Pentax — a Japanese Leica? Not really ...

Started May 23, 2013 | Discussions thread
Rod McD Veteran Member • Posts: 5,750
Re: Pentax — a Japanese Leica? Not really ...

I'm sorry but I've got a different take on this......  TBH, I find the post and some of the responses a bit negative.  Pentax and Leica have a different history and almost certainly different futures.  The Japanese camera manufacturers - Pentax included - deserve respect in their own right for their many achievements.  Phrases like 'the Japanese Leica' and 'the Japanese Summicron' that one sees bandied around when someone's trying to sell a lens are just fawning and cringe-worthy.

Yes Pentax have been quiet lately and yes Leica may have adopted a 'teaser' approach to their latest camera on this occasion.  Pentax did in fact do that with the 645D just before it was released.  Remember the slowly unveiled shadow?  Didn't change the camera though.  It was just a device for attracting the attention of the faithful before a launch.  No-one will care about the campaign the day after it's released.

I don't know what is (or isn't) in Leica's latest Mini M camera, but at this stage of not knowing, and before they've sold one, it's a tad early to be waxing lyrical about the company and its marketing strategies.

Let's not forget that Leica, like Pentax,  has had its survival issues. Or that a modern day electronic digital Leica body is a far cry from the last all mechanical M6.  That camera was the final development of a very mature product line, beautifully made and designed to last for decades.  Its successors will last as long as their electronic components - which in my experience is very finite.  Try to get a ten year old digital camera repaired.  Or laptop.  Or phone.  Circuit boards, ICs, LCDs, LEDs, sensors, motors - nothing lasts forever.  No-one stocks the parts, the labor cost is prohibitive and the technology has moved on anyway.  Honestly, how many of today's digital cameras will be working, let alone used regularly for high grade work, in 20 years time?

If anyone markets an AF FF MILC with a good suite of features and lenses - and someone will - it will make incredibly tough competition for Leica.  There's every chance it will be operationally superior and, ironically, the Chinese adapter manufacturers will ensure that it too takes Leica lenses.  And if it's less than half the price, how long will Leica be making cameras?  Their lenses OTOH may well continue to be successful.  (Along with their other optical products).  They may start looking like Zeiss.

Pentax should continue to develop well featured, competent cameras and excellent lenses for people who can afford a decent camera system.  Whatever form that takes.  And whatever marketing it takes.  Emulating other companies that have different strategies, products and markets probably isn't a recipe for success.


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