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03-10-2018, 08:17 AM - 2 Likes   #121
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QuoteOriginally posted by photoptimist Quote
Yes, if profit-per-lens exceeds profit-per-body, then losing lens sales to boost body sales is an extremely poor business decision.

(As an aside: I wonder if it's still true that lenses are the profit drivers for camera makers. Data from 2017 shows shipments of 19.2 million lenses and 11.7 million cameras. That's a ratio of only 1.6:1 implying that most camera buyers never buy a second lens. Worse, the lens shipment data presumably includes both third-party lenses and low-end kit-lenses, neither of which would provide profit to the camera maker. In the era of the prime lens (and crappy third-party lenses), I'm sure the ratio of lenses-to-bodies and profit-per-lens was much higher. Decent zoom lenses have reduced sales of primes and decent third-party lens makers have reduced body-maker's profits on lenses.)
We must distinguish Profit from Cash Flow, Bodies are Cash Flow. Cash Flow keeps the lights on. Profit keeps the owners happy.

03-10-2018, 08:28 AM   #122
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
What benefit would Pentax get paying a fee to a company that reverse-engineers everyone’s mounts and pays nothing for the rights?
.:
They would get me and other long time Pentaxians to start using their Pentax bodies again, and get interested in updating them.

From the long thread on the lens timeline, we are years out from some needed lenses. It is bizarre to me that I can buy a very good MC-11 adapter and use Sigma lenses on a Sony E mount, when I would rather have them mounted on a K1. (Some lenses don’t balance as well on Mirrorless, for me) The Sigma 150-600 has become a staple for birding these days, and I ended up buying a Nikon body for It.

This is brand killing when it has a 45 year Pentax user finally buying a different DSLR. Get Sigma back to offering the Pentax mount for more lenses. It is far quicker than releasing new Pentaxes.

Last edited by GeneV; 03-10-2018 at 08:33 AM.
03-10-2018, 09:03 AM - 2 Likes   #123
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QuoteOriginally posted by GeneV Quote
They would get me and other long time Pentaxians to start using their Pentax bodies again, and get interested in updating them.

From the long thread on the lens timeline, we are years out from some needed lenses. It is bizarre to me that I can buy a very good MC-11 adapter and use Sigma lenses on a Sony E mount, when I would rather have them mounted on a K1. (Some lenses don’t balance as well on Mirrorless, for me) The Sigma 150-600 has become a staple for birding these days, and I ended up buying a Nikon body for It.

This is brand killing when it has a 45 year Pentax user finally buying a different DSLR. Get Sigma back to offering the Pentax mount for more lenses. It is far quicker than releasing new Pentaxes.
The marginal number of people who would suddenly buy a Pentax body explicitly to mount a Sigma lens on it wouldn’t nearly cover the cost in real money and lost first-party lens sales to ‘incentivize’ Sigma to release a few lenses in K-mount. There are other, more business-sensible ways to provide modern lenses short-term without destroying the brand in the long term. I’m quite certain if such a decision made business sense it would have happened by now.
03-10-2018, 09:17 AM - 1 Like   #124
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
The marginal number of people who would suddenly buy a Pentax body explicitly to mount a Sigma lens on it wouldn’t nearly cover the cost in real money and lost first-party lens sales to ‘incentivize’ Sigma to release a few lenses in K-mount. There are other, more business-sensible ways to provide modern lenses short-term without destroying the brand in the long term. I’m quite certain if such a decision made business sense it would have happened by now.
My friend, I strongly disagree. Pentax users are switching the other way. I see it in local circles. When was the last time I was seen around here? Not every business decision that has been made is a good one. That is why there are bankruptcy courts.

03-10-2018, 09:35 AM - 3 Likes   #125
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QuoteOriginally posted by GeneV Quote
My friend, I strongly disagree. Pentax users are switching the other way. I see it in local circles. When was the last time I was seen around here? Not every business decision that has been made is a good one. That is why there are bankruptcy courts.
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.
03-10-2018, 09:39 AM - 1 Like   #126
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My experience with limited lenses is limited (no pun intended) to the FA 77mm and FA 31mm back in the film era. I loved those lenses when I had them; I stupidly sold them years ago though. They rocked as a two lens kit for travel and were capable of producing a wonderful black and white negative. I've used Leicas in the past too, and although different I hold those two lenses in the same image quality and use.

I'd like to see a 135mm limited lens in the same build quality, image rendering, and size as those two limiteds...rather small and in the 2.8-2.0 speed range. It would make a wonderful companion for me and get me to buy all three.
03-10-2018, 10:02 AM - 2 Likes   #127
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QuoteOriginally posted by GeneV Quote
My friend, I strongly disagree. Pentax users are switching the other way. I see it in local circles. When was the last time I was seen around here? Not every business decision that has been made is a good one. That is why there are bankruptcy courts.
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.
Gene has been around the business for a long, long time and I respect his opinion. I have two responses: 1) Pentax USA (or whatever name they’ve used) has been an abject failure for over twenty years, so it isn’t surprising Users in our market area turning away from the brand. 2) There are other ways to solve the lens catalog problem (if that isn’t just a red herring) that don’t include Sigma.
03-10-2018, 10:26 AM   #128
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
Gene has been around the business for a long, long time and I respect his opinion. I have two responses: 1) Pentax USA (or whatever name they’ve used) has been an abject failure for over twenty years, so it isn’t surprising Users in our market area turning away from the brand. 2) There are other ways to solve the lens catalog problem (if that isn’t just a red herring) that don’t include Sigma.
I think we can all agree that Pentax USA looks like a disaster from the perspective of both customers and retailers.

And yet I wonder if that horrible strategy is virtually the only option for a minor brand of high-priced consumer electronics in today's retailing environment. The cost required to support a brick-and-mortar retail presence is huge. The cost to ensure that retail salespeople support Pentax on an equal footing with Canikony is huge. A decade ago when I was looking at the K10D (and every other brand), my local shop tried to steer me away from Pentax even though I expressed strong interest in it. How can Pentax guarantee the same revenue per square foot as Canikony? I would strongly suspect that Pentax knows that expected sales simply cannot cover all these costs.

Maybe Gene has more insight (and data) on retail costs, incentives, and sales. If so, then I bow to his superior data and appreciate his insights into the hidden world of camera retailing.

03-10-2018, 11:16 AM   #129
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
The marginal number of people who would suddenly buy a Pentax body explicitly to mount a Sigma lens on it wouldn’t nearly cover the cost in real money and lost first-party lens sales to ‘incentivize’ Sigma to release a few lenses in K-mount. There are other, more business-sensible ways to provide modern lenses short-term without destroying the brand in the long term. I’m quite certain if such a decision made business sense it would have happened by now.
I'm pretty sure you have me on your ignore list.. but I'll hazard a response anyway..

Is anyone saying they are buying Pentax to explicitly mount a Sigma lens on it? I don't know.. but I think the thought is instead people would suddenly buy a Pentax body if they had access to Sigma lenses (in addition to OEM and other 3rd parties). The goal here is to have a wealth of newer designs available that is somewhat comparable to other brands so one can pick and chose the lenses that make sense to them.

Your PoV seems to be, correct me if I'm wrong, that Ricoh corporate are working in the most optimal possible manner available. That is, they just aren't operating on what they perceive as the best policy but that policy they are using matches the best policy theoretically available. You're a brand optimist.. yes? That's fine.

But sometimes business leaders get it wrong.. sometimes they take risks and lose... sometimes they shy from risks and lose too.

I think this is the line of thinking that sent Kodak to the bottom of the ocean. That is not saying Ricoh/Pentax are directly Kodak. But I'm getting across the notion that businesses aren't infallible... they're run by humans.. humans are flawed.. they make mistakes. Even sometimes with the best intentions our choices can lead to ill results.

I think if you cast aside your many years of photography experience and personal preferences and instead just looked at the business today as it is... could you honestly say, as a new photographer, 'Pentax has a robust full frame system available compared to competitors.' ??

I really cannot. And it is easy to see the difference right now. I started into DSLRs only 8 years ago... and even then, outside of the kit 18-55, my first new lens was a Sigma. My second (or third) new lens was ... a Sigma. They had attractive options at an attractive price. Had those lenses only been available in Canon or Nikon mounts, I'd have likely sold off the kit Pentax body and went to another brand early. Outside of the PF echo chamber, I see a lot more people that think this way. The camera bodies are what can initially attract you to a brand, but the lenses keep you there... they are what complete it.

And we can argue that the old, screwdriven relics still on the market today in K mount have 'character' or are 'retro', but only a small amount of buyers think that way.. is it enough to stay afloat? Don't think so.. not do I think Ricoh do. Hence why Ricoh is launching jumbo Sigma-like 'clones' now..

That is the PoV here that really makes me shake my head... it is like arguing that roll up windows and a cassette player are fine on a new car today. It might be acceptable for a few who are used to those for the past 30+ years, but the customer base as a whole expects electric powered windows and bluetooth with multiple USB ports. They do so as those features are standard fare today. Times change in the camera world when technology changes.. If Pentax cannot roll out lenses to fill the obvious gaps, then customers will find other means.. including 3rd parties.. if they are willing to participate. Otherwise I cannot see them sticking around for long.. just putting up with lowered expectations..
03-10-2018, 11:28 AM   #130
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I think the thing is that from Pentax's standpoint the only way that Sigma lenses make sense would be as rebadges, just as they have done with a select few Tamron lenses. Rebadges are a double edged sword -- they generally cost a little more than similar lenses in other mounts (although they should be more compatible) and there is some level of quality that is guaranteed by Pentax that might not be with a garden variety Sigma/Tamron lens. That said, Pentax has an existing relationship with Tamron and none with Sigma. If they have not chosen to rebadge any other Tamron lenses then they certainly wouldn't do so with Sigma.

The biggest thing is that they are planning to release their own designs in the not distant future and they don't want to fund their competition in any way. From Pentax's standpoint, it is probably better if Sigma stays away from the K mount with new lenses as the only competition then is existing K mount lenses like the FA 85 and Sigma 85 (now discontinued), which are limited in quantity.

As far as US photographers using Pentax, we are few enough that we don't move the needle at all. Pentax uses Asia as their bench mark and probably to a lesser extent France, as those are the main drivers of new camera gear sales, but certainly North America is an after thought, both from a marketing and overall presence standpoint.
03-10-2018, 12:29 PM - 3 Likes   #131
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QuoteOriginally posted by photoptimist Quote
That's a ratio of only 1.6:1 implying that most camera buyers never buy a second lens
I'm going to use this one sentence to steer away from the pointless debate about getting Sigma to increase its K-mount offerings.

Theoretically you could be right, but only if most of the camera bodies sold in the last couple of years were purchased by new entrants to the market. The general consensus is that the stream of new entrants is drying up. To quantify this, we would need to know the effect of new model introductions on overall sales and the number of customers who are more inclined to add to their lens collection instead of upgrading or adding to their camera body collection, at this particular point in time. I would say that new camera model introductions have received most of the attention in recent years and most MILC purchasers in recent years already owned a DSLR, so the body to lens ratio is likely to be this high, even if most ILC owners do buy more than one lens during the lifetime of their cameras. That also means that this ratio will change from one year to the next, since logically there is a period of at least a few years from the purchase of a new camera body to its replacement, during which the owner will be inclined to take a similar portion of their disposable income and spend it on lenses (being that there aren't a lot of ways to spend money on one's photographic hobby that don't involve buying a lens or a body, and most hobbyists lose interest if they aren't spending money on their hobby). Not everyone buys new models (of cameras or lenses) in the same year, so changes in the body to lens ratio in the global market are less pronounced, but camera manufacturers have to be aware that they need the lens business to pick up the slack from inevitable declines in the sales of bodies. Clearly, the market has shown that a steady stream of new camera models is not a long term strategy for success.
03-10-2018, 01:38 PM - 2 Likes   #132
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QuoteOriginally posted by RGlasel Quote
most hobbyists lose interest if they aren't spending money on their hobby

That's an astonishing thought.. here and beyond this discussion (and beyond photography) that rings true. Thank you for sharing that thought!

03-10-2018, 02:20 PM - 2 Likes   #133
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Interesting and informative to read the thoughts of others in this thread, particularly the views on the maintenance of commercial viability for companies. I do learn things from the Pentax forum.

I've wondered about some things,like why Pentax do the things they do...over the years and why do I do the things I do, when I buy Pentax rather than another maker's products.

Back in the '60's why do they have the M42 screw mount, in the '70's why did they go to the bayonet mount, will electronic shutter cameras really displace mechanical shutters. When I bought my first Pentax, an S1a...should I have bought a Spotmatic instead? That way I would have an internal light meter, not have to use a separate hand held meter and carry around a gray card in my camera bag. BTW, I still use a Sekonic (L-398) light meter on occasion.

My latest wonderings about Pentax...well into this digital age.

I have wondered why Pentax chose Tamron to provided rebadged full frame lenses. My thinking was that one factor might of been, because Tamron had a 15-30 mm F 2.8 lens and Sigma I don't think, at the time of introduction of the Pentax version of the 15-30 F 2.8, had a lens in this category that provided F 2.8. I could be wrong and probably am. At the time of Tamron/Pentax15-30 intro thinking that Sigma just had the 12-24, F 4....ok in focal length but many would want an F 2.8.

I understand that Sigma will be introducing the Sigma ART 14-24mm f/2.8 DG HSM Lens, sometime in April 2018.

I'm sure there are other reasons the decision was made to go to Tamron for rebadged lenses in the 15-30 and 24-70 F 2.8 range. Limited choice of after market manufacturers of course comes to mind.

Pentax also introduced their own lens, the 70-200 F 2.8 around when the K-1 came out and by all accounts (that I'm familiar with) is a an excellent lens. So Pentax has the 15-30 F2.8, 24-70 F 2.8 and 70-200 F 2.8...all lenses that a working photographer and an advanced amateur would aspire to.

I also wondered initially, if the Tamron rebadged 15-30 and 24-70 lenses were stopgap products, which eventually would be replaced by Pentax designed and made lenses. I don't think this anymore, as there is no sign on the roadmap and as far as I know, these Tamron rebadges have worked out fine. So no reason to replace and maybe it makes more sense for Pentax to concentrate on developing and introducing other lenses that Pentaxians have a desire to own, given there is only so much R&D resources.

I do like the idea of a Pentax full frame prime, wide angle, somewhere in the vicinity of an 20-24m...F 2.8 would be nice and looking at the latest lens roadmap, this seems to be in the future plan...hopefully near future, as I'm getting older.

I'm a long time Pentax user (since Feb.1968) and I have, from the first, been happy with Pentax equipment. I do admit on a number of occasions in that half century, thinking should I change my main photographic system to Nikon or Canon. The latest time was in 2016/ early 2017 when I thought should I go Canon or go Nikon full frame.

If I did go Canikon, I thought one FF body, one corporate flash, a 24-105 L or 24-120, F 4, a 70-200 F 4 again and a Sigma/Tamron 150-600 for wildlife. Maybe a 100/105 Macro. I would probably of sold most of my existing Pentax equipment to help finance this change.

But then I was very impressed with the specs of the Pentax K-1, also loved my accumulated Pentax (also my old screw mount Takumars) lenses.

Still wrestling with indecision, I then spoke to a camera salesman, whose opinion I highly respect and who sells in a store chock full of Canikon, but bereft of Pentax. He listened patiently to my machinations about what to do, photographic equipment wise. I mentioned the Canon 5D3, the Nikon D750 or the K-1.

His opinion....I have a lot of Pentax lenses, but no Nikon/Canon lenses. In his opinion, the K-1 was better than the 5D3 or the D750. The nod goes to Pentax was his considered opinion.

I think in the end, that's what I had been leaning to...the K-1. I ordered the K-1 through him , also the 28-105 that gets positive reviews, even though it is classified as a kit lens. I got them and they work very well together. The K-1 is great.

So for me, to my mind, I'm happy to stay with Pentax. Hopefully Pentax will keep on doing what they've been doing...producing excellent equipment for still photography and that I and Pentax, will have another 20 + good years.

My view is that Pentax keeps on introducing new camera bodies...both FF and ASP-C, new lenses of good quality and high interest to me. They do this slowly, I have to rely on reading internet info on what the equipment is like and I have to order sight unseen, if I want new Pentax equipment.

If I had Canikon I could go down and look and check out their new stuff. Buy it right now, then and there. I prefer to do that.

But so far, the new Pentax stuff I've ordered sight unseen has proven to be very good stuff, which I'm happy with. So even if it's not the way I would prefer to do business, so far it's worked out well for me.

In the movie..." Some Like it Hot"... actor Joe E. Lewis utters the phrase..."Well, nobody's perfect"....in a very memorable scene ...and I suppose that sums up what it's like to buy from Pentax in this modern day.

Now that was a a great line from a classic movie and as far as Pentax goes...well they're not perfect either....however their current and new equipment are really good and I'm pulling for them to continue in that vein.
03-10-2018, 02:34 PM   #134
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There are considerations which are almost impossible for us to grasp as for Pentax-Sigma relationship, or absence thereof.

Whatever the exact reason, Pentax has never and will never use a Sigma design.
They may (but don't think they will) license the blueprint, but rebadge a Sigma lens? No way.

It's not judgement from my part, but afaik that's the state of affairs.
03-10-2018, 03:12 PM - 1 Like   #135
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Don’t 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?

QuoteOriginally posted by lesmore49 Quote
Interesting and informative to read the thoughts of others in this thread, particularly the views on the maintenance of commercial viability for companies. I do learn things from the Pentax forum.

I've wondered about some things,like why Pentax do the things they do...over the years and why do I do the things I do, when I buy Pentax rather than another maker's products.

Back in the '60's why do they have the M42 screw mount, in the '70's why did they go to the bayonet mount, will electronic shutter cameras really displace mechanical shutters. When I bought my first Pentax, an S1a...should I have bought a Spotmatic instead? That way I would have an internal light meter, not have to use a separate hand held meter and carry around a gray card in my camera bag. BTW, I still use a Sekonic (L-398) light meter on occasion.

My latest wonderings about Pentax...well into this digital age.

I have wondered why Pentax chose Tamron to provided rebadged full frame lenses. My thinking was that one factor might of been, because Tamron had a 15-30 mm F 2.8 lens and Sigma I don't think, at the time of introduction of the Pentax version of the 15-30 F 2.8, had a lens in this category that provided F 2.8. I could be wrong and probably am. At the time of Tamron/Pentax15-30 intro thinking that Sigma just had the 12-24, F 4....ok in focal length but many would want an F 2.8.

I understand that Sigma will be introducing the Sigma ART 14-24mm f/2.8 DG HSM Lens, sometime in April 2018.

I'm sure there are other reasons the decision was made to go to Tamron for rebadged lenses in the 15-30 and 24-70 F 2.8 range. Limited choice of after market manufacturers of course comes to mind.

Pentax also introduced their own lens, the 70-200 F 2.8 around when the K-1 came out and by all accounts (that I'm familiar with) is a an excellent lens. So Pentax has the 15-30 F2.8, 24-70 F 2.8 and 70-200 F 2.8...all lenses that a working photographer and an advanced amateur would aspire to.

I also wondered initially, if the Tamron rebadged 15-30 and 24-70 lenses were stopgap products, which eventually would be replaced by Pentax designed and made lenses. I don't think this anymore, as there is no sign on the roadmap and as far as I know, these Tamron rebadges have worked out fine. So no reason to replace and maybe it makes more sense for Pentax to concentrate on developing and introducing other lenses that Pentaxians have a desire to own, given there is only so much R&D resources.

I do like the idea of a Pentax full frame prime, wide angle, somewhere in the vicinity of an 20-24m...F 2.8 would be nice and looking at the latest lens roadmap, this seems to be in the future plan...hopefully near future, as I'm getting older.

I'm a long time Pentax user (since Feb.1968) and I have, from the first, been happy with Pentax equipment. I do admit on a number of occasions in that half century, thinking should I change my main photographic system to Nikon or Canon. The latest time was in 2016/ early 2017 when I thought should I go Canon or go Nikon full frame.

If I did go Canikon, I thought one FF body, one corporate flash, a 24-105 L or 24-120, F 4, a 70-200 F 4 again and a Sigma/Tamron 150-600 for wildlife. Maybe a 100/105 Macro. I would probably of sold most of my existing Pentax equipment to help finance this change.

But then I was very impressed with the specs of the Pentax K-1, also loved my accumulated Pentax (also my old screw mount Takumars) lenses.

Still wrestling with indecision, I then spoke to a camera salesman, whose opinion I highly respect and who sells in a store chock full of Canikon, but bereft of Pentax. He listened patiently to my machinations about what to do, photographic equipment wise. I mentioned the Canon 5D3, the Nikon D750 or the K-1.

His opinion....I have a lot of Pentax lenses, but no Nikon/Canon lenses. In his opinion, the K-1 was better than the 5D3 or the D750. The nod goes to Pentax was his considered opinion.

I think in the end, that's what I had been leaning to...the K-1. I ordered the K-1 through him , also the 28-105 that gets positive reviews, even though it is classified as a kit lens. I got them and they work very well together. The K-1 is great.

So for me, to my mind, I'm happy to stay with Pentax. Hopefully Pentax will keep on doing what they've been doing...producing excellent equipment for still photography and that I and Pentax, will have another 20 + good years.

My view is that Pentax keeps on introducing new camera bodies...both FF and ASP-C, new lenses of good quality and high interest to me. They do this slowly, I have to rely on reading internet info on what the equipment is like and I have to order sight unseen, if I want new Pentax equipment.

If I had Canikon I could go down and look and check out their new stuff. Buy it right now, then and there. I prefer to do that.

But so far, the new Pentax stuff I've ordered sight unseen has proven to be very good stuff, which I'm happy with. So even if it's not the way I would prefer to do business, so far it's worked out well for me.

In the movie..." Some Like it Hot"... actor Joe E. Lewis utters the phrase..."Well, nobody's perfect"....in a very memorable scene ...and I suppose that sums up what it's like to buy from Pentax in this modern day.

Now that was a a great line from a classic movie and as far as Pentax goes...well they're not perfect either....however their current and new equipment are really good and I'm pulling for them to continue in that vein.
QuoteOriginally posted by thibs Quote
There are considerations which are almost impossible for us to grasp as for Pentax-Sigma relationship, or absence thereof.

Whatever the exact reason, Pentax has never and will never use a Sigma design.
They may (but don't think they will) license the blueprint, but rebadge a Sigma lens? No way.

It's not judgement from my part, but afaik that's the state of affairs.
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