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09-08-2014, 03:05 AM - 7 Likes   #1
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Why Pentax SHOULD make a full frame, an answer to the link on homepage

I've read with interest and attention the post titled "Dear Pentax: Never Build a "Full Frame" Camera", linked on this site homepage. It is an interesting article, well written, but extremely subjective.
It should have no place on the home page. I am asking myself why it does...
The experiences of the author are in no way special. I have the same: I don't have the A* 135mm, but i do have the 85mm, the 200mm, the 300mm, and most of the best A glasses. Many of those who would actually buy a full frame body have high performance old lenses, with a wonderful build quality. But i suspect that the active posters on pentaxforums.com do not represent a statistically credible example of the advanced amateurs who are still interested in a FF body (many gave up already).
After reading many, many forum posts, with a reasonable level of attention, i've made up my mind: a good part of the active users is made by fanboys, newcomers, and old farts loyal to the brand. For example i am of the latter type, i am just 56 but i started taking pictures when i was 10 y.o., and sold my Nikkormat for a Pentax, as soon as it was possible to find the first MX bodies second-hand. Then i purchased the LX, the Super Program, the K2, the 6x7, all of them second-hand. The only two new bodies i ever bought (Sfx-n and Z-1p) were brought from the USA at a price competitive with a good used body in Italy!.
After that i waited for the digital. When it came i deemed it not good enough... i wanted the full frame, to use all my fantastic wides!
I got so fed up of waiting, that i decided that if i had to use analog, at least i had to get the maximum quality, so i restarted with large format (4x5" and 5x7") and lately embraced 8x10".
A big change in my private life brought me back to small cameras, usable for travel photography.
I finally bent to Pentax, and got a K10D and K200D (both used).Since then, i added a K-5 II and a K-01, bought at 1/4 the original price. I guess i'm not an impulsive buyer, or a big spender... but i do love lenses!
During all this time i took advantage of every occasion i found, exchanging old K and M glasses for more ergonomic (and often better) A and F/FA ones. The only DA i own is the pancake Limited... which happens to cover the FF
My personal opinion is that most of the enthusiasts who would consider to buy a Pentax full frame have some (often plenty of) good old glasses, and that would be the main reason to buy one. Some of them already own different equipments, but some have enough money to invest in a body which will allow them to shoot with the lenses they kept for all this time, those old wonderful glasses they didn't feel to sell.
I've posted a comment to the original post (maybe it's more an article), but there is a limit in the allowed characters. That's why i'm posting here a more articulated reply.
I've browsed all the comments, a great number of them, and i have been impressed by them. I think i decided to write about my personal view on the matter, after reading some of them.
Most of the comments i've read are unrealistic, or just "pour parler". That's true about both sides, i guess. Pentax FF is a divisive issue...
I'd really want to know how many people would really want (and afford) to buy a decently complete 645 digital outfit. Com'on, please!
There was a time when Asahi Pentax was the second player, very innovative, and sold the best affordable cameras for reportage. Canon was in no way at the same level.
Now, after two horribly wrong choices (late switch to bayonet; no pro camera after the LX), Pentax is struggling to remain relevant, after the disaster of the Hoya tenure.
Now Pentax is smaller than ever, there have been insufficient investments in R&D, and most of the inventory had been sold. I have some hope, but i don't think Ricoh has enough cash to compete with the big players, at least not at any level of the market. When Pentax concentrated on compact cameras, at least you could see them in supermarkets. I don't see them since long, and the choice has proven totally wrong. If it sounds vaguely familiar... it's because Kodak and Polaroid tried to compete in the low end market as well!
There was a time when Apple was in real danger, Steve Jobs was called and the trend changed in a short amount of time. It can happen only in a way. Building on your assets and innovating, thinking out of the box.
Pentax has a base, a signature: SR and WR bodies, plus camera menus and ergonomics conceived for real photographer's needs (well... not the K-01!). Then it has an asset, just one. Fortunately is huge: an immense number of good (and sometimes very good) lenses in K mount, built during a long span of time and diffused in any corner of the world. Most of the good ones are primes, some are fast, and some have an optical signature which sets them apart from the mass of AF zooms sold today.
It is NOT true that Pentax has to invest a huge amount of money in the project of a brand new full line of lenses made for FF. Some cover already, many zooms could be provided by third parties (Canikon owners buy wonderful Tokina lenses, which we call Pentax... Tamron could be the ideal substitute of Tokina), and a few specialty lenses could be assigned to Cosina (they have the know-how, just think about the price/performance ratio of the fake-Voigtlanders in M/LTM mount!).
The big money is made with amateurs nowadays. The real professional is broke. They get less and less money, big stock agencies shut down, and many good professionals quit their job to do something else or to retire before time. How many pros buy the new digital medium format? Very, very few, trust me, other way the used 645 lenses made in the film days would cost four time their price.
What makes a FF camera desirable? The sensor and the glass. The glass is already there, plenty of it. Those who are so happy with APS-C can't be as happy to see the best new third party lenses made in any other mount but Pentax! I don't. It's my MAIN complaint. No Tokinas at all. Not the best new Sigmas. The Tamrons are available only in their old version... when the stock will be emptied, do you really think they will make a new batch for PKAF?
I am happy with my K-5 II and (for a particular use) with my K-01, but i would never buy Pentax if i had to start afresh, today. When i purchased the K10D i had already a dozen of the best MF Pentax lenses ever. That was my reason. I would have been crazy to buy any other brand!
So the glass is already there... if a sensor allowing in-body SR is already available, better move your ass Pentax! Tomorrow is too late.
No need to be extremely innovative, just copy what the others did well. Nikon has different level of compatibility with vintage glasses, the more expensive bodies are more flexible. A down-to-earth FF version of the K-3, with limited improvements and an UNCRIPPLED mount, would sell by itself. Provided that the price is competitive... but at this stage even selling under cost could be an option, at least initially. It would be more effective than a planetary advertising campaign, it would get all the interest of the main sites, the attention of the growing numbers of MF vintage lenses enthusiasts (especially the new crowds from the countries of the rising sun), of collectors of K and M42 lenses, and would get the Pentax name once again in the radar of third party lens makers. I think it would also sell to all those rich old farts who shoot Canon/Nikon/Sony but still own their old Takumar or SMC Pentax glasses.
You don't have to trust me cause i've been a pro, or because i'm a collector and have 250/300 lenses at home... i'm nobody. It's just common sense. The advanced amateur, the one who makes the fortune of Leica, Nikon and Canon, buying highly profitable products, consider APS-C a second choice. Most of them would never spend good money on something perceived as inferior. The fact that this kind of user don't care about Internet, or just lurks every now and then, means nothing. The market speaks, and speaks volume.

cheers

Paolo


Last edited by cyberjunkie; 09-08-2014 at 03:10 AM.
09-08-2014, 03:25 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by cyberjunkie Quote
. . . but at this stage even selling under cost could be an option, at least initially. It would be more effective than a planetary advertising campaign, it would get all the interest of the main sites, the attention of the growing numbers of MF vintage lenses enthusiasts (especially the new crowds from the countries of the rising sun), of collectors of K and M42 lenses, and would get the Pentax name once again in the radar of third party lens makers.

I think you're right. The 645Z has been very well received, and now would be an ideal time for a Pentax FF to appear and capitalise on that positive response. Selling a full frame camera as a loss leader would also encourage beginners to buy into the Pentax system at the bottom of the range, safe in the knowledge that they've got a clear upgrade path.
09-08-2014, 03:40 AM - 1 Like   #3
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Thanks for your thoughts.
Certainly there is a wide spread perception out there that FF is significantly better than APS-C.
There may not be big advantages of FF over APS-C (and there are some potential disadvantages too) but I think you are right from the point of view that because of the perception of being better there is demand for FF (especially if it was well priced).

It seems that Ricoh are prepared to invest more than Hoya and this is great - maybe, just maybe they may release a FF soon.

I personally would see this as a good move for Ricoh - even though I don't desperately want one. In fact if I got one it would likely be at the end of its production cycle or perhaps second hand.
09-08-2014, 05:08 AM   #4
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I think if the ff was that matter..olympus , fuji and others should catch the train.
FF market is tight . when I look at fuji concept and the many people who are leaving their heavy gears to this system i think pentax is right for not going to ff system. pentax need only to support their lenses.

09-08-2014, 05:24 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by cyberjunkie Quote
The big money is made with amateurs nowadays. The real professional is broke.
Word.
09-08-2014, 05:25 AM - 1 Like   #6
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When we already see threads like "How to get the FF out earlier " and stuff on the new posts page all the time, when every thread gets turned into a "we want an FF thread".. I see the thread, "Dear Pentax: Never Build a "Full Frame" Camera", is a refreshing thought. I have heard so many reasons why people have to have Full Frame cameras, I'm sick of it. With the release of the A7r there is now an FF for your A glass, or any glass that you can manually focus, A very good FF. But now we have folks whining... it has to be a Pentax.

Well, you have what you want, you won't buy it. When are you ever going to stop complaining about this?
Buy your FF, start posting pictures in the Pentax glass on other cameras, stop wasting your time wishing Pentax would do what you want.
Quit crying in your beer feeling sorry for your pathetic selves and get on with your lives. Pentax not making an FF isn't a real problem for anyone.

If I had a job that absolutely required an FF and higher resolution I'd have an A7r tomorrow. Even if Pentax comes out with an FF it would be a great stop gap solution. All this attention to the mythical FF has me shaking my head wondering what's wrong with people.

I guess the real problem with the Sony is, in the end, it's just a camera, it's probably not going to improve your photography, and Pentax is just another camera company making lenses, some of which are rated highly , some of which are average, but overall, with no real advantage over any other camera company. It all averages out between the companies, you gain some things you lose somethings.

I'm happy with what Pentax is. If you're not, you need to change, not wait for Pentax to change.

The most important thing to say to People waiting for a Pentax FF.
Get on with your life.
09-08-2014, 05:47 AM - 1 Like   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
When we already see threads like "How to get the FF out earlier " and stuff on the new posts page all the time, when every thread gets turned into a "we want an FF thread".. I see the thread, "Dear Pentax: Never Build a "Full Frame" Camera", is a refreshing thought. I have heard so many reasons why people have to have Full Frame cameras, I'm sick of it. With the release of the A7r there is now an FF for your A glass, or any glass that you can manually focus, A very good FF. But now we have folks whining... it has to be a Pentax.

Well, you have what you want, you won't buy it. When are you ever going to stop complaining about this?
Buy your FF, start posting pictures in the Pentax glass on other cameras, stop wasting your time wishing Pentax would do what you want.
Quit crying in your beer feeling sorry for your pathetic selves and get on with your lives. Pentax not making an FF isn't a real problem for anyone.

If I had a job that absolutely required an FF and higher resolution I'd have an A7r tomorrow. Even if Pentax comes out with an FF it would be a great stop gap solution. All this attention to the mythical FF has me shaking my head wondering what's wrong with people.

I guess the real problem with the Sony is, in the end, it's just a camera, it's probably not going to improve your photography, and Pentax is just another camera company making lenses, some of which are rated highly , some of which are average, but overall, with no real advantage over any other camera company. It all averages out between the companies, you gain some things you lose somethings.

I'm happy with what Pentax is. If you're not, you need to change, not wait for Pentax to change.

The most important thing to say to People waiting for a Pentax FF.
Get on with your life.
While I totally agree with the above. Just two point in defense of Pentaxians anxiously awaiting FF: As a person that indeed bought that A7r... I'd still love to see what a Digital Pentax FF camera would be like. Secondly, PRIC isn't exactly clear on their camera/format roadmap. If they'd only clearly state what their inentions are, then I think that would take away a lot of angst amongst the users.
09-08-2014, 06:06 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Clavius Quote
If they'd only clearly state what their inentions are, then I think that would take away a lot of angst amongst the users.
Where as I tend to think people who get all caught up in angst, just get all caught up in angst, it's a physiological response... learn to meditate.
it's a response looking for target, not response to a situation.
Once the FF angst is gone, it will be replaced by some other angst...angst is a disease some people have...

I look at the Henry's website.. I can have an A7r in 5 days for money that's in my bank account..

You might be the guy to ask...
If I get it, largely for landscape, am I going to be happy with my Pentax glass on it?
Or am I going to start drooling over all those expensive Ziess lenses that come native on it?
What would I be getting into here?

To me, that's the only valid Pentax FF question right now, for folks who think they have to have it.
I'm not a guy who has to have it... but I would like to see my FA 50 1.7 on FF like film, that and 35mm are the two focal lengths I think are better on FF. And as jsherman has demonstrated, artistically, despite the concept of equivalence, from an artistic perspective 35mm APS_c is just not the same as 50mm FF, it's just not. That's just a personal feeling. It's not worth $2.5k to me, whether the FF body is a Pentax body, or the Sony body. And neither of those FLs usually need AF.

For 70mm and above, I prefer APS-c. I think about my Sigma 70 on FF, and all I think is, if I knew I was going to do that I would have bought the 100 WR. There isn't a single telephoto I'd rather shoot on FF.


Last edited by normhead; 09-08-2014 at 06:35 AM.
09-08-2014, 06:15 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
For 70mm and above, I prefer APS-c.
That's a really good line for the focal lengths on APSC, thanks!
09-08-2014, 06:56 AM - 1 Like   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by cyberjunkie Quote
Provided that the price is competitive... but at this stage even selling under cost could be an option, at least initially. It would be more effective than a planetary advertising campaign
I don't think this is even an option. When Ricoh reads this they have one more reason not to bring out a FF, since even you don't think it will make a profit.


The changing market is one of the huge problems that is getting bigger every few months. I wrote about it in january and it looks like it if that was the good time and now we are down again several steps as a photograhy market.
09-08-2014, 07:00 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
You might be the guy to ask...
If I get it, largely for landscape, am I going to be happy with my Pentax glass on it?
Or am I going to start drooling over all those expensive Ziess lenses that come native on it?
What would I be getting into here?
I'm not the right person to ask, because of my incredible weak backbone when it comes to camera gear. lol

Seriously though, my Pentax lenses perform very well, so they perform equally well on my A7r. Maybe even "better" because then they're used on the appropriate format and thus also the focal length for which they were intended. And maybe even better because manual focussing is so convenient on the A7r. Regardless of me owning very nice Pentax lenses that perform very well, I still started druiling over the Zeiss lenses. Even though they're just Sony lenses with a Zeiss badge on it. Luckily for me, they're very expensive. So I only have the FE 35 and FE 24-70 is comming. For the rest I use my Pentax lenses. I'm anxiously awaiting an FE UWA prime lens though.
09-08-2014, 07:10 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Clavius Quote
I'm not the right person to ask, because of my incredible weak backbone when it comes to camera gear. lol

Seriously though, my Pentax lenses perform very well, so they perform equally well on my A7r. Maybe even "better" because then they're used on the appropriate format and thus also the focal length for which they were intended. And maybe even better because manual focussing is so convenient on the A7r. Regardless of me owning very nice Pentax lenses that perform very well, I still started druiling over the Zeiss lenses. Even though they're just Sony lenses with a Zeiss badge on it. Luckily for me, they're very expensive. So I only have the FE 35 and FE 24-70 is comming. For the rest I use my Pentax lenses. I'm anxiously awaiting an FE UWA prime lens though.

This puzzles me for years. So I put a lens on my camera, look true the viewfinder or my rearscreen on the K-01 and see what it is bringing to me. No zoom's, so I just either take a different lens or take some steps forward or backwards if it's not really what I want in my image. I know a thing or two about photography so I know what will work and what not.

And then apparently there are people who sit at home, think of what they could make with their fantastic zoomlens if they only had the right sized sensor inside their camera. But unfortunately they haven't got the FF Pentaxcamera so they end up with no image (or so).
09-08-2014, 07:10 AM - 1 Like   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Clavius Quote
I'm not the right person to ask, because of my incredible weak backbone when it comes to camera gear. lol

Seriously though, my Pentax lenses perform very well, so they perform equally well on my A7r. Maybe even "better" because then they're used on the appropriate format and thus also the focal length for which they were intended. And maybe even better because manual focussing is so convenient on the A7r. Regardless of me owning very nice Pentax lenses that perform very well, I still started druiling over the Zeiss lenses. Even though they're just Sony lenses with a Zeiss badge on it. Luckily for me, they're very expensive. So I only have the FE 35 and FE 24-70 is comming. For the rest I use my Pentax lenses. I'm anxiously awaiting an FE UWA prime lens though.
What I'm hearing is having an A7r could exponentially expand my LBA... that is sooooo very scary. I haven't got he 31,77,43 combo yet forget about Sony FF glass... will it never end?
09-08-2014, 07:42 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
Where as I tend to think people who get all caught up in angst, just get all caught up in angst, it's a physiological response... learn to meditate.
it's a response looking for target, not response to a situation.
Once the FF angst is gone, it will be replaced by some other angst...angst is a disease some people have...

I look at the Henry's website.. I can have an A7r in 5 days for money that's in my bank account..

You might be the guy to ask...
If I get it, largely for landscape, am I going to be happy with my Pentax glass on it?
Or am I going to start drooling over all those expensive Ziess lenses that come native on it?
What would I be getting into here?

To me, that's the only valid Pentax FF question right now, for folks who think they have to have it.
I'm not a guy who has to have it... but I would like to see my FA 50 1.7 on FF like film, that and 35mm are the two focal lengths I think are better on FF. And as jsherman has demonstrated, artistically, despite the concept of equivalence, from an artistic perspective 35mm APS_c is just not the same as 50mm FF, it's just not. That's just a personal feeling. It's not worth $2.5k to me, whether the FF body is a Pentax body, or the Sony body. And neither of those FLs usually need AF.

For 70mm and above, I prefer APS-c. I think about my Sigma 70 on FF, and all I think is, if I knew I was going to do that I would have bought the 100 WR. There isn't a single telephoto I'd rather shoot on FF.
" from an artistic perspective 35mm APS_c is just not the same as 50mm FF" What does this mean? Nothing at all. "Artistic" standards are entirely subjective. Pentax haven't made any full-frame lenses in a long while. They are a miniature camera, APS-C, and medium format company. This in itself is pretty amazing -- no other camera company has such an incredible range of products. And you want a full-frame camera, too? Exactly how big are the prints you're making?
09-08-2014, 07:44 AM - 3 Likes   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote

Well, you have what you want, you won't buy it. When are you ever going to stop complaining about this?
Buy your FF, start posting pictures in the Pentax glass on other cameras, stop wasting your time wishing Pentax would do what you want.
Quit crying in your beer feeling sorry for your pathetic selves and get on with your lives. Pentax not making an FF isn't a real problem for anyone.
Norm you seem to be internalizing the discussion and taking things personally. Three thoughts:

1) This is an internet forum where such things are discussed, and in the current environment of photo-tech disruption, it might make a great deal of sense for Pentax to strengthen it's bread-butter product by offering a FF body or two.

2) From a shooter's perspective, it's completely normal to want 'more', or at least have the option of buying more that doesn't strand your past lens purchases.

3) If you don't like these dicussions, why do you read this subforum? It's like walking into a Ford dealership and loudly announcing that everyone needs to stop talking about Fords because it bothers you.

.

Last edited by jsherman999; 09-08-2014 at 07:53 AM.
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