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02-14-2015, 01:24 AM - 25 Likes   #1
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Report from CP+ 2015

Here are some impressions of CP+, which I had the chance to go to this morning. It was very busy, with people of all ages and a healthy number of women visitors, compared to some of the pictures of camera shows in other countries. I was only really interested in the Ricoh/Pentax relevant stuff, so you'll have to look elsewhere for information about other brands.



The Ricoh Booth

Ricoh had a decent sized booth, about the same size as previous years. There was a large area on the ground floor where they were highlighting their current products and a smaller upstairs gallery where you could try telephoto lenses and binoculars. Overall, it was OK and there were certainly more people than two years ago, when I last went. I think Ricoh should really do a better job of showcasing photography. Other manufacturers had better photos and most of them were printed bigger. Ricoh only had really big prints from the 645z, as if they were trying to say that it’s the only camera that justifies huge prints. The only problem with that was that just across the aisle, Panasonic was showing more interesting photos even bigger from their GH4 camera, with no lack of clarity. So my feedback to Ricoh would be - better photos, more varied photos and bigger photos. Having said that, they were a bit short of space because they had so much gear to exhibit.



DFA* 70-200 & DFA 150-450

I didn’t spend long with these, because I have no interest personally in such big lenses. My interest was more in the AF system, because I hope it will find its way into some of the smaller lenses. The AF really does feel faster than DA* lenses. It felt very quick on a K-3. The focus buttons on the DFA 150-450 are pretty useful. Some people are going to love these lenses.

Full Frame Camera & Future Lenses

I don’t think there is any need to post another picture of the full frame mock-up. Other visitors were comparing it in size to their K-3s, and it is basically the same size when you look at it from the top. The viewfinder hump is clearly a lot bigger than the APS-C cameras, though.

I was in a group of people talking to Kawauchi-san about the camera. He was very chatty (not at all like he comes across on the videos) and was obviously pleased to be able to talk about it. He would not divulge any more information about the specs, and a lot of the conversation centred around lens compatibility. It seems that they have not yet decided how to deal with the crop mode. They are aware that some DA lenses could be used, but they are mindful of people complaining about vignetting. I think they have honestly not decided exactly how to implement it. Significantly, they have not yet reached the stage of testing for compatibility of each lens with a prototype, and Kawauchi-san mentioned that you could not just assume that lenses that work OK on film cameras will be acceptable on the full frame camera because of the wider circle required for SR. I think he unwittingly confirmed that the body will have SR, but it also implied that the body is several months off.

He talked about Ricoh’s attitude to the roadmap. He said they won’t put anything on it unless it is definitely going to be made, and there is no point in putting things that are too far in the future. So the good news is that everything you can see on there is definitely coming.

K-S2 and the DA 18-50 Retractable Kit Lens

I liked the K-S2 body. It felt good in the hand and very compact. Build quality is fine, but no better than the K-50. I was impressed with the flip-out screen. It folds back very flat into the camera, so you don’t feel any increase in thickness over the previous models. A bit like the K-S1, I still feel that the buttons on the back are a bit too far recessed to press easily.

The new kit lens is very neat. It looks like a DA limited, but the diameter is actually quite a bit larger and it is all plastic. The mechanism for extending the lens is easy to use and the lens zooms without too much friction. Autofocus is quick and silent (finally!). One interesting thing is that the camera’s firmware will detect that the lens is retracted and display a message in screen. This behaviour will be added to the K-3 in a firmware update, but other models are yet to be confirmed. I would expect the K-S1 to get it at the very least. According to Saiki-san, the autofocus system in the K-S2 is not identical to the K-5 II, even though the basic specs look the same.

Theta

I was able to try out a VR headset that allowed you to view a 360 video “from the inside”. This was very cool. There was less lag than you would expect, but I had to take my glasses off to put the headset on, which meant the image was blurry through no fault of the viewing system. Even without sound it felt very immersive. I recommend trying it if you ever get the chance.



Third-party Lens Makers

The picture above says it all. I asked at the Tokina and Cosima booths about support for Pentax and they said there were no plans to support it. I got a similar response about the Sigma 24mm, although of course Sigma does make the 35mm in the same range for Pentax, so you would think there is some hope. Tamron was a joke! The guy I spoke to thought that Pentax used micro four thirds and tried to show me them (Edit: this is not the guy in the picture). When I got another guy to speak to, he did at least know about K-mount, but he was only able to show me a chart the confirmed just how few of their models are available in K-mount.

Cutting things in half

Sawing equipment in half is getting really boring now. Almost every exhibitor had things cut in half. Pentax had cut a 645z in half, along with a few lenses. Cosina had every single one of their lenses cut in half. It made me think, “Why don’t you stop cutting things in half and start making your lenses for K-mount again?”


Last edited by JPT; 02-14-2015 at 02:34 AM. Reason: typos
02-14-2015, 02:05 AM   #2
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I observed the same thing about pictures at Photokina; even m4/3 camera makers would proudly display prints... Ricoh Imaging, not so much. They should consider changing that.

Thank you for your report, very interesting.
02-14-2015, 03:55 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by JPT Quote
Here are some impressions of CP+, which I had the chance to go to this morning. It was very busy, with people of all ages and a healthy number of women visitors, compared to some of the pictures of camera shows in other countries. I was only really interested in the Ricoh/Pentax relevant stuff, so you'll have to look elsewhere for information about other brands.



The Ricoh Booth

Ricoh had a decent sized booth, about the same size as previous years. There was a large area on the ground floor where they were highlighting their current products and a smaller upstairs gallery where you could try telephoto lenses and binoculars. Overall, it was OK and there were certainly more people than two years ago, when I last went. I think Ricoh should really do a better job of showcasing photography. Other manufacturers had better photos and most of them were printed bigger. Ricoh only had really big prints from the 645z, as if they were trying to say that itís the only camera that justifies huge prints. The only problem with that was that just across the aisle, Panasonic was showing more interesting photos even bigger from their GH4 camera, with no lack of clarity. So my feedback to Ricoh would be - better photos, more varied photos and bigger photos. Having said that, they were a bit short of space because they had so much gear to exhibit.



DFA* 70-200 & DFA 150-450

I didnít spend long with these, because I have no interest personally in such big lenses. My interest was more in the AF system, because I hope it will find its way into some of the smaller lenses. The AF really does feel faster than DA* lenses. It felt very quick on a K-3. The focus buttons on the DFA 150-450 are pretty useful. Some people are going to love these lenses.

Full Frame Camera & Future Lenses

I donít think there is any need to post another picture of the full frame mock-up. Other visitors were comparing it in size to their K-3s, and it is basically the same size when you look at it from the top. The viewfinder hump is clearly a lot bigger than the APS-C cameras, though.

I was in a group of people talking to Kawauchi-san about the camera. He was very chatty (not at all like he comes across on the videos) and was obviously pleased to be able to talk about it. He would not divulge any more information about the specs, and a lot of the conversation centred around lens compatibility. It seems that they have not yet decided how to deal with the crop mode. They are aware that some DA lenses could be used, but they are mindful of people complaining about vignetting. I think they have honestly not decided exactly how to implement it. Significantly, they have not yet reached the stage of testing for compatibility of each lens with a prototype, and Kawauchi-san mentioned that you could not just assume that lenses that work OK on film cameras will be acceptable on the full frame camera because of the wider circle required for SR. I think he unwittingly confirmed that the body will have SR, but it also implied that the body is several months off.

He talked about Ricohís attitude to the roadmap. He said they wonít put anything on it unless it is definitely going to be made, and there is no point in putting things that are too far in the future. So the good news is that everything you can see on there is definitely coming.

K-S2 and the DA 18-50 Retractable Kit Lens

I liked the K-S2 body. It felt good in the hand and very compact. Build quality is fine, but no better than the K-50. I was impressed with the flip-out screen. It folds back very flat into the camera, so you donít feel any increase in thickness over the previous models. A bit like the K-S1, I still feel that the buttons on the back are a bit too far recessed to press easily.

The new kit lens is very neat. It looks like a DA limited, but the diameter is actually quite a bit larger and it is all plastic. The mechanism for extending the lens is easy to use and the lens zooms without too much friction. Autofocus is quick and silent (finally!). One interesting thing is that the cameraís firmware will detect that the lens is retracted and display a message in screen. This behaviour will be added to the K-3 in a firmware update, but other models are yet to be confirmed. I would expect the K-S1 to get it at the very least. According to Saiki-san, the autofocus system in the K-S2 is not identical to the K-5 II, even though the basic specs look the same.

Theta

I was able to try out a VR headset that allowed you to view a 360 video ďfrom the insideĒ. This was very cool. There was less lag than you would expect, but I had to take my glasses off to put the headset on, which meant the image was blurry through no fault of the viewing system. Even without sound it felt very immersive. I recommend trying it if you ever get the chance.



Third-party Lens Makers

The picture above says it all. I asked at the Tokina and Cosima booths about support for Pentax and they said there were no plans to support it. I got a similar response about the Sigma 24mm, although of course Sigma does make the 35mm in the same range for Pentax, so you would think there is some hope. Tamron was a joke! The guy I spoke to thought that Pentax used micro four thirds and tried to show me them (Edit: this is not the guy in the picture). When I got another guy to speak to, he did at least know about K-mount, but he was only able to show me a chart the confirmed just how few of their models are available in K-mount.

Cutting things in half

Sawing equipment in half is getting really boring now. Almost every exhibitor had things cut in half. Pentax had cut a 645z in half, along with a few lenses. Cosina had every single one of their lenses cut in half. It made me think, ďWhy donít you stop cutting things in half and start making your lenses for K-mount again?Ē
Thanks very much for your report. Third party lenses support definitely is an issue for pentax. One reason I think is that pentaxians would rather to buy its own lenses (eg 31mm vs sigma 35mm, 77mm vs 85mm et al), usually not so expensive while canon and nikon's equivalent lenses price are typically much higher and therefore naturally third party lenses become a good choice.

If pentax has FF, this situation might change as not all people can afford expensive 16-35, 24-70 or 70-200 especially the ff body will cost them around $2000-$3000 at first. Third party modern lenses like sigma 70-200 will suddenly become very attractive ($600 vs $2200 with similar IQ!)...
02-14-2015, 03:57 AM   #4
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Very nice report, thank you! Surprised to hear that they show so few large prints - Pentax has a history of displaying photo art e.g. in their Shinjuku centre. Well, if it's because they have too much gear to show, maybe it's not that bad

02-14-2015, 04:00 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by JPT Quote
DFA* 70-200 & DFA 150-450

I didnít spend long with these, because I have no interest personally in such big lenses. My interest was more in the AF system, because I hope it will find its way into some of the smaller lenses. The AF really does feel faster than DA* lenses. It felt very quick on a K-3. The focus buttons on the DFA 150-450 are pretty useful. Some people are going to love these lenses.
This sounds promising!

I have pre-ordered both of these lenses. (Not being rich, I'm part exchanging them for my Sigma 500mm f/4.5 APO EX DG. I've decided nothing is sacred this year!)

I expect to be using them, among other things, for motor sports, airshows, and wild life, on my K-3. I think they designed the D-FA 150-450mm for me personally. I hope I am one of the people who will love those lenses! (Except their weight!)
02-14-2015, 04:49 AM   #6
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Thanks for the report!

QuoteOriginally posted by JPT Quote
They are aware that some DA lenses could be used, but they are mindful of people complaining about vignetting. I think they have honestly not decided exactly how to implement it. Significantly, they have not yet reached the stage of testing for compatibility of each lens with a prototype, and Kawauchi-san mentioned that you could not just assume that lenses that work OK on film cameras will be acceptable on the full frame camera because of the wider circle required for SR. I think he unwittingly confirmed that the body will have SR, but it also implied that the body is several months off.
That is really interesting. I wonder how much larger the image circle need to be because of the SR. Will the existing D FA lenses be ok? A variable cropping mode could be the solution - pre-programmed for all modern lenses, and user-adjustable for everything else, something similar to the autofocus fine adjustment.

QuoteQuote:
According to Saiki-san, the autofocus system in the K-S2 is not identical to the K-5 II, even though the basic specs look the same.
That's good news. A lot of people (or maybe they are just very vocal) seem to be unhappy with the autofocus performance even of the K-3. Can't say I agree, but I don't shoot a lot of action.
02-14-2015, 05:35 AM   #7
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Thanks for an interesting report!! My personal interest being the DFA150-450, I find your short description of that lens most encouraging. Tx!!
Wim
02-14-2015, 05:58 AM   #8
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Interesting report, many thanks !

I think it is sure we can expect some "improvements" in the K-S2 autofocus, as it was mentioned also in the featured interview. Don't know of which kind; maybe they kept the same AF points and layout of the K-5II (hence the same SAFOX X denomination) but improved speed via...software improvements ? A faster motor ?

We will see

02-14-2015, 05:59 AM   #9
JPT
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QuoteOriginally posted by savoche Quote
Thanks for the report!



That is really interesting. I wonder how much larger the image circle need to be because of the SR. Will the existing D FA lenses be ok? A variable cropping mode could be the solution - pre-programmed for all modern lenses, and user-adjustable for everything else, something similar to the autofocus fine adjustment.



That's good news. A lot of people (or maybe they are just very vocal) seem to be unhappy with the autofocus performance even of the K-3. Can't say I agree, but I don't shoot a lot of action.
I should be clear here that this discussion was in the context of which of the DA lenses would cover the image circle and how this will affect their implementation of the crop mode. I don't think FA or existing D FA lenses were in the scope of his comments. From what he said, it sounded like they plan to test each DA lens with the new camera and decide on behaviour for each one.
02-14-2015, 11:48 AM   #10
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Whether a particular lens is FF able probably only refers to shifting the sensor, as that will require a larger lens Image size (of course I mean assuming it is OK on FF film camera).
02-14-2015, 12:59 PM   #11
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Thanks for the report JPT ! Much better than some "professional" reports, and a heck of a lot cheaper than travelling there myself.
Eric
02-14-2015, 02:19 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Erictator Quote
Thanks for the report JPT ! Much better than some "professional" reports
+1. Excellent stuff.
02-14-2015, 03:55 PM   #13
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Thanks for the report, JPT ... we're sending you next to the Ukraine to give us an excellent state-of-affairs rundown. I won't be going along as your cameraman. :-)
02-14-2015, 04:43 PM   #14
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An excellent report, thank you for taking the time to post.
02-14-2015, 08:32 PM   #15
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One important detail is missing; you did not tell what sort of drink they were serving?
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