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04-25-2013, 12:45 PM   #121
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QuoteOriginally posted by top-quark Quote
I've thought for a while that Pentax could grow business by being a third party as well as first party manufacturer. If you look at Canon and Nikon's APS-C lineups, they're actually somewhat poorer than Pentax's. Despite greatly outnumbering their full frame using counterparts, Canon and Nikon APS-C users seem to be treated like ginger stepchildren when it comes to the good stuff. All that lovely L glass? Not really made to hang off the front of your digital Rebel.

As to what Pentax would sell? Limiteds, of course! Some of the DA * models would also be viable, but they'd need to add image stablization first which might be a lot harder than screwing a different mount to the back. And before anyone says that's a ridiculous idea, there's prior art:
Leica MP with 43mm Pentax L mount lens | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

Back to Sigma and Tamron.

Sigma have definitely moved on from their "Stigma" days. They don't seem to have completely dropped K-mount but there's also little sign that the really good stuff is heading our way. I strongly suspect that Tamron will not be releasing any new K-mount lenses. The issue is probably earnings per share. It could be argued that if they make $0.01 net profit on their K-mount business then they haven't lost anything. However, if they're looking for twenty cents on the dollar, then the K-mount business maybe just isn't worth it.
A number of Pentax's offerings are already available (at least as far as optical formula) from Tokina. However, I don't think that most of Pentax's lenses would be usable (at least as far as auto focus) on Canon, since they don't have built in motors and Canon requires that for auto focus on their camera bodies. Obviously if someone wants a manual focus FA Limited on a Canon body, they can have it now, although on full frame, it might require some butchering either of the camera or, the aperture lever.

04-25-2013, 12:55 PM   #122
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QuoteOriginally posted by top-quark Quote
Canon and Nikon APS-C users seem to be treated like ginger stepchildren
Hey! Watch your mouth!

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04-25-2013, 01:09 PM   #123
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
A number of Pentax's offerings are already available (at least as far as optical formula) from Tokina.
Maybe I'm wrong, but for some reason I was under the impression that it was the other way around; that Pentax borrow some optical formulas from Tokina. For example, I thought that the 50-135mm was a Tokina design that Pentax had licensed. And I thought that when Tokina's 11-16mm f/2.8 was not released in K-mount, it was because there was some expectation that Pentax would sell their own licensed version.
04-25-2013, 01:11 PM   #124
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QuoteOriginally posted by top-quark Quote
I strongly suspect that Tamron will not be releasing any new K-mount lenses.
As I recall (probably wrong) When asked about future K-mount lenses at Adam's interview, the Tamron representative basically referred to how much support the Micro 4/3rds lenses were getting.t

I'm sure it wasn't quite so bad as I put it... but that's the impression I got from the interview.

04-25-2013, 01:12 PM   #125
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Most are Pentax designs.
I think only 12-24 (and of course 11-16) are Tokina,'s
04-25-2013, 01:14 PM   #126
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QuoteOriginally posted by Edgar_in_Indy Quote
Maybe I'm wrong, but for some reason I was under the impression that it was the other way around; that Pentax borrow some optical formulas from Tokina. For example, I thought that the 50-135mm was a Tokina design that Pentax had licensed. And I thought that when Tokina's 11-16mm f/2.8 was not released in K-mount, it was because there was some expectation that Pentax would sell their own licensed version.
As far as patents go, Pentax owns the patents on all of the joint offerings except the DA 12-24. The 16-50, 50-135, 35 macro and 10-17 FE all are Pentax optical formulas that licensed to Tokina when they were hard up for cash in the pre-Hoya "glory years."
04-25-2013, 01:15 PM   #127
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Crossposting this one, but I have a (probably) rebranded Tokina 70-210mm Sears lens I've been using for a Single-in for the month. It was probably made some time in the 1980's as best I can tell.

I shot the thing wide open into the sun through a grimy windshield to see just how hilariously bad the flaring would be. I was kind of shocked at how well it behaved. Provided Tokina has kept up with its multicoating tech since the grungy old days, they certainly aren't bad.



Last edited by Sagitta; 04-25-2013 at 01:24 PM.
04-25-2013, 01:15 PM   #128
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
As far as patents go, Pentax owns the patents on all of the joint offerings except the DA 12-24. The 16-50, 50-135, 35 macro and 10-17 FE all are Pentax optical formulas that licensed to Tokina when they were hard up for cash in the pre-Hoya "glory years."
100 macro is pentax too.

04-25-2013, 06:07 PM   #129
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mistral75 Quote
When Sigma design a lens and propose it in Canon and Nikon mounts, they address more than 80% of the DSLR market.

When Pentax design a lens in K mount, they address circa 5% of the DSLR market.

Guess who can expect the biggest sales, margins and return on investment?
So actually this is not correct. Pentax address other camera brands with their lens designs through their relationship with Tokina.
04-25-2013, 08:00 PM   #130
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sigma 135mm f1.8 manual focus version

sigma 135mm f1.8 manual focus version





04-25-2013, 10:20 PM   #131
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Very nice! I wasn't aware of that lens. How is the image quality?

There's one on eBay right now with the Canon mount adapter for $495 + $19.95 s/h:

RARE Sigma XQ Multi Scalematic 135mm F 1 8 MC Lens w YS Mount for Canon FL FD | eBay

Here's a photo from the listing:



Looking at completed auctions, one recently sold as an auction for $436 + $20.75 s/h.
04-25-2013, 11:15 PM   #132
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QuoteOriginally posted by Edgar_in_Indy Quote
So actually this is not correct. Pentax address other camera brands with their lens designs through their relationship with Tokina.
Actually, "addressed", not "address": since 2007 (16-50 and 50-135), six years ago, no new lens design from Pentax has been reused by Tokina.

And designing a lens and manufacturing it involves much more than just designing an optical formula, otherwise all Sigma, Tamron, Voigtländer and Zeiss lenses would be available in K mount.

To rephrase my sentence: a lens version in Canon or Nikon mount addresses circa 40% of the market, a K mount one circa 5%.
04-25-2013, 11:56 PM   #133
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mistral75 Quote
Actually, "addressed", not "address": since 2007 (16-50 and 50-135), six years ago, no new lens design from Pentax has been reused by Tokina.
And whose fault is that? I don't know. But it's interesting that Pentax has sold their lens designs in the not-too-distant past and reached a wider market, but no longer does so. I wonder how the arrangement ended, since it seems like the pooling of resources would have been benefiting both parties, both of whom are relatively small players in their respective industries. I wonder if it may have had something to do with the fact that the 16-50mm and 50-135mm weren't stabilized, and these days you don't sell those types of lenses to Canon and Nikon users without stabilization.

You may have a point about Pentax not being able to afford to develop very many new lenses due to their small market share and customer base, but if that is the case, then that would seem to point to a death spiral. If we can't expect much from Pentax itself in terms of lenses, and if 3rd party support is drying up, then how are they going to keep their DSLR market from shrinking?

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.
04-26-2013, 12:36 AM   #134
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You raise various interesting points in you message. I will express my thoughts in separate messages for an easier reading.

QuoteOriginally posted by Edgar_in_Indy Quote
And whose fault is that? I don't know. But it's interesting that Pentax has sold their lens designs in the not-too-distant past and reached a wider market, but no longer does so. I wonder how the arrangement ended, since it seems like the pooling of resources would have been benefiting both parties, both of whom are relatively small players in their respective industries.
I wouldn't use the word fault nor would I try to put the blame on anybody.

Getting back in the early 2000s, Pentax were a listed company with a declining market share due to their late conversion to digital. Their resources had been drained by the unsuccessful MZ-D venture. They were listed but it might have been difficult to raise money from their shareholders. So the easy solution was to enter into partnerships: with Hewlett Packard for digital compact cameras, with Tokina for lenses, later on with Samsung for sensors and lenses and may be with others too.

May be Tokina made an interesting down payment to have access to the optical formula then developed by Pentax, either already on the market (e.g. 10-17mm fish-eye) or still to be launched (e.g. 16-50 and 50-135), thus contributing to help Pentax obtain the financial resources they were struggling for. Samsung certainly did.

When Hoya took Pentax over, it became a completely different story. Mother Hoya took charge of the needs of her prodigal daughter by cutting costs, projects and developments. The partnership with Samsung was terminated and it seems the one with Tokina faded away.

QuoteOriginally posted by Edgar_in_Indy Quote
(...)
I wonder if it may have had something to do with the fact that the 16-50mm and 50-135mm weren't stabilized, and these days you don't sell those types of lenses to Canon and Nikon users without stabilization.
(...)
You definitely have a point there.
04-26-2013, 12:45 AM   #135
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QuoteOriginally posted by Edgar_in_Indy Quote
(...)

You may have a point about Pentax not being able to afford to develop very many new lenses due to their small market share and customer base, but if that is the case, then that would seem to point to a death spiral. If we can't expect much from Pentax itself in terms of lenses, and if 3rd party support is drying up, then how are they going to keep their DSLR market from shrinking?

(...)
You use the expression "death spiral", I used "vicious circle", directly translated from the French "cercle vicieux" in another message. We are in agreement.

One solution would be for Pentax to licence optical formulas from third parties and, if they are adverse to risk, negotiate a lower flat fee in exchange of a higher proportional fee.

Their risk would then be limited to recovering the costs of adapting such third party lens to the specifics (mechanics and electronics) of K mount and marketing the new lens. In other words, to do themselves what the OEMs are no longer doing whilst charging a premium over the OEM's price to improve their margin.

This adaptation could either be limited (think DA 18-250) or full-fledged (add SMC or HD coating, QuickShift and more), depending on the category / price point of the lens.
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