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01-21-2021, 10:54 AM   #1
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Why doesn't Pentax design a Limited lens for 645?

The 77 Limited is one of the favorite lenses of Pentax owners. Why not produce a similar lens for 645? It would have a totally different look than current Pentax medium format lenses, and even those from competitors. It could be a special lens that would attract people to the system.

Thanks,
barondla

01-21-2021, 11:20 AM - 4 Likes   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by barondla Quote
The 77 Limited is one of the favorite lenses of Pentax owners. Why not produce a similar lens for 645? It would have a totally different look than current Pentax medium format lenses, and even those from competitors. It could be a special lens that would attract people to the system.

Thanks,
barondla
As expensive as medium format lenses are - aren’t they all “limited”?
01-21-2021, 11:57 AM   #3
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I don't think it makes sense. The limited lenses are an acknowledgement that cameras can be accessories. Accessorizing with a 645z would be quite the thing
01-21-2021, 12:04 PM   #4
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The 645 system is currently stuck in the kind of limbo where the Q system languished before its demise. Ricoh is unlikely to invest any design effort there. (Said, with a desparate hope of being proved wrong!)

01-21-2021, 12:43 PM   #5
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I think the DFA* 90 mm f/2.8 plays this role except it's molded out of plastic.

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01-21-2021, 01:09 PM - 2 Likes   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by house Quote
I don't think it makes sense. The limited lenses are an acknowledgement that cameras can be accessories. Accessorizing with a 645z would be quite the thing
Oh, I don't know. They seemed to think the earlier 645D had an image-conscious, fashion-forward market...
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Last edited by BigMackCam; 01-21-2021 at 01:38 PM.
01-21-2021, 01:09 PM   #7
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Well, likely for the same reason they haven't released any new 645 lenses in years. They have limited R&D budget, and the ROI on 645 lenses isn't good enough for them to devote money there rather than other places. I wish this were not the case, but pretty hard to come to any other conclusion.
How many here own one or both of the expensive 28-45 or 90? How many more of those could you justify investing in vs older 645 or 67 lenses that give you >90% of the same performance. Not very many I'd bet. And Pentax execs can see everyone making that same calculation.
01-21-2021, 02:21 PM   #8
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Ricoh doesn’t seem to care much about the 645Z, I don’t think they will ever release another lens or body.

The 645Z is a great body and the image quality is amazing, I think it just needs a few little updates.

01-22-2021, 01:49 AM - 1 Like   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by SteveinSLC Quote
Well, likely for the same reason they haven't released any new 645 lenses in years. They have limited R&D budget, and the ROI on 645 lenses isn't good enough for them to devote money there rather than other places. I wish this were not the case, but pretty hard to come to any other conclusion.
How many here own one or both of the expensive 28-45 or 90? How many more of those could you justify investing in vs older 645 or 67 lenses that give you >90% of the same performance. Not very many I'd bet. And Pentax execs can see everyone making that same calculation.
I would say a good portion of early adopters of the Z, who wanted to have the best possible lenses to match with the camera. It is probably not the same with people who bought discounted or second hand cameras because they were on a tighter budget.
I ordered a 645Z at a dealer the day it was presented in my country (love at first sight, my first MFD), with the DFA55.
I bought a 28-45 new, because I could.
I bought a 2nd hand DFA90 just after, because it was in beautiful condition and immediately available.
I bought a FA150 at the official Pentax dealer in my country, new, because I could.
I bought a DFA35 new in the same shop, because I still could.
The FA120 and FA300/4 were bought 2nd hand (because I don't use them often).
I think I did my best to support Pentax in this system, buying a lot of new gear. I would have followed with a renewed "80-160" with SR or AW as it was proposed on the lens roadmap, but which was never released.

I don't see what I could have done more to support Pentax effort on the MFD market. But I don't see anything more coming, and I have abandonned hope.

I'm sure I am not the only one to have this experience of buying new and early, but waiting for next move. There are several members here who own quite a lot of modern Pentax 645 gear, and make good use of it (with more talent than me) !

Last edited by SylvainB; 01-22-2021 at 01:50 AM. Reason: adding details
01-22-2021, 03:36 AM   #10
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As a sidenote some of the more recent 645 glass has a very nice design. The lineage to 70s design is more obvious than for the recent K mount lenses. I visually prefer the grippy surfaces with more relief and larger pattern such as M lenses and new 645 lenses.

The fine texture of recent K mount lenses just dont look as good. The 645 dfa 90 is very good looking.
01-22-2021, 06:26 AM   #11
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With what they cost I'd say they don't want to de-value the lenses they already produce.

Perhaps they could make a 645 Limited based solely on it being faster than the other lenses they offer, which is what the Pentax 645 system really needs. A 70mm f/2 would go down well I think.
01-22-2021, 07:18 AM   #12
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Medium format never had that much fast lenses. So a 70mm F/2 would be large and expensive. And your d.o.f. Would be extremely difficult to work with at F/2.
Designing new lenses for the 645 system would also mean competing against the Fuji GFX system.
01-22-2021, 08:20 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by HoodedOne Quote
Medium format never had that much fast lenses. So a 70mm F/2 would be large and expensive. And your d.o.f. Would be extremely difficult to work with at F/2.
Designing new lenses for the 645 system would also mean competing against the Fuji GFX system.
Yes, but the Nikon 50mm f/0.95 is large and expensive and they can't make them fast enough. DOF is always tough with fast lenses but that's hardly an excuse, and Pentax should be competing with the Fujifilm system as I'm sure they've taken a good chunk of Pentax's MF business.
01-22-2021, 09:07 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by barondla Quote
The 77 Limited is one of the favorite lenses of Pentax owners. Why not produce a similar lens for 645? It would have a totally different look than current Pentax medium format lenses, and even those from competitors. It could be a special lens that would attract people to the system.

Thanks,
barondla
I think that's a great idea, if I understand you correctly. The 90 cited above is more of a star lens. The 75 came in 2 flavors, the AF that we all know and love, and the LS version. I wonder if the old 135LS could be a design that could be adapted? It's relatively small, although partly because it's manual focus---but the size difference between the 2 75's is slight, so maybe an FA 135 could be kept small. Very cool if it was also WR.


I have one---need to use it more, because it's really excellent. Rare as hen's teeth---if you see one (that works---leaf shutters can wear out...), don't hesitate to buy it.
01-22-2021, 01:38 PM   #15
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I think Pentax is in a difficult situation with the 645Z. Upgrading to a 100MP sensor sounds good, but would be an expensive camera and probably some of the lenses would have to be upgraded. I think the 70mm f/2 lens sounds like a great idea but would the AF system need an upgrade? A new body with some 100MP lenses would be nice but would enough of them sell? Maybe an IBIS 645 body with a new lens or two? We can always hope.
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