Will Pentax (and everyone else too) go Full Frame?


Spaceman_Spiff

Link Posted 15/02/2012 - 04:25
I may be wrong, but the general trend in digital photography seems to be a divergence. Compact digital sales are dying because smart phones are stealing the market segment and offering a one box solution. At the other end from the point and shoot, serious amateur photographers continue with their ever more complex DSLR's, creating a demand led race for more features and better specs. Comparing DSLR's these days is like Top Trumps for most people.

My question is, will full frame creep down from the top spec high end only feature as now, and become a spec we all want and expect? Surely this is inevitable, given progress and market demand for ever greater resolution? And here's the thing: going full frame is in the manufacturers interest - we'll have to re-equip ourselves with full frame compatible lenses. I come from a marketing background myself, so I recognise the opportunity that Pentax and others have here for increasing their revenues. At a time when many big name companies are seriously struggling (you'd be surprised to know Sony and Panasonic are included) anything that gets the punters buying more kit will be leapt on. I suspect too that the camera bodies have lower margins and the profit is in the higher end glass.

Suddenly I feel less confident about dropping big money on the current crop of lenses.

Am I right to be cautious? Will the camera manufacturers take a leaf out of the music and video industry playbook, or is it all just paranoia on my part?
Better equipment enhances my ability to display my shortcomings.

johnriley

Link Posted 15/02/2012 - 07:58
Nothing wrong with good, old-fashioned paranoia....we know they are out to get us.

Bur seriously, over the years the constant pressure has been on reducing format sizes. With film, possibly urged on by silver pricesw, Kodak kept trying to give us smaller formats. Hald frame, 126, 110, Disc....but the technology wasn't up to it.

With all the technology packed into cameras now, we are given APS-C, 4/3, and lots of reduced size compact sensors. It's unlikely to shift in reverse as a trend as the technology is now so good we can even start to look at 24MP in APS-C.
Best regards, John

cabstar

Link Posted 15/02/2012 - 08:00
I think dslrs will get smaller with faster processors. Ff and high pixel sensors will be confined to high end. Look at the new d800 as an obvious example of this...
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Currently on a Pentax hiatus until an FF Pentax is released

Pentaxophile

Link Posted 15/02/2012 - 09:31
Now CSCs with APSC sized sensors are available, and APSC sensors begin to reach/exceed the limits of their useful resolution, the case for FF DSLRs get stronger. At the moment though that market is a playground for professionals, dominated by Canon/Nikon, and I can't see Pentax going there. But things might change. Either way, I'm sure your APSC lenses will remain supported by Pentax bodies (DSLR or mirrorless) so I wouldn't worry too much...
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mecrox

Link Posted 15/02/2012 - 11:30
Pentax will go where the market goes. They have no other choice. There is an argument for saying that, broadly, the camera market will split into two parts: mirrorless which will come in various formats but which won't be full frame and DSLRs or whatever they evolve into which will only be full frame and pretty high end. But again, who knows. There are also a lot of things that cameras generally need to perfect such as video and video-tuned lenses, much-improved EVFs and LCD displays, comms with other devices, more computing power inside the camera, and so forth. Smaller outfits might have their hands full just getting those things right before worrying about full frame. Keeping away from full frame hasn't done any harm to Olympus or Panasonic or Fuji (to date, anyway).

I can't see Pentax abandoning APS-C in the near future. It would be suicidal for them. More chance, I think, that over the next 2-3 years they and other camera marques will abandon OVFs on all but the high end of their ranges.

wvbarnes

Link Posted 15/02/2012 - 12:45
I'm happy with the APS-C Sony sensor in my KR. I don't want to lug huge fat lenses around like my pro friends but then I never print above A3 anyway so why would I want the equivalent of a 35mm film frame sensor?

I do recall professionals when I was first into photography regarding 35mm as the toy format for 'amateurs' who couldn't afford a 'large format' roll film camera.

I'm as fascinated by this call for ever bigger sensors (what is this nonsense calling 36 x 24 full frame anyway, Pentaxes aren't half frame???) as I am with some people being obsessed with needing huge telephotos.
Last Edited by wvbarnes on 15/02/2012 - 12:45

walkeja

Link Posted 15/02/2012 - 13:17
Am I right in thinking that if(!) Pentax brought out a full frame sensor, we would not have a lot to worry about as all Pentax lenses would work on it. Unless, that is, Ricoh have changed the Pentax philosophy.
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K10D

Link Posted 15/02/2012 - 13:26
wvbarnes wrote:
I'm happy with the APS-C Sony sensor in my KR. I don't want to lug huge fat lenses around like my pro friends but then I never print above A3 anyway so why would I want the equivalent of a 35mm film frame sensor?

I do recall professionals when I was first into photography regarding 35mm as the toy format for 'amateurs' who couldn't afford a 'large format' roll film camera.

I'm as fascinated by this call for ever bigger sensors (what is this nonsense calling 36 x 24 full frame anyway, Pentaxes aren't half frame???) as I am with some people being obsessed with needing huge telephotos.

Some interesting points there Bill.

I have a 50mm f/1.4, 20mm f/2.8 that I use on my D700. They appear to be the same size to me as my Pentax FA50mm and a Pentax 28mm lens. My Sigma 70-200 f/2.8 on my K7 is effectively the same size as my 70-200 f/2.8 VR on the D7000. I am left thinking that maybe you mean 300mm or 400mm f/2.8 lenses or 500mm and 600mm f/4 lenses.

I've shot a lot of film alongside professionals in the 70 & 80's covering motorcycle racing. None were using large format roll film cameras.

The FF reference is relative. When you were shooting film and the Advantix cameras were introduced, did you drop 35mmm and move to Advantix C? It's just that I believe it's very close size wise as APS-C.

(Advanced Photo System).

Some people do need huge telephoto lenses. I covered two F1 events in Bahrain and with the exception of 70-200 f/2.8 lenses, the rest were 400, 500 and 600mm. Never saw a single 300mm f/4 or slower used by pro's.

Maybe best to let those that want something that you don't, get on with their obsession. Many hundred are doing just that but with different brand equipment.

Best regards

Dr. Mhuni

Link Posted 15/02/2012 - 15:30
Quote:
My Sigma 70-200 f/2.8 on my K7 is effectively the same size as my 70-200 f/2.8 VR on the D7000.

But your 70-200 on APS-C is equivalent to 105-300 FF. I think this is what wvbarnes is getting at. As you've observed, it's not (so much of?) an issue with normal or even wider lenses (in fact FF can be beneficial with the latter) but once you start going tele the mass mounts. I'm very glad that one of my most used lenses is a 50-135 f2.8 and not a 70-200 f2.8 which come in at around twice the size (certainly weight-wise). I'm also glad to have a svelt K5 rather than a FF hulk, though FF IQ would sometimes be nice.

Quote:
Am I right in thinking that if(!) Pentax brought out a full frame sensor, we would not have a lot to worry about as all Pentax lenses would work on it. Unless, that is, Ricoh have changed the Pentax philosophy.

I'm afraid not, Walkeja. Although FF lenses made for Pentax film cameras will work on digital K-mounts, the DA lenses are specifically designed for APS-C and most wouldn't work with a FF sensor.
Mhuni

500px

Pentaxophile

Link Posted 15/02/2012 - 15:36
walkeja wrote:
Am I right in thinking that if(!) Pentax brought out a full frame sensor, we would not have a lot to worry about as all Pentax lenses would work on it. Unless, that is, Ricoh have changed the Pentax philosophy.

I'm sure all Pentax lenses would work on it. Some of the DA lenses are designed for the reduced imaging circle of APSC, but there's no reason why you couldn't use them and just crop the images (Nikon cameras have the facility to do this automatically, and I believe the viewfinder is even cropped so you know what you're getting).

Lenses like the DA35mm, FA50mm, FA77mm would all work fine without any such issues.

wvbarnes wrote:
I'm happy with the APS-C Sony sensor in my KR. I don't want to lug huge fat lenses around like my pro friends

I'm not sure APSC vs FF has much impact on lens size - all the wide zooms designed for APSC seem bigger than the FF equivalents, because they need to start at 16 or 17mm rather than 28mm - they also need to have a wider aperture to deliver comparable dof wide open, and because ISO noise is worse on APSC.
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woodworm

Link Posted 15/02/2012 - 15:38
Dr. Mhuni wrote:

I'm afraid not, Walkeja. Although FF lenses made for Pentax film cameras will work on digital K-mounts, the DA lenses are specifically designed for APS-C and most wouldn't work with a FF sensor.

I'd imagine Pentax would implement a 'crop' mode on any FF camera which would still allow you to use DA lenses similar to the way Nikon does with it's DX crop mode on the D700.

Edit - Beaten to it by Pentaxophile!
Last Edited by woodworm on 15/02/2012 - 15:39

Pentaxophile

Link Posted 15/02/2012 - 15:42
You put it so much more succinctly though
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George Lazarette

Link Posted 15/02/2012 - 21:11
The term "full-frame" shows sloppy thinking. Pentax's DA lenses are designed for APS-C sensors, so for them (which is most current Pentax lenses), and for all Pentax DSLRs, "full-frame" means APS-C.

If people who use this term are referring to a sensor with the dimensions 24x36mm, then the correct term is 135-format.

So let's forget "full-frame" shall we, and use the correct terminology?

And I personally wouldn't buy a 135-format DSLR. It just isn't necessary for me or for the vast majority of people, and will only increase the cost and weight of one's kit.

G

PS: Of course, I do realise that all these 135ers will take MUCH better pictures when they have a 135-format body. It's just the APS-C format that's holding them back from realising their full potential. Poor dears.
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K10D

Link Posted 15/02/2012 - 23:30
Dr. Mhuni wrote:
Quote:
My Sigma 70-200 f/2.8 on my K7 is effectively the same size as my 70-200 f/2.8 VR on the D7000.

But your 70-200 on APS-C is equivalent to 105-300 FF. I think this is what wvbarnes is getting at.

You forgot to mention in FOV only. There is no magical magnification increase.

I'm very glad that one of my most used lenses is a 50-135 f2.8 and not a 70-200 f2.8 which come in at around twice the size (certainly weight-wise). I'm also glad to have a svelt K5 rather than a FF hulk, though FF IQ would sometimes be nice.

Yes a 135mm f/2.8 will be lighter than a 200mm f/2.8 bearing in mind that the front element of the 135mm is less diameter > 67mm vs 77mm.

The 50-135 was introduced to provide the same FOV as the 70-200. "It is a dedicated APS-C lens with a field-of-view equivalent to 75-203mm on full format cameras so it is obviously meant as a revival of the classic 70-200mm f/2.8 medium tele zooms". (quote from Photozone).

I was using my 50-135 when I first arrived in Australia but had one problem, it has too short a reach, so I left it in the UK and brought a 70-200 out and all is well.

As for the FF hulk, thats a call each individual must make. Putting up with a very bright, large viewfinder is a drag I admit, but the results seem to come out fine. I also have to put up with silly wide FOV when I use my 14-24mm which is something I can't currently achieve with a Pentax lens as my SMC 15mm is crippled on my K7. Until I bought a 10-17mm I had lost both my Pentax fisheye and my Pentax fisheye zoom as fish eye lenses, cudos to Pentax as I bought a third fisheye

As I mentioned to Bill, each to their own, but remember, don't knock that which you may have no actual user experience of using. I have yet to use a 645D but may get the chance in the next few weeks (but why would I want to lug around a hulk of a camera?)when I could stay with my svelt FF or smaller yet K7.

Best regards

K10D

Link Posted 15/02/2012 - 23:41
George Lazarette wrote:
The term "full-frame" shows sloppy thinking. Pentax's DA lenses are designed for APS-C sensors, so for them (which is most current Pentax lenses), and for all Pentax DSLRs, "full-frame" means APS-C.

If people who use this term are referring to a sensor with the dimensions 24x36mm, then the correct term is 135-format.

So let's forget "full-frame" shall we, and use the correct terminology?

And I personally wouldn't buy a 135-format DSLR. It just isn't necessary for me or for the vast majority of people, and will only increase the cost and weight of one's kit.

G

PS: Of course, I do realise that all these 135ers will take MUCH better pictures when they have a 135-format body. It's just the APS-C format that's holding them back from realising their full potential. Poor dears.

I totally agree George. It is indeed 135 format. Not sure about the better pictures though. The IQ from my Pentax's is always excellent.

Last Saturday I did a shoot for holiday rental accommodation down near Margaret River. The Client wanted outside and inside shots. What Pentax lens would you have recommended I use for the inside shots, obviously not wanting to introduce distortion of verticals or trying to eliminate distortion in Photoshop and with a wide FOV to get a full room in frame.

I could not come up with an answer but am open to suggestions for future, similar work.

Best regards
________________________________________
Last Edited by K10D on 15/02/2012 - 23:45
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