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02-27-2017, 11:24 AM - 3 Likes   #76
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That's how you give a proper interview:

CP+ 2017 - Sigma interview: 'We?ve learned that some customers require exceptional lens performance': Digital Photography Review

Sigma sends one person (the CEO, none less) and gives a lot of information (like that they are planning native E-mount lenses), Ricoh sends four and says practically nothing.

Why even bother interviewing them ...

02-27-2017, 11:27 AM - 1 Like   #77
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
Given the IF lenses can have very lightweight focusing elements, that may or may not be relevant. No IF lens rotates the big front elects any more. SO that may be a reason for not having it in really big lenses, but if they can put it in a 55-300, they can put it in anything smaller and lighter, and possibly with the right design in something quite heavy. But I'm guessing the big heavy lenses Pentax is designing right now might have an issue with it. It certainly wouldn't be an issue in a redesign of the FA ltds.

With all due respect to Pentax engineers, I've driven small robots with stepper motors. They must be making reference to the size they'd have to be to fit in a lens barrel.

Not really. They had to redo the whole 55-300 for that. It can be used for new lenses but probably not or rarely for olders.
02-27-2017, 11:46 AM - 2 Likes   #78
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QuoteOriginally posted by thibs Quote
Not really. They had to redo the whole 55-300 for that. It can be used for new lenses but probably not or rarely for olders.
So many people seem to think updating the FA Limiteds is fairly straightforward, and just a matter of adding HD coatings, weather seals, QS clutch and an internal focus Motor.

I'm no engineer, but it seems to me - Ricoh has zero money invested in the FA Limiteds (all the engineering was amortized to zero when Ricoh bought Pentax) and zero cost for the SMC evaporators (for the same reason). The Princesses are a Cash Cow. ANY investment in them AT ALL (including adding HD, which adds cost-amortization of the new evaporators) reduces return on invested capital, especially at a time when there are more pressing projects and constrained time and talent. I believe upgrading them is a bigger, more time-intense project than most here think, and probably not economically viable.

Keep making and selling them just as they are until people stop buying them.
02-27-2017, 11:58 AM - 1 Like   #79
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
So many people seem to think updating the FA Limiteds is fairly straightforward, and just a matter of adding HD coatings, weather seals, QS clutch and an internal focus Motor.

I'm no engineer, but it seems to me - Ricoh has zero money invested in the FA Limiteds (all the engineering was amortized to zero when Ricoh bought Pentax) and zero cost for the SMC evaporators (for the same reason). The Princesses are a Cash Cow. ANY investment in them AT ALL (including adding HD, which adds cost-amortization of the new evaporators) reduces return on invested capital, especially at a time when there are more pressing projects and constrained time and talent. I believe upgrading them is a bigger, more time-intense project than most here think, and probably not economically viable.

Keep making and selling them just as they are until people stop buying them.
Yeah, noticed that. Go figure.
It's like software. It's free. rotfl.
They could update them slightly for not much but that would be risky (coating different, colors different) and probably not bring much ekse if at all. And price would be higher and all would moan because of a very lame update.

Better to let them untouched at least for how. Later they might have the luxury to do something about the princesses.

02-27-2017, 12:05 PM   #80
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QuoteOriginally posted by ogl Quote
Me? The sense of DA limited is IQ+compactness, f2.8 is enough.
I agree with you on the DA limited but expect a longish wait for any new ones as large FF fast primes and other primes and zooms are currently in greater need. For example a 24 and or 28mm that is not large would be useful for FF and cropped for now. I suspect that any new DA limiteds will depend partly on the sales of the higher end APS-C cameras.
02-27-2017, 12:19 PM   #81
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I am somewhat perplexed by the emphasis placed, not just in this thread, on f1.4 vs f1.8 or even slower lenses.

Given the progress made over the years in IQ at high(er) ISOs, just how significant is this one stop (or less) loss in lens speed? Sure, improvement is always nice, and state of the art can sometimes reach places that lesser technology cannot, but practicality has its place too, no? Does everyone need or want to pay the price in size/weight/cost just to have the latest and greatest?
02-27-2017, 12:34 PM   #82
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
So many people seem to think updating the FA Limiteds is fairly straightforward, and just a matter of adding HD coatings, weather seals, QS clutch and an internal focus Motor.

I'm no engineer, but it seems to me - Ricoh has zero money invested in the FA Limiteds (all the engineering was amortized to zero when Ricoh bought Pentax) and zero cost for the SMC evaporators (for the same reason). The Princesses are a Cash Cow. ANY investment in them AT ALL (including adding HD, which adds cost-amortization of the new evaporators) reduces return on invested capital, especially at a time when there are more pressing projects and constrained time and talent. I believe upgrading them is a bigger, more time-intense project than most here think, and probably not economically viable.

Keep making and selling them just as they are until people stop buying them.
I won't pretend to know what Ricoh's priorities are, but screw drive is a dinosaur. Every single review of these lenses from non-Pentax reviewers note the noise of the screw drive motor. In 2017 they are embarrassing to use in quiet venues.
02-27-2017, 12:43 PM - 6 Likes   #83
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QuoteOriginally posted by bxf Quote
I am somewhat perplexed by the emphasis placed, not just in this thread, on f1.4 vs f1.8 or even slower lenses.

Given the progress made over the years in IQ at high(er) ISOs, just how significant is this one stop (or less) loss in lens speed? Sure, improvement is always nice, and state of the art can sometimes reach places that lesser technology cannot, but practicality has its place too, no? Does everyone need or want to pay the price in size/weight/cost just to have the latest and greatest?
There is a reluctance on the part of some to go beyond ISO 100 for fear of image noise rearing its ugly head on 60 inch prints of their cat.

02-27-2017, 12:48 PM - 1 Like   #84
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QuoteOriginally posted by FantasticMrFox Quote
That's how you give a proper interview:

CP+ 2017 - Sigma interview: 'We?ve learned that some customers require exceptional lens performance': Digital Photography Review

Sigma sends one person (the CEO, none less) and gives a lot of information (like that they are planning native E-mount lenses), Ricoh sends four and says practically nothing.

Why even bother interviewing them ...
Well, we let you go Sigma if you wish
02-27-2017, 12:54 PM - 2 Likes   #85
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QuoteOriginally posted by bxf Quote
just how significant is this one stop (or less) loss in lens speed?
It depends if one is looking at the lens or the pictures taken with the lens.
02-27-2017, 01:33 PM - 1 Like   #86
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QuoteOriginally posted by johnmflores Quote
I won't pretend to know what Ricoh's priorities are, but screw drive is a dinosaur. Every single review of these lenses from non-Pentax reviewers note the noise of the screw drive motor. In 2017 they are embarrassing to use in quiet venues.
I understand, and I agree, but I don't believe updating the FA Limiteds is a simple project at all. It might even be as much work as designing entirely new lenses. I would not be surprised if they are never updated, and allowed to quietly fade away.

I'll also note that in-body focus motors still exist on Nikon high-end bodies.

Last edited by monochrome; 02-27-2017 at 01:39 PM.
02-27-2017, 01:35 PM   #87
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QuoteQuote:
Ricoh has zero money invested in the FA Limiteds (all the engineering was amortized to zero when Ricoh bought Pentax)
What they paid for Pentax also paid for the the FA ltds and any other glass blanks lying around. They weren't free, they have to be paid for.
02-27-2017, 02:31 PM - 3 Likes   #88
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The DPR/Sigma interview was more conversational from the start. The PF interview was a list of questions about specific products or product lines. That's the problem with using member-submitted questions - it reads like an interrogation. I assume it was Albert talking to the Ricoh guys - he has written before about the difficulties of conducting that sort of interview. When Imaging Resource sits down with the same Ricoh managers, it's a lot more conversational and (usually) more informative.

While the Sigma CEO said a lot more words, most of them boiled down to "what we do next depends on the market", which really isn't that different from what the Pentax guys said. "We've learned that some customers require exceptional lens performance". No, really? (sarcasm) The biggest thing I took from the Sigma interview was the statement that it takes them two (or three) years to design a new lens.

I'm afraid that even the vaunted Princesses in updated shells would just be dismissed as "rehashing old designs". Even if they didn't use up design resources, Pentax' production resources are also restricted (at present), and that would be three "new" or "modern" lenses that would have to wait.

Last edited by THoog; 02-27-2017 at 03:16 PM.
02-27-2017, 02:38 PM - 3 Likes   #89
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
What they paid for Pentax also paid for the the FA ltds and any other glass blanks lying around. They weren't free, they have to be paid for.
For $165,000,000 Ricoh got all the Real Estate, Plant & Equipment, the Patents, any intermediate parts like the (rumored to be substantial) inventory of glass blanks, the Inventory of completed cameras and lenses, the Goodwill in the Pentax name and any value in employee processes and procedures. The SMC evaporators had already been fully amortized* and SMC was off patent. FA43 is a 1993 lens; FA77 is a 1999 lens; FA31 is a 2001 lens. The amortization schedule for tooling for lenses is 10 years; the R&D had been recovered.

I'll concede for discussion the cost of glass blanks, which was likely de minimus since Pentax Imaging was sold at Distress pricing. There was therefore little to no value associated with the FA Limiteds in the purchase price aside from Goodwill ascribed to their reputation.

The plan was to discontinue the FA Limiteds once the inventory from the December, 2012 production lot was exhausted. That plan changed when K-1 was greenlighted and all three Limiteds went into a new production batch in February, 2016.. I'd bet, if it was possible to know, we would find the FA Limiteds are the most profitable product Ricoh has in current production - as they are. Changing them would actually reduce the profit margin.



* Recall that Ricoh immediately invested in new evaporators associated with HD. To make that a good business decision they had to have a new, patented coating.
02-27-2017, 03:50 PM - 4 Likes   #90
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It's good to keep things in context.

Adam, Albert and others do a service to the forum members here to sift through all the submitted questions and then go to CP+ to meet with the Ricoh peeps. The PF admin run a forum/community for Pentax users, it totally relies on the users, so why wouldn't they rely on those questions? Yes, Ricoh sent four people, which for them obviously is meant to convey that they consider the interview important and that they consider PF and its members, largely from outside of their home market of Asia, to be of some significance. And there's been follow through on at least some of the outstanding things long-mentioned by forum members, i.e., mechanical SR in video mode. If you're saying that Ricoh/Pentax were their usual relatively tight-lipped selves, well then maybe you're new here?

The DPR interview starts off saying the Sigma CEO is an exceptional interview subject, so obviously that interview is going to be of a different quality and calibre than all the rest, Ricoh included. That's pretty much the definition of exceptional, isn't it?

Someone else drew a comparison to Imaging Resource goes. Dave Etchells is the one that does their interviews and gets exceptional interviews. His circumstances seem quite different. He can take the interview where he wants and isn't necessarily beholden to his readership in the same way PF is to its members and can pursue any line of questioning he feels is interesting. As one of the owner's of IR, I suspect he gets different treatment than Adam and Albert representing the motley crew of us PF members. He's obviously got some kind of engineering background which also makes his questions very insightful. Plus, he has the benefit of having been at this for quite a while, permitting him to cultivate personal relationships with definite people at various companies.

The PF interviews play their role in ferreting out info, as do the PF members who visit CP+ and talk to the reps, along with all the other interviews on IR, etc.

QuoteOriginally posted by FantasticMrFox Quote
That's how you give a proper interview:

CP+ 2017 - Sigma interview: 'We?ve learned that some customers require exceptional lens performance': Digital Photography Review

Sigma sends one person (the CEO, none less) and gives a lot of information (like that they are planning native E-mount lenses), Ricoh sends four and says practically nothing.

Why even bother interviewing them ...
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