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03-29-2013, 02:35 AM - 1 Like   #496
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QuoteOriginally posted by bossa Quote
The shorter the flange distance to the sensor the harder it is to project a flat hi quality image
Not entirely accurate, with short flanges like what is used with Leica M lenses: the diameter of the elements used in the lens - and the diameter of the exit pupil play an important part in how large an image is projected onto the sensor. With SLR lenses anything wider than 40mm typically calls for a retro-focus design - with Leica M this is only necessary with lenses wider than 28mm - which is why many rangefinder lenses are typically half the size of SLR lenses. If you make the Flange too short you can get unfortunate problems with optio-mechanical vignetting and flare can become more problematic.

03-29-2013, 03:13 AM   #497
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
They don't "abandon" K-mount - they just stop (or dramtically slow) development of new K-mount products. They focus their efforts on uR-mount for mirrorless and FF, brand it Ricoh to differentiate it from Pentax K-mount and avoid antogonsizing what user base they do have, make a functional legacy K-mount adapter for the uR-mount (which I would actually use) and invest the bulk of theri development dollars there. God help them if they don't market, though.

Don't forget the big volume is still APSc at this time. There is no logical reason to abandon a working model in that mount, but there is every reason in the world to want to be first-mover in mirrorless FF.

My speculation is a good specualtion because no one is happy.
The question is if there is something that a non-k mount can do better than the k mount. The only answer that I know of is that it can mount non-k mount lenses. Maybe that would be a big seller, but I'm not so sure that it drive a whole lot of sales. More likely just decreases number of new lens sales for Pentax.
03-29-2013, 03:28 AM   #498
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
Don't forget the big volume is still APSc at this time. There is no logical reason to abandon a working model in that mount, but there is every reason in the world to want to be first-mover in mirrorless FF.
I vaguely remember reading an interview with a pentax rep, saying that pentax is looking into FF & that FF for Pentax is not necessarily how the market looks at it today.
03-29-2013, 04:10 AM   #499
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
The question is if there is something that a non-k mount can do better than the k mount. The only answer that I know of is that it can mount non-k mount lenses. Maybe that would be a big seller, but I'm not so sure that it drive a whole lot of sales. More likely just decreases number of new lens sales for Pentax.
Maybe Pentax have concluded that the one thing a non-K mount can do better than the K mount is a first-class FF camera with a solid business case behind it. I think the estimates are that eight or nine out of ten folks at least will remain with APS-C for a long while yet so there is no reason why K-mount development and Pentax lens sales should be all that affected. Besides, it might be that Pentax have concluded they need to revamp their lens line anyway, in order to modernize some lenses (motors, WR, HD coatings, etc.) and to reduce production and thus perhaps sticker costs (plastic rather than metal bodies, etc.). There might be big changes ahead here regardless of the sainted lens roadmap, always a hostage to fortune.

I recently bought two or three classic K-mount lenses. The least expensive cost me all of 25 bucks. It's a tad unrealistic to throw a wobbly because thirty-year-old lenses costing 25-50 bucks don't put in a stellar, 110 per cent performance on a digital camera produced in 2013, let alone an FF one. As it is, the performance of at least one on APS-C is so good it strikes me as a stunning bargain. That's a tribute to Pentax engineering but it's also a (nearly) free ride to which none of us is actually entitled. Folks have very unrealistic expectations, imho. it's 2013, not 1983. If Pentax produce an FF mirrorless cam with a new Ricoh mount then I'd wish them the very best of good fortune with it.


Last edited by mecrox; 03-29-2013 at 04:21 AM.
03-29-2013, 04:23 AM   #500
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Well if they decide to stick with APS-C for a while longer they better have some breakthrough technology to at least completely dominate the crop sensor market. Also, I really think Pentax should make some announcements soon, especially because of the most recent rumours caused by that guy claiming he had a prototype FF. They need to communicate to the market (the users, the fans, all of us) that they noticed this and what exactly they are doing. That was essentially a free "viral ad", but they have to use the generated attention right now, before it fades away.
03-29-2013, 04:58 AM   #501
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I could see Pentax abandoning the K mount in all honesty. Canon is clearly the industry leader, and it's in large part to the EF mount, which was designed for the new era of autofocus film cameras. It took their competitors years to catch up to the technology, but frankly, cameras are now digital, and there's no reason to keep the film format. Mirror boxes are going away as solid state solutions are cheaper to implement, build and support.

I have no idea what Pentax is planning, but they're positioned as an insurgent into the market, much like Canon was a generation ago. And yes a new mount would alienate Pentax users and all their legacy glass. But Pentax doesn't care anymore than Canon cared. They can see people snatching up new mounts like Fuji X100S. If they had a new and innovate product they believed in, there's no doubt they'll bring it to market, and they'd undoubtedly sell tons of them if it was a good camera.
03-29-2013, 06:35 AM   #502
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QuoteOriginally posted by konraDarnok Quote
I could see Pentax abandoning the K mount in all honesty. Canon is clearly the industry leader, and it's in large part to the EF mount, which was designed for the new era of autofocus film cameras. It took their competitors years to catch up to the technology, but frankly, cameras are now digital, and there's no reason to keep the film format. Mirror boxes are going away as solid state solutions are cheaper to implement, build and support.

I have no idea what Pentax is planning, but they're positioned as an insurgent into the market, much like Canon was a generation ago. And yes a new mount would alienate Pentax users and all their legacy glass. But Pentax doesn't care anymore than Canon cared. They can see people snatching up new mounts like Fuji X100S. If they had a new and innovate product they believed in, there's no doubt they'll bring it to market, and they'd undoubtedly sell tons of them if it was a good camera.
I see Canon losing market share to Nikon over time. The mount is neither here nor there. The issue is really a combination of lens options, camera body options (and the sensors they contain), combined with the weight of advertising muscle that is put behind a particular camera line. If Pentax decides to make an SLR style body (most likely), then sticking with the K mount makes the most sense. If, however, they plan to go in the mirrorless direction and compete more with NEX cameras, then a new mount would make more sense. I just don't see Pentax really being interested in going new mount-full frame-mirrorless at this point (although that would probably make the biggest splash on the market).

But honestly F mount versus EOS, there isn't anything that EOS offers except the option of 85mm f1.2 versus f1.4 on the F mount (and K mount).
03-29-2013, 07:24 AM   #503
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
I see Canon losing market share to Nikon over time. The mount is neither here nor there. The issue is really a combination of lens options, camera body options (and the sensors they contain), combined with the weight of advertising muscle that is put behind a particular camera line. If Pentax decides to make an SLR style body (most likely), then sticking with the K mount makes the most sense. If, however, they plan to go in the mirrorless direction and compete more with NEX cameras, then a new mount would make more sense. I just don't see Pentax really being interested in going new mount-full frame-mirrorless at this point (although that would probably make the biggest splash on the market).

But honestly F mount versus EOS, there isn't anything that EOS offers except the option of 85mm f1.2 versus f1.4 on the F mount (and K mount).

I disagree. The EOS mount gave Canon the flexibility to develop a very comprehensive system while its competitors still had legacy concerns -- which is why Pentax, Nikon, and Sony were all late in developing ultrasonic motors and image stabilization. Nifty features that Canon had a monopoly on for years, and that got them considerable market share, even if their competitors have now closed the gap.

Today, however, all these mounts are somewhat archaic. The SLR was an elegant solution for the film era, everything about it is designed to deal with exposing film, which is no longer the case. Mirrors, flange distances, optical stabilization, mechanical apertures, none of this stuff is really needed anymore. Whoever figures out the next elegant and functional design is going to have a substantial market advantage.

03-29-2013, 08:12 AM - 1 Like   #504
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QuoteOriginally posted by Digitalis Quote
I'll repeat this again, As I already have on the Pentax K-3 speculation thread: the dimensions of the K mount has no effect on how large an image a lens can project onto the sensor, the only effect increasing the diameter of the mount would have is that it would allow pentax to make lenses faster than f/1.2 - the exit pupil of a 50mm f/0.95 lens gets pretty big with a 45.46mm flange. Also changing the flange by either shortening it or lengthening it will pose serious issues especially for legacy lens users. I do not think Pentax will change the K mount at all....I personally don't see any reason for it. And if they did: they stand to lose a considerable portion of their user base and for a small niche player like Pentax, suffering losses like that is something they cannot afford.
It's a thought exercise of reducing camera size.


Your position is understood. I personally see almost no reason to change the K-mount for an APS-C DSLR... as the thought exercise shows.
03-29-2013, 08:29 AM   #505
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QuoteOriginally posted by Boris_Akunin Quote
Could you elaborate on how you're getting to 4mm? Olympus managed to shrink the flange distance to 28.95 mm using a format (slightly) larger than APS-C with the Pen F, so what's fundamentally different about an APS-C DSLR?
The difference is that I was assuming the same simple-swing arm, with same pivot point location for APS-C DSLR as with 36x24. 24mm mirror height is ~8 mm higher, divide by 2 = 4 mm saved.

Starting from the Konica mount, you'd be able to get a flange distance of ~36 mm.

If you want to use a different mechanism for your APS-C camera you can, of course, and save some registration distance. Olympus used two prisms and two mirrors with a more complicated light path than most DLSR's. If the Olympus is your basis then you'd save another millimeter or so. Of course you could use the Olympus's mechanism on FF, too, if you wanted, but the motors involved with both formats would need to be fairly stout.
03-29-2013, 10:41 AM   #506
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QuoteOriginally posted by konraDarnok Quote
I disagree. The EOS mount gave Canon the flexibility to develop a very comprehensive system while its competitors still had legacy concerns -- which is why Pentax, Nikon, and Sony were all late in developing ultrasonic motors and image stabilization. Nifty features that Canon had a monopoly on for years, and that got them considerable market share, even if their competitors have now closed the gap.

Today, however, all these mounts are somewhat archaic. The SLR was an elegant solution for the film era, everything about it is designed to deal with exposing film, which is no longer the case. Mirrors, flange distances, optical stabilization, mechanical apertures, none of this stuff is really needed anymore. Whoever figures out the next elegant and functional design is going to have a substantial market advantage.
How much different is the current K mount/F Mount from the EOS mount or the E Mount? The biggest difference as far as I can tell (as they exist currently) is in the registration distance. All of them are capable of transmission of electronic data from lens to camera body, running in-lens motors.

Mirrorless cameras with shorter registration distances may be the wave of the future, but I don't personally see huge benefit as you move up in sensor size to full frame and larger. Just feels like even if you shrink your camera body somewhat in size, your lens is still good sized and for certain applications (sports, wildlife, even wedding photography) the ergonomics are lousy when handling such a camera over a long period of time with a decent sized lens (like a 70-200 f4 or f2.8).
03-29-2013, 11:57 AM   #507
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Not knowing much about the discussion, forgive me for asking a question -- how hard would it be for Pentax to make an APS-C or FF camera that could take all the Nikon lenses, going back to Ai-type... but still be able to take all the Pentax K-mount lenses? Is this possible mechanically? And, would it make sense commercially? I have a few old Nikon lenses, and I'll bet a lot of other people do also.
03-29-2013, 04:41 PM   #508
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QuoteOriginally posted by jon404 Quote
Not knowing much about the discussion, forgive me for asking a question -- how hard would it be for Pentax to make an APS-C or FF camera that could take all the Nikon lenses, going back to Ai-type... but still be able to take all the Pentax K-mount lenses? Is this possible mechanically? And, would it make sense commercially? I have a few old Nikon lenses, and I'll bet a lot of other people do also.
I was going to rattle off all the various differences in register distance, bayonet positions/dimensions, and conflicting connections/linkages, but I think I'll just say it would not be possible unless the mount was made of "liquid metal" like the T-1000 in "Terminator 2". Otherwise, it would be complex (=expensive), functionality would be lost on one type or the other (=annoying and undesirable). Not worth it, when people can already buy an adapter for a shorter-register APS-C MILC (or Canon FF with mods to the lenses) .
03-29-2013, 04:59 PM   #509
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QuoteOriginally posted by jon404 Quote
.... how hard would it be for Pentax to make an APS-C or FF camera that could take all the Nikon lenses, going back to Ai-type... but still be able to take all the Pentax K-mount lenses? Is this possible mechanically? And, would it make sense commercially?...
I can't say whether it is mechanically possible, although I suspect not, but commercially the last thing Pentax would want to do is encourage people to buy lenses from another manufacturer. They need to lock people into buying Pentax lenses not give them the option of buying elsewhere, otherwise they are leaving a lot of money on the table. For a FF M mount rangefinder to make sense Ricoh would probably need to buy (or go into partnership with) Cosina who have their own range of M mount lenses under the Voigtlander banner.

The trick Pentax needs to pull off with a FF SLR is have it work with legacy K-mount lenses but also give people a reason to buy new k-mount lenses. There is no point in Pentax trying to beat Canon and Nikon at their own game, and changing mounts just so that they can ape Canon is pointless. Ramping up the WR angle would be a real point of difference and would play to Pentax's outdoors camera strengths. It would also give them a way of refreshing the whole lens range without getting people's noses out of joint. If you already own a 31 limited and Pentax brings out a toughened ultra-WR version you can decide whether you want it or not, but if you need to buy the same lens again just because the new Pentax FF has a different mount then you are likely to be very unhappy.
03-29-2013, 05:07 PM   #510
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QuoteOriginally posted by jon404 Quote
Not knowing much about the discussion, forgive me for asking a question -- how hard would it be for Pentax to make an APS-C or FF camera that could take all the Nikon lenses, going back to Ai-type... but still be able to take all the Pentax K-mount lenses? Is this possible mechanically? And, would it make sense commercially? I have a few old Nikon lenses, and I'll bet a lot of other people do also.
Well you can connect them to your Pentax camera, just turn the lens 180 degrees and remember to turn it the other way around. Won't click on to the mount, so it needs support. I used and old pre-Ai lens on my K-7 for a while.
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