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03-02-2014, 08:44 PM - 2 Likes   #121
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I hate to be the "spoiler"... But...

I worked in Japan for years and speak the language...

When a Japanese speaker says, "we will be looking into that in the future" that means no....

"We are studying it" or "R&D is working on" it means they have NOT made a decision.

We may see a next gen APSc that blows everyone away, before any FF since the 645D next gen handles "pros"...

Unless they are doing landscapes, FF is NOT the preferred "pro" sensor, they are using 24mp APSC to capitalize on crops. Birders and long range wildlifers already know you need 50mp in a FF 24x36 to be as clean. Software (fractals, etal) can do anything a "pro needs"... APS-c rules. Pentax is "ahead" of the marketers and "wannabe" buyers in bang for the buck, size, etc. They need longer lenses and a longer macro and it gets easy to NOT go FF.

I love being the wet blanket on this topic...

03-02-2014, 09:40 PM   #122
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I'd rather pay less for a FF system, but maybe that's just me.
03-02-2014, 10:04 PM   #123
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QuoteOriginally posted by GlassJunkie Quote
I worked in Japan for years and speak the language...

When a Japanese speaker says, "we will be looking into that in the future" that means no....

"We are studying it" or "R&D is working on" it means they have NOT made a decision.

We may see a next gen APSc that blows everyone away, before any FF since the 645D next gen handles "pros"...

Unless they are doing landscapes, FF is NOT the preferred "pro" sensor, they are using 24mp APSC to capitalize on crops. Birders and long range wildlifers already know you need 50mp in a FF 24x36 to be as clean. Software (fractals, etal) can do anything a "pro needs"... APS-c rules. Pentax is "ahead" of the marketers and "wannabe" buyers in bang for the buck, size, etc. They need longer lenses and a longer macro and it gets easy to NOT go FF.

I love being the wet blanket on this topic...
MF uses a different series of lenses though.. this doesn't help those with extensive K mount lens collections. Plus MF camera systems are massive in size. Who wants to lug that around? The price of the system is also massive, putting it out of the hands of most.

So that doesn't resolve the issue of those doing landscapes or wide to 'medium' angle photography.

Obviously if you're using a narrow angle then the crop format works to your advantage. But not everyone shoot narrow. And I don't just mean the landscape folks.

APS-C was the best compromise though. It wasn't too small of a sensor not to get decent IQ and yet not too big to be cost prohibitive for many. They still could use a full range of sensor sizes though. It is pretty obvious Pentax has wanted to do a FF body since they showed that one prototype back in 2001. I don't think the market has changed towards NOT going forth with that FF body.. nor is it their primary goal since most people still shoot with APS-C.
03-02-2014, 10:49 PM   #124
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QuoteOriginally posted by GlassJunkie Quote
I worked in Japan for years and speak the language...

When a Japanese speaker says, "we will be looking into that in the future" that means no....

"We are studying it" or "R&D is working on" it means they have NOT made a decision. ..

I love being the wet blanket on this topic...
I think they have waited to the point that releasing an FF can will make no impact on the overall FF market. If they wanted to wait for their camera to be even more irrelevant with each passing day, then they have surely waited long enough.

However, is such endless wait justified in all accounts? I doubt it. I cannot imagine that sales of the K-3 and K-50 would suffer in any way if the FF machine is introduced, despite its possible no impact on the FF market. Well, if the FF helps growing crop DSLR market share of company's cameras, what's wrong with that? Has anyone analysed numbers as such — that FF may sustain and help the APS-C sales, albeit not necessarily growing the FF market per se? How are we to dismiss the possible positive impact of the FF serum in keeping the overall camera market not dwindle down into irrelevancy even faster (which it should without an FF help)? I don’t know, but can we dismiss it?

Yet, it is certainly the truth that every new FF introduced by some other manufacturer will chip off some of Pentax’s current userbase. Similarly, Ricoh GXR users — knowing that Ricoh is not committing and also learning from the Pentax experience of endless wait — are now choosing cameras other than Ricoh’s. They have learned company’s body language quicker than Pentax users and have given up.

I can understand some caution and avoiding too big a risk on company’s side, but this reluctance involves more than FF alone, and I wonder how far it can be exercised without backfiring in those assets that company ‘thinks’ are secure.


Last edited by Uluru; 03-02-2014 at 11:06 PM.
03-03-2014, 04:13 AM   #125
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I guess any Pentax product is irrelevant in a Pentaxian's eyes
Apart from the price point, there is little difference between FF and APS-C; the kind of impact they can make is no different from e.g. the K-3. I expect their USPs will be variations on the same theme, instead of something dramatic who could take over the photographic world (as it could possibly happen!).
What kind of "impact" are we expecting? What could they possibly do to offset the friendly Pentaxians who "knows" Ricoh is not committing despite Ricoh's repeated statements and acting in this direction.
There's nothing they could realistically do to impress people who made up their minds so long ago. PentaxIsDoomed.
03-03-2014, 02:21 PM   #126
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QuoteOriginally posted by GlassJunkie Quote
I worked in Japan for years and speak the language...

When a Japanese speaker says, "we will be looking into that in the future" that means no....

"We are studying it" or "R&D is working on" it means they have NOT made a decision.
Exactly, a Japanese person will never give you a direct "no". It is considered rude. All this beating around the bush, as they do, clearly indicates "No, next topic please."
03-03-2014, 02:48 PM   #127
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QuoteOriginally posted by mee Quote
MF camera systems are massive in size. Who wants to lug that around?
I do!

QuoteQuote:
The price of the system is also massive, putting it out of the hands of most.
...and there lies my problem. Money.
03-03-2014, 02:57 PM - 1 Like   #128
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[EDIT:] I think this will be my final post on the FF subject.[/EDIT]

This is what I think.

I think the problem with FF from Pentax is one of their priorities versus our prriorities. From their perspective I imagine there are plenty of projects that appear to have less failure risk and more potential profit than a FF body does. They'd rather do those things first, natually. Some of them may even be necessary FF prerequisites (See f/2.8 zoom lenses).

Your priorities are a FF body. Right now.. FULL STOP.

There will be a FF camera. It will be be better than you expect - that's what Ricoh is doing right now - making it better. It will be expensive - more expensive than you expect. A low-volume maker pices higher and sells fewer. You already have Canon and Nikon pricing lower and selling more - you don't need another.

Their priority right now is the 645D 2014. Until the 645D 2014 is in stores there won't be any talk of a FF. FF will be sooner than you think. And later than you want (which by definition was yesterday).

You will complain about it. No matter what or when it is.


Last edited by monochrome; 03-04-2014 at 05:44 AM.
03-03-2014, 04:12 PM   #129
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QuoteOriginally posted by Clavius Quote
Exactly, a Japanese person will never give you a direct "no". It is considered rude. All this beating around the bush, as they do, clearly indicates "No, next topic please."
Wrong.

And by the way, Pentax was able to say "we don't have such plans for the moment", or "645D has priority for now" in the past. So far for the "yes means no" theory...

Last edited by Kunzite; 03-03-2014 at 04:38 PM.
03-03-2014, 04:40 PM   #130
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Sometimes I wonder what Ricoh could do to improve the profitability of a FF system. I suspect a large problem is that they don't know how many new lenses they could sell.

My mind is going a bit crazy here but I can easily imagine how a new FF body might be crippled:
- Remove support for both stop-down metering as well as mechanical aperture coupler (the latter already gone years ago)
- Support legacy FF lenses in a 1.3 crop mode or 1:1 square format due to SR, and support 24x36 only for newer lenses which have a slightly bigger image circle compatible w/ SR, or whatever they want to say/claim
- Disable metering and autofocus unless newer lenses (with 7th pin) are attached
- Disable the hotshoe unless a DA or D-FA series lens is attached

I suppose some of these can be rationalized, some are just crazy ideas, but I would expect to see some type of crippling ...

These kinds of things would not discourage me much because I don't have many old lenses, but I suspect I am in the minority here on PF. The more important question is, how can Ricoh sell more lenses and accessories, without ticking off existing Pentaxians? I don't think the HD coating is enough to drive everyone to forego their SMC lenses in favor of new HD versions. I don't see much recent technological improvement in lenses that would help drive new lens sales.

I guess a new flash system could easily drive sales of flash units, but apparently this has not been sufficient incentive to drive product development, so what do I know.

Last edited by Tanzer; 03-03-2014 at 04:46 PM.
03-03-2014, 04:52 PM   #131
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tanzer Quote
Sometimes I wonder what Ricoh could do to improve the profitability of a FF system. I suspect a large problem is that they don't know how many new lenses they could sell.

My mind is going a bit crazy here but I can easily imagine how a new FF body might be crippled:
- Remove support for both stop-down metering as well as mechanical aperture coupler (the latter already gone years ago)
- Support legacy FF lenses in a 1.3 crop mode or 1:1 square format due to SR, and support 24x36 only for newer lenses which have a slightly bigger image circle compatible w/ SR, or whatever they want to say/claim
- Disable metering and autofocus unless newer lenses (with 7th pin) are attached
- Disable the hotshoe unless a DA or D-FA series lens is attached

I suppose some of these can be rationalized, some are just crazy ideas, but I would expect to see some type of crippling ...

These kinds of things would not discourage me much because I don't have many old lenses, but I suspect I am in the minority here on PF. The more important question is, how can Ricoh sell more lenses and accessories, without ticking off existing Pentaxians? I don't think the HD coating is enough to drive everyone to forego their SMC lenses in favor of new HD versions. I don't see much recent technological improvement in lenses that would help drive new lens sales.

I guess a new flash system could easily drive sales of flash units, but apparently this has not been sufficient incentive to drive product development, so what do I know.

I guess the old 'superior product at a reasonable cost' model of doing business is out the window....
03-03-2014, 04:53 PM   #132
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I don't see how any of those ideas would help; on the contrary, it would only make Pentaxians unhappy while not decreasing the cost at all.
03-03-2014, 05:01 PM - 1 Like   #133
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
This is what I think.
.. Their priority right now is the 645D 2014. Until the 645D 2014 is in stores there won't be any talk of a FF....
Sorry Mono, I'm not buying your endless excuses of their conduct. I indeed think you are going too far. There is absolutely no reason for them to launch a second 645D camera before the first FF camera if things were as we think they are.

But let's talk more freely about it, without defending their each action, can we? So far we have been discussing the overall FF market performance.

FF — not an option .. yet?

The FF share is less than 10% of the market. Still in single digits, albeit close to 10%. From that perspective any new FF right now may seem as an unnecessary product. They say so too. And I agree with that part of the story to some extent.

However, what about the FF as a strategic asset? Something that says Pentax can indeed do one, and be ready for its users. That one is harder to analyse in terms of direct gain or loss.

Are users screaming for FF because of the sensor? Not quite, I think: they want it for their 135 format lenses. And on that part we have been deceived by Ricoh Imaging slightly.

The case of 20 million lenses

Because if we analyse this latter perspective, we can notice the incongruence in official statements as well. One of them is load boasting that Pentax has produced 20 million lenses or more. Fantastic, a widespread, popular mount, right?

Yet perhaps 1/5 of those lenses are for the cropped sensors of current cameras (a wild guess, but the number is less than 25% anyway; Pentax has passed 10 million well before and 15 million lenses just before entering the digital era). So about which 20 million lenses they indeed are talking about, and for what purpose, if not a single one out of 75% of them can be used in its native format?

Old 135 lenses are not good enough?

The legacy is then a perfect ground to boast about, yet, the next minute totally irrelevant because there is not a single digital camera from Pentax that can utilise more than 75% of those lenses natively in their 135 format. But that doesn't matter because the FF market is less than 10%, right?

I think we have been deliberately confused. For example, Ricoh Imaging can argue that those lenses are old with each day passing, suboptimal to be used on modern digital cameras. However, are not old 645 lenses suboptimal to be used on modern 645D? Now all of a sudden all 645 lenses are 'just fine' and can be used to great artistic expression, but 135 format lenses are not?

But everything else is good enough?

But shall we dismiss the fact that every Pentax camera's performance was indeed suboptimal in some major regards compared to best in their class only up to a few months ago? They finally caught up with some of it, and only in one camera, though.

Many valid questions arise:
  1. How 75% of their own lenses compares to 9% of the FF market? Is not an FF justified just for the sake of 75% of its own legacy?
  2. If not, how all the 645 lenses are then sufficient to launch a brand new 645D system, now with two cameras, and not a single 135 lens is sufficient to launch a single FF camera?
  3. Some reason the FF will be expensive because of the lack of scale of production. All right, but is not a 645D even more so expensive?
  4. Aren't we in fact being mocked around all this time with irrelevant excuses, and that something else may be the case — something a bit unpleasant?
Say, that FF camera from Pentax will possibly bring a decrease in new lens sales, as sales of millions of legacy lenses will bloom in used equipment markets? In other words, and to rephrase official's talk, the sales of the new lenses in the current mount will be spoiled and they want to avoid it.

When you exclude the impossible ...

.. then whatever remains, however improbable, holds some truth.

The FF camera is a threat to its own mount. Legacy is a burden. The APS-C camera is not a threat, as users know legacy lenses cannot be used natively, and then resort to buying new lenses for the cropped sensor. FF market share is a handy excuse, and lens performance on modern digital sensors just another one.

Thus by limiting user's choices by design, and resorting to deliberate wait, they drive the sales of new lenses at the expense of their own legacy but which they use as a free marketing tool only to abandon it.

The economy and idiosyncrasy of the 645D system allows them to sell cameras alone and just a few new lenses and still earn money, for through them they get projects above the end user game that are 100x more lucrative and less risky.

The economy of the FF camera sales does not allow for such projects nor sufficient sales of cameras alone and margins are not high enough. They must sell lenses as well to support the FF, but because there is so many legacy lenses available (thanks to unchanged K-mount), the FF camera will not bring enough of new lens sales. If spec’d similarly, and priced affordable, the FF may even threat the APS-C camera sales as such, because cameras like K-3 are a major driving force to sell the new digital lenses and new lens designs.

Thus the FF is stalled ad infinitum, or, as long as the outcome of weighing the risk of legacy is not a big threat to sales of new lenses.

Last edited by Uluru; 03-04-2014 at 02:07 AM.
03-03-2014, 07:20 PM   #134
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This 10% of the market being FF is a red herring, too. The only important figure is the percentage represented by FF cameras of the market segments that Pentax/Ricoh are consciously trying to sell into. There are a whole bunch of very low end Canon DSLRs out there that never seriously cross paths with a Pentax offering. If Pentax/Ricoh are only making a real effort to compete in half of the DSLR space, then maybe FF at 20% is the more appropriate bogey.
03-03-2014, 07:23 PM   #135
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QuoteOriginally posted by VoiceOfReason Quote
I do!

Are you trying to get a workout AND a photography session in at the same time?

-----------------------------------

I want a FF body.. I've heard all of the talk about how there isn't much difference, but I've seen enough shots SOOC from various (decent) FF bodies to know it would be useful to me. Not enough to keep me up at night though (I'd have switched platforms if it did).. In the end, I'm still taking photos with my APS-C and enjoying the outcome.

If you don't like something in your life, change it. If you can't change it, accept it and do the best with what you have.
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