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11-04-2010, 12:22 PM   #16
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Pentax will always be around they just don't brag as much as the others

11-04-2010, 01:20 PM - 1 Like   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
They don't have to fail.
How may Canon FD lenses can be mounted and used with Canon Cameras built in the last 25 or so years without farting around with adapters?
Perhaps my memory is longer than it should be, but I wouldn't trust Canon to not render the EOS line obsolete.
Who would have thought the oldest Japanese camera maker would sell out to the competition, whom in their turn sold out the whole camera branch to a company who used to make a living on portable tape-music-players, and to beceom a company that today mainly live on copying machines and printers? KONICA MINOLTA Global

Whou would have thought that one of the companies that used to compete with Pentax, Nikon and Konica for the top position would today only produce optical positioning instruments and eye examination instruments? TOPCON GLOBAL GATEWAY

Several other minor players have almost left cameras for office machines, a business field that have expanded even more than photography, e.g. Products | Ricoh Global

Other players are today just history, where did Chinon go for instance? Into oblivion?

It shouldn't be a surprice to people that Canon business is also to a large part in office machines, to what fraction I don't know, but probably at least as big as the camera section. Canon : About Canon | Canon up to Now

Of the current Japanese survivors, Pentax, Nikon and Olympus are the most optically focused camera/lens makers, since their other business fields are products like eye glasses, binoculars, microscopes, telescopes, various scientific and/or medical instruments etc (this is probably something that attracted Hoya, every branch of Pentax needed their glass). The same could be said about the only surviving real German camera maker, Leica. Non of them did more than dipping a toe in the office machine field. At this stage I think it is unlikely they do. Hence it is not so likely that they will do what Konica, Minolta, Ricoh and others did. But Canon maybe would if there is not enough profits in cameras any longer. Office products are probably less sensitive to global economy than cameras, where cameras much depend on private consumption. So if Pentax, Nikon, or Olympus get problems, they may crash, but Canon could survive as a company by abandoning cameras. It has happened before.

As for compability, Pentax is a very conservative company. For instance, they had bayonet prototypes (and the bayonet based 67 system), autofocus prototypes, digital SLR prototypes long before they launched these features on 35mm SLR cameras. They have also, since they made the first truly modern 35mm SLR in 1957 by combining the best features of a couple of German models, stayed true to SLR cameras. I bet they will even in the future, even if they would also make an EVIL. They swapped mount twice when going form m37 (1957) to m42 and from m42 to K (1975), but each time they provided adapters that offered uncompromised optical performance. Since 1975, the K mount have been modified for apperture information, autofocus etc, but remain the most back compatible SLR mount (which is in addition easilly adapted for m42). The conservative side of Pentax is both an advantage and a dissadvantage.

As for Canon, they abaondoned two camera mounts completely twice before. First when they changed from the early rangefinder Canon's with Leica R mount to the FL type bayonet for their SLR cameras, and when the fully developed FD mount was abandoned for the EF (EOS) mount. One can argue that the EF mount will last because it is a perfect autofocus mount built for autofocus from the beginning. Then consider this history: When the FL mount was modified into the FD mount Canon sneaked into it connections that enabled Tv and Progam modes several years before they had such cameras (people were speculating about that extra pin). In this they were more than a decade ahead of Pentax. In many ways this was a perfect manual focus mount, with a long line of impressive lenses. With little warning, more or less over a night, they abandoned the FD mount (1987) for the EF mount. I remember how upset my camera club fellows whom only recently had got themself Canon T70 bodies were. In both the move from R and FD mounts the previous lenses could only be mounted with optical adapters that heavilly compromised the lens properties. The move to the EF mount can be considered both bold and forethoughtfull, but also unfaithfull to those who had invested in their FD system. Canon used a successfull strategy: get the professionals with you, and the consumers will follow, and with this they run away not only from Pentax, but also the previos professional king: Nikon.

Late players whom just dipped a toe into cameras (a toe of their total production), like Samsung and Sony, is likely to be even less faithfull.

I think this sums up the difference quite well, Canon v.s. Pentax:

Bold v.s. conservative.
Unfaitfull v.s. faithfull.
Diversive (office machines) v.s. focused (on optics).
While this is history, history tend to repeat.
Corporate cultures tend to sit deep. Especially in Japan.

Mmmh, this got much longer than intended...

Who knows what happens in 10, 20, 30 years? I will still hold on to my K glass. I do actually even hold on to my Konica Hexanon AR glass (waiting for a full frame EVIL that will take them without compromises).
11-04-2010, 04:04 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by nandystam Quote
I loved the pancake so much I never used the kit zooms. I liked the challenge of a fixed focal length!
Your preferences are a very good match for exactly what Pentax does best; produce compact, high quality, stabilised primes.
11-04-2010, 04:41 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by Douglas_of_Sweden Quote
I think this sums up the difference quite well, Canon v.s. Pentax:

Bold v.s. conservative.
Unfaitfull v.s. faithfull.
Diversive (office machines) v.s. focused (on optics).
While this is history, history tend to repeat.
Corporate cultures tend to sit deep. Especially in Japan.

Mmmh, this got much longer than intended...

Who knows what happens in 10, 20, 30 years? I will still hold on to my K glass. I do actually even hold on to my Konica Hexanon AR glass (waiting for a full frame EVIL that will take them without compromises).
I enjoyed reading your post, thanks for taking your time

11-04-2010, 06:44 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pablom Quote
I enjoyed reading your post, thanks for taking your time
Thanks!
Maybe I should work on it a little bit more and post it on my photoblog, haven't written anything there for a while. Got into reading about Canon history and the FD mount a while ago when I got hold of a lovely Canon FD 200mm f4 macro 1:1 lens that I mount on my Pentax cameras with an adaptor (no infinity focus, but who cares about that on a macro lens). Wonderfull lens. Then I remembered how some of my friends where claiming their Canon T70's (1984) where superior to my Pentax Super-A (1983), because while they had similar exposure program capacities, theirs had built in film winders. Next moment, their T70's were sort of obsolete.

Prediction (extrapolation of known history) next decade or so:

-Ricoh and Samsung will abandone their camera production (again for Ricoh), the moment they see no profit. NX included.
-Sony may very well give up everyting about the DSLR production for their new EVIL cameras if they see it more profitable. That will be the final death of the Minolta mount unless they sell it to someone.
-Nikon will stay put and make nice cameras, lenses and excellent flashes, but mess around with uncompatible or not entirely compatible versions of their camera mount. They will be around as long as anyone buy DSLRs.
-Leica...well, from what I understand it is now a hobby for someone with a lot of money and does not have to make a profit?
-Olympus will abandone the 4/3rd system for the micro-4/3rd, and then probably invent a nano-4/3rd mount, since they always appear to favor small cameras. They also have a long history of abandoning different mount versions. They will stay in the camera market as long as they can, but could sell out and just continue as a science/medics-instrument manufacturer.
-Canon will stay pretty dominant on the pro-market as long as they care to and until there is another technical paradigm shift like the manual-to-atuo-focus revolution, or the film-to-digital-revolution. Then they could turn around 180 degrees. Any bold move.
-Pentax will keep on making fine lenses and cameras, and as long as Hoya is happy about it, and stay faithfull to the K mount. If they make an EVIL camera they will come up with sort of usefull adaptor to K mount. The 645D will survive and get a stable market share, but in secret the Pentax designers will dream of a 67D
-We will see completely new players in the business within the next 10 years, Korean, Chinese, Vietnamese, Indian...companies first copying and building cheap, then forming their own consept, like the Jap's took over after the Germans. Some of these may be buying up the older companies, or just buying out the camera/lens divisions.

Sorry of drifting away from the OPs question. Considering the life time of Digital SLRs, I think it is safe to buy Pentax and Canon now. Neither will dissapear on that time scale. Pentax was dangerously late in the digital DSLR market (but at least avoided the bad move that kild Contax), but are now quite safe. Considering glass, which can have a longer life, I bet there will be something new to mount K lenses on at least as long as EF lenses. I think you can buy both Canon or Pentax and sleep well.
11-04-2010, 06:57 PM   #21
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Thanks for the replies so far everyone, very helpful

I've read up on the new 35mm/f2.4 lens, it's not really a pancake but still pretty small. The 40mm looks nice and highly rated, but is the 60mm equiv focal length too long for a walkabout?

Otherwise I've seen the 35mm/f2 FA, but it appears to be discontinued, although some are around on eBay badged as Samsung. Not a pancake either but still small. 35mm seems the best match focal length wise to get close to the 'normal' 50mm focal length.

Again, thanks to everyone who has replied
11-05-2010, 07:29 AM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
Anyone who questions Pentax's longevity compared to Canon needs to be reminded that Canon hasn't exactly got the best track record for longevity.
QuoteOriginally posted by JHD Quote
Canon is too big too fail.
true enough, but.....

just ask anyone who bought heavily into the FD mounts, what they think about backwards compatibility, or the almost instant obselescence of the first electronic lens mounts which are not compatable at all with the current versions.


Or ask nikon film shooters who can mount their old lenses but unless you have a pro camera you don't even get a functioning light meter.

While perhaps some functionality was lost going from screw mount to K mount, you could still use the lenses, and you cans till shoot and use any lens made by pentax with any of their digital bodies.

the same cannot be said for canon and nikon. There is also the issue with the lower level canon and nikon bodies being only able to use the latest lenses. I think some entry level nikon bodies do not even have a screw drive, so to use older AF lenses with screw drive you have to purchase a higher priced camera.

So OK sure the company is still in business and still making cameras with interchangeable lenses, it is just too damm bad you can't use your old glass on the new cameras.

Pentax, if nothing else has looked after it's long time customers much better than the others.
11-05-2010, 10:00 AM   #23
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And now, if you believe in DXO, Pentax has a camera whose imaging character competes very favorably with the best that Nikon or Canon has.

11-05-2010, 11:24 AM   #24
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Things change in the camera business. At one time, Pentax outsold Nikon and Canon, combined. THe Spotmatic was one of the best-selling cameras, ever. Now, Canon and Nikon are on top. The K1000 remained in production for 21 years.

Some may not remember it, but in the early 1980's, Radio Shack absolutely OWNED the home computer market. I think they had about 80 percent. Now, they're out of the business completely. They don't even sell someone else's computers.

Microsoft's market hegemony seems to be on the wane. The rise of Linux and Apple's surging sales are slowly eating into Microsoft's market share. The success and gee-whiz factor of the iPhone, iPod and iPad is helping boost sales of their computers.

My point is that market leadership shifts. Pentax isn't going out of business, IMHO. Whether they can regain their dominance remains to be seen, but I have no worries that Pentax is going to be around for a very long time. I know that there are a lot of people who believe that Hoya only bought Pentax for its medical imaging division, but I don't believe that Hoya will give up on cameras quite so easily.
11-05-2010, 11:34 AM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
Or ask nikon film shooters who can mount their old lenses but unless you have a pro camera you don't even get a functioning light meter.

While perhaps some functionality was lost going from screw mount to K mount, you could still use the lenses, and you cans till shoot and use any lens made by pentax with any of their digital bodies.

the same cannot be said for canon and nikon. There is also the issue with the lower level canon and nikon bodies being only able to use the latest lenses. I think some entry level nikon bodies do not even have a screw drive, so to use older AF lenses with screw drive you have to purchase a higher priced camera..
The D7000 is the first non-pro Nikon that can meter with older lenses (The D300S can too if you consider a $1500 camera non-pro). Non-cpu lenses can be used if the user provides lens data, 9 lenses can be registered.

The D50 was the only low end Nikon with a screw drive. The D40, D40X, D60, D3000, D5000, and D3100 all lack in body AF.

These 2 issues are why I have a Kx and not a D5000.
11-05-2010, 11:41 AM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by JHD Quote
Canon is too big too fail.

Look at this then see if you want to say that again

DxOMark - Compare sensors
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