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10-27-2019, 05:31 AM - 34 Likes   #1
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Visiting the Pentax booth at the Salon de la Photo in Quebec city

I had the chance to visit Pentax's booth at the Salon the la Photo in Quebec city last Friday.

I had a nice chat with the Pentax reps there, they were open and willing to discuss. It seems Ricoh, like most Japanese companies, is playing the cards close to the chest even with their reps.

I was able to learn a few things. In no particular order:

1-I asked why a lens like the 60-250 had not been officially modified for full frame, seeing as many users (me among them) have had success with the modification. The answer is interesting. When the engineers and designers tested a lens for full frame, ANY decrease in performance classified the lens as DA only. In the case of the 60-250, there is some extra vignetting when using it on full frame, not surprisingly, so without hesitation it was rejected as a full frame lens. For a North American this is agressive, since A) vignetting is easy to correct, and B) the lens is still a superb performer on FF. But it's not surprising coming from the Japanese culture, from what I know of it.

2-More information about the new APS-C flagship should come in January, and tidbits will be teased in rhythm with the 100 years celebrations. It will use a Sony sensor (of course) but the reps claimed they didn't know more. I tend to believe them.

3-Pentax is doing VERY well (relatively speaking) in Japan these days. We knew that the GR III was doing great, DSLRs are also at a nice level.

4-The 100 years celebrations are big in Japan, with events, apparel, etc. I got the feeling that the reps wouldn't have been against more action in North America.

5-More of an impression than hard fact: I gather that the current lens designers are extremely strict regarding the quality of the lenses they release. They probably would never release a lens like almost any of the FA zooms these days. I talked about the FA20-35, and an eventual successor, and despite it being a great lens, it has a few shortcomings that would prevent it from simply being re-released.

6-I talked about the updated DA 10-17 fisheye. I'm currently testing the HD version, and have had no access to the SMC older version. One of the reps did, and said the upgraded coatings make a world of difference for this lens. I have no trouble believing it since it's a strong performer for CA and flare.

7-The new FA35mm was on display. The upgraded external look makes it stand out from older FA lenses, it looks good and modern. Especially next to the FA 50mm F1.4. Funny that this lens was also on display (it's still current, but not modern by any standard).

On a personal note, I've been able to handle the KP for the first time, and see how the different grips work. They are pretty nice. A KP with a DA40 is really no bigger than a mirrorless, that's something I would personally market more.

The Theta Z1 is a fantastic tool. Its accessories are as well-made as the camera itself.

I've had the chance to test many of the current Pentax lenses, it was still fun to handle a few of the ones I haven't used before.

The booth was moderately crowded, there was always someone there.

Here are a few shots from the booth. Sorry for the reflections on the glass, I did not notice them at the time.

A transparent KP!

10-27-2019, 05:54 AM   #2
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Thank You! Nice report!
10-27-2019, 06:04 AM   #3
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Thanks for a thorough and upbeat report.
10-27-2019, 06:12 AM - 1 Like   #4
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Thanks for the followup! If you need the older SMC version of the DA 10-17 for your testing, I have one that I can lend you. Just send me a PM if you're interested.

10-27-2019, 06:20 AM   #5

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Thanks for the report!

I'm looking forward to your fisheye review. If you can swing a comparison with the SMC version, that would be invaluable.
10-27-2019, 06:36 AM   #6
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Great report Bernard, I am glad that they were willing to spend some time talking to you about these things. Do you have any prior relationships with the reps or were they more willing to speak to you since you write here in the forums.
10-27-2019, 06:45 AM   #7
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Thank you for your report, much appreciated.
10-27-2019, 06:56 AM   #8
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Really great rundown - thanks! Nice way to start the Sunday coffee!

10-27-2019, 07:01 AM   #9

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Thank you for the report, information you've obtained and opinions.
10-27-2019, 07:09 AM   #10
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Appart from the Theta, same old stuff from the decade(s) before. I have a pair of Pentax binos, with lots of CA, I keep using them, Ricoh keep selling the same model, but anything released by Nikon, Zeiss, Swarovski, Leica or some Chinese made brands in the last 5 years performs better than the Pentax ones. Ricoh Imaging have done nothing on the sport optics since they bought that line from Pentax-Hoya.
10-27-2019, 07:20 AM   #11
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Interesting read.

10-27-2019, 07:27 AM   #12
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Thank you for taking the time to report your thoughts and conversations.
10-27-2019, 07:34 AM   #13
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Thank you for the report. Appreciate the bit of info on the 60-250 and the booth pictures.
10-27-2019, 07:35 AM   #14
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Most interesting especially in regards to lenses.

Let's hope some 100 year events are planned for Canada and the US.
10-27-2019, 07:45 AM   #15
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Thanks for this!

Most interesting part for me:
QuoteOriginally posted by bdery Quote
2-More information about the new APS-C flagship should come in January, and tidbits will be teased in rhythm with the 100 years celebrations.
So I guess by the end of January we should know all specs, msrp and release date? I was hoping it would be this year still, but well...

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