Pentax “found some issues and challenges” but “continuing to develop full frame technologies”

In a recent Photokina interview, IR asked Pentax representatives about their position on a potential full frame DSLR camera:

Q: Where do you see the role for full-frame generally and then in particular with respect to Pentax?

A: It’s a very difficult question. Everybody is asking us about how Pentax is approaching full frame products. As always, we’re saying that we’re continuing to develop full frame technologies. We have also found some issues and challenges, but we continue to develop it.

Similar response was given also to PentaxForums - the full frame talk starts around the 30:30 mark:

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  • haha

    the “issue” is they have no good lenses. low quality glass and Sudden Death Motor do not make a good full frame system

    • Jason Mayer

      And have you used a pentax product or are you just a troll?

      • jake

        so so so fanboy reaction , why can you Pentax fanboys so so so agressive and defensive?
        give it a rest.

        • jake = Canon Fanboy

          Same could be said for you Canon fanboy reaction to DxO scores.

          • Michael


      • dgd

        What he means to say is that the issues are that no one gives a SHITE about Pentax anymore. There is not one thing Pentax does that someone else isnt doing. End of story, period.

        • Alex

          – most affordable weather sealing
          – the only stabilized digital medium format
          – most affordable digital medium format
          – Limiteds
          Should I continue? 😉

          • Raffwal

            I believe the 645D has no SR.

          • it is not medium format dude. it is to medium format what APS-C is to full frame.

          • Alex

            Raffwal, you’re right: the 645D has no SR. However, the new HD D FA 90mm f:2.8 macro SR lens is optically stabilized.

            H.E.: nice try, troll; it’s bigger than the small format, so it qualifies to be called “medium format”. Between 35mm and 4×5 is MF territory.
            But please, go and tell Hasselblad, Leaf, Phase One how most of their medium format cameras aren’t MF; even better, sue them for lying.

          • hassy is a joke now, no need to bring it on table

            2/3 offerings of P1 are 54x40mm which can be considered as Medium Format, the others are
            43×32 which is marketed as crop medium format. It is meant as competition to traditional DSLRs not as real medium format. On their presentation it is exactly as explained: “I know you want small and fast camera from us, but sorry we cannot do any “worse” then 43×32″.

          • Alex

            Hassie’s “collaboration” with Sony is a joke; but their medium format solutions aren’t.
            Oh, and by the way do the math. 1.3 != 1.5

          • AAron

            well hassy is just a name. Very little people use hasselblad in reality, and even those who do, for legacy reasons mostly, use it just as system and put P1 back on it anyway.

            Hassy’s backs are gen back behind Leaf/P1 and have been so for many years. All newcomers also jump into P1 because they have warranty that their system will not be obsolete, and also for many many small things which makes P1 the only real MF company (you can use backs in cameras without power source, not only tethered as hassy, software support, old bodies and lenses availability, upgrade plan, the fact that they are market best, highest res,…)

    • Jay

      Low quality glass? You must be kidding. Pentax glass are some of the edt in the business. Much better than most anything Canikon has on the market.

      Put a 10 year old Takumar on any Canikon FF and it will outresolve the sensor. Put a Mk. 1 L lens on a 5d and the sensor outresolves the lens! Which is why Canikon have all these Mk. II versions of their lenses.

      Pentax may not have a current gen FF lens line-up, but glass quality is better than thw competition.

      • jec6613

        Some of their lenses are excellent, others are rebadged Tamron or similar. Hit and miss.

        However, I’d love to see a Pentax full frame camera, it’d really help the market overall, and would give the last remaining old mount that made the digital transition a full frame sensor (F, EF and A already have them, obviously).

        • Alex

          Do your homework before posting.
          Currently there is only one rebadged Tamron lens in Pentax’s lineup – the new 18-270 (the old superzoom was retired).
          Then, there is the Pentax-Tokina cooperation; however afaik only one of those lenses is actually a Tokina design, the 12-24; the others being Pentax.

      • Calibrator

        Honesty, I can’t judge Pentax lenses (I’m reading this to learn more, really) but I have some experiences with Nikon glass and there are some excellent lenses that don’t have the slightest problems with a D800E.

        Granted, Nikon also sells a lot of cheaper DX glass but that’s not really the benchmark in optical excellence but even with a Nikon superzoom you get good quality stuff like a good stabilizer, quiet motor, ED glass and aspherical elements.

      • That’s a lie and you know it. Which Canon and Nikon lenses are you referring to? Let’s hear facts.

        Either that or you have no idea what image quality is.

      • Yes and No

        Some of the existing lenses like their 31mm, 70mm, 77mm and a few others are very good but a ton of their legendary lenses have long been discontinued.

        Their old 85 1.4 portrait and 200 4.0 macro lens were legendary. Arguably the best in the class in all of 35mm land. They also had a cheaper 85 1.8 and 135 1.8 and a nice 50 which were no slouches. Only problem is they aren’t made anymore!!

        • Yes and No

          The 35 2.0 was quite excellent as was their 80-200 2.8. All discontinued!

        • MuttonPuncher

          @Yes and No
          I owned the 200mm A* 4f macro. It was indeed the sharpest lens on the planet. I found it interesting that Canon shooters ultimately had a K mount adapter made by a third party manufacturer so they could utilize the legendary lens. I think I paid around $800 back in the mid 90’s for it new. I seen on Pentax forums before the 2008 economy collapse that it was selling used for $2000. It still fetches prices between $1600 to $1800 now. I’m fairly sure their weren’t a whole lot of them produced though.

          • Canon users get adapters also because they have the luxury of being able to use pretty much any SLR mount on their camera. Pentax users would too, if it was possible.

            And yes, every manufacturer has some lenses that are appealing. Incidentally, Sigma and Samyang have several lenses that are better than what Pentax ever had.

          • Alex

            Stop lying, genotroll. Pentax have some excellent lenses as well – I know because I own some of them.
            At least are you paid well for your trolling?

      • jake

        BS, go check lens reviews yourself and come back talk about Pentax crappy lens line up and their quality inrelation to similar Nikon , Canon or Sony again, Pentax is a dead system that no one really cares any more.

      • dgd

        Low budget dslrs, been done, medium format digital, been done, small mirroless ps cameras, been done, big mirroless cameras, been done. Pentax has NOTHING left, nothing. The only thing left is to get sold again and dissapear into history for futility.

      • Koseng

        Excuse them. Those who say Pentax glasses are low quality are mainly those who use only kit lenses. They may not have used or even touched those Limited lenses like 31mm, 40mm or 70mm.

        So just ignore them.

    • Alex

      It’s amazing how our regular trolls got scared with just the K-5 II(s), one rebadged Tamron and two high end Pentax lenses. Or is it the prospect of Pentax making a big step forward?
      Either way, expect for tons of BS being spilled out on this site, more than ever; because those poor souls are feeling threatened, or are paid to post like this.

      • Social Media Immune

        or are paid to post like this.


  • amien

    poor Pentax, such a great name, such a great brand ! A fusion with Hasselblad would have been more favorable to their image and sales than “ricoh”…

    • BP2012

      Your suggestion is not logical because Pentax 67 always had better quality of photos than any Hasselblad.

      • jake

        you can dream whatever you want but Pentax is a dead system and nothing more or less.

        • Alex

          Why do you care so much, then?

          • MX


  • MuttonPuncher

    Pentax lenses have been forever highly underrated by the photo world. Back in the day I shot with one of the best 35mm SLR’s ever produced, the Pentax LX and had the full assortment of luscious jewel A series primes to go with it. You young photogs that never shot manual focus metal made lenses, with their silky smooth focus rings, beautifully knurled aperture rings and not to mention beautifully marked distance scales can’t appreciate I suppose the joy of producing priceless images this way. I would give my left nut if Pentax would see fit to engineer a FF digital LX with the Sony 36MP sensor as in the Nikon D800/E. They wouldn’t even have to announce it with a strong assortment of FF glass as there are gillions of FF K mount glass out there to get by with. They then could slowly produce modern auto focus FF glass at their own pace. That would truly be a little heaven here on earth for me;^)

    • jake

      only one possible way for Pentax to go fullframe and get some of small market share in that segment of camera market is to make smallest FF with usable in body IS.
      but Nikon and Canon already have made small FF DSLRs and Sony’s already made a FF with effective(much better than crappy SR in any Pentax) SSS , so there is no more chance for it to get significant market share in that segment of camera market.
      now, everything is too late for Pentax and its fanboy trolls.Pentax could have done something but did not do anything to challenge CNSL seriously, so it should die.

      • Jacob

        jake, man, you need to chill out

        • The guy has a point… also, if Pentax made their APS-C mirrorless an in-body stabilised (tech they already have) one with a short flange, it would’ve been the only APS-C mirrorless out there with in-body stabilisation. But no… in addition to dropping the ball, they had to go cripple it up with a long flange.

  • James Lee

    The backward compatibility of Pentax is unparalleled. Look at the limited series lenses (DA and FA) and FA* series lenses, the construction and the image produced is amazing. Their lens history trace all the way back to Takumar. Try to hold on one of the FA ltd lens (31mm, 43mm, 77mm), they are so beautifully engineered (the 43mm even make have a Leica mount).

    • jec6613

      I dunno, the Nikon F is probably still the king there. The D3200/D5100 can mount even the pre-AI lenses, and the D3/D4 can mount invasive fisheyes and other oddballs, so every single lens ever sold has a current digital body available for it.

      I agree though, the K mount is pretty awesome, and not artifically crippled like they did with some F lenses.

      • James Lee

        I believe all camera brand has their own strength and there is really no need to bash another brand. 🙂 I’m sure Nikon and Canon has their own legendary lenses as well.

        If you never look at Pentax lenses, take a look at the FA ltd (31mm, 43mm, 77mm). The size, the build, the feel, you will fell in love.

        There are some “pancake” lenses from Canon and Oly recently, but Pentax “pancake” lenses has been around for quite some time (tracing back to M40mm) and beautifully design as a compromise between size and speed. Look at DA 40mm f2.8 ltd (that cover FF), and the even crazier/thinner DA40mm XS lens. The DA21mm f3.2, 40mm f2.8, 70mm f2.4 ltd are the three “pancake lenses” that are hard to find in other mount. Try get one and hold it in your hand. 🙂

        If Pentax ever came out with FF camera, expect a great camera. I think most Pentax users expect a 6d/600D type (in terms of size) of FF camera.

        • jake

          these old limited primes you guys worship and always talk about in comparison to many of expensive and latest best Nikon/Canon/Zeiss primes are in fact nothing special , just old look nice but crappy primes in terms of optical quality and mechanical quality(no AFS or USM, no IS or VR,etc).

          Pentax is really doomed, do not deny it.

          • MrRifleman

            that’s what people have been saying ever since pentax went digital. if they’re really doomed, and people say they’re going to die every year, why hasn’t it happened yet? don’t tell me about the poor quality, because i own 3 of their DLSRs and probably know more about the quality than you do. just answer my one question.

            Why haven’t they died yet if they’re so awful? answer that and nothing else please. thank you troll.

          • Troll with no heart

            I like trolling pentax users too. But you’re caring about it WAAY too much man.

        • Koseng

          Want AFS or USM, just get those plastic bulky lenses from Nikon and Canon. No IS or VR…do your research first before saying such stupid thing. Pentax has in camera IS.

          Most finest lenses in the world are MF because when people invest thousands of dollars on one lens, they want to make sure it lasts forever. All those AFS or USM lenses will die because the AF motor inside them is not designed to work forever.

          All the Limited lenses don’t have AF motor and are driven by the camera, so they last longer than the AFS and USM lenses.

        • jec6613

          If you read, I was referring only to the compatibility bit. 🙂

          Many Nikkors also use an in-body focus motor, to the person who pointed out that hte Limited lenses are camera driven.

          • Pablo Ricasso

            Yeah, but not anything that’s been released in quite a while. Everything new is AFS.
            Also, even the lowest Pentax models support manual focus lenses easily.

  • You can find a complete list of Pentax resolution figures on B. Dimitrovs Pentax page. They all run decent numbers, but we’re forgetting one important thing: Super Multi Coating. These guys invented it and its the reason Pentax glass is so adept at providing such contrast and depth. For colour work there really is nothing better. And there seems to be more and more FA and DFA glass coming out of the factory….

  • timon

    I would be willing to look in Pentax 35mm body has an alloyed mirror box, and the shell can be accepted polycarbonate, and it has a good price. No longer a fake, so-called ” metal body” there was actually a plastic mirror box internal, like k7 k5.

    Pentax is now the fewest themselves strengths available. Well then, to compete in market for currently Pentax, an alloyed mirror box is an easier thing than other technologies.

    And, an alloyed mirror box is also tangible benefits, it is unlike Paint Buckets.

    Z1p was that Ptentax’s a last top model kept an alloyed mirror box (and shell polycarbonate), Z1p was very good, although AF system was behind others. (that AF reliability was not worse than Pentax successors, it was even slightly better.)

    after 2000, Penatx was walking into downhill path, the period corporation’s incompetent CEO blindly seeks selling the Pentax corporation. Finally, Pentax imaging department gotten almost ended by killer Hoya.

  • BP2012

    Cmon Pentax, we already have the best manual, auto and autofocus FF lens from film era. Just make one or two FF kit lenses for newbies and give us the f*cking K-mount FF body.

    • David Karasurov

      @BP2012: IMO you made the best statemenet to Pentax ever. 😀 Really the best, there is nothing more to say.


      • dgd

        It’s over bro. Pentax is now in a sea of sharks, it’s not like the old days where there was just for 4 players, canon, nikon, them and minolta. times have changed. Pentax does NOT have anything any other camera makers dont have. Their Q and ko1 was a farce and a sign of the end. No one takes Pentax seriously anymore, not even pentax.

        • Alex

          Oh, but Pentax is taken very seriously. Enough for trolls to fill sites such as this, with BS 😉
          Are you paid well? Or is voluntary work?

          – most affordable weather sealing
          – the only stabilized digital medium format
          – most affordable digital medium format
          – Limiteds
          Should I continue? 😉

          • Pentax?

            Yes, please continue.

            Tell me a good reason why I should buy a Pentax DSLR, not medium format.

        • MX

          The old days where there was many players, as in the present like, Nikon, Canon, Pentax, Minolta, Olympus, Contex, Leica, Fujica, Konica, Cosina, Mamiya, Miranda, Vivitar, Yashica, Chinon, Nikkormat, Ricoh…

  • ras

    what kind of technologies could they be working on? just stick a full frame sensor in there!

    or maybe they’re going to kill two birds with one stone: full frame mirrorless. they’d have to nail down EVFs, sensor-based auyofocus, video, appropriate sensor design and lens design. if that’s what they’re up to, it would all be worthwhile.

    • Sad Truth

      Dear trolls and trollettes,

      It is with much sadness that I shall have to inform you that neither Canon and Nikon is a religion. Your faith and devotion has been wasted as you should have been elsewhere with a camera taking actual pictures. What an amazing concept indeed.

      True, there are some fans who believe Pentax is also a religion but the truth is it all comes down to photography and capturing the light. That might also be a new concept to you trolls and trolletes but that is understandable because you’ve been too occupied trying to capture your cameras and lenses created by your so called god. Sure, new gear is cool but we are mainly photographers who eventually become collectors. Don’t forget that. But as your cases, trolls and trolletes, learn that.

      On to the main point. Nikon and Canon have been crapping on their devoted followers for years. They probably have people scour sites like these but they are in their offices thinking: ooooh, so that’s what our customers want, naw, we aren’t going to give them all of that, we have to bleed them dry of all their money.

      *ring ring design department calls*
      “So boss, what’s going in the D900?”
      “Hmm, just add a playback button inside the battery compartment.”
      “Okay boss, what about the D7200?”
      “Just switch around the ISO button like we did on the D600.”
      “I just finished with both cameras sir, when do you want them put into production?”
      “In two years. We just released the D800 last month.”
      *hangs up*

      Canon is no different. Just look at all the huge improvements in the t1i, t2i, t3i, and t4i. They do all this and yet you trolls and trolletes still defend them? But then again you trolls and trolletes might be quite rich and can give offerings to your gods multiple times a year every year. Which brings us to an example of why someone might want to choose to buy Pentax over the others. Money. Many of us are not well fed enough to turn into trolls and trolletes and many of us are grateful for wallowing in our poverty. So with that in mind we can buy 1 camera body and have a 2-3 good old fast primes for around $100. Let’s see you trolls and trolletes do that with Canon and Nikon. Not to mention in camera stabilization, better ergonomics, better build, and better sensor than its competition. The only drawbacks being autofocus both in body and in lens as well as customer support. But some of us are beggars as you mighty trolls and trolletes have pointed out. Got to get the most out of our money you know? But then again some of us aren’t.

      As for ‘Pentax dying’ or ‘having no way to get a piece of the market’ nothing is absolute. Rumor has it that Pentax is a customer-centric company (rumor also has it that Canon and Nikon are money-give you squat-centric companies unless you buy all the flagship models and flagship lenses and carry them around all at once). If Pentax really wants a piece of the market, all it needs to do is rediscover what is essential in photography and emphasize that such as: a big bright viewfinder for manual focusing and taking pictures in general inside and ergonomic (even for big hands) compact body, weather and dust sealing for all lenses and bodies for people living in areas where it rains more than half a year, a third dial aside from the front dial and rear dial such as a large ring around the lens mount so that shutter speed, aperture, AND ISO can be adjusted quickly. Having the system opensource will draw a lot more customers also.

      But all in all, a camera is just a tool. It doesn’t matter what brand satisfies each individual. More competition for Canon and Nikon will benefit Canon and Nikon shooters more especially on price and features instead of the overly underwhelming updates. So, you troll and trolletes, hopefully there will be no further trolling about this is better than that or brand x is dying. Have some dignity and respect others. If you are in need of attention, attention in the real world is more fulfilling and satisfying than on the internet. If you are in dire need though, it is standard procedure to recommend that you trolls and trolletes go seek some psychiatrists because this type of behavior is either buyer’s remorse in the form of brand bashing in order to justify your emotional pain or probably some freudian or inferiority complex. If that is the case, we understand and forgive you. In conclusion I’ve wasted enough of my time.

      May you find some dignity soon,
      Sad Truth

      Calling all Pentax rebels, please take notice that the Pentax Rebellion has arrived. Feel free to ATTEMPT to educate all trolls as much as possible but please forgive them for their lack of dignity and self respect.

      • but

        bodies only make a little difference. pentax lenses are still crap even on the best bodies out there.

        • but what

          You are so informed. NOT!!!!

          • OLD SCHOOL

            Do people still say: “NOT!” at the end of statements?

            What is this? 1992?

        • gry

          Pentax lenses crap? I think not. You have no idea.

          • Alex

            The things people would say for money…

      • Troll with no heart

        U mad?

  • tonyl

    To make a FF body they need to develop a new shutter mechanism also. The current Pentax shutters have a sync speed of only 1/180s. This will be slowed significantly if the same shutter mechanism is put into a full-frame body because of the extra distance the shutter curtains have to travel. If they develop a new shutter with faster curtains then this will probably cause more camera shake and extra shutter noise.
    So the technical problems are not just in the sensor. Rumours are that the sensor has been sourced from Sony, but Sony will not release it until they get their own full frame camera established.
    I wish Pentax would produce something like the K1000. Just a manual everything with a full-frame sensor. (No autofocus, no P mode, no aperture priority). Only needs 4 settings: Aperture, shutter, WB and ISO. Possibly with a buit-in extenal light meter as well as TTL. Perfect to get the next generation of students using Pentax. It is unlikely that all those Pentaxians who have converted to Canikon will now return.

  • tonyl

    More specs for this ideal camera to get students and amateurs into Pentax again:
    – Manual focus only – reduce costs by not having focussing motos or electronics
    – optical viewfinder.
    – focusing screen with split image focussing aid
    – K-mount to encourage brand loyalty once ready to upgrade
    – Packaged with manual focus standard prime lens. (something like the old 50mm f1.7)
    – 4 settings only: Aperture, shutter, WB and ISO. Ability to change these quickly
    – buit-in extenal light meter on camera surface
    – TTL metering
    – Possibly no LCD screen if this can reduce costs, maybe wireless i-phone connectivity for pre-viewing images and custom setting WB.
    – Full-frame sensor with approx 24 megapixels
    – i-phone connectivity for controlling long exposures, remote triggering etc.
    – Keep Pentax’s unique 2s delay mirror up option.

    • sigh

      Now go play your Nintendo and leave the adults alone

      • Pablo Ricasso

        That was a very mature comment…
        Actually I like most of his suggestions.
        There is much need for a manual focus digital camera.

    • MuttonPuncher

      You are speaking to too many slaves of technology. People like Geno and Jake can’t possibly believe they can shoot a decent image without AF, IS or the latest bell and whistle dreamed up. They have drank the kool-aid.

      • Alex

        We are “slaves of technology” from the moment we abandoned film for digital.

        The problem with tonyl’s idea is that what he’s describing is an expensive crippled camera with iPhone integration.
        Probably he believes that by cutting out essential features from a camera it would automatically become cheaper.

      • Logic isn’t common

        LOL so using a LCD makes you a “Slave to technology”.

        Feel free to shoot without your LCD. Perhaps you could buy a polaroid to do test shots before doing the real shoot too.

        It’s call progress. If you want to live in the past that’s fine though. Just try to be more logical and use less strawmen.

        • The only company that can pull out a camera without a LCD screen is Leica. And they will sell every single one.

  • MX

    ” Possibly no LCD screen if this can reduce costs, maybe wireless i-phone connectivity for pre-viewing images and custom setting WB.

    i-phone connectivity for controlling long exposures, remote triggering etc.”

    Very clever, we buy a Pentax FF+I-phone for use ( we have to) our Pentax. Also very practical an cheap.

    • LOLOL

      LOL yeh the “take the LCD out” idea is ridiculous.

      They’d have to sell them for $20 to make people buy them. Perhaps Apple could give hem away free with every iphone. LOLOL

  • Pablo Ricasso

    Pentax anymore seems to be the last to adopt a new sensor. But when they do it usually outperforms the competition and often for a better price point. They have some of the best lenses available and always did.
    Unlike some, their cameras work intuitively. If you are used to a completely different system you can pick up a Pentax and understand the basics of working it within a few minutes. Many of them fit in your hand like you couldn’t imagine.
    The main weakness that I see is that Ricoh is making them price their lenses too high.

  • tonyl

    I accept that taking out the LCD was a silly idea. Cheap and small compact cameras have an LCD so the cost and size are clearly not significant. It was just an idea to remove what was not necessary.
    The concept was to make a cheap camera which could take images equal to professional cameras. The point is to get a new generation of photographers using the Pentax system. Once they can afford it they will upgrade to the high-end models. Hopefully they will have collected a few K mount lenses by then and will stick with the system.
    It is estimated that Pentax has less than 2% of the world market in cameras and this is not good for anyone – even Canikon users.
    I changed to Nikon a while back and I don’t see myself going back to Pentax because of my investment in Nikon gear. However, the old Pentax cameras are still good to use every once in a while.
    Pentax cannot expect their users to stick with them just because of their history. They need to match and beat the competition. The K5 is pretty much equivalent of the Nikon D7000. Nikon has quite a few models above this which Pentax cannot match. What choice does a serious amateur have? And for professionals Pentax is usually not an option. Why would anyone make a business model which cuts out the most profitable component of the market?

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