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04-26-2013, 01:13 AM   #136
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QuoteOriginally posted by Edgar_in_Indy Quote
(…)
But I'm still not sure I'm completely convinced on the original point. Does Pentax make money from the lenses they sell? In other words, did the research and development of their current lenses pay off, and continue to pay off? If so, then it stands to reason that they should develop and offer more lenses. On the other hand, if they're not making money on their lenses, then it seems that the company is on pretty thin ice.
The business model of a DSLR manufacturer is close to the Gillette one, that is taught in each and every business school: sell the razor (here: the camera) at cost, even subsidize it (cameras are not but margins are paper thin), and make money on the blades (here: lenses and accessories).

Pentax has therefore to make money from the lenses they sell, from all of them if possible. This has not always been the case: to take an example I know of, Pentax never sold more than A COUPLE of FA* 200mm f/4 Macro per year in France.

My original point is the following: the lower your market share (or, for an OEM, the market share of a specific mount), the closer you have to stick to mainstream lenses, those you are sure to sell containers of, and the less you are inclined to venture into exotic territories (large aperture lenses, telephoto macro lenses, very long lenses, etcetera).

And it's not even to pay for research and development: sometimes sales, actual or forecast, are so low that you cannot even justify to afford the manufacturing costs, inventory costs and other costs linked to the sale of a lens in a specific mount. Think for instance of Cosina terminating the production of Voigtländer SL and Zeiss lenses in K mount.

The declining market share is the reason why Pentax's portfolio of lenses shrank between Takumar / K lenses and A lenses and again between A lenses and F/FA lenses.

On the other hand, the higher your market share, the more adventurous and prodigal you can afford to be. Just remember that, from 1952 to 1958, when they created then dominated the SLR market in Japan, Asahi Kogaku put FIVE different standard lenses on the market. Five over seven years! and with widely different designs:

- 1952: a Tessar formula, the Asahi Kogaku Takumar 50 mm f/3.5 (M37 mount)
- 1954: a Heliar formula, the Asahi Kogaku Takumar 58 mm f/2.4 (M37 mount) which became the Takumar 58 mm f/2.4 (M42 mount) in 1957
- 1957: a Sonnar formula, the Takumar 58 mm f/2
- 1957 again: a simplified double Gauss / Planar formula (5 lenses only), the Takumar 55 mm f/2.2
- 1958: a full-fledged double Gauss / Planar formula (6 lenses in 5 groups), the Takumar 55 mm f/1.8, the first of a long series of lenses, the latest being the DA 50mm f/1.8.

04-26-2013, 10:29 AM   #137
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Thanks for the detailed replies. I couldn't help but think of the Pentax's new 560mm f/5.6 lens when you were talking about how Pentax has to focus its efforts on more mainstream lenses with broad consumer appeal. Earlier in the thread I worried that Pentax had devoted too many resources and damaged their reputation with high-profile failures like the Q and K-01. I'm inclined to think that the 560mm will ultimately fall into the category of foolish product decisions.
04-26-2013, 10:35 AM   #138
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Of course, every product not designed specifically for us is a "foolish decision"
04-26-2013, 11:53 AM   #139
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kunzite Quote
Of course, every product not designed specifically for us is a "foolish decision"
That actually wasn't my criteria.

04-26-2013, 12:55 PM   #140
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How else you decided which product is "foolish" and which isn't? The Q, for example, who has about 6% of the Japanese market (and being a small sensor camera, it's probably higher margin than the cheapest yet similarly priced large sensor MILCs). What exactly makes it a "high-profile failure"?
04-26-2013, 02:03 PM   #141
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I've yet to see one over here in the US, and I doubt I ever will. I wonder where Canon or Nikon would be if they ignored the US market.
04-26-2013, 11:11 PM   #142
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QuoteOriginally posted by Winder Quote
Sony wanted to make the bodies as small as possible and the SR adds to the thickness of the camera. Personally I prefer INBIS, but OIS seems to be be more popular especially if HD video is a prime need.
Thanks for the explanation. I prefer IBIS as well because i don't have to pay for it more than once :-), and the lenses can be smaller in size. But perhaps the camera and lens makers like OIS because it can be tailored to individual lenses. I read recently that Nikon's VR has gone through 6 iterations, in newer lens designs. Whatever that means.
04-27-2013, 01:44 AM   #143
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It means you have to update your entire lens kit to have the latest IS/VR, instead of just buying a new camera

04-27-2013, 04:59 AM   #144
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In-lens OS also means that there are more parts and more complexity, and therefore more possible points of failure. I wonder how well the OS lenses will be holding up 30 or 40 years from now.
04-27-2013, 05:26 AM   #145
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QuoteOriginally posted by Edgar_in_Indy Quote
In-lens OS also means that there are more parts and more complexity, and therefore more possible points of failure. I wonder how well the OS lenses will be holding up 30 or 40 years from now.
That's the whole point isn't it ?
So you have to buy a lens again at some point...
04-27-2013, 07:04 AM   #146
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QuoteOriginally posted by Edgar_in_Indy Quote
In-lens OS also means that there are more parts and more complexity, and therefore more possible points of failure. I wonder how well the OS lenses will be holding up 30 or 40 years from now.
...and the light path (lenses) have been optimized for OS.
04-27-2013, 07:07 AM   #147
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QuoteOriginally posted by ElJamoquio Quote
...and the light path (lenses) have been optimized for OS.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think the point you're making is that many of the OS lenses will no longer be usable if the OS system fails. I have heard that this is the case, since the OS system actively holds some of the elements in proper alignment when it is active. Again, this is only what I've heard, and I don't know if it's true in every case (or any case for that matter).
04-27-2013, 07:17 AM   #148
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QuoteOriginally posted by Edgar_in_Indy Quote
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think the point you're making is that many of the OS lenses will no longer be usable if the OS system fails. I have heard that this is the case, since the OS system actively holds some of the elements in proper alignment when it is active. Again, this is only what I've heard, and I don't know if it's true in every case (or any case for that matter).
I wasn't saying that - what I was saying that the OS lenses have to be optimized to be able to change the light path with some combination of elements 'in the middle' of the lens. The 'best' lens with OS is different than the 'best' lens without OS. The 'best' lens without OS gives better images with less CA, etc.
04-27-2013, 07:55 AM   #149
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QuoteOriginally posted by ElJamoquio Quote
I wasn't saying that - what I was saying that the OS lenses have to be optimized to be able to change the light path with some combination of elements 'in the middle' of the lens. The 'best' lens with OS is different than the 'best' lens without OS. The 'best' lens without OS gives better images with less CA, etc.
I did not know that. I had heard anecdotaly that some of the lenses that have been re-released with OS weren't as good as the original (Tamron 17-50mm?), but I did not know the reason.

I just went to Photozone.de, and saw that they had a review of the old non-VC Tamron 17-50mm for Nikon, and the new VR version. The old version had 16 elements, the new version has 19. And the old version did do significantly better on the resolution tests. Not only did the old version easily win at the center, but at the corners the difference was shocking. (I wonder if in the effort to minimize the size increase of the OS lens, they utilize a wider area of the lens elements, pushing closer to the edges, and thus the reduced performance in the corners.)

Considering all the draw backs of in-lens OS (size, weight, complexity, cost, image quality, reliability, unable to upgrade to better IS via a new camera body), I find it shocking that Canon and Nikon's customers haven't revolted yet and demanded IBIS. Sure, in the past there was an argument that in-lens OS was theoretically better at longer focal lengths, but with the improvements in newer systems such as that in the Olympus OM-D, that argument is dead.
04-27-2013, 08:00 AM   #150
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QuoteOriginally posted by Belnan Quote
Sigma seems to be seriously upping there game. Good for them and for us.
One small detail... They aren't releasing in Pentax mount anymore.
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