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09-20-2008, 04:12 PM   #46
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QuoteOriginally posted by GaryML Quote
....Just about the only company still manufacturing anything in Germany is Leica, and they are a niche player struggling to stay in business. They lost money in prior years, and the M8 is not exactly a stellar success. I hope they survive but the odds are against it.
Yes, and Leitz and Voigtlander lenses and cameras are today made by Cosina, right?...and though I like my 28mm Cosina it's not directly top build quality, would probably float on water. Though I admire the trick Cosina pulled by buying German brands ... now if these new Cosina Leitz and Voigtlander lenses are good, it can't just be because of German quality... but I may be wrong. Perhaps they relocated a bunch of magic German lens-makers to the Cosina factories.

Ricehigh, I've been watching you ranting against Pentax since I joined this forum and been waiting to see you move over to Canon. No one who is so critical to a brand should stay with it, it wouldn't make sense. But this rant is a bit different. Are you so disappointed that Pentax is not dead yet that you decided to switch to an already dead German brand? In that case I may recommend Praktica: nice mechanical constructions, German quaility etc etc. Not entirely dead as a company, but I think quite dead as a SLR producer.

09-21-2008, 04:56 AM   #47
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QuoteOriginally posted by AlbertSiegel Quote
According to Pentax USA, they are out of production as are the FA 50 and FA 35. There are no more FA lenses in production other than the D-FA macros. This would be why fewer stores have them in stock than a year ago.
Exactly, they are out of production. But every time ordinary quotas are meet, they run dedicated production runs for FA 35 and FA 50 old film lenses.

This is also why, every once and a while, you see a big new shipment hitting B&H and the other store.



QuoteOriginally posted by AlbertSiegel Quote
It seems that Pentax does not care about having a full high-end lineup, they just seem to go where the money is.
The top-line K1 D was being worked on. But the latest merger with Hoya, has postponed things, (as M&A always does). And likely Pentax also wanted to go with a new sensor, instead of throwing more money in the pocket of Sony.


QuoteOriginally posted by AlbertSiegel Quote
The low-end to mid-range market is where most SLR sales are. Sure, it would be great to have a product line with $5000 bodies and lenses to dream of owning, but how many people would buy these from Pentax when Canon and Nikon are the standard in the pro world and have the lineup and pro support services ready?
I donít expect a top-line crop sensor Pentax to be more than 1.800 Ė 2.000. Though some would like a D3 comparable.



QuoteOriginally posted by AlbertSiegel Quote
I would like to see a FF Pentax as much as the next guy, but I am real about this and know it's not going to happen. APS is not bad at all. I am quite happy with the IQ I get from current Pentax SLRs. I will rent a MF with digital back if I ever need that resolution on a job. The current technology is fine. I just want more features on the cameras as well as the lens lineup filled up a bit better.
Couldnít agree more.

Samsung seem to be more pushing the FF idea. I hope for Pentax to come out with a mini D2Xs, before going towards the slower FF cams.


All the investments on the original FA limiteds, are paid off long ago, from here on it is pure profit to make them. They are also the lenses that users of other brands mention, as being the big lure in a Pentax FF DSLR.
09-21-2008, 05:03 AM   #48
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QuoteOriginally posted by Douglas_of_Sweden Quote
Ricehigh, I've been watching you ranting against Pentax since I joined this forum and been waiting to see you move over to Canon. No one who is so critical to a brand should stay with it, it wouldn't make sense. But this rant is a bit different. Are you so disappointed that Pentax is not dead yet that you decided to switch to an already dead German brand? In that case I may recommend Praktica: nice mechanical constructions, German quaility etc etc. Not entirely dead as a company, but I think quite dead as a SLR producer.

RH finally went with the Eos 5D, and there were a lot of cheering in the Pentax DSLR forum at DPr. (From which he has been banned countless time)
His first image on the Canon forum, he was explained how to remove the dust spots from the sensor, and not tilt the horizon.

Lets just say that his real world shooting it not quite portfolio quality. But then if you never leave the basement cellar dedicated to Pentax, it is hard to improve your photographic skill.

It would be heresy to actually use a Pentax cam for what it was intended; instead of going with tests that you have made to explicitly come up with errors in a camera. When it has taken years of real-time commitment to finally stack it all up, why tear it down, just because the real world gets in the way ?
09-21-2008, 05:36 AM   #49
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This factory made FA limiteds and FA lenses.
http://www.shimotsuke.co.jp/news/tochigi/economics/news/20080918/53997
The factory was set up by the ex-Pentax Corporation company, the Asahi Optical Industry, in November 1969, which has been manufacturing interchangeable lenses for SLRs as well as endoscopes and some other medical equipment and accessories like artificial bones, etc


Last edited by ogl; 09-21-2008 at 05:42 AM.
09-21-2008, 05:46 AM   #50
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QuoteOriginally posted by reeftool Quote
Outsourcing to third world backwater places to take advantage of cheap labor always results in an inferior product with quality control issues no matter what the products are. There are postings all over the forum about certain lenses that you may have to return a few times before you get a good copy. Most older SLR users think of their cameras as a finely machined, quality piece of equiptment that will be reliable and last many years but the camera makers seem determined to turn the SLR into a disposable throwaway that needs to be replaced every couple of years so they can crank out new models at a higher price. With the higher price of fuel they may discover that the shipping costs will eat up the savings of the cheap labor and then what? Cut corners on the material? Do away with weather sealing and make a plastic camera that floats? If all the highly paid skilled jobs in Japan, North America, and Europe get outsourced who is going to BUY the cameras? Sorry for the rant.
Thanks for the vote of confidence in third-world countries, which happen to be where I live and where your beloved K10D was assembled. Really, as long as you have good QA control, there's no need to be wary of shoddy build.

But yeah, even in your superior first-world country, there's still room for error with any gadget that's assembled there. It's plain human error. No one's perfect.

Let me make it clear for you, third-world does not mean stupid. There are a lot of capable and intelligent people in third-world countries, which is probably why a lot of IT jobs are now outsourced to Asia. And yes, we do have buying power. Heck, I bought a Pentax DSLR, for crying out loud, and so have others.

The same thing has been said about Japanese cars and electronics in decades past. Of course, they're now top dog in technology.

Why we're third-world and you're not is a confluence of historical factors and a bit of luck, as well. You'll find lots of instances in history books. But please, let's not be as judgmental towards third-world countries.

In any case, why not trade your Pentax kit for a much-superior Canon system? Made in Japan, and none of the crummy Filipino-made stuff.
09-21-2008, 05:50 AM   #51
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QuoteOriginally posted by raz-0 Quote
Every market has smart, skilled people. The issue is finding them, and keeping the market cost competitive while creating a demand for that skill and talent. Mature markets are not the place to do that effectively. If you cna get into an improving market on the good end of the cost efficiency curve, it is good for you. I've seen some decent optics coming out of both the philippines and vietnam. If you get a company with a history of well designed lenses going in their to build up a decent factory, I wouldn't be surprized seeing some very nice product coming out of the place.
Thanks for this. I just done replying over to some poster who basically denigrated my country. This is a breath of fresh air for me. Again, thanks.
09-21-2008, 05:58 AM   #52
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RiceHigh's Pentax Blog: Hoya Closing Pentax Production Facilities in Japan
Very bad news.

QuoteQuote:
The retreated productions include those for large and medium format cameras, lenses and other camera accessories/peripherals;
09-21-2008, 07:41 AM   #53
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Lab tests didn't tell and can never tell..

QuoteOriginally posted by GaryML Quote
Many people would dispute your claim that the German classic lenses are "the best ones on the planet." I think the modern, high end lenses from all of the manufacturers (Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Olympus, Zeiss and also Leica) represent the the best lenses ever made, using new optical designs with new types of ED glass, aspherical geometry, and advanced coatings. There is certainly a charm to old classic photography equipment, but the claim that the old stuff has better optical qualities is easily disproved with scientific testing.
Those lab testings for lenses tell resolution and distortion mostly, but not other "charms" and characteristics of different lenses, e.g., transparency of image, bokeh, colour accuracy, micro-contrast, greys rendition - details and accuracy, and so on.

MHO is that classic Germany luxury glass are excel in most of those area, which makes the images produced *fantastic*, which none of those Japanese lenses could have ever met, despite classic Pentax film lenses up to those FA/FA* primes made in Japan did have some of those "charms", to certain extents.

09-21-2008, 08:26 AM   #54
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QuoteOriginally posted by Douglas_of_Sweden Quote
Yes, and Leitz and Voigtlander lenses and cameras are today made by Cosina, right?...and though I like my 28mm Cosina it's not directly top build quality, would probably float on water. Though I admire the trick Cosina pulled by buying German brands ... now if these new Cosina Leitz and Voigtlander lenses are good, it can't just be because of German quality... but I may be wrong. Perhaps they relocated a bunch of magic German lens-makers to the Cosina factories.
Leitz changed its name to Leica a few years back. Leica Camera AG - Home The high-end M series lenses are still made in Germany. Leica Camera AG - Photography - Lenses Certainly the low end stuff like the lenses for the Panasonic cameras are manufactured elsewhere.

The Zeiss lenses for Nikon and Pentax SLRs are made by Cosina in Japan. Zeiss has "7 production sites in 5 countries" in Europe, but I'm not sure what is made there. They also have "4 production sites in 2 countries" in "the Americas" (looks like 3 in the U.S. and one in Mexico). Welcome to Carl Zeiss AG, Germany - Click on .pdf "Carl Zeiss - Facts and Figures"

Voigtlander no longer exists as a company, and is simply a name that Cosina bought the rights to use.

Made in Germany is no guarantee of quality, as some German cars like Audi and Volkswagon are not the most reliable products. Made in Japan is no guarantee of quality as evidenced by the lack of quality control with Japanese Sigma lenses. And I have some Chinese made products that are extremely well constructed: my MacBook Pro is well put together with very good fit and finish, and hasn't had a single hardware or assembly issue. (And some of those old U.S. made Macs were not the best-built computers - but some of the early IBM PCs were built like tanks with the best computer keyboards ever made.)

I have great concerns about the political, economic, environmental and social impact of a world where most everything is made in China or other Third World countries. And I have great concerns about the quality of food and medicine produced in China. But the fact remains that a well-managed factory in China can produce good quality manufactured goods, and a factory in a First-World country like the U.S., Japan or Germany can produce poor quality goods.

Last edited by GaryML; 09-21-2008 at 08:53 AM.
09-21-2008, 10:12 PM   #55
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QuoteOriginally posted by RiceHigh Quote
A K-m kit with all plastic DA L 18-55 sold at 499 Euros?

Or, the new DA* 60-250/4 that sold at 1299 Euros??

Not even to mention the older DA* 300/4 which is made in Vietname but almost 30% more expensive than the EF 300/4 L IS that is Made In Japan!

Explanations? (I will explain why later and in the meantime you guess first! ;-))
Where on earth do you get your pricing from? The DA*300 at B&H is listed at US$1,175 and the Canon EF 300/4 L IS is priced between US$1,190 to US$1,210. In my book, that is a *FAR* cry from 30% dearer than the Canon to actually being 1.2 - 9.4% *cheaper*!

DA*60-250 f4 at EUR1,299 is *list* price, not street price, so you can expect a significant reduction on that price and why shouldn't a premium lens like the DA*60-250 f4 command a price like this anyway?
09-21-2008, 10:17 PM   #56
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QuoteOriginally posted by RiceHigh Quote
Classic film lenses made in Germany like those Zeiss, Leica and Contax have not been changed over time and they are the best ones I have ever seen in this planet.

Nowadays lenses are all crap when compared with those German designed and made lenses which are the true state of art photographic equipment in terms of optical quality..

Japanese lenses are still Japanese lenses. In the last century, the closest to German lenses Japanese brand was Pentax, I must say. They are not as good most of the time but they are far cheaper!

Canon lenses nowadays, even L ones, are by no means as good as even those old Pentax glass, but then those were the days. (Yet the latest Pentax glass nowadays are by no means match the Canons IMHO)

The problem now is German companies lack the technologies and manufacturing capabilities of the digital parts, but not the optics. And now, there are fewer and fewer genuine German lenses, particularly those designed by human and with talent and unique characters.

So, time will change something but some other things are yet unchanged over time.
Modern Pentax lenses not the match for Canon? You really *are* on drugs. Funny how recent lenses by Pentax have been touted as being amongst the best ever if not ever, like the FA Limited series and now the DA*35 macro.
09-21-2008, 11:54 PM   #57
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Moreover, European prices included this mighty VAT which will not be presentin the US.

Hoya might, however, take into account the deficit between US$ and other currencies and make the US price a bit higher (look at the DA35 price i the US and in Europe).
09-22-2008, 11:42 PM   #58
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QuoteOriginally posted by vinzer Quote
Thanks for the vote of confidence in third-world countries, which happen to be where I live and where your beloved K10D was assembled. Really, as long as you have good QA control, there's no need to be wary of shoddy build.

But yeah, even in your superior first-world country, there's still room for error with any gadget that's assembled there. It's plain human error. No one's perfect.

Let me make it clear for you, third-world does not mean stupid. There are a lot of capable and intelligent people in third-world countries, which is probably why a lot of IT jobs are now outsourced to Asia. And yes, we do have buying power. Heck, I bought a Pentax DSLR, for crying out loud, and so have others.

The same thing has been said about Japanese cars and electronics in decades past. Of course, they're now top dog in technology.

Why we're third-world and you're not is a confluence of historical factors and a bit of luck, as well. You'll find lots of instances in history books. But please, let's not be as judgmental towards third-world countries.

In any case, why not trade your Pentax kit for a much-superior Canon system? Made in Japan, and none of the crummy Filipino-made stuff.
Seconded. I'd say its more likely that the issues with any pentax glass have more to do with HOW it is made, and not WHERE. Pentax needs to work on their QA a bit in their new factories.
09-23-2008, 02:31 AM   #59
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QuoteOriginally posted by RiceHigh Quote
Those lab testings for lenses tell resolution and distortion mostly, but not other "charms" and characteristics of different lenses, e.g., transparency of image, bokeh, colour accuracy, micro-contrast, greys rendition - details and accuracy, and so on.

MHO is that classic Germany luxury glass are excel in most of those area, which makes the images produced *fantastic*, which none of those Japanese lenses could have ever met, despite classic Pentax film lenses up to those FA/FA* primes made in Japan did have some of those "charms", to certain extents.
Last year i have played extensively with a Zeiss Tessar (east germany), a KMZ Helios (Russian) and a Pentacon wide angle (east germany too). Then i switched suddenly back to K mount lenses (18-55 DA and Pentax-A 50).

The 18-55 is really on par wih the wide angle (even a bit sharper maybe and with better colors), the 50 is on par with the russian and a little inferior to the Zeiss one (you can say the Zeiss surpass the 6mpx sensor limits while the Pentax not).

Old primes rocks, but they're not form another planet..putting the 18-55 on the shelves thinking it was rubbish without giving him a real chance was a bad move .
09-23-2008, 02:41 AM   #60
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QuoteOriginally posted by zntgrg Quote
Last year i have played extensively with a Zeiss Tessar (east germany), a KMZ Helios (Russian) and a Pentacon wide angle (east germany too). Then i switched suddenly back to K mount lenses (18-55 DA and Pentax-A 50).

The 18-55 is really on par wih the wide angle (even a bit sharper maybe and with better colors), the 50 is on par with the russian and a little inferior to the Zeiss one (you can say the Zeiss surpass the 6mpx sensor limits while the Pentax not).

Old primes rocks, but they're not form another planet..putting the 18-55 on the shelves thinking it was rubbish without giving him a real chance was a bad move .
The 18-55 is a good lens and I would say it is the most Pentax tasted lens made in recent years. But it cannot match those FA primes, just because it still somehow lacks other favourable characters which lab tests cannot verify. And, zooms are zooms, primes are primes.

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