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02-23-2014, 11:05 AM   #16
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Oooh. Forgot about decrippling the mount. I use mostly M42 glass on my 35mm these days.

02-23-2014, 11:21 AM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by TaoMaas Quote
Pentax can't cater to such a tiny niche as me
I keep thinking that maybe Pentax (Ricoh) would not be the be the best company to make such a camera. Cosina would be the obvious choice since they currently have have both extensive camera-making experience (they make the Voigtlander and Zeiss rangefinder cameras as well as the Nikon FM10/Vivitar V3800N) and recent expertise with minimal-featured digital (Epson RD1).


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02-23-2014, 11:23 AM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
I keep thinking that maybe Pentax (Ricoh) would not be the be the best company to make such a camera. Cosina would be the obvious choice since they currently have have both extensive camera-making experience (they make the Voigtlander and Zeiss rangefinder cameras as well as the Nikon FM10/Vivitar V3800N) and recent expertise with minimal-featured digital (Epson RD1).


Steve
Something like the Bessa R but digital would be awesome. Like the Leica M9 without the massively overpriced Leica pricetag.
02-23-2014, 11:26 AM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by gaweidert Quote
Like a lot of people here I have a lot of old manual focus lenses. In fact, I use them on my K5 and K5-IIs all the time. I was wonder if there would be a market for a K5II/K3 type camera without the added auto focus capability?. The cost savings would be pretty good, the software would be much simplified and even the weight of the camera would be reduced. No need to calibrate your auto focus either.

I know that this may not appeal to some photographers, but for others of us, manual focus second nature. Any thoughts on this? I would buy one.
Seeing that people are complaining about the fact that the Nikon Df doesn't have video, think about what would happen if Pentax were to launch a similar camera without AF. It would be fine to see a DSLR designed for manual focusing (preferably a FF with a nice big focusing screen), but omitting AF completely would be a mistake.


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02-23-2014, 11:41 AM   #20
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I wonder if older cameras could be modified, too. Not sure the weight of an AF motor being pulled, or an LCD, but it could probably be done. With older cameras to play with, I bet someone could flash the firmware with something open-source and start making customization. Likely output would have to be RAW only, though. Put it up to the open-source community, and you'll likely have something as or more efficient than the factory. Maybe start by pulling apart and mod'ing old cameras (*ist and K100/K10). With rapid prototyping/3d printing, I bet a lens mount and internals could be recycled, and a new body 3d printed up.

Some enterprising individual might be better suited to starting a camera modifying/stripping business instead of a camera company. MP and all the new tech isn't a selling point for me. Take something like a k20d and do this, even if it's a few hundred bucks to do, and I'd be game.
02-23-2014, 12:17 PM   #21
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How much of the AF do you want to gut, and which parts chew up the most battery?
If the issue is just the screw drive, you shouldn't have battery issues if you use only MF lenses.
If you have an AF system that is dead accurate, wouldn't it still be useful to have focus confirmation for MF lenses?
Even if you don't have focus confirmation, might it still be useful to have focus peaking to analyze after an image is shot?
02-23-2014, 12:22 PM   #22
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I don't need focus peaking or focus confirmation when I use a real focusing screen, like my MX, ME Super, and ETRS. I'd much prefer a real focusing screen to AF or any electronic confirmation, CiF, or anything. I almost never miss focus with my film cameras.
02-23-2014, 01:06 PM   #23
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Buy a Leica? It'd be cool having a Mf DSLR yeah but then really it seems to make more sense to me to just use film instead if you're going to go down that route. You could buy and process hundreds of rolls of film for the cost of a DSLR. And get a nice big viewfinder with an MX or something, whilst still being smaller and having better battery life.

Get the new slide copier and you've got basically got a digital full frame that'll slow you down good and proper.

02-23-2014, 01:15 PM   #24
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I think the idea is a good one, and it could work, if the image quality were exceptional and the price was right. After all, nobody bitches about the lack of auto focus on Leica cameras. At least part of the demand for the Sony A7r (or whichever is the full frame model) seems to be due to the fact that people can use adapted lenses, many of which they are focusing manually. And that camera is not cheap.
02-23-2014, 01:19 PM   #25
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I don't digitize any film (myself), but that's basically what I do... Slides go on the lightbox and sent out for high-end scanning and printing and B&W is done in my darkroom.

I personally think all the added BS in modern cameras slows me down more... There are times when digital does win pretty much no matter what(fast turnaround). For someone who knows and has a good understanding of composition, focusing with MF lenses and screens, and the exposure balance, it all seems unnecessary, and adds to weight, bulk, and shorter battery life. Not saying it's going to happen, but I really would like something like that. Make it have an easily replaceable shutter mechanism, and with nothing else to fail, as long as it has a solid sensor (megapixel wars are BS, too, a good image is a good image no matter what) and solid body, it should last much longer than any current offering.

They really don't build things like they used to. I highly doubt any current DSLRs are going to be functioning 50 years down the road... unlike cameras from 50 years ago.

---------- Post added 02-23-14 at 01:27 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by fuent104 Quote
I think the idea is a good one, and it could work, if the image quality were exceptional and the price was right. After all, nobody bitches about the lack of auto focus on Leica cameras. At least part of the demand for the Sony A7r (or whichever is the full frame model) seems to be due to the fact that people can use adapted lenses, many of which they are focusing manually. And that camera is not cheap.
Actually, I just looked it up (I don't really follow the market). $1,700 for a FF camera that can use cheap and fantastic lenses is actually quite a bargain. I, and many others, would still prefer a real focusing screen, though...

Actually, I've considered a couple AF primes, with viewfinders, on a K-01, with the rear LCD disabled, for this purpose.... Really wish that thing was weather sealed. Not sure of the battery life of it without the LCD on is, but I'm sure it's significantly longer.
02-23-2014, 02:10 PM   #26
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Thanks for all the responses. I agree about the viewfinder brightness. My older cameras had much better viewfinders. Micro prism focusing is awesome. Quite frankly when I use manual focus lenses on my K5/K5Is and rely on "focus confirmation" I wind up with more failures than successes. I never needed it before and it does not seem like much help to me now. I realize that there is a whole calibration procedure I could undergo, but why? Either it should work properly without constant tuning or it doesn't.

A camera without autofocus is not for neophytes. In order to do it correctly you need to understand depth of field, depth of focus and what is going to give you the most pleasing image is not something newbies do very well. It could make photography a more frustrating experience for them.

After reading the responses, it sort of makes me want one more. Even now as I look at some of the autofocus lenses out there the ability to focus the lens manually is still important to me.
02-23-2014, 02:23 PM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by BrianR Quote
I wouldn't count on it costing much less, or even less at all. The demand would possibly be low enough that the added cost of a small production stream could outweigh any parts savings. But who knows.
I agree
02-23-2014, 02:46 PM   #28
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Has anyone mentioned the K-01? The K-01 is a camera without a PD AF module at all. (and without viewfinder, mirror) It still has CD AF, though. I bet the AF motor itself is much less expensive than the rest of the AF module (measuring wavelengths at different AF points)
02-23-2014, 03:12 PM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by fretlessdavis Quote
I don't need focus peaking or focus confirmation when I use a real focusing screen, like my MX, ME Super, and ETRS. I'd much prefer a real focusing screen to AF or any electronic confirmation, CiF, or anything. I almost never miss focus with my film cameras.
You can have a real focusing screen (with microprisms and such) on the K-3 and K-5, they are user interchangeable. Possibly also the K-30, K-r and others. It does bring some drawbacks - AF-C with focus tracking gets somewhat messed up (only on the K-3 though) and exposure metering can be affected - with spot metering becoming almost useless. However if you shoot mainly manual this should not present much of a problem as all it takes is to bias your exposures accordingly (except spot metering which can be too far off and unpredictable)

The brightness of the viewfinder is affected by the AF optics but only marginally.

The main cause of less brightness is the sensor size, which of course dictates the size of the focusing screen and just like the sensor receives much less light than a full frame one would (about half) but still has to be magnified to the same apparent size, making it dimmer. They try to improve this by making the screen a sort of fresnel lens to concentrate light better towards the eye but this of course messes up the depth of field (and is only effective for slow lenses).

The second factor affecting the brightness is the exposure meter which also gets a share of the light coming through the lens. It is however tapped off in the Pentaprism rather than by letting some go straight through the mirror.
02-23-2014, 08:41 PM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by fretlessdavis Quote
They really don't build things like they used to. I highly doubt any current DSLRs are going to be functioning 50 years down the road... unlike cameras from 50 years ago.
There's hardly anything in an old film camera to fail. There's a light meter and a mirror and...that's about it. Even winding was manual on a lot of cameras unless you bought an add-on automatic winder!

It's like a clothes dryer. They last forever because there's nothing to break. There's a motor and a heating element and some really basic servo electronics...

A DSLR has a zillion chips, capacitors, resistors, and other assorted little round things in them. All those will, in due time, fail. (Capacitors are usually first to go.)

QuoteOriginally posted by fuent104 Quote
I think the idea is a good one, and it could work, if the image quality were exceptional and the price was right. After all, nobody bitches about the lack of auto focus on Leica cameras. At least part of the demand for the Sony A7r (or whichever is the full frame model) seems to be due to the fact that people can use adapted lenses, many of which they are focusing manually. And that camera is not cheap.
With the Leica, the people buying it are really serious photographers who know what they are buying. People don't, in general, pay thousands of dollars for an item without a little research. People regularly buy $500-1000 cameras without knowing much, however, because they can get them at Best Buy, Amazon, Sam's Club, Costco, Walmart, etc. You won't find Leica products in any of those places.

A Pentax sans-AF would likely be in $600-800 range. That's consumer price targeting. That's where you'll run into problems. If they took it out of the 645D, then it's fine. Anyone who buys that knows what they are getting.
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