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06-18-2016, 05:03 AM   #316
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It seems all new Pentax lenses have the focusing ring at the rear. I have to say I don't know if I like it. You may accidentally change focus when you zoom.

QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
I think Ricoh would have a revolt on it's hands if it stopped making bodies that could utilise the older K-mount glass will aperture levers... Backward compatibility with old lenses has become a major selling point for it's cameras.
Although I don't think they will throw out the aperture lever any time soon, I think Pentax is starting to realize that they need to modernize. You can always throw in the "backward compatibility" argument, but if you keep doing that, your chances of attracting new users to the system will dwindle. And existing users may jump ship too (as some have), or they will grow old. I think this is the reality that Pentax is facing. And if that's the case, I'm glad that they might be making kind of bold decisions. The only thing I wonder is if they are bold enough.

06-18-2016, 05:10 AM - 1 Like   #317
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QuoteOriginally posted by totsmuyco Quote
Well I have a k-3II but, I still want to use my k-5II for a long long time. Probably till it breaks. And I would like to have lenses to use in the future. It's difficult to part with a camera that performs well. Besides, it's too expensive to keep on upgrading cameras.
You'll have plenty of lenses to use with the K-5II... all those that are currently available. You're not likely to be missing much with this first KAF4 lens, and it will take years to fill out the product catalogue with a whole range of them. I'd wait to see if any are lenses you actually need before worrying about lack of compatibility with your camera. In the unlikely event a KAF4 lens comes out that gives you something truly unavailable in the wide range of current and legacy lenses you already have access to, then and only then do you need to consider the situation. And that will be *years* from now
06-18-2016, 05:25 AM   #318
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QuoteOriginally posted by starbase218 Quote
Although I don't think they will throw out the aperture lever any time soon, I think Pentax is starting to realize that they need to modernize. You can always throw in the "backward compatibility" argument, but if you keep doing that, your chances of attracting new users to the system will dwindle. And existing users may jump ship too (as some have), or they will grow old. I think this is the reality that Pentax is facing. And if that's the case, I'm glad that they might be making kind of bold decisions. The only thing I wonder is if they are bold enough.
Ricoh is doing well with Pentax, and I'd argue it's attracting way more photographers into the brand than it is losing to others - not least as a result of the K-1, both because it's a superb camera in its own right, but also because the Pentax product catalogue now contains advanced entry level to high-end APS-C and highly capable FF models, providing an upgrade path for those who want it. One of the big, *key* draws of Pentax - and it comes up time and again in reviews, as well as being pretty obvious within this community - is compatibility with a very wide range of really excellent legacy glass. If Ricoh was to decide to move away from the aperture lever in-camera, it would have to offer a much wider selection of new lenses at prices most of us can afford. I'm not saying that *won't* happen, but personally I think it is a huge ask.
06-18-2016, 06:07 AM   #319
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QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
Ricoh is doing well with Pentax, and I'd argue it's attracting way more photographers into the brand than it is losing to others - not least as a result of the K-1, both because it's a superb camera in its own right, but also because the Pentax product catalogue now contains advanced entry level to high-end APS-C and highly capable FF models, providing an upgrade path for those who want it. One of the big, *key* draws of Pentax - and it comes up time and again in reviews, as well as being pretty obvious within this community - is compatibility with a very wide range of really excellent legacy glass. If Ricoh was to decide to move away from the aperture lever in-camera, it would have to offer a much wider selection of new lenses at prices most of us can afford. I'm not saying that *won't* happen, but personally I think it is a huge ask.
I have to wonder how many new users will actually use those old lenses. F/FA glass, ok, maybe. But manual-focus glass? I mean, they might try it out, but other than that? I don't know. They'd probably have to replace the focusing screen with one that's better suited to MF, but then they won't be able to use spot metering anymore.

I personally have found it not to be worth the trouble. But then, I can afford recent AF glass.

Also, Pentax won't make any money if a user picks up an old lens of eBay. You may argue that that could be a reason for that user not to buy a Pentax body in the first place, in which case Pentax would not make money at all. But really, I don't think a lot of new users will even consider that. To clarify, with new users, I mean entry-level users, who aren't even sure yet what they want to do with their photography.

Now, I do agree that removing the aperture lever from higher-end bodies right now is probably too much to ask. At least when they still have lenses in production that depend on that lever. And I'd personally be disappointed (well, more than disappointed) if they do so, having invested a lot into KAF2/3 APS-C glass. But, when it comes to using the argument of backward compatibility time and time again as a reason for not modernizing the mount, from a commercial point of view, there is a diminishing "return on investment". Meaning that the longer you keep sacrificing certain new features for the sake of backwards compatibility, the less you will gain from it. Look at Canon and Nikon: Nikon stuck with their mount, but because of it, Canon is now king when it comes to DSLR's with video. I don't personally use video, but I understand the need for proper video support from a commercial point of view.

06-18-2016, 06:23 AM   #320
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QuoteOriginally posted by starbase218 Quote
I have to wonder how many new users will actually use those old lenses. F/FA glass, ok, maybe. But manual-focus glass? I mean, they might try it out, but other than that? I don't know. They'd probably have to replace the focusing screen with one that's better suited to MF, but then they won't be able to use spot metering anymore.

I personally have found it not to be worth the trouble. But then, I can afford recent AF glass.
I think you might be surprised. There's a big following here on the forums for older glass, including Takumar, M, A, F, and FA, and third party models - and not just from those who find current lenses too costly. I have quite a few older manual focus lenses, and while it's true that the wider angle models can be trickier to focus manually, it's not essential to change the focusing screen depending on the aperture you're shooting at.

QuoteOriginally posted by starbase218 Quote
Also, Pentax won't make any money if a user picks up an old lens of eBay. You may argue that that could be a reason for that user not to buy a Pentax body in the first place, in which case Pentax would not make money at all. But really, I don't think a lot of new users will even consider that. To clarify, with new users, I mean entry-level users, who aren't even sure yet what they want to do with their photography.
WIth entry-level users, I absolutely agree with you. Seasoned photographers, though, are likely to know that Pentax has backward compatibility for lenses like no other brand, and for many that will be an additional - if not primary - attraction.

QuoteOriginally posted by starbase218 Quote
Now, I do agree that removing the aperture lever from higher-end bodies right now is probably too much to ask. At least when they still have lenses in production that depend on that lever. And I'd personally be disappointed (well, more than disappointed) if they do so, having invested a lot into KAF2/3 APS-C glass. But, when it comes to using the argument of backward compatibility time and time again as a reason for not modernizing the mount, from a commercial point of view, there is a diminishing "return on investment". Meaning that the longer you keep sacrificing certain new features for the sake of backwards compatibility, the less you will gain from it. Look at Canon and Nikon: Nikon stuck with their mount, but because of it, Canon is now king when it comes to DSLR's with video. I don't personally use video, but I understand the need for proper video support from a commercial point of view.
I guess the question I'd ask is, what else do you currently think is missing from Pentax that Ricoh could resolve by modernising the mount further still, or by removing the mechanical aperture control? I can't think of anything obvious - at least, not from a stills photography perspective... so why remove it?
06-18-2016, 07:21 AM   #321
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QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
I think you might be surprised. There's a big following here on the forums for older glass, including Takumar, M, A, F, and FA, and third party models - and not just from those who find current lenses too costly. I have quite a few older manual focus lenses, and while it's true that the wider angle models can be trickier to focus manually, it's not essential to change the focusing screen depending on the aperture you're shooting at.
Maybe, but I don't want to be guessing the focus. I mean, I want to "focus" on what matters to me: composition, light, colors, picking an interesting viewpoint. And I want my camera to take other worries away so that I can improve those skills. Of course you can say, "use liveview and focus highlighting". But I prefer using the viewfinder, for a number of reasons.

QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
WIth entry-level users, I absolutely agree with you. Seasoned photographers, though, are likely to know that Pentax has backward compatibility for lenses like no other brand, and for many that will be an additional - if not primary - attraction.
But seasoned photographers most likely already have a brand of camera and a lot of lenses. If that brand is Pentax, you don't need to attract them anymore. If that brand is another brand, I don't think you'll convince them to jump ship by saying "look, all these old lenses still work". Besides, the F-mount is pretty old too, I think? So if they're using Nikon, they could be using legacy glass too.

I remember an interview at PMA or Photokina about a certain Pentax body a number of years ago. The interviewer asked a very logical question, "what's new and exciting about this camera?" The Pentax rep (I think it was John Carlson) responded "I'll tell you what's old and exciting about this camera" and then continued on about support for all those old lenses. To me that kind of sounds like he was evading the question. I don't think that sells particularly well.

Of course, you do want to keep existing users. But in the end, Pentax is also a company and needs to make money to exist. So again, maybe from a commercial POV, dropping support for older lenses may be acceptable when you can attract new users that will spend money on your product and may eventually grow into enthusiasts or even pros. But then, I don't know how many seasoned photographers still use old manual glass.

Just to be clear: I don't advocate Pentax drops the aperture lever right now, and certainly not on higher-end bodies. But I just don't think the backward compatibility argument on its own is a valid reason for not doing it. You have to consider that keeping old stuff in your mount can make it more difficult to add features in the long run, for various reasons (it may not physically fit, or by having kept a certain feature there are now more users that depend on that feature). So there's "forward" or "future" compatibility to be considered as well.

QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
I guess the question I'd ask is, what else do you currently think is missing from Pentax that Ricoh could resolve by modernising the mount further still, or by removing the mechanical aperture control? I can't think of anything obvious - at least, not from a stills photography perspective... so why remove it?
The aperture lever was the last mechanical control (if you assume lenses with built-in motors). If you have everything electrical, it allows more flexibility. E.g. you can implement focus, aperture, etc. how you want it, based on the intended use of that lens. It's the ability to abstract away the implementation of e.g. focusing that matters.

OTOH I'm hardly an expert. On another forum, I mentioned that I thought Pentax might be aiming to offer better video than Nikon, and closer to Canon, with this new mount, PLM motor and EM aperture control. But then someone else said the rest of the video specs on the K-70 are really not that great and Pentax is just trying to be good enough for parents wanting to take videos of their kids. So... that shows how much I know.
06-18-2016, 07:34 AM   #322
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QuoteOriginally posted by IchabodCrane Quote
It would be helpful if Ricoh came out and told people that electronic aperture control is the direction they are moving toward... or not. Frankly, I'm surprised they picked the 55-300 lens to start with. A true kit lens would seem to make more sense as they're only married to new bodies anyway. Hence, the issue of backward compatibility is essentially avoided.
As I have said many times here, I switched from Pentax to Canon in 1995 because I liked Canon's USM lenses so much better than Pentax's screwdrive ... then switched back to Pentax last year because I had issues with the reliability of the Canon Rebel bodies I owned {and then got a K-30!!}. I quickly discovered that I disliked the noisy screwdrive as much as I expected to, so I quickly bought an 18-135 to replace the 18-55 that was kitted with my K-30, ... but the only 55-300 available was screwdrive so I still use screwdrive lense(s). Since they already have the 18-135 with an in-lens motor, most likely they chose the 55-300 for KAF4 because they already have a lens like that for the older cameras, but no in-lens motor version of that lens. If I buy a K-70, I will use the 18-135 I already have with it, but the new 55-300 will be at the top of my to-buy list.

---------- Post added 06-18-16 at 10:36 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by starbase218 Quote
It seems all new Pentax lenses have the focusing ring at the rear. I have to say I don't know if I like it. You may accidentally change focus when you zoom.
That definitely confuses me! {I especially noticed that the day I disciplined myself to use only my MIR-1 M42-mount lens, because it has focus in rear and aperture in front ... and, of course, I was focusing every time}
06-18-2016, 09:41 AM   #323
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QuoteOriginally posted by starbase218 Quote
Now, I do agree that removing the aperture lever from higher-end bodies right now is probably too much to ask. At least when they still have lenses in production that depend on that lever.
Why would you even mention "removing the aperture lever", and even "from higher-end bodies"? It doesn't make any sense. They don't merely "still have lenses in production that depend on that lever", all but one are using the old system.
With Pentax, you can use all K-mount lenses on all their DSLRs; and you're talking about removing support for lenses announced 4 months ago?

Replacing the mechanical aperture control with electromagnetic system on some lenses is something entirely different.

06-18-2016, 12:43 PM   #324
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kunzite Quote
Why would you even mention "removing the aperture lever", and even "from higher-end bodies"? It doesn't make any sense. They don't merely "still have lenses in production that depend on that lever", all but one are using the old system.
So, my statement is true, right?

QuoteOriginally posted by Kunzite Quote
With Pentax, you can use all K-mount lenses on all their DSLRs; and you're talking about removing support for lenses announced 4 months ago?
Which is why I would be very mad if they did. But, at some point in time, they may. But I'm not talking about a year from now, or even 5 years from now. And if they do it, they might want to consider offering replacement of the lever with an EM drive on some more recent lenses.

It all depends on where Pentax goes from here. Will they use EM drive for all new lenses, or will they stick with the lever for the majority of the lenses.

Last edited by starbase218; 06-18-2016 at 12:50 PM.
06-18-2016, 03:56 PM   #325
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Again, why even mention that? Why even considering the idea that Pentax could do something which is utterly crazy and doesn't make any sense?
While they do mistakes, they're much more subtler, perhaps even seeming a good idea at that time. The crazy strategies are only seen on forums such as this one, and never happen in real life. Like the theory about K-1 not having a built-in AF motor.

You said "right now" and I responded to what you wrote.OTOH, more than 9 years had passed since the introduction of the first Pentax lenses with in-body motors (SDM, at that time) yet even the entry level cameras are still supporting screw-drive AF. Also, Nikon, in a better position to give up on their screw-drive lenses (as they have a full range of AF-S), never did that in their high-end models; only on the cheap ones.
What you're describing is not happening.

As for the K-mount itself, KAF4 is as modern as it needs to be - given the constraints of its physical dimensions. It supports in-lens AF motors and electromagnetic aperture control, if needed it can support optical stabilization, too (as proven by Sigma). And the K-70 proves that electromagnetic aperture control can be supported without giving up on the mechanical aperture control system.
There's nothing holding them back. Except the small issue of forward compatibility, which will be solved by itself in time.
06-18-2016, 04:18 PM   #326
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KAF-4 for camera's is nothing more than ROM size for firmware it seems. Maybe Pentax should have used more ample ROM in the past, to allow for future changes. Pentax will not deprecate the aperture lever just as they didn't deprecate the in body AF motor (like Nikon did).
06-19-2016, 01:21 AM   #327
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I would be really unhappy if Pentax now would bring out any single new lens with the old aperture lever.

I want the most modern product and don't care the least if some people who use obsolete hardware whine about it.
We are talking about the nonsense request for upward-compatibility of old consumer electronics toys (which is what cameras are).

On the other side it is highly likely that they will keep a downwards compatibility in the top bodies for quite some time (as long as the majority of lenses in the current (!) lineup still requires a mechanical solution). That is sheer business logic. Since the kit zoom has recently been updated and it's based on an aperture lever I do not see this happining any time soon.

So let us hope for no more lenses with the old system.
06-19-2016, 02:13 AM   #328
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Not pretty sure about welfare of your hope. ..
Indeed K-AF4 sounds not compatible with A lenses, allowing aperture manual control, hyperfocal and infrared markings... So no more Limited...

Moreover, pentax longterm users dont use much video , that is mostly targetted by the new mount : so lets hope K-AF MOUNT IS NOT DEAD !

Last edited by Zygonyx; 06-19-2016 at 04:17 AM.
06-19-2016, 02:15 AM   #329
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I think that my comments should be seen as a general POV with regard to keeping compatibility, the decision that Pentax has always made to keep compatibility, e.g. looking back, and the tradeoffs that that includes. I think it would be good for Pentax if they were a little bolder sometimes (or maybe not a little), but they always seem to err on the side of caution. I sometimes think that if Pentax maintains this way of doing things, they may not be relevant anymore in, say, 20 years from now. They sometimes seem to me like a person that's always looking back. If you always look back, it's harder to see what's in front of you. It's not a comment to any specific changes, but more to the "personality" of Pentax, if there is such a thing. It's a little on the philosophical side. Maybe it's too philosophical for this forum.
06-19-2016, 02:37 AM - 1 Like   #330
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QuoteOriginally posted by starbase218 Quote
I sometimes think that if Pentax maintains this way of doing things, they may not be relevant anymore in, say, 20 years from now. They sometimes seem to me like a person that's always looking back. If you always look back, it's harder to see what's in front of you. It's not a comment to any specific changes, but more to the "personality" of Pentax, if there is such a thing. It's a little on the philosophical side. Maybe it's too philosophical for this forum.
No, it's not too philosophical... I just don't agree with it I do accept your point of view, but I see no benefit for Ricoh / Pentax in not maintaining compatibility with older lenses. No benefit at all. The aperture lever in the body, so far as I can tell, has now been *augmented* with electronic aperture control via the KAF4 mount. Job done. What's missing that would require removal of the aperture control mechanism?
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