Pentax Pentax Manifesto

Biro

Hall of Famer
Aug 7, 2011
Jersey Shore
Steve
It seems Pentax has put up a web page and some videos as a "statement of purpose" of sorts:


A few observations from a long-time Pentaxian:

1) First, this is not a bad strategy. Carve out a niche with DSLRs, as Leica has done with rangefinders. It may be the only way a small player can survive. But will the price of Pentax DSLRs eventually mirror that of cameras from the red-dot brand?

2) I'm willing to bet another reason Pentax is doing this is because it lacks the R&D budget to develop a competitive mirrorless system of its own. Frankly, I have always suspected that Leica was in a similar spot when it decided to pursue the luxury market. It simply couldn't compete against the mass-market camera companies from Asia. So it didn't. Harley-Davidson is another example, although I think time has run out for H-D.

3) I realize the line about feeling the optical-viewfinder image in your heart in the Pentax manifesto is pure marketing. But how many photographers that we know - both in person and online - have told you they have problems with EVFs? It's a real thing for many people. Personally, I can go back and forth between OVF and EVF with no problem.

4) Assuming this strategy works, who among us would have predicted a couple of years ago that Pentax would be around longer than Olympus?
 

agentlossing

Top Veteran
This site feels a lot like Ricoh's GR Special site. They really harness the power of nicely formed language and concepts. As a word-person I like it.

I can get where they're coming from with the optical viewfinder. Now during summer especially, I really struggle with visibility with the GX9's EVF. I wear photochromic glasses so they're effectively sunglasses when it's bright out. If I didn't have the tint, I'd be blinded enough by the bright light that the EVF would still be hard to see.

I'd love to see a really small KP2 that leaned into the classic styling. I've been tempted by the KP before. Especially if they brought their GR secret sauce to the JPEGs.
 

mike3996

Hall of Famer
Apr 2, 2018
Finland
Anyway, just the other week I was thinking if it was cool if Pentax pulled their own "Nikon Df". They have the K1 expertise and if they can keep it around $2k it could be cool. (I think the 35mm sensor size is important, as well the support for legacy lenses, as this is going to be niche. APS-C is very good for other things.)

I agree that there's room for DSLRs. The shooting experience is sufficiently less digital feeling than with mirrorless cameras. An off-sensor meter and focus array ... they feel more analog than digital, at least that's how they were in the 80s. And IBIS is cool especially when you can hide it... that you can't do with a live-view mirrorless camera.
 
Last edited:

agentlossing

Top Veteran
Anyway, just the other week I was thinking if it was cool if Pentax pulled their own "Nikon Df". They have the K1 expertise and if they can keep it around $2k it could be cool.
The KP is almost that. Just needs more single-purpose manual control features.

I think it's just that GX80 and GX9 have really s-tty EVFs. In bright sunlight you'll see better with the back screen
Yeah, I'm sure a G9 would give me a better view. And I know the GX9 has an eyecup accessory that could help.
 

ErichH

Veteran
Jun 11, 2020
Point # 4 in the Pentax manifesto sums it all up:
We pursue a level of quality and performance that can't be measured by numbers alone.
There you have it! This is why a Pentax is an artist's tool, and a CaNikon isn't!

EDIT: if Ricoh keeps this up, I'm almost ready to forgive them for the "Pin of Death"!
 
Last edited:

MiguelATF

Hall of Famer
Aug 27, 2013
Talent, Oregon (far from the madding crowd)
Miguel Tejada-Flores
The KP is almost that. Just needs more single-purpose manual control features.
I finally gave in and bought a KP a few years back and the more I use it, the more I like it. It doesn't have quite as many manual dials as some Fuji's or the Df but it makes up for them with a rather special 'feel' - it truly feels to me like a slightly heavier modern version of the analog Pentax SLR's I shot with for decades. I understand its larger sibling the K-1 has that 'feel' just as much, if not more so - but the smaller size and form factor of the KP made much more sense to me than the bulk and weight of a K-1.

The other thing, and it's almost too obvious to even mention, is or are the many superb DA, Limited, and FA lenses that Pentax has been creating over not years but decades. Many of them are svelte enough to feel like they were made for a smaller APS-C body...like the KP.


Yeah, I'm sure a G9 would give me a better view. And I know the GX9 has an eyecup accessory that could help.
The thing about the GX80 and the GX9 - and, alas, the GX7 which preceded them and which was one of the more enjoyably designed cameras I've ever owned - was that none of them had a truly adequate EVF. Then along came the GX8 with its truly fabulous (and semi-oversized) EVF and once you've tried it, it's almost impossible to go back to the tinier and less-satisfying iterations. The G9 has the reputation of an even-better EVF, and if you read Kirk Tuck's blog, he's been raving for some time about the EVF of Lumix S1 which, reputedly, is the best electronic EVF ever made.

Pentax is on the verge of announcing their newest (and lonnnng-in-development) APS-C SLR and I'm guessing it will embody the 'Pentax Principles' in myriad visible, and less-than-visible, ways. I'm guessing it will be a great camera for photographers who wish to dive back into a really nice modern digital iteration of an SLR; and Pentax makes really nice OVF'.

But personally I'm not tempted: the KP is such an enjoyable camera to shoot with, it would be hard to improve on for me. I'm a bit of a Luddite, though: after buying a pair of MX's decades ago, I was never tempted to 'upgrade' to Pentax's new and supposedly superior offerings. Some things just seem to work really well.
 

mike3996

Hall of Famer
Apr 2, 2018
Finland
Between (characterizing here) softer-appearing DSLRs and pixel-sharp MILC cameras, it appears that Pentax has been positioning itself to be a pixel-sharp DSLR for a while now.

All reviews usually push for that "Pentax really squeezes all available quality from images" theme. :)

This notion sounds very compatible with me.
 

ErichH

Veteran
Jun 11, 2020
This may be GAS talking, but I could be persuaded to cash in M4/3 for a small Pentax DSLR if they really realize their principles in the next camera. It would not be based on logic and I'd probably regret it, but it could happen. Hahah.
You really don't have to part with the M4/3 system to get a Pentax! The two complement each other...
I never thought about selling my Pentaxes after buying my first Olympus. Why should I? Many knives in your big toolbox gives you choices you can't have if you only have the small box. And the backward compatibility with a Pentax is truly unique. Suck my b***s, CaNikon!
 

gordo

Veteran
Jul 6, 2017
Arizona
Gordon
Pentax is a bit different IMHO. In a good way, for me anyways. I've had my K-1, the three FA Limiteds, 200/2.8, 300/4 and 28-105 over 4 years now. I've had zero desire to replace/ upgrade any of those items. Barring any loss/ theft/ failure too expensive to fix, I'll likely still be using the kit in another 4 years. Only other camera I've been able to say that about over the last few years has been my X100F. I'm waiting to see the new APS-C based on the intimated upgraded AF. That could generate an additional purchase, but not a replacement.

 

agentlossing

Top Veteran
I'm getting THIS close to offering up my GX9 kit for sale and grabbing a Pentax KP. Ergonomically on the GX9, I use an add-on grip, which means their size and weight is quite similar. My Sigma 30mm f1.4 isn't a small M4/3 lens, and that only leaves the 20mm f1.7... which I might keep and use on the GF7 sometimes. Point is, my GX9 rarely inspires me to pull it out instead of going tiny and light with the GR III, or just shooting film.

The KP has IBIS, pixel-shift, a 24MP sensor that's maybe the same one in the GR III, meaning I know its strengths, a good bright OVF, weather sealing, and opens up that sexy Pentax lens catalog... I could give M4/3 a long break to see where it goes technologically. I could...
 

gordo

Veteran
Jul 6, 2017
Arizona
Gordon
I'm getting THIS close to offering up my GX9 kit for sale and grabbing a Pentax KP. Ergonomically on the GX9, I use an add-on grip, which means their size and weight is quite similar. My Sigma 30mm f1.4 isn't a small M4/3 lens, and that only leaves the 20mm f1.7... which I might keep and use on the GF7 sometimes. Point is, my GX9 rarely inspires me to pull it out instead of going tiny and light with the GR III, or just shooting film.

The KP has IBIS, pixel-shift, a 24MP sensor that's maybe the same one in the GR III, meaning I know its strengths, a good bright OVF, weather sealing, and opens up that sexy Pentax lens catalog... I could give M4/3 a long break to see where it goes technologically. I could...
KP combined with the DA Limited primes (especially the 21 and 40 pancakes) would give you a nice, small, light, quality setup. Or other WR lenses to maintain the weather resistance of the package.
 

MiguelATF

Hall of Famer
Aug 27, 2013
Talent, Oregon (far from the madding crowd)
Miguel Tejada-Flores
I'm getting THIS close to offering up my GX9 kit for sale and grabbing a Pentax KP. Ergonomically on the GX9, I use an add-on grip, which means their size and weight is quite similar. My Sigma 30mm f1.4 isn't a small M4/3 lens, and that only leaves the 20mm f1.7... which I might keep and use on the GF7 sometimes. Point is, my GX9 rarely inspires me to pull it out instead of going tiny and light with the GR III, or just shooting film.

The KP has IBIS, pixel-shift, a 24MP sensor that's maybe the same one in the GR III, meaning I know its strengths, a good bright OVF, weather sealing, and opens up that sexy Pentax lens catalog... I could give M4/3 a long break to see where it goes technologically. I could...
Being a very very happy KP owner, I can only add that it is one of the most photographically pleasing cameras I have ever shot with. Period. It's also surprisingly compact, especially next to some of the more bloated recent micro 4/3 models of recent years. The only caveat I would add, is that the experience of a very good pentaprism-equipped DSLR - and the KP has one of the better ones I've ever looked through - can be substantially different than using some of the quite good EVF's of mirrorless cameras. You almost have to re-accustom your eye to seeing the more natural light of the KP, vs the digitally-enhanced electronic EVF of your GX9.
 

Latest posts

Latest threads

Top Bottom