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6 Days Ago - 2 Likes   #1
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Lensbaby no longer making Pentax mounts

Hey all, just a heads up that if you ever thought about getting a lensbaby now is the time, as they have stopped making their lenses in Pentax mounts. I was poking around the lensbaby website (after seeing their fisheye toy is on sale), and noticed that their search tool no longer lists a pentax mount, so I emailed their customer service and got an immediate response that yes, in fact, they are not making Pentax compatible lenses anymore

QuoteOriginally posted by Lensbaby:
Yes, we have discontinued Pentax K mounts unfortunately. We do, however, have some of the mounts left in stock and will be able to accommodate Pentax K mount orders as long as we still have them in stock.

Let me know if there is something in particular you are interested in.
Perhaps not a big deal for those not interested in their products, but still a troubling sign of falling demand for Pentax in the market.

6 Days Ago - 1 Like   #2
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I always found it odd that they didn't just use T-mount...Their lenses have no need for auto-aperture.
6 Days Ago   #3
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I once had a set of lens baby. I was the fifth owner of that set and sold it after two weeks. I still wonder how many people buy that.

Well with all the new mirrorless mounts they probably have to make choices on how much inventory they want to have.
6 Days Ago   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by EstimatedEyes Quote
Perhaps not a big deal for those not interested in their products, but still a troubling sign of falling demand for Pentax in the market.
Looks like you did not get that R&D money in 2019 is less then in 2018, and that lower R&D budget goes to mirrorless.

---------- Post added 12-08-19 at 23:25 ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by boriscleto Quote
I always found it odd that they didn't just use T-mount...Their lenses have no need for auto-aperture.
Don't their support Leica M mount?

6 Days Ago - 2 Likes   #5
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It's a shame. Not surprising, but a shame. I don't think the more out-there creativity of their products really suits the majority of the Pentax customer base, as demonstrated by the sparse population of the Lensbaby group here. A tiny market then, so hardly worth it for them. But unfortunately it's yet another third-party that no longer supports Pentax, which is another entry in the 'cons' column when weighing up buying one.
6 Days Ago   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by victormeldrew Quote
It's a shame. Not surprising, but a shame.
Corporation don't know about shame, they only know about profits and ignore the rest.
6 Days Ago   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by biz-engineer Quote
Corporation don't know about shame, they only know about profits and ignore the rest.
A colloquialism. I should have used 'it's a pity'. It is unfortunate....only for Pentax and its customers, not for Lensbaby. They will be better off after making this decision I'd imagine.
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QuoteOriginally posted by biz-engineer Quote
Looks like you did not get that R&D money in 2019 is less then in 2018, and that lower R&D budget goes to mirrorless.

If the lens was already available in that mount, the R&D budget is irrelevant. For new products, you're completely right, but not existing ones.

6 Days Ago   #9
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It's sad they won't be manufacturing for K-mount any more... and yet... the number of K-mount users buying their products defines whether it's worthwhile for them to do so. They must have sold very small numbers in K-mount to be pulling out of it, and I don't really understand the decision, considering that the lenses are the same as their Nikon F and Canon EF models but with a different mounting ring. Maybe they're going to start producing lenses with electronic communication of lens parameters and/or AF? In any case, very few people are going to be affected given their obviously limited sales. But still, it would be nice if they still produced K-mount options...
6 Days Ago - 1 Like   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by victormeldrew Quote
unfortunately it's yet another third-party that no longer supports Pentax, which is another entry in the 'cons' column when weighing up buying one.
True. Yes, the last AF lens maker (Sigma) has left Pentax 5 years ago. But one would have thought, that providing "dumb" i.e. just-mechanical mount variants is such a little extra effort for a MF lens maker, that they could afford to throw in a Pentax batch then and when. That even that starts to cease, is alarming.

The root problem is that Pentax seems almost dead with regards to overall lens sales, at least according to Amazon.com DSLR lens sales ranking. It is pretty devastating to see, that Pentax' best-selling lens (which was/is the cheap DA 50mm 1.8, for ~$120) is down at rank #531 nowadays! This is nearly as dead as dead can be. It seems that the dooming gains speed now, sadly. Assuming that lens sales is an overall brand health indicator.

Last edited by Frater; 6 Days Ago at 03:29 PM.
6 Days Ago - 2 Likes   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
I don't really understand the decision, considering that the lenses are the same as their Nikon F and Canon EF models but with a different mounting ring.
Keeping a separate line of inventory is expensive. Separate production runs cost significant time and money to set up and tool for. Even small things like needing an additional shelf in the warehouse for each lens model, maintaining websites, support staff training, spares, it all adds up. Fairly small costs for a run of 10k units, but unsustainable for runs of 100s. Especially if it takes a couple of years to shift them.
6 Days Ago   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Frater Quote
It is pretty devastating to see, that Pentax' once best-selling lens (which was the DA 50mm 1.8, for 117$) is down at rank #531! This is really as dead as dead can be. It seems that the dooming gains speed now, sadly.
I wouldn't take Amazon sales figures as a litmus test of Pentax lens sales. I use Amazon regularly for all sorts of purchases, but in all my time as a Pentax user, I think I've bought one (or possibly two?) K-mount lenses from them. I tend to by my equipment - more often than not - from photographic suppliers. Here in the UK, that might be SRS Microsystems, WEX Photographic, or one of many smaller high street / online combo photographic retailers.

I don't think there's any dooming to gain speed. Saturation of ownership for certain products, yes. But that's not dooming...
6 Days Ago   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by victormeldrew Quote
Keeping a separate line of inventory is expensive. Separate production runs cost significant time and money to set up and tool for. Even small things like needing an additional shelf in the warehouse for each lens model, maintaining websites, support staff training, spares, it all adds up. Fairly small costs for a run of 10k units, but unsustainable for runs of 100s. Especially if it takes a couple of years to shift them.
For sure, and I expect this might be the reason. But I recall that, for a while at least, Sigma would make batches of K-mount lenses based on cumulative demand from dealers (i.e. pre-orders). Clearly they thought that wasn't sustainable or worthwhile. But for a company like LensBaby, where I assume (though I don't know) production numbers are relatively modest, I'd have thought that production model could work and be profitable...
6 Days Ago - 2 Likes   #14
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Sigmaís decision not to make their newer lenses in K-mount was directly related to poor sales of the 35mm f1.4 full frame Art lens.

This is very high quality lens with obvious utility. In many ways itís exactly the kind of lens that Pentax users were hoping Sigma would come out with, but sadly they donít buy it. Instead they complain that there isnít a Pentax version.

My guess is the the only thing that would convince Sigma to make lenses in K-mount again would be a meaningful increase in sales of that lens, or maybe the 18-35 in the APS-C world.
6 Days Ago - 1 Like   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by JPT Quote
Sigmaís decision not to make their newer lenses in K-mount was directly related to poor sales of the 35mm f1.4 full frame Art lens.

This is very high quality lens with obvious utility. In many ways itís exactly the kind of lens that Pentax users were hoping Sigma would come out with, but sadly they donít buy it. Instead they complain that there isnít a Pentax version.
Right. That's my point exactly. Many of us wish for lenses to be available, but the number of us actually buying them defines whether it's worth the manufacturer's investment to produce them. And this doesn't necessarily equate to the number of Pentax camera sales - it's simply the number of Pentax users who are willing to actually stump up money for those specific lenses. In LensBaby's case, their products are very much niche. They're not especially high volume even for the larger part of the market occupied by Nikon, Canon and (perhaps) Sony. For Pentax, the demand for niche products was always going to be low...
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