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09-01-2013, 10:47 PM   #1
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645D a dead end ?

Does anyone else feel like Pentax's lack of communication about their medium format plans makes the system feel like a dead end ? The 90mm 2.8 lens seems to be nice but who wants to spend the money on something with a very uncertain future ? I still love the camera and the image quality it delivers, but I absolutely hate the way pentax handles and markets their professional products. Saying "we are working on a new body and more lenses" does not alter their competitive advantage, it simply encourages people to buy into a system that is not a dead end.

09-01-2013, 10:53 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by larkis Quote
Does anyone else feel like Pentax's lack of communication about their medium format plans makes the system feel like a dead end ? The 90mm 2.8 lens seems to be nice but who wants to spend the money on something with a very uncertain future ? I still love the camera and the image quality it delivers, but I absolutely hate the way pentax handles and markets their professional products. Saying "we are working on a new body and more lenses" does not alter their competitive advantage, it simply encourages people to buy into a system that is not a dead end.
I'm sure there are some who appreciate the 645D for what it is, but it certainly doesn't have very many users likely for this very reason. You can't get very far with a system that can hardly be considered complete (outside of Japan).

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09-01-2013, 11:12 PM   #3
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They do have a roadmap for 645 lenses on the website that states that they are working on a wide zoom (~28-55mm), a standard zoom (~45-85mm) and a telezoom (~90-200mm), so I guess this is not so much of a dead end...
09-02-2013, 12:47 AM   #4
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It may seem like a lack of communication but more likely the channels of communication are tailored for professional users. Broadcasting 645D news to the entire photographic community would be a waste.

09-02-2013, 01:40 AM   #5
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Well they stated that current users where satisfied with the 645D as it is at the time. The 645D is a cameraline that wil be around for a lot of years I think. Maybe at some point it will even have two different models. There is a full line off lenses, but just not available in all markets (USA is weak in this) and a roadmap to make new lenses.

Looking at this market, 645D started in 2010. With a new camera on average off every 5-7 years there might be a new 645D with CMOS sensor in 2014, but otherwise you could expect a new in 2016 if CCD is the way to go for some years.

There is news for the 645D: they also connect with the new flashes that Ricoh announced last week.
09-02-2013, 02:31 AM   #6
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Pentax has a very long and proud history of making great medium format cameras. Look at the history!

Medium format cameras has earned Pentax more prizes than DSLR's!
09-02-2013, 06:49 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Apapukas Quote
Pentax has a very long and proud history of making great medium format cameras.
... but Ricoh does not.

(That doesn't mean anything other than I don't see Ricoh respecting Pentax history very much.)
09-02-2013, 07:04 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by panoguy Quote
... but Ricoh does not.

(That doesn't mean anything other than I don't see Ricoh respecting Pentax history very much.)
If I am not mistaken, Ricoh is twice the size of Nikon. They have more capabilities to create than ever before. In their official statements Ricoh said "Future of imaging belongs to C, N and Pentax/Recoh" as well as 645D being like a "lighthouse" of the whole brand!

There is really no official information that would lead to believe that medium format is at the dead end.

09-02-2013, 07:27 AM   #9
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Look, just because facts and every scrap of evidence out there tells you otherwise, well, don't be fooled. Pentax is doomed!

(Sorry, couldn't resist...)
09-02-2013, 07:58 AM   #10
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Just looked into this at my home market, The Netherlands and Belgium.

This store:
Middenformaatcamera's | Camera's | Foto Konijnenberg

Make an apointment and you walk out of the store (with a professional instruction afternoon) with 645D and the lenses 25mm, 35mm, 55mm, 80-160mm, 120mm macro, 150mm and 300mm.

It will set you back some euro's, but it doesn't look dead to me.
09-02-2013, 08:02 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Louicio Quote
It may seem like a lack of communication but more likely the channels of communication are tailored for professional users. Broadcasting 645D news to the entire photographic community would be a waste.
Perhaps, but they don't seem to communicate with the 645D owners either. I'm curious what the next year will bring.
09-02-2013, 08:02 AM   #12
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Pentax is DOOMED!!! (Echo...echo...echo)

Also could not resist

Back to the original point, things move slowly in the world of medium format professional gear. Product life cycle is measured in decades and the choice of lenses for one's quiver has traditionally been relatively limited. After all, there are no consumer-grade items in the line-up. As an example, up until just the last year or so, the 645NII and 67II (both film camera) were still in the active product lineup for the Japan home market.

Like the Pentax 645-series film cameras that came before it, the 645D is an incredible tool. Those that find it useful for their work will make good use of it. With any luck the number of people who do will generate sufficient sales to make it worth keeping in the Pentax product line-up.


Steve

(...would love to have a 645D, but the pocketbook complains loudly...)

Last edited by stevebrot; 09-02-2013 at 08:08 AM.
09-02-2013, 08:14 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Apapukas Quote
There is really no official information that would lead to believe that medium format is at the dead end.
Of course not. Are you expecting something "official?"

All I'm saying is that the great history of Pentax medium-format is not a Ricoh history, or were you not implying that the history of medium-format means it will stay around? Maybe I misunderstood...

Also, Ricoh may be much bigger than Nikon, but Nikon's main business isn't copiers, it's cameras. Pentax may not be doomed or dead, but a medium-format camera isn't quite the headline product it was in the past, particularly to a new owner that is still figuring out how "brand manage" Pentax.
09-02-2013, 08:20 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by panoguy Quote
Nikon's main business isn't copiers,
Actually, if you are talking about profit, Nikon's main business isn't cameras. It is photolithography steppers for the silicon wafer industry. Cameras is Nikon's most visible business.

QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
Back to the original point, things move slowly in the world of medium format professional gear. Product life cycle is measured in decades and the choice of lenses for one's quiver has traditionally been relatively limited. After all, there are no consumer-grade items in the line-up.
Not that I've ever even been close to a medium format camera, but as I understand the business history a buyer has a personal relationship with a sales associate literally for the life of the camera. They are sold face-to-face, in consultation and with recommendations for appropriate lenses and accessories to perform professional tasks. Quite a large part of the high price represents the fact that the sales associate will make ONE sale of a body perhaps for a decade, then service the relationship gratis.

Medium Format marketing isn't really done in media. Pentax's 645D sort of breaks this tradition, accounting for some of the lower price versus its competition. Ron's comment generally supports my supposition.

Last edited by monochrome; 09-02-2013 at 08:28 AM.
09-02-2013, 04:41 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by panoguy Quote
...All I'm saying is that the great history of Pentax medium-format is not a Ricoh history...
Note that Ricoh started with medium format and had great success with TLRs so the connection is closer than Nikon or Canon who never made cameras larger than 35mm (Nikon made medium format lenses for Bronica and also large format lenses but no cameras). I doubt that we will see a 645D wearing a Ricohflex nameplate but who knows how long the Japanese corporate memory is.
Fun fact #2 - At one point in the late 30s the Ricoh optical division was called Asahi Kōgaku Kōgyō, while the unrelated Pentax parent was also called Asahi Kōgaku Kōgyō.
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