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04-20-2014, 09:41 AM   #241
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QuoteOriginally posted by fretlessdavis Quote
Uh... no it would not avoid the problem.
It would avoid the two problems that were raised,
the need to develop a new mount,
and the potential lack of confidence
that users might have in that mount.

Also, it would enhance the perception of the K-mount in the market,
which would be good for almost everybody on this forum!

QuoteOriginally posted by fretlessdavis Quote
I serisously doubt any existing K glass will cover anywhere near that
So do I, although I'd be curious to know what circle
the A50/1.2 can reasonably cover at f/8 or f/11.

QuoteOriginally posted by fretlessdavis Quote
so a full line of new lenses will still need to be manufactured. Also, MF glass would be much more expensive,
Using the K-mount, scaled-up versions of modern Leica screw-type lenses
(e.g. Voigtlaender Color-Skopar 21/4 and 35/2.5 pancake, or 35/1.7 Ultron, etc.)
could be produced quite cheaply in manual focus.
I'd expect AF versions to look like DA limiteds scaled up.
Later, more elaborate designs could be worked up
if the concept took off in the market.

04-20-2014, 09:42 AM   #242
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QuoteOriginally posted by lytrytyr Quote
You'd get the same kind of picture with a 24x36mm image field (43mm diagonal)
placed behind a Leica 39mm threadmount.
I'm not aware of any Leica 39mm threadmount digital camera; and you said yourself that even the M mount has issues. If Pentax would make a new mount, it would definitely have a larger diameter, not smaller. It was Mr. Toshiyuki Kitazawa, IIRC, who said this (when pushed about a hypothetically MILC).
They won't do the opposite and have even more issues than the digital Leica M has.

Why don't we get back to a real solution, one that works - and it had this thread named after it - instead of finding innovative way for making things more difficult?

Last edited by Kunzite; 04-20-2014 at 09:50 AM.
04-20-2014, 09:47 AM   #243
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kunzite Quote
you said yourself that even the M mount has issues.
Design challenges, which have been solved.

QuoteOriginally posted by Kunzite Quote
instead of finding innovative way for making things more difficult?
Selling a cheap MF mirrorless would be much less difficult
than selling a complex DSLR body for USD 8500!
04-20-2014, 09:53 AM   #244
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Design challenges are solved for a price, and with certain compromises. You're talking about a combination that would be worse, for a solution that's supposed to be better (medium format for the ultimate image quality - or so they say).

And here we go again, assuming huge cost cutting. Sorry, nope, things don't get cheap just like this.

04-20-2014, 10:19 AM   #245
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QuoteOriginally posted by lytrytyr Quote
Design challenges, which have been solved.



Selling a cheap MF mirrorless would be much less difficult
than selling a complex DSLR body for USD 8500!
Hate to break it to you, but something totally new would likely cost more. The tooling for manufacturing the mount and body components already exists, and will require less changes throughout the MF SLR lifespan. A new lens mount would require a ton of R&D. New electronics would need to be designed, which would cost money developing chips, then would require new manufacturing of ASICs that would be unique to the model.

The most expensive component in the 645Z is the sensor. The mount was already designed, so there was no development cost for the mount or lenses. The 645Z reuses a lot of software and ICs from the K-3, which were in turn just improved from the K-5.

It may be a simpler design, but the R&D needs to be done, and the manufacturing process needs to be created. Pentax would then have to pay for that process over the lifespan on the camera. Millions of dollars on what, I still believe, will end up a niche market product. Think of it this way, the 645Z is a K-3 on the inside, with a different shutter, mirror, viewfinder, body and lens mount. All of those components they have built before, so production exists, and research has likely already been covered in their sales.

Also, keep in mind, raw materials are the least expensive component and developing a product (the sensor being an exception). Much more would need to be spent (millions) on R&D, testing, and designing manufacturing lines. From an engineering efficiency stand-point, especially in this day and age, the more you can use components in multiple products, use off-the-shelf components, and re-use components you already manufacture, the lower sales numbers you would need to stay afloat. This is big when developing something really brand new with limited application.


They would have to spend millions on R&D for the new lenses, mount, and electronics, as well as design new manufacturing. Pentax is not known for film or digital rangefinders, and (I disagree, love the Q for what it is) is not really an experienced player in the high-end mirrorless market. If Pentax were to develop something totally new like this, the market mght be hesitant to buy into it, especially since they would either have to sell them at a loss and try to make up money elsewhere, or charge more for them than the 645Z to try to recoup their costs. Pentax is a larger company with APS-C sales to help make up the market, but think of how expensive the dedicated MF Digital systems cost. They cost that much, not really for market reasons, but because they have little else to sell to subsidize their costs.

---------- Post added 04-20-14 at 10:34 AM ----------

Another couple quick thoughts:

What is the projected sales numbers for digital MF?

It's a struggling market, no matter where you look. Leaf/Aputs/Mamiya/whatever they call themselves these days is barely making it. Hasselblad is not doing that much better, and they have the best brand recognition in the industry. No matter how you look at it, something that, even after cost cutting and mass manufacturing to reduce cost, would still retail for $5k. The market is just not strong enough to support that on its own, and would require as much engineering common sense and subsidizing with other products to capture the market.

I think it's best for Pentax to stick to what they know, and what they do well. The one reason I ended up with Pentax a few years ago was lens compatibility. They have the best lens compatibility in the industry, allowing metering, AE with A series and newer, AF with all AF lenses (they don't leave motors out like Nikon), and shake reduction with any lens that will fit on the front of thing thing.

Pair that with small, light lenses, and the best weather sealing in the industry. They have refined the APS-C cameras into fast, weatherproof, light, pieces of gear, which is what they're known for to others, too. They're known for high quality MF cameras, too. Back in the day, they were the only big player that mass manufactured MF and 35mm cameras. Their 645 line was well used by professionals, and is well known by them, just like their high-end 35mm SLRs are known to 35mm users.

It would be way off Pentax's base to design a mirrorless MF camera, and a huge gamble. R&D is massive money, and you have to be reasonably sure your product will sell to recoup that cost.

What happens if they do this, the market isn't strong, and they lose millions? They'll have to make that up somehow, or they'll be bust. If it fails, what happens to Pentax when there's less $$$ to spend on R&D for continuing their fantastic APS-C line? What if there's no money left for R&D into doing a FF? They'd be doomed.



FYI, my company does engineering project management, and we've worked with everyone from small startups with great ideas, to large companies just trying to refine their existing components, to engineers that have a great FPGA designed that need an ASIC. I understand quite a bit about what it takes to go form an idea to a finished product, and how much doing things like that would cost.

This is why with my personal engineering projects, I only allow myself to use existing components (currently designing an LED powered portable enlarger capable of formats from 6x7cm to 8x10" film). The market would be limited, so even if I wanted to sell, building from the ground up would end up costing way too much, prices would be way higher than you would believe, and nobody would buy it.
04-20-2014, 10:40 AM   #246
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QuoteOriginally posted by fretlessdavis Quote
Hate to break it to you, but something totally new would likely cost more.
Well, the good news for you is that you don't have to break it to me,
since I'm not proposing anything totally new.

QuoteOriginally posted by fretlessdavis Quote
A new lens mount would require a ton of R&D. New electronics would need to be designed, which would cost money developing chips, then would require new manufacturing of ASICs that would be unique to the model.
Exactly. This is where the body costs are saved, by staying with the existing K-mount.
04-20-2014, 10:44 AM   #247
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QuoteOriginally posted by lytrytyr Quote
Well, the good news for you is that you don't have to break it to me,
since I'm not proposing anything totally new.



Exactly. This is where the body costs are saved, by staying with the existing K-mount.
So... who makes a digital MF rangefinder now? or mirrorless MF? It *is* something totally new.

What about all the other expenses? Re-using the K-mount wouldn't make much sense. Huge set of engineering challenges. That only solves one of the many R&D elements, and would still require plenty of R&D expense anyway...
04-20-2014, 01:14 PM - 1 Like   #248
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Pentax apparently can't produce a K-mount FF camera because they don't have an in-production FF lens inventory. But they already have 17 in-production 645-mount lenses. Nothing else needs to be said.

04-20-2014, 01:32 PM   #249
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
Pentax apparently can't produce a K-mount FF camera because they don't have an in-production FF lens inventory. But they already have 17 in-production 645-mount lenses. Nothing else needs to be said.
I think there may be some real insight there.
That brings to mind a whole new possibility I hadn't considered. Is there any reason that they couldn't be planning a 24x36 (I refuse to use the common designation) that uses the 6x7 lens mount instead of K mount?
04-20-2014, 01:46 PM   #250
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QuoteOriginally posted by Parallax Quote
I think there may be some real insight there.
That brings to mind a whole new possibility I hadn't considered. Is there any reason that they couldn't be planning a 24x36 (I refuse to use the common designation) that uses the 6x7 lens mount instead of K mount?
6x7 or 645? Even the Pentax 645 mount has a large register (flange distance): 70,87mm, meaning such a camera would have a "long nose". Pentax 6x7 mount would be even worse in this respect: 84.95mm; besides, mount and lens are manual focus.
04-20-2014, 01:53 PM   #251
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And that mount was retired some time ago, wasn't it?

Anyway, can we move on, accept that PentaxIsDoomed if they're making a K-mount K-mount camera or a 645 mount 645 camera instead of some strange combination, and go back to the 645Z?
04-20-2014, 01:56 PM   #252
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QuoteOriginally posted by lytrytyr Quote
You'd get the same kind of picture with a 24x36mm image field (43mm diagonal) placed behind a Leica 39mm thread mount.
You could have remained a true Pentaxian and quoted the Asahiflex's M37 mount instead .
04-20-2014, 04:49 PM   #253
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QuoteOriginally posted by Parallax Quote
I think there may be some real insight there.
That brings to mind a whole new possibility I hadn't considered. Is there any reason that they couldn't be planning a 24x36 (I refuse to use the common designation) that uses the 6x7 lens mount instead of K mount?
What would be the point? 6x7 lenses can be adapted onto the K-mount, or 645 mount with a simple glassless adapter. The same cannot be done in reverse (would need corrective elements to be able to focus to infinity). A 6x7 mount can only utilize 6x7 lenses due to the 85mm flange focal length.

If all you need is 35mm sensor coverage, the K-mount would work just fine, being able to mount any available Pentax lens except Q and Auto 110.
04-20-2014, 04:55 PM   #254
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D'oh! I was thinking 645. Why I said 6x7 is likely a simple brain fart exacerbated by single malt.
04-20-2014, 05:58 PM   #255
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I am surprised there has not been more talk in regards to the lack of Ricoh branding under the LCD. I have two theories why it may have been left off:
1. Too many complaints about the Ricoh name on the K3.
2. Pentax's long and storied history with MF warrants a product with only Pentax branding.
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