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12-08-2017, 12:20 AM   #2176
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tom S. Quote
Yes, because it's so much better to make $100 selling one item than it is selling a hundred items and only making $2 off of each item.
It is definitely not that easy or clear.

ILC markets have mulitple buyer categories/levels. Nobody goes from smartphone to $3,000 camera in one step. They do need to grow and retain their customers. Focus on the rich $3,000 buyers will look good in the balance sheet for this year and the next, but after that they run dry of new customers (the < $1,000 crowd) and the curve goes down quickly.
Canon has understood that very well and all the others have not. That is why Canon has not a single serious competitor left these days.

Camera business is not either/or. You need to attract the limited budget buyers first and then expand into higher price.

12-08-2017, 03:22 AM - 1 Like   #2177
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Only Canon has looked at budget customers??? Everybody does. Only Sony seems a bit lazy keeping on budget models from 2014. And that is because they are predating on Canon and Nikon High end users instead of drawing them in from below.
12-08-2017, 04:42 AM   #2178
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tom S. Quote
Yes, because it's so much better to make $100 selling one item than it is selling a hundred items and only making $2 off of each item.

Roger Smith tried to increase profit margins in lieu of market share and the resulting philosophy drove the world's largest car company into bankruptcy.
I guess nobody's interested in Ricoh's actual statements about changing from an expansion-at-all-costs strategy.

A two order of magnitude increase in sales through lower prices argument is absurd.
By the way, out of some 300 smartphone makers, about 10 are making a profit. I doubt camera makers would want to adopt that business model.

With Pentax, we've seen:
- an attempt of getting market share through low prices; it failed. Even more, it backfired badly, as people are expecting Pentax to be cheaper than anything else - but complaining about performance and other costly features.
- Hoya's targeting margins through cost reduction. The result being neglecting of the K-mount lens line, and the attrition of their customer base.
Ricoh Imaging might have the better strategy. Sure, they need to address high-end, mid-range and entry-level.

About this D FA* 50mm f/1.4, there should be little doubt that it cannot be made much cheaper and still be the same product. Pentax already is fighting against low sales volumes, there's no compensating for lowering the price other than compromising the product.
12-08-2017, 06:01 AM   #2179
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The Hoya issue is kind of confusing to me. It seemed like some products were rushed, or canceled, but it feels like Ricoh management has brought fewer new products to market than Hoya's did.

I still think that this is a good thing, the D-FA 50 1.4, as it creates a top rung product over a middle rung DA* 55, and bottom rung 50 1.8, from a cost/quality/feature perspective. I like my 50 1.8 quite a bit and maybe I will get a DA* 55 some day.

12-08-2017, 07:17 AM   #2180
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On the contrary, Hoya's management slowed the new lenses introduction to a grinding halt.
Don't forget that most of the 2008 lenses were launched while there still was a Pentax Corporation.
12-08-2017, 09:55 AM   #2181
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True, I guess, it's hard to know who exactly did or pushed what. Unless you know where to look and who to ask.
12-08-2017, 12:28 PM   #2182
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I'm 100% sure that there will be more cheaper options too. But premium line is something what needs to be there too.
12-08-2017, 12:48 PM - 1 Like   #2183
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I would be curious to know what it is about the new breed of these 50mm lenses that justifies a price increase from the typical $500 area of the previous generation to the $1500 that are being charged or projected for the new ones. Is it the cost of the glass? Other materials? More labour to produce?

I can't help but be skeptical about the relationship between the cost or production and selling price.

12-08-2017, 12:52 PM   #2184
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QuoteOriginally posted by bxf Quote
I can't help but be skeptical about the relationship between the cost or production and selling price.
What drives price high, on top of better larger lens elements, is mainly lower sales volumes. Existing photography equipment being already good, less people buy, resulting in less quantities to divide the fixed costs of R&D and SG&A expenses. In order to give a reason to buy a more expensive product , it has to be presented as a superior product, which also require better larger glass but that is secondary.

Last edited by biz-engineer; 12-08-2017 at 01:07 PM.
12-08-2017, 01:55 PM   #2185
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QuoteOriginally posted by bxf Quote
I would be curious to know what it is about the new breed of these 50mm lenses that justifies a price increase from the typical $500 area of the previous generation to the $1500 that are being charged or projected for the new ones. Is it the cost of the glass? Other materials? More labour to produce?

I can't help but be skeptical about the relationship between the cost or production and selling price.
Competition.

Materials used, size, donig perfect not just compromise, of PF vingetting, sharpness, WR/AW, focus speed, fancy something and wearing premium label.

You need to make it work/shone in all of things just mentioned. That goes with coming 85/1,4 and premium WA prime. Ofcourse you can go quite near with cheaper version too, but it is not D-FA * (which ever one of them).
12-08-2017, 02:00 PM   #2186
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Back in the day zooms were, not so good, so a 50mm prime like the Pentax-A 50mm f/1.4 was a distinct improvement. These days zooms are far, far better so a specialty lens that is supposed to exceed the quality of the current zooms must perform as much better than the current zooms as the old Pentax-A primes exceed the zooms of the day.

And that extra comes at a high price.
12-08-2017, 02:43 PM - 1 Like   #2187
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QuoteOriginally posted by bxf Quote
I would be curious to know what it is about the new breed of these 50mm lenses that justifies a price increase from the typical $500 area of the previous generation to the $1500 that are being charged or projected for the new ones. Is it the cost of the glass? Other materials? More labour to produce?
Tolerances many times contribute a great deal to the final cost in the production costs of a lens.
This manifests in the need for more precision in the tools required to meet resolution if you want a lens to resolve more for higher pixel densities better design and the complexities are needed. Also what the lens is designed for and the rendering can also influence the production cost.

In my line of working tolerances also play a role in the cost of production, itís not hard for us to layout several miles of highway with cm accuracy but for us to layout 2 industrial bearings 10m apart with the need tolerances would cost us 10 times the amount.
12-08-2017, 10:09 PM   #2188
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QuoteOriginally posted by bxf Quote
I would be curious to know what it is about the new breed of these 50mm lenses that justifies a price increase from the typical $500 area of the previous generation to the $1500 that are being charged or projected for the new ones. Is it the cost of the glass? Other materials? More labour to produce?

I can't help but be skeptical about the relationship between the cost or production and selling price.
Price positioning : skim and match
12-09-2017, 02:12 AM   #2189
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With all these introduction of high-end lenses, I think Ricoh is trying to redefine it's image and market position. I just hope that there will still be good consumer products.
12-09-2017, 04:45 AM   #2190
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ian Stuart Forsyth Quote
Tolerances many times contribute a great deal to the final cost in the production costs of a lens.
Certain. I also believe the quality of glass material selected can be different to make a lens with same formulation. Maybe not a perfect example, but it was said the FA35 2 and DA L 35 2.4 were using the same optical formula. But the DA L35 is a lot cheaper than the FA35, and the images taken with the FA35 have more microconstrast than the ones taken with the DA L 35. That's how I formed an opinion on how Sigma and Tamron could make lenses significantly cheaper, and now are also able to make excellent lenses at prices getting closer and closer to OEM prices. How much ED is ED... that figure is not disclosed to the users, but there are different level of quality within the ED glass category itself.
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