Nothwistanding the Pentax users' s hunger for long tele...

Started Dec 17, 2013 | Discussions
JNR
JNR Veteran Member • Posts: 3,083
Re: Nothwistanding the Pentax users' s hunger for long tele...

Petroglyph wrote:

I did notice recently Sony said they won't be putting IBIS in their short registration cams. I wouldn't want to loose that option in Pentax cams.

Interesting news about not using IBIS on the short registration system. I suspect the challenges of small registration distances are technically greater than us non-optical engineers realize. Surely the relative lack of high-quality, affordable optics in these systems hint at that.

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OP jonny1976 Veteran Member • Posts: 4,262
Tamron is on pre order at bh photo video

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1013957-REG/tamron_a011_n_sp_150_600mm_f_5_6_3_di.html

at 1069 dollar is probably the best bargain in the last years..

a japanese site has already showed photos and comaprision. at 600 mm it beats easilythe canon 300 plus 2x, and is not far from the 500 and 800 lenses that cost a least 10 12 times more

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KL Matt Veteran Member • Posts: 5,885
Re: Nothwistanding the Pentax users' s hunger for long tele...

moving_comfort wrote:

KL Matt wrote:

miles green wrote:

According to their lens roadmap, it will be a 100-400.

What the roadmap doesn't say: It's gonna be f/8.

f/2.8 !!!

Hah! Competition for Sigzilla, eh?

http://petapixel.com/2012/10/17/a-little-more-sigma-200-500-sigzilla-fun/

That would be great! Realistically it will probably be something variable and lame like f/5.6 - f.6.7 etc.

Matt

Alex Sarbu Veteran Member • Posts: 8,684
Re: Nothwistanding the Pentax users' s hunger for long tele...

JNR wrote:

Petroglyph wrote:

I did notice recently Sony said they won't be putting IBIS in their short registration cams. I wouldn't want to loose that option in Pentax cams.

Interesting news about not using IBIS on the short registration system. I suspect the challenges of small registration distances are technically greater than us non-optical engineers realize. Surely the relative lack of high-quality, affordable optics in these systems hint at that.

Maybe they just decided to make their cameras as small as possible, regardless if this will increase the size of the lenses, and to milk their users for stabilized lenses?

Alex

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gillamoto Forum Member • Posts: 54
Re: Nothwistanding the Pentax users' s hunger for long tele... not an issue
1

garyknrd wrote:

I have two lenses I have been trying to sell on e-bay in Pentax mount.

500mm F4.5 EX DG, 300mm F/2.8 EX DG.

No one interested, ran them twice. 500 mm more than $1000 off new and still in warranty, 300mm more than $1000 off just out of warranty. Beautiful glass.

I don't blame the company's for not making it in Pentax mount. I'll keep them I guess, now that the Pentax K-3 is out. Hopefully I will get some use out of them.

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Presently living in Asia

you are right Gary.. people mourn for many K-mount lenses, but only a few would buy them.

I have a sigma 100-300mm F4 in K mount for sale only for $750, but no one interested so far.

previously I had a sigma 120-400mm for only $600, need almost 4 months before someone grabbed it for $500.

many pentax users I know are only kit lenses users. only a few who owns DA* or the Limiteds. and yet, they mourn for FF!

LightBug Senior Member • Posts: 2,265
Re: Nothwistanding the Pentax users' s hunger for long tele... not an issue
1

Seems like economy is still not fully recovered.  I have many lenses for sale and few are interested in buying.

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moving_comfort
moving_comfort Veteran Member • Posts: 8,227
Existence of FF would sell your lenses faster

gillamoto wrote:

garyknrd wrote:

I have two lenses I have been trying to sell on e-bay in Pentax mount.

500mm F4.5 EX DG, 300mm F/2.8 EX DG.

No one interested, ran them twice. 500 mm more than $1000 off new and still in warranty, 300mm more than $1000 off just out of warranty. Beautiful glass.

I don't blame the company's for not making it in Pentax mount. I'll keep them I guess, now that the Pentax K-3 is out. Hopefully I will get some use out of them.

you are right Gary.. people mourn for many K-mount lenses, but only a few would buy them.

I have a sigma 100-300mm F4 in K mount for sale only for $750, but no one interested so far.

previously I had a sigma 120-400mm for only $600, need almost 4 months before someone grabbed it for $500.

many pentax users I know are only kit lenses users. only a few who owns DA* or the Limiteds. and yet, they mourn for FF!

.

A lot of the folks looking for the more expensive lenses are considering (or have moved) to lower or mid-tier FF.

If Pentax offered a FF body, your "it's safe to buy" buyers and FF customers would be buying your lenses faster, especially that Sigma 100-300 f4, which is a fantastic lens on FF.

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paulkienitz
paulkienitz Veteran Member • Posts: 5,281
Re: Read the post you linked ;)

moving_comfort wrote:

John_A_G wrote:

I agree with what you wrote here. Yet, you also seem to be one of those people that think the Pentax full frame offering needs to be considerably cheaper than the competition:

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/52544414

So, you help illustrate your own point I guess - you still want what the competition has just at a much lower cost.

In that post I was not wishing for a sub-$2000 FF body, I was illustrating how it's possible to make one while still being per-unit profitable (which it is.) Paul had written that a Pentax FF is 'certain to be a money loser', which doesn't stand up to any analysis.

Without data, I don't see how this claim can be supported. But, I think we all agree it will be difficult - launching not only the camera but also a new line of lenses.

In your post - maybe I am missing it? - you didn't account for fixed costs, which will have a larger impact on the smaller volume "full frame".

A sub-$2000 FF body will have to eventually be one of Pentax's products, as is a $3000 D800-type FF body, and perhaps something even higher-up.

But at first they will have to have one (and, I'd say, not a cheap crippled product nor a highly expensive pro beast). Around $2500-$3000 sounds plausible.

.

So, to clarify - if Pentax has a full-frame offering around $3,000 comparable to the 5dIII or d800 (depending on which direction you prefer) would YOU be willing to pay $3,000 for it?

.

To clarify - I would have been happy to pay $3000 for a Pentax FF body in 2010. I eventually bought a D700, and then a D800 last year, but would have initially preferred something to shoot my Limiteds on.

Back then, Hoya was too busy looking for buyers.

Alex

Yeah, that whole argument that a small volume FF could be profitable at $1800 was, as far as I could see, based on entirely made-up numbers. I don't see how it could happen without massive sales volume, which will never happen with a freshly restarted lens lineup. It'll sell in quite small numbers at first, I bet, which means it won't pay for itself, except in that it lays the groundwork for more successful FF models later.

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moving_comfort
moving_comfort Veteran Member • Posts: 8,227
Myths die hard

paulkienitz wrote:

moving_comfort wrote:

John_A_G wrote:

I agree with what you wrote here. Yet, you also seem to be one of those people that think the Pentax full frame offering needs to be considerably cheaper than the competition:

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/52544414

So, you help illustrate your own point I guess - you still want what the competition has just at a much lower cost.

In that post I was not wishing for a sub-$2000 FF body, I was illustrating how it's possible to make one while still being per-unit profitable (which it is.) Paul had written that a Pentax FF is 'certain to be a money loser', which doesn't stand up to any analysis.

Without data, I don't see how this claim can be supported. But, I think we all agree it will be difficult - launching not only the camera but also a new line of lenses.

In your post - maybe I am missing it? - you didn't account for fixed costs, which will have a larger impact on the smaller volume "full frame".

A sub-$2000 FF body will have to eventually be one of Pentax's products, as is a $3000 D800-type FF body, and perhaps something even higher-up.

But at first they will have to have one (and, I'd say, not a cheap crippled product nor a highly expensive pro beast). Around $2500-$3000 sounds plausible.

.

So, to clarify - if Pentax has a full-frame offering around $3,000 comparable to the 5dIII or d800 (depending on which direction you prefer) would YOU be willing to pay $3,000 for it?

.

To clarify - I would have been happy to pay $3000 for a Pentax FF body in 2010. I eventually bought a D700, and then a D800 last year, but would have initially preferred something to shoot my Limiteds on.

Back then, Hoya was too busy looking for buyers.

Alex

Yeah, that whole argument that a small volume FF could be profitable at $1800 was, as far as I could see, based on entirely made-up numbers.

.

It's not, it's made up of things we know.

Take the D600. In many ways, a D7000 clone with a sensor that cost about $250-$300 more than the $50 sensor used in the D7000. The other differences (larger VF housing, larger mirror, larger mirror box, slightly different ASIC programming and changes) do *not* amount to very much, despite what some people assume, probably less than $100 per body, much less than the sensor delta. It's really almost the same camera. A body teardown like they had on Reddit and Zite last year will flesh this out, and others have written about it.

So, we have a $1200 initial msrp body vs. a $1900 msrp body, a $700 delta, with the $1900 body costing the manufacturer between $350 and $500 more than the $1200 body. This puts the D600 at a per-unit profit at least $200 more than the profit realized by the D7000.

I think the problem is that people wrongly assume that vastly more expensive components go into these prosumer bodies vs. lower-mid tier aps-c, and that's not true, or that huge volumes are needed to achieve ROI on a supposedly-huge body R&D budget. Not true.

Where the big R&D budgets need to be allocated is in the lenses, which is the main reason Pentax has not jumped on FF yet - it's not about the body, which will be per-unit profitable.

This has been discussed more in other forums (to death!) and it's a newish idea in Pentax land, where the myth of 'lower-end FF is a money loser' still lives.

.

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paulkienitz
paulkienitz Veteran Member • Posts: 5,281
Re: The pro market is for visibility only, not volume

John_A_G wrote:

moving_comfort wrote:

John_A_G wrote:

My point is - Ricoh/Pentax doesn't have the luxury of all those high margin items without the professional base to consume them. So, they have to pick their battles.

There's a common, ongoing misconception that the 'professional base' represents a significant number of sales - it doesn't. It's tiny, and getting smaller. It's a fraction of the enthusiast base.

It is your ASSUMPTION that is wrong. You have zero empirical evidence. The number of hobbyists buying 400mm 2.8 and 600mm f4 lenses is tiny. Newspapers all over the world buy those lenses for their photography pools. Now, let's consider other equipment - the wedding professionals and what equipment they buy - the studio professionals and what equipment they buy. When you get to the high ticket items I submit it is still the professional market that is the primary consumer. Of course I have no more empirical data than you do.

Id wager that super-telephotos being sold to enthusiasts/hobbyists + amateur birders outnumber super-telephotos being sold to professional sports shooters 10 to 1. There just are not that many pro shooters left in the top 50 media or periodical markets combined.

.

When you're talking slow 5.6 I would agree. When you're talking 400mm 2.8, 500mm 4.0 and 600mm 4.0 I disagree. I think it's the opposite.

I think the number of amateurs and hobbyists buying those big lenses is bigger than you suppose.  The number of people who are actually paid to shoot sports with those lenses is small and getting smaller, but hang out with any bunch of birders and nature lovers, and there'll usually find one guy out of fifty or a hundred who are carrying $10,000+ of gear, including the thigh-sized telephotos.  It's a smallish portion, but the group it's a portion of is very large.

I think the largest market for top-shelf gear is rich amateurs, not pros.  This doesn't just go for teles, but other high end gear too, such as medium format bodies.  The real pros probably aren't profitable at all, except as advertising -- you have to provide all those emergency services to keep them happy, and at big visible events many of the lenses are loaned out gratis so the public will see them.

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moving_comfort
moving_comfort Veteran Member • Posts: 8,227
Re: The pro market is for visibility only, not volume

paulkienitz wrote:

John_A_G wrote:

moving_comfort wrote:

John_A_G wrote:

My point is - Ricoh/Pentax doesn't have the luxury of all those high margin items without the professional base to consume them. So, they have to pick their battles.

There's a common, ongoing misconception that the 'professional base' represents a significant number of sales - it doesn't. It's tiny, and getting smaller. It's a fraction of the enthusiast base.

It is your ASSUMPTION that is wrong. You have zero empirical evidence. The number of hobbyists buying 400mm 2.8 and 600mm f4 lenses is tiny. Newspapers all over the world buy those lenses for their photography pools. Now, let's consider other equipment - the wedding professionals and what equipment they buy - the studio professionals and what equipment they buy. When you get to the high ticket items I submit it is still the professional market that is the primary consumer. Of course I have no more empirical data than you do.

Id wager that super-telephotos being sold to enthusiasts/hobbyists + amateur birders outnumber super-telephotos being sold to professional sports shooters 10 to 1. There just are not that many pro shooters left in the top 50 media or periodical markets combined.

.

When you're talking slow 5.6 I would agree. When you're talking 400mm 2.8, 500mm 4.0 and 600mm 4.0 I disagree. I think it's the opposite.

I think the number of amateurs and hobbyists buying those big lenses is bigger than you suppose. The number of people who are actually paid to shoot sports with those lenses is small and getting smaller, but hang out with any bunch of birders and nature lovers, and there'll usually find one guy out of fifty or a hundred who are carrying $10,000+ of gear, including the thigh-sized telephotos. It's a smallish portion, but the group it's a portion of is very large.

I think the largest market for top-shelf gear is rich amateurs, not pros. This doesn't just go for teles, but other high end gear too, such as medium format bodies. The real pros probably aren't profitable at all, except as advertising -- you have to provide all those emergency services to keep them happy, and at big visible events many of the lenses are loaned out gratis so the public will see them.

Exactly true, see sub-thread title

.

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Peter Budd
Peter Budd Senior Member • Posts: 1,056
Re: Nothwistanding the Pentax users' s hunger for long tele... not an issue
1

I sold my Sigma 100-300 F4 a few years ago and have regretted it ever since. Been trying to get another for months now. Unfortunately importing from outside the EU adds extra Tax which makes it too expensive for a used lens IMO.

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Peter
GMT

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paulkienitz
paulkienitz Veteran Member • Posts: 5,281
Re: Myths die hard

moving_comfort wrote:

paulkienitz wrote:

Yeah, that whole argument that a small volume FF could be profitable at $1800 was, as far as I could see, based on entirely made-up numbers.

.

It's not, it's made up of things we know.

Take the D600. In many ways, a D7000 clone with a sensor that cost about $250-$300 more than the $50 sensor used in the D7000. The other differences (larger VF housing, larger mirror, larger mirror box, slightly different ASIC programming and changes) do *not* amount to very much, despite what some people assume, probably less than $100 per body, much less than the sensor delta. It's really almost the same camera. A body teardown like they had on Reddit and Zite last year will flesh this out, and others have written about it.

So, we have a $1200 initial msrp body vs. a $1900 msrp body, a $700 delta, with the $1900 body costing the manufacturer between $350 and $500 more than the $1200 body. This puts the D600 at a per-unit profit at least $200 more than the profit realized by the D7000.

I think the problem is that people wrongly assume that vastly more expensive components go into these prosumer bodies vs. lower-mid tier aps-c, and that's not true, or that huge volumes are needed to achieve ROI on a supposedly-huge body R&D budget. Not true.

Where the big R&D budgets need to be allocated is in the lenses, which is the main reason Pentax has not jumped on FF yet - it's not about the body, which will be per-unit profitable.

This has been discussed more in other forums (to death!) and it's a newish idea in Pentax land, where the myth of 'lower-end FF is a money loser' still lives.

All of those dollar figures are predicated on large sales volume, big enough to flatten out the per-model costs relative to the per-unit costs. You cannot estimate profitability per unit based on large-scale per unit costs, if you don't sell in high volume. How many first-generation FF bodies will they actually sell? It might be a number as small as ten thousand. What happens to your $500-per-body cost increment then?

Was it you who also made the point that the development and startup costs for a new lens model are higher than those of a new body model? Consider that this body can only move forward successfully if there are several all-new lenses for it. Without them, sales of the body will be ridiculously puny, going to the kind of people who will be using screw-mount adapters for half of their shooting.

Small parts cost doesn't mean a thing unless you can also do it with small up-front investment, and you can't. Not unless you want to sell to a really narrow niche, in which case you still lose money.

And that's actually a perfectly okay path for Ricoh to take, I think. They only need a tiny toehold in the FF world today. Just enough so that if in five years FF really pushes aside APS in the amateur and enthusiast SLR markets, they'll have had the time to transition, with each generation making their FF line more and more mainstream. Of course, with that approach they probably should have started a couple of years ago.

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moving_comfort
moving_comfort Veteran Member • Posts: 8,227
Re: Myths die hard
1

paulkienitz wrote:

moving_comfort wrote:

paulkienitz wrote:

Yeah, that whole argument that a small volume FF could be profitable at $1800 was, as far as I could see, based on entirely made-up numbers.

.

It's not, it's made up of things we know.

Take the D600. In many ways, a D7000 clone with a sensor that cost about $250-$300 more than the $50 sensor used in the D7000. The other differences (larger VF housing, larger mirror, larger mirror box, slightly different ASIC programming and changes) do *not* amount to very much, despite what some people assume, probably less than $100 per body, much less than the sensor delta. It's really almost the same camera. A body teardown like they had on Reddit and Zite last year will flesh this out, and others have written about it.

So, we have a $1200 initial msrp body vs. a $1900 msrp body, a $700 delta, with the $1900 body costing the manufacturer between $350 and $500 more than the $1200 body. This puts the D600 at a per-unit profit at least $200 more than the profit realized by the D7000.

I think the problem is that people wrongly assume that vastly more expensive components go into these prosumer bodies vs. lower-mid tier aps-c, and that's not true, or that huge volumes are needed to achieve ROI on a supposedly-huge body R&D budget. Not true.

Where the big R&D budgets need to be allocated is in the lenses, which is the main reason Pentax has not jumped on FF yet - it's not about the body, which will be per-unit profitable.

This has been discussed more in other forums (to death!) and it's a newish idea in Pentax land, where the myth of 'lower-end FF is a money loser' still lives.

All of those dollar figures are predicated on large sales volume, big enough to flatten out the per-model costs relative to the per-unit costs. You cannot estimate profitability per unit based on large-scale per unit costs, if you don't sell in high volume.

No.  This ^^ contributes to the myth, and it doesn't apply the way you think it does.

The same dynamic applies one tier down - say Pentax only made P&Ss and wanted to move up to DSLR, you could make the case that there's no way they could do it if volume is expected to be 1/10 of Nikon's aps-c DSLR sales volumes, because they wouldn't be able to get the same commodity supplier volume pricing on the components, and thus they either couldn't sell near the same unit price or they would lose money doing so.  Neither of those things happen - Pentax is able to make profits on the aps-c DSLR bodies and match the price of the equivalent Canon/Nikon.  (Sometimes even beat the equivalent bodies in features while doing so.)

This tells you something about the volume pricing models we're dealing with, and it applies directly to entry-level FF DSLR.  This is good news.

.

How many first-generation FF bodies will they actually sell? It might be a number as small as ten thousand.

Depends on the body and especially it's pricing.  Pentax sells about 1/10 Nikon's volume in aps-c DSLR, and the standard dynamic suggests they'll be able to improve that ratio up one tier where the numbers are not being skewed as heavily by the massive amounts of entry-level aps-c DSLR that Nikon/Canon's huge marketing campaign is moving.  But even if we go with 1/10 Nikon, we're looking at about 3000 sales per month = 35,000 per year roughly.  (that's at D800 price/capability, I don't know off the top of my head the monthly numbers for the D600/D610.)  Additional lens sales on top of that, and they tend to be higher-margin lenses.

.

Was it you who also made the point that the development and startup costs for a new lens model are higher than those of a new body model?

Yes.

Consider that this body can only move forward successfully if there are several all-new lenses for it. Without them, sales of the body will be ridiculously puny, going to the kind of people who will be using screw-mount adapters for half of their shooting.

Not entirely true, sales would also go to folks who are smart enough to buy those wonderful Sigmas, etc.   But yes, as I've said many times before (and Ned Bunnell said once, in a candid moment) the lens roll-out is crucial to the effort and it's costs are the highest - these two facts combine to form an institutional strategy-glue that keeps Pentax mired in their tier.  (to be fair three owners in five years has not helped strategy either.)

.

And that's actually a perfectly okay path for Ricoh to take, I think. They only need a tiny toehold in the FF world today. Just enough so that if in five years FF really pushes aside APS in the amateur and enthusiast SLR markets, they'll have had the time to transition, with each generation making their FF line more and more mainstream. Of course, with that approach they probably should have started a couple of years ago.

YES!  I think it was 2010 when I started carping on this so much, it's something they have to position themselves for, and it takes guts at an institutional level to get executive sponsorship, to move forward with getting where you need to be in half a decade.  You're bleeding customers in the meantime, and third-party manufacturers are slowly abandoning the mount.

Better late than never, though, and there appears to still be time.

.

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moving_comfort
moving_comfort Veteran Member • Posts: 8,227
Re: Nothwistanding the Pentax users' s hunger for long tele... not an issue

Peter Budd wrote:

I sold my Sigma 100-300 F4 a few years ago and have regretted it ever since. Been trying to get another for months now.

It is superb.  You never have to stop it down unless you need more DOF.

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Alex Sarbu Veteran Member • Posts: 8,684
Re: Myths die hard

paulkienitz wrote:

moving_comfort wrote:

paulkienitz wrote:

Yeah, that whole argument that a small volume FF could be profitable at $1800 was, as far as I could see, based on entirely made-up numbers.

.

It's not, it's made up of things we know.

Take the D600. In many ways, a D7000 clone with a sensor that cost about $250-$300 more than the $50 sensor used in the D7000. The other differences (larger VF housing, larger mirror, larger mirror box, slightly different ASIC programming and changes) do *not* amount to very much, despite what some people assume, probably less than $100 per body, much less than the sensor delta. It's really almost the same camera. A body teardown like they had on Reddit and Zite last year will flesh this out, and others have written about it.

So, we have a $1200 initial msrp body vs. a $1900 msrp body, a $700 delta, with the $1900 body costing the manufacturer between $350 and $500 more than the $1200 body. This puts the D600 at a per-unit profit at least $200 more than the profit realized by the D7000.

I think the problem is that people wrongly assume that vastly more expensive components go into these prosumer bodies vs. lower-mid tier aps-c, and that's not true, or that huge volumes are needed to achieve ROI on a supposedly-huge body R&D budget. Not true.

Where the big R&D budgets need to be allocated is in the lenses, which is the main reason Pentax has not jumped on FF yet - it's not about the body, which will be per-unit profitable.

This has been discussed more in other forums (to death!) and it's a newish idea in Pentax land, where the myth of 'lower-end FF is a money loser' still lives.

All of those dollar figures are predicated on large sales volume, big enough to flatten out the per-model costs relative to the per-unit costs. You cannot estimate profitability per unit based on large-scale per unit costs, if you don't sell in high volume. How many first-generation FF bodies will they actually sell? It might be a number as small as ten thousand. What happens to your $500-per-body cost increment then?

This was exactly the point I made 1 month ago - it was ignored. We cannot simply assume Pentax would work with the same $700 delta as Nikon. We can't just try to estimate per unit production costs, disregarding everything else.

Was it you who also made the point that the development and startup costs for a new lens model are higher than those of a new body model? Consider that this body can only move forward successfully if there are several all-new lenses for it. Without them, sales of the body will be ridiculously puny, going to the kind of people who will be using screw-mount adapters for half of their shooting.

Fortunately, APS-C users will also buy those lenses.

Small parts cost doesn't mean a thing unless you can also do it with small up-front investment, and you can't. Not unless you want to sell to a really narrow niche, in which case you still lose money.

And that's actually a perfectly okay path for Ricoh to take, I think. They only need a tiny toehold in the FF world today. Just enough so that if in five years FF really pushes aside APS in the amateur and enthusiast SLR markets, they'll have had the time to transition, with each generation making their FF line more and more mainstream. Of course, with that approach they probably should have started a couple of years ago.

I agree, they don't have to do everything at once, nor the cheapest product they could possibly make - but to have a start. I don't think they'll want to lose money (at least not on the long time); and I don't think we'll be satisfied with e.g. reusing an APS-C AF system, like Nikon did.

One body and few lenses (together with what they already have), to get the support from the picky enthusiasts, then build on that. The current userbase can't support more IMO, and even this is a bit of a stretch.

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Alex

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John_A_G Veteran Member • Posts: 7,573
Re: The pro market is for visibility only, not volume

paulkienitz wrote:

John_A_G wrote:

moving_comfort wrote:

John_A_G wrote:

My point is - Ricoh/Pentax doesn't have the luxury of all those high margin items without the professional base to consume them. So, they have to pick their battles.

There's a common, ongoing misconception that the 'professional base' represents a significant number of sales - it doesn't. It's tiny, and getting smaller. It's a fraction of the enthusiast base.

It is your ASSUMPTION that is wrong. You have zero empirical evidence. The number of hobbyists buying 400mm 2.8 and 600mm f4 lenses is tiny. Newspapers all over the world buy those lenses for their photography pools. Now, let's consider other equipment - the wedding professionals and what equipment they buy - the studio professionals and what equipment they buy. When you get to the high ticket items I submit it is still the professional market that is the primary consumer. Of course I have no more empirical data than you do.

Id wager that super-telephotos being sold to enthusiasts/hobbyists + amateur birders outnumber super-telephotos being sold to professional sports shooters 10 to 1. There just are not that many pro shooters left in the top 50 media or periodical markets combined.

.

When you're talking slow 5.6 I would agree. When you're talking 400mm 2.8, 500mm 4.0 and 600mm 4.0 I disagree. I think it's the opposite.

I think the number of amateurs and hobbyists buying those big lenses is bigger than you suppose.

could be.

The number of people who are actually paid to shoot sports with those lenses is small and getting smaller,

It's not individuals.  It's newspapers and media companies.  Many newspapers have gone away from dedicated sports photographers - their staffs must take photos of everything.  The newspapers own the lenses in a pool and staffers use them as needed.  Years ago the two major local papers had I think 5 400mm 2.8 lenses in their pools.  That's just 2 papers in NE Ohio.  Lots of other newspapers just in Ohio.  It's those newspapers around the world that buy a lot of these lenses.  Yes, there are some freelancers that buy their own gear but as you say - that's more of a rarity now.

but hang out with any bunch of birders and nature lovers, and there'll usually find one guy out of fifty or a hundred who are carrying $10,000+ of gear, including the thigh-sized telephotos. It's a smallish portion, but the group it's a portion of is very large.

I think the largest market for top-shelf gear is rich amateurs, not pros. This doesn't just go for teles, but other high end gear too, such as medium format bodies. The real pros probably aren't profitable at all, except as advertising -- you have to provide all those emergency services to keep them happy, and at big visible events many of the lenses are loaned out gratis so the public will see them.

paulkienitz
paulkienitz Veteran Member • Posts: 5,281
Re: Myths die hard
2

moving_comfort wrote:

paulkienitz wrote:

All of those dollar figures are predicated on large sales volume, big enough to flatten out the per-model costs relative to the per-unit costs. You cannot estimate profitability per unit based on large-scale per unit costs, if you don't sell in high volume.

No. This ^^ contributes to the myth, and it doesn't apply the way you think it does.

The same dynamic applies one tier down - say Pentax only made P&Ss and wanted to move up to DSLR, you could make the case that there's no way they could do it if volume is expected to be 1/10 of Nikon's aps-c DSLR sales volumes, because they wouldn't be able to get the same commodity supplier volume pricing on the components, and thus they either couldn't sell near the same unit price or they would lose money doing so. Neither of those things happen - Pentax is able to make profits on the aps-c DSLR bodies and match the price of the equivalent Canon/Nikon. (Sometimes even beat the equivalent bodies in features while doing so.)

This tells you something about the volume pricing models we're dealing with, and it applies directly to entry-level FF DSLR. This is good news.

You're still talking only about per-unit costs, not per-model costs independent of sales volume.

How many first-generation FF bodies will they actually sell? It might be a number as small as ten thousand.

Depends on the body and especially it's pricing. Pentax sells about 1/10 Nikon's volume in aps-c DSLR, and the standard dynamic suggests they'll be able to improve that ratio up one tier where the numbers are not being skewed as heavily by the massive amounts of entry-level aps-c DSLR that Nikon/Canon's huge marketing campaign is moving. But even if we go with 1/10 Nikon, we're looking at about 3000 sales per month = 35,000 per year roughly. (that's at D800 price/capability, I don't know off the top of my head the monthly numbers for the D600/D610.) Additional lens sales on top of that, and they tend to be higher-margin lenses.

You're saying that FF Pentax should do better against FF Nikon than crop Pentax does against crop Nikon? How could that possibly happen?? In APS the two companies are about evenly matched for consumer choices, but in FF, Nikon has ten times as many lenses as we do! At its initial introduction, an FF Pentax won't be able to pretend even slightly that it's a competitive offering.  It will look like a niche product even next to a Fuji X-Pro or a Sony a7R, let alone a D610.

See why I have a hard time taking your hard financial numbers seriously here?

It isn't just the initial investment, either.  The only way to move it from a very narrow niche product which serves no function but to put a footmark in Nikon's territory, to where it's a real mainstream competitor, is to continue to make a whole series of further development investments in one lens after another, none of which can pay for itself until about three product generations later, because volume sales don't happen until the whole range is available to buyers.

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Arijit Banerjee
Arijit Banerjee Senior Member • Posts: 2,555
Re: who cares?
1

…errr… there is a work around and without it even a 1000mm lens is useless… it's called FIELD-CRAFT!!!

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moving_comfort
moving_comfort Veteran Member • Posts: 8,227
Re: Myths die hard
1

paulkienitz wrote:

moving_comfort wrote:

paulkienitz wrote:

All of those dollar figures are predicated on large sales volume, big enough to flatten out the per-model costs relative to the per-unit costs. You cannot estimate profitability per unit based on large-scale per unit costs, if you don't sell in high volume.

No. This ^^ contributes to the myth, and it doesn't apply the way you think it does.

The same dynamic applies one tier down - say Pentax only made P&Ss and wanted to move up to DSLR, you could make the case that there's no way they could do it if volume is expected to be 1/10 of Nikon's aps-c DSLR sales volumes, because they wouldn't be able to get the same commodity supplier volume pricing on the components, and thus they either couldn't sell near the same unit price or they would lose money doing so. Neither of those things happen - Pentax is able to make profits on the aps-c DSLR bodies and match the price of the equivalent Canon/Nikon. (Sometimes even beat the equivalent bodies in features while doing so.)

This tells you something about the volume pricing models we're dealing with, and it applies directly to entry-level FF DSLR. This is good news.

You're still talking only about per-unit costs, not per-model costs independent of sales volume.

I concentrated on that because so many people falsely assume that per-unit margins are so low on entry-level FF bodies hat they're in danger of actually losing money, per unit.  That's the myth that still exists in places.  In fact they probably all show higher per-unit profits than entry-level or mid-tier aps-c.

Per model costs with things like fixed costs and R&D are largly factored in.  I think you're assuming there's going to be a huge R&D budget inherent in putting out a FF model above and beyond the one that already exists with aps-c, and there's no evidence that's the case.  The cameras will just not be that different to design, and they will be sharing a lot of the same components and code base.

.

How many first-generation FF bodies will they actually sell? It might be a number as small as ten thousand.

Depends on the body and especially it's pricing. Pentax sells about 1/10 Nikon's volume in aps-c DSLR, and the standard dynamic suggests they'll be able to improve that ratio up one tier where the numbers are not being skewed as heavily by the massive amounts of entry-level aps-c DSLR that Nikon/Canon's huge marketing campaign is moving. But even if we go with 1/10 Nikon, we're looking at about 3000 sales per month = 35,000 per year roughly. (that's at D800 price/capability, I don't know off the top of my head the monthly numbers for the D600/D610.) Additional lens sales on top of that, and they tend to be higher-margin lenses.

You're saying that FF Pentax should do better against FF Nikon than crop Pentax does against crop Nikon? How could that possibly happen??

I outlined it already - the numbers in aps-c DSLR are skewed heavily by the massive numbers of entry-level aps-c bodies Canon/Nikon sell in places like Target, fueled by huge advertising budgets and promotions.  You don't see FF cameras in nearly as many point of sale locations.  We could very well see 1/8 or better ratio to Nikon, especially the first year of release.  If they have the lenses.

.

It isn't just the initial investment, either. The only way to move it from a very narrow niche product which serves no function but to put a footmark in Nikon's territory, to where it's a real mainstream competitor, is to continue to make a whole series of further development investments in one lens after another, none of which can pay for itself until about three product generations later, because volume sales don't happen until the whole range is available to buyers.

You've sort of outlined the chicken-in-egg problem Pentax faces.  Real FF body sales may not take off until they have a good fleet of FF lenses, but they can't sell a good number of FF lenses with only aps-c buyers currently in the fold, so ramp-up is hard.

I suspect they just have not been able to get a critical mass of executive sponsorship to 'make the jump' in the past five years, when they had the financial backing from a parent, and before Hoya they would have had to externally-finance the entire thing at great risk to the company.

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