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View Poll Results: Do you think FF will be announced at Photokina?
Yes 21632.58%
No 44767.42%
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09-06-2014, 08:29 AM   #556
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QuoteOriginally posted by GlassJunkie Quote
$150+mm for new FA* glass and FF DSLR will be hard to find
$150MM? Really?? OK - if you say so.

Given that it was reported Ricoh paid only $125MM+/- for the entire shebang (including whatever the value of lenses in inventory was at the time), it must have been assumed additional capital investment would be made. Who knows how much they've already invested in capital infrastructure we never see?

It doesn't appear Ricoh is just running off the remainders the way a raider would have. That was Hoya's strategy with the pre-MAP lens pricing in the USA.

Just a guess here - but, what if a large percentage of FF bodies are sold in the USA?

If Ricoh needs USA sales to make a FF a success, then rebuilding the USA distribution infrastructure is holding up the FF. That's the only thing that makes any sense at all to me.

And if true that makes the prospects of having one any time soon pretty negligible.


Last edited by monochrome; 09-06-2014 at 08:43 AM.
09-06-2014, 08:29 AM   #557
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QuoteOriginally posted by GlassJunkie Quote
Pentax P&L clearly shows that the $150+mm for new FA* glass and FF DSLR will be hard to find.
First, I don't think that $150M USD is required to launch an FF camera with a basic initial lens offering (2 primes, two or three zooms.) The whole of Pentax imaging was purchased by Ricoh for something like $140M IIRC. Some armchair analysis on dpreview came up with a $40 - $75M USD figure for a very nice launch, including all lenses, marketing and a volume sensor purchase.

Second, in this situation Ricoh acts as a parent - Pentax imaging is not standalone any longer, and Ricoh can choose to invest to try to grow that initial investment. Last I checked, Ricoh bought IKON for $1.5 Billion USD to compete with Canon in the commercial copier market, and have around $2 Billion USD in cash on hand currently. They could fund the FF initiative with one-year's interest on that, don't even need to use capital or finance it externally (if they don't want.)

Basically, Ricoh is more than huge enough. They don't want to throw good money after bad, and are probably skittish about where MILC is going, but it's not really a lack-of-money issue in their case - Pentax FF would almost be an afterthought to their main business.

Last edited by jsherman999; 09-06-2014 at 10:30 AM.
09-06-2014, 08:37 AM   #558
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QuoteOriginally posted by GlassJunkie Quote
Pentax P&L clearly shows that the $150+mm for new FA* glass and FF DSLR will be hard to find. Unless Ricoh wants to be on a spending binge, they will put R&D dollars into longer glass for 645Z, longer and HD/WR updates for APSC. I think we could (due to miniaturization and requisite tech improvements in pixel pitch below 3.9) see a 36mp APSC in a K-3 body long before a FF. 24mpFF with a K-Mount lens box (although thicker) would be a serious competitor to A7R, leveraging all of that great legacy glass out there. A lot less R&D/Sunk cost...
I know some will grin.......

But my guess is that at this moment, the best to expect is an APS-H size sensor inside the K-3 body with one new wide-angle zoomlens while there are plenty lenses for K-mount to serve the camera from 50mm and up.

Don't want it? Then you don't get anything!
09-06-2014, 08:39 AM   #559
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(Someday) we're going to be surprised.

09-06-2014, 08:42 AM   #560
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QuoteOriginally posted by RonHendriks1966 Quote
I know some will grin.......

But my guess is that at this moment, the best to expect is an APS-H size sensor inside the K-3 body with one new wide-angle zoomlens while there are plenty lenses for K-mount to serve the camera from 50mm and up.

Don't want it? Then you don't get anything!
You always bring that up (aps-h) and it's not a terrible idea on the face of it, the problem is that it's not going to any cheaper to buy aps-h sensors than FF sensors because the volume would be so low comparatively. An aps-h camera that costs as much as a FF camera, which would you choose?

If aps-h could be sold as cheaply as aps-c bodies, then it might be a good replacement for aps-c.
09-06-2014, 08:52 AM   #561
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QuoteOriginally posted by jsherman999 Quote
First, I don't think that $150M USD is required to launch an FF camera with a basic initial lens offering (2 primes, two or three zooms.) The whole of Pentax imaging was purchased by Ricoh for something like $140M IIRC. Some armchair analysis on dpreview came up with a $40 - $75M USD figure for a very nice launch, including all lenses, marketing and a volume sensor purchase.

Second, in this situation Ricoh acts as a parent - Pentax imaging is not standalone any longer, and Ricoh can choose to invest to try to grow that initial investment. Last I checked, Ricoh bought ICON for $1.5 Billion USD to compete with Canon in the commercial copier market, and have around $2 Billion USD in cash on hand currently. They could fund the FF initiative with one-year's interest on that, don't even need to use capital or finance it externally (if they don't want.)

Basically, Ricoh is more than huge enough. They don't want to throw good money after bad, and are probably skittish about where MILC is going, but it's not really a lack-of-money issue in their case - Pentax FF would almost be an afterthought to their main business.
I agree. I just wish they could find someone with confidence and authority to tell us a little more about Pentax and how Ricoh see their place in the market, and their future. Until that happens, the perception will tend be one of drift and folks will be reluctant to invest their hard-earned in the brand. It's all very well saying that the aim now is to get more K-mounters on board through selling things like the K-S1, but that doesn't on its own gain a single extra lens sale or a single upgrade to a K3, say. Folks wanting to get into photography in more than a casual way are looking for a lot more. Perhaps they want to hear about commitment, pride in the line and innovation from the guy at the top.

When was the last time Pentax produced a lens of unquestioned distinction that got all sorts of folks saying Wow? On 645 maybe recently for all I know. On APS-C or FF? Not for too long is my impression.
09-06-2014, 09:47 AM - 2 Likes   #562
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QuoteOriginally posted by mecrox Quote
When was the last time Pentax produced a lens of unquestioned distinction that got all sorts of folks saying Wow?
The 31mm Limited. I think that was a 2004 release. People buy systems for the glass, and Pentax really needs to get back to making premium glass.
09-06-2014, 10:14 AM   #563
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
$150MM? Really?? OK - if you say so.
...
If Ricoh needs USA sales to make a FF a success, then rebuilding the USA distribution infrastructure is holding up the FF. That's the only thing that makes any sense at all to me.

And if true that makes the prospects of having one any time soon pretty negligible.


Agreed and thinking the same thing, too ...

I was in the States two X-mas holidays ago to see family and I could not find Pentax gear in Tulsa, OK. A city of almost a million and almost nothing to be had ?!

At the same time period in Poitiers, France (only about 120,000), I could go to three separate shops and buy Pentax gear in stock: about everything at my B&M store (Phox Photo/Numipixel website) and a lot at 2 chain/electronics stores (FNAC & Boulanger). Today, the FNAC no longer stocks Pentax at Poitiers (nor in the 13th of Paris which I visited this summer), but my grocery store, Le Clerc, now carries K-500's in their display case and has had a couple Tamron lens sales for K-mount in the past (the 70-300 type lenses which do not interest me).

There's a HUGE problem in the States ... what a (bad) joke when I compare the situations.

09-06-2014, 11:19 AM   #564
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While we'r talking about APS-H....

QuoteOriginally posted by jsherman999 Quote
You always bring that up (aps-h) and it's not a terrible idea on the face of it, the problem is that it's not going to any cheaper to buy aps-h sensors than FF sensors because the volume would be so low comparatively. An aps-h camera that costs as much as a FF camera, which would you choose?

If aps-h could be sold as cheaply as aps-c bodies, then it might be a good replacement for aps-c.
Well they can make a FF camera with the 24 megapixelsensor that is allready in several camera's from Nikon and Sony. The problem is that it won't attrackt new users to the K-mount. At Ricoh they know this. And the current userbase isn't large enough to make that a good idea. Is it cheaper to order an APS-H sized sensor? I don't think so! Is it the sensor making the 1Dx costing so much? I don't think so. They have to make one gamble on this. Special order a 20 megapixel APS-H sized sensor cut from the same wafer as the 645z is made of and you have one great sensor. Around 55 % larger then APS-C, so this will bring IQ one step above the K-3! Also a not to big sensor so many lenses will perform great on it. Don't drain your current userbase since many of them have lenses that can perform on this platform. Put it inside the K-3 body and update the SR-system. The SR-system is less stressfull on this smaller then Full Frame sensor, so this will save on costs and will perform better. Anything else needed? Well an updated AF-system would be great, but if not no problem. All the rest could stay as it is. The K-3 would be the midrange camera and this new one the topcamera. Now you have at least a unique offering in the market. For that you have to pull a risk, since you need to order at least a minimum number of sensors. So maybe you have to order at least 50.000 or even 100.000 of them, but there is a lifespan of 3 years for this camera to sell them. With some improvements this camera can attracket new users to the K-mount.

I commented on improvements on another thread:
QuoteOriginally posted by RonHendriks1966 Quote
Well to be honest I don't want the pixeldensity of the K-3. So either a 16mp aps-c or a larger sensor.

I would like improvements:
  • choice between 14-bit and 12-bit RAW (for sports)
  • Faster saving to the card, there is a limitation in the system that isn't coming from the PRIME III engine.
  • Better video codecs, not perse 4k, but a better performance.
  • connectivity to internet
  • I would like the option to choose the framerate, just with the wheel anything from 1fps to 8,3 fps.
  • I would like to enter a voice recording with images.
  • I would like to have an option to give images a * designation, so you can choose to see all great images in just one choice. Out of the few hundred images you select directly the maybe 20 great outstanding images.
  • improved AF is Always welcome (but lenses need to be faster for that)

It is a great camera....But making 1000 images each 32 MB large at a sportsgame is not my cup of thea.
So you have two camera's with both the same pixelcount. The flashy K-S1 and the workhorse APS-H camera. In between the K-3(II) and then under that the K-50(0)(follower). Looks like a full productrange to me.

Last edited by RonHendriks1966; 09-06-2014 at 11:26 AM.
09-06-2014, 01:07 PM   #565
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QuoteOriginally posted by RonHendriks1966 Quote
I know some will grin.......

But my guess is that at this moment, the best to expect is an APS-H size sensor inside the K-3 body with one new wide-angle zoomlens while there are plenty lenses for K-mount to serve the camera from 50mm and up.

Don't want it? Then you don't get anything!
If it came with burst shooting on par with, say, the Canon EOS-1D Mark IV (around 10 fps) and had AF as good as the K-5 IIs with the number of AF points as the K-3, then I could definitely live with that. It'd be a Pentax built for sports.
09-06-2014, 01:26 PM   #566
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I thoroughly agree... Just don't know how....

QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
(Someday) we're going to be surprised.
The speculation herein seems stronger than the Enquirer or Star (US Tabloids) available at fine grocers, Nationwide...

---------- Post added 09-06-14 at 04:43 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by jsherman999 Quote
First, I don't think that $150M USD is required to launch an FF camera with a basic initial lens offering (2 primes, two or three zooms.) The whole of Pentax imaging was purchased by Ricoh for something like $140M IIRC. Some armchair analysis on dpreview came up with a $40 - $75M USD figure for a very nice launch, including all lenses, marketing and a volume sensor purchase.

Second, in this situation Ricoh acts as a parent - Pentax imaging is not standalone any longer, and Ricoh can choose to invest to try to grow that initial investment. Last I checked, Ricoh bought IKON for $1.5 Billion USD to compete with Canon in the commercial copier market, and have around $2 Billion USD in cash on hand currently. They could fund the FF initiative with one-year's interest on that, don't even need to use capital or finance it externally (if they don't want.)

Basically, Ricoh is more than huge enough. They don't want to throw good money after bad, and are probably skittish about where MILC is going, but it's not really a lack-of-money issue in their case - Pentax FF would almost be an afterthought to their main business.
The return on even $70mm (over 5 years on the lenses, 3 best on the K-FF) at LIBOR plus 3 is well over $90mm before you make a penny. at 35% gross margin (generous on this type of equipment) you have to sell $290mm of K-FF and lenses. If the average buyer buys 2 zooms at 1500 each- 40% retailer, that's $900x.35 or $315 each buyer. Add a K-FF body at $3000-40% is $1800 x.35 or $630/buyer.... So we have $945 net op margin on each one and you have to sell 95,000 "sets" to break even. If Ricoh seeks equity rates of return (IRR is usually 30% minimum in Japanese Mfg) on the $90mm sunk, then you need ~120,000 sets (minus margin made on extra goodies/ access).... Best case 110,000 sets. If you use my numbers twice as bad.....
09-06-2014, 02:15 PM   #567
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QuoteOriginally posted by WillWeaverRVA Quote
If it came with burst shooting on par with, say, the Canon EOS-1D Mark IV (around 10 fps) and had AF as good as the K-5 IIs with the number of AF points as the K-3, then I could definitely live with that. It'd be a Pentax built for sports.
It needs to be a multifunctional to serve everyone. So with those 20 megapixel it is still the best K-mount camera when it comes to IQ. I don't think it will be better in AF then K-3 is, but it has to be equal to be a good performer (not 1Dx/D4s performance). It would be great to have even improvement over K-3 for AF sensor,so some f4 AF points, since some lenses don't benefit from the F2.8 AF points. Maybe having a bigger aray of AF points, not the 5x5 and two outsiders of the K-3, but around that and extra row of AF points. An array of 6x6 and on each site two extra points, making a larger area and 40 AF points.

The transport to the memorycard can be improved so we can save images faster to the card then current with K-3/645Z that max out under 45MB/s.

The sensor should give 14-bit RAW or 12-bit RAW, wich is something on the sensormodule, since the conversion is on the sensor. Making it more expensive. But the 20 megapixel in 14-bit will be starting from 24 MB per file while the 12-bit RAW will start at 16 MB. So on a full (larger) buffer the camera should still be able to make up to 4 fps in 12-bit RAW (depending on iso-setting and filesize). That is a fast camera compared to K-3.
09-06-2014, 02:29 PM   #568
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QuoteOriginally posted by GlassJunkie Quote
The speculation herein seems stronger than the Enquirer or Star (US Tabloids) available at fine grocers, Nationwide...

---------- Post added 09-06-14 at 04:43 PM ----------



The return on even $70mm (over 5 years on the lenses, 3 best on the K-FF) at LIBOR plus 3 is well over $90mm before you make a penny. at 35% gross margin (generous on this type of equipment) you have to sell $290mm of K-FF and lenses. If the average buyer buys 2 zooms at 1500 each- 40% retailer, that's $900x.35 or $315 each buyer. Add a K-FF body at $3000-40% is $1800 x.35 or $630/buyer.... So we have $945 net op margin on each one and you have to sell 95,000 "sets" to break even. If Ricoh seeks equity rates of return (IRR is usually 30% minimum in Japanese Mfg) on the $90mm sunk, then you need ~120,000 sets (minus margin made on extra goodies/ access).... Best case 110,000 sets. If you use my numbers twice as bad.....
Based on your thinking/numbers, the original Pentax Imaging purchase has zero hope of breaking even

Why would they need to think about LIBOR numbers if it's self-financed? That's something Pentax-standalone would have had to worry about - not a Ricoh. Plus, it's almost assuredly closer to $30-40 million above and beyond the cost of aps-c and other operations rather than $70m.

If Pentax sells 10% of the volume of Nikon's D800 alone, they sell 36,000 bodies the first year. At initial MSRP of $3K Nikon reportedly made at least $1000/body profit on the D800 (source: thogan,) If Pentax makes even half that margin, they're looking at $18 Million profit in the first year on the body alone. Then come the lenses, which usually can have even greater margins.

You should also factor in the cost of doing nothing, of watching aps-c DSLR volumes shrinking and K-mount lens volume along with it. (To be fair also factor in the opportunity cost of not going whole-hog into MILC, which they might be thinking about.)

Basically it comes down to:

1) Does Pentax/Ricoh want to stick with the K-mount business, do they want to be selling K-mount products 10 years from now?
2) How does Pentax keep selling K-mount products at respectable margins when their volume end (entry) is being eaten by MILC and their margin-rich upper-end is being eaten by entry-level FF? Remember, they survived in the film days without these two disruptions, there was no "FF" or MILC alternatives - 135mm bodies held a very strong position with lower products a joke and upper-end being $$ medium format.

If the answer to #1 is "no" then #2 doesn't apply.
09-06-2014, 04:04 PM   #569
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
(Someday) we're going to be surprised.
So you're under NDA, or don't want to blow your buddies NDA? Any hints? Based on the changes to your sig block lately it seems like a prototype was field tested and then pulled recently...
09-06-2014, 04:04 PM   #570
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QuoteOriginally posted by GlassJunkie Quote
The speculation herein seems stronger than the Enquirer or Star (US Tabloids) available at fine grocers, Nationwide...

---------- Post added 09-06-14 at 04:43 PM ----------



The return on even $70mm (over 5 years on the lenses, 3 best on the K-FF) at LIBOR plus 3 is well over $90mm before you make a penny. at 35% gross margin (generous on this type of equipment) you have to sell $290mm of K-FF and lenses. If the average buyer buys 2 zooms at 1500 each- 40% retailer, that's $900x.35 or $315 each buyer. Add a K-FF body at $3000-40% is $1800 x.35 or $630/buyer.... So we have $945 net op margin on each one and you have to sell 95,000 "sets" to break even. If Ricoh seeks equity rates of return (IRR is usually 30% minimum in Japanese Mfg) on the $90mm sunk, then you need ~120,000 sets (minus margin made on extra goodies/ access).... Best case 110,000 sets. If you use my numbers twice as bad.....
1-year LIBOR is 0.56% today; LIBOR + 3.00 % = 3.56%
$70,000,000 * 3.56% = $2,492,000 = <$15,000,000 over 5 years, assuming compounding

You seem to be basing your calculations on the retail MAP prices.

Revenue to Ricoh Imaging Company, Ltd. (Japan) is limited to something like 50% of the retail price - for batch-run items such as lenses there is also the carrying cost of holding the inventory for long periods; there is then a markup at the Distributor or Division to cover the costs of operating the Division (such as Ricoh Imaging Americas); and the retailer markup from that price, which might actually be 35%. Any marketing expense such as promotions and advertising is costed after the factory door.

The actual cost of a camera body or lens might be 50% of 50% of the Retail MAP price.

An investment of $150,000,000 such as you suggested earlier might be equivalent to the entire Plant and Equipment necessary to re-equip Ricoh brand-new, with a capital life of 10 to 40 years. Ricoh wouldn't allocate ALL of the P&E to a FF camera and two lenses and expect a 1-year equity return on the full amount. They'd simply dedicate the correct number of the total production lines to FF cameras and lenses, then make something else on those lines when they had built enough FF cameras and lenses. Meanwhile they'd be making several APSc cameras and lenses and Q cameras and lenses and Ricoh cameras and lenses in the balance of the $150,000,000 of Plant and Equipment.

Last edited by monochrome; 09-06-2014 at 04:12 PM.
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