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04-14-2007, 09:15 PM   #1
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Why doesn't Pentax make a camera that uses another manufactures lens mount?

It seems Pentax have a very good reputation for their current line of DSLRs but the availability of lenses considered by some to be a weakness. So why don't they simply give up the lens business and make a body that uses either Canon or Nikon lenses? Are the licensing costs too high to make this a worthwhile exercise?

04-14-2007, 09:28 PM   #2
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I would not have bought a Pentax DSLR if it couldn't use Pentax lenses.
04-14-2007, 09:28 PM   #3
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Here's the simplest answer I can come up with:

Pentax have used the same mount for over 35 years (unlike any other manufacturer), and the number/quality of lenses produced in the past easily meets up the the current competition. They've always made bad marketing decisions, but the quality of their products was top-notch. No other manufacturer boasts the same backwards- and cross-compatibilty as Pentax.

I agree that the current lens selection is bad, but with the [superior] lineup of FA lenses out there, there's nothing to worry about...as long as you can find them.

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04-14-2007, 09:31 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by steffi Quote
It seems Pentax have a very good reputation for their current line of DSLRs but the availability of lenses considered by some to be a weakness. So why don't they simply give up the lens business and make a body that uses either Canon or Nikon lenses? Are the licensing costs too high to make this a worthwhile exercise?
Pentax currently has 17 lens listed on their website, 10 Primes and 7 Zooms along quite a few in their near future plans. There are also a multitude of lens available from third party manufacturers for Pentax cameras.

Personally, I do not see their lens offerings as a weakness.

I think Pentax is simply not trying to be "all things to all people".

04-14-2007, 09:34 PM   #5
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Your question doesn't really make a lot of sense to me. The entire reason Pentax lenses are so hard to come by is that the demand for them far outstrips manufacturing capability. Demand is so high because they have earned a reputation for incredible optical quality and workmanship over the course of six or so decades. That doesn't strike me as a company that should get out of the lens business.
04-14-2007, 09:35 PM   #6
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Well I think the one main reason they don't switch to another brands lenses is the fact that Pentax lenses are one of the best if not the best lenses made in Japan. No other brand X lens matches the high contrast and true-to-life color of a Pentax lens. Sigma and Fuji both have another mount, I believe Nikons, and it just made sense for them to grab a competitors mount because the investment in a company to produce lenses just for your camera must be ridiculous to even fathom at this point in the game.

Now in my own opinion about this would be that we'd all loose out on the tradition of backward compatibility between so many great years of spectacular glass. No other brand allows you to grab your first lens you bought over 20 years ago and strap it onto you 2007 camera and get great results from it. This is why Nintendo now rules the console wars is because they've built on what they have and now even on the Wii you can play Mario Brothers (yes the original), Duck Hunt and even Sonic the Hedgehog from the Sega System. In my mind Nintendo and Pentax are the same company in that they strive for a product that meets every expectation and then some and makes it affordable to the masses. This is what every company should do in oder to build a loyal and "happy" consumer base. The K10D and the Wii are the innovative and groundbreaking products that outshine their competition in their respective sales areas and caused a demand so high they can't keep up with demand. Pentax should keep doing what they're doing and just push the innovation mark farther and farther out while maintaining their "born of granite" build.
04-14-2007, 09:45 PM   #7
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Because they know how to make lenses and there's a lot of profit in selling lenses. That's the sole reason--they are making profit from a core competency. If they made a camera body that took, say, Nikon lenses that might be nice for you or me, but it sucks for Pentax because the profits end when you bought the camera body. This is especially so since Pentax isn't making any pro-bodies which is where the big profits are (K10d will be slim profit margins compared to, say, Canon 30D or Nikon D200, never mind the 1D series or D2X).

Even more so nowadays because lenses go obsolete almost as fast as bodies so people want to keep getting the latest amazing zoom lens.

Bart
04-14-2007, 09:47 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by steffi Quote
It seems Pentax have a very good reputation for their current line of DSLRs but the availability of lenses considered by some to be a weakness. So why don't they simply give up the lens business and make a body that uses either Canon or Nikon lenses? Are the licensing costs too high to make this a worthwhile exercise?
Haha, the camera saleperson at the camera store I usually go to asked me "why was I taking a step backwards" when I asked to see some nikon lens on his display shelf. (Some big fat Tokina telephoto.)

Pentax lenses are just about the best esepcially back in the film days where they easily stood up to the best german lenses (Leica, Zeiss). Its just that nowadays, the general public is so absorbed into the whole Canikon marketing thing that Pentax has really fallen from the limelight. Pentax lenses today are still very good and their K Mount offers unrivalled backwards compatibility.

Pentax got into the dSLR game rather late (better late than never..like Ricoh) but they are making progress. Canon and Nikon lenses aren't as good and both of them (Canon more so) work on heavily a "Buy-Up" thing. Their consumer lines are rather mediocre and to get anything decent, the customers must buy into their premium lenses costing thousands.

Fujifilm has good sensor tech but as stated in previous posts, it would cost too much to adopt their own mount. Sigma has their own mount but its unremarkably similar to the Canon EF Mount (probably to save costs).

04-14-2007, 10:08 PM   #9
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Why on earth would you want to put a Nikon or Canon lens on a Pentax Camera? Pentax glass is legendary.

Now that Pentax has re-emerged as a viable camera in the DSLR marketplace, I believe that you will see many new offerings to add to the already expansive list of Pentax glass that will fit and work with all of their cameras.
04-14-2007, 11:26 PM   #10
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Simple..

It is just politically incorrect for doing so! :-)

QuoteOriginally posted by steffi Quote
It seems Pentax have a very good reputation for their current line of DSLRs but the availability of lenses considered by some to be a weakness. So why don't they simply give up the lens business and make a body that uses either Canon or Nikon lenses? Are the licensing costs too high to make this a worthwhile exercise?
04-15-2007, 02:19 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by steffi Quote
It seems Pentax have a very good reputation for their current line of DSLRs but the availability of lenses considered by some to be a weakness. So why don't they simply give up the lens business and make a body that uses either Canon or Nikon lenses? Are the licensing costs too high to make this a worthwhile exercise?
Simply because Pentax lenses have been consistently superior over a long period of time.
Have you not noticed the prevalence of 42mm to 'other' mount adaptors on the auction sites?

Agreed, not every one of Pentaxes designs has been "top drawer" but, if you've ever had the dreadful experience of spending a small fortune on a very expensive offering from 'C@nikon' only to be cruelly disappointed by the images produced, you will, at the very least, appreciate that the less proficient Pentax's were very affordable and marketed as 'consumer' lenses.

Top-of-the range Pentax lenses have no peers in image quality.Period.
04-15-2007, 02:25 AM   #12
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Sigma actually used to use the K-mount in their film SLRs.
04-15-2007, 03:50 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by steffi Quote
It seems Pentax have a very good reputation for their current line of DSLRs but the availability of lenses considered by some to be a weakness. So why don't they simply give up the lens business and make a body that uses either Canon or Nikon lenses? Are the licensing costs too high to make this a worthwhile exercise?
Because they could just as well commit harakiri and save the trouble of making that camera in the first place.
04-15-2007, 04:31 AM   #14
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Even though I (jokingly) asked for swappable lens mounts in another thread, it doesn't make a whole lot of sense for many reasons.
First, Pentax probably makes more money on lenses than bodies.
Second, all those mounts have a different register distance (distance from the back of the lens to the film/sensor. So producing a Nikon-mount camera would require a completely different chassis than a Canon one!


Now, how about Pentax go and produce a manual-focus-only M42 digital SLR? How awesome would that be?!
04-15-2007, 04:46 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by carpents Quote
Even though I (jokingly) asked for swappable lens mounts in another thread, it doesn't make a whole lot of sense for many reasons.
First, Pentax probably makes more money on lenses than bodies.
Second, all those mounts have a different register distance (distance from the back of the lens to the film/sensor. So producing a Nikon-mount camera would require a completely different chassis than a Canon one!


Now, how about Pentax go and produce a manual-focus-only M42 digital SLR? How awesome would that be?!
I agree with what everyone here has said about Pentax Glass. I would ask you this question. Why when Pentax Glass is the finest in the world, Why doesn't Cannon or Nikon Switch mounts, if they think they have the greatest bodies why not buy Pentax glass and offer the very best to their customers. I would answer that as Rice high did It is politically incorrect to do so.

Now Sean just because you have all that really nice M42 glass (most of the market by the way) And I think they did that in a film camera didn't they.
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