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11-08-2014, 02:48 PM   #586
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QuoteOriginally posted by Fogel70 Quote
Except for the 10MP sensor it was not a major step up.

The biggest advantage Pentax had at the time was that no other competitor made the effort to step forward. Nikon D80, Sony A100, Canon 30D was no step up at the time. K10D was just a lucky strike from Pentax at the time.
I strongly disagree with that remark. The K10D was a major step up, and it wasn't "just a lucky strike" - hard work was necessary for that. It was perhaps the most significant K-mount DSLR, marking the real beginning, the point where Pentax Corporation started being serious (but then, Hoya happened).
The baseline - one that you proposed - was the *istD. Sure, besides the new weathersealed body, many interface changes (including the new Sv and TAv modes), larger LCD, USB 2, dedicated battery, new processor, shake reduction, dust removal, SDM support (firmware update needed), SD cards instead of CF, larger buffer and other things I'm forgetting it's indeed "kind of a 10MP version of the *ist-D". So is the K-3.

11-08-2014, 02:51 PM   #587
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The istDS had a SD card slot too.
11-08-2014, 03:02 PM   #588
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Yes, all *istD-series but the *istD had a SD card slot. But his claim mentioned the *istD, and I had to do the "what have the Romans..." play
11-08-2014, 11:03 PM   #589
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kunzite Quote
The name is not the issue; can they launch right now a fourth mount and continue to support the K-mount? Can they launch a new mount starting with a niche, low volume, no userbase FF line instead of building up an APS-C userbase first? Should we expect them to make a risk-it-all move, abandoning the present and hoping it will pay off, in the future?
My guess - the answer is no in all three cases. Instead of the "I think I'm Sony" FF mirrorless dream, we'll see them continuing with the K-mount. There is still time before they will have to seriously go large sensor MILC.
I think to some extent, the name is the issue. There is in fact a loyal Ricoh user base and their expectations of how comprehensive a system should be might be a bit more limited than other systems. Imagine Ricoh came out with a body, some primes (21mm, 28mm, 35mm 50mm) along with a standard zoom and an M-mount adapter. The system would do everything the GXR could and more. I think most of Ricoh's traditional user base would be happy with this. (You might think it strange to talk about M-mount rather than K, but there has always been some shared interest between Leica and Ricoh, and because of the GXR module, quite a lot of Ricoh fans invested in M-mount lenses)

How much effort would this be? Somewhat more investment than a new model of a GR plus the teleconverters, viewfinders and other accessories that usually come with it, but how much? If this is APS-C, they have existing lens designs or patents for all of those lenses. They also have mount-lens communications protocols and AF systems from Q and K-mount. Finally, they also have a factory in China to build it. As far as I know, they have not closed their factory, neither is it producing Pentax stuff. The only model I can see that is made there is the GR - all other lines are finished. What's going on there?

So far, I've been talking only about Ricoh the brand, which is always likely to be a bit niche. But doing this could also give Ricoh (the company) an escape route for Pentax if the worst prognostications about DSLRs turn out to be true. Say DSLRs do indeed become limited to a FF-focused pro niche, Pentax could come out with a line of more consumer-oriented mirrorless cameras and lenses based on the Ricoh mount and they wouldn't be starting from scratch.

11-09-2014, 12:08 AM   #590
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QuoteOriginally posted by Cynog Ap Brychan Quote
I've just watched an interesting video on YouTube from the Camera Store where the two guys debated the future direction of Canon and Nikon. They bemoaned the fact that neither company had produced anything innovative in some time: since the 5D Mark II and the D800, in fact. It got me thinking about what Pentax needs to do. Does it remain in the APS-C DSLR arena, or is mirrorless the way to go?

Pentax is not an alternative to Nikon or Canon: it doesn't have a full-frame camera, nor the range of lenses or accessories needed to compete, let alone the fact that professional support is patchy, to say the least. While development of higher end Canikon APS-C sensor DSLRs seem to have stagnated, that could change at any time. And now Canon is rumoured to be entering the MF field, where they are bound to make an impression.

On the mirrorless front. the Q does not really compete with the Olympus, Fuji, Sony and Panasonic offerings. It is in this field that we are seeing most excitement generated, even though replacing the mirror and optical viewfinder with what is essentially a duplicate of the screen on the rear does not seem like a big deal to me. Having tried out some, I really dislike their EVFs: I have high-acuity vision, and I can see the pixels, even when there are over two million of them (or perhaps I'm imagining that). But hey, thousands would disagree with me. But a four/thirds sensor is too small for my taste, but I digress. Surely it can't be impossible to produce a full-frame DSLR not much bigger than an MX, though I agree either the body would have to be thicker to accommodate the rear display, or would need a sort of tube like protrusion behind the lens mount to maintain the registration distance. Pentax has shown with the Q that they can pack an awful amount of functionality into a small space. I also wonder if it's it possible for a camera to have the best of both worlds, with the option of an mirror and OVF, and an overlaid, fully functional EVF that comes into play when the mirror is flipped up, as in live view? That way, it may even be possible to get rid of the bulky rear display and use the EVF for checking exposure, etc. As for WiFi, I can take it or leave it, but instead of a eye-fi/flu-type card, why not have an optional WiFi adapter that slots away into the body like the battery does now, so that it doesn't stick out. Built in GPS, I would go for, however.

I think Ricoh/Pentax needs to be clear about its future direction, and quickly too, if it's not too late already. Now is a good time to make an impact as the camera market is in flux. I think Ricoh-branded cameras could go down the EVF mirrorless route, while Pentax could stay in the DSLR arena, but not with conventional cameras. They have said they want to be different, well now's their chance. I just want Pentax to be around in five to twenty years, because I suspect that some of the established names may not be. Unless they make cameras that are innovative and capture the public's imagination, I fear they may not be.

Apologies if this thread is not in its proper place.
Most DSLR's are designed around a baseline functionality of making a record of what you see. Having said that I own a K5 and therefore am aware that of course DSLRs can cross-process etc and do some pretty nifty stuff. But then the K5 has a lot of sophistication. Back to my point - most of us photograph what we see in the visual spectrum of light. However, DSLRs can be modified to photograph in the UV and IR spectra also. I don't know if you have seen any of the photos produced using the full spectrum but they are quite amazing. Pentax could set themselves apart from the by focusing on photography as a artform by enabling the use of the full spectrum of light. Of course filtration of light incident upon the sensor would have to be designed to this end as well as designing lenses capable of utilizing a broad spectrum of light.
11-09-2014, 12:27 AM   #591
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I like the idea of having filters in front of the sensor that can be easily removed (and put back) to capture more than what is visible, or that can be swapped for ones that filter out all but what is invisible. I guess that would be much easier to do with a mirrorless camera (that isn't K-01 style).


Interesting, JPT. How about either a Pentax/Ricoh branded mirrorless camera, with a new mount with a short flange distance, and the Ricoh version comes with an M mount adapter? Or 2 cameras, one Pentax, with that new mount, and one Ricoh, with a M mount? The Ricoh could have a more retro style, though internally they'd be the same camera to keep costs down?


And again, the new mount needs to have a fully functional K mount adapter, and the Pentax version needs to have a grip that is as good as that of the K-3. The camera would just be much thinner around the lens mount. Looking at my K-5 from the top, it's a bit more than a cm from the back of the camera to the sensor. Add another 5-8mm for the rest and mount and you might have to move inwards another about 15mm around the lens mount (the release button could be somewhere more easily accessible... and please don't make it round)... Should make for a really comfortable grip.
11-09-2014, 01:06 AM   #592
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QuoteOriginally posted by Fogel70 Quote
Except for the 10MP sensor it was not a major step up.

The biggest advantage Pentax had at the time was that no other competitor made the effort to step forward. Nikon D80, Sony A100, Canon 30D was no step up at the time. K10D was just a lucky strike from Pentax at the time.
Yes it was.
11-09-2014, 01:26 AM   #593
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QuoteOriginally posted by JPT Quote
I think to some extent, the name is the issue. There is in fact a loyal Ricoh user base and their expectations of how comprehensive a system should be might be a bit more limited than other systems. Imagine Ricoh came out with a body, some primes (21mm, 28mm, 35mm 50mm) along with a standard zoom and an M-mount adapter. The system would do everything the GXR could and more. I think most of Ricoh's traditional user base would be happy with this. (You might think it strange to talk about M-mount rather than K, but there has always been some shared interest between Leica and Ricoh, and because of the GXR module, quite a lot of Ricoh fans invested in M-mount lenses)

How much effort would this be? Somewhat more investment than a new model of a GR plus the teleconverters, viewfinders and other accessories that usually come with it, but how much? If this is APS-C, they have existing lens designs or patents for all of those lenses. They also have mount-lens communications protocols and AF systems from Q and K-mount. Finally, they also have a factory in China to build it. As far as I know, they have not closed their factory, neither is it producing Pentax stuff. The only model I can see that is made there is the GR - all other lines are finished. What's going on there?

So far, I've been talking only about Ricoh the brand, which is always likely to be a bit niche. But doing this could also give Ricoh (the company) an escape route for Pentax if the worst prognostications about DSLRs turn out to be true. Say DSLRs do indeed become limited to a FF-focused pro niche, Pentax could come out with a line of more consumer-oriented mirrorless cameras and lenses based on the Ricoh mount and they wouldn't be starting from scratch.
Also there are a number of Pentax enthusiasts who would not be happy if a new mirrorless mount showed up with a Pentax label. It would be easier to put a Ricoh label on it than deal with the complaints. The name doesn't matter to me, but it clearly does for others.

11-09-2014, 03:57 AM   #594
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QuoteOriginally posted by JPT Quote
I think to some extent, the name is the issue. There is in fact a loyal Ricoh user base and their expectations of how comprehensive a system should be might be a bit more limited than other systems. Imagine Ricoh came out with a body, some primes (21mm, 28mm, 35mm 50mm) along with a standard zoom and an M-mount adapter. The system would do everything the GXR could and more. I think most of Ricoh's traditional user base would be happy with this. (You might think it strange to talk about M-mount rather than K, but there has always been some shared interest between Leica and Ricoh, and because of the GXR module, quite a lot of Ricoh fans invested in M-mount lenses)

How much effort would this be? Somewhat more investment than a new model of a GR plus the teleconverters, viewfinders and other accessories that usually come with it, but how much? If this is APS-C, they have existing lens designs or patents for all of those lenses. They also have mount-lens communications protocols and AF systems from Q and K-mount. Finally, they also have a factory in China to build it. As far as I know, they have not closed their factory, neither is it producing Pentax stuff. The only model I can see that is made there is the GR - all other lines are finished. What's going on there?

So far, I've been talking only about Ricoh the brand, which is always likely to be a bit niche. But doing this could also give Ricoh (the company) an escape route for Pentax if the worst prognostications about DSLRs turn out to be true. Say DSLRs do indeed become limited to a FF-focused pro niche, Pentax could come out with a line of more consumer-oriented mirrorless cameras and lenses based on the Ricoh mount and they wouldn't be starting from scratch.
Has "GR" if expanded the makings of an excellent brand like LX for Panasonic? Maybe it could cover a broad range of mirrorless cameras from the Sony RX100 kind on up to bigger sensors and premium items. It is already quite well-known and highly regarded among the kind of folks and internet stars who publicise cameras. If you then add on 645 and FF under Pentax, Ricoh would have it all covered, the "full line" they originally talked about, assuming the APS-C DSLR started going the way of the dodo sometime in the next couple of years.
11-09-2014, 05:20 AM   #595
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QuoteOriginally posted by JPT Quote
I think to some extent, the name is the issue. There is in fact a loyal Ricoh user base and their expectations of how comprehensive a system should be might be a bit more limited than other systems. Imagine Ricoh came out with a body, some primes (21mm, 28mm, 35mm 50mm) along with a standard zoom and an M-mount adapter. The system would do everything the GXR could and more. I think most of Ricoh's traditional user base would be happy with this. (You might think it strange to talk about M-mount rather than K, but there has always been some shared interest between Leica and Ricoh, and because of the GXR module, quite a lot of Ricoh fans invested in M-mount lenses)

How much effort would this be? Somewhat more investment than a new model of a GR plus the teleconverters, viewfinders and other accessories that usually come with it, but how much? If this is APS-C, they have existing lens designs or patents for all of those lenses. They also have mount-lens communications protocols and AF systems from Q and K-mount. Finally, they also have a factory in China to build it. As far as I know, they have not closed their factory, neither is it producing Pentax stuff. The only model I can see that is made there is the GR - all other lines are finished. What's going on there?

So far, I've been talking only about Ricoh the brand, which is always likely to be a bit niche. But doing this could also give Ricoh (the company) an escape route for Pentax if the worst prognostications about DSLRs turn out to be true. Say DSLRs do indeed become limited to a FF-focused pro niche, Pentax could come out with a line of more consumer-oriented mirrorless cameras and lenses based on the Ricoh mount and they wouldn't be starting from scratch.
Going back to the same strategies which resulted in Ricoh having to buy Pentax?
They would definitely have to target a market much larger than what's left of the GXR with M-mount lenses people. They already tried that route, they had the products on the market - it failed. Sorry.

If they don't want a doomed from the start project, the effort should be comparable with the K-mount; but it might change priorities regarding which new technologies to develop (e.g. a new EVF, very fast on-sensor AF etc.). Contrary to what you said new short registration distance lenses will have to be developed (unfortunately this can't be shared with the other mounts), and the effort to put them into production will be significant, enough to affect the K-mount. Even if they have some patents and even if they have experience with similar technologies, building a new system will be time and resource intensive.

And so, they won't do it as a side project just to have an "escape route".

QuoteOriginally posted by philbaum Quote
Also there are a number of Pentax enthusiasts who would not be happy if a new mirrorless mount showed up with a Pentax label. It would be easier to put a Ricoh label on it than deal with the complaints. The name doesn't matter to me, but it clearly does for others.
I don't think it would be effective at all.
The Pentax K-mount users will be unhappy if the K-mount development will slow down, projects will be cancelled/postponed (all required in order to make room for a new camera+lens line). Ricoh taking funds from "Pentax" for "Ricoh" won't make things easier to accept, on the contrary I'd say.

And the complainers will happily complain regardless of what Pentax/Ricoh is doing; the idea of "Pentax" being phased out in favor of "Ricoh" will give them more fuel.
11-09-2014, 08:35 AM   #596
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kunzite Quote
Going back to the same strategies which resulted in Ricoh having to buy Pentax?
They would definitely have to target a market much larger than what's left of the GXR with M-mount lenses people. They already tried that route, they had the products on the market - it failed. Sorry.

If they don't want a doomed from the start project, the effort should be comparable with the K-mount; but it might change priorities regarding which new technologies to develop (e.g. a new EVF, very fast on-sensor AF etc.). Contrary to what you said new short registration distance lenses will have to be developed (unfortunately this can't be shared with the other mounts), and the effort to put them into production will be significant, enough to affect the K-mount. Even if they have some patents and even if they have experience with similar technologies, building a new system will be time and resource intensive.

And so, they won't do it as a side project just to have an "escape route".


I don't think it would be effective at all.
The Pentax K-mount users will be unhappy if the K-mount development will slow down, projects will be cancelled/postponed (all required in order to make room for a new camera+lens line). Ricoh taking funds from "Pentax" for "Ricoh" won't make things easier to accept, on the contrary I'd say.

And the complainers will happily complain regardless of what Pentax/Ricoh is doing; the idea of "Pentax" being phased out in favor of "Ricoh" will give them more fuel.
As usual, your points are logical enough, but I think they are based on a couple of assumptions that may not be true. The first one is that Ricoh values their Pentax customer more highly than their “classic” Ricoh one. The other assumption here is that Ricoh doesn’t have the resources to keep both groups happy.

Ricoh does have its own tradition of cameras, which goes back quite a long way. What their customers value is the compact and minimalist design, the intuitive controls and the sharp distortion-free wide-angle lenses. They are used to paying fairly high prices for this and I can’t see an alternative brand that does it anywhere near as well. It would be just as bad to leave them without a route forward as it would if K-mount were abandoned. So unless they want to leave their users high and dry, Ricoh has to do something, whether it's more compacts, continuation of the GXR system or a new mount. The question is how much more trouble would a new mount system be and whether it would be worth it.

I’d argue that “classic” Ricoh users could be served by a more modest line-up of lenses, because a lack of zooms and telephotos has not put them off in the past. But it would have to perform better than similar systems and retain the DNA of Ricoh’s previous cameras. Clearly, this kind of a system would not go head-to-head with Sony or Olympus, but it could serve its niche very well.

As for the existing lenses, perhaps you thought I was referring to K-mount designs. I was actually thinking about the lenses from GXR units. The following are in 35mm equivalents:
24mm - See patent Ricoh 16mm F2.8?????????????So-net???
28mm - The f2.8 lens from the current GR or the f2.5 lens from the GXR A12 28mm unit.
35mm - See patents Ricoh 23mm F2.5 APS-C??????????????????So-net??? , Ricoh 24mm F2?????????????So-net??? and more recently Ricoh 26mm F1.8?????????????So-net???
50mm - The lens from the GXR A12 50mm Macro unit
Standard Zoom - The lens from the GXR A16 24-85mm unit.

I know that patents often come to nothing, but Ricoh has been working on multiple short-register APS-C lenses over the past few years and you have to ask yourself why.
11-09-2014, 10:51 AM   #597
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There is some good news out there that seems to have been lost in the most recent posts here. I was in a Super Target yesterday and my attention was grabbed by the one white spot in the sea of black that camera displays have become; it was a Pentax K-50. I remember when Canon introduced the T-90 twenty-plus years ago; it looked exotic, futuristic - everyone has used that look ever since then, for both DSLR cameras and bridge cameras; one of the things that makes mirror-less cameras "special" is that they eschew that look.


If you show up with a white camera, or a yellow-and-black camera, or a red-and-black camera, or anything that doesn't look like a T-90, you don't look like a professional. That can be good or it can be bad. Professionals won't take you seriously, but fewer people will be spooked by you, and you should end up not having to explain why you are taking pictures - you're just some yokel with a camera. So that display at Target told me that at least one retailer was willing to give Pentax a chance, and it reminded me that swimming against the current in design could end up being an advantage for those of us who don't benefit from being identified as a serious photographer.
11-09-2014, 02:49 PM   #598
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What so many poster seem to not understand is that Pentax/Ricoh have only one job - make a profit. No doubt many engineers and executives take real pride in the quality of their products but in the end they not only need to make a profit but have a legal and ethical obligation to do so for their shareholders. If selling purple, rose scented cameras will do that better than anything else they may well take that path. Of course, they are interested in what current users want, but only if they think they can sell those items at a profit. So far they have done a pretty good job of satisfying many of us. If they did not we would cease buying their equipment. They do not need to produce a FF camera. They do need to make a profit. If the FF will do that better than some other product they may well produce a FF, or mirror-less or whatever. We are free to buy or not.
11-09-2014, 04:38 PM   #599
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mikesul Quote
What so many poster seem to not understand is that Pentax/Ricoh have only one job - make a profit. No doubt many engineers and executives take real pride in the quality of their products but in the end they not only need to make a profit but have a legal and ethical obligation to do so for their shareholders. If selling purple, rose scented cameras will do that better than anything else they may well take that path. Of course, they are interested in what current users want, but only if they think they can sell those items at a profit. So far they have done a pretty good job of satisfying many of us. If they did not we would cease buying their equipment. They do not need to produce a FF camera. They do need to make a profit. If the FF will do that better than some other product they may well produce a FF, or mirror-less or whatever. We are free to buy or not.
Achieving profit year after year, or term after term, is same as to say, all what matters is to win every battle.
Sometimes winning every battle at all cost is such a bad strategy and cost you so much in terms of lost opportunities and collateral damage you would rather want to hide under the bed and cry forever.

Profit is important, but not always a crucial factor, especially in times of strategic positioning and reinforcing. Sometimes is it good to suffer short term losses to gain long term advantages, stronger reinforcement and win future battles with less damage. That is what I think is the greatest failure in Ricoh's plan, as they have starved their imaging division insisting they should move very slowly, gain inch by inch of the land crawling and using hand guns, while their competitors used tanks and heavy artillery to move kilometres deep.

Then they changed the flag and anthem in the middle of battle, changed uniforms, and secret codes, allowed other manufacturers to circle them around completely while they were dribbling in red tape. And in three years under the command of Ricoh, Pentax has got following technological reinforcement: a new metering sensor. And that was all. It is used only in two top-tier cameras. That was the only new technology not inherited from times before Ricoh. Even the HD coating was filed under Hoya, AA simulator done before experimentally and AF already worked on before.

But you may disagree. In many threads on PF users have been writing about this, argued pros and cons of Ricoh's strategy.

Last edited by Uluru; 11-09-2014 at 04:45 PM.
11-09-2014, 04:47 PM   #600
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QuoteOriginally posted by JPT Quote
As usual, your points are logical enough, but I think they are based on a couple of assumptions that may not be true. The first one is that Ricoh values their Pentax customer more highly than their “classic” Ricoh one. The other assumption here is that Ricoh doesn’t have the resources to keep both groups happy.
First assumption, well, where are the new GXR models?
But my point is a bit different. They will probably want to capture Ricoh customers, Pentax customers and new ones as well; going back into a quirky niche won't help. Perhaps they will call it a Ricoh, but it's not essential.

About the second assumption, indeed I do believe they don't have enough resources to simultaneously grow the K-mount (which I think it's their best option for the moment) and launch a 4th mount, a large sensor MILC product line. Unless they have unused capacity just sitting there, I'm not wrong; they will have to make choices.
And since they're moving slowly with the K-mount, since they had to invest money to increase production capacity for digital cameras - I'd say I'm not wrong

QuoteOriginally posted by JPT Quote
I’d argue that “classic” Ricoh users could be served by a more modest line-up of lenses, because a lack of zooms and telephotos has not put them off in the past. But it would have to perform better than similar systems and retain the DNA of Ricoh’s previous cameras. Clearly, this kind of a system would not go head-to-head with Sony or Olympus, but it could serve its niche very well.

As for the existing lenses, perhaps you thought I was referring to K-mount designs. I was actually thinking about the lenses from GXR units. The following are in 35mm equivalents:
24mm - See patent Ricoh 16mm F2.8?????????????So-net???
28mm - The f2.8 lens from the current GR or the f2.5 lens from the GXR A12 28mm unit.
35mm - See patents Ricoh 23mm F2.5 APS-C??????????????????So-net??? , Ricoh 24mm F2?????????????So-net??? and more recently Ricoh 26mm F1.8?????????????So-net???
50mm - The lens from the GXR A12 50mm Macro unit
Standard Zoom - The lens from the GXR A16 24-85mm unit.

I know that patents often come to nothing, but Ricoh has been working on multiple short-register APS-C lenses over the past few years and you have to ask yourself why.
Indeed, we see things differently. You believe a restricted system will work by "performing better" (how would they do that?) and appealing to a small number of people; I OTOH I believe they will have to get more serious than that.

Those patents, and the existing optical designs are not enough. And even if they were, making them into new lenses will take effort; there's a long way from having an optical design, to having a lens on the market.

---------- Post added 10-11-14 at 01:50 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Uluru Quote
Achieving profit year after year, or term after term, is same as to say, all what matters is to win every battle.
Sometimes winning every battle at all cost is such a bad strategy and cost you so much in terms of lost opportunities and collateral damage you would rather want to hide under the bed and cry forever.
Most of the times, losing a battle is just that: you lost and there's no hidden gain waiting for you, later on the road.
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