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08-25-2013, 06:31 PM   #151
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QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
Ricoh didn't buy Pentax.

Ricoh bought Pentax's only real asset:

The K-mount.
Is that true? Wasn't the K-mount originally an open platform like 4/3? Lots of manufacturers used to make K-mount cameras, including Ricoh. I don't know if the later iterations of the k-mount were open, but with the exception of SDM, I'd imagine most of the patents have gone into public domain. (which Wikipedia defines as 20 years for Japan)

If Ricoh wanted a K mount camera, they could have made one. It stands to reason the real value is in the name, which seems to garner a lot of respect for lenses if nothing else.

08-25-2013, 06:34 PM   #152
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My small town has a Ricoh shop ...maybe they will stock cameras
08-26-2013, 07:10 AM - 1 Like   #153
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kunzite Quote
All right, let's try something different - a challenge, actually. I will try to make a case for a FF K-mount DSLR line, and let's see if you can beat that.
This discussion is a pale imitation of the equivalent discussion that has probably been, and will probably continue to be, taking place in Ricoh/Pentax. It will decide nothing. But I'll play along, since I've already answered most of the points you raise.

QuoteOriginally posted by Kunzite Quote
1. larger potential market; DSLRs to MILC: almost 5:1 globally (5.8:1 outside Japan), DSLRs higher in value.
What does it means? If Pentax were to have 5% of the DSLR market, that would be equivalent in units sold to 25% of the MILC market (more than Sony NEX or Panasonic - according to BCN 2012 market share data). With 6%, they would also surpass Olympus. Simply put, they can survive with a much lower market share.
And here's the best part: they already have a part of the DSLR market, which leads us to:
What matters to Ricoh/Pentax are such figures as "what are predicted sales of a Pentax FF with EVF versus a Pentax FF with OVF". I am not aware of published figures about that. Since that product is not out there, there cannot be sales figures or a statement of its market share. (If Ricoh/Pentax have such predictions, which I hope they have, they will want to keep them to themselves).

What were the published market figures for "MILCs weighing less than 300 grams for the camera plus one lens" two years ago? Should Ricoh/Pentax have cancelled the Q system because there was no published market value for it?

Two shoe sales people arrive in a country where everyone is barefoot. One rings head office and says: "No action here. I'm coming home". The other rings head office and says: "Send all the shoes you can make. The market is unlimited". Should Ricoh/Pentax be "me to" or a game changer?

QuoteOriginally posted by Kunzite Quote
2. installed APS-C userbase, DSLRs users which would be the main target of a more advanced K-mount camera. The camera won't have to get new customers by itself, and even in large enough quantities to make itself viable - this job would be done by the much higher volume APS-C!
So what? Since the suggested FF MILC would fully support all K-mount lenses, (via a freely available adapter), it could be treated by users who want as an FF K-mount camera.

QuoteOriginally posted by Kunzite Quote
2.a. installed APS-C userbase - K-mount FF lenses would be used in large numbers on APS-C cameras, by APS-C users. This means it will be much easier to launch new lenses.
As a side effect, the new FF lenses would also strengthen the APS-C camera subsystem, making it more desirable.
In the past, Pentax has launched lenses that are not intended for old cameras. (I have 2 SDM-only lenses). They would gradually appear over time, and would be an additional incentive for users of old APS-C cameras with only the long-registration K-mount to upgrade to the APS-C version of the suggested camera. (As I said earlier, I think the same body form could be used for APS-C, because it would not have the overheads of an FF optical viewing system).

QuoteOriginally posted by Kunzite Quote
3. pre-existing native lenses. Limiteds, compatible DAs... they can make a good start with just 2-3 new lenses at launch, effectively about a dozen (and a consistent roadmap).
The suggested camera fully supports all K-mount lenses to the same extent as existing cameras, via the adapter.

QuoteOriginally posted by Kunzite Quote
4. instead of giving the wrong message (i.e. that K-mount would be phased out), it would be clear that they're keeping and developing it long-term. The K-mount is their main source of income, and unless a proper replacement is found (proved to generate more income - can't be the case with MILCs, see #1) should not be hurt in any way.
The message received by users is: "Hurray! We knew you were likely to change the mount at sometime in the future, once all your cameras no longer had an optical viewing system. Now we know that you haven't abandoned our old K-mount lenses, and we can even touch and use your adapter so we know it isn't vapourware".

QuoteOriginally posted by Kunzite Quote
If you can't think of a better, more effective MILC-based strategy, don't bother answer (except to admit it). Thank you.

P.S. I would not have an apoplexy when Ricoh Imaging will launch a K-mount FF DSLR, by the way
Chuckle! But I bet you would be a little bit irritated if it cost the same as a Canon 1DX!

Whatever the specification for whatever Pentax FF camera might be launched, it wouldn't suit all the people who want a Pentax FF camera. There are arguments raging in these forums about what features and performance it should have, what lenses it should be accompanied by, and what its price should be.

And there are even arguments that they shouldn't launch one. That would also make some people a little bit irritated! Ricoh/Pentax are having to make decisions in the certain knowledge that there is no consensus among their current user base, nor in the marketplace, nor among the reviewers of their products, about what products they should launch and when. Lots of people are going to be disappointed. Some of them will be saying "Pentax is doomed ......!" Some will walk away from Pentax, although some of those who currently say they will walk away won't do so.
08-26-2013, 07:16 AM   #154
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QuoteOriginally posted by konraDarnok Quote
Is that true? Wasn't the K-mount originally an open platform like 4/3? Lots of manufacturers used to make K-mount cameras, including Ricoh. I don't know if the later iterations of the k-mount were open, but with the exception of SDM, I'd imagine most of the patents have gone into public domain. (which Wikipedia defines as 20 years for Japan)

If Ricoh wanted a K mount camera, they could have made one. It stands to reason the real value is in the name, which seems to garner a lot of respect for lenses if nothing else.
I guess they also wanted the R&D capability for all K-mount equipment. People, specifications, plant, etc.

08-26-2013, 08:00 AM   #155
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Kyocera/Contax vs. Ricoh/Pentax : Let's hope not!

"Information from Kyocera Yashica UK Limited

Kyoto, Japan - April 12 2005
Kyocera Corporation (President: Yasuo Nishiguchi, hereafter called "Kyocera") has decided to terminate CONTAX - branded camera business.

Although Carl Zeiss and Kyocera have entered into a long term co-operation regarding the development, production and sale of CONTAX-branded cameras, Kyocera has decided to terminate such business dueto difficulties in catching up with the recent rapid market changes.

Consequently, Kyocera will terminate the shipment of CONTAX-branded cameras, and the exclusive lenses and accessories in September 2005, except for the CONTAX 645 camera system, the shipment of which to some markets will come to an end in December, 2005.

Kyocera will continue to provide after-sales services to its customers for their CONTAX-branded cameras, and the exclusive lenses and accessories over the maximum period of ten years within the specified time of each model."

Contax Cameras UK Limited
08-26-2013, 08:53 AM   #156
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QuoteOriginally posted by Davidparis Quote
"Information from Kyocera Yashica UK Limited

Kyoto, Japan - April 12 2005
Kyocera Corporation (President: Yasuo Nishiguchi, hereafter called "Kyocera") has decided to terminate CONTAX - branded camera business.

Although Carl Zeiss and Kyocera have entered into a long term co-operation regarding the development, production and sale of CONTAX-branded cameras, Kyocera has decided to terminate such business dueto difficulties in catching up with the recent rapid market changes.

Consequently, Kyocera will terminate the shipment of CONTAX-branded cameras, and the exclusive lenses and accessories in September 2005, except for the CONTAX 645 camera system, the shipment of which to some markets will come to an end in December, 2005.

Kyocera will continue to provide after-sales services to its customers for their CONTAX-branded cameras, and the exclusive lenses and accessories over the maximum period of ten years within the specified time of each model."

Contax Cameras UK Limited
You do know that Hoya acquired Pentax, right? They didn't kill it. Mismanaged in some ways, yes, but they also set the groundwork for some stellar products. They didn't shut pentax down and personally, I couldn't care less about Pentax because it has been mismanaged by its own people. So long as there are good products with a K-mount, don't care. I'm certain Ricoh won't be killing the k-mount and besides that, they likely bought Pentax for that architecture. They couldn't do what Fuji did, in making another mount, so they smartly went for an established on.

You people really need to give Ricoh a chance before you start declaring Pentax dead.
08-26-2013, 09:37 AM   #157
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QuoteOriginally posted by Barry Pearson Quote
This discussion is a pale imitation of the equivalent discussion that has probably been, and will probably continue to be, taking place in Ricoh/Pentax. It will decide nothing. But I'll play along, since I've already answered most of the points you raise.
You didn't play along, but instead tried to downplay and even laugh off my points.

QuoteOriginally posted by Barry Pearson Quote
What matters to Ricoh/Pentax are such figures as "what are predicted sales of a Pentax FF with EVF versus a Pentax FF with OVF". I am not aware of published figures about that. Since that product is not out there, there cannot be sales figures or a statement of its market share. (If Ricoh/Pentax have such predictions, which I hope they have, they will want to keep them to themselves).

What were the published market figures for "MILCs weighing less than 300 grams for the camera plus one lens" two years ago? Should Ricoh/Pentax have cancelled the Q system because there was no published market value for it?
You are just dismissing an inconvenient fact, using kettle logic.

QuoteOriginally posted by Barry Pearson Quote
Two shoe sales people arrive in a country where everyone is barefoot. One rings head office and says: "No action here. I'm coming home". The other rings head office and says: "Send all the shoes you can make. The market is unlimited". Should Ricoh/Pentax be "me to" or a game changer?
The first one is probably right - it wasn't the lack of shoe stores who made those people walk barefoot. Anyway, it's an irrelevant analogy.

QuoteOriginally posted by Barry Pearson Quote
So what? Since the suggested FF MILC would fully support all K-mount lenses, (via a freely available adapter), it could be treated by users who want as an FF K-mount camera.
Which means your idea is doing worse, as it needs an adapter. In addition, you're making two huge assumptions:
- that users would migrate to a different system with ease, just because there is an adapter (how about those who don't want to migrate? I hate EVFs, and I'm surely not the only one)
- that an adapter would be given for free (can you name a company who is doing that?)

QuoteOriginally posted by Barry Pearson Quote
In the past, Pentax has launched lenses that are not intended for old cameras. (I have 2 SDM-only lenses). They would gradually appear over time, and would be an additional incentive for users of old APS-C cameras with only the long-registration K-mount to upgrade to the APS-C version of the suggested camera. (As I said earlier, I think the same body form could be used for APS-C, because it would not have the overheads of an FF optical viewing system).
Completely misunderstanding my post; and I was more than clear enough. I'll spell it out, again, hoping this time you'll be willing to understand it: it's about APS-C users buying FF lenses, which means said FF lenses would sell in much higher volumes than if they were usable only on FF cameras.

QuoteOriginally posted by Barry Pearson Quote
The message received by users is: "Hurray! We knew you were likely to change the mount at sometime in the future, once all your cameras no longer had an optical viewing system. Now we know that you haven't abandoned our old K-mount lenses, and we can even touch and use your adapter so we know it isn't vapourware".
That's ridiculous. We're not talking about a parallel universe where DSLRs had disappeared, but this one, full of K-mount DSLR products.

QuoteOriginally posted by Barry Pearson Quote
Chuckle! But I bet you would be a little bit irritated if it cost the same as a Canon 1DX!
Ridiculous idea, again. That's 645D territory... Pentax won't target such prices with their first FF DSLR.

Sorry, Barry; you failed at this. Downplaying valid arguments, ignoring that your idea needs extraordinary measures to keep up (Pentax giving up adapters!) and the absurd stuff at the end... I'm disappointed by that. It's clear that you don't have any intention of accepting arguments which don't fit your idea.
08-26-2013, 09:49 AM   #158
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kunzite Quote
It's clear that you don't have any intention of accepting arguments which don't fit your idea.
I think you have totally failed to make your case. You think I have totally failed to make my case.

I suggest we agree to disagree, and stop wasting one-another's time.

08-26-2013, 11:59 AM - 1 Like   #159
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kunzite Quote
Which means your idea is doing worse, as it needs an adapter. In addition, you're making two huge assumptions:
- that users would migrate to a different system with ease, just because there is an adapter (how about those who don't want to migrate? I hate EVFs, and I'm surely not the only one)
- that an adapter would be given for free (can you name a company who is doing that?)
What's beeing suggested isn't replacing K-mount DSLRs with MILCs but supplementing Pentax' DSLRs (including the future FF-DSLR) with a MILC that maintains full compatibility with the K-mount. Depending on how many components developed for the future FF-DSLR could be reused in that MILC, the cost of development could be relatively low and the only component that would have to be developed from scratch would be the Viewfinder (EVF or hybrid rangefinder, see Fuji).

The same way Pentax reused parts of the technology that was developed for the K-5/7 in the K-01, reused parts of the K-5 and K-01 in the K-30 and then reused almost all parts of the K-30 in the K-50 and K-500.

What we're suggesting would basically be a K-01 with a FF-sensor, a viewfinder and part of the empty mirror box built to be detachable. It would essentially be a K-mount MILC like the K-01 but with the added option to detach the adapter and mount lenses with other mounts (manual focus only).
It could be a lot thinner than the K-01 and users could attach (almost?) any FF-lens ever built by attaching a different adapter. Pentax would probably be unwilling and unable to support any AF-system besides their own, so non-K-mount lenses wouldn't directly compete with the current K-mount lenses.

Pentax could use any mount with a short flange focal distance to mount the adapters, they might as well choose the M-mount.
The existing M-mount lenses from Leica, Voigtländer and Zeiss would give users more (manual focus) options in areas where the current Pentax-lineup is rather weak: wide angle FF-primes and very fast primes but given the rather high prices of current M-mount lenses, Pentax' prices wouldn't be undercut.

To build this camera, Pentax would have to add (KAF2-based?) electronics to the M-mount and thereby create a fully electronic AF-version of the M-mount, so they could also sell new AF-lenses designed for the short flange distance and compete with the other MILC manufacturers.

Without Pentax developing any new lenses, users would have a lot to choose from:
- All FF-compatible K-mount lenses (with AF)
- All M-mount lenses (without AF)
- All lenses that are adaptable to M-mount (without AF)

That way Pentax could concentrate on the gap: small wide-angle lenses with AF and they would still have a larger lineup than any other MILC manufacturer. The existing small K-mount primes would fit quite well on such a camera, even if the adapter would make them ~2cm longer.

A hybrid rangefinder taht would work with the M-mount lenses like the X-Pro1 does (when using the Adapter) would make it perfect but rather expensive, an EVF with focus peaking would suffice.

This camera could compete with the other MILCs in terms of size while offering a larger variety of lenses.

Last edited by Boris_Akunin; 08-26-2013 at 02:35 PM.
08-26-2013, 12:28 PM   #160
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43 and m43 were never "open" platforms.

There are licensing fees.

Mirrorless is edging us towards less open platforms and more proprietary, abetted by the variety of sensor sizes.

The optical companies want you to buy their glass. They are sand spinners first and foremost because, while optical production is no longer niche nor exclusive, it is limited run, capital intensive, compared to cameras which are now consumer electronics devices being high volume by economic necessity. In order to survive as an ILC manufacturer you need lots if high volume bodies and a large variety of lenses. Look at Fuji scramble to shove new bodies out the door and churn out lenses for the x-series.
08-26-2013, 12:34 PM   #161
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Boris:
You're not saying anything new, I'm afraid, and still don't attempt to address the "why".
We still don't have the FF DSLR and you're thinking at marginal ideas like supporting the M-mount? And now you're building a case about supporting even more foreign mounts; question: whose lenses do they want to sell? Leica's? Nikon's? Canon's? Sony's?
08-26-2013, 12:36 PM   #162
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QuoteOriginally posted by Boris_Akunin Quote
wide angle FF-primes and very fast primes but given the rather high prices of current M-mount lenses, Pentax' prices wouldn't be undercut.
Whose side are you on?

The current Pentax pricing policies are complete disasters and are threatening the company. Imagine what n00bs to Pentax think when they see the pricing when even seasoned Pentax fans can't justify the pricing.

Not to mention the holes in the line that suggest a company in trouble, particularly no fast 24, which has seen new found interest with the MILC market and fixed cams like the X100 and so on.

Not to mention, Pentax moved production (they say assembly) to Vietnam, then raised the prices. In some cases, 80% raises. For a company priding itself on primes, it made it very easy to move to competitors who have cheaper 35s and 50s available.

The core of Pentax's line and business practices needs to be fixed and made sustainable before they go on some trip of trying to make some interchangeable mount system with adapters for even its own mount.
08-26-2013, 12:47 PM   #163
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QuoteOriginally posted by snake Quote
Whose side are you on?

The current Pentax pricing policies are complete disasters and are threatening the company. Imagine what n00bs to Pentax think when they see the pricing when even seasoned Pentax fans can't justify the pricing.

Not to mention the holes in the line that suggest a company in trouble, particularly no fast 24, which has seen new found interest with the MILC market and fixed cams like the X100 and so on.

Not to mention, Pentax moved production (they say assembly) to Vietnam, then raised the prices. In some cases, 80% raises. For a company priding itself on primes, it made it very easy to move to competitors who have cheaper 35s and 50s available.

The core of Pentax's line and business practices needs to be fixed and made sustainable before they go on some trip of trying to make some interchangeable mount system with adapters for even its own mount.


I'm almost certain based on the lenses that the price hike represents the stock level. They're all really old lenses that probably represent what's left. Not discontinued, but not in production either. Like how the FA 50mm jumped from 199 to 400+ years ago.

And it's not like offerings from Canon and Nikon are much better. That fast 24mm you're talking about is 2 grand.

Judge Pentax on its own merits. The DA line is the most comprehensive APS-C system on the market. EF-S and DX aren't in the same league.
08-26-2013, 12:53 PM   #164
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QuoteOriginally posted by konraDarnok Quote
I'm almost certain based on the lenses that the price hike represents the stock level. They're all really old lenses that probably represent what's left. Not discontinued, but not in production either. Like how the FA 50mm jumped from 199 to 400+ years ago.

And it's not like offerings from Canon and Nikon are much better. That fast 24mm you're talking about is 2 grand.

Judge Pentax on its own merits. The DA line is the most comprehensive APS-C system on the market. EF-S and DX aren't in the same league.
Yet they have multiple alternatives and a rich used market. Pentax has some used market, BUT the prices jumped when the new prices went to shock levels. For instance, I've posted proof how the FA35 in the Eurozone is often becoming more expensive than the FA31. Used prices are often about 600+ EUR now and the price goes up about 35% per year.

I judge Pentax on its own merits and its lenses don't meet their "what the market will bear" expectations. Especially the DA* SDM line.

The Sigma 35 1.4 is already at least 200 EUR cheaper than the FA35 and creeping into the used price territory. Some of those DA LTD lens prices are laughable and the DA35 2.4's price is laughable, no matter how good the performance is.
08-26-2013, 12:55 PM   #165
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QuoteOriginally posted by konraDarnok Quote
I'm almost certain based on the lenses that the price hike represents the stock level. They're all really old lenses that probably represent what's left. Not discontinued, but not in production either. Like how the FA 50mm jumped from 199 to 400+ years ago.
Hoya posted an inventory markup on those warehouse lenses when they raised the dealer prices (and the retail prices to support the dealer book). Ricoh would need to mark the inventory down to reverse that. Far better to run the inventory and replace it with new offerings that are more modern and priced to the market.

Maybe a FF camera is dependent on new electronic lenses, which are dependent on first selling the old inventory so there can then be a modern, electronic K-mount.
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