Still no split-image screen for the K-7?

Graydon oak at
Thu Aug 27 13:44:58 EDT 2009

On Thu, Aug 27, 2009 at 03:27:56PM +0200, Eckehard Wegner scripsit:
> 2009/8/27 Graydon <oak at>:
> > While there have been some issues, the combination of broad innovation
> > -- something new to the camera industry -- and new assembly staff, who
> > don't have the depth of experience, will necessarily hammer quality
> > control.  No evidence that Pentax has been having excessively *bad*
> > quality control issues under the circumstances, or that the trend isn't
> > in the right direction.
> Point taken. With these things it is never more than a gut feeling
> based on personal experience combined with what you read and then run
> throught the famous tellmewhatiwannahear filter - us humans tend to
> give more weight to information that confirms our assumptions than the
> other way round.

Oh yes.  (To the point that there is increasing evidence that
information you know is wrong will affect your decision making...)

> So: no stats here. On the other hand, the rate of lens misalignments
> etc. reported even in tests and people everywhere - including this
> list - playing good copy / bad copy, both for lenses and bodies,
> indicates that QC is not happening to the point of actually weeding
> out the lesser specimens but only the grossly botched.

Or, and this is what I'd be looking at if I were in charge of QC at
Pentax, transport via standard container is really hard on precision
mechanical assemblies.  Time to ship a recording accelerometer or two
and look at package redesign, I strongly suspect.

Which is not to say that the factory QC might not need work; it always
will.  But the kinds of errors people report are the kinds of things
that go with "that got rattled" -- stuck autofocus, SDM motor won't
engage, some lens element is out of alignment, the camera turns on but
one specific function is borked -- and all of those are consistent with
"container shipping is kinda brutal" combined with "Pentax uses really
traditional packaging, from the days where someone was going to pick up
a smallish crate by hand".

> > Or it's "let's not go broke".
> > Digital means that there will be about as many camera makers left
> > standing for niche cameras -- which is any camera that isn't in a phone
> > -- as there were manufacturers of film in the film days.  Which, in
> > turn, means that Pentax *must* get a partner or partner to continue.
> > It's not a "we would like to"; it's a "we absolutely must".
> Sure, let's not go broke is Prime Directive. The former Repair Service
> Manager at Pentax Hamburg told me they were not willing to sell
> anything at a loss any more and that they had no intention to compete
> for market shares any longer by selling below cost. And then, why
> would they have lower cost out of lower numbers than Canikon? So
> prices have to go up and I say let them have what they deserve. I
> guess I am just looking for an excuse to justify staying.

Pentax price/performance, even at the new prices, remains pretty good.
The last five lenses -- DA 55-300, DA 35 Ltd., DA* 60-250, DA* 55, DA 15
Ltd. is how I'm counting "last five" -- have all been optically
excellent.  So the core competency seems to be doing OK in that regard.

Used to be, one got taught that the birds went south in the winter to
escape the cold and dearth.  Turns out that the more appropriate way to
think of it is that some birds fly north in the spring, so they can
exploit the long days and peak summer food supply for raising offspring.

I tend to think camera systems are the same way; what, out of what you
need or want to do, can you not do with system <foo>?  Out of the
systems that do everything you need/want, which one is the least

I don't have the necessary vast breadth of experience to say this, but
so far, I'm finding Pentax to be doing really well at "least annoying".

-- Graydon

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