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09-21-2014, 01:27 AM   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by yusuf Quote
At the expense of ignoring larger market, Pentax is bringing new lenses, new cameras for MF, the samee effort and R&D money invested in FF & mirrorless will have better ROI. The number of serious photographers using 645 is far less than number of serious photographers who will prefer FF.
No, FF would need a lot more R&D.
The R&D for 645 is minimal:
* Internals but sensor is a K-3
* Lenses all done but a couple new ones
* When FF lenses come, they may inherit ILIS from 645 lenses.
* Older FF lenses can be reused but a lot need to be updated,
* Most current lenses (zoom specially) are APS only and all need to be changed.

---------- Post added 21-09-14 at 09:28 ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by mee Quote
I think in the interview, the Pentax/Ricoh reps mentioned this new lens was meant as an upgrade FROM the traditional 18-55 kit lens.. so I'm thinking it is not a kit lens.
It won't replace the 18-55 as the cheap usual kit lens but it pay indeed be sold as kit as well so it would be A kit lens not THE kit lens.

09-21-2014, 06:29 AM   #32
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QuoteOriginally posted by yusuf Quote
FF & mirrorless will have better ROI.
FF is a much higher revenue, much lower margin business than 645. It certainly isn't APSc, but FF has a lower ROI than 645 for Pentax.

Plus, they already have an inventory of 645 lenses to sell. What's the ROI on a cost of zero?
09-21-2014, 06:47 AM   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by thibs Quote
It won't replace the 18-55 as the cheap usual kit lens but it pay indeed be sold as kit as well so it would be A kit lens not THE kit lens.
From where did you get your information? It hasn't been stated as a kit lens by Ricoh AFAIK and I'm not aware of nikon's 16-85 being bundled by them directly as a kit (the only other 16-85mm of which I'm aware) like the 18-55 and their 18-140 (and for us 18-135) are bundled.

The issue I have here isn't with the lens or it being/not being in a kit but in how many take assumptions as fact here. I know you said 'may indeed' but you're riding on the line to supporting such a claim. We should wait for official word or the product itself to be released before taking events as having occurred. Otherwise we end up with sore people, when events don't occur, coming back to say 'I saw on the forums someone(s) said this or that was going to happen but they didn't.'
09-21-2014, 08:28 AM   #34
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Since we have kits with the 18-135 I think it might happen with the 16-85 too? From what I see nobody is saying that the 18-55 (one of them) won't be the "regular" i.e. cheap kit option.

09-21-2014, 12:16 PM - 1 Like   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by yusuf Quote
At the expense of ignoring larger market, Pentax is bringing new lenses, new cameras for MF, the samee effort and R&D money invested in FF & mirrorless will have better ROI. The number of serious photographers using 645 is far less than number of serious photographers who will prefer FF.
Even if the assumption of the number of photographer is correct, it doesn't mean they will buy Pentax FF, that's a crowded market. The 645z is getting more positive attention than any other product in recent memory, and from what I've read, Pentax has underestimated the demand. And if you have watched the Malcolm video, he says they are offering dealers higher margins, not higher volume. So the retailer can make the same money with less handling than competitors. If that concept actually works we should start seeing more places carrying Pentax. I've already seen one, a camera store that carries Canon, Nikon, Sony, Fuji, Leaf, and Mamiya, but no Pentax, but has recently added the 645z. Hopefully other Pentax gear will follow. Where that full frame market is crowded and Pentax is late to the party, the 645z pretty well sits alone in a medium format price range segment that Pentax created, the rest of the industry really didn't expect.
09-21-2014, 05:30 PM   #36
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I don't know some figures of sales, but what I have clearly see is that Pentax 645z has attracted more attention on the internet than any other MF camera from his competitors. I can't say the Pentax is for MF cameras, what is Canon for DSLR, but I presume that is close. It's like a Cadillac for GM, a high end product that drive attention to the whole company. And probably, the profit is good. Of course, a very good FF can do the same, but the line of lenses for 645 was ready, on the market, while for FF is under development.

On the other hand, if Pentax shouldn't hurry the things with the 645z, after Hasselblad and Phase One has announced their 50Mp CMOS cameras, was a big risk that they lose an important segment of the market, where profit is not so big for the company, but the prestige is.
09-21-2014, 05:46 PM - 1 Like   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by ramseybuckeye Quote
If that concept actually works we should start seeing more places carrying Pentax. I've already seen one, a camera store that carries Canon, Nikon, Sony, Fuji, Leaf, and Mamiya, but no Pentax, but has recently added the 645z
I thought it was interesting he also said they had to let a dealer go that didn't agree with the pricing strategy.

Pure speculation - In St. Louis at Creve Couer Camera (9 stores, and apparently the largest B&M Dealer now that Wolf/Ritz is gone) I don't see new Pentax items any more - just ageing, unsold stock. I'm not saying there is any connection, but I was shocked to see their apparent loss of a distribution. CCC has been around since the late 70's and always featured Pentax - even ran co-op Pentax radio and TV ads as recently as three years ago.

The founding family sold the company recently. My guess is the buyer needs cash flow to service debt, not profit margin. If that's true and Ricoh Dealer financing terms don't let a Dealer scrape a small slice off high volume financed by the manufacturer then it makes more sense.

In a way I wonder whether a Dealer really has any skin in the game at all.
09-21-2014, 07:02 PM - 2 Likes   #38
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QuoteOriginally posted by yusuf Quote
At the expense of ignoring larger market, Pentax is bringing new lenses, new cameras for MF, the samee effort and R&D money invested in FF & mirrorless will have better ROI. The number of serious photographers using 645 is far less than number of serious photographers who will prefer FF.
Not the same effort, as already stated Pentax has been a player in MF since film days and unlike the FF market they already have a digital MF camera. No idea how you can say 'better ROI'? Sorry, that makes no sense. First you have no way of knowing that, and second as already stated Pentax has been a player in MF since film days and unlike the FF market they already have a digital MF camera. So they are not starting from nothing.

And perhaps more important, even if they released a new magical FF camera tomorrow with accompanying lenses they will still be 4th or 5th and an also ran in that market. In MF they have the opportunity to be number one and dominate the market. Canon, Nikon, Sony, Fuji are not in that market, Pentax is. Dropping everything to get 645z and lenses out the door was IMHO, absolutely brilliant.
A strategic move that:
  • Protected their existing MF market from potential entry by competitors
  • Gives them a Halo product that generates buzz in an area no one else is at
  • Generates enormous profit, while cutting the competition by 2/3 or more.
  • Gets lots of publicity in a professional area that purchases high end expensive gear
  • Gives their range a breadth no one else can, (once they add the FF next year), q to MF
  • Stomps the D810 in enough specification categories that marketing can have a field day if they want
And apparently some other folks think it was a good idea as well, since entire first year production is sold and current wait time is 3 to 4 weeks to take delivery of one.

09-21-2014, 07:13 PM   #39
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
I thought it was interesting he also said they had to let a dealer go that didn't agree with the pricing strategy.

Pure speculation - In St. Louis at Creve Couer Camera (9 stores, and apparently the largest B&M Dealer now that Wolf/Ritz is gone) I don't see new Pentax items any more - just ageing, unsold stock. I'm not saying there is any connection, but I was shocked to see their apparent loss of a distribution. CCC has been around since the late 70's and always featured Pentax - even ran co-op Pentax radio and TV ads as recently as three years ago.

The founding family sold the company recently. My guess is the buyer needs cash flow to service debt, not profit margin. If that's true and Ricoh Dealer financing terms don't let a Dealer scrape a small slice off high volume financed by the manufacturer then it makes more sense.

In a way I wonder whether a Dealer really has any skin in the game at all.
You may have something there. Retail financing is a huge risk for all parties since there have been so many changes in this field. Some of the small and maybe not so small businesses that have failed may have done so because of refusals to change methods. Some businesses, especially online retailers, hold no stock at all and are just an outlet for direct ships from the supplier.

Of course we'll never really know all of the details of business failures or dropping of certain lines. Cord Camera based out of Columbus, Ohio had 20-30 stores five years ago and closed the last store early this year, here's a story from the Columbus Dispatch:

The only remaining Cord Camera store, at 1132 W. 5th Ave., is scheduled to close on Wednesday. The once-thriving local chain fell victim to changing technology and the proliferation of digital cameras and smartphones.

“This is no longer a profitable industry,” said A.C. Strip, the attorney for Colfax Financial, owner of Cord Camera. “Camera stores have gone the way of Kodak and Polaroid and manual typewriters.”

At its peak, Cord Camera had more than 30 shops in Ohio and Indiana.

Cord closed six of its eight remaining stores in January. The Westerville store on Schrock Road closed last week. The company will not file for bankruptcy protection, Strip said.

“We hung on and hung on, but this is no longer an industry,” he said, adding that few people buy rolls of film or have them processed at stores such as Cord.

“We were competing with the big-box stores and Amazon (for equipment sales), and they sold the same cameras for the same price.”

The remaining inventory at the Cord Camera on W. 5th has been on sale the past several days, and the price cuts will increase as the closing approaches, Strip said.

Cord Camera was founded in 1954 as Fast Photo Service by Cushman “Jick” Cordle. His son, Steven, became president after his father retired. Steven Cordle died in April 2012.

Colfax Financial, a local venture-capital company, purchased Cord Camera in 2009.

“It was all about service to the client and custom lab work, and that work just diminished,” Strip said.

Midwest Photo Exchange is one of the few camera stores still in business. It offers specialized services to amateur and professional photographers, owner Moishe Appelbaum said.

The store, at 3313 N. High St., no longer processes film.

“It’s no longer about shifting boxes across the counter. It’s about taking care of the customer,” Appelbaum said.

The store’s employees offer expert advice on camera purchases, and Midwest recently opened a learning studio that offers photography-related classes. The store also sells printers that customers use to print the digital photos they take.

“The quality of these printers is good, and they’re cheaper now, so it makes sense and is a lot of fun,” Appelbaum said.


It's interesting because the owner of Midwest Photo has changed his store with the times where CORD did not. CORD continued to base it's business on film processing, and selling point and shoot cameras and in most stores carried the same DSLRs and few lenses as the Big Box stores carry. Midwest has a booming business of Professional Video equipment, lighting, rentals, upper level DSLRs and lenses, medium format, etc, just about everything but Pentax until they started carrying the 645z. You can find just about any photography related item in the store, and the employees are photographers.
09-22-2014, 03:50 AM   #40
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QuoteOriginally posted by yusuf Quote
At the expense of ignoring larger market, Pentax is bringing new lenses, new cameras for MF, the samee effort and R&D money invested in FF & mirrorless will have better ROI. The number of serious photographers using 645 is far less than number of serious photographers who will prefer FF.
I don't think you can say that medium format is "stealing money" from other ventures. It is probably one of the most profitable things Pentax does. Basically, it uses a lot of components from the K3, is priced under the competition and still turns a large profit on both camera bodies and lenses. Because it is lower volume, I don't believe it ties up production lines the way other camera lines do. There is nothing negative here at all.

Full frame would be much less able to borrow components from the K3. Auto focus module needs to cover more area, because other full frame cameras out there do as well. You can't just stick it in a K3 body, because the mirror in the K3 isn't full frame compatible. A lot of redesign there. I still think it will happen, but it is a different proposition from the uncrowded, under tech-ed, paper thin market of medium format.
09-22-2014, 03:55 AM   #41
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Rondec, I am afraid the Pentax 24x36 DSLR's autofocus will be that of K-3...
09-22-2014, 03:59 AM   #42
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On the longer Tele Zoom

Being the geek that I am, sitting with calipers on the screen and my existing K-mount lenses.... Looks like the new long Tele Zoom will be 9.35 cm wide and 26.3 CM Long (not including mount)... Front element at 82mm, suggests 135-450 F 5.x-6.3 to me in that 10.4" could operate shorter than 150.... Maybe PTX will try for a F4.x on the short end. The Photography Blog pics gave the best pics to interpolate from...

---------- Post added 09-22-14 at 07:03 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Mistral75 Quote
Rondec, I am afraid the Pentax 24x36 DSLR's autofocus will be that of K-3...
You may be right... But, I think next SAFOX will have more points, but still be slower due to low light capability. Might be a good design to have a "tunable"... low light setting may be slower, but some will want it. Sports/Birdies may want faster, but willing to sacrifice the low end. The SAFOX seems to "hunt" more than the Nikon/Canon offerings, but appears to be significantly sharper in low light. I confirmed this talking to a diehard FF Nikon glasser last week...
09-22-2014, 04:29 AM - 1 Like   #43
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At 82mm frontal lens it could be a 135-450mm F4-5.6
09-22-2014, 04:47 AM   #44
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QuoteOriginally posted by GlassJunkie Quote
(...)
You may be right... But, I think next SAFOX will have more points (...)
Considering that the 11-sensors SAFOX (SAFOX VIII) appeared back in 2003 (*ist and *istD) and was superseded in 2013 only by the K-3's 27-sensors SAFOX (SAFOX 11), further considering Ricoh's 'small incremental steps' policy, I very much doubt we will see a SAFOX with more sensors in the near future... even though I hope I am wrong.
09-22-2014, 04:56 AM   #45
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I am hoping for more AF "spot" density on the horizontal

QuoteOriginally posted by Mistral75 Quote
Considering that the 11-sensors SAFOX (SAFOX VIII) appeared back in 2003 (*ist and *istD) and was superseded in 2013 only by the K-3's 27-sensors SAFOX (SAFOX 11), further considering Ricoh's 'small incremental steps' policy, I very much doubt we will see a SAFOX with more sensors in the near future... even though I hope I am wrong.
A nice upgrade would be on more "horizontals (wider) and a refresh on a "panning" algorithm as opposed to turning off one phase to pan.... (Birdie Fantasy) :"(
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