Whatever happened to Pentax?

Discussion in 'Pentax' started by Dudley Hanks, Mar 8, 2008.

  1. Dudley Hanks

    Tony Polson Guest

    I doubt that very much. It was always a low priority project and
    never looked likely to be released to the market.
    Tony Polson, Mar 10, 2008
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  2. Dudley Hanks

    Tony Polson Guest

    I agree. The K20D also has the first Samsung CMOS sensor in APS-C
    format. Samsung's first effort is so good that subsequent Samsung
    sensors are likely to be *well worth waiting for*.

    The best news is that Sony's stranglehold on the market for APS-C
    sensors has been broken. The already announced Sony 24.6 MP full
    frame sensor for 2009 is interesting, but let's not forget that a full
    frame sensor with similar pixel density to the Samsung CMOS for the
    K20D would have approximately 30 MP.

    A 30 MP full frame Pentax K1D? That'll do nicely!
    Tony Polson, Mar 10, 2008
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  3. Dudley Hanks

    Noons Guest

    and at that density and stop-down, one will likely start to hit
    diffraction limits anyway...
    Noons, Mar 10, 2008
  4. I think it's pretty much dead. Pentax is no longer distributing
    medium format gear to the United States, and discontinued European
    distribution in 2006. Part supplies in the U.S. are extremely
    meager; it took me over two weeks to locate a focus screen for my
    645n. I ended up selling my manual focus 645 for parts after I
    couldn't get it repaired.

    While I think there was a marketing window where the 645D could
    have succeeded, too many potential customers have already switched
    Michael Benveniste, Mar 10, 2008
  5. Dudley Hanks

    Tony Polson Guest

    I wonder how many Hasselblad H Series DSLRs have been sold? How many
    Mamiya ZD bodies? That data might give some indication as to the size
    of the potential market.

    I suspect that the market is extremely small, and that a sensor with
    rather more pixels than 18 million would be needed for Pentax to
    compete in it.
    Tony Polson, Mar 10, 2008
  6. Dudley Hanks

    Pudentame Guest

    There's also the cost. Medium Format film was affordable, medium format
    digital not so much, with digital backs selling upwards of $10K,
    although, IIRC, the Pentax 645D was planned to come on the market around

    Medium format film thrived because even rank amateurs could afford it. I
    don't know if we'll see medium format digital get there.
    Pudentame, Mar 10, 2008
  7. Dudley Hanks

    Pudentame Guest

    Compare the cost of the Hasselblad H and Mamiya ZD to the cost of their
    medium format film bodies.

    Supply and demand. Get the price down into the range where the film
    bodies were, and demand will pick up.
    Pudentame, Mar 10, 2008
  8. Dudley Hanks

    Pudentame Guest

    Yeah, but in the meantime, I'm trying to get everything I can outta' the
    K10D while I save up for the K20D.
    Pudentame, Mar 10, 2008
  9. Dudley Hanks

    Pete D Guest

    Personally I think waiting for the K30D would be prudent.
    Pete D, Mar 10, 2008
  10. Dudley Hanks

    Tony Polson Guest

    That's true.

    However, I think it is also true to say that if a product satisfies a
    need no other product can, it will sell at a surprisingly high price.

    The Hasselblad H3D-39 uniquely satisfies a need for a 39 MP DSLR.
    While there will only be a (relatively) small number of people who
    need 39 MP, the camera will be profitable if those people are prepared
    to pay a high price.

    I just wondered how many people were in that position.
    Tony Polson, Mar 10, 2008
  11. Dudley Hanks

    Peter Guest

    Nobody needs more than 64k of memory - Bill Gates

    I can never fill up a 5mg hard drive - me 1989.
    Peter, Mar 10, 2008
  12. Dudley Hanks

    Pudentame Guest

    I'm thinking *not enough* over the longer term.
    Pudentame, Mar 11, 2008
  13. Dudley Hanks

    Pudentame Guest

    If it's available by the time I get the money saved ...

    My current income:expense ratio ain't high, so it's gonna' be a long
    slog. Maybe it'll be a K40D.
    Pudentame, Mar 11, 2008
  14. One of the members of the Camera Club that Im president of uses the K10D and
    the results from it are excellent!

    McKev \(yay!\), Mar 11, 2008
  15. I bought a Yashica 124G on ebay for £90. Very good camera indeed :)

    McKev \(yay!\), Mar 11, 2008
  16. Walk into non-photographer friend's home, and note the number of large,
    high-quality photographic prints. Then do the same for a small or
    medium-sized business.

    The H3D-39 is designed to create a gallery quality 18x24" print, or a
    very good quality 27x36". Currently, that size of print is not really
    in fashion for homes. In a business setting, you'll see the occasional
    founders' shot or team photograph, but even those are now more likely to
    appear on a webpage than on a wall.

    My _guess_ is that quite a few working pros have an occasional need to
    print at that size, but it's not enough to warrant the investment.
    Instead, they'll either look to rent an H3D or fall back to a film
    camera. In the last year, the two 24x30" prints I've made both came out
    of my 4x5" field camera.

    Of course, fashions could change next week. But if I was a pro, I
    wouldn't tie up my capital on that sort of bet.
    Michael Benveniste, Mar 11, 2008
  17. Dudley Hanks

    Tony Polson Guest

    I think you're probably right. But it would be good to see some
    figures, to put the discussion in perspective.
    Tony Polson, Mar 11, 2008
  18. Dudley Hanks

    Jeremy Guest

    They did what most of the other camera manufacturers did--they began sucking
    the build quality out of their bodies and lenses. At least Nikon maintained
    a high-end line for professionals. Pentax lost it whan they discontinued
    the LX without first creating a replacement model.

    When I compare the build quality of my "A" lenses to my SMC Takumars, I just
    shake my head in disbelief. The Spotmatic-F and the ES-II were the high
    water marks for Pentax. Once they migrated to the K Mount, things went
    downhill. I have a P3n and a P30t which I use as my knockaround cameras.
    They are made in China, they are so light that they feel like they're just
    made of air, but they take good photos. Trouble is, they feel like toys,
    relative to my older Pentax gear.

    Many (most?) of today's photographers don't remember what was out there in
    the early 70s, and thus do not know what they are missing.

    I would argue that--for advanced amateurs especially--cameras and lenses
    need to provide some tactile gratification in addition to just recording
    images. If they feel like toys, the brand will be perceived as another

    Now, with Pentax mass-producing digital ameras in Vietnam, the problem will
    only become worse. Cameras are becoming commodities rather than specialized
    optical tools. Robotic assembly lines stamp them out as though they were
    cookie cutters.

    Remember when audiophiles spent thousands on top-notch turntables and
    cartridges, in order to get that high end sound? Now a cheap CD Walkman can
    outperform many of those old analog setups--and audiophile sound is
    available to Everyman, at low prices. I suspect that consumer/advanced
    amateur gear is headed in the same direction. Cheap, disposable & plastic .
    .. .
    Jeremy, Mar 11, 2008
  19. Dudley Hanks

    Bruce. Guest

    I'm still wondering what happened to Miranda. I owed a couple of those many
    moons ago.

    Bruce., Mar 11, 2008
  20. Dudley Hanks


    Did Pentax almost go under last year? If I am not mistaken, Hoya (the
    makers of filter lens) planned to buy Pentax in 2006/2007. But I heard
    that the deal did not fall through. Can someone confirm?
    See the old news in Dec 2006:

    I saw an early development for a 6x4.5 format for digital Pentax
    camera a few years ago (was it in Photokina?), but I don't know if
    that was going anywhere either.

    However, when I look around on opinions on the camera websites, people
    who own/buy a Pentax digital cameras appear to like their camera.
    Either the popular 2 leading camera makers are too over-rated, or
    Pentax enthusiasts do not want to tell anybody that they have problems
    with their cameras.

    In the old days, I still remember the famous Asahi Pentax Spotmatix
    SLR, as well as the Pentax 6x7 camera. I hope that the company is
    making a come back with their K10D, and K20D models.
    , Mar 11, 2008
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