

I can get cheaper prices than these, but even if I manage to get them at wholesale price they are still a significant investment. But as I said before, you have to be prepared to pay for quality.

Pentax doesn't have glass in this sort of category or quality. And if you have ever used these lenses before, then you'll realise the focusing is a dream - it's almost as if the camera can read the mind and focuses ahead - it's that magical. I'm not saying the K-5 is bad, but it's in a completely different (lower) league.

If Pentax releases a full frame camera with the same AF as the K-5, with just a handful of still in production FA lenses, the market for this camera will extremely limited. And it is counter to the current Pentax brand positioning - as a quirky camera company who makes colourful K-rs (with Rilakkuma and Kore ja nai Robot designs) and interesting small cameras like the Q. A Pentax wannabe 5D or D700? Meh.

Funnily enough, a mirrorless full frame that accepts K-mount? That may just be weird enough to get a few sales. However, a better idea will be a mirrorless APS-C that accepts DA glass - I will buy that if Pentax releases it tomorrow.
09-04-2011, 01:17 PM   #58
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QuoteOriginally posted by Fontan Quote
Touched it once. Never tried it.
Aha!

So when you claimed that you have a 645D and creampuff didn't believe you, and you got all hissy, you were really lying? :-)

Thanks for finally confirming what many suspected at the time.
09-04-2011, 01:17 PM   #59
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QuoteOriginally posted by Christine Tham Quote
Funnily enough, a mirrorless full frame that accepts K-mount? That may just be weird enough to get a few sales. However, a better idea will be a mirrorless APS-C that accepts DA glass - I will buy that if Pentax releases it tomorrow.
Explain why yet another APS-C mirroless would be more successful than FF, which is not presented on market yet?
09-04-2011, 01:34 PM   #60
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QuoteOriginally posted by Emacs Quote
Explain why yet another APS-C mirroless would be more successful than FF, which is not presented on market yet?
You want me to explain why a completely hypothetical product would be more successful than another completely hypothetical product?
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