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01-06-2009, 04:30 AM   #1
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Why not a proper Rangefinder Pentax?

I'm sitting here looking at my new 77 ltd on the K20D and thinking how nice it would look on a RF camera.

Now, if I remember correctly, Pentax made a version of at least the 31 ltd for the Leica M series, so a logical thought extension is for Pentax to complete the picture, and make a good RF camera to go with the lenses.

Take the innards of the K20D (or K30D or whatever) remove the mirror and penta-prism, put the remainder in a slender body, add a Leica M lens mount with an extension for the K-mount lenses (include the contacts for AF etc, if you can), a rangefinder with brightlines for the 31, 43 and 77 ltds and bingo! Beat Voigtlander/Cosina to the punch and sell it at significantly less than the M8.

And you could have it in silver or black, to go with your existing ltd lenses.

Couldn't be that hard, could it? Really?

Anybody thought of this before?

01-06-2009, 04:58 AM   #2
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About ten years ago I remember reading that Pentax had just been granted
some patents for rangefinder cameras, but apparently nothing ever came of it.
I would love to see a Pentax interchangeable-lens rangefinder film camera.

Chris
01-06-2009, 05:37 AM   #3
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Because Pentax has never ever done rangefinders and the market for them is all but dead.
They don't want to go bankrupt, and they'll steer clear of rangefinders.

/thread?
01-06-2009, 05:44 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by RobA_Oz Quote
I'm sitting here looking at my new 77 ltd on the K20D and thinking how nice it would look on a RF camera.

Now, if I remember correctly, Pentax made a version of at least the 31 ltd for the Leica M series, so a logical thought extension is for Pentax to complete the picture, and make a good RF camera to go with the lenses.

Take the innards of the K20D (or K30D or whatever) remove the mirror and penta-prism, put the remainder in a slender body, add a Leica M lens mount with an extension for the K-mount lenses (include the contacts for AF etc, if you can), a rangefinder with brightlines for the 31, 43 and 77 ltds and bingo! Beat Voigtlander/Cosina to the punch and sell it at significantly less than the M8.

And you could have it in silver or black, to go with your existing ltd lenses.

Couldn't be that hard, could it? Really?

Anybody thought of this before?
What I don't understand is how that would be different from a P&S with really swell lenses. Where does the "rangefinder" part come in? (And the lenses you mention are designed to work at a distance from the sensor/film that takes into account a mirror box. Wouldn't the optical formula of the lenses themselves have to be redesigned? Unless, of course, you want a folding camera with bellows.

01-06-2009, 06:57 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mike Cash Quote
What I don't understand is how that would be different from a P&S with really swell lenses. Where does the "rangefinder" part come in? (And the lenses you mention are designed to work at a distance from the sensor/film that takes into account a mirror box. Wouldn't the optical formula of the lenses themselves have to be redesigned? Unless, of course, you want a folding camera with bellows.
That's the problem. The register difference guarantees a deep camera if it is designed for SLR lenses. About the only size saving there would be is the prism hump, but the entire body would likely have to grow to accommodate the viewfinder anyway. I doubt that there is a lot of waste space in a modern SLR camera that could be magically transformed into a viewfinder.
01-06-2009, 07:05 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mike Cash Quote
What I don't understand is how that would be different from a P&S with really swell lenses. Where does the "rangefinder" part come in? (And the lenses you mention are designed to work at a distance from the sensor/film that takes into account a mirror box. Wouldn't the optical formula of the lenses themselves have to be redesigned? Unless, of course, you want a folding camera with bellows.
How did they handle making the 43/1.9 for Leica screw mount? I know they offered that one for a while...
01-06-2009, 07:12 AM   #7
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I want Pentax to make this dream toy... the Hasselblad Xpan



So much better than using a Pentax 67 with a panoramic adapter.
If Pentax ever wants to make a small rangefinder it should take inspiration from the Minolta CLE.
01-06-2009, 07:25 AM   #8
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I'd love one too but I think Mike Cash has described a large part of the issue. They would need to redesign the lenses for the new RF body. They'd have to simplify the camera quite a bit too I assume. Drop the SR and other parts that make the DSLR's so much bigger. RF buyers would want these to be very small. I'd also assume that they would want SDM or MF lenses only to eliminate the space the screw drive motor needs, thus redesigning all the limited primes to SDM. Not a cheap project for what is probably a small market.

The interest for me would be a small, light and near silent camera that offers DSLR image quality.

01-06-2009, 08:57 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Peter Zack Quote
I'd love one too but I think Mike Cash has described a large part of the issue. They would need to redesign the lenses for the new RF body. They'd have to simplify the camera quite a bit too I assume. Drop the SR and other parts that make the DSLR's so much bigger. RF buyers would want these to be very small. I'd also assume that they would want SDM or MF lenses only to eliminate the space the screw drive motor needs, thus redesigning all the limited primes to SDM. Not a cheap project for what is probably a small market.

The interest for me would be a small, light and near silent camera that offers DSLR image quality.
They wouldn't necessarily need to redesign the lenses. You'd need an optical coupler like the micro 4/3s system uses for 4/3s lenses to account for the change in registration distance.
01-06-2009, 09:21 AM   #10
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yay for parallax and never being quite sure as to what and how you are shooting

plus with the advent of the micro 3/4 system which (i'm sure) will be implemented by everyone else in the future, regardless of sensor size, the whole idea of a "range finder" will be a step back.

not only is the size issue solved by getting rid of the mirror, but you can use the camera with great accuracy without even bothering to bring it to you eye for super-ninja shooting

i dont know what leica is thinking, and i want to know what those that bought the likes of the M8 are smoking, but seriously, its like purposelessly trying to chop wood with a brick

Last edited by Gooshin; 01-06-2009 at 09:28 AM.
01-06-2009, 09:41 AM   #11
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why would the company that pioneered the SLR, make a rangefinder? I dunno, I just don't see the point in the age of the P&S. I can see a potential market maybe but I think Olympus might have this all wrapped up when micro four thirds becomes the big thing.

I saw an old Pentax ad the other day with the slogan: "We're SLR camera experts. because that's all we make."
01-06-2009, 09:41 AM   #12
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Technical and evolution issues aside...it sure is fun to shoot with the Hassy XpanII. I carry a minimalist two lens kit and a bubble level and cable release. It's fun, small, easy and supremely sharp.
I think creampuff's dream is not the rangefinder part as much as the in-camera one click pano's. And that's what I like about the Hassy. Someday I'll have to post some on my website...the current pano's at the site really don't belong in the public eye...sis did a test with the pano format with shots she "found" in my files. Please don't judge the system by those lame shots...
Regarding marketability of such a system...Hasselblad canceled the system about the time digital boomed so the naysayers already won the argument!
01-06-2009, 11:02 AM   #13
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I own several cheapo rangefinders and enjoy using them myself. But what I can't understand is why anyone wants AF in a rangefinder. I can understand wanting a manual focus alternative to autofocus as a backup or creative option. I can not understand wanting a rangefinder and then not wanting to do the rangefinding yourself.

If people want a great lens, interchangeability, and great user control feature set in a small body that is also perfectly understandable. For better or worse, though, the camera industry has supplied us with EVF digital P&S and that is what people are going to have to make do with instead.
01-06-2009, 01:19 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by ftpaddict Quote
Because Pentax has never ever done rangefinders and the market for them is all but dead.
Well, no, it isn't. It's very small by comparison with the P&S market, but neither Leica nor Cosina think it's "dead", at least in the case of 35mm as far as Cosina is concerned. It will be interesting to see when or whether Cosina announces a digital version of its Voigtlander Bessa RF cameras.

Also, Apple had never built phones before the iPhone (but let's not get too far into that one, except to mention that a spokesperson for Australia's biggest telcom company once famously said they weren't going to stock the iPhone, for just that reason).

As for the lenses, with the register distance issue, I think a few people missed what I said there:
QuoteOriginally posted by RobA_Oz Quote
... add a Leica M lens mount with an extension for the K-mount lenses
...though not all.
01-06-2009, 01:36 PM   #15
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I love my range finder camera and it is so small and compact that I carry it all the time. (Yes, it is eating away my money very fast using films again)

I really think that the current market is after fast autofocus and snapping sensation out of the modern SLR machines. Rangefinders are not likely a direction for Pentax really. Panasonic G1 is picking up this niche market with all sorts of adaptors. So this area of camera business can be very tough.
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