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02-10-2020, 10:18 PM - 1 Like   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
What's interesting is, with all its corporate experience across many areas for many decades, Ricoh hasn't chosen to dispose of the Pentax brand and product line despite several years of challenging business conditions, when it could justifiably have done so. Instead, it has taken steps to minimise risk and maximise revenue by streamlining the product range, extending model lifecycles and ensuring new products don't compromise on quality. So, whilst I agree that profits and shareholder value are vital to Ricoh as a whole, it clearly has some latitude to operate a diversified business portfolio with some areas making bigger profits than others... and it seems committed to keeping Pentax alive by adapting to market conditions...
Maybe it is even more than this. Maybe Ricoh anticipated very early that the sales in digital cameras will massively shrink eg due to smartphones. So, instead of going to the rat race, where they will always lag behind, they focus (or try to focus) on long-living, high-quality products which are appealing to a smaller part of the photographing community.

It would be nice to know if there was anticipating market wisdom in Ricoh's decisions or if it was just shortage of money. At least, speaking as a biologist, in this shrinking habitat they already have their niche and I think they are well protected in it.

02-10-2020, 11:47 PM   #32
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From what I have seen, the more advanced smartphones can do remarkable things.

But there are still many things they cannot do. There are still the laws of physics. How well can the user control DOF? How good is the bokeh? How good is dynamic range? How well can one do when shooting an indoor event with faster activities under just fairly bright ceiling lighting to get a good exposure while freezing action? Well, I guess they'll have to figure out how to design a very compact zoom lens into a cell phone- say equivalent to one of 17-50mm f/2.8 but only 1/2 inch deep and 2oz in weight, which can also yield a pretty shallow DOF with good bokeh for good portraits, as well as perform good closeups, and yet produce a substantial wide angle FOV. I did see someone do a stitch of several shots for a panny the phone's software put together quickly that looked pretty good- at least he got everything in. Was it as good as we can do with our DSLRs? No, but then these days convenience rules over quality.

If such a lens can be devised, I'd like one in a K-mount, please!

Same with music. I put substantial money into my home sound system, while I know of many who just listen on their phones. How can a serious music appreciator be thus satisfied is a mystery to me. Upon getting a large hi-def TV, for which movies come out like having a movie theater at home, they just buy a sound bar across the front! I could blow them away showing a movie, or some docudrama with impact like "Band of Brothers" where the sonic impact matches the visual impact. Only then can the viewer truly experience such cinematic achievements as they were meant to be experienced.
02-11-2020, 12:40 AM - 1 Like   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by mikesbike Quote
Same with music. I put substantial money into my home sound system, while I know of many who just listen on their phones. How can a serious music appreciator be thus satisfied is a mystery to me. Upon getting a large hi-def TV, for which movies come out like having a movie theater at home, they just buy a sound bar across the front! I could blow them away showing a movie, or some docudrama with impact like "Band of Brothers" where the sonic impact matches the visual impact. Only then can the viewer truly experience such cinematic achievements as they were meant to be experienced.
The answer is there in your words, really. A music aficionado wouldn't be satisfied with a phone to pursue their hobby, no more than a serious photographer would. Of course, both may use phones occasionally just for the convenience of it. I agree also about the TV experience, but while I have high acuity vision (with spectacles), my hearing is poor, so an expensive sound system to accompany my 4K TV would be wasted on me, alas. As a general observation, if one is passionate about a hobby, one always spends more than one needs to, and acquires far more gear than is sensible. Or am I describing just me?
02-11-2020, 01:54 AM - 2 Likes   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by WorksAsIntended Quote
Basically no new information.
In all companies I've worked for, it is strickly forbidden to share internal information with the outside world unless the information has already been made public by the PR departement, approved by the CEO. So if you'd be working for Ricoh, you'd be sharing information on Pentax forum? and be fired immediately That's why employees who tend to not keep what they know under tight control eliminate themselves. There are customers who expect their old $399 camera kit to be repair for free by Ricoh after five years, and customer who believe Ricoh should provide their internal plan on youtube, these are two cases of naive thinking.

02-11-2020, 02:53 AM - 1 Like   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by biz-engineer Quote
In all companies I've worked for, it is strickly forbidden to share internal information with the outside world unless the information has already been made public by the PR departement, approved by the CEO. So if you'd be working for Ricoh, you'd be sharing information on Pentax forum? and be fired immediately That's why employees who tend to not keep what they know under tight control eliminate themselves. There are customers who expect their old $399 camera kit to be repair for free by Ricoh after five years, and customer who believe Ricoh should provide their internal plan on youtube, these are two cases of naive thinking.
This of course is true. However, him doing his very own personal speculations ("We hope it has at leat a moveable screen") when in representative position for Ricoh shows he simply does not know anything and this is, quite frankly, very unprofessional and in some companies you would get in a lot of trouble with stuff like this.


(Edit: Unprofessional in terms of the representative to state the speculations, not Pentax not giving him information which of corse is perfectly fine).


Imagine the k_new having no moveable screen and this phrase by a Pentax representative out in the world, a complete pr desaster!

---------- Post added 02-11-20 at 03:02 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by mikesbike Quote
From what I have seen, the more advanced smartphones can do remarkable things.

But there are still many things they cannot do. There are still the laws of physics. How well can the user control DOF? How good is the bokeh? How good is dynamic range? How well can one do when shooting an indoor event with faster activities under just fairly bright ceiling lighting to get a good exposure while freezing action? Well, I guess they'll have to figure out how to design a very compact zoom lens into a cell phone- say equivalent to one of 17-50mm f/2.8 but only 1/2 inch deep and 2oz in weight, which can also yield a pretty shallow DOF with good bokeh for good portraits, as well as perform good closeups, and yet produce a substantial wide angle FOV. I did see someone do a stitch of several shots for a panny the phone's software put together quickly that looked pretty good- at least he got everything in. Was it as good as we can do with our DSLRs? No, but then these days convenience rules over quality.

If such a lens can be devised, I'd like one in a K-mount, please!

Same with music. I put substantial money into my home sound system, while I know of many who just listen on their phones. How can a serious music appreciator be thus satisfied is a mystery to me. Upon getting a large hi-def TV, for which movies come out like having a movie theater at home, they just buy a sound bar across the front! I could blow them away showing a movie, or some docudrama with impact like "Band of Brothers" where the sonic impact matches the visual impact. Only then can the viewer truly experience such cinematic achievements as they were meant to be experienced.
There is a very substantial difference between music and photography: A photography is a measurement. The only limitation is the amount of photons and statistical distribution of those over time. There is no law of physics that forces big lenses to be the only solution. OSA | General formula for bi-aspheric singlet lens design free of spherical aberration
With the now available algebraic solution it is possible to find new solutions for lenses in a much more compact design. Of course there are still other effects going on, but this is a major step.

We "only" need to be able to build those aspherical elements in high quality now. There is still a lot to do, but there is no physical limitation.

When it comes to DOF and such, I am convinced that in a few decades software will make the need of such obsolete. Even now the smartphone cameras are able to produce something a untrained eye can not distinguis. With a well trained neural network and a good algorithm combination it may be possible to manipulte pictures in a way we currently dream of when using our cameras.


Listening to music is not a measurement, but a generator at work. There a lot more of physical limitations are happening. The modes of air vibration need a specific amount of energy and, this is the key part why small systems will never be able to deliver the same, energy distribution.


From a users perspective hifi and photography are currently quite comparable, from a physicist point of view not at all.

Last edited by WorksAsIntended; 02-11-2020 at 07:59 AM.
02-11-2020, 03:57 AM - 4 Likes   #36
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In both hi-fi and photography there are people who are only interested in the gear. They obsess about whether the stuff they own is the best quality possible, and they read countless reviews and endlessly lust after the next big state-of-the-art piece of equipment. The hi-fi nuts only ever listen to the same handful of demo tracks to compare bits of gear, while the camera nuts only ever take shots of brick walls and their pet cats.

Then there are music lovers who only care if their hi-fi sounds good enough for them to enjoy listening, and there are photographers who only care if a camera is good enough to capture their view of the world.

But of course, hi-fi and camera manufacturers both depend mostly on the gear nut types for their survival.
02-11-2020, 03:58 AM   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by WorksAsIntended Quote
This of course is true. However, him doing his very own personal speculations ("We hope it has at leat a moveable screen") when in representative position for Ricoh shows he simply does not know anything and this is, quite frankly, very unprofessional and in some companies you would get in a lot of trouble with stuff like this.

Imagine the k_new having no moveable screen and this phrase by a Pentax representative out in the world, a complete pr desaster!

---------- Post added 02-11-20 at 03:02 AM ----------



There is a very substantial difference between music and photography: A photography is a measurement. The only limitation is the amount of photons and statistical distribution of those over time. There is no law of physics that forces big lenses to be the only solution. OSA | General formula for bi-aspheric singlet lens design free of spherical aberration
With the now available algebraic solution it is possible to find new solutions for lenses in a much more compact design. Of course there are still other effects going on, but this is a major step.

We "only" need to be able to build those aspherical elements in high quality now. There is still a lot to do, but there is no physical limitation.

When it comes to DOF and such, I am convinced that in a few decades software will make the need of such obsolete. Even now the smartphone cameras are able to produce something a untrained eye can not distinguis. With a well trained neural network and a good algorithm combination it may be possible to manipulte pictures in a way we currently dream of when using our cameras.


Listening to music is not a measurement, but a generator at work. There a lot more of physical limitations are happening. The modes of air vibration need a specific amount of energy and, this is the key part why small systems will never be able to deliver the same, energy distribution.


From a users perspective hifi and photography are currently quite comparable, from a physicist point of view not at all.
Smartphones are of course, fine for a lot of people. But I don't think that computational photography is going to truly take the place of wide aperture lenses with larger sensors.

As far as the elimination of spherical aberration in camera lenses, I think the value of that equation was overstated at the time. It is something that is going to be far more useful in telescopes and microscopes than in camera lenses. It is solvable for a specific focal distance, meaning that maybe your aberration disappears at infinity but is present when focusing at 10 meters (or the reverse). Beyond which, spherical aberration isn't a severe limitation with current lens design and the idea that making mustache shaped lens elements would suddenly make expensive lenses cheaper seems unlikely.

Obviously I am not an optical engineer, but it has been two years since this formula was released and we have not seen any lens developments based on it. I just don't think it is the most useful thing for cameras. As I said before, probably more of a benefit for telescopes and microscopes.
02-11-2020, 04:22 AM   #38
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
Smartphones are of course, fine for a lot of people. But I don't think that computational photography is going to truly take the place of wide aperture lenses with larger sensors.

As far as the elimination of spherical aberration in camera lenses, I think the value of that equation was overstated at the time. It is something that is going to be far more useful in telescopes and microscopes than in camera lenses. It is solvable for a specific focal distance, meaning that maybe your aberration disappears at infinity but is present when focusing at 10 meters (or the reverse). Beyond which, spherical aberration isn't a severe limitation with current lens design and the idea that making mustache shaped lens elements would suddenly make expensive lenses cheaper seems unlikely.

Obviously I am not an optical engineer, but it has been two years since this formula was released and we have not seen any lens developments based on it. I just don't think it is the most useful thing for cameras. As I said before, probably more of a benefit for telescopes and microscopes.
It is hard to predict if computational photography will become good enough, but I would not put it out of perspective. In fact, we still miss a hell lot of knowledge about such processing and ways to utilize neural networks for it. ANN is a very simple mathematical construct and projecting real world scenarios in it is still something we struggle with (I do not talk about "intelligence" in this matter, because imho it is far from intelligent yet). It is suprising how many problems we can thrown onto this and get a decent solution without much adaptation to the actual problem. In many areas we are testing it right now (we: my company started as a computational physics company and data science is still my main field of expertise and part of our portfolio, although we have a lot of classical it services now) we immidiatly get results similar to well established algorithms we worked years on. My opinion on this topic is, that we still do not know how to utilize it perfectly and where the limits are when we do. I am not talking about a "thinking" machine but pure data analysis and manipulation.


About the equation: It is a huge step imho. BUT, there is a lot of other stuff going into lens development and only one part is now not to be solved numerically anymore. I would expect at least ten years until we see practical usage of this and of course first with "single distance" systems like a microscop. Practical usage also propably means it is part of a lens, not the whole lens.

02-11-2020, 04:23 AM - 1 Like   #39
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QuoteOriginally posted by Dartmoor Dave Quote
In both hi-fi and photography there are people who are only interested in the gear. They obsess about whether the stuff they own is the best quality possible, and they read countless reviews and endlessly lust after the next big state-of-the-art piece of equipment. The hi-fi nuts only ever listen to the same handful of demo tracks to compare bits of gear, while the camera nuts only ever take shots of brick walls and their pet cats.
I realise this is a sterotytpical generalisation, and, as you know, it is possible to be somewhere in between the examples given. I love photographic gear, and I do read and watch a lot of reviews, but I also love taking photographs, and working in Photoshop. There is room for us all in the world, and I help Pentax by buying cameras and lenses new, rather than second hand all the time.

P.S. the only times I have taken pictures of a brick wall is to use for 'shopping in a background or two. I couldn't care less about how straight the bricks are.
02-11-2020, 04:25 AM - 1 Like   #40
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QuoteOriginally posted by Dartmoor Dave Quote
In both hi-fi and photography there are people who are only interested in the gear. They obsess about whether the stuff they own is the best quality possible, and they read countless reviews and endlessly lust after the next big state-of-the-art piece of equipment. The hi-fi nuts only ever listen to the same handful of demo tracks to compare bits of gear, while the camera nuts only ever take shots of brick walls and their pet cats.

Then there are music lovers who only care if their hi-fi sounds good enough for them to enjoy listening, and there are photographers who only care if a camera is good enough to capture their view of the world.

But of course, hi-fi and camera manufacturers both depend mostly on the gear nut types for their survival.
If somebody would brake into my house and steal things there would be exactly three things I would cry about:

1. Analogue photographs from three generations

2. my violin
3. my records
02-11-2020, 04:29 AM   #41
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QuoteOriginally posted by WorksAsIntended Quote
It is hard to predict if computational photography will become good enough, but I would not put it out of perspective. In fact, we still miss a hell lot of knowledge about such processing and ways to utilize neural networks for it. ANN is a very simple mathematical construct and projecting real world scenarios in it is still something we struggle with (I do not talk about "intelligence" in this matter, because imho it is far from intelligent yet). It is suprising how many problems we can thrown onto this and get a decent solution without much adaptation to the actual problem. In many areas we are testing it right now (we: my company started as a computational physics company and data science is still my main field of expertise and part of our portfolio, although we have a lot of classical it services now) we immidiatly get results similar to well established algorithms we worked years on. My opinion on this topic is, that we still do not know how to utilize it perfectly and where the limits are when we do. I am not talking about a "thinking" machine but pure data analysis and manipulation.


About the equation: It is a huge step imho. BUT, there is a lot of other stuff going into lens development and only one part is now not to be solved numerically anymore. I would expect at least ten years until we see practical usage of this and of course first with "single distance" systems like a microscop. Practical usage also propably means it is part of a lens, not the whole lens.
Of course. But the point is that an equation like this comes out and immediately news sites latch on to it with headlines like "Physicists Solve 300 year old Aberration Problem" and comments about how this is going to bring amazingly sharp, tiny, and cheaper lenses to a photography store near you. But my experience is that the brands aren't looking to sell cheaper lenses and even if they incorporate some of these elements into their lenses in the future I wouldn't expect them to suddenly drop the prices of lenses. If anything, they will be more expensive than the older designs where they R and D is already paid for. And as I said, current lens design is already really good and so while these lenses may be incrementally better, I don't how much better they will be.
02-11-2020, 04:38 AM   #42
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
Of course. But the point is that an equation like this comes out and immediately news sites latch on to it with headlines like "Physicists Solve 300 year old Aberration Problem" and comments about how this is going to bring amazingly sharp, tiny, and cheaper lenses to a photography store near you. But my experience is that the brands aren't looking to sell cheaper lenses and even if they incorporate some of these elements into their lenses in the future I wouldn't expect them to suddenly drop the prices of lenses. If anything, they will be more expensive than the older designs where they R and D is already paid for. And as I said, current lens design is already really good and so while these lenses may be incrementally better, I don't how much better they will be.
I completly agree. Scientific news are sometimes worse than political information gained via facebook as they always write about some made up brakethrough technological use of the new findings. Sadly enough this has become part of science too, you only get money when writing about something like this. When I worked on magnetical turbulences I always reffered to fusion reactors as a practical use of the findings well knowing that with elemination of magnetical turbulences in this way there will occour different turbulences in the system making it impossible to build. People still wanted to hear that and solving the new turbulences is a problem for the future. I always wrote one or two quick sentences about this issue and more than once a reviewer removed this part.
02-11-2020, 07:49 AM   #43
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QuoteOriginally posted by WorksAsIntended Quote
im doing his very own personal speculations ("We hope it has at leat a moveable screen") when in representative position for Ricoh shows he simply does not know anything and this is, quite frankly, very unprofessional and in some companies you would get in a lot of trouble with stuff like this.
It looks like you've never worked as a foreigner for a Japanese company. Work as a non Japan born for a Japanese company and you'll see how much information you get from the headquarter. It's not only Ricoh. There is likely zero trust between Japanese business circles and non-Japanese staff, sad but often it is the case.
02-11-2020, 07:57 AM   #44
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QuoteOriginally posted by biz-engineer Quote
It looks like you've never worked as a foreigner for a Japanese company. Work as a non Japan born for a Japanese company and you'll see how much information you get from the headquarter. It's not only Ricoh. There is likely zero trust between Japanese business circles and non-Japanese staff, sad but often it is the case.
In fact I did, at least as a service provider.

The point is: he obviously did not get the information. But why should he start speculating in an interview while representing Pentax? Even in a very negative way. "At least" is not exactly a positive statement. The way he said it in German, maybe my translation is not doing it justice, in the end English really is not my strong suit, it would indicate direct disappointment when it does not have a flip screen. If he does not know if the screen is moveable he riskes to have publically stated a product being misdesigned in his function as a Pentax representative.

If he says something like "maybe it will have a moveable screen" it is something different.
Luckily enought this interview is not too well known and we do not know about the screen yet. If it will be a non flip screen you will propably read a lot of reviews with something like "even the Pentax representative does not understand this bad decission".

Edit: I know understand my wording was quite unclear. I did an edit to clearify:

The unprofessional part was only him doing speculations in a negative way. The fact he does not know all stuff from the headquater is perfectly fine.
02-11-2020, 10:13 AM   #45
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QuoteOriginally posted by WorksAsIntended Quote
why should he start speculating in an interview while representing Pentax?
In interview the interviewee should say something, that's a difficult exercise if the interviewee has no more information than the interviewer, it's tricky.
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