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04-30-2021, 10:05 AM   #1
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Why can't we crowdfund a 645 ultrawide?

I see all these newer companies building lenses for less popular mounts. Why not a 645 lens? It wouldn't need af, image stabilization or weather proofing. Just a well built rectilinear ultrawide that covers full frame 645.

With crowdfunding, the company wouldn't have to build it unless enough people paid up. Wonder what the development cost of such a lens would lens would be?

Thanks,

barondla

04-30-2021, 10:32 AM   #2
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My impression of most of the successful lens crowdfunding exercises is that they chop off a big chunk of the financial risk, but not all of it - thereís still a reliance on post-funding sales to make profit (so they can do it again)

When I think about most of the lenses Iím aware of, they make themselves available on as many mounts as they can based on the lens fundamentals (SLR/mirrorless/APS/full frame) to expand the potential customer base.

How many people is that for 645? Iíd guess the potential market for all 645s in all mounts is smaller than that for Pentax K. And nobody is doing lenses just for Pentax K.

So it would be a real trick. Not impossible, and it would be cool, but very challenging. And thatís before we get to the wide angle for medium format part

-Eric
04-30-2021, 10:54 AM   #3
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How many owners of a 645 would be interested in " a well built rectilinear ultrawide that covers full frame 645" ?

Not enough to warrant a grass roots build I would think.
04-30-2021, 10:55 AM   #4
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Pentax is a professional company. They have an owner, a vision, a roadmap and they employ engineers that crowdfunding cannot pay for. Convince Pentax and a full department will built that lens. If you cannot convince them, donít back the crowdfunding project.

04-30-2021, 11:17 AM - 1 Like   #5
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It just might not be possible to do an ultrawide that will cover the image circle needed, given the fairly large flange distance. Not for a reasonable price anyway.

Ultrawide lenses for full frame and crop frame cameras use a retrofocal design. The rear element needs to stay out of the the way of the mirror assembly. This is done with an extra element or group that allows the lens to be longer than its focal length. The first Nikkor 8mm fisheye of 1962 could only be used with the mirror locked up.

As you can imagine, the design of retrofocal lenses for a medium format SLR is not easy. If there is no mirror, then a retrofocal design can be avoided. Hasselblad did exactly this with the SWC camera.




The new-fangled mirrorless thingies with their short flange distances actually make it possible to do better ultrawides. If you want an ultrawide medium format lens, by far the easiest way is to go over to the dark side.

An ultrawide for Fuji medium format: The Laowa GF 17mm f/4 | Photofocus

Last edited by Wasp; 04-30-2021 at 11:27 AM.
04-30-2021, 11:28 AM   #6
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A question rooted in ignorance: Does one have to pay a licensing fee to use another company's mount? I'm guessing "no" because you would only have to design the rear of the lens to work with the mount, not build the mount itself . . . ?
04-30-2021, 11:44 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by EssJayEff Quote
A question rooted in ignorance: Does one have to pay a licensing fee to use another company's mount? I'm guessing "no" because you would only have to design the rear of the lens to work with the mount, not build the mount itself . . . ?
Not sure about the mechanics, but Sigma famously refused (refuses?) to license the electronic interface for lenses from camera manufacturers. They reverse engineered what they needed to make their lenses work. Sometimes newly released bodies don't work 100% with old lenses, but the firmware on the lens can then be updated with a USB docking station (sold separately).
04-30-2021, 12:11 PM - 1 Like   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by barondla Quote
With crowdfunding, the company wouldn't have to build it unless enough people paid up. Wonder what the development cost of such a lens would lens would be?
I wonder how many optical lens designers are sitting around, waiting for a lens to work on?

04-30-2021, 12:20 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by barondla Quote
Why can't we crowdfund a 645 ultrawide?
Just for clarification...by ultrawide, might you be satisfied with a replacement for the discontinued DA 645 25mm f/4?


Steve
04-30-2021, 12:21 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by barondla Quote
I see all these newer companies building lenses for less popular mounts. Why not a 645 lens? It wouldn't need af, image stabilization or weather proofing. Just a well built rectilinear ultrawide that covers full frame 645.

With crowdfunding, the company wouldn't have to build it unless enough people paid up. Wonder what the development cost of such a lens would lens would be?

Thanks,

barondla
I think the main problem is to find someone tha can design and manufacture the lens.
When you find someone that is willing to do it, they can tell you how much they will need to start a project like this.
04-30-2021, 12:27 PM   #11
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Incidentally, digital backs do not work well on the Hasselblad SWC, because they are not designed to work with the special lens. You may get shifted colors on the edges. On film it doesn't matter, but digital sensors don't work well when light hits their sides at shallow angles. SLR retrofocus designs lenses avoid this because light hits the sensor sides at relatively direct angles.

Hasselblad SWC & 903 SWC Review
04-30-2021, 03:07 PM   #12
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Some users have been adapting ultra wide 35mm lenses to Fuji GF cameras since the registration distance makes it possible on mirrorless.

Thatís probably the best bet for 645 for now. For us Pentax users we have the following wide options made by Pentax (under 35mm)

FA33-55
DA28-45
DA/DFA25
67 35 fisheye (not sure how wide this would be de fished)

Presumably youíd want top notch native lenses to make 645 worth the trouble from a functionality and image quality perspective. Otherwise a k-1 with a good ultra wide would be very competitive and offer other benefits like SR.
04-30-2021, 03:54 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by barondla Quote
I see all these newer companies building lenses for less popular mounts. Why not a 645 lens? It wouldn't need af, image stabilization or weather proofing. Just a well built rectilinear ultrawide that covers full frame 645.

With crowdfunding, the company wouldn't have to build it unless enough people paid up. Wonder what the development cost of such a lens would lens would be?
This must be a usage of the word "crowd" with which I am unfamiliar.
04-30-2021, 04:47 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Paul the Sunman Quote
This must be a usage of the word "crowd" with which I am unfamiliar.
The Wikipedia does a better job of explaining than I can...

Crowdfunding - Wikipedia

BTW...many crowdfunded photo projects either a stand-in for a marketing campaign or things that are over-pitched or things that will never be made. For an infamous example: https://petapixel.com/2018/10/18/yashicas-unexpected-y35-digifilm-camera-is-unexpectedly-bad/ and what was promised: https://www.yashica.com/y35


Steve

Last edited by stevebrot; 04-30-2021 at 05:06 PM.
04-30-2021, 06:21 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
The Wikipedia does a better job of explaining than I can...

Crowdfunding - Wikipedia

BTW...many crowdfunded photo projects either a stand-in for a marketing campaign or things that are over-pitched or things that will never be made. For an infamous example: Yashica's 'Unexpected' Y35 Camera is Worse Than Anyone Expected | PetaPixel and what was promised: YASHICA | The Silence of Story


Steve
A good reason to not participate in crowdfunding for a tech product.
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