Why Pentax Need a New Mount Now

Started 8 months ago | Discussions thread
Alex Sarbu
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Re: Instead of wasting resources on a new mount and ILC, how about that FF DSLR
In reply to WD, 8 months ago

WD wrote:

marike6 wrote:

Instead of wasting resources on a new mount and trendy mirrorless cameras, I'm quite sure that the many if not most Pentax users would prefer to see a FF DSLR along with a commitment to bring back some of their excellent FF glass that they have discontinued. SMC-FA lenses such as the SMC-FA 24 f/2 AL, SMC-FA 85 f/1.4 IF, FA 200 f/2.8, FA 200 f4 Macro, FA 300 f/4.5 and f2.8, FA 400 f/5.6, et al.

As standard zoom, a 70-200 f/2.8 and f4, an UWA zoom, a updated FA 50 f/1.4. That's what Pentax users have been hoping for.

As it is now, if or more likely when they release a FF DSLR, the number of FF K-mount lenses is extremely small. You basically have the 31 f/1.8, 43 f/1.9 and 77 f/1.8 Limiteds, the FA 35 f/2 and 50 f/1.4 and the 50 and 100 f/2.8 Macro lenses. And of course the new DA 560 f/5.6 for a grand total of eight lenses. No wides, no zooms of any kind, only 3 Limiteds, two normal, two macro and one $7000 super telephoto.

So the lens upgrade path for APS-C DSLR users, the majority of Pentax users, is dicey at best. And for K-3 users, there are some fairly sizable holes in the APS-C lens lineup. For example they cannot keep releasing excellent bodies like the K-3 and kitting it with the 18-135. Such a lens that on 16 mp wasn't cutting it, just doesn't make sense at all on the 24 mp K-3. It puts the camera in a bad light and it needs to bet updated or discontinued.

And Pentax needs to add SDM to a whole bunch of lenses which are still screw driver lenses with no AF motors at all. This is 2013, it's time for some AF motors like the rest of the market. Some people may want whiz bang mirrorless Pentax cameras that appeal to small numbers of amateurs and enthusiast. I'm guessing that like me, most Pentax users would like to see them modernize their existing lens lineup a bit before going off half cocked with a new mount and a mirrorless camera.

So since Ricoh/Pentax don't have huge financial resources like some other camera makers, instead of messing around with new Pentax mounts, and niche mirrorless cameras, personally I'd much rather have them focus on getting the whole of the K-mount lens lineup competitive with Canikon once again. And most importantly, building the FF DSLR that loyal Pentax users deserve.

All the best, Markus

An FX Pentax DSLR would make you very happy, but it would appear to be a financial disaster for Ricoh/Pentax.

That's far from being a given.

Pentax can do it smart; they know how to make low volume cameras by sharing components with APS-C (i.e. the 645D). They could split R&D between 3 formats, so the body is not a problem.

The real problem are the lenses; but even this is not hopeless: many FF lenses would also be bought by APS-C users.

The percentage of Canikon owners who bought into FX is small compared to DX. Only 500,000 D800 sold in @18mo. (according to Thom Hogan). Current projections for annual DSLR Nikon sales are 4,500,000. Estimates of the FX market are generally between 12%-15% of DSLR sales on the high side.

Pro shooters won't give up their Canikon systems to switch. Too much invested and the system is so much more mature.

Targeting the small format pro market is not possible at the moment, however Pentax can/should/will go for the enthusiast FF market, i.e. below $3000.

Some Canikon enthusiasts might switch. However, these users are generally heavily invested in lenses etc., so the number might be very small. Realistically, this leaves current Pentax owners who upgrade as a predictable market. Will enough current Pentax owners upgrade to produce a positive return for Pentax?

It's possible, and I'd say mandatory on the intermediate term.

The alternative is to lose Pentax owners who want to "upgrade" from APS-C. Those are people willing to spend serious money, so it's a good idea to keep them.

Considering everything, is an FX Pentax likely on Ricoh's radar. I'm afraid you have better odds winning the lottery than buying an FX Pentax. Of course, it's only my opinion.

About an year ago, Pentax' Head of Business Development said they're working on a full frame SLR. Under Hoya, all we heard was that it's not a priority, maybe later - things like that.

Just sayin'.

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Warren

Alex

 Alex Sarbu's gear list:Alex Sarbu's gear list
Pentax K20D Pentax K-5 Pentax smc DA* 60-250mm F4.0 ED (IF) SDM Pentax smc DA 21mm F3.2 AL Limited Pentax smc DA 70mm F2.4 AL Limited +4 more
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