Why Pentax Need a New Mount Now

Started 10 months ago | Discussions thread
marike6
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Wasting time and $$ on an MILC won't help them remain one of the "Big Four"
In reply to WD, 10 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.

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.

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?

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.

The D800 is a $3000 camera.  When FF prices come down, and they have been, more people will buy them.  It's simple economics.  And if Pentax doesn't get on board the FF DSLR train they will be left behind.

But yeah, I don't read Thom Hogan and when people quote his sales numbers his rants or about Nikon I generally take them with a grain of salt since almost everything he currently writes about Nikon has a bit of anger based on some kind of feud that he is currently having with them. Somewhere along the way, someone at Nikon did something to tick Hogan off, and he's been carrying a huge chip on his shoulder ever since. So almost everything he blogs about Nikon is meant to marginalize and embarrass them. That's just the way it is, and that's the number one reason why few Nikon users take him seriously anymore.

But if the chances of Pentax users upgrading to an FF Pentax camera with IQ of a D600 for example, but with the build of a K-3 are low, then the odds of Pentax users buying a Pentax mirrorless are next to none.

What is the point? Trading a beautiful, bright optical VF for a lousy EVF, poor contrast detect AF and two or three focus-by-wire lenses? More people would leave Pentax in droves would buy a hypothetical Pentax mirrorless.

By the way, if you think I'm the only one interested in a Pentax FF, then clearly you haven't been paying attention. Pentax users have been asking for a FF DSLR body for years. Do you know how many people, myself included, have left Pentax because of their insistence on sticking with mid level and prosumer APS-C DSLRs? The number is huge.

The ONLY way for Pentax to remain as one of the big four (Canon, Nikon, Sony/Minolta, Pentax) is to finally grow a pair and release a FF. It makes zero sense that they make a high end Medium Format 645D, and no FF. And now people here are actually talking about a MILC? Has this forum lost its mind? What a waste of a great camera company.

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