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03-10-2018, 03:22 PM - 1 Like   #136
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We all want Pentax to produce very good lenses but these days they are too small to produce more than a handful. They simply can’t cover the whole field even if they wanted to. People can see this and know it will take many years to produce a full lineup of modern motorised lenses, so either they don’t buy into the system or they move away because what they want isn’t available either from the first party or from a third party. It’s hard to see this as a happy situation. The kicker is time, the time required to build out a good offer before changes in the camera market undermine it or loss of users becomes too high.

I see this as a race and I do think that some more third-party support would swing the odds more in Pentax’s favour. Confidence is absolutely key. People buy into a system over several years but to do that they need to feel the system will grow and meet their needs. What that means is they want the lenses to be there even if they aren’t going to buy them any time soon. That’s tough to swallow if you are a head office beancounter but any market trader will tell you that a full stall moves goods faster than a half empty one. Confidence is king.


Last edited by mecrox; 03-10-2018 at 03:28 PM.
03-10-2018, 03:32 PM   #137
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QuoteOriginally posted by angerdan Quote
Why KAF4?
KAF4 lenses are the first lenses able to compete 'mechanically' with Canon's EF lenses - the lenses which get primary credit for Canon's dominant position today. Why introduce this mount, and then not make strong use of it???

Last edited by reh321; 03-10-2018 at 04:08 PM.
03-10-2018, 03:44 PM   #138
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
Donít forget that Jun Hirakawa who designed the FA43 and FA77 and many other notable Pentax lenses became manager of the lens design department at Tamron after he retired from Pentax in 2010 (Hoya forced his retirement). Do you think anyone still at Pentax has reached out in the last years?
I did not know that Jun Hirakawa went over to Tamron after Pentax. I know many consider Hirakawa to be a brilliant lens designer (myself included) and I would agree that it is likely that former colleagues at Pentax would reach out to him, after he left Pentax, to discuss things like... the merits of lens design, etc., and also perhaps engage in discussion about about Pentax-Tamron involvement.

It would be interesting to know of his (I'm assuming he had, being Manager of lens design) involvement in the design of the Tamron 15-30mm lens. I haven't used this lens, only read reviews of it and the reviews, I've read are positive.
03-10-2018, 03:49 PM   #139
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QuoteOriginally posted by lesmore49 Quote
I did not know that Jun Hirakawa went over to Tamron after Pentax. I know many consider Hirakawa to be a brilliant lens designer (myself included) and I would agree that it is likely that former colleagues at Pentax would reach out to him, after he left Pentax, to discuss things like... the merits of lens design, etc., and also perhaps engage in discussion about about Pentax-Tamron involvement.

It would be interesting to know of his (I'm assuming he had, being Manager of lens design) involvement in the design of the Tamron 15-30mm lens. I haven't used this lens, only read reviews of it and the reviews, I've read are positive.
He designed lenses for a couple years and the move to managing the department was a step toward retirement. One cannot know, but this kind of relationship certainly matters in my industry.

03-10-2018, 04:10 PM   #140
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
He designed lenses for a couple years and the move to managing the department was a step toward retirement. One cannot know, but this kind of relationship certainly matters in my industry.
Mine too. I'm retired now, but for about 18 months after retirement, I would receive calls on a regular basis from former work colleagues, to discuss the pros/cons of different ideas/projects that I had been involved with, while working at the organization and that were continuing to progress at my old workplace. My view is that this is not an uncommon situation and also that it is important to foster these work relationships for the good of a company and/or organization.
03-11-2018, 01:14 AM   #141
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I think this thread has gone a bit off topic and turned into another discussion on Pentax business plans in general, about which we can only speculate. Regarding the possibility of future limited lenses, I think the mere suggestion that there will be more in the future will go a long way to keeping current Pentax users in the brand rather than jumping ship. They have a great reputation and are still unique in the industry, despite others (most notably Fujifilm) also learning that small, high-grade primes are desirable. It seems to me that Pentax have fallen below a certain critical mass in their ability to bring new lenses to market in (what we as consumers/users regard as) a reasonable time. Perhaps they have spread themselves too thin with 645, FF & APS-C and that's one reason why I think that updating older designs with KAF4, in-body motors and perhaps WR could speed things up.
03-11-2018, 11:55 AM   #142
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QuoteOriginally posted by photoptimist Quote
But if Pentax has to lose even more money to retain these Sigma-loving switchers then it just reaches bankruptcy court all the sooner.

The key to avoiding bankruptcy court is ensuring there's more money coming in than going out. Paying Sigma to steal Pentax lens buyers seems to be more of a "money going out" strategy.

There's always people leaving Pentax and people joining Pentax all the time (apparently half of K-1 buyers were switchers to Pentax). Pentax needs to work on a sustainable model for business with appropriate levels of investment scaled to match expected levels of sales. The total volume of Pentax sales does not need not be high as long as the accounts can balance.
Not really. How much does it cost to help third party manufacturers adapt? It may not be something they have to do forever, but right now it is killing the brand. It also has to be more cost effective than rebadging and developing products which won't be available until 2019.

Right now, a Pentax owner looks at a lens or a flash or some other accessory at B&H or Adorama or Amazon, and ads follows you around the internet forever. However, click on it, and you find members of your club are not invited. That terrific K1 (which I really, really like) is a paperweight without glass and accessories.

Market share is down from 6.7% in 2016 to 4.8% in 2017 to 4.2% presently, so this is not just a few people coming and going. The entire DSLR market is contracting, and not everyone will be able to make a full selection of lenses. When companies like Sigma and Tamron stop offering their new products in the mount, a company which can't afford to develop a ton of new lenses is in a death spiral. This is a serious problem.

Last edited by GeneV; 03-11-2018 at 12:04 PM.
03-11-2018, 01:50 PM - 3 Likes   #143
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QuoteOriginally posted by GeneV Quote
Not really. How much does it cost to help third party manufacturers adapt?
IMO you're making two mistakes here.
One, that you think about "the cost to adapt" existing products. Except for the electronic aperture - where it's just about reverse engineering the protocol - third-party lens makers already know how to make K-mount lenses.
The real issue is with manufacturing and distribution, I'd say. They can make the goods, they can distribute them all over the world - but what good, if they'd sit on the shelves?

The second mistake, is to assume that by prioritizing helping third-party manufacturers instead of their own company, Ricoh Imaging could significantly grow the Pentax brand. I think this is just a wet dream, a desperate search for a 'silver bullet' solution - without properly looking at the problem.
The entire "if only those Sigma lenses were available, we'd be buying them in droves!" is completely false: we didn't buy them in large enough quantities when Sigma launched their lenses in K-mount.

And... if they'd be giving up on themselves, that's when Pentax would truly be dying.

P.S. This is a thread about "more Limited lenses", right?


Last edited by Kunzite; 03-11-2018 at 01:58 PM.
03-11-2018, 02:02 PM - 2 Likes   #144
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Sometimes I wonder about what specific shots (other than tilt lens ones) primarily nonpro shooters (don't know the actual ratio) are unable to make with one or another extant Pentax lens? How big is this group and how much money do they have to invest that can be amortized out by sales of a lens/lenses to meet that need/those needs?

Last edited by jgnfld; 03-11-2018 at 02:08 PM.
03-11-2018, 07:14 PM - 3 Likes   #145
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QuoteOriginally posted by jgnfld Quote
Sometimes I wonder about what specific shots
Very good question. There are a number of lenses I would like. Some of those I might even buy. But I have nothing on my list that the lack of is preventing me from getting any shot I want.

For some it is a genuine concern for the brand, the belief being that without all the glass in the other guys catalog Pentax will whither away.
For some it is a belief that if only they had xyz lens their photographs would suddenly be on the cover of Nat Geo. (that belief continues no matter how much stuff is bought IMHO)
For some it is a budget thing, the belief being that they could buy third party lenses cheaper than Pentax glass.
For some it is actually true but I am at a loss to actually pick any lens missing from the catalog that another one could not substitute for. But I'm eagerly looking forward to other's suggestions.
For most I think it is just envy of "the other guys" and availability of said lens would not result in a purchase anyway.

Let's face it, if there was a sound business or professional reason that a particular lens was required it is not that difficult to simply buy the lens and then the camera to go on the back of it. Or rent it for the job. And anyone deriving income from their photography would have already done that. That leaves us with non-pro shooters and for those it is 'want' not 'need'.
03-11-2018, 07:42 PM - 1 Like   #146
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@@ It comes down to who defines and how one defines success and failure. As long as people expect Pentax to be Canon people will see Pentax on the brink of ruin. After a detailed investment banking study, in 2013 Ricoh Corp. actively declined to compete with Canon at it’s Ricoh Imaging subsidiary. They’ve followed their own intentional business plan since.

Last edited by monochrome; 03-11-2018 at 08:37 PM.
03-12-2018, 01:56 AM - 1 Like   #147
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
@@ It comes down to who defines and how one defines success and failure. As long as people expect Pentax to be Canon people will see Pentax on the brink of ruin. After a detailed investment banking study, in 2013 Ricoh Corp. actively declined to compete with Canon at it’s Ricoh Imaging subsidiary. They’ve followed their own intentional business plan since.
This definitely the way to go - if Pentax were to compete product for product with Canon (apart from going bankrupt very quickly) they'd essentially just be Canon products (but with better sensors).

Pentax need to follow their own path, but I think recently a lot of people have a problem with that path appearing to be the same as that from canon, Nikon, Sony and Sigma - huge expensive lenses which aren't unique in any way other than having a K mount. I can definitely understand that as such lenses don't interest me at all. I also think that this is precisely the reason that the idea of more limited lenses interests a lot of people - Pentax really should capitalise more on these unique lenses.
03-12-2018, 02:08 AM   #148
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Well isn't this doing new limited lens, kind a that interesting path?
Pentax has to do normal lenses, like fast fifty and 85, and then wide prime. After those have been doen these sweet limited lenses, which attraction will carry on for long time, are gonna be even more precious. It is up to anyone if they want to use big class or these tiny jevels. It is not long when that will be possible. well for some it might be, but IF Ricoh can take that bump and keep up their plan -which is good so that there will be higher quality in relased products- it will pay off eventually.

Rushing it now would completelly ruin all the effort done so far IMO. There is good stuff coming, 2018 is half way almost soon, so 2019 is not so far away.
03-12-2018, 02:40 AM - 1 Like   #149
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Didn't the FA series give us a combination of big, fast, pro-level lenses as well as a line of compact, affordable and tradesmanlike consumer offerings, and also the three legendary Limiteds?

Surely the DFA series can do the same thing. There's room for all tastes now, just as there was then.
03-12-2018, 03:15 AM   #150
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
@@ It comes down to who defines and how one defines success and failure. As long as people expect Pentax to be Canon people will see Pentax on the brink of ruin. After a detailed investment banking study, in 2013 Ricoh Corp. actively declined to compete with Canon at it’s Ricoh Imaging subsidiary. They’ve followed their own intentional business plan since.
GeneV asked the core question. What does a brand do when it is too small to offer a full range of items created in-house. Does it say we don’t need them for what we concentrate on so there won’t be a full range of items or does it say we have arranged third-party alternatives for the things we cannot offer ourselves.

A consideration here is whether the absence of third-party alternatives causes fewer in-house items to be sold because overall customers see your offer as weaker than they would like it to be. It’s a pretty straightforward pragmatic question, I’d say.

Last edited by mecrox; 03-12-2018 at 03:42 AM.
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