Pentax's Tatamiya Interview Part II, #1

K.Takeshita marinerone at
Wed Nov 1 19:25:51 EST 2006

Q: How secure is the weather proofing?
A: It is usually difficult to guarantee the weather sealing performance for
SLRs which inherently require lens changes.  However, the level of
performance we aimed at is this. As  possible environment that users might
encounter, it was tested and confirmed that the camera would have no problem
under the torrential rain storm or typhoon.
Q; How about the weather proofing of lenses?
A: We cannot claim weather-proof for the current line up of lenses. However,
as we expressed in the case of LX, which was dust sealed, it is difficult
for water to seep into the lens because of its construction, i.e., the
combination of tight cylindrical tubes.  While it depends on the severity of
the environment, in most cases, there should be no major concerns. In the
case of the latest DA lenses, as they have no aperture rings, it is one less
negative element for the water seeping possibility.
The lenses which we can formally claim as water-proof are those 3 DA* lenses
that we announced in Photokina this year.

Q: K10D can utilize the built-in SSM lenses, i.e., DA* lenses. Does this
mean faster AF speed?
A: I do not believe Pentax¹s AF has been slow even on the current lenses.
Mechanical noise during AF might give impression of slow AF, but it is on
par with competitions using the benchmark test.  On top of this, SSM lenses
will provide smoother and quieter operation.
Q: What was the reason for long delay in adopting in-lens AF compared with
competitions?  Also, any plan to equip future lenses with SSM?
A: We have been developing the SSM AF for a long time but it did not
materialize as actual products. One of the possible reasons for the delay is
because, as in the case of the development of the SR mechanism, Pentax
traditionally tried to wrap up everything within camera body.
Lenses would be good assets for a long time.  And the improvements in the
body design usually reflect in lens performance too. For example, even using
the same lens, SR performance for K10D is superior to that of K100D.  We
consider that it is imperative in the system design to advance the body
design. (note to JCO: some hope here J
Further announcement of the SSM, except those 3 that have already been
announced, has not been decided yet.  We will consider it case by case.  For
example, it would be meaningless to equip pancake lenses with SSM.
Q: Reason for changing from AA batteries to dedicated Li-Ion batteries?
A: That¹s because the more stable power supply was needed to process the
enormous amount of imaging data. If you evaluate the AA Alkaline batteries
around the world, there are so many varieties and the camera should function
with any of those.  It was not a problem for K100D, but it was difficult to
obtain stable performance from those AA alkalines for K10D.  Accordingly, we
have made a very clean decision to eliminate any possible use of AA
alkalines altogether by blocking the use of it even for the battery grip. As
a side effect of using Li-Ion batts, AF motor power was strengthened,
consequently the AF speed gets faster.

More information about the PDML mailing list