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Friday, 19 November 2010

Comments

Mike,
It was so much fun to read this interview, and though you missed a couple of questions I might have asked, I thank you for taking the time and effort to do this. I'll be sure to use your sponsor link to B&H when I make my K5 purchase as I did when I bought my K-7 and glass.
I sort of "backed into" Pentax after owning and selling two Nikon DSLRs and I just love the look of the photos and the feel of Pentax gear. To those wavering, I say "just do it. Buy the Pentax gear and don't look back!"
To hear Ned talk about the "channel strategy that is working and allowing us to expand our distribution" put a big smile on my face.
Thanks again!

Whew! that's a relief. I swear by the 77 & hope one day to be able to afford the 31.

An interesting interview, even though there are always questions that each reader would've prefered. Lots of general talk, but the most interesting points for me are

1) There will be new DA Limiteds
2) FA Limiteds are not discontinued
3) the DA 18-135mm is 100% Pentax

Bubbling under

4) Even Pentax considers the DFA 100mm WR a "Limited" in all but name

Ned actually said "LOL" in a face-to-face interview? He just doesn't seem the type!

"Ned actually said 'LOL' in a face-to-face interview?"

Robin,
We conducted the interview by email. I thought I made that clear in the introduction, no?

Mike

Mike, thanks for this interview, but I was hoping that you asked about a small and mirror-less camera body to accompany those wonderful lenses. I always thought Pentax would be a great alternative to the m43, sony nex etc. with the line up of the tiny lenses-especially the sony nex: i find the body/lens proportion very strange.

That was a wonderful interview Mike.
Thank you for the effort.
Pentax was my first earned/owned camera (a Petri half-frame was first, a piece of junk) and I still regret leaving the camp for Nikon.
I could return however, with limited resources and even fewer reasons to do photography, it is not going to happen.

Having brightly colored DSLR bodies is a brilliant marketing move. They attract attention. During a street performance at our community's Halloween festival, a young exchange student held up a bubble gum-colored K-X to capture the action. It just stood out among a sea of look-alikes. Within minutes several friends came over (knowing I was a Pentax shooter), jabbed me in the ribs, and asked with a smirk if that was going to be my next camera.

I wish I could have smiled in return, but my ribs started hurting after the third time.

Somehow I missed the news about the 645 lens. There was a rumor about a 28mm lens, but a 25mm f/4 is totally news to me. Good news to have a solid Ultra Wide Angle.

Good interview, thanks Mike.

I think Ned is underestimating how popular and well regarded the new DA 35/2.4 will become. I have had mine for a few weeks, and it is a stellar lens. It's very sharp, the colour is pure Pentax SMC, the bokeh is lovely. I am satisfied with a 2.8 prime under most circumstances, so f/2.4 is plenty fast. The physical design of the lens is very attractive, it looks exactly like a DA Limited. The only difference is the use of plastic instead of metal. You would think that putting the DA 35/2.4 beside the FA 77 would reveal a world of difference, but I think they have much in common. Even manually focussing the DA 35 is nice... the mechanism is obviously lighter, but it is dampened and smooth. It's not that different from manually focussing the FA 77.

Loved my Pentax 67 for 30 years - still do.

I will have a 645D one day.

There's a lot of medium format brand loyalty out there for Pentax.

Even the President of Pentax USA is giving you lens advice :)
Great to hear the FA Limited rumour has been officially discounted. I think even Hoya must recognise that these are Halo products or as you succinctly put it years ago 'Ne Plus Ultra AF Primes'.
I would be interested to know if Pentax are working on a refresh of the DFA50 Macro, it seems to be the poor orphan child now or maybe a DA(L)50 f/2 to go along with the DA(L)35 f/2.4 (I use the (L) for lightweight plastic jobbies)
The other question is where is the DA24 f/2.8 Limited?

"The other question is where is the DA24 f/2.8 Limited?"

Robbie,
No, it's going to be a Limited 25mm f/2 WR. [VBG]

Mike

Mike, I loved the interview. the color saturation of the secoond photo is impressive. I am preparing to make a new body buy soon and have been taking great notice here of the Pentax discussion. Am stuck with staying with Canon since I have the 24-70 F2.8L and wanting to have the video ability for other issues. The goal is a full size Canon sensor but a medium format is just as desirable. Sigh, just not enough money at the moment.
CHEERS...Mathew

"...in addition to the new D FA 645 55mm which is shipping now, we’ll ship a 25mm ƒ/4 lens early next year."

Yowza, that's a 19mm equivalent! Not content to just re-coat the FA645 35mm, were they?

But where is the tilt/shift for the 645D?

Mike,I have been reading your blog for a while now,pretty much every day,really like it and your style.Recommended it to others,just wanted to say thanks.

Thanks for the interview Mike! I'm a long time Pentax user so I really enjoyed reading it. My K5 should arrive shortly.

Nice. That was a very informative interview.

I was particularly interested in what he had to say about the Optio W90 and how it is being marketed. It's a camera I've been eying for its possibilities as a toss-in-the-bag pocket camera, and with the exception of its battery life, I've been rather impressed.

I am rather confused about the crop factors in these lenses. So if 18-135 is the equivalent 27-207 in 35mm, does this mean the new DA 100mm macro is the 35 mm equivalent of about 150 mm?

Regarding color cameras: I never thought my wife would ever shoot with a DSLR, then she saw the purple K-X.... We went to Alaska, as usual, nobody commented on my DSLR; but people went nuts over her purple K-X. Viva anything that grows our passion.

That's a nice interview, and I'm quite impressed with Ned's directness. He clearly values the TOP community to keep the spin at a minimum.

What was your issue with Pentax 35mm lenses, Mike?

No, it's going to be a Limited 25mm f/2 WR. [VBG]

Oh, don't tease! I think if they released that I would absolutely have no choice but to jump on board the Pentax train.

"Ned actually said 'LOL' in a face-to-face interview?"

Robin,
We conducted the interview by email. I thought I made that clear in the introduction, no?

Mike

--

I decided to scrap the email and just ask him if he had time for an interview.

It's a bit confusing how it was conducted, but regardless, a good interview and a good read.

Well, thanks, David, you're welcome. (Literally--come around any time!)

Mike

"does this mean the new DA 100mm macro is the 35 mm equivalent of about 150 mm?"

Right. It would compete with the longer macros for full-frame like the Canon 180mm f/3.5 L and the Nikon Micro-Nikkor 200mm f/4.

Mike

"What was your issue with Pentax 35mm lenses, Mike?"

Nothing, as soon as they make that 25mm I was talking about....

Mike

(P.S. This is just wishful thinking. Any and all references to my dream lenses are unfortunately fact-free.)

Thank you for the interview - but how come you didn't ask a single question about full frame 35mm body my K series lenses are waiting for?

Mike Johnston, good interview but,

In the Pentaxforums people are asking for:

1. Tethering
2. Manual video controls
3. And upgrade to the pitiful P-TTL system and WR flash.

Why didn't you ask Ned any of these questions, to be honest FA Limiteds is really pretty meaningless all but a few Pentax shooters, it's not going to sway people from Canon or Nikon when the rest of the system is lacking, would've been great to have heard Neds response to this.

It's annoying that every time someone gets a chance to get Neds ear they ask him questions other than the important ones. Also there's no comment on a roadmap either.

Whaddabout EVIL camera plans? Something which might be a proper answer to Oly & Pana micro-FourThirds, Sony NEX, Samsung NX, ...

Thanks a lot for the interview. Could you please, next time, ask for Pentax's plans for tethering? I understand there are plans for the 645D but what about the K-5? This is an important topic for many photogs, yet every interviewer manages not to ask the question. I fear Pentax USA doesn't really know.

I'm with you Mike. I'd buy that lens in a heartbeat. In half a heartbeat if they made it part of the DA* line (and thus sealed).

Chris,
I haven't any interest in any of the things you mention. Those questions would have to come from somebody else....

Mike

Thanks Mike. I liked that.

Also thanks for the bit about the K-r. We have been watching the prices drop almost daily. We are trying to decide between the kit with the 50-200 or the one with the 55-300. My normal approach would be to go for the smaller zoom range, but that photo you shared sure looks good. I'm hoping that the price drops enough so I might be able to slip the 40mm pancake in to the order!

As long as we're talking dream lenses, why not dream that Pentax makes weather-sealed versions of all their Limiteds? Of course, the lenses would be a little bulkier, but being able to take out a camera in a driving downpour would be pretty neat.

Funny, one of the questions that I thought you were going to ask would was, "What about a full-frame Pentax?" Or is the 645D covering that?

but...but...what about full frame and mirrorless?

While there are many things we'd all like to hear from Ned, there's obviously a limit to what he can tell for now. If the Hoya big shots haven't given green light to release info on new products or to discuss system insufficiencies, there's probably not much more he can say. Perhaps some vague hints or slips at best.

Lack of tethering is a deal-breaker for a serious camera. Not necessarily for the current target market, but it's going to be a limiting factor.

Using a flash meter in the studio is prehistoric.

oh that dream 25mm would be quite something!!
i bet Ned will order his minions to get working on it ASAP :)

Thanks for the great interview Mike.

With all this talk of Limited lenses I would like to an 18mm Limited f2.8 or faster so I had a good fast 28mm (35mm equivalent) for my K-7.

"Chris, I haven't any interest in any of the things you mention. Those questions would have to come from somebody else...."

And it's my case too...That's why I read this blog everyday and pentaxforum only one time a month...

-Tethering (I prefer to review shots before upload on screen, It limits my web space use)
-Manual video control (I prefer still photography assembly, set of themes and well thought reportages)
-The flash system? For Studio shooters and pack shooters???-) Seriously who care? We wanted better low iso capability and It's REALLY fine now.

(I dislike reading "aggressive" posts...)

A fully interesting interview from MY point of view...

So pentax can make a 25mm f4 for it's new 645 but it can't make a 25mm f2 for it's numerous APS models after 10 YEARS!!!!!! So now we KNOW that pentax APS is demonstrably NOT and never will be a 'pro' system despite all the hype and nonsense...basically, pentax makes what IT wants....

I did like the interview. But, as usual, some remarks:

It is fine to pursue high revenue products such as the limited lenses, beautifully crafted. But I feel that 35 2,4 is not enough for the cheap and cheerful shooter. There are no current bargains but for the discontinued items such as the 16-45 zoom, or the basement priced k7 (can be had for around 750 euros body only). I assume that for me pentax was that thing waiting to be discovered, as was the 43 when I bought it: a better than Cosina-Zeiss or Leica lens for 450 $, or that 50 for 190 $. That does not happen any longer, nor do I expect to happen.

Then there is the cosina stampede from the k mount. Not good, as it was the only specialty manufacturer to almost equal the fa limited series with wither voightlander or Zeiss designs.

However, I do agree that the coloured bodies are an extremely smart move: do not try to sway away into you a market segment driven mainly by brand and specs. Look to attract new segments to your market, and make them not fear the object which, to be honest, looks more like a sledge weapon than a thing to paint light into.

Het legend, nogmal

Apostrophe overload huh? Anyways for me you have a classic American writing style,a nice cross between laid back and substance.Keep on keeping that tongue planted firmly in your cheek.Cheers.

Mike,
With all respect - anyone even mildly interested in Pentax is curious about:
(1) any plans for full frame camera?
(2) as above - EVIL?
Having a chance to talk to Ned directly and not asking those two questions, and not commenting on previous comments from various people on those points is...[insults deleted —Ed.]

Unfortunate to note that Ned thinks the new DA L 35mm f2.4 has a 'Relatively bright Aperture' when it's a full stop slower than the competition (Sony and Nikon both make APS-C 35/1.8's which sell for less than the DA L 35 and are equally good performers).

The DA L 35 release was in many ways the last nail in the coffin for this Pentax shooter. I really do like Pentax bodies but the lens line is far too oriented to 'small but slow' glass which offsets Pentax's newfound dominance of high-ISO APS-C performance. So I switched to Sony and now have access to a far larger selection of lenses which are f2 or faster. (That said, the ZA 135/1.8 is almost ludicrously large when mounted on my A33).

Mike,

I've got that 21mm, and it feels a lot like a 35. And it's very small. I'm not in a place where I can make prints, but I've looked at the K5's ISO 1600, and it's so good, and the resolution is so good, that I think even though the 21 is not the fastest, you can safely push a couple of stops with the K5 and get your fast almost-35.

It''s odd how people see differently. I've always liked slightly long lenses...not very long, but slightly. The FA 43 may become my favorite lens, though I've been carrying around the DA 70 for the past couple of days.

One thing about the Pentax vs. the Panasonic M4/3 -- the Pentax feels like a brick, like a chunk of metal. Compared to that, the Panasonic GH1 feels like it's full of air. I like both feelings, depending on what I'm doing, but they are radically different.

I think 16-18mp may turn out to be the sweet spot for APS-C digital cameras for the next few years, until there's some significant break-through in noise reduction, and it could be some time before we get a camera that's the same format and markedly better than the K5. One thing -- I wish they'd had a flexible LCD on the Pentax. I find that feature on the GH1 to be extremely useful.

JC

Aizan: "but...but...what about full frame and mirrorless?"

ER: "While there are many things we'd all like to hear from Ned, there's obviously a limit to what he can tell for now. If the Hoya big shots haven't given green light to release info on new products or to discuss system insufficiencies, there's probably not much more he can say. Perhaps some vague hints or slips at best."

Aizan, meet ER. ER, Aizan. [g]

Mike

Derek,
I'd like to know who's going to win this winter's Super Bowl, too. What good would asking about it do?

Mike

I have 4 Pentax bodies (2 LX, 645, MZ-5n) and about 20 Pentax lenses (all K except the 3 FA Limited). I enjoy the "oldies" as much or more than the FA Limited i.e. K28/2 and K30/2.8. I have sold my Pentax digital gear for two reasons: 1)I fall in love with B&W film 2)Crop factor just did not feel right on the wide side 31mm>46mm
The only thing that would make me consider a digital purchase would be a Pentax FF with as much DR then the K5 sensor (or more...) to use my FA Limited.
645D is not an option because of price range and too many buttons compared to 645....
But I am glad to see Pentax doing well.

Cheers,

Luc

Mike,

Thanks for the interview. I have never owned any SLR but a Pentax, starting with a K1000, adding a used K2, then a ZX-5N and now a K10D. Initially it just made sense to keep adding to what I already owned so I could keep using my existing lenses. But as time has progressed, I have continued to be impressed with the great quality of the results I obtain from my Pentaxes and by what seems to me to be a regard that Pentax has for its existing users. This is in no small part reflected in its commitment to ensuring that all of its prior lenses remain compatible with its new SLRs. That shows a respect for the financial commitment we already have made to Pentax and a recognition that some of us develop real attachments to certain lenses, which in return increases the chances that we will keep coming back for new Pentax SLR bodies. It also suggests to me that Pentax really thinks about what photographers (particularly committed amateur photographers) want and need before it leaps on producing new products. For example, I remember when I was preparing to take the step from film to digital, all of the other manufacturers already had come out with intermediate level SLRs, but they all were putting image stabilization in their lenses, dust removal was novel, and no intermediate level SLR was weather resistant or weatherproof. Pentax was taking some heat for taking so long to get an intermediate level camera to the market, and then, BANG, the K10D arrived with camera-integral IS (once again being mindful of all those legacy Pentax lenses out there that would not include that feature), dust removal and weatherproofing all in one nice compact package that produced excellent images. That's when I jumped to digital and I have not regretted the wait. I anticipate that I will keep returning to Pentax until I sense that something has changed in the company's approach, but your interview with Mr. Bunnell indicates that Pentax remains on the right track.

As for your lens search (and returning to the topic of old Pentax lenses), I found when I owned and used a Canon Canonet rangefinder that I really liked the 40mm focal length that was used on the lens that was integral to that camera. Nothing like that existed for my Pentax SLR (when you include the crop factor), so I decided to buy a used, manual 28mm f/3.5 Pentax-K lens (roughly a 42mm equivalent on 35mm film) to see how that works, and it works great. Not quite the focal length you are looking for, but I believe that Pentax produced manual-focus 24mm lenses in the past. Check out pentaxforums.com for more information if that intrigues you.

Cheers, and Happy Thanksgiving to all.

Craig

I hope that by the time I am able to afford a K-5, there will be one in Olive Green.
BTW, I have a K20d

Hey Mike, this was a GREAT interview, thanks for posting.

After reading the interview and the comments, it seems to me that the good old Pentax remains the same: they are doing things their way, even some people know they have much better ideas for them. And I'm glad to realize that Pentax is not interested in becoming a "me-too" dSLR brand.

For good and bad, purchasing a Pentax camera used to mean something; for a few years, that "something" was somehow confusing. Yet in 2010, with the K-r, K5 and 645D, and their confirmed commitment to primes, that something is crystal clear, again.

Camo or olive green, with grapefruit yellow accents, please, as shown on an old km.

Het legend, nogmal.

I have to say I really enjoy the posts about how this or that is proof that Pentax is NOT a serious system because it doesn't have some specific feature that they want. Why don't you just buy from someone who does? Pentax is serious for those of us who like what they offer. Personally I don't care3 what Canon and Nikon have in their lineup. Honestly they are serious for me, lack of in body IS, no weather proofing except in ungodly expensive bodies, and a lack of high quality small lightweight primes. Why they just don't understand what is important they must not be serious makers! Matter of fact I would go so far as to say that I believe they are in it for the money. : )

I, and perhaps some of the rest of us, tend to forget that to "ordinary consumers" cameras are much less important than they are to us. My initial reaction to colored cameras was that caring that much about what color your camera was seemed pretty shallow; but regardless, their money spends just as well as my money, and it's good business to do things that get them to buy. As a photographer, I'm pleased that a number of the models using color to help marketing are ALSO quite decent cameras; getting decent cameras into the hands of more people has to be good.

Interesting interview. This interview and an older one I read seem to indicate that Mr Bunnell really is a photographer with a keen interest in making his company better.
Somehow, I always end up rather skeptical thinking US or Europe executives probably don't weigh too much when Japan headquarters decide. Hope I'm wrong with Pentax :).

I've abandoned aps-c DSLR cameras for micro four thirds for the time being but I'd love to buy myself a pentax mirrorless if one is ever made ;). Always thought so many things were just right on pentax bodies, ergonomics & operations wise.
A small body, E-P1 sized, rugged, weather sealed, in body IS, with a bunch of not-too-large-but-not-too-small WR fast fine primes? Fitting in the palm of a hand? K-5 sensor? shivers

I think, from a marketing perspective, that Pentax is on to something quite fundamental. Nikon and Canon are the big guns, both around for a long time, both catering to the full range of the camera. They are giants in the camera industry, and other industries as well. Sony is another giant in the room. These companies can afford to offer something for everyone.

Pentax is smaller. They have never been a Nikon or a Canon. Nevertheless, over the years, they made some really successful and nice products: Spotmatic, awesome lenses, ME Super (OK-I hated it, but lots of others liked it), MX, LX. Some pros used their stuff, but when was the last time Pentax created a camera system to really challenge the the Canon and Nikon pro system cameras? The LX? Other than during the life of the LX, pros who did not need a system might chose a Pentax, others who needed the system did not. How did the LX do? I think Canon and Nikon still dominated that market, even though the LX was a fine camera.

Pentax has to carve out a niche where they can compete against the big guns. They know how to make small cameras and small lenses and they seem to have overcome their lateness to comprehend the digital revolution. Trying to be something they are not cannot work for them.

If they want to step up to compete with the big guns across the board, they need almost unimaginable resources to develop product that might not sell (at least at first) and promote that product like you have never seen before. Remember when Canon created the F1 and the FD lens system? They had years to fight against Nikon, by advertising, and giving product to pros, and promoting the hell out of their products. And they could do that for years without fundamentally changing their pro-level camera. Those days are over. The product life cycle is much shorter now. The situation Canon faced then (and Pentax would face today) is much more problematic today due to the rapid advance of technology.

So, if Pentax can get back in the game with the enthusiast photographers, I think they are doing the right thing. And if they can attract new users with high quality colorful cameras like the K-x and K-r, and upgrade them to the K-5 as their interest in photography grows, they can be quite successful. Even if they don't make everything one of the big guys makes.

Thanks for the interview Mike. seeing Pentax on your and Gordon Lewis' sites mean much more to certain group of people than seeing it on the shelves at BestBuy. It's great seeing Pentax follow up their recent product successes with smart marketing decisions. It's reassuring to see that they do indeed have a *plan*.

one lens I haven't seen recommend to you yet is the FA 28mm f2.8. It's AF, solid, and almost as small as a Limited. you seem resistant to% 20the 21mm, maybe erring on the long side of your 35mm-e would suit you better. I'm surprised at how much better I like the 42mm-e focal length over the usual 50mm-e. It really is a 'true' normal, and makes me patently angry that Pentax denies me the 43mm Limited on a full-frame digital.

I'm glad the FA Limiteds aren't going away, but short of the Bayer sensor, it's one of the biggest crimes in digital photography that there's no full-frame Pentax digital to truly justify their existence, nor their expense.

An interesting diversion in talking about the camera color. Why should silver or black be the only choice. One painted with a flourescent paint might be useful for finding it at night. If you had an odd colored 645D, people might ask questions. You just tell them the camera was repaired and you just had it repainted so it did not look so beat up. Lessening its value to a potential thief. If it was stolen and an attempted sale made, the color might be a dead give away where it came from. The color of the camera will not improve or degrade the images it takes. That is left to the operator. A light or even a dark tanned color might make a nice variation on black. If artists were allowed to decorate them as limited editions, that might be pretty cool too.

CHEERS...Mathew

Thanks for this interview. I did not mind the introduction of colours—mindful of the fact that the revivification of Apple started with the coloured iMacs—and appreciate Pentax's emphasis on continuity (lenses) and quality, despite some dubious zooms. When needing a camera for library research last april (long story), I bought a K-x from a local French shop. Only upon arrival in the library, did I see it was white! I don't mind. If it helps, I'm satisfied, and I could test all my M- and 645 lenses on it.

I'm glad Pentax does well, as I like their ethos and idiosyncrasy. Indeed, their in-body IS is a good example of both. And so is their MF line-up, which has always been as impressive as quirky, but with widespread acknowledgement that the 645 lenses were equal to their more expensive peers from Hassy or Mamiya. I can use all of my 645 lenses on the K-x, and they shine, using the sweet spot.

The only reason for me to sell my KX (film body) with 4 M-lenses was to fund new purchases. I still feel a sense of regret about letting it go. Such a beauty of a camera—all manual, no distraction, zen-like focus on your shot. Such cameras instil a sense of loyalty.

The 645D is what I crave, as I like the handling of the 645N, the bright and large viewfinder, and the beauty of the lenses. In terms of pricing, I need to rob a bank. So ultimately I will probably settle for the K-5 in addition to my film bodies. I have been quite happy using my 645 & 645N, and will use the dslr only if I need to test lighting or cannot carry a large system around.

Thanks, Mike. I think his absolute avoidance of answering the question of a fast 35mm equivalent lens means that there IS one in development. Here's to hoping......

"does this mean the new DA 100mm macro is the 35 mm equivalent of about 150 mm?"

Right. It would compete with the longer macros for full-frame like the Canon 180mm f/3.5 L and the Nikon Micro-Nikkor 200mm f/4.

Mike
-----------

Thank you Mike. And for the interview also. Too long for my taste. I think I want at least half that length.


"Too long for my taste. I think I want at least half that length."

The trouble is, everyone wants a different half.

Mike

It's funny how a good number of the Nikon/Canon shooters believe that:

A.) Pentax isn't a serious manufacturer because they don't desperately want to compete in the Nikon and Canon sports shooters market where they would fail miserably.

or

B.) Pentax shooters aren't serious photographers because the brand of gear they shoot with is "Pentax and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Cameras".

To paraphrase an old Kubrick movie line, inside every Pentax shooter is a Canikon shooter wanting to get out! It is time to apply the black tape to my K200D.

yeah. I think if they release that I am on the pentax train as well.

Nice interview, Mike. Always interesting to hear from Ned. Good to hear the FA Ltd's are sticking around, and that the 645D is doing well.

BTW, in regards to some of the other comments, I'm been a Pentax user for several years and I have absolutely no interest in a FF or mirrorless Pentax.

Choosing a camera based on its color is not what a serious photographer would do, but it evidently is something that many casual users do not consider unreasonable. So, offering cameras in non-traditional colors turns out to have been a brilliant marketing gambit, and it seems to be bringing many people to the Pentax brand for the first time. A significant proportion of them will buy Pentax again, and some may move up to high end bodies and lenses. Good out-of-the-box thinking, Pentax.

It looks like I am not the only one to regret that no digital FF body is available for the FA Limited. If we are talking about a niche market and the success of the LX, then a LX with a FF sensor and high DR would make every aficionado of the FA Limited and the K lenses drools. Keep it simple, simple is beautiful...
If I was considering buying a digital SLR again, it would still be a Pentax because the ergonomics of the K10D family (K20D, K7, K5) are the one I prefer in a DSLR and in recognition of all the excellent lenses that Pentax built over the years.
On the subject of color as posted by Mike, the lizard skins from cameraleather.com are the only color I like on a camera, I have them on two LX and a Minolta Autocord. Steel and leather (and wood) cannot be replaced to make the most beautiful cameras.

Cheers,

Luc

Mike,
I wanted you to tell him that Pentax doesn't have a shop in India. Its a huge market, and has had a history of Pentax association, so why not?
anurag

Mike, Thanks for a very interesting interview. The part about building relations with distributors was very interesting.
FWIW, from the moment I saw coloured DSLR I thought it was a fantastic idea and I'm very glad it works out for them.

Every week I read about Pentax this and Pentax that, I feel like I'm missing something. Who knows maybe one day...

@JMR:

There is also the excellent D-FA 50mm f2.8 macro. It's not been updated to the new WR barrel but it's a great little lens (and 75mm-e on APS-C).

Nice interview Mike. I especially like the honesty from Ned when covering off the channel aspects and the admission of various gaps in their product line up: sounds like Pentax have a rather firm grip on the reality of the market they play in.

On another note: what about Samsung? They signed a technology sharing agreement with them and use their sensor in the K-7; are they going to use Samsung sensors in the future? Are there any other Samsung-Pentax cameras in the works?

It would have been interesting to hear about that as well, only because I would have thought that working with a larger group would have brought more R&D resources to Pentax (but then again that also brings with it certain new challenges).

Pak

In all seriousness, if pentax released a 25/2wr I would buy it and a k5 the next day. I am not just saying that either. Probably pick up the 35 macro too. The thing is, it really does have to be at least f/2 for me.

I hope pentax is on top of this.

The great gaping hole in their lens line-up ever since they went APS is a reasonable-sized 24/25/f2 or f1.4.

It was precisely this that Mr Bunnell tried to avoid addressing, fobbing you off instead with the slow, and only moderate quality 21/3.2. Little chance of any focus separation with that.

A 24/2 or 1.4 maybe a difficult lens to produce, but unlike Canikony they produce no FF cameras to compensate for the lack of the photojournalist's 35/2. I don't know how many people this has put off from moving over to their increasingly attractive cameras.

Of course, better still would be to produce that LX sized FF. Then I'd buy all the limiteds.

I still think my old LX is the finest camera I've ever had in my hands, ergonomically. (And I've used Leica M's extensively).

A digital LX and the Voigtländer 40/2 is a match made in heaven.

Based on the clamoring for a 25/2 WR lens, I think that Pentax should produce one, if for no other reason than to satisfy this craving and, hopefully, bring some new users to the brand. Personally, I use the 16-50/2.8 for 95% of my shooting, and I also own a 31/1.8 Ltd, so I don't think that I would buy a 25/2, but I am not the market, just a very small piece of it.

Rob (the other one)

"The great gaping hole in their lens line-up ever since they went APS is a reasonable-sized 24/25/f2 or f1.4.
...
I don't know how many people this has put off from moving over to their increasingly attractive cameras."


Very true. I love the idea of Pentax's smallish primes. But with the crop factor their focal lengths currently don't make 100% "sense" to me.
Now if Pentax released a FF camera...
(but it's probably for the best the way it is... My wife would probably kill me - or at least lock the credit card away ;)


Thanks for posting this interview. It's good to see Pentax claiming a niche in the marketplace. Have always been a fan of their cameras.
Definitely would love to see a full-frame!

Dear Ned,
What about a DA*400mm f/4 and a 1,4x extender? I need them!

really great stuff, good job !

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