Re: Pentax drops production of 35mm film cameras.

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Steven M. Scharf, Apr 30, 2004.

  1. rec.photo.equipment.35mm
    Re: Pentax drops production of 35mm film cameras.

    "Alexander Zuev" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > According to the iXBT news site (Russian computer related news server)
    > 04.27.2004 president of Pentax corporation Fumio Urano said that Pentax
    > is going to discontinue all the 35mm film cameras, both SLR and compact.
    > Pentax will concentrate on producing digital cameras and professional
    > medium format equipment.


    I ran that through a Russian to English translator:

    "PENTAX Fumio Urano has officially declared that, despite of a world
    recognition and uniqueness of film cameras PENTAX, the corporation stops
    manufacture both compact, and mirror analog chambers. From all ruler of film
    cameras PENTAX will continue manufacture extremely professional
    sredneformatnoj phototechnics. Thus, corporation PENTAX became the first
    company from so-called " the big five " photobrands, which completely will
    concentrate on the most actual for today to a ruler of digital cameras of a
    various class (including, professional and amateur digital "zerkalkah"), and
    also manufacture of "hybrid" photo-videos of chambers. (http: //
    www.ixbt.com/news/hard/index.shtml? hard104309id) "

    This was not unexpected, and the other second and third tier film camera
    makers will do the same soon. Expect Olympus and Konica-Minolta to exit the
    film camera business soon.. Sigma will likely exit the camera business for
    both digital and film, while continuing to do manufacturing for other
    companies.

    There may still be a small market for low end point and shoot film cameras,
    but companies like Vivitar can fill that niche.
    The two top-tier companies will probably phase out most of their film SLRs,
    leaving one amateur, one prosumer, and one or two pro models each.

    Steve
    Digital Camera Short List
    http://digitalcamerashortlist.com
     
    Steven M. Scharf, Apr 30, 2004
    #1
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  2. Steven M. Scharf

    Alan Browne Guest

    Steven M. Scharf wrote:


    > I ran that through a Russian to English translator:
    >


    > This was not unexpected, and the other second and third tier film camera
    > makers will do the same soon. Expect Olympus and Konica-Minolta to exit the
    > film camera business soon.. Sigma will likely exit the camera business for
    > both digital and film, while continuing to do manufacturing for other
    > companies.


    Wonder why Konica-Minolta released a few SLR's recently? Maybe they
    didn't read the cited article and don't know to stop?


    --
    --e-meil: there's no such thing as a FreeLunch.--
     
    Alan Browne, Apr 30, 2004
    #2
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  3. Steven M. Scharf

    ~ Darrell ~ Guest

    "Alan Browne" <> wrote in message
    news:r8tkc.44525$...
    > Steven M. Scharf wrote:
    >
    >
    > > I ran that through a Russian to English translator:
    > >

    >
    > > This was not unexpected, and the other second and third tier film camera
    > > makers will do the same soon. Expect Olympus and Konica-Minolta to exit

    the
    > > film camera business soon.. Sigma will likely exit the camera business

    for
    > > both digital and film, while continuing to do manufacturing for other
    > > companies.

    >
    > Wonder why Konica-Minolta released a few SLR's recently? Maybe they
    > didn't read the cited article and don't know to stop?
    >

    Rumours are always interesting, I note they always seem to come from some
    obscure site. The recent rumours I heard was Kodak not making film, Nikon
    will stop making film based cameras, and Pentax making a full-frame digital
    back for the 645.
     
    ~ Darrell ~, Apr 30, 2004
    #3
  4. Steven M. Scharf

    Peter Chant Guest

    In article <8ytkc.320375$>,
    "~ Darrell ~" <> writes:
    > Rumours are always interesting, I note they always seem to come from some
    > obscure site. The recent rumours I heard was Kodak not making film, Nikon
    > will stop making film based cameras, and Pentax making a full-frame digital
    > back for the 645.


    Why on earth would Pentax stop making film SLR's when they have only
    one digital body? It would make more sense if Canon stopped making
    film SLR's as they seem to have a fairly respectable range.

    At the moment the company that abandons film SLRs abandons the
    highstreet 250 pound SLR market. I would have thought that that or
    the second hand route is how people start using SLRs. How many people
    buy a digital SLR as a first camera?


    --

    http://www.petezilla.co.uk
     
    Peter Chant, Apr 30, 2004
    #4
  5. Steven M. Scharf

    Frank Pittel Guest

    In rec.photo.equipment.35mm Peter Chant <> wrote:
    : In article <8ytkc.320375$>,
    : "~ Darrell ~" <> writes:
    : > Rumours are always interesting, I note they always seem to come from some
    : > obscure site. The recent rumours I heard was Kodak not making film, Nikon
    : > will stop making film based cameras, and Pentax making a full-frame digital
    : > back for the 645.

    : Why on earth would Pentax stop making film SLR's when they have only
    : one digital body? It would make more sense if Canon stopped making
    : film SLR's as they seem to have a fairly respectable range.

    Pentax is primarily a maker of medium format cameras. They haven't been a major
    player in 35mm cameras in years.

    --




    Keep working millions on welfare depend on you
    -------------------
     
    Frank Pittel, May 2, 2004
    #5
  6. Steven M. Scharf

    Bandicoot Guest

    "Frank Pittel" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    [SNIP]
    > Pentax is primarily a maker of medium format cameras.
    > They haven't been a major player in 35mm cameras in years.
    >


    I suspect in truth they should be defined as an optics company: their
    telescopes and surveying equipment are a huge part of the business.

    As for 35mm, I guess this depends on definition: if you see only Canon and
    Nikon as "major players", then no, Pentax is not producing at those volumes.
    But I'm sure Pentax's production dwarfs that of Leica, Contax, etc. In that
    context, the 'major players' would be Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Minolta /
    Konica, and, yes, Cosina and (perhaps?) Sigma. That group will all be way
    ahead in production volume terms of everyone else, and closer in volume to
    each other than any of them are to the volumes of 'the rest' who are the
    niche players.

    From within that list, of course, Pentax still makes some of the best
    lenses - for my purposes without question the best.



    Peter
     
    Bandicoot, May 3, 2004
    #6
  7. Bandicoot wrote:

    <snip>
    > From within that list, of course, Pentax still makes some of the best
    > lenses - for my purposes without question the best.



    Peter, have we had a conversation about the Pentax-M 50mm lenses, perhaps
    specifically the f1.4? I can't recall...

    In any case, if you have one of these, how do you rate it?

    Thanks,

    Bill Tallman
     
    William D. Tallman, May 3, 2004
    #7
  8. Steven M. Scharf

    Frank Pittel Guest

    In rec.photo.equipment.35mm Bandicoot <"insert_handle_here"@techemail.com> wrote:
    : "Frank Pittel" <> wrote in message
    : news:...
    : [SNIP]
    : > Pentax is primarily a maker of medium format cameras.
    : > They haven't been a major player in 35mm cameras in years.
    : >

    : I suspect in truth they should be defined as an optics company: their
    : telescopes and surveying equipment are a huge part of the business.

    : As for 35mm, I guess this depends on definition: if you see only Canon and
    : Nikon as "major players", then no, Pentax is not producing at those volumes.
    : But I'm sure Pentax's production dwarfs that of Leica, Contax, etc. In that
    : context, the 'major players' would be Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Minolta /
    : Konica, and, yes, Cosina and (perhaps?) Sigma. That group will all be way
    : ahead in production volume terms of everyone else, and closer in volume to
    : each other than any of them are to the volumes of 'the rest' who are the
    : niche players.

    The point I was trying to make was that 35mm cameras is a very small part
    of there sales in comparison to MF where they are one of the one of the
    "major players".

    : From within that list, of course, Pentax still makes some of the best
    : lenses - for my purposes without question the best.

    I couldn't agree more about the quality of their lenses. My first camera
    was a Pentax Spotmatic with a 50mm SMC lens!! I have since gotten into LF
    and MF. Even now I consider my pentax lenses better then any of my Cannon,
    Mamiya, and Rodenstock lenses.

    Not to long ago I took a pass at getting a Leica after I ran a roll of film
    through it and found that the lens wasn't significanly better them my Pentax
    lenses!!

    --




    Keep working millions on welfare depend on you
    -------------------
     
    Frank Pittel, May 3, 2004
    #8
  9. "Bandicoot" <"insert_handle_here"@techemail.com> wrote in message
    news:...
    > "Frank Pittel" <> wrote in message


    > I suspect in truth they should be defined as an optics company: their
    > telescopes and surveying equipment are a huge part of the business.


    Very good binoculars too.
     
    Steven M. Scharf, May 3, 2004
    #9
  10. Steven M. Scharf

    Bandicoot Guest

    "Frank Pittel" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > In rec.photo.equipment.35mm Bandicoot <"insert_handle_here"@techemail.com>

    wrote:
    > : "Frank Pittel" <> wrote in message
    > : news:...
    > : [SNIP]
    > : > Pentax is primarily a maker of medium format cameras.
    > : > They haven't been a major player in 35mm cameras in years.
    > : >
    >
    > : I suspect in truth they should be defined as an optics company: their
    > : telescopes and surveying equipment are a huge part of the business.
    >
    > : As for 35mm, I guess this depends on definition: if you see only
    > : Canon and Nikon as "major players", then no, Pentax is not
    > : producing at those volumes. But I'm sure Pentax's production
    > : dwarfs that of Leica, Contax, etc. In that context, the 'major
    > : players' would be Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Minolta / Konica, and,
    > : yes, Cosina and (perhaps?) Sigma. That group will all be way
    > : ahead in production volume terms of everyone else, and closer in
    > : volume to each other than any of them are to the volumes of 'the
    > : rest' who are the niche players.
    >
    > The point I was trying to make was that 35mm cameras is a very
    > small part of there sales in comparison to MF where they are one of
    > the one of the "major players".


    That is a fair point - though I suspect the 35mm market is so much bigger
    than the MF market that being 'in the pack' for 35mm actually beats being
    'at the head of the field' in MF. I haven't looked at Pentax's annual
    report to check out where their profits are mostly made, however.

    >
    > : From within that list, of course, Pentax still makes some of the best
    > : lenses - for my purposes without question the best.
    >
    > I couldn't agree more about the quality of their lenses. My first
    > camera was a Pentax Spotmatic with a 50mm SMC lens!! I have
    > since gotten into LF and MF. Even now I consider my pentax lenses
    > better then any of my Cannon, Mamiya, and Rodenstock lenses.


    Which Rodenstock lenses? I have Sironar-N 100mm and 150mm lenses for 6x9
    that I like, but comparing MF to 35mm is a bit of a skewed playing field so
    I haven't really thought about it in detail... I do think that Pentax is
    closer in 'style' to Schneider/Rodenstock/Zeiss than it is to most of the
    other Japanese companies, and that is the style that happens to suit me.

    >
    > Not to long ago I took a pass at getting a Leica after I ran a roll of
    > film through it and found that the lens wasn't significanly better them
    > my Pentax lenses!!
    >


    I'm content enough with my Yashica Electro 35 CC (and Ricoh GR1v) in the
    sort of role where I'd use an M Leica that I don't see me ever spending the
    money. I have an old Contax rangefinder too, but the Yashica is just fine
    for me. Or a Pentax MX with the 40mm f2.8...



    Peter
     
    Bandicoot, May 3, 2004
    #10
  11. Steven M. Scharf

    Bandicoot Guest

    "Steven M. Scharf" <> wrote in message
    news:Svjlc.3871$...
    >
    > "Bandicoot" <"insert_handle_here"@techemail.com> wrote in message
    > news:...
    > > "Frank Pittel" <> wrote in message

    >
    > > I suspect in truth they should be defined as an optics company: their
    > > telescopes and surveying equipment are a huge part of the business.

    >
    > Very good binoculars too.
    >


    I wondered about mentioneing that, but I've never used their bins, nor do I
    know how big their market share is - it doesn't surprise me to hear that
    they're good though. ;-)

    I think they've made medical optics at various times too, not sure about
    microscopes.


    Peter
     
    Bandicoot, May 3, 2004
    #11
  12. Steven M. Scharf

    Frank Pittel Guest

    In rec.photo.equipment.35mm Bandicoot <"insert_handle_here"@techemail.com> wrote:
    : "Frank Pittel" <> wrote in message
    : news:...
    : > In rec.photo.equipment.35mm Bandicoot <"insert_handle_here"@techemail.com>
    : wrote:
    : > : "Frank Pittel" <> wrote in message
    : > : news:...
    : > : [SNIP]
    : > : > Pentax is primarily a maker of medium format cameras.
    : > : > They haven't been a major player in 35mm cameras in years.
    : > : >
    : >
    : > : I suspect in truth they should be defined as an optics company: their
    : > : telescopes and surveying equipment are a huge part of the business.
    : >
    : > : As for 35mm, I guess this depends on definition: if you see only
    : > : Canon and Nikon as "major players", then no, Pentax is not
    : > : producing at those volumes. But I'm sure Pentax's production
    : > : dwarfs that of Leica, Contax, etc. In that context, the 'major
    : > : players' would be Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Minolta / Konica, and,
    : > : yes, Cosina and (perhaps?) Sigma. That group will all be way
    : > : ahead in production volume terms of everyone else, and closer in
    : > : volume to each other than any of them are to the volumes of 'the
    : > : rest' who are the niche players.
    : >
    : > The point I was trying to make was that 35mm cameras is a very
    : > small part of there sales in comparison to MF where they are one of
    : > the one of the "major players".

    : That is a fair point - though I suspect the 35mm market is so much bigger
    : than the MF market that being 'in the pack' for 35mm actually beats being
    : 'at the head of the field' in MF. I haven't looked at Pentax's annual
    : report to check out where their profits are mostly made, however.

    I don't know where the sales for Pentax are either but they haven't been a
    serious player in the 35mm market for years.

    : >
    : > : From within that list, of course, Pentax still makes some of the best
    : > : lenses - for my purposes without question the best.
    : >
    : > I couldn't agree more about the quality of their lenses. My first
    : > camera was a Pentax Spotmatic with a 50mm SMC lens!! I have
    : > since gotten into LF and MF. Even now I consider my pentax lenses
    : > better then any of my Cannon, Mamiya, and Rodenstock lenses.

    : Which Rodenstock lenses? I have Sironar-N 100mm and 150mm lenses for 6x9
    : that I like, but comparing MF to 35mm is a bit of a skewed playing field so
    : I haven't really thought about it in detail... I do think that Pentax is
    : closer in 'style' to Schneider/Rodenstock/Zeiss than it is to most of the
    : other Japanese companies, and that is the style that happens to suit me.

    I also have a Sironar-N 150mm which I use for 4x5. Although I've never tested
    it myself I was told that Japanese lenses have a yellow cast to them and German
    lenses have a blue cast. One these days I'm going to compare my Rodenstock and
    Fuji lenses using transparency film. I consider the person that told me that to
    be reliable and I have no reason to doubt him.

    That may be why a number of people swear by their Leicas and Hasselblads. It could
    be the result of the color cast.
    : >
    : > Not to long ago I took a pass at getting a Leica after I ran a roll of
    : > film through it and found that the lens wasn't significanly better them
    : > my Pentax lenses!!
    : >

    : I'm content enough with my Yashica Electro 35 CC (and Ricoh GR1v) in the
    : sort of role where I'd use an M Leica that I don't see me ever spending the
    : money. I have an old Contax rangefinder too, but the Yashica is just fine
    : for me. Or a Pentax MX with the 40mm f2.8...


    My Yashica is the Electro GSN and I think it's a great camera. The lens is sharp
    with good contrast and the metering is incredibly accurate.
    --




    Keep working millions on welfare depend on you
    -------------------
     
    Frank Pittel, May 4, 2004
    #12
  13. Steven M. Scharf

    Bandicoot Guest

    "Frank Pittel" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > In rec.photo.equipment.35mm Bandicoot <"insert_handle_here"@techemail.com>

    wrote:
    > : "Frank Pittel" <> wrote in message
    > : news:...

    [SNIP]
    > : > I couldn't agree more about the quality of their lenses. My first
    > : > camera was a Pentax Spotmatic with a 50mm SMC lens!! I have
    > : > since gotten into LF and MF. Even now I consider my pentax
    > : > lenses better then any of my Cannon, Mamiya, and Rodenstock
    > : > lenses.
    >
    > : Which Rodenstock lenses? I have Sironar-N 100mm and 150mm
    > : lenses for 6x9 that I like, but comparing MF to 35mm is a bit of a
    > : skewed playing field so I haven't really thought about it in detail...

    I
    > : do think that Pentax is closer in 'style' to Schneider/Rodenstock/Zeiss
    > : than it is to most of the other Japanese companies, and that is the
    > : style that happens to suit me.
    >
    > I also have a Sironar-N 150mm which I use for 4x5. Although I've
    > never tested it myself I was told that Japanese lenses have a yellow
    > cast to them and German lenses have a blue cast. One these days I'm
    > going to compare my Rodenstock and Fuji lenses using transparency
    > film. I consider the person that told me that to be reliable and I have
    > no reason to doubt him.
    >


    I don't know if I'd go as far as to say that either had a colour 'cast' -
    not that I've 'tested' it - but I definitely think Schneider in particular
    has a cooler colour rendition than my Pentax glass, while Nikon is warmer.
    A more general German / Japanese comparison would be interesting.

    > That may be why a number of people swear by their Leicas and
    > Hasselblads. It could be the result of the color cast.
    > : >
    > : > Not to long ago I took a pass at getting a Leica after I ran a roll of
    > : > film through it and found that the lens wasn't significanly better
    > : > them my Pentax lenses!!
    > : >
    >
    > : I'm content enough with my Yashica Electro 35 CC (and Ricoh
    > : GR1v) in the sort of role where I'd use an M Leica that I don't see
    > : me ever spending the money. I have an old Contax rangefinder too,
    > : but the Yashica is just fine me. Or a Pentax MX with the 40mm
    > : f2.8...
    >
    >
    > My Yashica is the Electro GSN and I think it's a great camera. The
    > lens is sharp with good contrast and the metering is incredibly
    > accurate.


    Many years ago I borrowed an Electro 35 GT, which I think is an earlier
    version of your GSN, and it certainly had a very nice lens. The CC is a
    35mm f1.8, which is why I like it: the slightly wider view suits the sort of
    things I use it for. But all the Yashicas seem to have good lenses, as far
    as I can tell.



    Peter
     
    Bandicoot, May 4, 2004
    #13
  14. Steven M. Scharf

    Frank Pittel Guest

    In rec.photo.equipment.35mm Bandicoot <"insert_handle_here"@techemail.com> wrote:
    : "Frank Pittel" <> wrote in message
    : news:...
    : > In rec.photo.equipment.35mm Bandicoot <"insert_handle_here"@techemail.com>
    : wrote:
    : > : "Frank Pittel" <> wrote in message
    : > : news:...
    : [SNIP]
    : > : > I couldn't agree more about the quality of their lenses. My first
    : > : > camera was a Pentax Spotmatic with a 50mm SMC lens!! I have
    : > : > since gotten into LF and MF. Even now I consider my pentax
    : > : > lenses better then any of my Cannon, Mamiya, and Rodenstock
    : > : > lenses.
    : >
    : > : Which Rodenstock lenses? I have Sironar-N 100mm and 150mm
    : > : lenses for 6x9 that I like, but comparing MF to 35mm is a bit of a
    : > : skewed playing field so I haven't really thought about it in detail...
    : I
    : > : do think that Pentax is closer in 'style' to Schneider/Rodenstock/Zeiss
    : > : than it is to most of the other Japanese companies, and that is the
    : > : style that happens to suit me.
    : >
    : > I also have a Sironar-N 150mm which I use for 4x5. Although I've
    : > never tested it myself I was told that Japanese lenses have a yellow
    : > cast to them and German lenses have a blue cast. One these days I'm
    : > going to compare my Rodenstock and Fuji lenses using transparency
    : > film. I consider the person that told me that to be reliable and I have
    : > no reason to doubt him.
    : >

    : I don't know if I'd go as far as to say that either had a colour 'cast' -
    : not that I've 'tested' it - but I definitely think Schneider in particular
    : has a cooler colour rendition than my Pentax glass, while Nikon is warmer.
    : A more general German / Japanese comparison would be interesting.

    One of these days in the not to distant future I will be running comparison
    tests between my Rodenstock and Fuji lenses. They are both are top quality
    lenses and I will be using transparency film so no color correction gets made.

    I will photograph a number of objects with "strong" color so I can compare the
    effect the lens has on the color.

    : > That may be why a number of people swear by their Leicas and
    : > Hasselblads. It could be the result of the color cast.
    : > : >
    : > : > Not to long ago I took a pass at getting a Leica after I ran a roll of
    : > : > film through it and found that the lens wasn't significanly better
    : > : > them my Pentax lenses!!
    : > : >
    : >
    : > : I'm content enough with my Yashica Electro 35 CC (and Ricoh
    : > : GR1v) in the sort of role where I'd use an M Leica that I don't see
    : > : me ever spending the money. I have an old Contax rangefinder too,
    : > : but the Yashica is just fine me. Or a Pentax MX with the 40mm
    : > : f2.8...
    : >
    : >
    : > My Yashica is the Electro GSN and I think it's a great camera. The
    : > lens is sharp with good contrast and the metering is incredibly
    : > accurate.

    : Many years ago I borrowed an Electro 35 GT, which I think is an earlier
    : version of your GSN, and it certainly had a very nice lens. The CC is a
    : 35mm f1.8, which is why I like it: the slightly wider view suits the sort of
    : things I use it for. But all the Yashicas seem to have good lenses, as far
    : as I can tell.


    The Yashicas are nice cameras. As I'm thinking about it I realize that I also
    have the Yashica T4 and Yashica MF TLR (for get the model) and they all have
    nice lenses.

    --




    Keep working millions on welfare depend on you
    -------------------
     
    Frank Pittel, May 4, 2004
    #14
  15. Steven M. Scharf

    Bandicoot Guest

    "Frank Pittel" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    [SNIP]
    >
    > One of these days in the not to distant future I will be running
    > comparison tests between my Rodenstock and Fuji lenses. They
    > are both are top quality lenses and I will be using transparency
    > film so no color correction gets made.
    >
    > I will photograph a number of objects with "strong" color so I
    > can compare the effect the lens has on the color.
    >


    I hope you'll post the results - it should be very interesting.


    Peter
     
    Bandicoot, May 4, 2004
    #15
  16. Steven M. Scharf

    Pål Jensen Guest

    "Bandicoot" <"insert_handle_here"@techemail.com> skrev i melding
    news:...

    > That is a fair point - though I suspect the 35mm market is so much bigger
    > than the MF market that being 'in the pack' for 35mm actually beats being
    > 'at the head of the field' in MF. I haven't looked at Pentax's annual
    > report to check out where their profits are mostly made, however.



    Figures published in the second half of the 90's put Pentax only behind
    Canon among the major japanese manufacturers (overturn in photo related
    products published by the industry), slightly ahead of Minolta. Way ahead of
    Nikon. 35mm sales is dominated by P&S and Pentax was (is?) a market leader
    in the zoom P&S segment. They even invented the genre.
    35mm SLR's are irrelevant in volume compared with the P&S. MF is almost
    non-existent in volume compared to 35mm slr's, so Pentax is by no means
    mostly a MF manufacturer.

    50% of Pentax is photography related BTW whch makes them more of a
    photography manufacturer than most of the competition where photography
    related products often are less than 20% of business. Also 50% of the
    company is family owned. They are indeed an optical company and their
    patents are often found implemented in other companies products.

    BTW I haven't seen the original post; are Pentax stopping production of
    all 35mm cameras?
     
    Pål Jensen, May 9, 2004
    #16
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