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01-14-2017, 06:10 AM - 1 Like   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by eddie1960 Quote
Then you are not paying attention , it's been like that since I started taking photos in 73. Not every lens they release works that way but for certain he volume lenses make up for some camera loss.
On the contrary, I am paying attention.
This was about cameras being subsidized by lenses, as a general phenomenon in the camera industry, with specific examples being given like the Pentax K-1 and the Pentax 645Z. I see no indication of a "camera loss" in either case - on the contrary, Ricoh Imaging is talking about how "the number of 645Z sales is much more than our expectations" or how the K-1 is "contributing to profits".
Where is your proof?

---------- Post added 14-01-17 at 03:14 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by eddie1960 Quote
Those aren't the bodies that lose, all pro cameras are priced to cover their costs, but then they are but a small portion of sales. E showpieces and higher end at any company are there to drive volume in the lower priced products, they actually subsidize the feature development. Rumoured KP which is likely an entry level item is where the camera drives volume but doesn't make a ton, accessories like a flash and a tele zoom and perhaps a 35 2.4 or 50 1.8 are where the profit start to flow. Then a percentage of the new users that drives to the brand builds the more profitable enthusiast product sales . You get a distorted view of the industry when your whole experience is from interaction on forums like this because this is generally the land of converted enthusiasts , we buy the higher profit items but the volume is not from us , it's from the masses who buy entry level items
So it's about me being wrong and you being too happy to point that out?
I know some examples of low end products making a loss, so you're mistaken about me getting distorted views, or not paying attention, or whatever excuse at discussing the person instead of the subject. However, what I disagreed with was a generalization - with high-end cameras given as examples.

01-14-2017, 06:24 AM - 2 Likes   #32
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@clackers @Kunzite What I've written RE: 645D is, the inventory of FA 645 lenses Hoya acquired at fire-sale price offered enough free cash flow to justify development of the camera. A more extreme understanding would be, Hoya had the lenses, but they were essentially worthless without a digital MF camera to mount them.

Remember, Hoya did not want to operate Pentax, Hoya wanted to liquidate Pentax.

RE: the larger discussion, a lens design has a ten year life cycle. They're generally not in constant production, but batch made and warehoused. Prices are high on lenses because there are additional costs and risks not found on cameras. Some of the DA Limiteds may be nearing end-of-life

A camera design (the core technology inside the shell, not the updated peripherals) has a five-ish year life cycle. Cameras are made in constant production. Development costs are recovered over time as numerous successive model use R&D capsules. Price flexibility is a tool to keep production running while avoiding uncontrolled inventory build.

KP is rumored to be a completely new design, so think of it as setting forth Pentax's APSc market philosophy through 2022.

Pentax seems to only build products they expect to make profit with. They don't make razors.

Tamron and Pentax are collaborators, or symbiotes. Pentax and Sigma are competitors, or antagonists.

Last edited by monochrome; 01-14-2017 at 06:32 AM.
01-14-2017, 06:24 AM - 4 Likes   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by biz-engineer Quote
Lenses aren't an issue at all. Why? Because the life cycle of lenses is much longer than the life cycle of camera bodies due to technology of camera bodies changing faster than lens tech. So, as long as a company makes new camera bodies, the investment in the mount is safe because you can continue to use the lenses you already invested in, with new camera tech.
I care about Ricoh Imaging doing well financially to a certain point, that is I want them to stay in business and continue to release products that I can use. But I'm a photographer, not an investor. I will not start putting the interest of a private business over my own.

For me as a consumer, reduced lens choice is bad, from a financial perspective (own brand lenses are usually more expensive than similar third party offerings) and a technical perspective (Sigma builds certain lenses that are optically better than Pentax equivalents, or don't even exist in the Pentax line, such as a 30 and 35 mm f/1.4).

I find it slightly odd to find consumers celebrate reduced choice and potentially higher prices because it means the company that manufactures their camera can make more money that way ...
01-14-2017, 06:28 AM - 1 Like   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by FantasticMrFox Quote
I find it slightly odd to find consumers celebrate reduced choice and potentially higher prices because it means the company that manufactures their camera can make more money that way ...
The best choice of lenses is for Canon and Nikon, if this is criteria number one, the only valid choice of camera is Canon and Nikon. Leica, Sony, Fuji, Panasonic, Olympus, Phase One, Hasselblad and Pentax are all bad guys. Also, all of the medium format cameras and all u4/3 cameras should not exist because sigma do not make lenses for them. The 645z should not exist, because Sigma does not make lenses for the 645z. Last but not least, every one should complain about the Fuji GFX50 because Sigma and Tamron don't make lenses for it.

Now, that's not all... you know what? A lot of Canon guys complain because Nikon does not make the 14-24 in Canon mount! Sacrilege! We should go on strike down the street.

As a matter of fact, there is always a lens you can't have, no matter which brand of camera you have.


Last edited by biz-engineer; 01-14-2017 at 07:01 AM.
01-14-2017, 06:32 AM   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
@clackers @Kunzite What I've written RE: 645D is, the inventory of FA 645 lenses Hoya acquired at fire-sale price offered enough free cash flow to justify development of the camera. A more extreme understanding would be, Hoya had the lenses, but they were essentially worthless without a digital MF camera to mount them.

Remember, Hoya did not want to operate Pentax, Hoya wanted to liquidate Pentax.

RE: the larger discussion, a lens design has a ten year life cycle. Some of the DA Limiteds may be nearing end-of-life

A camera design (the core technology inside the shell, not the updated peripherals) has a five-ish year life cycle. KP is rumored to be a completely new design, so think of it as setting forth Pentax's APSc market philosophy until 2022.
Thank you for the clarification - it make sense. Obviously there was something that pushed Hoya to approve the development of what is essentially a high end product line, some easy money to be made.
01-14-2017, 06:33 AM   #36
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QuoteOriginally posted by HippyHippo Quote
Spoke to the Sigma rep at the SWPP trade show in London yesterday. Asked about their strategy around Pentax going forward. He wasn't positive saying that two more lenses were shortly to be pulled (didn't know which but doubted it was the 35mm Art). Said volumes just weren't there.
I personally feel Pentax glass is better than Sigma and SIgma isn't cheap either. Sigma pics are bright but lack the color compared to Pentax. Tamron is pretty close to Pentax.. So not much of a worry to me if they stopped.
01-14-2017, 06:36 AM - 1 Like   #37
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Pentax doesn't make prime of any description under the 31mm a the moment. IN the wide end case, Sigma and Tamron not producing for Pentax definitely hurts the brand. The brand doesn't have the capabilities of other brands, except in wide aperture lenses. For those of us nomads who carry our existence on our backs, they've become irrelevant. At least for the K-1. Go back to the K-3 and Sigma was still making the 8-16, which filled in the UWA part of my K-3 line up. There's no such choice or the K-1 under $2k.Maybe looking at Nikon and Canon, Sigma are leaches, IN the Pentax world where the company produces a fraction of the aperture and focal length combinations it did in the past, Sigma in particular and to some extent Tamron are the only games in town. At least they were, before Pentax became so small even the parasites were starving.
01-14-2017, 06:52 AM - 1 Like   #38
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QuoteOriginally posted by biz-engineer Quote
I mean, if lens choices was an issue, then, medium format should not exist, leica should not exist, sony should not exist, fuji should not exist, and your only choice of camera is Canon or Nikon. That's choice or camera versus choice of lenses. If Sigma goes Canon and Nikon only, then you can complain because as a consumer you can chose the Pentax camera that is cheaper than the Canon or Nikon camera.
Sony has the adaptors, that can take pretty much any Canon or Nikon lens, and loads of people make use of it. But Sony is also currently pumping out immense amounts of new lenses, and has the standalone feature (compared to the big two, Canon and Nikon) of being mirrorless. These three factors (quickly catching up in the lens department, being mirrorless, and adaptors) mean customers can overlook the reduced native lens choice. Pentax has neither of these three going for it.

Leica occupies a very narrow niche, and the lenses they do have are commonly thought of as the optically best in existence (next to some Zeiss).

You are also claiming the selling more of their own lenses makes Pentax more money, which is definitely true, but as Pentax currently lacks a range of important lenses (such as any current FF prime below 31 mm, as Norm pointed out), people looking to switch to Pentax form other systems (mostly for the K-1) are actually deciding against it in many cases. There are a lot of discussions going on in the German DSLR Forum, the DPR forum etc. where people, including professional photographers, voice their admiration for the K-1 and a genuine intention to switch, but say they can't really because Pentax doesn't offer lens X, or Y, or Z which they need for their work. This is losing Pentax money too. If these people came over and bought a K-1, they'd also buy Pentax lenses with it (in addition to the third party options they want/need).

01-14-2017, 07:06 AM   #39
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QuoteOriginally posted by FantasticMrFox Quote
You are also claiming the selling more of their own lenses makes Pentax more money, which is definitely true, but as Pentax currently lacks a range of important lenses (such as any current FF prime below 31 mm, as Norm pointed out), people looking to switch to Pentax form other systems (mostly for the K-1) are actually deciding against it in many cases. There are a lot of discussions going on in the German DSLR Forum, the DPR forum etc. where people, including professional photographers, voice their admiration for the K-1 and a genuine intention to switch, but say they can't really because Pentax doesn't offer lens X, or Y, or Z which they need for their work. This is losing Pentax money too. If these people came over and bought a K-1, they'd also buy Pentax lenses with it (in addition to the third party options they want/need).
Correct. My understanding is that Ricoh imaging would release in 2017 a set of primes to complete their offering. Of course , if that's not the case, some customers will switch, that happens all the time. At the moment, it's pretty silent, no rumors, no leak, nothing. Now, if they don't release new primes, that may be a hint that Ricoh imaging redirect their budget to some other product lines, which is very possible given the general market trends. My understanding is that classic photography customers will have to accept less choice in the future (regardless of the brand of camera they use) as the mass market is showing less and less interest in big sensor photography and showing more activity in social media with smart phone and fancy consumer devices of the category of Ricoh Theta. We can't expect that we become a minority and camera companies keep making multiple products for a shrinking market. I can envision that the current full frame market may become as large as the medium format market, that mean, less camera models and less choice of lenses sold at a higher price.

Last edited by biz-engineer; 01-14-2017 at 07:15 AM.
01-14-2017, 07:12 AM   #40
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
Pentax doesn't make prime of any description under the 31mm a the moment. ...At least for the K-1. Go back to the K-3 and Sigma was still making the 8-16, which filled in the UWA part of my K-3 line up. There's no such choice or the K-1 under $2k.Maybe looking at Nikon and Canon, Sigma are leaches, IN the Pentax world where the company produces a fraction of the aperture and focal length combinations it did in the past, Sigma in particular and to some extent Tamron are the only games in town. At least they were, before Pentax became so small even the parasites were starving.
DA 21, DA 14, DA 15...
Did you mean no Full Frame primes?

I imagine there is a balance - too much 3rd party competition reduces incentive to make and sell lenses. Too little choice makes the system less appealing.

As for camera vs lens. My dad worked for Canon and Pentax as a sales rep and also was the VP of a camera store in the 1970's and 80's. Without any question the cameras that the masses bought were priced to sell to ultimately sell lenses. They were not loss leaders but they had narrow margins by comparison. At times they were sold at a loss or net zero profit but only at the low end. As expressed earlier the desire was to get the consumer committed to a brand and keep them there. More recently a (now former) Pentax sales rep made some deals available to us for equipment. I can confirm getting insider deals on bodies and lenses but cannot confirm a huge difference in discounts. The perspective of my observations is similar to dealer/distributor price vs selling price not manufacturing cost vs dealer cost. If the camera is still a low margin item it isn't reflected in typical markup at the dealer but that doesn't clarify the manufacturer pricing.
01-14-2017, 07:12 AM - 2 Likes   #41
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QuoteOriginally posted by FantasticMrFox Quote
Sony has the adaptors, that can take pretty much any Canon or Nikon lens, and loads of people make use of it. But Sony is also currently pumping out immense amounts of new lenses, and has the standalone feature (compared to the big two, Canon and Nikon) of being mirrorless. These three factors (quickly catching up in the lens department, being mirrorless, and adaptors) mean customers can overlook the reduced native lens choice. Pentax has neither of these three going for it.

Leica occupies a very narrow niche, and the lenses they do have are commonly thought of as the optically best in existence (next to some Zeiss).

You are also claiming the selling more of their own lenses makes Pentax more money, which is definitely true, but as Pentax currently lacks a range of important lenses (such as any current FF prime below 31 mm, as Norm pointed out), people looking to switch to Pentax form other systems (mostly for the K-1) are actually deciding against it in many cases. There are a lot of discussions going on in the German DSLR Forum, the DPR forum etc. where people, including professional photographers, voice their admiration for the K-1 and a genuine intention to switch, but say they can't really because Pentax doesn't offer lens X, or Y, or Z which they need for their work. This is losing Pentax money too. If these people came over and bought a K-1, they'd also buy Pentax lenses with it (in addition to the third party options they want/need).
Hi there FantasticMrFox,

Long time lurker, first time poster. I have to echo your statement here. I have for months now, been looking at a FF camera system to invest in. The three camera bodies that I have narrowed downn my choice to are the Sony A7rii, the Nikon D810 and the Pentax K-1. I have gone in to several stores and handled these systems and for me, the K-1 is the outstanding choice. The K-1 in my opinion, is unrivalled in it's ergonomics and feature set. It just feels right in the hand, and feels like a real photographer's tool. The only reason why I have yet to pull the trigger, is my lack of confidence in Pentax's (or Ricoh's) long term plan or strategy for the K-1 (or FF) with regards to the lens line up.

This IS the reason why I personally have not pulled the trigger on purchasing the camera yet; lack of confidence in Ricoh's plans for this system with regards to a quality lens lineup that rivals that of Canon and Nikon (and eventually even Sony).
01-14-2017, 07:29 AM   #42
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QuoteOriginally posted by FantasticMrFox Quote
I care about Ricoh Imaging doing well financially to a certain point, that is I want them to stay in business and continue to release products that I can use. But I'm a photographer, not an investor. I will not start putting the interest of a private business over my own.

For me as a consumer, reduced lens choice is bad, from a financial perspective (own brand lenses are usually more expensive than similar third party offerings) and a technical perspective (Sigma builds certain lenses that are optically better than Pentax equivalents, or don't even exist in the Pentax line, such as a 30 and 35 mm f/1.4).

I find it slightly odd to find consumers celebrate reduced choice and potentially higher prices because it means the company that manufactures their camera can make more money that way ...
I don't think anyone celebrates lack of third party options. Certainly it would be nice if Sigma, Tamron, and Tokina all offered all of their lenses in k mount. The problem from those company's standpoint is that overall sales in k mount have to be microscopic compared sales for Canon and Nikon. I suppose it is the same reason that they don't offer Leica versions of their lenses and why Tamron and Tokina don't offer Sigma mount versions of their lenses.

Hopefully if Pentax's market share increases, those sales dynamics will change as well and it will make more sense for third parties to make gear for the k mount.
01-14-2017, 07:32 AM   #43
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I also believe that if Ricoh/Pentax is fully invested in this system, that it would absolutely be in their best interests to generate some soundbites indicating as much. There's no use keeping hush on matters like this, particularly when consumer confidence in the product that your trying to sell is directly proportional to the transparent drive, passion and intentional direction you are showing your potential customers regarding the system. This is why Sony is doing so well in my opinion. They are constantly developing and building up their FF e-mount system. That in turn builds consumer confidence in the brand.
01-14-2017, 08:10 AM   #44
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QuoteOriginally posted by newradical Quote
Hi there FantasticMrFox,

Long time lurker, first time poster. I have to echo your statement here. I have for months now, been looking at a FF camera system to invest in. The three camera bodies that I have narrowed downn my choice to are the Sony A7rii, the Nikon D810 and the Pentax K-1. I have gone in to several stores and handled these systems and for me, the K-1 is the outstanding choice. The K-1 in my opinion, is unrivalled in it's ergonomics and feature set. It just feels right in the hand, and feels like a real photographer's tool. The only reason why I have yet to pull the trigger, is my lack of confidence in Pentax's (or Ricoh's) long term plan or strategy for the K-1 (or FF) with regards to the lens line up.

This IS the reason why I personally have not pulled the trigger on purchasing the camera yet; lack of confidence in Ricoh's plans for this system with regards to a quality lens lineup that rivals that of Canon and Nikon (and eventually even Sony).
Welcome.
Aren't you overestimating the Sony FE lens line, just a bit? They only have 18 lenses, a far cry from Canon and Nikon; while Pentax started with 15 (though 5 of them are film-era).
01-14-2017, 08:16 AM   #45
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QuoteOriginally posted by newradical Quote
I also believe that if Ricoh/Pentax is fully invested in this system, that it would absolutely be in their best interests to generate some soundbites indicating as much. There's no use keeping hush on matters like this, particularly when consumer confidence in the product that your trying to sell is directly proportional to the transparent drive, passion and intentional direction you are showing your potential customers regarding the system. This is why Sony is doing so well in my opinion. They are constantly developing and building up their FF e-mount system. That in turn builds consumer confidence in the brand.
I think they have been pretty clear about their intentions to continue building high quality SLRs and the lens line up is clear as well. The only question is the exact dates that the lenses will actually be released. Currently, Pentax offers the three FA limiteds, the DFA 28-105, 15-30, 24-70, 150-450 and 70-200, the FA 50, DFA 100, DA *200 and 300 and a few other lenses. Certainly there is room for additional full frame lenses, particularly wide primes, but that certainly is a good starting place.

I think the lack of Pentax full frame lenses is somewhat over stated as most of the bread and butter focal lengths are covered quite well at present.
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