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12-18-2012, 10:40 PM   #751
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QuoteOriginally posted by Laurentiu Cristofor Quote
Ricoh has spent their effort on releasing one product of dubious value.
Ricoh didn't really have much choice what products have come out in the past year.

Pretty soon the Ricoh products will come out.

12-19-2012, 01:10 AM - 1 Like   #752
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QuoteOriginally posted by Laurentiu Cristofor Quote
Yes, but not for K mount.

For K mount they just introduced:

560/5.6 - the only new lens designed by Pentax and it won't be a big seller
18-270 - a rebadged Tamron, so not really a Pentax lens

Sigma came with a 180/2.8 I believe. But yes, I now see it's not available for K mount so scratch that.

There seem to be a couple new Sigma lenses, but they're not available yet. Let's count them though. 150/2.8 and 120-300. They were announced for other mounts in 2011; we're running out of 2012 and they're still not available for Pentax.

Ok, that's 4 with 3rd party help. You may notice that Sigma supports the K-mount with more lenses than Pentax does - that is a unique situation across mounts AFAICT.

It doesn't look good to me. Ricoh has spent their effort on releasing one product of dubious value. I can only hope it was because they are working on introducing a new mount and that the 560 was already designed, so they could just put that out as a sign of life while they kept their engineers occupied with real product development. Or maybe Hoya fired most of the Pentax engineers, so Ricoh just got a bunch of plans and no people to make new ones.
For the K-mount they launched the 4 planned lenses during 2012:
- 40mm f/2.8 XS
- 50mm f/1.8
- 560mm f/5.6
- 18-270mm
But if you insist on counting only Photokina announcements, fine by me:
- Pentax had 2 lenses, 560mm and the 18-270
- Olympus had one: 15mm f/8
- Panasonic had one: 35-100 f/2.8
Thus, Pentax = Olympus + Panasonic

I strongly disagree with the following:
- 2012 products being "of dubious value". If it's not MILC it doesn't mean it's "dubious"; and from a K-mount user's perspective, every product makes sense. The K-30, the best specified DSLR in its price range; the inexpensive 50mm people asked for; the lacking long lens solution and even solving the K-5's weak point. For a camera division just sold and bought, less than one year before Photokina, they did quite well.
- Pentax working on introducing a new mount - no need for that, no benefit in that; Pentax will continue to develop their 3 current mounts and that's a fact. No growing plan begins with "let's get rid of our customers, first".
I believe you're on track with Hoya firing Pentax engineers (though I'm not sure about "most of them"); and the rumors are that Ricoh hired people back. But in any case, it should be obvious they need time to formulate, gather resources and execute their plans.
12-19-2012, 06:48 AM   #753
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Agree with the above assessment. Pentax seems to be an easy target for naysayers. Just as people who want FF dSLRs now need to just bite the bullet and get themselves a 5D/6D/D600/D800, so to anyone looking for Pentax to come out with a FF MILC. Leica is beckoning.
12-19-2012, 07:46 AM   #754
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QuoteOriginally posted by Laurentiu Cristofor Quote
I remember this argument from when the K-7 came out. It didn't work for it or for the K-5 and it doesn't work for MILCs either.



Some are cheap, some are not. Some are small, some are not. Being more compact than DSLRs is the main advantage perceived so far. It's what appeals to Canon and Nikon users. Some see the inexpensive aspect as appealing. But MILCs are the future not for these reasons but simply because they offer functionality that either is not available at all on a DSLR or that becomes available only by using the DSLR as a MILC. The future is digital, not analog. Any analog technology has only survived until a digital replacement has become available. And MILCs are the fully digital replacement of the analog-digital DSLR hybrid.



They are losing money on compact cameras, not on MILCs.

Olympus is explaining their earnings drop as being:



If you look at their financial report they describe the E-M5 sales as "strong", the TG-1 ones as "firm", and the compact camera market as declining and responsible for the operating loss of that division.

I haven't checked Panasonic and Sony, but I expect their situation is similar as they each have strong presence in the P&S market.

It shouldn't surprise anyone that compact cameras are disappearing. All these changes in the market put pressure on the camera divisions to restructure, but that will be over soon. Earlier this year, Samsung was already retooling one of their P&S factories to produce NX cameras.

MILCs cannot be a money loser because they are easier to produce than DSLRs and that accounts for the lower prices. Manufacturers don't need to forego their profits to offer those lower prices.
You beat the MILC drum awfully hard. The lower prices don't make money for Olympus, as is clear from their financial statements. Olympus is in the same situation as Pentax pre-Hoya, having to discount gear to the bone in order to make sales and then using their medical business to fund their camera business.

The low end of any business is not where the money is made. Canon probably makes next to nothing its 450 dollar low end APS-C SLRs like the XS, but if they can get people in the door then they can hopefully can increase their 7D and 5D MK III sales as well, where they make most of their money. But the top end for four thirds is the OM-D and no where to go after that.

Finally, there aren't the gaps in Pentax's lens line up that you imply are there. Most of the focal lengths between 12 and 300mm are covered. I wish that they had some faster lenses in some of the range, but that doesn't mean that the focal lengths aren't there. The two lenses I see that need to be taken care of are (1) a replacement for the DA * 16-50 and (2) a 28mm DA * prime.

12-19-2012, 08:36 AM   #755
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
(1) a replacement for the DA * 16-50 and (2) a 28mm DA * prime.
The first should be here soon (it's probably the lens on the road map, so maybe we'll see it already at CP+). Regarding the 28mm: Something needs to fill the gap between the DA21 and the densely populated group FA31/DA35/DA40/FA43, and I think maybe a WRed and fast (f/2) 24mm is even more urgent than a 28mm.
12-19-2012, 09:53 AM   #756
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QuoteOriginally posted by gazonk Quote
The first should be here soon (it's probably the lens on the road map, so maybe we'll see it already at CP+). Regarding the 28mm: Something needs to fill the gap between the DA21 and the densely populated group FA31/DA35/DA40/FA43, and I think maybe a WRed and fast (f/2) 24mm is even more urgent than a 28mm.
Sure, I am good with 24mm. Just something wider than the 31mm and faster than the existing DA limiteds.
12-19-2012, 10:29 AM   #757
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QuoteOriginally posted by Laurentiu Cristofor Quote
MILCs cannot be a money loser because they are easier to produce than DSLRs and that accounts for the lower prices. Manufacturers don't need to forego their profits to offer those lower prices
That's the claim, but is it true? Olympus claims the EM-5 was a strong seller. But that's a $1,000 camera. Panasonic says they're going to go more upscale, concentrate on their higher end products, with less emphasis on entry and mid-level products like the GF5. That's a confession that their entry and mid-level MILCs aren't doing well. Then we see all those Olympus Pens selling for ridiculously low prices on the web. The E-PL1 showed up last summer at $140 on amazon. It's still there nearly five months later at the same price! Is Olympus really making money (or even breaking even) on that camera? Of course not. All the evidence at our disposal strongly suggests that Thom Hogan is right: "the average selling price and gross profit margin on the DSLRs are the highest of all cameras, overall." The MILCs that make a profit are of the high-end variety: Leica, the Fuji X system cameras, probably the Olympus E-M5, maybe the Sony NEX 7 and the Panasonic GH3. But the DSLR cameras that are comparable to these MILCs are all less expensive, handle better, and are attached to better systems, with more quality AF lenses and accessories to choose from.

I suspect the only MILCs that are less expensive to produce than DSLRs are those without viewfinders. Once the VF is added, the cost advantage disappears, and often swings in favor of the DSLR.

QuoteOriginally posted by IchabodCrane Quote
Maybe the MILC manufacturers are losing money because they just can't come up with a compelling product at an attractive price.
They're losing money because MILCs cost more than their fanboys are willing to admit. One thing that is rarely noted is that most of the entry and even mid-level MILC offerings don't even come with a VF. (VFs can often be added as an accessory, but that raises the overall cost of the camera by at least $130, usually more). Such products cannot be compared with DSLRs and can hardly even be considered serious cameras. They're merely P&S cameras with interchangable lens capability and larger sensors. One of the principle reasons why cameras like the E-M5, the NEX 6 & 7, the Fuji X-Pro & XE1, and the Panasonic GH3 are compelling is that they have view finders (they would hardly be compelling without VFs). But these cameras are expensive, and only appeal to that part of the market willing to pay more for a smaller camera (which hardly includes every or even most serious photographer). APS-C DSLRs still constitute the best bargain for serious photographers on a budget.
12-19-2012, 12:03 PM   #758
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QuoteOriginally posted by northcoastgreg Quote
Then we see all those Olympus Pens selling for ridiculously low prices on the web. The E-PL1 showed up last summer at $140 on amazon.
These are old stock. I don't expect the companies make any money from them now, but they do get new users to try their system, so it's not a total loss.

MILCs were introduced at unreasonably high prices that only early adopters were willing to play. That's why I didn't pay attention to them either - why pay $800 on an E-P1 when I could add a few hundred dollars and get a K-7? But in the last year or two they have been putting out models at very good prices. At release time, E-PM1 was $500; the new E-PM2 is $600 (basic body + lens kit prices).

QuoteOriginally posted by northcoastgreg Quote
All the evidence at our disposal strongly suggests that Thom Hogan is right: "the average selling price and gross profit margin on the DSLRs are the highest of all cameras, overall."
Unfortunately, the only evidence that Thom uses in that article is that DSLR and MILC sales were flat recently. There is no evidence of profitability of one or the other. I suppose that ILC systems are profitable mainly because of the lens sales. I don't think that the body sales are the money makers, but I may be wrong. Any evidence that I am wrong here is welcome

QuoteOriginally posted by northcoastgreg Quote
I suspect the only MILCs that are less expensive to produce than DSLRs are those without viewfinders. Once the VF is added, the cost advantage disappears, and often swings in favor of the DSLR.
It only swings in favor of the DSLR if the DSLR offers the inferior pentamirror implementation.

Also, for MILCs, the cost of an add-on EVF is only incurred once and can be amortized over multiple camera models. That is not the case for DSLRs where you have to pay the cost of a viewfinder in each body.

But In the end, this aspect is academic as most customers do not seem to particularly care about a VF of any kind. That is what led to the disappearance of VFs in P&S cameras. The decision to ship entry level MILCs without an EVF is based on that. And it works fine as far as I can tell.

QuoteOriginally posted by northcoastgreg Quote
One thing that is rarely noted is that most of the entry and even mid-level MILC offerings don't even come with a VF. (VFs can often be added as an accessory, but that raises the overall cost of the camera by at least $130, usually more). Such products cannot be compared with DSLRs and can hardly even be considered serious cameras.
That is one opinion. I have used an E-PL2 with no EVF for almost a year and it has been the most rewarding experience I had since getting serious about digital photography. I compared the experience with that of using a DSLR, I found it superior, and I will never buy a DSLR again (and no, I am not the only one feeling that way - I know several people that went through the same steps - try it, you might be next). Now I use an E-M5, not because of the EVF, but because of all the other features and improvements that it provides. The touchscreen LCD, in particular, is very well suited for quickly picking focusing areas regardless of whether you use AF or MF - a DSLR is not able to provide an experience like that - it isn't able to provide full frame coverage to begin with.

QuoteOriginally posted by Kunzite Quote
I strongly disagree with the following:
- 2012 products being "of dubious value".
You are disagreeing with a statement that you made up. This is a typical strawman fallacy based on a quote applied to a different context. The "of dubious value" was applying to the 560/5.6 lens - a single product. The response to this lens on PF has been lukewarm - I think "dubious value" is an accurate assessment based on that.

12-19-2012, 12:23 PM   #759
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
Finally, there aren't the gaps in Pentax's lens line up that you imply are there.
The gaps were not the point I was making with the lens release list - the point was that MILC mounts have stronger 3rd party support than K mount. Cosina has dropped K-mount for MFT. Zeiss no longer plans to make K mount lenses but they have committed making some for E-mount. It's the lack of confidence in K mount from 3rd party manufacturers that is the issue here. And that doesn't happen because the lens lineup has no more gaps for them to fill. They are just not seeing K-mount as a profitable platform for product development. Samyang is the only 3rd party that brings all their products to Pentax and that is just because for them it's just a matter of changing a mount piece. Sigma and Tamron only provide partial support. This tells you what is the place of the K mount in the world of mounts. It would be rock bottom if that place wouldn't already be comfortably taken by Sigma's SA mount.
12-19-2012, 01:28 PM   #760
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The response to the 560/5.6 on this forum is hardly an indication of this lens's value. The majority of the negativity surrounds the cost of the lens. And what useful statements can be made by those who have never used the lens?

Cosina and Zeiss not making K-mount lenses are similarly no indication on the future of the K-mount. How many years has the K-mount been around? And how many of those years did it have 3rd party support? Leave alone the fact that Tamron and Sigma form the bulk of the 3rd party lenses for Pentax, their support being 'partial' for a reason. The argument just doesn't follow.

The conclusion is K-mount will do just fine. A FF camera is in the making. More K-mount lenses are being produced and the roadmap expanding. MILC is a separate market and is not a favourable option for many photographers.
12-19-2012, 02:38 PM   #761
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
The conclusion is K-mount will do just fine. A FF camera is in the making. More K-mount lenses are being produced and the roadmap expanding. MILC is a separate market and is not a favourable option for many photographers.
Hear, hear!
12-19-2012, 03:14 PM   #762
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QuoteOriginally posted by Laurentiu Cristofor Quote
You are disagreeing with a statement that you made up. This is a typical strawman fallacy based on a quote applied to a different context. The "of dubious value" was applying to the 560/5.6 lens - a single product. The response to this lens on PF has been lukewarm - I think "dubious value" is an accurate assessment based on that.
My apologies, indeed you were talking about the 560mm. It wasn't intentional, instead of making up a strawman I thought (misread) you were talking about the products Ricoh spend their resources on; however correcting this mistake doesn't change my answer much - just skip the extra stuff

IMO the 560mm has a specific role previously unfilled (since the retirement of FA lenses), that of a high quality long lens. Why I think it made sense:
- while a low volume, niche product there are people who will buy it. Such people are those prepared to spend $$$$ on photographic products, it's a very good idea to keep them in the system. Of course, it can't and won't be done with one single lens.
- as with a professional Canikon camera, as for those big white lenses used for sports the presence of such a product can inspire confidence in the system, even for people who would never buy one.
In this case, it can at least be considered a statement of their intention to continue and grow the K-mount system.

About more active 3rd-party support, well, the MILC systems still have to catch up with the more complete SLR ones - no wonder Sigma&co jumped to the opportunity to fill the gaps (non-existent in the K-mount). Overall, I'd say the K-mount is the "better" system (though I might be slightly biased towards the Limiteds).

BTW, you shouldn't assume things will stay as they were under Hoya (and as they were when Hoya was preparing Pentax for sale).
12-19-2012, 05:05 PM   #763
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
The response to the 560/5.6 on this forum is hardly an indication of this lens's value. The majority of the negativity surrounds the cost of the lens. And what useful statements can be made by those who have never used the lens?
The monetary value of the lens was not in question. What was in question was the value of the lens for making the K-mount attractive to customers. If the hardcore Pentax customers on this forum do not regard that lens kindly and if no one purchases it, what value does it have for pushing the Pentax ecosystem forward?

QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
Cosina and Zeiss not making K-mount lenses are similarly no indication on the future of the K-mount. How many years has the K-mount been around? And how many of those years did it have 3rd party support? Leave alone the fact that Tamron and Sigma form the bulk of the 3rd party lenses for Pentax, their support being 'partial' for a reason. The argument just doesn't follow.
Being around for a long time is no guarantee for the future. You're around and then you're not. It tends to work that way.

QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
The conclusion is K-mount will do just fine. A FF camera is in the making.
That is the speculation that has fueled this section of PF for years. It cannot fuel any conclusions, though it can continue to fuel this thread and will fuel many more in the months to come.

QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
More K-mount lenses are being produced and the roadmap expanding.
No one can tell what Ricoh will do or plans to do until a product designed after they took over is released. Until then, we can just speculate.

QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
MILC is a separate market and is not a favourable option for many photographers.
Digital was not a favorable option for many photographers either.

And the question is not whether MILC technology addresses *all* needs now but whether it already addresses the needs of the majority of users now and whether it can address the needs of the rest (many, but a minority nevertheless) in the near future. Talking with Canon/Nikon users, the only advantage they can bring up these days against MILC alternatives to DSLRs is that MILCs are not yet able to compete with high end FF DSLRs, because there is no MILC with a FF sensor, AF-C performance cannot match that of high end DSLRs yet, and there are no fast zoom lenses for MILCs as there are for FF cameras. But that is fine, since that uncovered area is a minority of the current market (and it happens to be the weakness of the Pentax system as well).

QuoteOriginally posted by Kunzite Quote
BTW, you shouldn't assume things will stay as they were under Hoya (and as they were when Hoya was preparing Pentax for sale).
I don't assume anything. I am hoping for better, but it could be worse too. Hard to say at this point and the longer it's hard to guess, the less optimism I have left.

Last edited by Laurentiu Cristofor; 12-19-2012 at 05:10 PM. Reason: Grammar correction: is should have been was
12-19-2012, 06:11 PM   #764
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QuoteOriginally posted by Laurentiu Cristofor Quote
If the hardcore Pentax customers on this forum do not regard that lens kindly and if no one purchases it, what value does it have for pushing the Pentax ecosystem forward?
I'm sure there would be plenty of people who would value the lens if they had it. The 560/5.6 serves a telephoto niche. I'm sure Pentax have done their market research for this lens.

QuoteOriginally posted by Laurentiu Cristofor Quote
Being around for a long time is no guarantee for the future. You're around and then you're not. It tends to work that way.
Soooo, let's just wait and see what happens to the K-mount seeing as though neither of us can predict the future. In the meantime, I'll be enjoying what the K-mount has to offer.

QuoteOriginally posted by Laurentiu Cristofor Quote
it can continue to fuel this thread and will fuel many more in the months to come
Negativity fuels these threads more than anything else.

QuoteOriginally posted by Laurentiu Cristofor Quote
No one can tell what Ricoh will do or plans to do until a product designed after they took over is released
There is an existing 2013 Pentax lens roadmap. That was what I was referring to.

QuoteOriginally posted by Laurentiu Cristofor Quote
there is no MILC with a FF sensor
Get the Leica M and be happy.
12-19-2012, 11:25 PM   #765
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
I'm sure there would be plenty of people who would value the lens if they had it.
*If* they had it - sure! I am certain of it too! That goes without saying. Only a fool would spend $7,000 on a lens that they would not value afterwards.

QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
Get the Leica M and be happy.
It the M was a MILC, I would have considered it, but it's a rangefinder. As much as I am fond of film rangefinders, I do not want a digital version of that technology. It was amusing though to see that after touting the rangefinder experience, Leica has finally gave up and added LiveView and movie mode. Even Leica figured out that times are changing and they need to change with them.
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