Whatever happened to Pentax?

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

  1. Dudley Hanks

    Tony Polson Guest

    Pudentame <> wrote:

    >It appears to have been almost ready for market when Hoya acquired
    >Pentax.



    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
    #41
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  2. Dudley Hanks

    Tony Polson Guest

    Pudentame <> wrote:

    >I certainly agree with you on that, but everything I've read so far
    >indicates they're not resting on their laurels The new K20D is a good
    >improvement on the K10D.



    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
    #42
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  3. Dudley Hanks

    Noons Guest

    On Mar 10, 12:39 pm, "David J. Littleboy" <> wrote:

    > the area of "FF", and so does have a theoretical advantage. It also turns
    > out that MF lenses are razor sharp on 5D density digital sensors, so 24MP
    > and higher images that are painfully sharp corner to corner are a piece of
    > cake for MF digital. Anything 24MP and over in FF is going to be a stretch
    > for even the best Nikkor or Canon lenses at anything other than f/8 or f/11.


    and at that density and stop-down, one will likely start to hit
    diffraction limits anyway...
     
    Noons, Mar 10, 2008
    #43
  4. "Doug Jewell" <> wrote:

    > Have you heard any word on the much rumoured 645 Digital?
    > If/When that comes out, that should really make people stand
    > up and take notice of Pentax again as a serious pro brand.


    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
    systems.

    --
    Michael Benveniste --
    Spam and UCE professionally evaluated for $419. Use this email
    address only to submit mail for evaluation.
     
    Michael Benveniste, Mar 10, 2008
    #44
  5. Dudley Hanks

    Tony Polson Guest

    "Michael Benveniste" <> wrote:
    >
    >While I think there was a marketing window where the 645D could
    >have succeeded, too many potential customers have already switched
    >systems.



    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
    #45
  6. Dudley Hanks

    Pudentame Guest

    David J. Littleboy wrote:
    > "Pudentame" <> wrote:
    >> I don't know if the market is really there for medium format digital,
    >> since all the MF digital I know of on the market are actually crop
    >> sensors, none of them actually 6x4.5, 6x6, or 6x7.

    >
    > (Note that the actuall MF frame sizes are 42x56, 56x56, and 56x70mm.)
    >
    > The current "cropped" MF digital sensors are 36x48, which is exactly twice
    > the area of "FF", and so does have a theoretical advantage. It also turns
    > out that MF lenses are razor sharp on 5D density digital sensors, so 24MP
    > and higher images that are painfully sharp corner to corner are a piece of
    > cake for MF digital. Anything 24MP and over in FF is going to be a stretch
    > for even the best Nikkor or Canon lenses at anything other than f/8 or f/11.
    >
    > David J. Littleboy
    > Tokyo, Japan
    >
    >


    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
    $4K.

    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
    #46
  7. Dudley Hanks

    Pudentame Guest

    Tony Polson wrote:
    > "Michael Benveniste" <> wrote:
    >> While I think there was a marketing window where the 645D could
    >> have succeeded, too many potential customers have already switched
    >> systems.

    >
    >
    > 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.
    >


    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
    #47
  8. Dudley Hanks

    Pudentame Guest

    Tony Polson wrote:
    > Pudentame <> wrote:
    >
    >> I certainly agree with you on that, but everything I've read so far
    >> indicates they're not resting on their laurels The new K20D is a good
    >> improvement on the K10D.

    >
    >
    > 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!
    >
    >


    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
    #48
  9. Dudley Hanks

    Pete D Guest

    "Pudentame" <> wrote in message
    news:47d56749$0$4943$...
    > Tony Polson wrote:
    >> Pudentame <> wrote:
    >>
    >>> I certainly agree with you on that, but everything I've read so far
    >>> indicates they're not resting on their laurels The new K20D is a good
    >>> improvement on the K10D.

    >>
    >>
    >> 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!
    >>

    >
    > Yeah, but in the meantime, I'm trying to get everything I can outta' the
    > K10D while I save up for the K20D.


    Personally I think waiting for the K30D would be prudent.
     
    Pete D, Mar 10, 2008
    #49
  10. Dudley Hanks

    Tony Polson Guest

    Pudentame <> wrote:

    >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.



    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
    #50
  11. Dudley Hanks

    Peter Guest

    "Noons" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > On Mar 10, 12:39 pm, "David J. Littleboy" <> wrote:
    >
    >> the area of "FF", and so does have a theoretical advantage. It also turns
    >> out that MF lenses are razor sharp on 5D density digital sensors, so 24MP
    >> and higher images that are painfully sharp corner to corner are a piece
    >> of
    >> cake for MF digital. Anything 24MP and over in FF is going to be a
    >> stretch
    >> for even the best Nikkor or Canon lenses at anything other than f/8 or
    >> f/11.

    >
    > and at that density and stop-down, one will likely start to hit
    > diffraction limits anyway...



    Nobody needs more than 64k of memory - Bill Gates

    I can never fill up a 5mg hard drive - me 1989.


    --
    Peter
     
    Peter, Mar 10, 2008
    #51
  12. Dudley Hanks

    Pudentame Guest

    Tony Polson wrote:
    > Pudentame <> wrote:
    >
    >> 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.

    >
    >
    > 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.
    >


    I'm thinking *not enough* over the longer term.
     
    Pudentame, Mar 11, 2008
    #52
  13. Dudley Hanks

    Pudentame Guest

    Pete D wrote:
    > "Pudentame" <> wrote in message
    > news:47d56749$0$4943$...
    >> Tony Polson wrote:
    >>> Pudentame <> wrote:
    >>>
    >>>> I certainly agree with you on that, but everything I've read so far
    >>>> indicates they're not resting on their laurels The new K20D is a good
    >>>> improvement on the K10D.
    >>>
    >>> 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!
    >>>

    >> Yeah, but in the meantime, I'm trying to get everything I can outta' the
    >> K10D while I save up for the K20D.

    >
    > Personally I think waiting for the K30D would be prudent.
    >
    >


    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
    #53
  14. "Pudentame" <> wrote in message
    news:47d45edd$0$17371$...
    > Dudley Hanks wrote:
    >> "Happy Traveler" <> wrote in message
    >> news:...
    >>> I have a Spotmatic SPII -- still in good working order. It's a classic,
    >>> but in spite of the catchy name, it only measures some sort of
    >>> center-weighted average. Don't believe that the Spotmatic, or even its
    >>> early 1980's successors (like the ME Super that I also have) ever did
    >>> any more than that. On the other hand, film is a lot more tolerant of
    >>> overexposure than digital, so spot measuring for highlights was not as
    >>> big a deal as it is now...
    >>>
    >>>
    >>> "Dudley Hanks" <> wrote in message
    >>> news:IQGAj.69831$FO1.22055@edtnps82...
    >>>> Well, sort of. If my memory isn't too fuzzy, I think that they "said"
    >>>> they were going to make the first SLR with spot metering -- the
    >>>> Spotmatic. Pentax made a pre-production model according to its claims,
    >>>> but when it hit production the spot sensoring turned out to be a couple
    >>>> of sensors that really only read an average of the light in the
    >>>> viewfinder. I'm not sure if they later modified the spotmatic to
    >>>> actually use spot metering, or whether one of the other giants got it
    >>>> into production first.
    >>>

    >>
    >>
    >> Yes, that is a classic.
    >>
    >> I read something on the net a while back that Pentax wants to revive the
    >> concept / name with a digital version. Have you heard anything about
    >> that?
    >>
    >> Take Good Care of Your Classic,
    >> Dudley
    >>
    >>

    >
    > Well, the K100D and K10D names were specifically meant to recall fond
    > feelings many a photographer has for the K1000.


    One of the members of the Camera Club that Im president of uses the K10D and
    the results from it are excellent!

    McK.
     
    McKev \(yay!\), Mar 11, 2008
    #54
  15. "Peter Chant" <> wrote in message
    news:J3UAj.491858$...
    > sally wrote:
    >
    >
    >> Canon and Nikon are just better at developing and marketing new products.
    >> Pentax and Yashica are trying to come back, but that will be difficult.

    >
    > Yashica?
    >
    > Surely that's a name that's not been used in years. Who owns it?
    >


    I bought a Yashica 124G on ebay for £90. Very good camera indeed :)

    McK.
     
    McKev \(yay!\), Mar 11, 2008
    #55
  16. On Mon, 10 Mar 2008 20:44:22 +0000, Tony Polson
    <> wrote:

    >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.


    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 --
    Spam and UCE professionally evaluated for $419. Use this email
    address only to submit mail for evaluation.
     
    Michael Benveniste, Mar 11, 2008
    #56
  17. Dudley Hanks

    Tony Polson Guest

    Pudentame <> wrote:

    >Tony Polson wrote:
    >> Pudentame <> wrote:
    >>
    >>> 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.

    >>
    >>
    >> 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.
    >>

    >
    >I'm thinking *not enough* over the longer term.



    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
    #57
  18. Dudley Hanks

    Jeremy Guest

    "Dudley Hanks" <> wrote in message
    news:nWCAj.74916$w57.63673@edtnps90...
    > Back in the '60s, '70s and even into the '80s Pentax was right up there
    > with Canon and Nikon. But, today, it seems like the company doesn't even
    > get honourable mention in the brand wars. What happened?
    >


    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
    also-ran.

    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
    #58
  19. Dudley Hanks

    Bruce. Guest

    "Peter Chant" <> wrote in message
    news:J3UAj.491858$...
    > Yashica?
    >
    > Surely that's a name that's not been used in years. Who owns it?


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

    Bruce.
     
    Bruce., Mar 11, 2008
    #59
  20. Dudley Hanks

    Guest

    On Mar 11, 12:14 pm, "Jeremy" <> wrote:
    > "Dudley Hanks" <> wrote in message
    >
    > news:nWCAj.74916$w57.63673@edtnps90...
    >
    > > Back in the '60s, '70s and even into the '80s Pentax was right up there
    > > with Canon and Nikon.  But, today, it seems like the company doesn't even
    > > get honourable mention in the brand wars.  What happened?

    >
    > 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
    > also-ran.
    >
    > 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 Walkmancan
    > 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 .
    > . .


    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:
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/money/main.jhtml?xml=/money/2006/12/22/cnhoya22..xml

    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
    #60
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