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Stripped down camera

Discussion in 'AP Magazine Feedback & Suggestions' started by GeoffR, Oct 19, 2019.

  1. Chester AP

    Chester AP Well-Known Member

    This debate is a regular on the Forum, and on previous occasions I have said that I have reluctantly purchased a DSLR with all the facilities I don't need because no alternative was available within my budget that would allow me to use lenses I already own. To explain: I have a Pentax K5 (to use my existing lenses and for very good build quality), and have 'customised' it so that when used in manual exposure mode the front control dial adjusts the lens aperture and the rear dial adjusts the shutter speed (this is as near as I can get to 'aperture ring at the front and shutter speed on top' of an old SLR). And if I press the ISO button near the shutter release, the rear dial adjust the ISO. This means that all the parameters can be adjusted without taking my eye from the viewfinder. Apart from this customisation, the next step is to read the manual carefully and know how much other stuff you can set once and then ignore.

    I also drive a small and relatively 'simple' car, live in a small house, and only recently had to replace some 25 year old British-made audio equipment because spare parts were no longer available (if not for this I would have kept if indefinitely because it did exactly what I wanted and sounded great). If something does exactly what I want I will keep it as long as possible rather than 'upgrade' it in the hope that the new model will improve my life. Sadly, some people take the same attitude to personal relationships, but that really is a subject for another place.
    Nigel_Atherton likes this.
  2. Terrywoodenpic

    Terrywoodenpic Well-Known Member

    Why? They are less expensive than equivalent, canon Nikon or Sony lenses.
  3. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

    Pretty much what I was suggesting, and your control choices exactly match the default on my Nikons.

    You had a new HiFi and got rid of it because of a lack of spares? My Quad 33, FM3, 306 and 405 are around 35 years old and I believe spares, or alternatives, are still available. My Quad 99 system is around 25 and I believe spares are available for that too.
  4. SXH

    SXH Well-Known Member

    I have a friend who collects B&O Hi-Fis. They all work and are used. The newest is 30 years old and they can still be serviced - he's just had one done.

    However, some newer hi-fis use custom ICs, which are no longer available and sometimes have no modern equivalents.
  5. Chester AP

    Chester AP Well-Known Member

    I didn't give up easily ... the amp's line-level circuit board suffered persistent dry solder joints on the right channel over a few weeks and the nearest repair engineer I could find was 60 miles away. He repaired a few solder joints and all was fine for a while, until more failed on the left channel. The manufacturer has changed owners (twice I believe) and complete replacement circuit boards are not available. The CD player used a Sony drive mechanism which fell apart (I took the cover off the unit to investigate) - again no parts available. I've replaced both with discontinued entry-level Marantz Chinese-made units, which for about £150 each are better than expected, and once I've finished paying off my mortgage in a few months time I will be saving up for something better. My 1994-vintage Roksan Xerces turntable (with decent arm and cartridge) and 1996-vintage Castle speakers continue to work perfectly, but deserve a better amp with a much better phono input.
  6. Chester AP

    Chester AP Well-Known Member

    My apologies, but the the answers to 'why' is not brief

    New camera bodies with (relatively) new lens mounts must always be a problem to anybody who is tempted by the new camera body but already has a collection of decent lenses with a different lens mount. If I could afford the Fuji body, I would also want the Fuji-mount equivalents of the lenses listed below. When your article about the Fuji was in AP I checked the current prices of the lenses you used, which is the reason for the 'elephant in the room comment' (and being a relatively new lens mount, the low availability of secondhand lenses means that they are expensive compared to others fittings that are older and available in greater numbers). It would have been interesting when you discussed the cost of the camera body if you also added the total cost of the kit including the lenses you liked. Obviously there are readers for whom cost isn't a problem, but I'm not one of them.

    My lenses are all in a Pentax mount, and I know that I could probably get some adaptors to use them on a Fuji body, but with very restricted control (some of the lenses are sufficiently recent to not have aperture rings, for example). And despite the success of Fuji's excellent 'retro' XT models, Ricoh/Pentax appear to have been too stupid to realise that they very quickly needed to make something similar. I don't know how many K1 bodies they have sold, but suspect that the R&D and factory set up costs would have been much better spent on their version of a Fuji XT body. If Ricoh/Pentax do abandon making camera bodies (I don't think they make many of their own lenses anymore), might there then be a market for a Fuji XT model with a Pentax lens mount, so that I could look for a secondhand one a few months after its AP review?

    Sigma 10-20
    Sigma 17-70
    Sigma 50 macro
    Tamron 90 macro
    Tamron 18-250
    Tokinia 80-400
  7. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    Not going to happen! There are adaptors that allow Pentax K on Fuji X. I occasionally use my old Minolta MD lenses on my Fuji but Fuji own lenses are better/easier to use. They aren't cheap but they are very reasonably priced new compared with Canon 'L' which is my main system and there's a lot of used Fuji about.
  8. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

    Ah I see. I would have had my soldering iron out and reflowed the whole board but I appreciate that not everybody can, or will, do that.
  9. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

    I don't own anything that new!
  10. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

    This is the stumbling block that many a contributor to AP misses, camera bodies change regularly but lenses less so. The reason the "switch to mirrorless" campaign is so misguided is that most people who own multiple lenses want to keep using them and having to use an adaptor isn't the same. I calculated that to replace my system with mirrorless would cost (un)comfortably over £10,000. I paid less than that for what I have, and use regularly, current mirrorless has features that I don't need and lacks some that I do, not to mention that only one of my current lenses has been replicated in Z mount.

    I spent 45 years working with advanced technologies but I have to admit that I was always more comfortable with simplicity. Boeing have demonstrated that adding complexity doesn't always work but they aren't alone in discovering that.
    SqueamishOssifrage likes this.
  11. Andrew Flannigan

    Andrew Flannigan Well-Known Member

    I must have missed that one. :eek: :D
  12. SqueamishOssifrage

    SqueamishOssifrage Well-Known Member

    I guess you did. I certainly did. My cynical view is simple:

    1. The digital 'revolution' in the noughties increased competition between manufacturers, and also funded a large increase in manufacturing facilities.
    2. Cheap digitals were already mirrorless, and attracted lots more folks to photography beyond smartphones.
    3. Sony were pushing to get into the top two, but didn't like building mechanical things like mirrors and stuff to move them.
    4. Mirrorless are cheaper to manufacture, but have to have a bunch of extras to justify purchase, so they cost the same.
    5. The dSLR market was slowing due to saturation, but the factories had to kept going.
    6. Everybody else starts building mirrorless, since Sony's market share seemed to be growing.

    You may well disagree with my jaundiced view, but if so, you got to ask yourself just one question:-

    "Are you feeling lucky today? Well, are you, punk?" Whoops - sorry - got carried away there!

    "What does mirrorless bring us?"

    I carry about 7Kg of gear when I go out landscaping - one FF body with grip, 24-70mm, 15-30mm, 75-200mm, plus
    50mm f:1.4. If I switch to mirrorless with the same lens range, I save less than 200g, which would probably be used up carrying extra batteries - so it can't be weight.

    Size? the space saving would be minimal, as the smaller body would, at least in my case, require the grip, in order to be held comfortably - so it can't be size.

    The new high performance sensors are pretty good, but they could just as easily be put into dSLRs - so it can't be that.

    High frame rate, and an electronically enhanced viewfinder - whoopee - I can finally take high-speed photos of a black cat in a coal cellar - finally we got it pinned down!

    Cynical? Moi? :p:D
  13. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

    Clearly you haven't been receiving emails from MPB or reading AP regularly, though that seems to have diminished of late.

    Being cynical I suspect MPB want the likes of myself to trade in our big SLR kits for a small mirrorless outfit giving them lots of stock on which to make a profit.

    No more so than am I.
  14. Terrywoodenpic

    Terrywoodenpic Well-Known Member

    Pentax built their reputation and popularity on the small Pentax S1 and similar models that were small light and very simple,( I still have a S1a) They kept things down to sizes, but became more complex over a couple of decades or so. For some reason they lost the plot when it came to Digital. They do not have an obvious path to Mirrorless.
    Richo made their money as the leading photocopier manufacturer in Japan. Their cameras were always a secondary interest, both for themselves and the public. The total Rico/Pentax impact on the camera market is minimal and shrinking. I suspect the question should be, when, not if they will give up.
  15. SXH

    SXH Well-Known Member

    They have no obvious path because they have said they are not going mirrorless, because most mirrorless users will be going back to DSLRs.

    See this thread for a link to an interview with one of their top men.
  16. Terrywoodenpic

    Terrywoodenpic Well-Known Member

    The second hand market depends on buying cheap so as to leave a margin.
    However large stocks of obsolescent cameras is a recipe for disaster, as many dealers found on the film/digital change over.

    Only the very best out dated equipment holds its value. A second hand but excellent Olympus OM1n is much the same price today as it was before the start of the digital era. Many less iconic cameras have ended up in the scrap bin.

    MPB and other retailers need to sell new cameras to stay in business, it is that what motivates sales. Second hand trade is important, as it can be a profitable means for disposal of traded in stock. They will only buy in used equipment for cash for as long as they know they have a market for it.
  17. Terrywoodenpic

    Terrywoodenpic Well-Known Member

    I read that when it was published.
    I wonder what he was "ON"
    The real world has already decided that the manufacture of the DSLR is no longer viable, and no longer has a foreseeable path for development or profitability.
    Ricoh/Pentax could probably maintain a diminishing niche market for a few more years, but the writing is on the wall and they will become increasingly irrelevant. They will find that neither their specialist component suppliers, not themselves, are able to continue to manufacture low volumes of precision mechanical parts at an economic price.
  18. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

    That was rather my point, I have been collecting kit since 1990 and if they can get me to switch to a mirrorless set up I will sell them all my, now unusable, SLR kit for a song, or so they hope. I suspect there will be a good number of customers who will sell up their SLR kit and switch but I am less sure that they will owners of film cameras who retain a need for their older lenses.
  19. Chester AP

    Chester AP Well-Known Member

    The Boeing example is a worst-case scenario: lives have been lost, apparently due to poorly designed and/or inadequately tested over complicated software. I've also read reports of RAF pilots training on new F35s being told to 'turn it off and on again' when the aircraft's software wouldn't let them 'log in' and take off.

    I believe that the longer you use a type of technology (cameras, audio equipment, cars, etc,), the more you come to understand that the simplest device that does the job with the level of performance you need is what you should buy if you can find it, but this is now the hardest type of device to find: the 'added value' (and immediate obsolescence) approach to design and marketing has conquered all.
  20. Chester AP

    Chester AP Well-Known Member

    Cynicism about products that are obsolete as soon as they go on sale is merely the sensible attitude to adopt. The sad fact is that too many people have been brainwashed by the sales approach of 'mobile device' manufacturers to expect that anything they buy must be 'upgraded' very often. I suspect that the 'real camera' market (i.e. not smartphones) is saturated (or soon will be), and that a manufacturer can only increase sales by increasing its market share and then selling a new camera to every customer every 2 or 3 years. Fortunately, all of this is good news for users like us who are too cynical to buy new and appreciate the amount of decent used stuff now available at sensible prices.

    A few days ago I was in a branch of LCE for the first time in nearly two years, and the number number of Canon and Nikon DSLRs in the 'used' cabinet was far higher than I recall seeing before: £200 will buy something really good. I suspect that the new cameras purchased to replace these older ones will still only be used to create images that will be viewed on 'tablets' or a PC monitor (so the 'upgrade' was pointless), but the users will have the satisfaction of owning the latest kit and the retailer can stay in business.

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