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Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 10-05-2017, 10:40 AM  
Any more news on the new Tamron 16-300?
Posted By cfraz
Replies: 91
Views: 18,547
For buying super zooms (or any photo gear), there's MasterCard.

But a rant about complaining by Nicolas06, priceless.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 09-14-2017, 10:47 PM  
K-1 Firmware UPDATE: v1.42
Posted By cfraz
Replies: 67
Views: 4,942
The Unstable one.

I heard that a quick-thinking photographer observed said bug while shooting flower macros, captured it and sent it back to Ricoh, where it seems to be responding well to regression therapy.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 08-28-2017, 09:50 PM  
Financial Results:FY2018/03
Posted By cfraz
Replies: 605
Views: 34,467
I don't have a problem with the ideas that ILC manufacturers should do more to integrate their products with mobile computing platforms (notwithstanding the fact that from what I've seen and tried, mobile platforms offer a much less efficient user interface for content creation and cost much more than my PC [admittedly I take the build from parts and use free software route which is abnormal]).

But I just don't see this huge market some are dreaming of eagerly waiting to jump into the ILC world if only they could instantly edit their raws on a 5 inch screen and post immediately. Finally: a quality 3 X 4 inch picture of my cat on facegram! I think the true barrier here is not the software, but the ILC form factor. "Wait, you mean I need another lens to get good pictures of birds, and it costs $1800? I just spent $700 on a lens to take pictures of people and another $800 on a closeup lens! I'll need special bag for all this stuff, too, won't I."

No, in my view, the limitation in this huge consumer ILC market we're talking about is not the outdated and mobile device averse software of current ILC's (as nice as it would be to have that integration), but rather the necessity to buy thousands of dollars worth of lenses to get the most out of an ILC, the inconvenience of carrying a big bag of gear around with you, and fiddling with the lenses just to shoot a picture.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 08-26-2017, 07:59 PM  
K-3ii marked as discontinued
Posted By cfraz
Replies: 660
Views: 64,013
Whether comes a K3 replacement or not, my plan is the same: shoot with K-5IIs.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 07-24-2017, 09:38 AM  
Pentax User Map : New Forum Feature!
Posted By cfraz
Replies: 88
Views: 13,348
Last I looked, the map shows only 506 Pentax forum members out of 73,569 members altogether (about 0.7%). The map doesn't show where the other 73,563 members live. In fact, if you extrapolate the same ratio of 2 out of 506 members shown on the map as being in Spain to the whole membership, that gives around 290 members in Spain.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 07-19-2017, 03:05 PM  
Are we really THAT rare?
Posted By cfraz
Replies: 4,900
Views: 592,803
Nice. More evidence 3 out of 4 soldiers are more interested in Pentax than in official proceedings. 😏

I wonder if the photographer normally prefers live view over viewfinder technique, or if it's just an accommodation to his headgear. He'd probably have to tilt his hat back to an unapproved angle with the camera held up to his eye.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 07-14-2017, 06:18 AM  
K-3ii marked as discontinued
Posted By cfraz
Replies: 660
Views: 64,013
I should think buying Pentax was the defining moment Ricoh signaled they were NOT going MILC. Why spend a billion yen on brand, production facilities, expertise, and goods just to abandon virtually all of it and start over with something completely different?
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 07-13-2017, 09:55 AM  
K-3ii marked as discontinued
Posted By cfraz
Replies: 660
Views: 64,013
I don't think Kunzite meant anything like that - in fact precisely the opposite.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 07-06-2017, 08:40 AM  
new ricoh survey
Posted By cfraz
Replies: 149
Views: 9,891
That wasn't my point.

The Western reader may view those comments as vague, non-committal and evasive while to the Japanese reader, the meaning is perfectly clear.

And more to the point, the interviewee likely doesn't realize a good share of his meaning is lost to the Western reader.

We can rant and rave and say why don't they just say what they mean, but if our objective is to truely understand their meaning (rather than to find a statement against which we can claim we've been wronged), we may have to dig a bit deeper than we are used to.

I think some Japanese camera companies like Canon and Fuji are skilled in communicating with a Western market. On the extreme opposite end of that scale was Pentax - very Japanese-centric.

Now, Ricoh is much better in that regard, but it may take awhile for that more global sophistication to come to the Imaging group.

Ricoh has a different and more serious communication problem in my view. They understand B2B but suck at B2C (business to consumer) marketing.

---------- Post added 07-06-17 at 08:49 AM ----------



Cogent, insightful. Thanks for writing.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 07-06-2017, 06:17 AM  
new ricoh survey
Posted By cfraz
Replies: 149
Views: 9,891
To the Japanese speaker, those phrases are neither identical, nor vague. I had the chance to visit Japan a few years back, and it quickly became clear that in the Japanese culture, the relationship between words and meaning is much more nuanced and dependent on context than in Western cultures. Check out Be careful of the meaningless “yes” and hidden “no”, especially the last paragraph, or Ambiguity in traditional Japanese culture and why it can be an obstacle for companies trying to internationalize .
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 06-30-2017, 09:26 AM  
Sony A9: is there still a future for DSLRs, and Pentax mirrorless suggestion
Posted By cfraz
Replies: 579
Views: 23,481
Or, maybe they're just afraid of getting root-kitted.
Forum: Photographic Industry and Professionals 06-16-2017, 12:56 PM  
"Improper accounting charges" for Fujifilm hits $341,000.000 USD.
Posted By cfraz
Replies: 33
Views: 1,996
Who knew? Apparently the Fuji accountants used to work on the ISO rating team.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 06-15-2017, 10:43 AM  
Seven months before the successor of the K3II?
Posted By cfraz
Replies: 418
Views: 57,282
I'd say rather that price, not form factor, defines the mass market. It could be a point-and-shoot, a bridge camera, a Rebel or D3xxx DSLR or a cell phone camera.

For photographic intent and usage, they are all functionally equivalent in this market segment. Not because of their capabilities, but because of how they are used. The only reason (some) DSLRs are part of this segment is that they can be made so cheaply.

Canon and Nikon certainly *tried* to make DSLRs the mass market camera by spending millions showing famous people in happy scenes holding their DSLR.

It seemed to work for awhile, but the legions of DSLRs whose kit lens has never come off and mode button permanently in green mode is testament that the mass market was not truely converted.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 06-15-2017, 06:54 AM  
Seven months before the successor of the K3II?
Posted By cfraz
Replies: 418
Views: 57,282
I think this is the key source of most all the angst amongst the I-wish-Pentax-would-do-well-but-they-can't-possibly-pull-it-off crowd. Why do some of us seem to insist on equating broad mass-market appeal with achievement of corporate goals? Ricoh Imaging has all but said they are not interested in the Camry / Big Mac sector of the market, and the products they release certainly validate that.

If R.I. was to compete there, they would 1) have to have 10 times the buying power and production capacity they have now, 2) need a corporate structure willing to invest tons into marketing and distribution for maybe a decade before they get returns, and 3) 90% of units sold would have to be like Canon Rebels. #1 is a non-starter, #2 just won't happen, based on how Ricoh has managed all it's business units and what has happened in R.I. so far. That leaves #3. I would have (and I dare say, many photography enthusiasts would have) zero interest in a Pentax Rebel.

This isn't about mirror / no mirror, either. If no mirrors, the "broad mass of folks" will still buy cameras that are Rebel-like in their marginal build quality, lack of innovation, and absence of features which enthusiasts love but the "broad mass" doesn't appreciate and wouldn't know what to do with even if they were there. In fact much of that feature set is an explicit turn-off to the "broad mass" crowd, because: I don't understand, I don't want to learn, it's too complicated, I don't need that - I just want the camera to take a picture I can upload to facegram.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 06-09-2017, 10:13 PM  
D-FA* 85mm f1.4 also coming
Posted By cfraz
Replies: 1,142
Views: 82,790
Not to my eye. For most lenses, sharpness comes into play in a significant way only in heavy cropping or pixel-peeping situations. I'd be careful of equating character to undesirable optical aberrations. Transitions from in-focus to out-of-focus areas, local effect of highlights, suppression of flaring in direct light sources, etc. are lens-specific attributes which cannot be mimicked by simple post-processing.

If photography is limited to making the most faithful 2D representation of a 3D scene, then I agree sharpness is king. But I think photography for many folks goes way beyond that paradigm.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 05-25-2017, 09:23 AM  
Sony A9: is there still a future for DSLRs, and Pentax mirrorless suggestion
Posted By cfraz
Replies: 579
Views: 23,481
Wow. Your hobby/vocation is completely different to mine, even though we apparently call it the same thing.

The idea that something other than light is at the heart of any photography discipline baffles my little brain.
Forum: Pentax K-1 05-18-2017, 04:16 PM  
I'm quite insufficient for my K-1..... and I know it!
Posted By cfraz
Replies: 34
Views: 1,961
It could be worse. My K-5II just told me it was jumping ship.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 05-02-2017, 10:54 PM  
For each Pentaxian buying K-1 another Nikon/Canon shooter jumped ship to Pentax
Posted By cfraz
Replies: 954
Views: 61,868
You may be right. But I think PF's personal contact via trade show interviews over several years help push in that direction.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 05-02-2017, 10:43 PM  
For each Pentaxian buying K-1 another Nikon/Canon shooter jumped ship to Pentax
Posted By cfraz
Replies: 954
Views: 61,868
i remember the first interview PF did with Pentax executives at (I think) CP+. While trying to be polite, the executive seemed not to be certain of what Pentax Forums was all about.

When informed that PF had a nearly complete database of all Pentax lenses ever produced, he was clearly flabbergasted.

While the familiarity has likely imptoved somewhat over the years, I doubt PF's influence on Pentax development plans on a scale of 1 to 100 rates higher than 1 or 2.

For these reasons:

Firstly, Pentax's customer engagement model seems rooted in old-school, highly formal models. Where they do seek direct customer input, it is through surveys like the European lens survey. They were still compiling/analyzing results *months* after the survey was over! Ricoh America's experiment with a direct PF presence lasted just a few weeks. When John Carlson (executive with Pentax in USA in pre and Hoya years) began posting on PF, it turned into a virtual slugfest, with both sides landing some awesome blows, within just a few days.

Pentax corporate culture simply has no clue how to engage with their customers in unstructured, informal venues, and more importantly, how to gleen useful intel from same. I think they may be trying, but they have a long ways to go.

Secondly, the English language, North America based PF represents a very small slice of their market. All else being equal, PF will not be the first place Pentax looks for advice, and well may be near the last place.

I think Pentax *should* take the pulse of PF into account in their development strategy, but cultural and structural barriers severely limit this.

As to the K-1, the special K-1 site seems to imply the engineering team had pushed it for a long time and their persistence and ideas for innovation finally paid off. I suspect the timing was also coincident with FF sensor pricing finally dropping enough to make the decision makers happy - or at least agreeable.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 04-26-2017, 01:59 PM  
Theta 4K developed
Posted By cfraz
Replies: 67
Views: 6,663
LOL. I'm really disappointed, Ron. We all realize you are working on your phD in "poke the dozing bear with a stick," but this effort is way below even your usual contribution.

You're going to have to step up your game a bit if you want to stay in the program.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 03-02-2017, 07:27 AM  
DFA*50 1.4 coming
Posted By cfraz
Replies: 1,770
Views: 128,887
Yes, we have both the glass half-full and the glass half-empty types here. We also have a third type, small in number but prolific in posting - especially when new products are released. Their glass is broken and they've cut their wrists trying to pick up the pieces.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 03-01-2017, 03:52 PM  
Ricoh official update the K-mount roadmap
Posted By cfraz
Replies: 294
Views: 36,171
Yes, Ricoh Imaging has been conservative with respect to expansion. Maybe not a bad strategy in a declining market. I doubt RI could survive a downturn in unit sales on the order of what Nikon has experienced.

Did you see that Sigma's CEO said it takes them 2 or 3 years to bring a new lens to market (DPR interview at CP+)? I suppose Sigma has several times the lens development capacity as RI. I'm not sure RI could bring out new lenses faster, even if risk wasn't an issue.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 02-28-2017, 10:22 PM  
DFA*50 1.4 coming
Posted By cfraz
Replies: 1,770
Views: 128,887
That's a good point that many here may not fully appreciate. And in fact, the time is nearly twice that, if you are referring to the DPR interview:

I would guess Sigma has several times the development resources that Ricoh Imaging has. Those calling for blood because Pentax doesn't have a complete suite of new FF lenses a year after the K-1 introduction may be a tad on the unrealistic side.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 02-22-2017, 10:36 PM  
DFA*50 1.4 coming
Posted By cfraz
Replies: 1,770
Views: 128,887
Maybe the designers realized the grip LED functions (count-down timer and selfie head counter) would be used exclusively when the camera was not held by the grip.:)

The only surprising thing here, to me, is why the owner of PF would take such an unwarranted swipe at Pentax when the camera was first reviewed, and why he continues years later to do the very same. Just puzzling.
Forum: Photographic Industry and Professionals 01-29-2017, 06:03 PM  
Any news about Pentax AF system breakthrough?
Posted By cfraz
Replies: 95
Views: 5,318
I doubt screw drive lenses will ever approach the repeatability (precision, not strictly accuracy) of in-motor AF lenses no matter what the AF in the camera body is, because of the slop introduced by two additional mechanical drive interfaces - in-body motor to screw, and screw to lens AF drive gear.

And, I also don't believe any AF system will ever be always accurate. Photo forums are littered with complaints about inaccurate AF even from people that spend $5K on a body and $10K on a lens. The better systems can give more accurate results a greater percentage of time. But if you really cannot be satisfied with less than always accurate, maybe painting would be a less frustrating hobby for you.



Don't make the mistake of attributing back or front focus (as caused by inaccurate PDAF calibration, which you've alluded to previously) to all missed focus shots. The calibration process can remove systematic front/back focus errors, but not any other of a myriad of issues which cause missed focus. I think the most significant of those is that the the unfortunately termed "focus point" is not just a point - it's an area.

Suppose you line up the focus indicator in the viewfinder directly over an eyelash. But PDAF doesn't know you are looking at an eyelash. It only sees light/dark contrast, and that nice vertical contrast line from your subject's hair outlining the side of the face, while not directly under the "focus point (shudder)" is still within the area seen by the AF detector, and results in a back-focussed shot. Or suppose your camera has taken a hard knock or two and the focus indicator array (up in the top of the camera) is no longer precisely aligned with the AF detector (in the bottom of the camera). Or suppose you sometimes wobble a bit - I know I do - when taking a shot. Or any of a dozen other things will cause a missed (back or front) focus.

I think the best way to improve focus accuracy has nothing to do with buying better gear or waiting for the latest Pentax camera; it involves experimenting with the gear you have. That is, experiment with intent to learn the intricacies of how AF works on your camera. For example, draw a dainty low-contrast eyelash (or whatever is appropriate for your typical subject) with a fine point sharpie on a piece of paper right near the edge of the paper, and then draw a big, bold high contrast face/hairline (or subject relevant) with a fat sharpee on another piece of paper.

Hang them with one a couple cm in front of the other. Now, with continuous AF setting, and looking through the viewfinder on your camera, approach the eyelash from the "clean" side (opposite the face/hairline drawing) with your selected focus point (again, shudder) and see where the camera locks in focus. Continue panning the camera until focus changes because it's influenced by the face/hairline drawing. Try again with different distances between eyelash/ face/hairline drawings. Try them reversed side to side (results may not be symmetrical!), and then back to front. Try rotating them 90 degrees and panning vertically. My prediction is that if you spend sufficient time doing something like this, the percentage of in-focus "real" shots you make will increase noticeably.

Now, if you've already mastered these things, and there are no other AF issues affecting your results beyond PDAF front/back focus, and speed is of no big concern, then your dream of no front/back focus is already in place. No breakthrough needed, just use CDAF.

Frankly, I'm surprised how well the AF in my K-5IIs works - it can focus accurately on things I can't even see when it's dark. It's a whole lot faster than I am, and it can pick out a subject behind some branches, in spite of the many times I've read complaints about dinner plate sized focus points. Room for advances? Sure. More points (ugh), and smaller - though too small and they aren't sensitive enough. Image recognition sensor separate from PDAF sensor - I think K-3 has the beginnings of this, and Nikon for sure. PDAF sites on main sensor could help with front/back issues and calibration, but not sure how useful generally having to give up image sensors for AF sensor sites.

Yes, improvements will come, though not likely led by Pentax gear if past is a good predictor. But, all new AF advancements will be flawed in this respect: they will not be perfect. They will not meet your "always accurate" requirement. There will be someone on some forum somewhere who will complain about the AF, no matter how many generations hence.

So my advice is to learn to enjoy your current gear, upgrade as it makes sense to you and abandon the idea that certain gears will remove the possibility of inaccurate focus.
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