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04-06-2017, 04:14 AM - 1 Like   #1
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Have I brought into a dead Eco System

Hello All,
In the past 4 months, I have brought into the Pentax K-1, after having been firmly in the Canon camp for several years, mainly for the FF offering of the K1 and the improved low light performance / dynamic range its sensor has over any Canon solutions to date. However, with each passing week, I'm becoming more and more aware and concerned that there seems to be a dying lens ecosystem for the K mount, especially from traditional 3rd party manufacturers. ala (Tamron/Sigma) is anyone else a little concerned about the future lens offering on the K mount for the otherwise amazing K-1?

I appreciate there is a massive back catalogue of lenses that are available and this is great, but time does change and optics and manufacturing processes do improve. I'm surprised the latest offerings from Sigma / Tamron et al are not available in the K mount. With Pentax's roadmap seeming very limited for 2017, I fear maybe forced back into Cannon land in search of a compromised K-1 Substitute.


Last edited by Sunburn; 04-06-2017 at 04:48 AM.
04-06-2017, 04:21 AM   #2
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I think like Fuji, Olympus, Panasonic and even Sony we'll never see much support from third party manufacturers, Geoff.

Best to go back to the Canikon herd if that's what you want, but if you want a great camera with great lenses both modern and going back to 1975, you've chosen well!

Last edited by clackers; 04-06-2017 at 04:34 AM.
04-06-2017, 04:29 AM - 3 Likes   #3
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Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt, the dark path are they.

Pentax have recently announced a 50mm f/1.4 and an 85mm f/1.4 prime as the next to be released.

As for the other lens makers, volume is money and these are not the good old days when K-mount cameras were released under the Ricoh, Chinon and Sears brands as well as Pentax (though Sears were invariably Ricohs or Chinons made under contract). Pentax is no longer one of the Big Two, and the Pentax full-frame market is very small compared to Canon and Nikon. The trouble with producing hordes and hordes of different lenses is that you need hordes and hordes of people to buy them. Otherwise you end up with stuff just sitting on shelves... and hordes and hordes of corporate debt. Nikon are currently struggling, as are Panasonic. Canon, for all we know, may be not waving but drowning. Ricoh/Pentax are pacing themselves nicely - Pentax have come close to death already, and they don't want to go there again.

You will find that a lot of the older, film-era lenses are not to be sneezed at, and even some of the manual-focus screwmount lenses of over forty years ago are more than capable of holding their own optically against their modern brethren. All it takes is an exercise of the photographer's art.

Jumping ecosystems is a matter of careful research BEFORE you switch - not just bodies, but lenses and other accessories. If anything, actual and potential lens availability right now (with the announcement of the high end fast fifty and 85) is better than when you bought your K-1. The time to be worried about the Pentax lens ecosystem was when you were still with Canon - and if that was your genuine concern, perhaps the appropriate jump should have been to Nikon, whose D810 has the same sensor as the K-1 and is pretty much its distant cousin.
04-06-2017, 04:33 AM - 2 Likes   #4
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Did you do any research about this issue before buying the k1? Surely you would have found that Pentax is not as heavily supported as Canikon with regards to 3rd party lenses. That doesn't mean there aren't any lenses to pair with it.
I don't have the k1, but by all accounts it's a great camera with plenty of lens' options. Enjoy!!

04-06-2017, 04:37 AM - 1 Like   #5
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Agreed to some extent, Tamron and Sigma dropping Pentax is a blow. Not sure if dying is entirely accurate though, as other brands have come along that do support Pentax (ie Venus). I think it's universally accepted that Pentax is now experiencing a global renaissance after being at its nadir in the last few years. If that renaissance continues and if there's money in it you can expect Tamron and Sigma to jump back in.
04-06-2017, 04:46 AM - 1 Like   #6
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Thanks for the replies, guys, I'm not knocking Pentax at all in regards to what it produces and the quality of the product, but, just the diminishing support from traditional Partners in the most recent releases of their lenses, which would appear to be truly competitive against the main brand offerings circa 2017. I also appreciate that there is a substantial back catalogue of lenses to choose from, how compatible they all are with Pentax FF can be debated, after reading several posts on the subject here, but I digress.

It's the future I'm looking too and I want to it be with the K-1 and I'm sure the sentiment is shared by many. I hope Pentax deliver this year on the lens front. Regarding jumping brands, I'm in a fortunate position, and that is not a concern, I have the best of both worlds as I have still all my Canon gear, I was hoping the K1 would be superior in the areas I wanted (which it is, see OP), and would continue to be supported by the 3rd parties. Fingers crossed perhaps Pentax can curry favour with the 3rd parties in support for the K mount going forward.

04-06-2017, 04:47 AM - 2 Likes   #7
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Well Fujifilm don't have any 3rd party support but for a few Zeiss Touit's (that are no longer being produced) so it depends on the lenses you want/need and their availability.

Once Pentax bring out the new 50mm and 85mm F1.4's they are only critically missing a fastish wide angle prime. The usual F2.8 zooms are available now. A 600mm telephoto zoom similar to the Sigma and Tamron's would also be nice.

The legacy FA Limiteds are also very nice and small. Yes, they are screwdrive but compared to the current trend of 800 gram and heavier lenses they are nice and light with still fast apertures.

Anyway, only you can decide if the lenses you can get satisfy your need
04-06-2017, 04:48 AM - 1 Like   #8

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I wouldn't worry about it too much. Ricoh is a huge corporation that is taking the turtle's approach to this race. That is, slow and steady and in it for the long haul.

04-06-2017, 04:58 AM - 4 Likes   #9
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Is anyone concerned?
Sure - somewhere, someone is concerned.

Are people who know Ricoh Imaging well and understand the current digital camera market concerned?

In a word, NO.
04-06-2017, 05:05 AM - 1 Like   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mr Bassie Quote
I wouldn't worry about it too much. Ricoh is a huge corporation that is taking the turtle's approach to this race. That is, slow and steady and in it for the long haul.
I'll try not to Mr Bassie. although I'm aware of Aesop's fable 'The Tortoise and the Hare' but rarely do the big brands 'act' carelessly in their product offerings, in fact, you could say that for certain product lines like the Canon 5D series, Canon too are taking the Tortoise approach with delivering only incremental updates to a very popular and solid product line. much to the gnashing of teeth of canon users

Last edited by Sunburn; 04-06-2017 at 05:12 AM.
04-06-2017, 05:26 AM - 3 Likes   #11
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As long as there isn't a lens you want that you don't have, worrying is pointless. If there is a lens you really want and it's not supported on Pentax then you have a decision. But it's a decision that everyone makes all the time. There are Sony, Canon, Nikon etc. lenses that you have to have that system to own. It's not just 3rd party lenses. And the same is true. If there is some Canon lens that you want to use, you have to buy a Canon, or Nikon or whatever.

Owning a Pentax system makes it more likely that your "favourite" lens is on another platform, but most of us find enough lenses we like to cover our needs.

Last edited by normhead; 04-06-2017 at 01:45 PM.
04-06-2017, 05:26 AM - 1 Like   #12
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There are more Pentax lenses on the roadmap, 3rd party like Rokinon, Irix, etc. are supporting Pentax, and Sigma still does have a few new Pentax offerings. I imagine with Tamron they may back out of Pentax support, but that's because they are making Pentax lenses with a little rebranding and some different coatings. Also, if you're okay with screwdrive go find yourself an FA31 ltd. I think you might just like it. I also imagine that KAF4 might make companies like Sigma take a second look at Pentax.
04-06-2017, 05:31 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by VoiceOfReason Quote
Sigma still does have a few new Pentax offerings.
No releases from Sigma for years now, VoR, only discontinuings.

04-06-2017, 05:45 AM - 1 Like   #14
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Even though I now own both a Pentax and a Nikon system, I actually own zero off-brand lenses. I considered the Sigma 17-50 OS for Nikon, but that lens has a bug on the D7100. Third-party lenses just aren't guaranteed to work well with future bodies or firmware releases.

But I suppose I'm not telling you anything you don't already know.
04-06-2017, 05:48 AM - 7 Likes   #15
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I always find concerns over Pentax lens availability an interesting topic.

I agree that it would be nice to have better third-party support, but - frankly - most photographer's needs are already more-than-covered by existing Pentax lenses alone.

These four well-regarded lenses give you uninterrupted access to every focal length from 15 to 450mm, with 15 to 200mm at an acceptably-fast f/2.8:

D FA 15-30 f/2.8
D FA 24-70 f/2.8
D FA 70-200 f/2.8
D FA 150-450mm f/4.5-5.6

If you need a nice walk-around lens, there's the D FA 28-105mm f/3.5-5.6.

Add macro to your kit with the excellent D FA 100mm f/2.8 Macro.

The legendary FA 77mm f/1.8 Limited makes a fine portrait lens. Comparatively long in the tooth, and a little wider than the 85mm norm, but rightly coveted.

Want fast, wide and normal primes? Again, though older designs, the still-current FA 31 and 43 Limited primes have a huge fan-base, and for very good reason.

Plus, there are other choices in the line-up that are particularly suitable for specialist roles, with more coming.

Most of these lenses aren't cheap, but we're talking about excellent image quality - the kind you'd want to put on a high-end full-frame camera. And you can get away with a sub-set of the above for the majority of day-to-day photography...

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