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I've added some new material to that which was here before (mostly up to the introduction of the K mount). I'll improve wording etc. over the next few days. If anybody has any expertise as to Takumar lenses then this would be good to have, they deserve a more detailed treatment than I can give them. -- Donald
- There is a Takumar page already that I have linked to. Thanks for the new material. You might want to consider moving some of it to the Asahi Pentax page and just leaving a summary under Pentax --Icd 23:10, 3 January 2006 (UTC)
- In the long run it will probably be best to place most of the material onto seperate pages and link to it from Pentax, with just a brief summary under the various headings, but I think that it would be best to hold off on this until there is more there. BTW if anyone can come up with a better heading for the pre-Spotmatic section then feel free to get rid of mine, I had a bit of a mental block - I don't think that I've ever seen them refered to as the Asahi-Pentax series before. Xdamr 04:10, 8 January 2006 (UTC)
As long as there are cameras on the shelves with K-M's logo on them, K-M continues to be a competitor to Pentax and all other camera companies. Unless we have some high-level Sony execs contributing to wikipedia, any removal of K-M is at best, premature, and at worst, flat out wrong. Icd 02:23, 30 March 2006 (UTC)
SONY has now released their Alpha DSLR system based on K-M tech and has back compatability with older lenses so I agree with keeping K-M or perhaps merge it with Sony. One must remember that it is only the cmaera and optics division that has been bought by SONY and K-M are still making their other productlines.
The emergence of the Japanese photographic industry
- The 1950s marked the emergence of the Japanese photographic industry. The Korean War had seen a huge influx of journalists and photographers to the Far East. There they came into contact with the Japanese photographic industry; companies such as Nikon and Canon turning out copies and derivatives of German photographic instruments of the time such as the Leica and Contax rangefinder and lenses. These cameras and lenses favourably impressed those who came across them and led to considerable growth for their manufacturers.
It's the kind of thing I see all the time at places like photo.net. (In its most extreme and risible form: Japan merely produced junk until its wily population cloned Leicas and Contaxes, which impressed David Douglas Duncan, who wrote it up for Life, which led to US and then world domination.)
The postwar Japanese photographic industry emerged some time between 1946 and 1949. Nikon and Canon (and Melcon, Honor, Tanack, Nicca, Leotax and other) copies and derivatives of Leica and Contax rangefinder cameras constituted only a small part of the output, a considerable percentage of which was of, yes, rather cheap, junky though often intriguing cameras (Mycro, Hit, Konilette), but very much else of which was folders ("Super Fujica Six", etc. etc.), TLRs, and good leaf-shutter 35mm cameras (eg Konishiroku's "Konica"). The emergence of these (and indeed the Leica copies) predates 1945 and even (for those who think that the war started then) 1941 or indeed 1939. There were already Japanese TLRs in the late thirties, and the folders included the Mamiya Six, which focused by moving the film plane: probably not the first camera to do so, but just as certainly not a rip-off of anything from Zeiss, Voigtländer, etc.).
So the industry emerged well before the fifties. (You could say that during the fifties the Japanese photo industry overtook, or poised itself to overtake, the photo industry of everywhere else put together.)
During the forties and fifties, most of the cameras/lenses sold within Japan had focusing calibrated not in metres but in quaint old feet. This was probably not for the benefit of visiting foreign photojournalists, many of whom would be very used to the metric system (thanks to having been brought up in continental Europe, etc.). Neither was there any great Japanese love of antique metrology (though feet may have had a certain exoticism). It was to meet the expectations of the occupation forces, who were greatly richer than the native population and bought most of the goodies.
Can one rewrite this section accordingly? -- Hoary 06:14, 30 December 2006 (UTC)
- I agree with you quite strongly, but I haven't the sources to write this accurately. I think it's simply that the West didn't notice Japanese camera companies until the fifties, so everyone thinks there was nothing before that. Also, pre-1945, Japanese camera companies did not seek very much to export outside Japan.
- By the way, the odd capitalization in the article may indicate a Japanese-speaker writing the article; company names and peoples' family names tend to get capitalised when the Japanese write English, it seems. Matthew Brown (Morven) (T:C) 07:05, 30 December 2006 (UTC)
Characteristically, I'm starting to disagree with myself. I say that the industry reemerged in the forties but most of what I imply are examples are actually from the fifties. Still, I do have a genuine 1940s Fujica Six (as opposed to 1950s Super Six), which even works. Plus a Fuji [no relation to present-day Fuji(film)] Lyraflex from the 1930s which I regret to say took its last ever photo a long time ago.
You're right about exports. Actually there were pre-1945 exports (and not just to the areas occupied by Japan), but they were tiny.
Capitalization: Yes, alas. -- Hoary 13:14, 30 December 2006 (UTC)
- Thanks Hoary for the note. As you say, I think that I was responsible for that edit. What I meant to convey was the sense that the Korean war marked the 'emergence' of the Japanese photographic industry into the wider world consciousness; an emergence which directly led to today's market dominance. It was probably a little ambiguously worded, but we seem to agree that pre-war Japanese cameras/lenses had relatively little market penetration in the West. Feel free to change this, or anything else in the article that looks suspect.
Thanks for the amicable response. I'll attend to it later (I'm falling asleep now), though anyone else is welcome to beat me to it. -- Hoary 16:04, 30 December 2006 (UTC)
I feel that the statement "The thing that really set Pentax D and DS DSLRs apart from the competition was the clarity and high magnification provided by their pentaprism viewfinders, a very useful feature considering the support for legacy manual focus lenses" strongly needs a citation. While certainly an important statement, the tone and language runs dangerously close to opinion. Jo7hs2 (talk) 01:53, 28 December 2007 (UTC)
Corporate 2008 and beyond
The final section should be updated. Questions that may prove useful to the interested reader include: where is Hoya-Pentax going as far as a merged organization? What terrain is Pentax staking out vis-a-vis the other SLR makers? What are their sales targets? Percentage of the market up or down? What does the Samsung roadmap indicate for Pentax SLRs? What is the shape of the Pentax medical division in relation to the medical divisions of other optics corporations? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 18.104.22.168 (talk) 22:39, 17 August 2008 (UTC)
Pentax K1000 photo
I don't want to intrude but I just recently inherited (pending) a K1000 Pentax camera and would be willing to take a picture of it (it is in extremely pristine condition) to add to the article. Does anyone have any objections to it and might be willing to help direct me in the proper way to do so? Thank you. Yoryx (talk) 07:35, 4 October 2008 (UTC)
I've split the article into two. One (Pentax) covers the Pentax corporation (and its predecessors and successors) which is now defunct, and the history of the corporation. The other (Pentax cameras) covers its products, the Pentax camera models, from the early Asahiflex and Asahi Pentax in the 1950's, to date. This should help both parts of this topic area.
Pentax a competitor to Leica
Move for strike. It's like calling Crysler a competitor to Ferrari. Yes, they're in the same business, but the distance between them is close to infinite. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 22.214.171.124 (talk) 22:54, 3 September 2009 (UTC)
Thats a very bad taste to spit onto a very great brand what Pentax is. That really puts me off all the other Pentax rival camera manufacturers. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 126.96.36.199 (talk) 18:39, 2 February 2011 (UTC)
Ricoh to buy Pentax
Questionable reference to East German VEB Zeiss
The article claims The name "Pentax" was originally a registered trademark of the East German VEB Zeiss Ikon (from "Pentaprism" and "Contax") but, as all Germans patents were annulled with the country's defeat
This obviuously is complete nonsense.
- The VEB Carl Zeiss Jena and VEB Zeiss Ikon did not exist prior to 1948
- Much of the leading work force of Carl Zeiss Jena went to Heidenheim in West Germany when the US troops left Jena. They later founded a new Zeiss factory in Oberkochen and Carl-Zeiss-Stiftung (foundation). The Carl-Zeiss-Stiftung in Heidenheim West Germany later was accepted as the only legal successor to the original Carl-Zeiss-Stiftung, the owner of the Zeiss and Schott companies. Thus the name rights were not lost but transferred to West Germany.