Why do you need another crippled Pentax APS-C flagship?

Started Nov 14, 2017 | Discussions thread
Mark Ransom
Mark Ransom Veteran Member • Posts: 5,189
Re: Pot meet kettle

Smitty1 wrote:

Mark Ransom wrote:

Smitty1 wrote:

You complain he is making a lot of assumptions about a product that doesn't exist and, in your next breath, make assumptions about products that don't exist yet. doh!

It's one thing to complain about the current situation, another altogether to complain about the future. I simply pointed out an alternate future that would resolve the complaints, and added an opinion that it was not impossible.

He discussed the possible future (a bit gloomily for many; I say a bit more realistically). You discussed the possible future (a bit positively; I say a bit overly optimistically). No difference in that you both discussed the possible future! Really, look back at what you said and your critique of him. Your critique is:

You're making a lot of assumptions about a camera that doesn't exist yet!

How is that any different than going on to say a bunch of hypothetical what IFs yourself?

When I wrote this, I was thinking about how easily the basic premise could be refuted. Since you can't see my thought processes, only what I wrote, I'll have to concede this point to you.

I think Greyser makes some valid points.

Yes, there's some good points buried in there. The title of the post was definitely designed to stir the pot though.

Yes the title is indeed eyebrow raising, but the content is what matters, no?

The title matters quite a lot, since it sets your frame of mind for what comes later. There are probably some good points made in the O.P. that I simply glossed over, and I'll bet I'm not alone.

The low support from 3rd parties has nothing to do with the capabilities of the system, and everything to do with raw sales figures. OK, maybe the lack of electronic aperture control was a hindrance, but that's fixed on the new camera models.

Well low support from 3rd parties in fact hinders capabilities of the system. And likely buyers into the system. If they are used to seeing a 150-600mm or 24-105mm or fast 85mm you better believe they will be expecting to see the same in whatever system they are considering. Low support hinders this for sure.

I think this is why Nikon and Canon have very similar lens lineups.. and Sigma seems to copy this too... Tamron then copies Sigma and vice versa. In the end there are standard lens types between all these brands. And, for Pentax, it seems several of them are still missing.. Because Pentax doesn't offer them natively and 3rd parties aren't picking up the slack claiming low sales. Catch 22.

I'm afraid I have to agree with you here. Third party support was a significant factor in my original buy-in to the Pentax system, and to this day my go-to general purpose lens is a Tamron 24-135. I don't think it's necessarily vital for all the makes to copy each other exactly in their offerings, but I understand why it happens.

What makes you think, in a cash tight environment, that is going to seriously change for Pentax? Sure it could happen (and that would be great!), but is it more probable or just seemingly possible?

Ricoh has Pentax on target to launch a D-FA 50 f/1.4, a D-FA 85 f/1.4, and a DA* 11-18 f/2.8 next.

What makes you think an updated DA* 16-50 and 50-135mm are in the cards any time soon too? They are seemingly working balls-to-the-wall with getting these FF primes out of the door and launching an UWA crop zoom that has been on the roadmap for years and years.

I assume that the optical design of the 16-50 and 50-135 would not change, only the focusing mechanism. Half of the lens design and manufacturing tooling is already done.

Let me add another observation about those two lenses. From what I understand about Japanese culture, it is difficult to get them to admit to a mistake. Replacing the focusing motors in those lenses would be admitting that SDM was a failure... probably not going to happen. But if they introduced a new camera with fast focusing as a top-line feature, it would be the perfect time to "upgrade" the lenses to have fast focus as well. It's not fixing, it's improving!

The optical design of the 16-50 needs to change though.. its a CA nightmare. And it is fairly soft at f/2.8 -- I've had a couple copies. But, either way, the lens would need a redesign since a new drive system may or may not fit in the current shell.

I thought that the 16-50 and 50-135 were equally well regarded, since I own neither I don't have any personal opinion on the matter. Thanks for setting me straight.

The 50-135mm though I think could just use a new motor and coatings.. fantastic lens outside of the SDM issues.

It is difficult to get most people to admit mistake.. I see it often on the forums.. but then we have to agree to what was said is an actual mistake.

What we have online are a lot of subjective arguments where people are viewing them as objective claims. Then attacking others for their subjective views (opinions). Especially if that view is not commonly held by the forum regulars.

But yes, I agree, IF Ricoh introduces Fast focusing and (more importantly) intelligent tracking cameras and IF they then introduce updated DA* lenses to accommodate this change then yes they would have a winner. But between there and now is a large chasm... a very large chasm... to cross.

Yes there's a chasm, but the O.P. opines that it's insurmountable. I simply disagree. I hope that the folks at Pentax disagree too.

There are a lot of IFs in seeing a dramatic "turn around" for Pentax as a brand.. at least in the short to medium term.

I'm not naive enough to believe in a dramatic turn around, but I don't think extreme pessimism is warranted either.

Well, I didn't see extreme pessimism in Greysers post. He is just saying Pentax doesn't have flagship qualities in AF or lens technology compared to.. competitors.. and they should probably refine their lineup. Clearly if the KP is that then they have already begun. It isn't exactly an all-in-one type DSLR. It is a nice walkaround crop body that outputs fantastic IQ. And that's fine. But it is no D500 or even D7500. But this is an issue with defining what precisely is a flagship.. what does that term signify? For Canon and Nikon that generally means top tier AF, big buffer, fast burst, battery grip, network connectivity, beefier shutter, and a sturdy weatherized body. Does it mean the same for Pentax?

The pessimism comes in the belief that it is impossible for Pentax to make a camera that is significantly better than its predecessors, because it's hampered by the lens selection. There is truth to the statement that a system is only as strong as its weakest link. It is false to believe that the lens lineup will not improve, and a better future has to start somewhere.

My definition of a flagship doesn't involve comparisons to other brands, it's simply a comparison to other models within the brand. At the moment there's no true flagship for Pentax APS-C, there are some things the K-3II does better and some things the KP does better. For me personally this is keeping me from considering an upgrade.

IF Ricoh starts funding Pentax r&d more liberally, IF r&d can overcome the hurdles they face in design and technology, IF Ricoh management read the market correctly, IF these products are launched at the right time of their demand. There are a lot of IFs IF we step back and soberly assess the situation without the Pentax fan glasses on.

The market has shrunk and has fractured into different avenues.. that is where we're at now.. Even larger players are reacting to the changes in the market and having to deal with some of these IFs. And no one here knows what will exactly happen and how in the camera world.

So please don't call the man or his post troll because he has assessed the situation differently than you. He is clearly still in Pentax for the long haul, despite the uncertain seas the market sails in currently.

As I said, the title of the post was definitely troll-worthy. But then so was mine, so touché.

Well kudos for actually saying that. But I don't think your post was trollish either. I think views that are deemed opposing to the brand loyal should be heard without divisive name calling being flung.. esp when these statements are well explained.

A troll usually says something inflammatory and then runs away.. doesn't back it up or explain in detail, simply to get a rise out of people. The OP didn't do that.. and I think we should respect his point of view despite our agreement for or against it.

Otherwise forums tend to become echo chambers for brand loyal.. safe zones from the reality around them.. I don't think that is beneficial to anyone. Yes, I get tired of the same rehashed arguments, but if they are on people's minds enough that they spend time to express them, then it must be at least somewhat important to them.. I just want a more balanced forum where anyone can share a view, give their reasons, and not be called a troll or any other name for it... simply because others disagree with them.

Point taken on the name calling, except for that post title it was completely undeserved. My apologies for trying to make a right out of two wrongs.

I think the discussion from this post has been positive overall. Your own contribution has been well reasoned and I thank you for it.

 Mark Ransom's gear list:Mark Ransom's gear list
Pentax K-7 Pentax K-01 Olympus E-M5 II Pentax smc DA 15mm F4 ED AL Limited Pentax smc DA 18-135mm F3.5-5.6ED AL [IF] DC WR +6 more
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