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07-06-2021, 05:46 PM   #1
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If Ricoh can't keep medium format alive they should spin it off.

As well as Fujifilm is selling the GFX, companies might be interested in entering the market. It would be far less expensive than starting from scratch and there's an established customer base.


One possibility would be Sony, the chip builder. They might see the GFX stealing some of their FF thunder.

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07-06-2021, 06:18 PM   #2
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I really hope they keep it alive. The 645Z seems to be an incredibly well respected camera. A successor would be nice.
07-06-2021, 06:19 PM   #3
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Unfortunately Ricoh isn't listening about it. Now that they've released Katie, K-1ii, GRiii over the last few years that clears up things up to work on a replacement for the Z But at the same time there still seems to be a steady demand for the Z. I periodically get emails from Adorama and B&H that they've sold out of the Z.
07-06-2021, 06:27 PM - 1 Like   #4
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If I had more photobucks to allocate, I'd hop on the bandwagon.

07-06-2021, 07:18 PM   #5
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Given the way things are with Ricoh, I'd expect Pentax 645 to go the way of the Q. It will stay on offer as long as inventory is available, like the Japanese site is still offering Q lenses (except the now discontinued 08):

?????? - Q??????? - ??? | RICOH IMAGING

Otherwise, from the business standpoint, the cost of writing off unsellable lens inventory would have to be compared with the cost of refreshing the camera line. And it could be very expensive to adapt the latest K3-iii innards for 645 use, once they've made their way into a K1-iii.
07-06-2021, 07:42 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by lytrytyr Quote
Given the way things are with Ricoh, I'd expect Pentax 645 to go the way of the Q. It will stay on offer as long as inventory is available, like the Japanese site is still offering Q lenses (except the now discontinued 08):

?????? - Q??????? - ??? | RICOH IMAGING

Otherwise, from the business standpoint, the cost of writing off unsellable lens inventory would have to be compared with the cost of refreshing the camera line. And it could be very expensive to adapt the latest K3-iii innards for 645 use, once they've made their way into a K1-iii.
So, if Ricoh decides to discontinue medium format, why not sell that to another party? It would be better than getting nothing for it. They should have tried this with the Q. The Q would have been a tougher sell.

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07-06-2021, 08:53 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by barondla Quote
So, if Ricoh decides to discontinue medium format, why not sell that to another party? It would be better than getting nothing for it. They should have tried this with the Q. The Q would have been a tougher sell.

Thanks,
barondla
1) the time for that opportunity is probably gone the maker competition is strong now. Early on the Pentax line stood nearly alone.
2) what specific investments in the 645 lineup would you like to see a new owner make to improve the market position?
3) With a world thatís mirrorless crazy what would the marketing model be to differentiate from what Ricoh is doing with Pentax FF/APSC?

07-06-2021, 10:16 PM - 2 Likes   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by barondla Quote
If Ricoh can't keep medium format alive they should spin it off.
I can understand your frustration, of looking on the greener grass on the other side of the fence, but...
What features or accessories do you need for your 645 system that is not offered by Ricoh but offered by Fuji?
Do you really need those 100Mpixels from Fuji? How large do you print?

I noticed some of the most heavily invested GFX owners don't print at all, they look at their picture on a 4K monitor or share 2K images via their smartphone, so that spent all the money for a social status?

Last edited by biz-engineer; 07-06-2021 at 10:22 PM.
07-06-2021, 10:43 PM - 2 Likes   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by biz-engineer Quote
I can understand your frustration, of looking on the greener grass on the other side of the fence, but...
What features or accessories do you need for your 645 system that is not offered by Ricoh but offered by Fuji?
Do you really need those 100Mpixels from Fuji? How large do you print?

I noticed some of the most heavily invested GFX owners don't print at all, they look at their picture on a 4K monitor or share 2K images via their smartphone, so that spent all the money for a social status?
I regularly print A0 size and in panorama anything that fits on a 44 inch wide x 12m long canvas. The smallest I do normally is A2, smaller than that it is not economical to run the printer. The largest in our living room is a multipart of nine pieces with a total of 2100mm x 2100mm. The largest commercial print I did is 14.6m long 3.6m high in four strips of 900mm high on film fixed to a window.

So yes, if a 100mpx or a 150mpx comes out, I'll be there as soon as the bugs are resolved.

I suspect there are a lot of users in the same camp as I am, otherwise the printer manufacturers would have been out of business by now. On the contrary they are doing well and pigment sales are high and pricey.
07-06-2021, 11:21 PM - 1 Like   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by TDvN57 Quote
So yes, if a 100mpx or a 150mpx comes out, I'll be there as soon as the bugs are resolved.
IMHO, given how small the market is, Ricoh could just make their own 6x7 or 645 technical camera that takes 645 and 6x7 lenses, and negotiate a deal with Phase One for "Pentax camera backs".

The way I understand camera business, is that every brand of camera act according to business plan. If the business plan outlook isn't profitable, they just don't invest. Frustrated customers don't matter if there aren't enough of them. That's why my approach is now to buy a full complete system or nothing, and a system proven to work and with complete lens lineup. There is just too much risk of buying a camera and hoping that they make the lens we want in the future, or buying a lens and hoping they make the camera for it in the future. We have no control over what camera makers decide to do or not to do.

---------- Post added 07-07-21 at 09:05 ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by TDvN57 Quote
I regularly print A0 size and in panorama anything that fits on a 44 inch wide x 12m long canvas. The smallest I do normally is A2, smaller than that it is not economical to run the printer.
I print A1, from a K1 + up-sampling + sharpen AI.

For me, the key parameter is lens sharpness corner to corner, i.e shoot premium prime glass on FF is a better choice than shooting average quality glass on MF sensor, that is because the enlargement is limited by how well the lens resolve in corners. Low of resolution in prints shows in corners first, perception of center print resolution drop come much later with enlargement factor. That's why a lot of professionals still use high resolution full frame cameras with primes lenses (and this is fast to focus) instead of medium format.

The other problem with print enlargement is the resolution tradeoff triangle of depth of field, CoC and diffraction, with limits effective resolution to about 50Mpixels and print size to A1 (at 40 cm viewing distance of the print), unless it can be worked around via tilt/shift or focus stacking. Shooting at waist level or eye level, with some foreground elements in the frame, with perception that everything is sharp , means print size is limited to 50Mpixels effective on A1 at 40cm viewing distance of the print. A shift of DoF vs Diffraction at a given print CoC, means reduce diffraction in the focus plane areas but increase out of focus blur, or stop down lens aperture to reduce OOF blur but increase diffraction in the focus plane. Being able to benefit from 150Mpixel require focus stacking or TS lens, otherwise the 150Mpixels turn into 50Mpixels anyway.

Last edited by biz-engineer; 07-07-2021 at 12:12 AM.
07-07-2021, 01:13 AM   #11
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I'll agree with @biz-engineer on the PhaseOne argument. Most MF users would appreciate the move. Who wouldn't like having choices?
07-07-2021, 01:14 AM - 2 Likes   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by biz-engineer Quote
For me, the key parameter is lens sharpness corner to corner
I never look at the corner of a picture, I always look at the subject. You only need corner to corner sharpness if the subject fills the whole image. I take in the whole image and only complain if the subject is blurred. And if the subject is sharp the background adds to the sharpness of the subject and in fact emphasizes the subject by being a bit less sharp. Is not that why lenses are also valued for the bokeh they produce? The key parameter of lens sharpness has nothing to do with making a great picture. Therefor you need a photographer that can pull everything out of the lens and camera used and the opportunity to make a picture of which we all take tens of years after it has been made. See the threads of the picture the Clash's album "London Calling". The lens is just a means to arrive at such a picture, it is the photographer that has to do it.
07-07-2021, 01:15 AM   #13
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Here is the simulator I used for DoF/CoC/print size evaluation: Advanced Depth Of Field (DoF) Calculator | PhotoPills
CoC = 0.014 (14um) = f/14 (hairy disk ~14um) => print size A1 at 15" viewing distance.

Now if we decrease pixel pitch (more mega pixels, same sensor size), we need to open the lens aperture to reduce diffraction and reduce CoC in order to print larger, but then the lens FL should also be reduce to increase DoF. Benefit from more Mega pixels without TS lens means using a wider lens. Now, if we keep the same pixel pitch (more mega pixels, larger sensor), we need to stop down the lens to keep the same DoF, which also increases diffraction. So again, to benefit from larger sensor with more MPixel, without TS lens, we need to shoot with wider lens.

Conclusion: the only way to benefit from more than 50Mpixel and print larger without TS lens (or without focus stacking), is to use a wider lens.

For full frame, the sweep spot of print enlargement, without TS lens, without focus stacking, is with 20mm lens. Basically, the solution is a 20mm prime lens mounted on Sony A7RIV.

---------- Post added 07-07-21 at 10:24 ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by AfterPentax Mark II Quote
I never look at the corner of a picture, I always look at the subject.
That is true of subject in focus, background/foreground OOF type of photographs, and in that case, enlargement potential increases significantly due the ratio of local pixel count to subject detail. I have printed 48 inches of a carved stone statue, from a Pentax K1 file, shot handheld in low light with SR, sharpened with Topaz AI. Even looking up close I can't see any lack of sharpness or pixels. In my architectural prints however, I can see lens corners are clearly a limitation, I could print a lot larger if I used a prime lens.
07-07-2021, 01:30 AM   #14
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Funny that this discussion comes up again and again. I am convinced that Ricoh will never make a new 645 or 6x7 again, because they are doing everything to keep the Pentax brand alive and redeveloping an MF camera will cost too much. They will never be able to sell the format to another party, because the MF is an even more niche product than the DSLR in the form of the K-3 Mark III. I wonder if they ever will make another FF. Simply because there are so many new FF's in the mirrorless department. At this moment a heavy and lumpy FF DSLR compared to the light and small MILC's that there are and the amazing speed the other companies release new MILC FF's Ricoh does not stand a chance selling an FF. They have always been strong in the APS-C range of camera's and they released a stunning K-3 Mark III and if that one can keep the Pentax brand alive, maybe then there will be room for another FF DSLR as the hype of mirrorless FF is over. But I have strong doubts!
07-07-2021, 01:40 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by AfterPentax Mark II Quote
Funny that this discussion comes up again and again. I am convinced that Ricoh will never make a new 645 or 6x7 again, because they are doing everything to keep the Pentax brand alive and redeveloping an MF camera will cost too much.
Every camera make do according to business priorities. If they estimate that they can't make money out of it, they won't do it. As a customer, hanging on a camera brand isn't the best approach, it's much less waste of time to just look at what's available in the market and just buy it. Hanging on a camera brand is Ok for hobby, but not as a Pro, I suppose. A pro will just buy the gear he needs for task completion regardless of the brand name. A hobbyist will have more time to hope and wait for upgrades, with the aim to save money by using lenses already owned.
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