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04-17-2016, 11:58 PM   #91
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This is a fascinating thread and as a long time Pentax user I would love to read a book on the history of Pentax. The rise and fall of empires is a fascinating subject but just some observations:

1. It's still unclear to me why the attempt to push into the pro market around 1980 with the LX series failed to achieve market traction
2. Pentax was the biggest selling SLR brand until the mid 1980's, it's incredible that they have gone from being one of the best known names to being relatively unknown except among photographers who are 40 or older. One of the key challenges for Pentax is going to be attracting the younger photographers.
3. I would say that their lack of visibility on the high street and at airports is a big issue. I was at Heathrow terminal5 recently and only Canon, Nikon, Sony, Olympus and Fuji were represented - they need to remedy this. On the other hand camera and lens sales are increasingly moving to the internet anyway so arguably this might become less important with time - but I still think they need to make sure they have a better range available in the really big and important specialist shops as many people make the pilgrimage to such stores to touch things before buying.
4. Pentax will need a bigger advertising budget to make themselves more visible. They are building world class products but don't have world class advertising.
5. The Pentax K1 will undoubtedly help to gain and maintain market share. It offers a valid choice for Canikon users who wish to go full frame economically and it will retain the existing Pentax user base who wish for a larger sensor.

These are exciting times for Pentax and its fans. They've done well to weather some challenging times and I hope they're now emerging into better times.

Jonlg

04-18-2016, 07:03 AM   #92
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
The forum is an odd mix of old time users from way back, and people who have done a lot of research before buying. SO far we don't have those users who bought the camera because of Maria Sharapova's catwalk impression. It tends to make the forum a much more interesting and focussed place than I've seen for other cameras. However, if in the end Pentax does an Apple like rebound, it will be because of it's core users. So, you have to be careful what you hope for. The graphics, film and photography power users kept Apple alive through dark times, as soon as it caught the attention of the average Joe, it ditched them, and dumbed down to an iPhone user mentality.. Be careful what you hope for.

So i am one of the newer, photographers. I just joined in 2011.
I have a Pentax K200D and a K5. Professionally, I now shoot with Nikon D800E, Canon 5D Mark 3.
- The AF speed, and accuracy of Nikon and Canon can't be ignored - for those of us who did not grow up using manual focus shooting sports - one of the biggest amateur/new photographer issue is out of focus images. And pentax suffers here. The AF isnt as accurate, or isn't as fast. or both.
- Pentax don't have a mouthpiece. A local wedding photographer is a mouthpiece for Fuji. Even though fuji's new mirrorless is younger than pentax, its turnaround is quite quick. Before long, people like Zack Arias who was singing praises for Medium Format a couple years ago is now saying who needs a full frame when they can have a Fuji. Pentax don't have this.
- Pentax core users, mainly stays in this forum, as norm says, are very ..focused. Take a look at the forum pictures - insect, bird, leaf, flower, repeat. Once in a while I'll post a glamour shot, and the number of views and comments are telling. Its not interesting to the core users. (or maybe i just suck, lol). And as norm says, once you get more average joes like me picking up pentax, its core users will see quite a different kind of mentality and photography subjects. It may not be what the core users want.
- Its not easy to sell a Pentax. Canon and Nikon sells by name alone. Fuji is being pushed hard for its size and convenience. Pentax's advantages require actual seasoned photographer to explain. My gf has been assisting me shooting weddings for 3 years now, and if I try and explain to her that Pentax has SR in body, she would probably glaze over. Wth does that mean, and it can't be that much of a good thing, since her canon and nikon cameras does better at capturing accurately without shake by virtue of a larger sensor, higher ISO, faster and more accurate AF anyway. Some core users are in love with pentax old lenses. These are lenses we can't even find in stores. How good is a lens that you either have to special order, or get only on ebay, and is 50 years old? To the new average joe users, not so much.
- Canon/Nikon also has better Flashes. And in some cases, much better. Controlling 5 flashes from the one main flash, all with i-TTL or ETTL. Consistent exposure everytime. Its a great tool to have for wedding photography.
- Accessories and third parties are made for canon and nikon. Look! a new trigger that helps increase sync speed and control flashes, which pentax sorely need to compete? its not available for pentax, sorry.

The list goes on. However, in order to turn around, I find that a mouthpiece is absolutely crucial. Give Emily Soto a Pentax and get her to talk about it. It will make a difference. I mean, i think she is talking about her Lomography Petzval. How can a kickstarter lens that is about a couple years old score that kind of mouthpiece, and pentax with its decades of history couldnt? There is no excuse.

Anyway, all that said, I love my pentax more than any of my other cameras, for reasons only a pentax user seems to know. I am looking forward to K1.
04-18-2016, 07:05 AM   #93
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QuoteOriginally posted by christiandre Quote
I can't understand the lack of enthusiasm for Pentax DSLR... Do you know which are generally the reproaches made to the brand ? I heard that Pentax had a propensity to reach quickly the highlights burned, or that the lenses were not very effective or numerous ... What do you heard on your side, from no-pro photographers ?
What I mostly hear for non pro use:

1) Less choice for lenses, particularly from third party manufacturers. That said, most non-pro also are often unable to tell me exactly what lensens they need and are willing to buy in Canon/Nikon mount... Most often than not, it's just a hollow argument when you dig the question a bit. It's always amaze me when I hear this argument from people having only two or three basic lenses and hear their answers when I ask them where are these 10 000$ F2.8 telephotos they're raving about...

2) Hard to find. On this one, I think that entry level bodies should be available beside Canon, Nikon, and Sony cameras at Best Buy and other big stores. And it's the places where a product like the Q could sell, if people could only just see and handle it... For many people, it's kind of difficult to buy a product that isn't on the shelves... Unless they absolutely want a Pentax, why would they bother to order online when they can just grab a Canon-Nikon-Sony from a local store ? And why would a local merchant push them toward a product they don't have in store ?

3) Lack of third party accessories, like flashes, P-TTL trigger... For these, the lack of cheap P-TTL flash options, like the Yongnuo, is the main one I hear. And on this one, I agree that the options are rather limited, particularly if you want to go down the wireless TTL path...

4) Hard to get repairs. Although many local shop could be able to repair the camera or lenses, most seems to be unable to get the parts...

Last edited by CarlJF; 04-18-2016 at 07:10 AM.
04-23-2016, 02:29 PM   #94
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QuoteOriginally posted by christiandre Quote
I can't understand the lack of enthusiasm for Pentax DSLR... Do you know which are generally the reproaches made to the brand ? I heard that Pentax had a propensity to reach quickly the highlights burned, or that the lenses were not very effective or numerous ... What do you heard on your side, from no-pro photographers ?
"Blame" is such a Pentaxish word, implying that Pentax, or people associated with Pentax, is doing something wrong. Apart from past history, when Pentax did a mediocre job of adjusting to AF and then to digital, maybe today they are just caught in a natural flow of things.

04-23-2016, 10:28 PM   #95
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QuoteOriginally posted by D4rknezz Quote
- Pentax core users, mainly stays in this forum, as norm says, are very ..focused. Take a look at the forum pictures - insect, bird, leaf, flower, repeat. Once in a while I'll post a glamour shot, and the number of views and comments are telling. Its not interesting to the core users. (or maybe i just suck, lol). And as norm says, once you get more average joes like me picking up pentax, its core users will see quite a different kind of mentality and photography subjects. It may not be what the core users want.
very interesting
04-23-2016, 10:53 PM   #96
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QuoteOriginally posted by D4rknezz Quote
…Pentax core users, mainly stays in this forum, as norm says, are very ..focused. Take a look at the forum pictures - insect, bird, leaf, flower, repeat. Once in a while I'll post a glamour shot, and the number of views and comments are telling. Its not interesting to the core users. (or maybe i just suck, lol). And as norm says, once you get more average joes like me picking up pentax, its core users will see quite a different kind of mentality and photography subjects. It may not be what the core users want.
You make a very interesting point, although I'm not sure it's interest that's lacking, but applicability. Subjects that don't move, or have a say in how they're represented, are much less difficult to arrange, so the majority shy away from the others. I remember taking portrait and figure study classes in the local Adult Education programs here, years ago, but opportunities like that seem to be more limited, today. I don't think, though, that what you describe is restricted to Pentax users, or even Forum users, particularly when I look at the subjects chosen by local photo clubs for exhibition.

QuoteOriginally posted by D4rknezz Quote
The list goes on. However, in order to turn around, I find that a mouthpiece is absolutely crucial. Give Emily Soto a Pentax and get her to talk about it. It will make a difference. I mean, i think she is talking about her Lomography Petzval. How can a kickstarter lens that is about a couple years old score that kind of mouthpiece, and pentax with its decades of history couldnt? There is no excuse.
I seem to recall that this approach has been tried by Ricoh, but only fairly timidly, in recent times. Most recently was in the lead-up to the release of the K-3, using a fashion photographer, and previously in the UK with a celebrity ambassador, neither of whose names were familiar to me. I agree they could be bolder – we need a latter-day Sam Haskins to champion the brand, although perhaps his subject might not be as acceptable nowadays.
04-24-2016, 12:57 AM   #97
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QuoteOriginally posted by reh321 Quote
Apart from past history, when Pentax did a mediocre job of adjusting to AF and then to digital, maybe today they are just caught in a natural flow of things.
When I remember right, Pentax was first in line to have a camera and even SLR with AF through the lens. Not such a selling-succes, maybe the market wasn't ready, maybe they ware just to early with the system.
At that time, you needed a special lens for the autofocus-system
see Welcome to Bojidar Dimitrov's Pentax K-Mount Page
The ME-F was in '81 already on the market with such a system - probably too early for the market (resulting in more manual-focus camera's made later)

Last edited by elvinhaak; 04-24-2016 at 01:20 AM. Reason: extra info.
04-24-2016, 03:16 AM   #98
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If you want to be objective, not a fanboy:

- AF has been terrible for years in Pentax land and is only starting know to be ok.
- Many people find DSLR too big/bulky and so are more interrested in camera like Olympus Pen or Sony Nex that claim to bring the quality of DSLR in smaller form factors. Even among DSLRs, Canon is making the smallest/lightest DSLR, not Pentax.
- Canon and Nikon have more lenses choices as well as wider sigma/tamron/tokina offering. Pentax lenses tend to be small and slow meaning you can buy a 85mm FF lens on Canon for less than a DA70 or a 150-600 for less than a Pentax 60-250. Many fast lenses are less expensive on Canikon and at least exist... Try to get a new f/1.4 24mm or 35mm on Pentax... There nothing.

04-24-2016, 04:05 AM   #99
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QuoteOriginally posted by Nicolas06 Quote
Try to get a new f/1.4 24mm or 35mm on Pentax... There nothing.
I have both those lenses - the Samyang and Sigma, they're affordable and they're both image stabilised courtesy of Pentax. ;-)

I have f1.4 primes at 24mm, 35mm, 55mm and 85mm lengths. It's not difficult.

The fastest zoom in the world is the Sigma 18-35mm, not available in Olympus, Panasonic, Samsung.
04-24-2016, 04:31 AM   #100
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QuoteOriginally posted by clackers Quote
I have both those lenses - the Samyang and Sigma, they're affordable and they're both image stabilised courtesy of Pentax. ;-)

I have f1.4 primes at 24mm, 35mm, 55mm and 85mm lengths. It's not difficult.

The fastest zoom in the world is the Sigma 18-35mm, not available in Olympus, Panasonic, Samsung.
Let's check that again:

-24mm f/1.4? No Pentax, No Sigma. Samyang is MF. This doesn't compete.
- Sigma 18-35? Available on Canikon too and not so old.
-35mm there the sigma, true, no Pentax.
- 55mm and 85mm? Where are the f/1.2 ? And now let's compare how much you pay for a sigma 85mm f/1.4 compare to a Canon 85mm f/1.8 ? Again MF doesn't count.

I own Pentax and happy user, but if we have to think that pentax is retricted to MF in some cases and is good because you have access to less than half the Sigma linup, that's not convincing. We are no longer in the eighties. AF has to work. There no point of speaking of advanced bodies if AF is not great. I mean explain me how I am better with theses Samyang on a K5 than on a used 5D? The Canon still would have more dof control, have cheap and reasonably AF alternative (f/1.8 lenses) and better high iso, brighter viewfinder. I can buy a 28-75 from tamron and also a 70-200 and now I'am equivalent to f/1.8 from 18 to 135 equivalent on APSC. With AF.

Things improved recently but the reaction is not instantaneous. People that invested into Canon or Nikon will not switch to Pentax now because Sigma or Samyang released a new lens to Pentax.

Last edited by Nicolas06; 04-24-2016 at 04:47 AM.
04-24-2016, 07:00 AM   #101
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Personally I would love to see a relatively compact and fast 24 mm by Pentax. The 35 mm perspective is amongst the most popular ones on FF, and most Pentaxians, on account of shooting APS-C, do not have access to the APS-C equivalent 24 mm - at least not a reasonably modern AF lens with good optical qualities.

I would greatly appreciate an APS-C HD DA 24 f/1.8 DC WR ...
04-24-2016, 10:50 AM   #102
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QuoteOriginally posted by FantasticMrFox Quote
Personally I would love to see a relatively compact and fast 24 mm by Pentax. The 35 mm perspective is amongst the most popular ones on FF, and most Pentaxians, on account of shooting APS-C, do not have access to the APS-C equivalent 24 mm - at least not a reasonably modern AF lens with good optical qualities.

I would greatly appreciate an APS-C HD DA 24 f/1.8 DC WR ...
I would really appreciate that. if it has good performance, no field curvature and not too big, I'll buy it in a heartbeat, even if only f/2.8, even if no WR. Just give me good enough borders without field curvature.

There simply no good and small AF lenses near 24mm. The FA*24 or DA21 need at least f/5.6 and the last one has field curvature, the samyang are huge and MF, the sigma have weak borders...
04-24-2016, 10:58 AM   #103
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QuoteOriginally posted by reh321 Quote
Pentax did a mediocre job of adjusting to AF and then to digital, maybe today they are just caught in a natural flow of things.
QuoteOriginally posted by elvinhaak Quote
When I remember right, Pentax was first in line to have a camera and even SLR with AF through the lens. Not such a selling-succes, maybe the market wasn't ready, maybe they ware just to early with the system.
At that time, you needed a special lens for the autofocus-system
The ME-F was in '81 already on the market with such a system - probably too early for the market (resulting in more manual-focus camera's made later)
I should probably do a better job of explaining what I meant. During the film era, I followed developments in film much more closely than in bodies; I paid attention to bodies only on the once-in-a-decade time when I was ready to buy a new one.When I was a student in the 1960's, Pentax was a top name in SLR cameras, so buying one for myself in 1979 was natural. When I was ready to move into AF, I loved the Canon USM lenses and was not at all impressed by what Pentax was selling. That was in 1995. Since the 1990's and 2000's are the decades when Pentax lost most of the reputation that had drawn me to them in the first place, I'm thinking that I may not be unique. What Pentax lost during that time is critical to this discussion, because people won't buy your stuff if they don't know about it.
04-24-2016, 11:31 AM   #104
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QuoteOriginally posted by biz-engineer Quote
Except for guys who have a LBA, no one need four different 24mm lenses, it's a waste of money, but good lenses to cover most common focal lengths would be enough.
While people will not buy the 4 lenses for all focal length, different people will buy different lenses because they target different needs.

In pentax land, for primes, until know we covered quite well the user that want small/light primes at the expense of max apperture and border quality. Already there was an obvious drop in qualify when groing from the FAltf to DAltd. The DA are basically 1 stop slower and are not as praised for their rendering.

But that only 1 niche. Many here want the fastest, best performing lenses, and that another niche. The one that is the primary target of Sigma and Samyang. Other want a good, cheap compromize, and that yet another niche. Other brand manage to have an affordable AF 85mm, 24 or 28mm primes. We have nothing like that. Why is it that the nearest competitor from Canon 28mm f/1.8 at 200€ is a the FA31 that is as expensive as 1200-1400€ theses days?

Many people are displeased that you have to buy expensive and still somewhat slow ltd when they want either cheap or fast lenses. Me I may like my FA77, but many find it too expensive, or not fast enough. There no ways around it.
04-24-2016, 11:41 AM   #105
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QuoteOriginally posted by Nicolas06 Quote
I would really appreciate that. if it has good performance, no field curvature and not too big, I'll buy it in a heartbeat, even if only f/2.8, even if no WR. Just give me good enough borders without field curvature.

There simply no good and small AF lenses near 24mm. The FA*24 or DA21 need at least f/5.6 and the last one has field curvature, the samyang are huge and MF, the sigma have weak borders...
I couldn't care less about field curvature and border sharpness as long as they are not really bad. And I don't see the point in f/2.8 primes, might as well use a zoom then. I want something wide (24 mm), fast (at least f/1.8), quick (DC) and tough (WR) for documentary photography, where hardly anyone cares about curvature and border sharpness. It doesn't need to be DA Ltd. style tiny, but shouldn't be Sigma 35 'Art' big

Looks like we have pretty different priorities
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