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Thursday, 22 December 2022


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It is both surprising and I think one of the smartest things for Pentax to do. They still use the K mount. Any film user, after buying a camera and a couple lenses, might be tempted to also buy a digital body that also happens to fit those lenses.

It sounds like they want to start with something compact, and lead up to a fully mechanical dslr, perhaps of LX type quality, but they mentioned keeping the cost low, so who knows. I doubt if they will build something like a new film GR, since that seems the most complicated, but there would be big demand for it, so maybe.


Pentax is the second major brand of camera whose products I've never even touched. (Nikon is the other.) By the time I was in the market they were largely gone. But they sure have a legendary rep among hobbyists my (senior) age!

I truly admire what Ricoh's been doing. My GR3 cameras are absolutely image quality rivals to my Q2. (And are used much more frequently.) So, given their heritage and apparent photographic culture I am also eager to see what new products Ricoh/Pentax introduces next year. (Although I'm not going to be a customer for film again.)

I really have to wonder about the logic of any company that has no current film camera line going through the engineering and production set up to start doing this in 2020-something. Is this viable long term or is it scratching a trend itch?

I'd guess that anyone that wants to shoot film is doing it and anyone that wants to experiment can shoot with cameras that we would have killed for 20-plus years ago.

I agree that is a logical move for camera makers. They are or will be desperate for new revenue streams in future. I hope that the camera makers haven't junked the tooling and moulds for their old models. Having a chance to buy a nice, new, Olympus OM1 or OM2n is a pleasant thought.

Happy Christmas to you and the family, Mike, and my good wishes to you for a prosperous New Year.

I join you in hoping it will be Pentax. I assume they would maintain compatibility with KA-mount lenses, like my treasured SMC Pentax 30mm f/2.8. I currently have this lens almost permanently mounted on my ca. 1990 P3n. The lens reprises the sharpness of the legendary screw-mount 50mm f/1.4; the P3n has a brighter focusing screen than any of its predecessors.

Wow, that’s really out of left field. I can’t imagine this becoming reality for many years for many reasons. Designs that are well thought out and will appeal to the audience they seek may take some time, maybe years ? Then there is manufacturing start up, with all the complexities of a robust manufacturing process that is productive and cost effective. I just don’t see this happening for quite some time and with the cost of film and the very limited film choices this may be just a pie in the sky endeavor. I would have zero interest in a new modern film camera. I have 2 Minolta SRT-101’s which are in perfect working condition and a host of Rokkor lenses. I have zero desire to go back to film and I always ask myself WHY ? Perhaps PENTAX is actually phasing out of digital camera manufacturing. I have never seen a single photographer using a PENTAX digital camera.

I wonder if this is a Japanese solution to a peculiarly Japanese problem. Pentax, rightly or wrongly is afforded a certain amount of respect based on past glories.

It is almost as if Japan Inc has decided that 'film' and 'optical' is where Pentax can stay under the guardianship of Ricoh and will be allowed an uncontested marketplace for say the next 5 years; to build a strong and stable niche; and to build bridges to the new generation of users coming through that will never have experienced Pentax in its heyday.

It would be quite the icing on the cake and very funny if Hoya through its subsidiaries was made to pay through resources or ip for this 'keep Pentax alive' venture.

The compact cameras sound very Ricoh GR type in nature whereas the all mechanical SLR sounds LX-ish. There can't be that many engineers (retired or otherwise) that would have been around during the all mechanical era. It did sound like some of the meetings between young and old turn into quite 'robust' affairs :D

The announcement seems to have created a bit of a buzz on Ricoh Imaging's YouTube channel though, 'The Film Project No 1' video has garnered just under 15K views in about 16hours, compare that to 19K views for the K-3iii video after 18 months. Numerous bloggers / bloggers of all types have created content which by in large seems favourable to the project.

I wonder are we beginning to see a gradual push back on too much automation for creative purposes, or are people beginning to sense too much loss of control digitally (see the mounting backlash towards AI generated art), and perhaps analog is a safer yet more challenging and real medium for them to channel their efforts into?

S! And Seasons Greetings,

My youngest film camera, a Nikon F100 is 22 years old. I have had a number of old cameras develop problems making them unusable. If some manufacturer does not make new film cameras then the writing is on the wall.

The first built-in diopter correction is a tricky one. The Minolta XD-s had it in 1980, before the Olympus OM-4, but the XD-s was only available in Japan, so does that count?

Just bring back the LX. No new development needed.

I believe "multiple exposure buttons" or a way to do multiple exposures on one frame would be worth it. At times double/triple exposures are needed and if one can do them on the original frame rather than combining negatives in the darkroom - so much better for some of us.
Solid and simple body taking advantage of modern lenses. A good combination.

I expect that we're losing all kinds of expertise related to the era of precision analog mechanisms and devices, so this is heartening news. Whether or not a "viable product" comes out of it, I hope the project facilitates preserving in some form this particular area of expertise.

If I am allowed to dream, I wish a rangefinder film camera body (MMM) from Pentax having an M mount.

Love that Mamiya 7 and Metz old school rig Mary is toting.

I have a particular use for the multi-exposure switch on the Pentax 67ii: when you engage the mirror lock-up, you can't let down if you change your mind. You have to take the frame. But sometimes a cloud appears just after I hit MLU without any intention whatsoever to shift anytime soon. Then I can take the frame with the lens cap on, engage multi-exposure and use that frame a second time. It's broken on my Pentax 67ii and I'm having it fixed now for that reason. Which brings me to the Pentax news: when I try to read between the lines of their press release, it doesn't look like their going for medium format. Which is the only thing I'm interested in. I dread the day that my Pentaxes (I also have a 6x7 MLU) fail beyond repair. So I'd really welcome a Pentax 67iii. No feature requests (well, weather sealing and better performance in low temperatures would be nice) - just warranty and serviceability.

Back in 1978, I felt I should have a "real" camera rather than the (looking back) extraordinarily well made Canonet rangefinder that I had used through high school and college.

The camera I really wanted to buy was a Pentax MX. Small, light, really well engineered and well made, it was everything I wanted. But when I walked into the store, the salesman had me look at the almost identical Nikon FM. The Nikon was a little larger, and it lacked the multicolored exposure indictor LED lights of the MX that I had fallen in love with.

The Nikon had boring red dots to indicate overexposure, underexposure and correct exposure. The Pentax, very cleverly, had red, amber, and green lights, depending on how close you were to the meter's suggested exposure.

But Nikon was the pro camera brand back in the 1970s, and Nikon's advertising had made sure that I knew that, and that I was willing to pay a premium for the amateur oriented FM over other brand cameras.

I succumbed and bought the Nikon FM. And I had buyer's remorse for the next decade. The Pentax would have been a better fit for my smallish hands.

No, it HAS to have a multiple exposure function. It's much groovier on film.

Would be fun if they used the body of the K1 and fitted some film mechanism. Guess they won't do that but go for some 20th century design.

I half expect the new Pentax to come with a "Holga filter" button, that when pressed, introduces a few minor light leaks and puts a cheap plastic disc in front of the rear lens element. Film camera for the 21st century!

Pentax made film cameras into the early 2000s. The funny shaped flagship of theirs has a pentaprism SLR box with an early Safox electronic control for focus, a quiet advance motor and all the usual exposure modes. Like all DSLRs that came after, it's a polycarbonate on top of a metal frame. If they wanted to make a bespoke line of film cameras, I think they have all the tooling and knowhow to make it in a few months. What I take from this announcement is that Ricoh is trying to get a gauge on the demand.

I thought if anyone would bring out a monochrome camera (apart from Leica) it would be Pentax, but I never thought it would be a film camera!

Nikon did this in 2000? or was it 2005? when they re-introduced their S2 rangefinder camera, a 1956 design. Apparently they sold all they made, mostly for the home collector market. So such a thing has been done already. Will Pentax bring back the H1a, a fine design from 1961 or so?

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