Future of Pentax?

Started Mar 29, 2013 | Discussions
Barry Pearson
Barry Pearson Veteran Member • Posts: 8,723
Re: Future of Pentax?

James O'Neill wrote:

My hunch is they will make FF announcements at the same time these will be

  • What current lenses will work properly with FF
  • Lenses for FF which will be [Re]introduced over the next year
  • A FF compatible 1.4x TC
  • A prototype  FF camera on show with availablity near the end of the year.

Would the "FF compatible 1.4x TC" be sufficient to enable APSC-lenses to work on FF?

Arithmetic suggests that it would fall a bit short.

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Gerry Winterbourne Forum Pro • Posts: 14,483
Re: Future of Pentax?

Barry Pearson wrote:

James O'Neill wrote:

My hunch is they will make FF announcements at the same time these will be

  • What current lenses will work properly with FF
  • Lenses for FF which will be [Re]introduced over the next year
  • A FF compatible 1.4x TC
  • A prototype  FF camera on show with availablity near the end of the year.

Would the "FF compatible 1.4x TC" be sufficient to enable APSC-lenses to work on FF?

Arithmetic suggests that it would fall a bit short.

"APS-C" lenses?  I take it you mean DA lenses?  Many of these have an image circle larger than the 27mm of APS-C; in the case of zooms, through some of their range but not all of it.  I don't know which DA zoom lenses give an image circle greater than 31mm but any prime from 35mm FL up will.

You can get a reasonable idea of coverage by using the Composition Adjustment feature if your camera has it.  For example, my Sigma 8-16 at 8mm vignettes just before using the full extent of Comp Adjustment so its circle is about 29mm so I'd lose a bit with the TC.  If you can't see vignetting you'll lose little if anything.

Naturally there'll be a small loss of resolution from the TC itself and the lenses themselves will be a little sofdter in the extreme corners: but then it seems to be generally accepted that a lot of older FF lenses will look soft on digital too.

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Gerry
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Anastigmat Forum Pro • Posts: 12,663
Re: Future of Pentax?

noel2 wrote:

Many years ago, having invested in a number of excellent A* Pentax lenses, I was waiting for Pentax to look foreward and enter the digital mode to do justice to the quality of its optics.

I then seriously considered getting rid of my Equipment and following the more progressive and "market oriented" , though more expensive and less "photographically" oriented competition.

I have nevertheless remained with Pentax up to now. I still use the A* lenses - which are among the best ever produced for photography - and use them with the available APS-C bodies that Pentax produces.

But, if Pentax does not follow the trend to use The FF sensors that are becoming available, and capitalize on its older experience, I am very pessimistic as to the future of the company to keep a good place in the current market.

I have been recently looking at a number of internet retailers for photographic Equipment, and Pentax has disappeared from from their offers (it was formerly in their catalogue). It is not a good sign for the future - and requires an answer.

It is all quite simple. The future of DSLR photography is FF, and the future is now. The APS-C sensor will dominate the mirrorless camera market, and the future of micro 4/3 is in doubt.  Olympus insists that it will still be making DSLR cameras with 4/3 sensors, but there has not been many new models in recent years. Further, Olympus is in financial trouble because its cameras just aren't selling.  If Pentax continues to drag its feet on FF, then it too will follow the path the Olympus is heading.

Yes, there have been two camera companies that have gone FF and folded, but they are the exceptions rather than the rule. Contax and Kodak both had problems with high noise levels at high ISOs.  They couldn't tame the noise, and they folded. Pentax has shown with the 645 that it can handle high ISO noise, even when building a camera with a medium format sensor that is notoriously bad at high ISO settings. Therefore Pentax would definitely make better FF cameras than either Contax or Kodak. Finally, as Neil Young sang, "it is better to burn out than it is to fade away."  Pentax is so scared of burning out with a FF that it may just fade away by never releasing one.

smafdy Regular Member • Posts: 494
Re: Future of Pentax?

The future is uncertain for any company involved in tech manufacturing. Cell phones take decent pics now, and Kodak is out of business.

Pentax makes great products and sells them at great prices.

If you think switching brands will lead to a more secure future for your art/craft, then you should, by all means, do it.

Rod McD Veteran Member • Posts: 6,374
Re: Some specify Canon EF and 5D - not EFS....???

Hi JLS,

I'm a Pentax camera user not a Canon user and was just trying to help this fellow use his A* lens - I acknowledge that I haven't tried using a PK lens on either an EF or an EF-S mount Canon body.  However, there are ads that clearly specify EF lenses and quote usage on an FF 5DII for example.

eg See http://www.ebay.com/itm/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=220629493290

It's possible these ads are either translational errors - dropping the all-important S from EF-S.  OTOH that doesn't explain the reference to the 5DII.    I can't help clarify this any further.  Perhaps interested buyers could post a query to the Canon FF forum to confirm whether there are Canon FF users who've managed to make PK lens adapters work.......

Cheers, Rod

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Andrew53 Regular Member • Posts: 313
Re: Future of Pentax?
1

BobORama wrote:

Frankly, your argument is nonsensical.  Other than changing the effective EFL, you don't get any more or less out of the lenses.

I disagree. I have been using full-frame for years. EFL is not the only difference. I have identified four differences of note.

EFL as you noted. This is generally negative for APS-C at the wide angle end where fast wide angle lenses are rare. I like the Sigma 8-16 but it is no replacement for my 16-35 f2.8.

Noise is about 1 stop better for a given framing and ISO. The K-5 is pretty good but one stop is one stop and it makes a difference if you like shooting a night.

DOF is not the same for a given f-stop. You need about a 1 stop wider aperture on APS-C to get the equivalent DOF of FF. So the f2.8 zooms of APS-C are more like the f4.0 zoom on full-frame. It is harder to get good background blur with APS-C than with FF for equivalent framing.

The lower enlargement requirement of larger sensors means the lens "defects" are also not enlarged as much. This is partially offset by the APS-C being able to use the "sweet" spot of a lens.

These differences extend to the Pentax 645D, where they are even more noticeable, so my hope is that Pentax not only releases a FF K-5 like camera, but I also hope they release an update to the 645D with a full 645 size sensor. These optical characteristics will always remain which is why the Nikon D800 is no replacement for a medium format. It isn't all about the pixels, noise or even sharpness. The "look" of larger formats has more to do with DOF and how it changes.

I see two real difficulties for a Pentax FF. The lack of full-frame lenses, especially zoom lenses and the rather poor AF systems on Pentax cameras which will be stressed with the larger sensor size.

Ergonomics and camera size of Pentax are great and a real advantage compared to Canon, Nikon or Sony. That is why my K-5 travels with me almost everywhere - except when I want/need to use full-frame.

My fingers are crossed.

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Gerry Winterbourne Forum Pro • Posts: 14,483
Re: Future of Pentax?

Andrew53 wrote:

BobORama wrote:

Frankly, your argument is nonsensical.  Other than changing the effective EFL, you don't get any more or less out of the lenses.

I disagree. I have been using full-frame for years. EFL is not the only difference. I have identified four differences of note.

EFL as you noted. This is generally negative for APS-C at the wide angle end where fast wide angle lenses are rare. I like the Sigma 8-16 but it is no replacement for my 16-35 f2.8.

Noise is about 1 stop better for a given framing and ISO. The K-5 is pretty good but one stop is one stop and it makes a difference if you like shooting a night.

DOF is not the same for a given f-stop. You need about a 1 stop wider aperture on APS-C to get the equivalent DOF of FF. So the f2.8 zooms of APS-C are more like the f4.0 zoom on full-frame. It is harder to get good background blur with APS-C than with FF for equivalent framing.

The lower enlargement requirement of larger sensors means the lens "defects" are also not enlarged as much. This is partially offset by the APS-C being able to use the "sweet" spot of a lens.

These differences extend to the Pentax 645D, where they are even more noticeable, so my hope is that Pentax not only releases a FF K-5 like camera, but I also hope they release an update to the 645D with a full 645 size sensor. These optical characteristics will always remain which is why the Nikon D800 is no replacement for a medium format. It isn't all about the pixels, noise or even sharpness. The "look" of larger formats has more to do with DOF and how it changes.

Indeed.  Where many people go wrong in comparing crop sensors with FF (or, indeed, any smaller with larger format) is confusing "is there a difference?" - to which the answer is always "yes" - with "is the difference worth the cost-size-weight penalty?" - to which the answer is "it depends on your priorities (which it's wrong to impose on others)".

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rwl408 Senior Member • Posts: 1,835
Re: The Pentax FF is coming

Simon Devlin wrote:

I can't understand why they don't actually just wait until you can buy it and use a film camera in the meantime. Time spent on the film camera is worth a lot and you will learn a lot especially if you buy one like I did which doesn't even have an exposure meter!

I believe the OP has passed this stage - learn to use a film camera - long ago. You probably still have a long way to catch up.

Joe Ogiba
Joe Ogiba Veteran Member • Posts: 4,627
Re: Future of Pentax?

I use my full frame Sony NEX-VG900 with my full frame Pentax lenses. BTW the VG900 has an APS-C mode also so all of my Pentax lenses work with it.

SMC Pentax-M* 300mm F4

SMC Pentax-M 20mm F4 SMC Pentax-M 20mm F4

My GH2 also works great with my Pentax lenses

On my Pentax DSLRs with  SMC Pentax-F 1.7x AF Adapter older MF lenses get AF help

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klimbkat
klimbkat Senior Member • Posts: 2,274
Re: Future of Pentax?
4

Anastigmat wrote:

It is all quite simple. The future of DSLR photography is FF, and the future is now.

Well, there you have it.  I was going to go out and shoot today with my non-FF gear, but I think I'll just stay home.

Dale108
Dale108 Veteran Member • Posts: 7,358
Re: Future of Pentax: Use 36 MP FF Sensor?

If Pentax does release a FF, they should use the 36 MP sensor as 24 MP is not going to attract much attention.

Dale

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Richard B.
Richard B. Veteran Member • Posts: 5,793
Re: Future of Pentax?

Andrew53 wrote:

EFL as you noted. This is generally negative for APS-C at the wide angle end where fast wide angle lenses are rare. I like the Sigma 8-16 but it is no replacement for my 16-35 f2.8.

These lenses produce very different fields of view.  The Sigma is significantly wider. A more appropriate comparison for the Sigma would be to a FF lens that covered 12-24mm.

Noise is about 1 stop better for a given framing and ISO. The K-5 is pretty good but one stop is one stop and it makes a difference if you like shooting a night.

As a landscape shooter, I find DR is a more useful metric. i.e. I care about the highlights as much as noise in the shadows. In DR, the K-5's gives little away to FF. At base ISO, the Pentax K-5IIs measures at 14.1EV - the D800 only manages 14.3EV. Hardly a significant difference and new Canon FF 6D only measured 12EV.

DOF is not the same for a given f-stop. You need about a 1 stop wider aperture on APS-C to get the equivalent DOF of FF. So the f2.8 zooms of APS-C are more like the f4.0 zoom on full-frame. It is harder to get good background blur with APS-C than with FF for equivalent framing.

There are times when shallow DOF is useful, but landscapes more typically require a deep DOF. APS-C is at an advantage here. I often need have some near foreground object and the background sharp.

Here is a theoretical example: On APS-C, using 16mm at f11 focused to 4 feet, I have a DOF from 2 feet to infinity. On a FF to achieve the same FOV, I would need to use 24mm. On FF, a 24mm lens at f11 focused to 4 feet gives me a a DOF from just over 2 feet to 13.5 feet. Keeping all other settings the same, I don't get infinity back in focus until f18. If you are considering maximum resolutions, that is well on the way to diffraction territory.

(BTW, I don't do these calculations in the field. I used one of the online DOF calculators to illustrate the DOF differences between APS-C and FF.)

The lower enlargement requirement of larger sensors means the lens "defects" are also not enlarged as much. This is partially offset by the APS-C being able to use the "sweet" spot of a lens.

I don't know what you mean by this. The proportion of the frame a defect occupies is not changed due to enlargement. As you enlarge a picture, the defect becomes bigger, but so do the good parts of the picture i.e. everything remains in proportion. The number and size of defects in the original capture would depend on the lenses in question.

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mauritsvw
mauritsvw Senior Member • Posts: 1,024
Re: Future of Pentax?

klimbkat wrote:

Anastigmat wrote:

It is all quite simple. The future of DSLR photography is FF, and the future is now.

Well, there you have it.  I was going to go out and shoot today with my non-FF gear, but I think I'll just stay home.

LOL!!

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ogl
ogl Senior Member • Posts: 1,523
Re: Future of Pentax?
2

No future. Pentax is dead.

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Alex Sarbu Veteran Member • Posts: 9,404
Re: Future of Pentax?

ogl wrote:

No future. Pentax is dead.

Luckily, they haven't found out yet

Alex

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Barry Pearson
Barry Pearson Veteran Member • Posts: 8,723
Re: Future of Pentax?

Gerry Winterbourne wrote:

Andrew53 wrote:

These differences extend to the Pentax 645D, where they are even more noticeable, so my hope is that Pentax not only releases a FF K-5 like camera, but I also hope they release an update to the 645D with a full 645 size sensor. These optical characteristics will always remain which is why the Nikon D800 is no replacement for a medium format. It isn't all about the pixels, noise or even sharpness. The "look" of larger formats has more to do with DOF and how it changes.

Indeed.  Where many people go wrong in comparing crop sensors with FF (or, indeed, any smaller with larger format) is confusing "is there a difference?" - to which the answer is always "yes" - with "is the difference worth the cost-size-weight penalty?" - to which the answer is "it depends on your priorities (which it's wrong to impose on others)".

True. And a particular photographer may have different priorities for different purposes.

When I'm on my feet all day at an airshow or similar event, perhaps getting rained on, I really appreciated my K-7 & K-5 (and now K-5IIs). And my compatible older cameras act as back-ups for my latest, which has proved useful.

But in a studio everything is very different. Size and weight are not constraints, and I want to squeeze out the best quality I can. I have even wondered whether the Pentax 645D would be suitable. (Probably yes, but well out of my price-range!)

I don't know how big and heavy an FF Pentax would be, but I can imagine that I wouldn't want to carry it (plus lenses) around all day. But it might be a perfect studio camera, perhaps with added lenses that I wouldn't normally use.

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Barry Pearson
Barry Pearson Veteran Member • Posts: 8,723
Re: Future of Pentax?

Anastigmat wrote:

It is all quite simple. The future of DSLR photography is FF, and the future is now. The APS-C sensor will dominate the mirrorless camera market, and the future of micro 4/3 is in doubt.  Olympus insists that it will still be making DSLR cameras with 4/3 sensors, but there has not been many new models in recent years. Further, Olympus is in financial trouble because its cameras just aren't selling.  If Pentax continues to drag its feet on FF, then it too will follow the path the Olympus is heading.

Are you saying that Pentax needs an FF camera so that buyers of smaller-sensor cameras know they have somewhere to go? Or that all buyers of Pentax dSLRs will go straight to FF?

I've had 5 APS-C Pentax cameras: *istD, K10D, K-7, K-5, and K-5IIs. Each has had a better sensor than the previous one. In parallel, software has greatly improved, so that Lightroom (with its latest noise reduction & Photoshop & lens profiles steadily give better results than the previous software.

The result is that my print size and quality, and projected image quality, has steadily improved over those years, and become easier. I used to print at A3 with good print quality, now I can print (after cropping) at A3+ with very good quality, and I keep some A2 paper in case. I know plenty of very good club photographers with APS-C sensors, including one who is also a professional and uses the K-5IIs.

So: why would a typical Pentax buyer need FF? Or are you saying that Pentax urgently needs an eye-level electronic viewfinder mirrorless camera with APS-C sensor, because it is only dSLRs that need FF? And if so, why?

I think there is merit in the argument that Pentax needs an FF camera so that people know they have a forward path. But unless they can cover the range (cost, weight, size, etc) with eye-level electronic viewfinder APS-C cameras plus various FF cameras, surely there is still a place for APS-C dSLRs? (Perhaps Pentax needs a K-mount/APS-C equivalent of the Panasonic Lumix G3?)

Some of the discussions about FF appear to concentrate on what a minority want, and ignore the fact that the vast majority of photographers don't do the sort of photography that needs FF.

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JoeDaBassPlayer Veteran Member • Posts: 3,657
Re: Future of Pentax?
1

I am on my third APS C Pentax camera and I am not missing FF at all. My K 01 does well at high ISO and has fantastic resolution and DR. It is also a fraction the cost  and size. I actually prefer the tonality of it over that of the Canon anyways.

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Variance is Evil!

ET2 Veteran Member • Posts: 4,110
Re: Future of Pentax?
1

Joe Ogiba wrote:

I use my full frame Sony NEX-VG900 with my full frame Pentax lenses. BTW the VG900 has an APS-C mode also so all of my Pentax lenses work with it.

I have to say, I remember Joe Ogiba used to post (almost every third thread) photos of his K01 (with LCD viewfinder and dolled up with external mic) but I never ever saw him post a video or photo taken with the camera. Now, he has been posting the photo of his VG900 (just as often) but once again I don't think he ever posted a photo or video taken with the camera.

Do you ever use these cameras to actually take photos/videos, or are you are just happy to show us that you own these cameras?

justin23 Veteran Member • Posts: 4,347
Re: Future of Pentax?

I look forward to the day when Pentax releases a FF so the threads lamenting the lack of FF change to my lens is not as good on FF digital, when will Pentax release a digital FF version....  Yes there will be lenses that fall into this category and its naive to think all the old glass will be as great as it once was on a FF digital.

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Justin
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