Pentax Sold To Ricoh!!!

Discussion in 'Pentax' started by miserere_mei, Jun 30, 2011.

  1. Here in Japan, neither Pentax (Hoya) or Ricoh denies the info.
     
  2. mountainvisions

    mountainvisions Moderator

    Actually, this is good news. Ricoh makes some neat cameras. Probably a good fit for Pentax. And they used to make K-mount cameras and lenses too.
    I'd be excited about this. Good bye hoya!
     
  3. mountainvisions

    mountainvisions Moderator

    Seriously, I am super excited about this after reading the article. I hope, and think, this is a good move for Ricoh, Pentax, and the Pentax user. We'll see.
     
  4. Better yet, straight from the horse's mouth. http://www.hoya.co.jp/english/news/latest/d0h4dj0000001fv8-att/d0h4dj0000001fwi.pdf
     
  5. I imagine this deal has been in the works for sometime. Poor Ricoh. They finally get it and then they find this messed up little Q system "We didn't sign up for this ****!". Good luck Ricoh. Two brands I've always liked working together, hopefully this can only be positive.
     
  6. I imagine this deal has been in the works for sometime. Poor Ricoh. They finally get it and then they find this messed up little Q system​
    You don't negotiate a deal this big without knowing about all of the upcoming products. Ricoh already has their GXR small interchangeable lens/sensor system. I'll bet $5 that either Q or GXR will die a quiet death (probably Q)
     
  7. Probably right, Walt. In that case, I'm heading off to buy my next collector item, in full kit form. Never mind.
     
  8. You don't negotiate a deal this big without knowing about all of the upcoming products.​
    Twas a joke of course, doesn't mean you have to laugh though !
     
  9. Note that Hoya kept some parts of Pentax, like the endoscope business (which was a part they really wanted all along).
     
  10. Hopefully this part says it all....
    "Through this acquisition, Ricoh plans to 1) enhance its digital camera businesses (especially the
    interchangeable lens camera market which is expected to grow)"


    ......which also hopefully will give me my desired 16-85 f2,8-4 WR lens "very soon"...
     
  11. I wonder what Ricoh thinks about the medium format market?
     
  12. stemked

    stemked Moderator

    From the stand point of the match, I like it too. It's nice to see a real camera company invested in Pentax's success. But I'll admit I'm a little nervous about this one. Richo doesn't strike me as a large enough company to handle the bad times. By selling off the endoscope market, that which was profitable there isn't a lot of cushion left in Pentax. Pentax has been delivering some truly fantastic equipment, but it's always 'Pentax'. What the company probably needs is more marketing to get better brand recognition to new generations of Pentax users.
    Sure wish they could start their commercials off with the newest 600mm...wouldn't that be sexy?
    Bonne chance, Richo-Pentax!
     
  13. Excellent news to wake up to. Ricoh is larger than Hoya. Unlike Hoya, Ricoh has a direct retail presence. Hoya is more of an OEM and professional products maker. They didn't do retail themselves which was obvious by the few places one could purchase Pentax products.
    Who knows what familiar and new products will change? From the bullet points Ricoh stated, it seems like the 645D will be a core business in some creative ways. Fantastic.
    Who is to say that Ricoh and Pentax competing products won't remain that way?
    I'm curious about the branding and naming. Will the venerable Pentax brand stand alone? I hope Ricoh is smarter than SONY was.
    $125 million US is not much these days. Tells you something. I'm surprised someone notable didn't purchase the brand just for patents, some talent, another factory, and the 645D biz.
    Now we have hope.
    ME
     
  14. I'm not sure I'd call Ricoh a "real camera company." They've been in the business a long time, but they've never been more than a very minor player, and it's a tiny fraction of what they do. Their real money comes from photocopiers and other office equipment. I can't think of any Ricoh cameras that were ever particularly noteworthy or innovative. The GXR system is certainly different, but not in a good way; as Ken Rockwell pointed out, Ricoh's real accomplishment with the GXR was to design a system in which lenses become obsolete as quickly as sensors (because they're bundled together in one unit).
     
  15. I agree with Craig. I am surprised you are all excited about it. Hoya at least was all about optics, whereas Ricoh is all about office machines. Ricoh have never produced anything earth shattering - although I owned the Ricoh GR P & S (very nice it was). I guess they will rebrand their Ricoh P & Ss etc as Pentax from now on.
     
  16. Well, Pentax was the only "traditional" name left for someone to buy. The other one, Minolta, was already taken some time ago. Canon and Nikon are in another tier.
    Sony bought Minolta to get a foothold in the DSLR market, together with Zeiss. Samsung had a partnership with Pentax, and Panasonic one with Leica. The trend was for electronic companies, with huge digital experience, to get associated with traditional photo companies, and make some profit.
    Ricoh are doing the same thing; even though it is far form being an electronics giant, they want to get a share of the DSLR pie. Pentax make very good cameras and lenses, and Ricoh make some very good niche compact cameras (with very good lenses too). Overall, I expect to see a good synergy at work here.
     
  17. I guess Hoya kept the endoscope business even though things were looking down :)
     
  18. Anyone deeply involved with the business of endoscopes knows how flush it can be. ME
     
  19. Nice. Does this mean that my Ricoh 50/1.7 K-mount lens is going to increase in value? :)
    Pentax has done some great things and made some great products under Hoya's stewardship, and yes they've also made some blunders during that time, but so have all the other camera makers.
    My biggest hope for this transaction is that it results in better quality control, and better customer service after the sale. Ricoh, if you're reading this, PLEASE do a better job of ensuring that defective or sub-par products don't leave the factory -- and if they do escape past the QC inspectors, PLEASE do a better job of remedying the problem for customers in a fast, efficient, friendly manner.
    A longer warranty would be nice too.
     
  20. Beware of the dreaded Ricoh pin!
     
  21. He he he. I can see them re-introducing the pin to distinguish their product on the market. ;-)
     
  22. Mine has one of those round ball-bearing-like things instead of the pin... does that mean it's worth even more? :D
     
  23. I have a Ricoh Five-One-Nine rangefinder camera that I like very much. I'm expecting a Pentax rangefinder camera coming out soon, or maybe a Pentaxflex TLR like the Ricohflex and Diacord, but digital:) I'm sure Pentax has always wanted to make a rangefinder or a TLR! Kidding apart, I hope this does not end up like Konica/Minolta.
     
  24. Not sure what to think.
    The K5 seems like a great product (which I want, but still expensive), and the Q seems like a misfire; tipping the novelty vs function scale over the edge on the novelty side. In truth we have yet to see how it functions and how the market bears it out. But, it's just under 2/3 cost of a K5 and will its dof or fov hope to compare with dslr interchangeable lens systems? If not, and with such a small sensor, why bother with interchangeable lenses at all?
    I'm still just twitchy at the Q product direction. I'd really hoped to see progression toward a FF product, with emphasis on compactness that Pentax does well and seems to get market acknowledgement for. Also, with FF, it would reinvigorate sales of their already existing and renowned FF lens lineup! And oh would I love to have a WR pancake lens, or 2, or 3, be they APS-C or FF. That would be such a win people would buy into pentax for it alone. But with Q they start from scratch and it may tank...
    Ok, sorry for the rant. So which way will Ricoh go?
     
  25. I guess the#1 lens on my wish list, the K mount endoscope will never come to light. Oh well it was a shot in the dark that Hoya would release it in k mount before selling off Pentax imaging
    [​IMG]
     
  26. @Ian, Classic. :)
     
  27. Pentax at one time worked with Ricoh on the SLR's. Seems the wheel has turned. I will not be affected as my Pentax system all film, will last many more years. I use a Chinon SLR which is a dead ringer for a Nikon F-3. Only mounts differ.
    My Minolta Dimage 600 Point and shoot digital, can also take a "Sony Memory Stick" and SD. It says Konica somewhere..Has the sharpest, best tonal scale of all my digitals..
     
  28. An interestingly named device, the endoscope. I guess calling it rearendoscope was considered a bit much.
    Operating one sounds like a crappy job-I'm sure some are deterred.
     
  29. It might be a little soft in the corners (Thank God!)
     
  30. One waggy scenario: Ricoh currently offers large complete solutions for their corporate customers--actually the direct customers are resellers who package digital imaging products with document management services. Our in-house printing operation was totally outsourced to an in-building provider running a Ricoh or Canon solution. I can see an analogous solution involving the 645D. Customers would be museums, institutions, collectors, corporations etc. needing high-quality archiving and asset management solutions. That $10,000 camera then becomes the core of a six-figure product. If things magically shake out this way, I wonder if sales of the 645D to individual photographers would continue. High-touch service combined with lower margins may kill that channel. I also think that the K-5 maybe the end of the line for high-end Pentax APC-C DSLRs. Too-low sales and too many pricey lenses to make to meet system expectations. The entry K-r kinda thing will continue as there is volume there and fewer lenses to deal with. Also some of the smaller Limited lenses can be purposed towards a mirrorless body or multiple bodies. That is the camera future of Pentax. A repriced Q or say a Q-r may turn out to be the best selling Pentax product in decades. Interesting times indeed. ME
     
  31. Michael Elenko:
    I also think that the K-5 maybe the end of the line for high-end Pentax APC-C DSLRs. Too-low sales and too many pricey lenses to make to meet system expectations.​
    I think it more likely that the higher-priced items have far greater profit margin, judging by the build and features of the low-priced K-r as compared with the much more expensive K-5. The lens issue is separate from that of the K-5 and not likely to be an issue if Ricoh pursues high-end customers. Many such would have no problem in dropping several thousand on a lens line-up, at least judging by how Canikon buyers behave.

    My interpretation of the press statements is that Ricoh bought Pentax for the high-end, where they have no products currently, not the low-end where they already have a presence.
     
  32. "not the low-end where they already have a presence." Here we go again...that endoscope stuff......
     
  33. Robin wrote:
    My interpretation of the press statements is that Ricoh bought Pentax for the high-end, where they have no products currently, not the low-end where they already have a presence.​
    I have the same suspicions, Robin. Pentax has a crappy P&S line (excepting the water-resistant cameras) while Ricoh has excellent, if niche-y, P&Ss. Pentax has excellent DSLRs, while Ricoh has none. Ricoh has an APS-C mirrorless camera, while Pentax doesn't. The two companies complement each other well and their lines fit together like jigsaw pieces. Well, except for the Q. The Pentax Q is that jigsaw piece that's left over at the end of the puzzle and you can't figure out where it goes :)
     
  34. The purchase of Pentax by Ricoh, just a few years after Hoya acquired them, reminds me of my own career demise back in 2001. Why would you care about my career? You don’t have to care about my career at all, but there is a lesson learned here, that I would like to share. Here’s my little insignificant story (given that I’m only one person among seven plus billions of people on our small planet) :

    I worked all of my adult life as a mechanical engineer, slowly advancing in my career from Design Engineer to Project Manager for hundreds of million dollars projects. During the last ten years of my employment, I worked for five Companies, without ever having to move to a new office. The original Company had been started by two brothers, seventy years before. With hard work and dedication, they had turned a small Company of less than ten workers to a great Company of five thousand employees. We specialized in Engineering and Construction of Pulp and Paper plants, Chemical plants, Refineries and other types of industrial complexes.

    So...ten years prior to my career ending, the Company was purchased by another Giant Engineering and Construction Company because they wanted the expertise of our Pulp and Paper division. Money always talks and soon after the acquisition, new “Golden Boys” from the new owner started replacing our management. Some of the industries we were serving were dropped and hundreds of long time employees lost their jobs. The Company changed hands five times during the following ten years, laying off employees and downsizing the company further each time. Finally, “Raytheon” (a monster size Corporation for people that don’t know who they are) purchased us. Our Company had climbed back to a viable size by then, although we were serving completely different clients than when the company was originally founded. As history tends to repeats itself, Raytheon bought us for a specific area of our expertise, for the location we were operating at, and primarily because we were a competitor in some areas of our work. After warm welcomes from their management and promises of a better future, the cycle started repeating itself but this time around, they completely brought us to extinction. For them, although we were bought for about one hundred million dollars, we were just a dangling leaf at the end of a tree branch. They eliminated the small competition we were to them, got a great tax break and put several thousand employees out of a job.

    It is obvious now, that Hoya bough Pentax for their medical endoscope optics and perhaps other branches of the company, but didn’t want the imaging department. They did bring Pentax Imaging up, but maybe with the purpose in mind of getting the division somewhat profitable, or promising enough to resell it. Now we might see Ricoh-Pentax on the next generation of cameras, for a while, anyway, then maybe just Ricoh and there are good chances that current Pentax employees will be replaced by Ricoh’s Golden Boys. After all, Ricoh has a Digital Imaging department.


    “My Opinion Only”
    My take on all of this changing hand is that Corporations are killing businesses all over this globe, and we let them, (We the governments, not We the people). It’s the big fish eating the little fish. We let them get so big that governments cannot let them fail and wind up bailing them out…with our money, the money of the little people...us.

    It would really be shameful if a pioneer name like “Pentax” would disappear. Hopefully, in the end, this last acquisition will be a better fit than the Hoya venture. Hope this will not be another Konica-Minolta.
     
  35. In 1977 I was a (Pentax) sales rep for the Honeywell Photo Division. Honeywell sold the division to Rollei of America, and Pentax went its own separate way. I made the huge mistake of going to work for Rollei. That employment lasted just a few months, and I went to the other side -- Pentax Corporation. When I filed my 1977 income tax return, I had W2 forms from an American, a German and a Japanese company, and all three were staffed with the same people I had worked with for several years. Ironically, our East Coast sales manager at Honeywell went on to become the national sales manage for Ricoh. I wonder if he had anything to do with this deal.
     
  36. Ha ha -- endoscopy forever!
     
  37. I'm curious about the branding and naming. Will the venerable Pentax brand stand alone? I hope Ricoh is smarter than SONY was.​
    There are a lot more close resemblances between Ricoh and Konica than between Ricoh and Sony, so (echoing the last few posts above) I'd be more worried whether Ricoh is smarter than Konica was. One important difference is that Konica was actually doing pretty well just before the merger with Minolta and the predicted post-merger crunch, while Ricoh is doing this in the middle off layoffs and shrinking profits to begin with. In the worst case scenario business won't pick up in the next two-three years and if the top brass decides to cut even deeper the newest add-ons may well suffer the brunt. Although it's a shame to see a venerable brand name disappear, it's far worse still to lose an entire system. With the wisdom of hindsight Sony's approach was probably a smarter path business-wise, as well as a more emphatic statement of its ambition to become a serious competitor in the DSLR market in its own right.
     
  38. The Pentax Q is that jigsaw piece that's left over at the end of the puzzle and you can't figure out where it goes :)
    Why does this also get me thinking about the endoscopes again :).
    On a more serious note, this worries me enough into holding back on buying lenses I don't need anyway.
     
  39. mountainvisions

    mountainvisions Moderator

    I'm not sure I'd call Ricoh a "real camera company." They've been in the business a long time, but they've never been more than a very minor player, and it's a tiny fraction of what they do​
    Interesting take. I look at Ricoh as being like Pentax, a small camera company that really likes producing cameras. I mean Pentax made printers and copiers and scanners, they also did medical products and binoculars. People forget how diverse Pentax actually was. Now, I'm not saying they were a market leader in any of those areas, except maybe medical equipment, but they were more diverse than cameras.
    Ricoh is obviously bigger in the corporate imaging (document scanning, copiers, etc) in the US (and I'm sure elsewhere), but they seem to have passion behind product design.
    For instance, Ricoh's compact camera segment will fit in nicely with Pentax LACK OF a compact camera segment. The Q actually fits in better now that Ricoh bought them. Although I still think it will go down as one of the worst decisions Pentax made.
    Ricoh on the other hand had no SLRs, no MF, and even smaller market presence than Pentax.
    Also, most people are well aware of my disgust for Pentax quality control and customer service under Hoya. It's really shameful how many issues seemed to have popped up post Hoya takeover, as well as the issues with repairs. If you are cutting quality control, you shouldn't also cut customer service and repair facilities. It's one thing when a product breaks, it happens, but it's another when getting it fixed requires jumping through hoops.
    Lastly, I want to thank the good people at Hoya for listening to the open letter I posted on these forums a few months back. Thanks for letting go of the camera division, which it was clear Hoya never really wanted.
    Obviously any merger/takeover might not workout they way we hope it will, but Ricoh does seem like a solid camera company at heart. Don't know if that is enough to surpass financial concerns long term, but I have more confidence than I did with Hoya.
     
  40. mountainvisions

    mountainvisions Moderator

    I'm still just twitchy at the Q product direction. I'd really hoped to see progression toward a FF product,​
    Patrick, Pentax does produce a full frame camera. It's the 645D.
    The K-5 is 10X more advanced than anything Pentax made in the 35mm era, they definitely have put their best foot forward in the APS-C sensor market, arguably making the best cameras and lenses for that format.
    I really don't understand what people think they are going to gain from the FF camera. I still believe these people have a closet full of FF lenses and feel cheated that they need have to use a multiplier.
    The question is, do you think Ricoh can pump enough money in to essentially build 4 systems? Q, APS-C, FF, 645D?
    Remember, they need to design and produce an entire line of FF lenses before they can release a full frame camera. At the very least they need to produce a few zooms to cover the bases.
    The final question is, does Pentax/Ricoh think they can recover the cost of that 4th line of lenses? It's been proven full frame (35mm) isn't some sort of magic sales pill. So unless people are lining up outside stores to buy this camera and lens system, it could be a money loser...and the end of Pentax!
     
  41. mountainvisions

    mountainvisions Moderator

    The two companies complement each other well and their lines fit together like jigsaw pieces. Well, except for the Q. The Pentax Q is that jigsaw piece that's left over at the end of the puzzle and you can't figure out where it goes :)
    Exactly, I just got to your post, after writing my post a few up. But we are on the same page.
    Good analogy. I think you (and I) are spot on. It is like a jigsaw puzzle. And again, I agree totally about the Q. Then again, the Q could replace that expensive Ricoh modular compact. However, that compact has some advantages the Q doesn't.
    Finally, I think ME is wrong about the APS-C cameras. Ricoh stated they wanted more presense in the market. Buying Pentax for it's compact line and for it's 645D would just be dumb. The only decent or interesting cameras Pentax makes in the compact line are the W series. Those are solid, but the IQ is nothing special. The 645D is a high end niche product at this point.
    So what is left? Oh, APS-C cameras!
     
  42. The question is, do you think Ricoh can pump enough money in to essentially build 4 systems? Q, APS-C, FF, 645D?​
    With Pentax on board, Ricoh would already have 4 systems, counting Ricoh's own GXR. The Q and the GXR compete head on. Do Ricoh need to kill off one system?
     
  43. Maybe I'm missing something, but I think the Q would be perfectly fine if sold as a keychain for $50-75. They could place it in Kroger and Walmart next to the cheap SD cards and thumb drives. But I don't really understand what purpose the Q has beyond that. Maybe Ricoh will pay for a TV spot so we can see what the intent of the Pentax Q is.
     
  44. Patrick, Pentax does produce a full frame camera. It's the 645D. ...
    I really don't understand what people think they are going to gain from the FF camera. I still believe these people have a closet full of FF lenses and feel cheated that they need have to use a multiplier.​
    The 645D is simply a non-choice for the vast majority of people, so I can't really take that comment seriously. Pentax digital FF isn't going to bring world peace, and its true that its value (I think) would depend most strongly on a user's current lens collection. You get more fov on your wide angle lenses. You can also argue the better iso performance with larger sensor size. Those could be really big, depending on what you like to shoot.
    Whether digital FF makes sense financially for Pentax I can't say because I don't see their books; I can just name what I want and point out a logic to pursuing that direction. They already have FF lens designs and maintain current production of several flagship products (31/43/77 mm limiteds), which have very marketable reputations. It seems more than half their work is done for them, whereas with Q they have to convince people that system is great, plus design and build new lenses to outfit that system.
    I like that Pentax is willing to try out Q, because it shows they're willing to pursue outside-of-the-box ideas - and I hope it works out for them, but I don't want it for myself.
    I think the "twitch" that I referred to earlier was because Q reminds me of the direction an mp3 maker called iRiver took - they used to make really great and ergonomic mp3 players before iPods (which chain you to Apple) came on the scene. Then instead of competing with their strengths, they just starting going ultra novelty and cutesy with Mickey Mouse shaped mp3 players that were "really small", etc. iRiver still exists, but they're not very relevant.
    Anyway, Q is not Mickey Mouse, it just reminds me of Mickey Mouse!
     
  45. RE: Sensor size
    The whole 35mm ("FF") sensor versus the (645, 67, etc) MF sensors is the same as it was 20 years ago. The Professionals that needed MF gear were generally in studio environments while most other Professionals relied on the "amateur" 35mm format that the photo-journalists were fond of. Using 120 or 135 each have their advantages and disadvantages; Neither are perfect for every task. That's why the whole "sensor" argument to me is a mute issue: What really matters is what you're using the sensor for:
    • If you love wide-angle lenses, use a 35mm sensor.
    • If you love telephoto lenses, use an APS-C sensor.
    • If you do a ton of studio work and you have the cash, use a MF sensor.
    • If you're in love with Ansel, go buy an 8x10.
    And all of those formats have pros and cons. I don't think I'd chase my kids around the backyard with an 8x10...You get the idea. I hear the whole "Full Frame is better" argument a lot, and all I can think of to say is,"What are you shooting that requires it?"
    I swear I must be getting old: I've been crabby and opinionated lately. Mea Culpa.
    RE: Ricoh
    I'm sort of with the "wait and see" mentality. I have some reservations about it, but if i means that Pentax can pack a little more punch in their business, I'm all for it. (Maybe bring the F and FA series back online as less-expensive alternatives to the DA* and LTDs?) Just as long as they don't muck up the name "Pentax" by hyphenating it... or even deleting it altogether. I'd be sad about that, but maybe I'm being too sentimental.
    On the other side of the coin, one of my favorite Nifty-50s is a Ricoh. I like it. It's sharp and has a completely different look and feel than the Pentax 50s.
     
  46. mountainvisions

    mountainvisions Moderator

    They already have FF lens designs and maintain current production of several flagship products (31/43/77 mm limiteds), which have very marketable reputations. It seems more than half their work is done for them, whereas with Q they have to convince people that system is great, plus design and build new lenses to outfit that system.​
    Patrick, their FF designs are from the film era, and the venerable 31mm isn't quite as good on digital. Neither is the 77. Both have fringing issues and some other problems on digital (though mostly fringing). Certainly with the new in camera RAW processing lens corrections this might be mitigated to a great extent, but it's nevertheless an issue.
    As far as the other lenses, they could probably just use the old designs, but again, they would have issues on digital sensors that modified designs wouldn't. You might not care, but when people are comparing the lenses on the measurebating sites around the web, they will stick out like sore thumbs.
    Finally, there is very, very limited ISO boost. Remember, you can use a lower ISO but open up the aperture a stop, getting the same exact image. So ISO 3200 on a FF camera at 1/500 and f/4, is the same as ISO 1600 on an APS-C at 1/500 and f/2.8. There is very little actual improvement.
    On the flip side, the sensor does cost more, the glass for larger lenses does cost more, and the whole system cost more. If you haven't noticed, though the K-5 is probably the best APS-C camera in terms of IQ, and possibly features as well, it is often thought of as expensive. Full frame cameras and lenses would be more expensive.
    The bottom line, sell the closet full of full frame glass, buy a K-5 and designed for digital lenses, and be happy. The IQ from these cameras is excellent, and many of the lenses are better than their Nikon and Canon counter parts. Essentially what I am saying is, you are losing almost nothing with the K-5 and Pentax DA* and DA Limited glass, and gain very little (except on the long end with very expensive used options) with FA glass.
     
  47. mountainvisions

    mountainvisions Moderator

    If you're in love with Ansel, go buy an 8x10.​
    I love Ansel, but I decided to follow Rowell (who also loved Ansel)!
    There is more than one way to skin a catfish.
     
  48. Jeremiah Corbin wrote:
    That's why the whole "sensor" argument to me is a mute issue: What really matters is what you're using the sensor for:
    • If you love wide-angle lenses, use a 35mm sensor.
    • If you love telephoto lenses, use an APS-C sensor.
    Sorry to be pedantic, but the issue is far from mute, since people still argue it all the time. You mean "moot".
    I must correct the common misconception that a smaller sensor somehow gives you longer telephoto lenses. It does not, since the sensor cannot change the lens at all. What it does instead is produce a resulting image as if you had taken a centre crop of a larger sensor. The rest of the information delivered by the lens is simply discarded.
    There is no image quality advantage whatsoever to shooting a smaller sensor. (All else being equal of course.) Advantages are instead potential reduced cost and the smaller size of the resulting camera system. These are very real incentives for many people.
     
  49. Justin Serpico wrote:
    Patrick, their FF designs are from the film era, and the venerable 31mm isn't quite as good on digital. Neither is the 77. Both have fringing issues and some other problems on digital (though mostly fringing).​
    I would not exaggerate the limitations of the FA Limited lenses on digital since all tests and personal experience show them to be exemplary performers whose match has not yet been found in the auto-focus realm. Any theoretical problems (perpendicularity of resultant light, for example) do not show up in real shots, except the purple fringing, most notable on the FA77. That is easy to correct and is in all likelihood a good indicator that one needs a polariser for that particular shot.
    Essentially what I am saying is, you are losing almost nothing with the K-5 and Pentax DA* and DA Limited glass, and gain very little (except on the long end with very expensive used options) with FA glass.​
    I do not concur. The FA Limiteds (of which I own only two, alas) have unsurpassed rendering on digital. There might be some few expensive manual focus lenses out there which can draw as nicely, but there is nothing in the auto-focus world to compete.
    Pentax would only enhance their reputation by producing more FA limited lenses, even if they never release a FF camera! I look forward to an FA 24 f/2 Limited. (In my dreams.)
     
  50. mountainvisions

    mountainvisions Moderator

    If not releasing a full frame camera, why can't they release a DA 24mm?

    btw, we all agree, they need to release a 24 or 28mm Limited. If it takes giving it a FA prefix, so be it.
    As you know, I'm more in favor of a 28mm DA limited or DA*. there already is a 21mm. And while there already is a 31mm, it's an FA design, lacks quick shift, and could be a optimized for digital SLR shooting. Hence the DA 28mm f/2.0
     
  51. Justin, of course you're correct in that the crop factor renders the outside edges of the lens useless. :) Oh, and I did intend for "mute" to be mute; as in I usually scramble for the remote and try to ignore the conversation like bad Super Bowl advertising... Although "moot" would certainly qualify if we were talking academically. :) How I got sucked in this time, I'll probably never know. Maybe I just miss you guys. :)
    I know some people that take advantage of that fact when they're shooting sports or other events (birding perhaps?). However, these are the same people that wanted to buy a 300mm lens but could only afford (or find in the case of us Pentax guys) a 200mm. A 200mm on a crop will NEVER look like a 300mm on a "FF" sensor. The compression of the image will just look like the center of a 200mm, not the compression of a 300mm. Ask a CaNikon guy with a "FF" body and a crop body to do some side-by-sides for you with the same lens on each body. Or better yet, have a 50mm on a FF and compare it side-by-side with a 35mm on a crop (52mm equiv). You'll see for yourself that it's not at all similar. Framing: Maybe. But expansion and compression are more telling of lens characteristics than working distance and focal length.
    How on Earth did this topic come up again? Oh... lens designs... I'm sure that if they released the architecture of the old F and FA series but used the same DA optical coatings that the PF, CAs, and other issues wouldn't matter much anymore. Not to mention that the factory would only have make one batch of coating goo and not two. Don't change the glass, just use the modern SMC process and call it a day. The lower end $125 24mm, 50mm, and 85mm (Cosina-like 85/4 anyone?) lenses are needed right now. I'd take those over the far end of the telephoto lenses some of us have been asking for, but I'm a portrait photographer so I'm not in need of anything longer than 200mm. I fear that taking portraits with a 600mm lens might have the same result as diving by zero or something....
    Again, I apologize for being nonsensical. :)
     
  52. A 200mm on a crop will NEVER look like a 300mm on a "FF" sensor. The compression of the image will just look like the center of a 200mm, not the compression of a 300mm. Ask a CaNikon guy with a "FF" body and a crop body to do some side-by-sides for you with the same lens on each body. Or better yet, have a 50mm on a FF and compare it side-by-side with a 35mm on a crop (52mm equiv). You'll see for yourself that it's not at all similar. Framing: Maybe. But expansion and compression are more telling of lens characteristics than working distance and focal length.​
    Maybe you should try that experiment yourself, because you're wrong. The sense of compression or expansion is purely a matter of where the lens is located relative to the objects within the frame. If one object is, say, ten feet closer to the lens than another, but the lens is placed 100 feet away from it, there will be a sense of compression between the two objects. If the lens is only two feet away from it, there will be sense of exaggerated distance. This is basic perspective and has nothing whatsoever to do with focal length. So if you shoot a scene with a 200mm lens, then, without moving the camera, shoot the scene again with a 300mm lens, and then crop the 200mm image to match the framing of the 300mm, the two will be identical except for resolution (since cropping the 200mm image throws away a lot of pixels) and DOF. That is, the relative sizes of objects within the frame will be the same in both images, and it's the relative sizes of objects that create the sense of spatial compression or exaggeration.
    If you want to have similar framing between a 35mm lens and an 85mm lens, you have to move closer for the 35mm shot (obviously). This physical change of perspective is what causes the sense of exaggerated distances; the focal length just defines framing (and is one factor influencing DOF).
     
  53. Hey Craig! :) I'm totally cool with being wrong.
    If compression and expansion are the singular function of camera-to-subject distance and nothing to do with the framing than why does the bokeh change in the background? The bokeh on my 50mm on my ZX-M looks nothing like the 35mm on the K10. I'm not talking shape(# of blades, etc), but distance between themselves. (I get that larger sensors get great DOF inherently...hence 8x10 landscapes at f/64). Isn't it different from the compression (or in this case, expansion) and the influence of the field of view evident? What if we stand in the same place and remove the foreground subject? Would crop factor effect the scene more than the lens? Maybe I'm not reading your post the way you intended, but if the only difference between a 35mm and an 85mm is working distance (camera to subject) than why would anyone buy different lenses when they can simply walk and get closer or farther from the subject? :)
    I love this subject. There seem to be two different camps. Does focal length define framing? or Does framing define focal length? They aren't the same thing, and that question only addresses one of three influences on DOF. Imagine how long of a thread we could make it we talked about all three! :) We're probably way off topic now... not to mention I'm stirring a pot I don't intend to make a meal of. I'll catch you guys later. Craig, you can totally email me later to continue to fix my wrong thinking if you'd like. :)
     
  54. Bokeh varies for a number of reasons, one being that the narrower angle of view of a longer lens means that less of the background gets spread out over a wider area of the image (assuming similar framing of a subject). But that wouldn't be the case in your example of shooting a 35mm lens on an APS-C camera while shooting a 50mm lens on full-frame, because the smaller sensor will more or less compensate for the shorter focal length, resulting in a very similar angle of view. Bokeh in the two pictures will be positioned pretty much the same, though the shape and quality of the bokeh may be different simply because the two lenses don't use the exact same design, and DOF will probably be noticeably different, mostly because different focal lengths are being used.
    I buy different focal lengths because I want freedom to choose different combinations of subject distance and framing in order to get the perspective I want for various shots. A 24mm lens at a distance of three feet may give similar framing of the subject as a 100mm lens at a distance of around ten to twelve feet, but the resulting images will be quite different because they were shot from different locations. Plus, you don't always have complete freedom to choose any subject distance you want.
     
  55. My preference for an FA Limited assumes they follow the same optical constraints and design goals of the other three FA Limiteds. And that it has full-frame coverage and aperture dial. This is ever-more important now that folks get such lenses to use on MFT cameras and so on. The dial is essential for this use and in other cases a much nicer and more direct way to interact with a lens. Besides I see no harm is supporting older film cameras. Which is to say I am not choosing the nomenclature arbitrarily.
    Quick shift focus is for me a solution looking for a problem. I never find myself in the situation of deciding to use auto-focus and then discovering it didn't work (?) and so over-riding it with the ring. I either trust AF or I don't; the switch on the body works just fine. And prevents accidental use of the focus ring when I don't want it.
    The existing DA21 is an average lens with no special rendering properties, and slow to boot. In terms of the existing FA line-up, 24mm makes more sense than 28mm since the FA31 is already close to that (though actually measuring 32mm). Likely we need both, but if I could choose only one I'd go for the FOV equivalent of 35mm, which has always seemed "just right" for street work.
    All these are hypothetical ramblings I know. We will never again get lenses as nice as the FA Limited trio.
     
  56. This is why I keep suggesting that they make a 26mm lens... it solves the "24 or 28?" problem, and it would be exactly 5mm separated from the DA 21 and the FA 31. Perfect.
     
  57. "I must correct the common misconception that a smaller sensor somehow gives you longer telephoto lenses. It does not, since the sensor cannot change the lens at all. What it does instead is produce a resulting image as if you had taken a centre crop of a larger sensor. The rest of the information delivered by the lens is simply discarded. There is no image quality advantage whatsoever to shooting a smaller sensor. (All else being equal of course.) Advantages are instead potential reduced cost and the smaller size of the resulting camera system. These are very real incentives for many people." This is just plain wrong. You are confusing angle of view with resolution. It might help you to think in terms of film. For any given focal length, a lens subtends an angle of view that is proportionate to the size of the film frame. Thus, 50mm is considered a normal lens in 35mm format, whereas it is a wide angle lens in medium format and an even wider angle lens in large format. With film, the resolution of the "sensor" is the same regardless of size, so you really could just crop a MF frame to get the identical angle of view and resolution as a 35mm frame. With digital sensors, however, pixel density is generally greater with smaller size, so the narrower angle of view is being projected onto more pixels, which translates into higher resolution than if you simply cropped a FF image. You may argue that the smaller pixels on an APS-C sensor are inferior to those on a FF sensor, which is true. Nevertheless, the IQ from the latest APS-C cameras is nothing short of excellent and can serve the needs of all but the most demanding photographers. It will only get better in the future. (Sorry, I really don't want this to become a FF vs. APS-C thread, but the post that I quoted demands a mild response.) Rob
     
  58. Rob, your argument is incorrect. I said "All else being equal of course" but your logic calls for something to be unequal, pixel density. There is absolutely no reason pixel density should change with sensor size.
     
  59. mountainvisions

    mountainvisions Moderator

    If you are just tuning in...Ricoh bought Pentax!
     
  60. Robin, In theory, you are correct, but in reality, pixel density is almost always inversely proportional to sensor size. For example, there are now numerous small sensor pocket cameras with 12MPs. As sensor technology improves, designers will be packing ever more pixels closer together, but we can always expect higher pixel density on smaller sensors, simply to achieve greater resolution. Getting back to the point about focal length and effective angle of view, if pixel density were kept constant, then there would be no true multiplier effect associated with smaller sensors, but it isn't, so there is. Rob
     
  61. There is quite wide variation in pixel density even within the same size sensor. And there could be even more if manufacturers thought outside the box. As an example consider the Nikon D700, which owes its incredible image in large part to the lack of pixel crowding.
    Regardless, one cannot make a meaningful comparison in one parameter if a second parameter is varied at the same time. Either hold pixel density constant, in which case larger sensors are always better for IQ. Or hold sensor size constant in which case higher pixel densities increase the deleterious effects of diffraction and reduces the per-pixel signal-to-noise but increase the possible resolution. Confusing the two parameters does no-one any favours.
    But I do believe this has become yet another thread about a well hashed-out issue.
     
  62. If you are just tuning in...Ricoh bought Pentax!​
    That would be me--just returned from 3 weeks w/o connection* in China.
    We all knew something of the sort was in the works. I've got concerns (this is yet another subject about which I know very little but I have doubts about Ricoh's long-term prospects) but I'll go with my hopes for the time being. The release of some new quality lenses (extra-long would be my preference) in the near future would boost my spirits (any of those mentioned would be welcome in that regard but I'd prefer something longer than 300mm--of course.)
    *Clara's imac connected instantly but my attempts to connect in Windows would have required hacking for which I didn't have the time skill & patience.
     
  63. mountainvisions

    mountainvisions Moderator

    Glad you are back. Hope the trip went well, and hope it was photographically fruitful!
     
  64. So do I get the K-5 or jump ship given the uncertainty over the merger?
     
  65. mountainvisions

    mountainvisions Moderator

    Well, personally, I'd get a K-5. If the camera last you 5 years you don't have to jump ship for 5 years. My original K10D and ist D (given away but still being used by someone else) are still working. We are going on 5 and 6 years for both those cameras.
    Remember, people assume if Pentax were to go out of business tomorrow that they have some sort of kill switch on your cameras and lenses. Not true. If anything, if they were to go out of business, I'd open my wallet and load up.
    The K-5 is a great camera, and on my radar. The minute I hear Pentax/Ricoh are killing the DSLR business, I'm buying 2 of them, maybe a third down the road. I'm putting 2 in my glass cabinet and using one till the shutter falls out. Then I'll open the second, and do the same. In about 10 years I'll open the 3rd. 13-15 years from now, when both Nikon and Canon no longer produce still cameras either, my K-5 collection will be dead, and I'll move on to RED or whatever else is the rage.
    No one can tell you what the camera market will look like in 5 years, let alone 10 years. If you enjoy the K-5, what makes you think you'll need another camera?
    The key really is to stock up on batteries for your cameras. I believe long term that will be the limiting factor. However, Pentax saved the K-7 and K-5 from this issue with AA battery grips. So really it's just the shutter and other moving parts you have to wait to fail. I'm sure shutters and other parts will be available for a few years, so chances are you might even get the original K-5 repaired and keep the other two as spares for another few years.
    Anyway, this was my plan when the Hoya takeover happened. It's still my plan. And, IMO, it avoids the panic sales that might devalue your equipment. Using it till it dies is the best return on your investment!
     
  66. I planned to buy Pentax system about 1 month ago and have saved for it... But now... I am afraid that in the future all that expensive stuff would be useless - that became with Olympus 4/3 used optics.
    The FA Limiteds (of which I own only two, alas) have unsurpassed rendering on digital.​
    Hmmm. inexpansive Nikkor 50/1.8G is not worse than very expansive 43/1.9 limited and having better bokeh, 50/1.8 G is sharper at corresponding apertures than 40/2.8 Limited and so on... many examles. 135/2L on FF Canon EOS-1Ds versus more expansive 77/1.8 (screwdriven, without being splash proof) - ever tried? Or versus Nikkor 85/1.4G? 70/2.4 vs. a cheaper and still superb Canon 85/1.8 USM.... Pentax... Unsurpassingly high prices. They should concentrate on affordable, modern and reasonable optics.
     
  67. Thanks Justin, i have a lot of deleting and pp to do but t does look like I got some nice shots.
    Jemal If you have any investment in Pentax glass, I'd certainly agree with Justin's green light on the K-5. It's really a terrific camera. Of course, I probably have a different time horizon than you do: given my age and history of bad habits, it's pretty likely that the K-mount system will outlive me (OTOH, I have a better marketing department. ;~)
     
  68. Ruslan, I cannot believe you'd compare the over-large, plastic, cheap-feeling Nikkor 50/1.8G, which doesn't even have an aperture ring, to the beautiful well-crafted and superb handling FA 43 Limited. I have no great experience with this or any other Canikon lens. My early shooting was with hard body Nikon and Pentax 35mm and later Contax/Zeiss. In the contemporary era I am thankful every day I am not a commercial photographer and hence don't have to use a well-supported camera system that would force me to handle such unpleasant lumps.
    You then wish to compare the 135/2L to the FA77 Limited? You do realise that the former is three times the weight, three times the length and announces to everyone "oh look here I am -- big man photographer!" Sorry, but that's not my style. I need to take photos inconspicuously with the minimum of impact on my environment. (That's a good reason why I get hired when others don't.) Wake me up when Canon learns to design a camera for usability and ergonomics and shrinks their entire lens line by at least one-half.
    I am sure these lenses are all as sharp as they need to be. And they render well enough too. But none would give me much pleasure, so why bother, really? One can reasonably compare Leica, Voigtlander and Zeiss to the Limiteds, but Canon and Nikon have nothing to offer.
     
  69. Ruslan, some prices from your comparisons:
    • Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G: $220 — Pentax 43mm f/1.9 Ltd: $570
    • Canon 135mm f/2L: $1,050 — Nikkor 85mm f/1.4G: $1,700 — Pentax 77mm f/1.8 Ltd: $785
    • Canon 85mm f/1.8G: $410 — Pentax 70mm f/2.4 Ltd: $560
    I wouldn't say the prices are that high, considering you're paying for well-crafted metal lenses that are very small compared to anything Canon makes, or Nikon for that matter. And that's the point, the Ltd lenses are different in concept to anything Canon or Nikon produces, so it's not possible to make a direct comparison in many cases. You either appreciate what the Ltd line has to offer, or you don't.
    If you like big, bulky, heavy lenses, then go ahead and shoot Canon; you won't be alone, as they're the #1 camera brand by DSLRs sold. Nikon G lenses have become very expensive at the high end, lately, so take that into account if buying into a Nikon system.
    I planned to buy Pentax system about 1 month ago and have saved for it... But now... I am afraid that in the future all that expensive stuff would be useless - that became with Olympus 4/3 used optics.​
    Why are you worried exactly? Olympus lenses didn't stop working, many people are still shooting with them, and they're still as good as they ever were.
    Let's remember something important here, folks: Ricoh clearly stated that they bought Pentax for the interchangeable lens dept. That means that there will be a K-5 successor in due course, and most likely a K-r follow-up too. The sky is not falling! If anything, it's looking brighter than ever.
     
  70. Well, Robin, get me right. I do love finely crafted things and even was a kind of a fitishist. The 43mm is a finely crafted lens. But do not let me be misunderstood. Now nothing but the picture or IQ matters for me. The 50/1.8G feels cheap but it delivers, no-doubt, very hi quality picture. It is good on hi-res sensors like D3X... I like it....And it may keep on working for many and many years. It is silent. I thought that 43mm delivers MUCH higher IQ than all AF 50 mm existing and the difference IS obvious. But this is not so. I put up with the harsh bokeh, OK.... Moreover - a month ago I visited www.lenstip.com a Polish site and examined 43 mm full-resolution imges from K-5. I was shocked with mediocre quality @f4 from this combo. (See a photo of a girl, model taken at f4.0 at lenstip). My Olympus Pancake IS sharper and better at f4 even shooting JPEG.
    Miserere, I get what you say, but in Moscow and St. Petersburg, the prices for Pentax are exorbitant. Nobody can figure out WHY.
    • Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G: $220 — Pentax 43mm f/1.9 Ltd: $1000
    • Canon 135mm f/2L: $1,050 — Nikkor 85mm f/1.4G: $1,700 — Pentax 77mm f/1.8 Ltd: $1200
    • Canon 85mm f/1.8G: $450 — Pentax 70mm f/2.4 Ltd: $740
    I keep on monitoring the prices (1 RUR = 28 USD)... While the prices noted by you for N/C are the same... I do not like heavy lenses I am shooting with the Olympus pancake 25/2.8 ZD keeping surprised my customers somehow... with the smallest ever SLR... But the pancake blows away any mid-class and some pro-grade C/N zooms easily. To Miserere - Olympus ditched 4/3 for micro and 4/3 lenses are in no demand in the market though being stellar.
     
  71. mountainvisions

    mountainvisions Moderator

    I am sure these lenses are all as sharp as they need to be. And they render well enough too. But none would give me much pleasure, so why bother, really? One can reasonably compare Leica, Voigtlander and Zeiss to the Limiteds, but Canon and Nikon have nothing to offer.​
    Wow, we totally agree. Jot the date down!
    I can't agree with Ruslan either, he's comparing apples to cows.
    There is another thread where the OP was asking about the D7000 vs the K5 and his issue with Nikon was the cheap lens build. Nikons lens build is not on par with the limiteds in terms of compactness or feel. Their upper end lenses are well built, but no better than Pentax DA* or FA* line, at least not the current lenses. The older stuff was built like olderTokina lenses, TANKS!
    I know the Zeiss and Leica people probably vomit when we do stupid things like compare our rather inexpensive Japanese optics to finely designed and (at least with Leica) German crafted (though some are made in south america I believe, perhaps all) works of art, but while it's probably apples to oranges, at least it's not apples to cows!
    Robin, I didn't realize how fixated you were on the aperture ring. I actually prefer the aperture ring too, but unlike you, I don't let it determine if the lens is good or not.
    I've always used Pentax cameras with dual control wheels, so I rarely used the aperture ring anyway. And I don't shoot 35mm film anymore. Even if I did, again, I always shot Pentax SLRs with dual control wheels. No need for an aperture ring.
    But let me assure you, if Pentax started putting an aperture ring and an aperture coupling in it's cameras, I'd have no complaints and we'd have a beer together to celebrate what would be a wonderous occasion.
     
  72. mountainvisions

    mountainvisions Moderator

    I thought that 43mm delivers MUCH higher IQ than all AF 50 mm existing and the difference IS obvious. But this is not so. I put up with the harsh bokeh, OK.​
    Bokeh with any lens is a personal preference. The Limiteds bokeh is a bit harsh by comparison to most lenses, but it's what is responsible for what many call the 3D rendering qualities.Some argue it's all BS, but there is some truth to it, even from this semi believer.
    I'll agree with you, I prefer a creamier bokeh, but my 43mm Limited is one of my favorite lenses, and I sold the 50mm 1.4 (considered by many reports to be either the best or among the best 50s on the market) for this lens. I'm very happy with it, and wouldn't consider selling it for any lens. This accounts for the fact that it's a weird (but usable) focal length on a cropped sensor.
     
  73. Certainly, Ruslan, everyone has different priorities and I as much as admitted I would be shooting Nikon if I had to sustain a professional career in photography... a horrible thought! I shoot (mostly) for joy and contemplation, benefits that would be sucked dry by such a fate. (Obviously a subjective take on things I expect no-one to agree with.)
    It is not the lens that captures an image, it is the lens/camera/photographer system working with the light/subject/environment at their disposal. No profound revelation there! A lens that feels good in the hand and is usable and responsive is a boon to me. Furthermore, it is paramount that I use tools that are small and unobtrusive. This is not fetishism since I do not buy lenses to put on a shelf or baby -- no UV protection destroying the subtleties of the rendering for me! But a good lens that is quick to adjust and accurate to focus (I mean manually of course) helps make the part of the system that I can control that bit better. My ideal is the feeling of Takumar or Zeiss. The FA Limiteds are the only auto-focus lenses that come close.
    Unlike some, I do not downplay the importance of testing and MTF figures etc. in evaluating lenses. But I always keep in mind that these quantitative measures are not enough. If I do not feel good using a camera and if it does not aid me in my task, then I cannot take special pictures. I can take decent pictures, sure, since I know the mechanics of photography. I could shoot weddings, school portraits, event stuff for newspapers... no problem. This takes "only" an accomplished technician. (Of course the exceptional examples of photography in these areas are indeed exceptional, and I do appreciate them. But exceptional work, by definition, is not required of such professional work. Stable, consistent, assembly-line output is the goal.)
    So, yeah, Nikon have a nice system, no doubt. I know exactly what I would buy if I needed to step into the pro realm. Pentax would not suffice, since the support network is nowhere. I would not build a career on such a frail foundation. Perhaps this is where Ricoh could make a real difference? Nothing to do with technology at all!
    But since you mention sharpness, the FA43 has it in every test, sharpest of all lenses in the Pentax system (except, likely, the FA 50 f/2.8 macro) in the centre, surpassing most lenses from other systems too. Chosen as exemplary by Pop Photo, Mike Johnson and many others. Even Lenstip, whom you cite, has a user rating of 5 out of 5 for optics. But I would not laud it so much if sharpness was the only criteria. Quite simply it has a special rendering. If indeed it has "weak image quality on the edge of the frame" and "monstrous coma", as that site concludes, this is what give it its character... much like fast Leica lenses that cost several times as much.
    Lenstip is a perfect example of a site that makes conclusion based only on tests. As such they are half useless. Shooting with a lens is about learning what it is good for, and then using it for exactly that. The FA43 Limited happens to be superlative at capturing the dimensionality of anything I put in front of it, with excellent contrast and detail. Despite the tested weak corners it is wonderful for landscapes as well. I would much rather have a lens like this than one that is supposedly good at everything but excels at nothing. I suppose that is the difference between someone who has the freedom to be an art photographer and explore lenses for their own character and someone who must deliver consistently at all times.
    I chose Pentax entirely because of the exceptional possibilities of the system. I do hope Ricoh maintains this philosophy and does not instead try to make the brand good at all things but master of none.
     
  74. No doubt I do sound a little fixated in this thread... on various things no doubt, not just the aperture ring!
    My thinking on that widget has changed in the last three years. Before that time the aperture ring was necessary in practice only for compatibility with certain film cameras -- not such a bad thing, but not essential. Though in terms of usability a ring is preferable to computer -- er, camera -- control, in that one can clearly see the setting and manipulate it. Visual feedback and tactile response (affordance) are both eminently good things. I suppose if cameras had a dedicated aperture dial I would not require one on the lens.
    So that was the state of things three years ago. But with the rise of mirrorless cameras the aperture ring has come into its own again. Now I can put any of my Pentax lenses on my Olympus E-P1 and dial in the aperture with the ring. The camera then exposes correctly -- no green button, no false meter readings. This is something I dearly hope Ricoh adds to the next gen of Pentax cameras -- correct and instantaneous metering. Once this is done, I bet more people start using the aperture ring!
    In the current environment, an aperture ring on a lens increases its desirable across camera systems. If I was Ricoh I'd explicitly market the excellent Pentax lenses in the MFT market, because the FA Limiteds look absolutely wonderful on these cameras! I have a series of articles on my blog relating to the E-P1, but here is one example.
    [​IMG]
     
  75. mountainvisions

    mountainvisions Moderator

    In the current environment, an aperture ring on a lens increases its desirable across camera systems. If I was Ricoh I'd explicitly market the excellent Pentax lenses in the MFT market, because the FA Limiteds look absolutely wonderful on these cameras! I have a series of articles on my blog relating to the E-P1, but here is one example.​
    Again, I totally agree with you on this. Although, I still believe/hope that an electronic aperture ring can be built into the lens adapters for these MILCs. after all, if you need an adapter anyway, why can't it also control the aperture? Heck, you could even make it semi mechanical...meaning the aperture ring rotates on the adapter like a real ring. Pretty cool!

    So I think the problem is solvable. Obviously, adding the ring to the lenses in the first place simplifies the process, though I don't see it happening. Then again, perhaps Ricoh is smart enough to do something Pentax wouldn't do.
    I care less about adding the ring back than I do about future DSLRs having what is probably between a 50 cent and $10 coupling added back into the camera. It's precisely why I am sitting out the K-5. The K-5 addresses the only real problem I have with the K-7, the shutter vibration when not bolted to a monster tripod. But it lacks two of my other wants/needs. Higher flash sync, and possibly more importantly, the ability to meter with any lens like the PZ-1P could.
    I'd love to be able to meter with my Vivitar 28mm f/2.0, or my 55mm 1.8 without the convoluted green button setup.
     
  76. You know Justin, we always agreed more than we disagreed, so you shouldn't find the current coincidence of opinion that surprising. :)
    If Nikon can add meter coupling on a DSLR, as they did with the D7000, then Pentax can too. Backwards compatibility does matter. And cross-system compatibility matters now more than ever in photographic history. The first company to realise and exploit this fact could reap significantly increased lens sales.
    Then again other brands have their blind spots. Why has Olympus not released a small MFT camera with built-in EVF? Or, better yet, why can you still not control ISO directly on a dial? That would greatly improve the control usability. It can be fixed with a simple firmware update. Yet they just released three new models without addressing this glaring oversight!
    Back to Ricoh/Pentax, I recommend that they ditch ridiculous ventures like the Q and instead convert their lenses for the MFT mount. They'd have an instant new market with minimal investment... one that is currently crying out for quality primes! This could hardly hurt their own camera sales, particularly if they concentrate on the high-end (K-5, 645D), for which MFT has no answer.
     
  77. I know the Zeiss and Leica people probably vomit when we do stupid things like compare our rather inexpensive Japanese optics to finely designed and (at least with Leica) German crafted (though some are made in south america I believe, perhaps all) works of art, but while it's probably apples to oranges, at least it's not apples to cows!​
    Justin let them do. There is such a definition the cost of manufacturing. Jaguar cars were fine but where are they now? Leica people have this right. Leica is FF now, it has a special Kodak sensor, no AA filter and all is made in it to unparralelled quality.... I have read a lot of direct comparisons (in image quality) between ...say, Carl Zeiss 50/1.4ZF and Nikkor 50/1.4G... I find those comparisons appropriate. The CZ although feels like expensive swiss watch - Nikkor doesn't. I see your point. Maybe I compare oranges to cows but in terms of materials and finishing only, but if we compare them only in PQ if we compare full-res shots without knowing what lens were they taken... 43mm, 50mm/1.4 Pentax, 50/1.4 Nikkor, 50/1.8 G... The latter 1.8 feels cheap but in terms of sharpness it is no slouch (the examples from photozone on Nikon D3x impressed me so much - much stronger than a full-res. portrait of girl taken with 43mm @f4 from www.lenstip.com). Maybe it is beacuse of D3X and its pixel resolution and finer camera details and not because of the lens. And I know examples when a very cheap 50/1.8D lasted for 20 years of extensive use whereas some large and expensive Sigmas broke quickly after 2 months of gentle use...
    As for harsh bokeh which gives so-called 3-d look. I saw such examples (43mm) hundreds of times... I did not find on flickr nothing that could make me say wow. Flick shows how few people use limiteds compared to C/N stuff... And the level of their photography isn't higher (to say gently) than those in C/N groups. Sadly to state this.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/akates/4681271748/
    I know that 85/1.8D Nikkor is capable of alike somewhat harsh bokeh and look (3D?), but It is 2.3 times cheaper and it is a REAL portrait lens. It is also sharper wide open than 43mm.
    The following shot is taken with 77mm..
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/_downfall_/5876875030/in/set-72157626909940181/
    I can say that a faily cheap Canon 85/1.8 USM is not worse looking at the picture. And top notch build of lenses should mean weather resistance, (recently I shot in the rain and was nervous) and not only strong toleranses and aluminum body. 77mm does not contain plastic aspherical or plastic hybrid elements and it is all-metal, I understand what its price comes from... It is kind of pleasure having them. But I concentrate on photography at least not on feel and look of the lens now.
    As for the topic - Ricoh - they must develop the sistem, more lenses, good servise net, good FF primes and top-class zooms, all water sealed, 85/1.4*, very good 100/2 and 135/2, affordable FF camera (not more expansive than Sony A-850) and the brand will revive. I wonder if Ricoh can compete with the monters... I don't want Pentax to be the second Olympus and share alike place...
     
  78. As far as it concerns image quality, IMO, we could compare everything: 50/1.8G with 43/1.9, Canon 50/1.2L with Pentax 55/1.4*, even plastic 35/2.4 with 35/2.8 limited macro (which is done on the net), 50/2 Olympus macro with 50/1.4ZF Planar (both are solid but different the former is splash-proof the latter is all-metal vintage design), not expensive clone Tokina 35/2.8 macro with costy Pentax 35/2.8 macro limited - every lens concerning their IQ is comparable. And from such a comparison we could make conclusion if such a high price deserves to be paid and for what it is paid - compactness, aluminum alloy body, strong tolerances, mechanical rigidity, splash-resistance or for the image quality.
    Why has Olympus not released a small MFT camera with built-in EVF?​
    To reduce the cost of manufacturing and to make it in a smaller size... IMO.
     
  79. I have seen hundreds of images with the FA Limiteds that made me sit up and say "wow"! That's the reason I started looking at them seriously in the first place. It all started with the pictures. When I got the lenses myself I did not find an instantaneous transformation of my abilities. Once I had learned the lenses I would indeed have to credit the glass with making me a better photographer. This has nothing to do with sharpness, however, but everything to do with making the tactile side of the act more pleasurable and, eventually, transparent. The difference might be fractional, but it is real.
    Ruslan, the ability (or lack thereof) of the Flickr photographers you reference is of course a red herring. And so is price, since, as has already been demonstrated, the Limiteds are cheaper than correspondingly well-built lenses and even cheaper than very average feeling Canikon lenses. (Sorry this is not as true in Russia, but on the other hand I cannot even buy a Pentax lens in Ireland, so I use the internet instead. Rather why we are here, I suppose.)
    In any case, to each their own. You don't think the Pentax lenses are worth it; others find them a relatively good buy. You don't like the bokeh; I find it perfectly acceptable and even excellent when used properly. You don't think the build is worth paying money for; I do. I know I have an edge over my friends shooting Nikon, just as their choice of system gives them certain advantages over me.
    All I hope is that Ricoh enhances the innate advantages of Pentax and does not abandon them for buyers with your priorities. Because, though they may be valid, other brands already exist to meet them. I believe in plurality.
     
  80. mountainvisions

    mountainvisions Moderator

    Flick shows how few people use limiteds compared to C/N stuff... And the level of their photography isn't higher (to say gently) than those in C/N groups. Sadly to state this.​
    Ruslan,
    You are correct. The camera makes the photograph.
    My feelings are if you went with Pentax you'd be one of those disgruntled users that in 9 months wrote us a sad good-bye letter, telling us your reasons for leaving Pentax. These would most definitely include the fact that you'd have already been an award winning photographer had you not wasted 9 months with a crummy system.
    You are obviously free to do what you want, but if it was me, and I knew that this was my future, I'd save the expense of buying one system, only to buy another 9 months from now.
    Best of luck on the C/N forums and I hope your photographic skills hold up to the scrutiny of the best photographers in the world, cause they all shoot C/N!
     

Share This Page