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View Poll Results: Would you buy a new film camera?
Yes 3932.77%
No 5949.58%
Depends on price 2117.65%
Voters: 119. You may not vote on this poll

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03-15-2014, 07:30 AM - 1 Like   #16
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This thread reminds me, I have to run a roll through my 645.

03-15-2014, 07:37 AM   #17
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Why Not?

I'm going against the grain here, but why not?
Of all camera makers, Pentax is in the absolute best position to release a new 35mm film body (all together now...K-Mount!), with Nikon already having one and Canon WAY back, because of their bayonet compatability changes. Olympus would be a contender, too, we won't mention Minolta, though.
The K mount makes this a viable, if quite niche, potential product, and I'll go one further. An A/F, fully auto-capable 35mm-film SLR body that works well with all legacy lenses (in M or Av). Metal body/frame construction, grip and/or winder available, DX-encoded or manual ISO, DOF preview, self-timer, mirror lock-up, changeable finder (or, at least, focusing screen). Around $1,000 USD. Bear in mind, this is a body you buy once, not every three years.
After it's developed, there'll be no need to upgrade nearly as often as a digital body. It might be a low-volume seller, but it would be a major publicity coup (yes, I know Nikon sells a 35mm film body. Besides you and I, who else knows about it?) especially if promoted correctly.
Pentax has a long history of making entire systems in a wide range of formats, especially in the film era. 110 (an SLR, no less!), 35mm, 645, 6x7. No, we don't have digital FF, but 35mm IS full frame, right?
Maybe Ricoh can coax a few pre-Hoya Pentax designers out of retirement(?) for one more run at it. Heck, if the clunky and clustered Df can sell a few units and create a major buzz by being a film-wannabe, what would real A/F LX do?
OK, it ain't gonna happen. There's zillions of Spotties, K1000's, ME's and everything newer, on the bay. I have three myself and wouldn't spend a grand for a newer version.
But, somebody might. And the publicity around a new 35mm film-body release? Priceless.
03-15-2014, 07:44 AM   #18
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I don't see much of a market... used LX's go for $300-$400 ish, right? How much improvement would a new Pentax really have?

I saw an unspectacular A* 135 f/1.8 today. $3k. "Zeiss" charges $1800 for theirs, new.

I think Ricoh should attack the lens market rather than the film camera market.
03-15-2014, 07:53 AM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by boriscleto Quote
Nikon doesn't make it. It's basically a Cosina CT-1 with a F-mount. You can get the Vivitar V3800N for $250 new, and it has a K-mount. And yes, it's mostly plastic.

This review points out that a K1000 would be a $500 camera these days.

Review: Vivitar V3800N manual film camera (
All of which supports my point.

Ricoh doesn't need to make a basic K-mount film camera. If you want one you can get it already. High School photography classes should be buying these by the dozen and mounting their M50/2's.

The only manual film camera I have that is this simple is a Spotmatic. It cost me $70 CLA'ed last month.

03-15-2014, 08:10 AM   #20
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Only if it was fully manual and made of metal. Not sure if Pentax or any other company could produce a camera body like that today (or want to). Leica maybe but then it would cost 10K.

03-15-2014, 08:47 AM   #21
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It might be fun but as many have said not needed. I have a version of the last 35mm consumer Pentax that was made, the *ist. It's cute, small, and all Plastic. Functions very well but the build quality is no where near my Super Program or Spotmatic. I shoot film for nostalgia value, takes me back to the days when that was all there was. Ain't no nostalgia value shooting new plastic gear
03-15-2014, 09:15 AM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by millsware Quote
Given how many people seem to still be using film cameras, and how many repair threads there are, I'm wondering whether Pentax could make any money selling new film cameras.

I'm not even talking about developing a new one, just re-releasing an old design, like the ME, K1000, LX...

Respond whether you would pay for one if it was ~$200 or less, and what model you would like to see.
I said no, even though I bought a Zeiss Ikon ZM body last year when they were still available (around $1500), to use with my old Leica lenses. After reading interviews with Pentax it's clear they would not make a camera I'd want. (I don't care for any Pentax past the MX and LX.) I have a bunch of SMC-M and M42 Pentax lenses, which cover all I want, but I still have good Pentax film bodies with all the features I need.
I was waiting for a Pentax FF digital, but again, hearing that they mount would stay "crippled" I no longer have interest.
03-15-2014, 09:34 AM   #23
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I would buy one. I have plenty of antique cameras. I don't have them because I want to be the Jay Leno of the K-body world. I only have them because I want to have one that works. If Pentax produced something along the lines of the K2 today, I would pay $400. If they produced something entirely new, like a K-body digital camera with everything but the sensor, I would buy it. I can keep an old camera limping along for a while, but offer me a new one to replace it and I would bite.

03-15-2014, 09:47 AM   #24
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I would buy a LX, the used one in the market is expensive anyway.
03-15-2014, 10:18 AM   #25
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Canon and Nikon I believe already offer pro grade film cameras. Anything in between can be found in the used market. Let Pentax focus on something a bit less "dead"

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03-15-2014, 10:26 AM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by gofour3 Quote
Only if it was fully manual and made of metal. Not sure if Pentax or any other company could produce a camera body like that today (or want to). Leica maybe but then it would cost 10K.
Leica does still make and sell film cameras, for about half what you guessed - around $5K - real metal and manual. They have said they will continue to make them as long as they sell. Of course, they did drop all film SLR models years ago, but there is still demand for the rangefinders.
Some of us still shoot more film than digital - but admittedly it is fading.
03-15-2014, 11:01 AM   #27
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I do woodworking, and prefer hand tools. The situation with hand planes vs. machinery is similar to film photography vs digital. Stanley used to make the best hand planes you could find, and sold a ton of them from the turn of the 20th century to around the 1960s. But changes in the industry started making woodworking machines cheaper and smaller, so hobbyist woodworkers largely abandoned hand planes in favor of small jointers and planers.

Stanley still sells hand planes, but they aren't nearly the same quality. For less than you can buy a new hand plane from Stanley, you can easily find a better vintage Stanley hand plane at any flea market or on eBay. There are a couple companies that make premium hand planes (Lie-Nielsen and Veritas), and they're great tools, but it's a niche market.

Pentax/Ricoh would be in a similar boat. You can buy MEs and K1000s all day everyday for less than $50. Any reissue film models would compete against this vast used market, a victim of their own past success and a disruptive technology that made those models obsolete. Even if they only reissued their top-line models, it's not like they'd make, e.g., the LX in Japan for $150.
03-15-2014, 11:02 AM   #28
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I definitly would

But to be a real "coup", it require superbe lenses to go with (someone said 135mm f1.8 or 83/1.9 ?).
03-15-2014, 11:09 AM   #29
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AFAIK Nikon currently manufactures no film cameras.
The professional F6 is still listed in their catalog, but these are unsold stock made years ago.

Cosina makes the Nikon FM10/FE10 as well as the Pentax K-mount Vivitar V3800N.
They also make the Voigtlander line of Leica M-mount rangefinder cameras and lenses.

Not sure what if any FSU factories are still making 35mm film cameras.

Fuji discontinued their last 35mm film camera models in 2012
but I'm hoping they will offer us some new models...

03-15-2014, 11:24 AM   #30
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Since you can buy a used Pentax 645N for about US $400, in excellent condition, why would you want to spend considerably more on a new film camera?

Now -- maybe you could design a camera with both film AND a digital sensor. But would there be a big market for it? I think not.

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