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02-09-2017, 01:04 AM   #166
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A lot of interesting points here - time for another two pence worth? Probably not, but here we go.

Pentax is small. They need a USP to survive - but I don't think that backwards compatibility is a convincing USP: however nice it might be for us long tie Pentaxians, it sounds like an excuse for failure to produce a modern lens line up, not like a wonderful engineering feat. And, as has been pointed out, it's not without cost. It makes the company look more interested in hanging on to a dwindling band of devotees that seizing the future. I've got to take my daughter to school now - the other one penny when I return ;D

02-09-2017, 01:09 AM - 1 Like   #167
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I don't see any difference between what you mostly call for and the current Pentax strategy. The new lenses are motorized (DC and development of PLM). The only issue is the pace for the new offer building. On this subject I feel Ricoh did the right thing to by updating its lens production line and its quality control (reason for DFA*70-200 delay), updating the mount for electronic aperture and developing PLM. I hope to see good primes in 2017 and that those choices will enable Pentax to keep offering new lenses at a better pace.

If they dropped production of "old" screwdriven FA limited they would have lost a lot of k1 sales and probably not be more able to deliver new lenses that was at design stage anyway.
02-09-2017, 01:41 AM   #168
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QuoteOriginally posted by OoKU Quote
So,HD DA35/2.4 cancel?
Hmm?
02-09-2017, 01:58 AM   #169
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Ok - sorry - shouldn't leave a point half made. What I was going to say is that Ive never not had at least one Pentax camera for over 30 years now - I like the brand and the ethos of the brand. Everybody knows that Hoya were bad for Pentax (other than maybe at least keeping them alive at all) but there was something of a period of floundering before that which weakened Pentax. To my mind they decided that their future lay in novelty, which is very hit and miss. Weather sealing is a good example of a hit - they have always led the field in this and it's something people associate with the brand now. But there were too many gimmicky misses. The brand stopped being taken seriously.

I'm a big fan of what Ricoh are doing. They are keeping the Pentax ethos but going back to getting the basics right - they are producing solid, competent cameras that focus on the core importance of image quality - after all, a camera is a tool to achieve an image, it's the image that matters to serious photographers, not the camera.

But, they are in some ways being held back by perceptions - people who have never held a Pentax camera know that the AF and video are sub-par. For the brand to get the recognition it deserves, AF certainly, and increasingly video, can't be out there as reasons to not even consider Pentax. And the lens line up is the other thing consistently held against them - rightly or wrongly. Pentax devotees can trumpet all they like about legacy glass, but that's not what new buyers are interested in. And yes, Ricoh are addressing this - but the whole debate is about not letting thepast stand in the way of the future, and I want to say that I trust Ricoh enough to give them a free hand in going where they think they need to go to for Pentax to be a player ten years from now, and going forward.

02-09-2017, 02:18 AM - 1 Like   #170
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
Pentax is a tiny, tiny camera company. Mistral75 says Leica is a larger company than Ricoh Imaging. Pentax is a niche player, not a major, and it doesn't appear Ricoh parent Co. is willing to invest the way Sony and even Fuji are. I think we have to tailor our expectations to reality RE: near-term (at least) Pentax releases.
That may be true. But Ricoh's decision to stay very small is not just an investment decision, it is a bet that a photography company can get by while staying very small and "expenditure lite" in the current climate. There seem to be indications now that this bet is unravelling. Developing and selling consumer electronics can be hugely expensive and you may well need a bigger scale to underwrite the costs. But if you don't do it, then you fall behind your competitors and take a hit.

The three most common complaints I've read concern the lens catalogue, AF acuity and third-party support. I think third-party support can be dismissed fairly easily as amour propre. Few complain about third-party support on Fuji or M43 or even Leica. Why? Because those platforms are amply supplied with own-brand lenses their users like and they don't feel they are being ripped off. No one buys them for top-flight sports photography so no one complains that Leica or Fuji don't have 300-600mm f4 zooms in their arsenal.

The Pentax lens catalogue looks pretty ropey to me. People can say that too is the inevitable result of staying small. But it may be that a good modern lens catalogue is actually a necessary business overhead. Why? Because buyers want a company which offers a good and at least affordable modern lens catalogue even if they don't intend to buy many lenses. It's part of the overall offer.

AF acuity is a long-running issue and I suspect it is easily exaggerated. Again, no one complains that some other companies are not issuing systems to rival a Nikon D5 or D500. In any case, it is fixable with more investment, lenses which are designed for better AF, and much more marketing communication (always a weak point with Pentax).

I do get the sense that things can't really carry on as they are. There is clearly trouble with representation in North America and that in Europe is no great shakes either so far as I can tell. Video is still at 2012 levels. Nearly every other company now offers a pro support programme - except for Pentax. That too may well be another necessary business overhead and buyers will stay away if you don't offer it.

Perhaps Ricoh need to double down or move on. The present situation doesn't look sustainable especially when one sees the new cameras and their very advanced tech now coming from other players. I'm not going to saying anything about mirrorless in case too many Pentaxians faint. But the fact over the next few years folks is that without it, Ricoh's camera division is toast. Not only is it the future, it is the only way Ricoh is going to capture significant numbers of new owners rather than the shrinking pool of old Pentaxians. Quite a chance, I should think, that Ricoh will leave Pentax as a legacy DSLR brand and migrate the tech to Ricoh-brand modern mirrorless.

Last edited by mecrox; 02-09-2017 at 02:27 AM.
02-09-2017, 02:34 AM   #171
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QuoteOriginally posted by mecrox Quote
I do get the sense that things can't really carry on as they are.
Same feeling as me. You have many of the same points that i tried to tell (you explained it better then me).

Ricoh is in for the long term, so no worries there..I just dont agree with everything they do And yes, i am region ambassador..But I'm still allowed to speak freely I even have that in my contract
02-09-2017, 03:14 AM - 1 Like   #172
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I think Pentax is doing everything right. It is the K-mount and backwards compatibility that made Pentax worthwhile for Ricoh and why they are still around. DSLR systems are attractive for the manufacturers due to the user base the lens line and mount provide. Manufacturers without such bases struggles in the DSLR market and most have left. They are left with product lines that does't yield the same level of loyalty and that are far more prone to changing market whims and fashion....

It is far more important that old lenses works on new bodies than the other way around. I see no conflict between innovation in lenses and backward compatibility in bodies. The K-mount is perfectly suited for the future unlike the old Canon FD mount.
02-09-2017, 03:29 AM   #173
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pål Jensen Quote
I think Pentax is doing everything right. It is the K-mount and backwards compatibility that made Pentax worthwhile for Ricoh and why they are still around.
Why dont they attract new users easily and not even close to minimise the gap then backwards compatibility is what is slowing them down is my experience. They might please existing Pentax user, but doesn't appeal to new users..Most people see Pentax as a minimal and strange brand for the geeks. I think i see the problems easier then you as a user..cause i work daily with selling Pentax in to new markeds and users.

But that said, IM pleased with what they deliver..Otherwise i would just do my job even harder

02-09-2017, 03:29 AM   #174
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QuoteOriginally posted by clackers Quote
And Canon were big enough and successful enough to p*** off all the FD lens owners and get away with it, Mistral.
Indeed, except they were not as big in 1987 as they are today. Actually, their choice to change mount overnight, as painful as it was for FD lens and camera owners, played a big part in their current #1 status (better autofocus than their main competitors, etc.)..

And Asahi Optical royally p***ed off the M42 lens and camera owners in 1975, even though some compatibility with the K mount system was maintained .

It's something that's easier to do when you are big than when you are small: you can afford to displease and loose part of you customers. Kyocera made the same move in 2000 as Canon in 1987: from a mechanical mount (Contax/Yashica) to a fully-electronic, large-throated mount (Contax N). Five years after and following the failure of the Contax N Digital, they were out of business.
02-09-2017, 03:38 AM - 1 Like   #175
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Backwards compatibility is added value and scare no one away. If Pentax doesn't attract sufficient new users it isn't because you can use older lenses on their bodies. The K-mount is fully modern and doesn't prevent innovation.

Canon was forced to change mount. The FD mount had very small diametre making in difficult to make fast lenses of sufficient quality. There was also no space for electrical contacts; indeed their first AF camera (with FD mount) had the electrical contacts awkwardly placed on the outside of the lens and camera mount.
02-09-2017, 03:50 AM - 1 Like   #176
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pål Jensen Quote
Backwards compatibility is added value and scare no one away. If Pentax doesn't attract sufficient new users it isn't because you can use older lenses on their bodies. .
As i have been trying to say..this doesn't appeal to many new users..But pleasing some of the existing users. It seems that you claim to have better knowledge about Pentax, the marked and the users then we who work with it on a daily basis. Do you have facts to support that, or is it just your personal opinion you try to cover up as facts?
02-09-2017, 03:59 AM   #177
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Let me put in that Pentax cannot afford any radical breach of lens/body compatibility, just because they painfully issue one or two optical new products in a year....
02-09-2017, 04:09 AM   #178
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I'm not sure I totally agree with you on the following remarks:

QuoteOriginally posted by Pål Jensen Quote
(...)

(...)The FD mount had very small diametre making in difficult to make fast lenses of sufficient quality. (...)
Canon FD 24mm f/1.4 L, 50mm f/1.2 L (and 55mm f/1.2 AL), 85mm f/1.2 L, 200mm f/1.8 L and 400mm f/2.8 L were both fast and of (very) high quality. Had they been particularly difficult to design and/or were they particularly difficult to manufacture? I don't think so.

QuoteOriginally posted by Pål Jensen Quote
(...)

(...)There was also no space for electrical contacts; indeed their first AF camera (with FD mount) had the electrical contacts awkwardly placed on the outside of the lens and camera mount.
They could have placed them on the mating surfaces, as Asahi Optical did with the K-A mount. It would even have been easier for them, the breech-lock mechanism ensuring the actual mating surfaces remain fixed when mounting and dismounting the lens.

I think Canon wanted to get rid of their FD mount, its mechanical linkages and pins, its costly and slow to use breech-lock, etc. They could have adapted their mount to support auto-focus, as did other manufacturers, they instead chose to make a clean break with the past and design a completely new interface with support for electrical signalling and control (and a larger diameter to facilitate the design of some lenses, including perspective control lenses).
02-09-2017, 04:10 AM - 1 Like   #179
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What backward compatibility needs to be ditched to move forward exactly? The AF motor? The Aperture lever? They are not obstructing development of in lens solutions. Changing the mount would aggravate a lot of users and rob them of the single reason they are staying with Pentax. Mirrorless will always have a different mount than DSLR. Are DSLR customers stopping Ricoh moving into mirrorless? Maybe but it is Ricoh's choice to mainly be a DSLR company. There is much that can be improved, without changes to to mount that would destroy backward compatibility with older K-mount lenses. Like improving AF, Video and wireless integration. Adding a touch interface (That's not compatible with old fashioned people ). Backward compatibility is a strength. It's not holding Ricoh back to try new stuff.
02-09-2017, 04:17 AM   #180
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QuoteOriginally posted by kenspo Quote
Same feeling as me. You have many of the same points that i tried to tell (you explained it better then me).

Ricoh is in for the long term, so no worries there..I just dont agree with everything they do And yes, i am region ambassador..But I'm still allowed to speak freely I even have that in my contract
Thanks for the info Kenspo and not only on KP but for your general presence in here

Do you have any updates for the new DFA* 500/4 and the accompanying TCs?

Your possible replies (to make it easier for you):

A. What is this? Are we talking about lenses?
B. The NDA comes in here (the big grin is part of your answer and means a lot)
C. Better continue sleeping or get your morning coffee and we talk again later...
And the answer i would love:
D. Yep, I've tried the proproduction version! It's marvelous!
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