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05-29-2020, 02:59 AM - 1 Like   #31
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We now have a pretty good idea of where Ricoh wants to pitch the * lenses pricewise. I am interested though to see where the new DFA Limiteds fall; the 21 will tell a tale.

05-29-2020, 03:09 AM - 3 Likes   #32
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QuoteOriginally posted by Sandy Hancock Quote
Pentax doesn't want to be big. Pentax wants to be profitable.

Joining the "big players" in a race to the bottom would be a disaster. They are a niche player, playing to discerning enthusiasts. Low volume, high margin - like Leica. And don't think for a minute that only professionals buy Leica, or Zeiss Otus lenses.

If it isn't your niche, look elsewhere. The company will survive the disappointment.
Let's get one thing clear Sandy, because this is the second or third time you seem quite keen to get rid of me

My involvement with Pentax started with my father, he was a Pentaxian. When I started to look into my first DSLR (pure hobbyist at this point) the K-50 seemed to be punching above the weight of it's competition. It offered more features and for a lower price. Add in the fact I could access some of my father's lenses (or share lenses), it made good sense.
Fast forward a few years and I am pushing my gear in ways I never intended, I am still within the first 2 years of exploring professional photography. During this period I have encountered Pentax's weaknesses (that I never encountered as an enthusiast), but have also come to learn it's strengths. My previous post to which you responded here has absolutely no bearing on my own relationship with Pentax. I never once said I'm ditching the brand, changing brand or anything like that. I will likely always have a Pentax camera and be a Pentaxian, it may be I use another brand for another shooting purpose in the future, but that's got nothing to do with my previous post.

I wanted to have a serious discussion on where Pentax is going as a company, not a dig at me (again) and my relationship with Pentax. I will always support Pentax (as I am doing so currently). So please stop with your tone.

I just did some thinking is all, about their direction as a company and you should know by now I have no issue with being wrong about anything regarding Pentax (god knows i've been wrong hundreds of times on this forum). I've seen niche companies bite the dust, I don't know if appealing only to current Pentaxians is enough... because you know... we get old and die. Pentax does need new buyers, fresh blood, always. It sells cameras and lenses, so do many other vendors, it's all a competition even if they are 'niche'.

My question is 'who is going to buy the DFA 85'? Who is their target audience, because it's certainly not every Pentaxian with price tags like this.
When I bought the K-50 Pentax were the best value, when I bought the K-1 again it was a good $1kAUD less than the other FF competition at the time. Value. They were actually cheaper than the rest.;

How Much a Full Pro Camera and Lens Set Costs for Each Brand

But recently we have some pretty pricey glass, there's speculation that the upcoming DFA 21 will also command a strong price tag as well (surpassing the pricey FA31 which many Pentaxians call time out on, too much $$). So where are they going? Not enough to make Canikony's flip over, but if they wanted to be a Leica is this how it's done (serious question). I've been looking at comments from other brand users about this DFA 85, it has them drooling! But they tend to add that they still would not 'go back' just for this lens.

Some have said that after the K-1 they should have been working on UWA fast lenses for Astro and then really driven/spent on some marketing and advertising to make a sizeable dent in the FF landscape genre (which imo makes sense, plays to their strengths). It's fine to talk about Pentax being concerned only with Japan market, or being 'niche', but will it be enough to sustain the company long term?

I dunno... I'm just scratching my head a little bit here. In FB Pentaxian land (where there is a good mixture of pros and enthusiasts), everyone is excited but no one is exactly saying they'll be buying it, too expensive for the amateurs and many of the pros actually shoot Pentax film or 645Z.

I'm just curious as to how many of us will own a DFA 85...
05-29-2020, 03:12 AM - 3 Likes   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by BruceBanner Quote
Yeah, it could, which is worrying.

I'm a little worried for Pentax in some ways. Whilst we're happy progress and production is happening I am a little concerned over their strategy direction.

Let's all be honest about Pentax for a minute. Pentax is not marketed for Professionals, yet look at some of these recent price tags. Before you all go crazy and shout at me, hear me out. If I grab 100 professional event shooters (weddings etc), I guarantee Pentax will be right at the bottom in terms of amount of users. A large proportion of those shooters will be Canikonyji. The fact that Canon and Nikon offer professional membership/service in case you are needing equipment in a hurry due to failure shows how much these brands can support their customer base. If my K-1 dies the day before an event I can't even go into a store nearby for a replacement (let alone be part of a service that will replace my camera then and there with another model to use whilst mine is being repaired etc).
Pentax don't market towards that arena, you won't see any of their marketing content geared towards wedding shooters.
They don' do sport or action, which again is dominated by Canikony. They are not strong in photo journalism either (when's the last time you saw a paparazzi with a Pentax?).

So Pentax don't compete or try to in three major professional revenues;

- Events/Weddings
- Sport/Action
- Photojournalism

Now, I'm not finished yet, so hold your hatred and breath just for a second...

Where the K-1 has been marketed often is the landscape realm, no doubt about it, when the K-1 was released in 2016 they produced a really impressive landscape FF camera. You will see landscape images mostly associated with the Pentax brand in what little marketing material they produce.

Wildlife, yeah ok, a little, but many wildlife togs have left Pentax and went Canikony for AF/Buffer issues. The K-new is exciting because it does suggest an improvement in those areas and a comeback to the wildlife genre.

At the end of the day I see the Pentax brand as being heavily geared towards landscapers, which is fair enough. Sadly however, they are little used in the landscape realm. You won't find many (to any!) users shooting a K-1 in the 'Easy Way Photograhy group or the Nightscape Photographers Australia group. It's quite saddening, even when we get a newbie asking for suggestions, K-1 is never mentioned. When I bring it up many users are surprised by the spec sheet and it's the first time they have even heard of the camera...
For some that are aware of the K-1, the points they bring up is lack of Astro suitable lenses. Now I'm not an expert in this genre, but when chatting with these chaps they seem to understand the Pentax landscape lenses on offer (15-30, Samyang options etc) but are still adamant that certain key focal lengths are omitted which prompted their own decisions to not buy into Pentax. They brought up the point that really after the K-1 they needed to concentrate all their efforts on UWA FF lenses and push for dominance in the landscape/astro genre, but they didn't. Again, not saying this is my opinion, just those I have heard from others who are really into this genre.
Always when I hear of a Canikony coming across to the Pentax platform with great enthusiasm, it's for landscape use (some are still pleased so it seems). Always those that leave Pentax and go to Canikony is typically due to AF/fps/buffer issues and are professionals in studio, weddings, photojournalism etc. Eventually they have enough... the market moves forward and more choices are available to them.

So here we have Pentax, still alive and kicking, but a small market share and an even smaller professional market share (users whom use Pentax and generate a solid living from JUST Pentax products). I'm not saying it isn't done, always there are exceptions. Please don't spam me with Pentax studio, sport, weddings or whatever sample shots, I get it..., I'm just saying how things are in the industry in general.

So if Pentax are not appealing heavily to professionals, then they must be appealing to enthusiasts.

So, here's the point. What enthusiast is gonna pay **2000quid for a portrait lens? How well did the DFA 50/1.4 sell? Who bought that lens? Two pretty expensive primes there... Are only rich loyal Pentaxians their market interest now? Maybe it is! Maybe it will work, maybe they become the Leica of Japan... I just dunno.
A lot of chitchat about this lens currently but not many people saying they will jump on it. When reading comments from other non Pentaxians they droll over the lens but then sigh what would be connected to the other end of it lol.

I'm not getting into the FF vs Mirrorless thing, it just feels about their pace in moving alongside other brands. Now if this 85/1.4 was released with a new FF (K-2) that had made significant improvements, that might actually have been really compelling and entice some ex Pentaxians to come back. Honestly... I just dunno whose gonna buy this lens, with that price tag, not because its not a justified price tag, the lens will be probably be the best 85/1.4 in the market period, but whose buying it?

Please note this is not a Pentax is doomed piece, just curious to hear your thoughts.
It looks to me, you don't want to hear our thoughts. There's too much preemptive attacking.

Your logic is flawed. There's no clear split between "appealing heavily to professionals" and "nobody would buy these lenses". There's no on-off switch for "we support this area, too" - areas themselves not being clearly delimited.
So, we have a few landscape professionals. We have a few wildlife/nature professionals. Mike Muizebelt rings a bell? And Samuel Lintaro Hopf is a photojournalist.
That, without sending hundreds of cameras and lenses and support people at Olympics. But, there is some essential gear, and with each new launch (that is not an update) the K-mount system is slightly better or, sometimes, much better at certain tasks. And that means we can use Pentax at those tasks, instead of having to switch systems.

Say, the K-1 - amazing landscape camera. The D FA 150-450 - putting Pentax back into the wildlife game. The K-new will be (supposedly) their first action-oriented DSLR.
Why not the D FA* 85mm f/1.4, a top choice for portraits?

What's the alternative? To listen to cheapskates and never offer anything good? The low prices policy killed Pentax Corporation, and almost killed the brand, too. It was the lack of key higher-end products which drove many high spenders away.
05-29-2020, 03:18 AM   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by BruceBanner Quote
I don't know if appealing only to current Pentaxians is enough... because you know... we get old and die.
You're wrong here, too.
Do you think the K-1 - insistently requested by Pentaxians - only appealed to us? It got new customers, too.
Do you think the D FA* 85mm f/1.4 - the second most requested lens after the D FA* 50mm, according to the lens survey - will only appeal to us? Some people might eventually switch to Pentax because of it, or they wouldn't consider Pentax if there was no such lens.

Tell me, would anyone buy into Pentax if Pentax was no better than 10 years old Canikon equipment?

05-29-2020, 03:37 AM   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by Paul the Sunman Quote
We now have a pretty good idea of where Ricoh wants to pitch the * lenses pricewise. I am interested though to see where the new DFA Limiteds fall; the 21 will tell a tale.
The FA limiteds were always high price luxury goods. Something around $2000 would fit very well. Maybe $1800 if they want to start cheap.
05-29-2020, 03:54 AM - 1 Like   #36
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QuoteOriginally posted by beholder3 Quote
The FA limiteds were always high price luxury goods. Something around $2000 would fit very well. Maybe $1800 if they want to start cheap.
I sure hope not. When compared to Star lenses, the 21 Ltd will have a "cheaper" DC motor, "only" WR design and an optical design that is "deliberate compromises" more than "no compromises".


If they keep to that philosophy, $2000 will mean that the optical design and the looks are priced higher than for Star lenses - I hardly think it would sit well with people. $1500 is more in line with what they stated - and that is still higher than the D FA* 50.
05-29-2020, 03:55 AM - 1 Like   #37
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Bruce, I think you have to also ask how many actually owns DFA* lenses at all. Everyone must know that thiskind of lens does make drooling happening. If they will pull something what K-1 was when it came out, which could stand competition as Pentax usulally does and that new AF is as good as those little a bit giggling engineers says it is in their premilinatry tests, THAT would be the thing WITH this premium line, and if there is also DFA*24/1.4 coming to match the lineup and making it even more special. They just need one UWA prime(wider than 21) to get the astro stuff also. Then Prosumer 70-300 to go with 28-105 and all of the sudden there is competitive set, with one of best aps-c line. 150-450 & 560 has been both loved. SO long end is there too. One fast long prime to nail it.


I'd say be patient. They have been busy. Sure DFA 21 limited is going to be prizey. But it is propably going to live up to it's legazy. 1 more year to save your dollars, I'm gathering my €€, speaking of which, have to get back to work...
05-29-2020, 04:20 AM   #38
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QuoteOriginally posted by Serkevan Quote
I sure hope not. When compared to Star lenses, the 21 Ltd will have a "cheaper" DC motor, "only" WR design and an optical design that is "deliberate compromises" more than "no compromises".
I think you might have been mistaken. I wouldn't call the optical design "delibrately compromised", and neither do Pentax. They're very clear about the Limited range being about the joys of photography and the lenses produce images that are greatly pleasing to look at. There are no compromises on that objective.

As an example, I've used the Samyang 135/2 which is one of the sharpest lenses out there. It produces Zeiss levels of sharpness but is a very boring lens to use because of the clinical nature of the image. The DA15 is the polar opposite. The sharpness isn't there but somehow the image that you get is beautiful and punchy.

The D-FA 50 does a great job of being excellent at sharpness as well as character, but even then the images can be considered clinical.

So in terms of compromises, the only compromise you should be considering is the one on your pocket.

05-29-2020, 04:40 AM   #39
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QuoteOriginally posted by HarisF1 Quote
I think you might have been mistaken. I wouldn't call the optical design "delibrately compromised", and neither do Pentax. They're very clear about the Limited range being about the joys of photography and the lenses produce images that are greatly pleasing to look at. There are no compromises on that objective.

As an example, I've used the Samyang 135/2 which is one of the sharpest lenses out there. It produces Zeiss levels of sharpness but is a very boring lens to use because of the clinical nature of the image. The DA15 is the polar opposite. The sharpness isn't there but somehow the image that you get is beautiful and punchy.

The D-FA 50 does a great job of being excellent at sharpness as well as character, but even then the images can be considered clinical.

So in terms of compromises, the only compromise you should be considering is the one on your pocket.
The FA Limiteds are very deliberately compromised - aberrations that help with the intended rendering are left uncorrected, corner sharpness is not considered a design requirement, etc. That's what I meant - not that they are bad, far from it. I have a 77 and want the 21 for a reason... but there's also a reason why Star glass is bigger and heavier (i.e. more expensive to manufacture), and the reason is that optical "perfection" comes with weight, size and price: the Samyang 135/2 is as heavy as the three princesses put together, for example . It's also more expensive than the FA 43, and that's because Samyang is a third party (so they are more or less to be cheaper than OEMs) which has terrible* quality control, the lens is manual focus only and we can both agree that the Pentax has a much better build in general.

*from what I've heard; I haven't used any of their lenses so I have no personal knowledge.
05-29-2020, 04:48 AM - 3 Likes   #40
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kunzite Quote
It looks to me, you don't want to hear our thoughts. There's too much preemptive attacking.

Your logic is flawed. There's no clear split between "appealing heavily to professionals" and "nobody would buy these lenses". There's no on-off switch for "we support this area, too" - areas themselves not being clearly delimited.
So, we have a few landscape professionals. We have a few wildlife/nature professionals. Mike Muizebelt rings a bell? And Samuel Lintaro Hopf is a photojournalist.
That, without sending hundreds of cameras and lenses and support people at Olympics. But, there is some essential gear, and with each new launch (that is not an update) the K-mount system is slightly better or, sometimes, much better at certain tasks. And that means we can use Pentax at those tasks, instead of having to switch systems.

Say, the K-1 - amazing landscape camera. The D FA 150-450 - putting Pentax back into the wildlife game. The K-new will be (supposedly) their first action-oriented DSLR.
Why not the D FA* 85mm f/1.4, a top choice for portraits?

What's the alternative? To listen to cheapskates and never offer anything good? The low prices policy killed Pentax Corporation, and almost killed the brand, too. It was the lack of key higher-end products which drove many high spenders away.
I haven't attacked anyone! I made a post about where Pentax is heading, sharing some concerns, wanting to get a friendly discussing going and Sandy tells me to get out

QuoteOriginally posted by Kunzite Quote
You're wrong here, too.
Do you think the K-1 - insistently requested by Pentaxians - only appealed to us? It got new customers, too.
Do you think the D FA* 85mm f/1.4 - the second most requested lens after the D FA* 50mm, according to the lens survey - will only appeal to us? Some people might eventually switch to Pentax because of it, or they wouldn't consider Pentax if there was no such lens.

Tell me, would anyone buy into Pentax if Pentax was no better than 10 years old Canikon equipment?
It's not the fact that they produced the DFA 85, or that it will be an awesome lens, it's the fact it costs $2kUSD/2k quid (prolly $2.5-3kAUD). It's now the most 'new' expensive 85/1.4 on any modern brand? Yet can only be used on a 2016 FF K-1, not a recent FF offering like how the other brands release. 4.4fps, 15 shots before the buffer is hit, questionable AF at times (and people will want to nail f1.4 shots). It's not what Pentax is doing but rather the ordering. Would they have done better on getting the 24/1.4 out, or wider and push/play to the K-1's landscape ability? (perhaps then the Nightscape Photographers Australia would have some Pentaxians). Then it comes to sales and pricing, might selling the DFA 85 at $1.2k shift more units and overall make the company more money? I'm not sure any Canikony's will flip over to Pentax when we're looking at potentially $5kAUD for a new K-1ii and DFA 85... ouch.

So I'll say it again, when a prime costs $2kUSD, who is actually buying it, because the professionals I speak to whom shoot Pentax are saying FA77 is good enough, or a FA85 will be good enough, and studio/product work they would use the cheaper DFA 50, and there seems little enthusiasts willing to pay the price... I dunno... this feels a little bit of a hard sale. I don't think a lot of Pentaxians are hardcore portrait shooters?

Anyway, it's fine for you to see flaws in my logic, I'm just sharing my thoughts is all. I'm not alone, a few comments from others;

"Would be nice to get a K1 upgrade with this beautiful lens as well. Bump in resolution, AF speed and finally decent video specs. Seems like there will be no new FF camera from Pentax for quite some time. I will not invest in FF Pentax until there is a new body. But it is nice to see that Pentax is still alive!" - MarBa

(echoing my feelings that this would have been awesome if released in conjunction with a new K-1),


"Man, they always lean on the high-price to make up for low sales numbers, don’t they? I love my K-1 as much as the next person, but yeesh. Surely Ricoh could have toned the engineering down a bit, it only needs to render a max resolution of 36mp to match the K-1’s nearly 10-year old Sony sensor..." - Darren James

It feels as though their design and pace as a company with releasing products it's just a bit out of sync. K-1 first, then UWA to support it makes more sense to me, then release a K-2 with DFA 85 later together (or close to one another). It's going to be years till we see a K-2 (I hope I am very much proved wrong).

"I still have a positive sentiment for Pentax owning the MEF (autofocus in 1983) ME,MX, ME Super. Could never afford the LX in my youth. I switched in the digital era to Nikon. The D850 with Sigma 85mm 1.4 art is my winner. Looking forward to a dpreview test of this lens. Well done Ricoh." - Wladislaw

"I am salivating over this lens. Little rich for my pockets. If I shot regularly as I did back in mid 2000s, I could buy and justify the relatively high cost.

Yes we do not have access to Sigma or Tamron glass. So be it. At last we have a modern AF option albeit an expensive one. At this price, it is made for working pros who can justify the cost by making money with it or it is made for amateurs with deep pockets!

We have to see bench marks to see how this lens compares to Sigma, Sony, Nikon and Canon offerings. For me I am comparing it to the Otus line of lenses from Zeiss, and for that comparison, Pentax is a bargain against the $4,400 price tag of the Otus 85.

Otus trio (28, 55, 85) is priced at $11,500. The Pentax trio (21,50,85) will be in the $4,000 range. Legend vs. legend, I would say Asahi Pentax rules at a bargain price.
" - BNapa

Followed by;

"I wonder how many working pros use Pentax today. Probably very few sadly." - User9362470513

And that's all I've really been saying, how many sales for this lens will eventually materialise? How many amateurs with deep pockets are there among us Pentaxians, how many successful Pros that can justify the cost.



QuoteOriginally posted by repaap Quote
Bruce, I think you have to also ask how many actually owns DFA* lenses at all. Everyone must know that thiskind of lens does make drooling happening. If they will pull something what K-1 was when it came out, which could stand competition as Pentax usulally does and that new AF is as good as those little a bit giggling engineers says it is in their premilinatry tests, THAT would be the thing WITH this premium line, and if there is also DFA*24/1.4 coming to match the lineup and making it even more special. They just need one UWA prime(wider than 21) to get the astro stuff also. Then Prosumer 70-300 to go with 28-105 and all of the sudden there is competitive set, with one of best aps-c line. 150-450 & 560 has been both loved. SO long end is there too. One fast long prime to nail it.


I'd say be patient. They have been busy. Sure DFA 21 limited is going to be prizey. But it is propably going to live up to it's legazy. 1 more year to save your dollars, I'm gathering my €€, speaking of which, have to get back to work...
Yep, and I agree with all of that, it's just the ordering of lens releasing that I wonder if was wise (and the pace). Patience only goes so far, I hope they start really smashing things out, because at the pace they're moving is a little worrying;

2016= K-1
2018/19 = DFA 50
2020 = DFA 85
2021 = DFA 21
2022 = DFA 24
2023 = K-2?

Urgh... I hope we're faster than this, if not I hope they can continue to stay profitable at this pace.


QuoteOriginally posted by Serkevan Quote
I sure hope not. When compared to Star lenses, the 21 Ltd will have a "cheaper" DC motor, "only" WR design and an optical design that is "deliberate compromises" more than "no compromises".


If they keep to that philosophy, $2000 will mean that the optical design and the looks are priced higher than for Star lenses - I hardly think it would sit well with people. $1500 is more in line with what they stated - and that is still higher than the D FA* 50.
Yeah, I will be sad if the DFA 21 Ltd is more than $2k personally, I too would expect it less as its not a * lens (and embracing optical flaws ).

Last edited by Sandy Hancock; 05-29-2020 at 05:58 AM. Reason: masked obscenity
05-29-2020, 04:50 AM   #41
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QuoteOriginally posted by BruceBanner Quote
I'm going with $2599AUD
With exchange rates as they are plus GST embedded in the price, sadly AUD2999 is probably closer.
05-29-2020, 04:51 AM   #42
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The thing is limiteds have cheaper optics and less rugged barrels (AW) than * glass.

They are "prettier" but these days even cheap knock off lenses have all metal construction. So its no longer an argument for high pricing. The question is then why they are expensive. Perhaps the r & d method is slow and expensive? Or is it just luxury branding.
05-29-2020, 04:59 AM - 1 Like   #43
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kunzite Quote
You're wrong here, too.
Do you think the K-1 - insistently requested by Pentaxians - only appealed to us? It got new customers, too.
Do you think the D FA* 85mm f/1.4 - the second most requested lens after the D FA* 50mm, according to the lens survey - will only appeal to us? Some people might eventually switch to Pentax because of it, or they wouldn't consider Pentax if there was no such lens.

Tell me, would anyone buy into Pentax if Pentax was no better than 10 years old Canikon equipment?
Nobody is switching to Pentax because of this 85. The 85mm market is fairly saturated across mounts with high quality lenses, often at much cheaper prices.

As for another poster's wildlife post, the 150-450 is a fine lens, but until Pentax gets an updated body with far better autofocus, speed and buffer, it will only be an afterthought to people.
05-29-2020, 05:00 AM - 2 Likes   #44
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QuoteOriginally posted by house Quote
The thing is limiteds have cheaper optics and less rugged barrels (AW) than * glass.

They are "prettier" but these days even cheap knock off lenses have all metal construction. So its no longer an argument for high pricing. The question is then why they are expensive. Perhaps the r & d method is slow and expensive? Or is it just luxury branding.
To be fair machined metal is substantially more expensive (and better quality). "All metal" can also be applied to 0.50€ cat food cans...


The optics are cheaper at least to some degree, and the AF motor is certainly going to be cheaper than the high-torque unit needed for the D FA* 50 and 85 - focusing group will be lighter so much less of an engineering problem to solve.

Pricing the D FA 21 Limited as the D FA* 85 would be frankly preposterous.
05-29-2020, 05:05 AM   #45
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QuoteOriginally posted by Serkevan Quote
I sure hope not. When compared to Star lenses, the 21 Ltd will have a "cheaper" DC motor, "only" WR design and an optical design that is "deliberate compromises" more than "no compromises".


If they keep to that philosophy, $2000 will mean that the optical design and the looks are priced higher than for Star lenses - I hardly think it would sit well with people. $1500 is more in line with what they stated - and that is still higher than the D FA* 50.
I’m kind a thinking that people does get it wrong when someone(head of design group actually) say that it has been designed in the way that there is compromise. That should not sound that it leads to less work = cheaper to build. It is compromising the size and best optical solution in order to get pleasing photos, with good pop and characteristics. Now let us put that in different perspective, than let us say compromise with size and prize and optical performance, like DFA 28-105 is. Do not judge book by it’s covers. Same goes for Chinese aluminium what ever.
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