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Author Topic: Pentax 645D and Leica S2 sensor size  (Read 17694 times)
nad54
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« on: March 10, 2010, 07:37:37 AM »
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So the Pentax 645D uses a Kodak chip 44mm x 33mm and is reasonably priced. THe Leica S2 uses a Kodak chip 45mm by 30mm and rather less reasonably priced.

Anyone care to explain.....
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LKaven
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« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2010, 07:43:50 AM »
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The Pentax features 'automatic red dot removal'.
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michael
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« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2010, 07:46:44 AM »
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I wonder if it's because on is made by Leica and the other is made by Pentax?  

Michael
« Last Edit: March 10, 2010, 07:47:04 AM by michael » Logged
hsmeets
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« Reply #3 on: March 10, 2010, 07:54:05 AM »
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Quote from: nad54
So the Pentax 645D uses a Kodak chip 44mm x 33mm and is reasonably priced. The Leica S2 uses a Kodak chip 45mm by 30mm and rather less reasonably priced.

Anyone care to explain.....

Some random thoughts:

- Leica had also to develop a new line of lenses, Pentax has several on the shelf and has more time to renew designs were needed.
- Pentax expects to sell well and got a good volume discount from the sensor supplier (or fabs the sensor in license at lower cost and to own specs)
- Leica had to do more asic design as pentax had more stuff on the shelf from the SLR camera's they make
- Pentax may be happy with a smaller margin/profit per body then leica.
- I think I read that Leica has farmed out part of fabrication, maybe Pentax does much more in-house and at lower costs
- Pentax may have designed the camera for good tolerances and limited need for manual calibration, Leica maybe choose to hit higher standards but that involves more calibration
- and so forth and so forth.





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JDG
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« Reply #4 on: March 10, 2010, 09:26:07 AM »
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Wouldn't be the first time there was a price discrepancy for similar CCD.... Remember the Mamiya ZD back?  Same Dalsa CCD as the Aptus 22 but for something like half the price.  Of course the Aptus 22 was a fantastic back with great image quality and the ZD back simply was neither.

Until we see the Pentax in the field who knows if its any good, but ultimately price will come down to...
-quality of materials
-tolerances and overall quality requirements
-desire to make a profit on the camera, or on the otherhand take a loss or just break even and use it as a marketing tool for the consumer level DSLR they sell.
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nad54
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« Reply #5 on: March 10, 2010, 10:35:50 AM »
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What I find amazing (if the sensor is the same or similar) is the price difference.

The Pentax 6,300

THe Leica S2 14,500

Now I know the Leica will be beautifully made but over 8,000 difference in cost?
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rolleiflexpages
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« Reply #6 on: March 10, 2010, 11:47:25 AM »
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Quote from: nad54
So the Pentax 645D uses a Kodak chip 44mm x 33mm and is reasonably priced. THe Leica S2 uses a Kodak chip 45mm by 30mm and rather less reasonably priced.

Anyone care to explain.....

Well, I do not think this can really be compared. From what I know 44x33cm is a pretty "standard" chip size giving 4:3 ratio (also used in other backs e.g. Sinar eSprit 65LV), while the 45x30 was custom-made for Leica in order to preserve the 3:2 image ratio. So, economies of scale on sensors make a difference. This has nothing to do with red dot or not.
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« Reply #7 on: March 10, 2010, 12:23:24 PM »
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Quote from: rolleiflexpages
Well, I do not think this can really be compared. From what I know 44x33cm is a pretty "standard" chip size giving 4:3 ratio (also used in other backs e.g. Sinar eSprit 65LV), while the 45x30 was custom-made for Leica in order to preserve the 3:2 image ratio. So, economies of scale on sensors make a difference. This has nothing to do with red dot or not.


Does the chip in the pentax have microlenses?      Anyhow I am relieved to read that they used a 3::4 ratio and not the same 3::2 ratio as the S2 has.  This is the biggest downfall of the S2 for me.  I really don't like the 3::2 ratio any more.
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« Reply #8 on: March 10, 2010, 12:24:46 PM »
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Quote from: nad54
What I find amazing (if the sensor is the same or similar) is the price difference.

The Pentax 6,300

THe Leica S2 14,500

Now I know the Leica will be beautifully made but over 8,000 difference in cost?

2:1 is pretty standard in European vs. Japanese product pricing.

Edmund
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« Reply #9 on: March 10, 2010, 01:35:56 PM »
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Quote from: EricWHiss
Anyhow I am relieved to read that they used a 3::4 ratio and not the same 3::2 ratio as the S2 has.  This is the biggest downfall of the S2 for me.  I really don't like the 3::2 ratio any more.

Eric, having used (and still using) Leica gear for many years with the traditional 3:2 ratio of 35mm film, I also got used to the 4:3 ratio of 645 MF film, although I still prefer by far the square 6x6 images, which make MF really stand out compared to 35mm. It is also what makes me doubt so much on the Leaf AFi-II 10 vs 7 (3:2 vs 4:3 respectively). The only gripe I have is that, when printing 4:3 MF sizes the lab uses standard 20x30cm A4 or other related A sizes (3:2), which lead to quite some crop on the top and bottom of negatives.
« Last Edit: March 10, 2010, 01:36:44 PM by rolleiflexpages » Logged

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douglasf13
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« Reply #10 on: March 10, 2010, 02:34:45 PM »
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Quote from: nad54
What I find amazing (if the sensor is the same or similar) is the price difference.

The Pentax 6,300

THe Leica S2 14,500

Now I know the Leica will be beautifully made but over 8,000 difference in cost?

  It's really no worse than the Sony A850 at $1999 US and the M9 at $7999 US.  It is worth it to some.
« Last Edit: March 10, 2010, 02:35:19 PM by douglasf13 » Logged
EricWHiss
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« Reply #11 on: March 10, 2010, 02:37:20 PM »
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Quote from: rolleiflexpages
Eric, having used (and still using) Leica gear for many years with the traditional 3:2 ratio of 35mm film, I also got used to the 4:3 ratio of 645 MF film, although I still prefer by far the square 6x6 images, which make MF really stand out compared to 35mm. It is also what makes me doubt so much on the Leaf AFi-II 10 vs 7 (3:2 vs 4:3 respectively). The only gripe I have is that, when printing 4:3 MF sizes the lab uses standard 20x30cm A4 or other related A sizes (3:2), which lead to quite some crop on the top and bottom of negatives.


I really have come to like the square format too.  After using the Rollei 6000 and TLR, and some Mamiya RZ,  I could not feel comfortable with the DSLR's anymore.  Looking back through my earlier images I see that a lot of my 35mm shots could have been improved with less rectangular format.   That's just me and my experience though.   So when new cameras like the Pentax come out more square than rectangle, I'm relieved.   I never would have considered the AFi-10 because of the format or the S2 for that matter.
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BJNY
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« Reply #12 on: March 10, 2010, 02:58:42 PM »
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I'm okay with 2:3 ratio for landscape orientation (horizontals),

but prefer 4:3 (ideally 5:4) for portrait orientation (verticals).

How Nikon solves this with their 5:4 crop mode in their D3 is genius.
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Guillermo
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« Reply #13 on: March 10, 2010, 06:22:10 PM »
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I think digital back prices have little to do with sensor price.  Few years back I contacted Kodak for MF sensor pricing (thinking I should maybe try building one myself  ).  To my surprise the most expensive sensors (39mp at the time) were only around $1000 more expensive the cheaper ones (22mp) and the price a fraction of the $30.000-$40.000 list price.  It was also a surprise they had prices in bulks of 2, 5, 10 and 100 pieces.  I had somehow imagined getting prices for maybe 100 an 1000 units.  My conclusion is that MF backs sell in very low volumes and the high price is needed to cover R&D, low volume manufacturing, marketing, etc.  Now we have Pentax confident enough to think they will sell thousands of units and thus making the design/manufacturing/marketing part much less part of the equation.

And I want one!

Hrannar
« Last Edit: March 10, 2010, 06:23:49 PM by hauxon » Logged
feppe
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Oh this shows up in here!


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« Reply #14 on: March 10, 2010, 07:14:06 PM »
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Quote from: hauxon
I think digital back prices have little to do with sensor price.  Few years back I contacted Kodak for MF sensor pricing (thinking I should maybe try building one myself  ).  To my surprise the most expensive sensors (39mp at the time) were only around $1000 more expensive the cheaper ones (22mp) and the price a fraction of the $30.000-$40.000 list price.  It was also a surprise they had prices in bulks of 2, 5, 10 and 100 pieces.  I had somehow imagined getting prices for maybe 100 an 1000 units.  My conclusion is that MF backs sell in very low volumes and the high price is needed to cover R&D, low volume manufacturing, marketing, etc.  Now we have Pentax confident enough to think they will sell thousands of units and thus making the design/manufacturing/marketing part much less part of the equation.

A common misconception is that you need high prices and margins to recoop R&D. If you're able to manufacture and sell high volumes with low margins you can get the same financial results as selling low volumes with high margins - and it appears that's what Pentax is betting on.

In addition to your points, I'm confident that the main price driver of MFDBs is price discrimination*. The difference of the cost-price for each of their newer and older products are minimal, but the margins on their flag ship products are much higher than their older ones. H and P ask for tens of thousands of euros for their flag ship products because they can. Then they have products with lower specs, offering something for almost every wallet in the MFDB space.

645D might just change all that and force them to adapt to relying on volume rather than high margins to keep their contribution margins and market share.

* It's done by Canon and Nikon, and almost every industry where possible. Microsoft and Sony sold gaming consoles for years at a loss, relying on their games to cover their margins. Something like that would be harder in the photography industry: you could have proprietary lens mounts and sell dirt cheap backs but expensive lenses, but there would surely be adapters for off-brand lenses no matter how many encrypted chips you put on the back.
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ArunGaur
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« Reply #15 on: March 10, 2010, 07:30:47 PM »
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Regarding it there is also a thread on Photoclubalpha.
One idea there is that it is better to buy A850 with a comprehensive list of Sony and Zeiss lenses.
Arun Gaur
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« Reply #16 on: March 10, 2010, 09:04:03 PM »
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Quote from: feppe
A common misconception is that you need high prices and margins to recoop R&D. If you're able to manufacture and sell high volumes with low margins you can get the same financial results as selling low volumes with high margins - and it appears that's what Pentax is betting on.

Same financial result for the company selling the back, but a huge difference for the company selling the sensors.

Since the sensor is the most important part in backs it would appear to me that the future of MF is in large volumes that will enable the sensor manufacturer to invest in R&D.

Cheers,
Bernard
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A few images online here!
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« Reply #17 on: March 10, 2010, 11:26:03 PM »
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Hi,

There can be many aspects. It's not only the chip but the system built around. Also, the idea is not to sell products at the manufacturing cost with some margin but to sell the product at the maximum price at which enough customers are willing to pay. To be able to charge high prices you need to have features or perceptions the customer would be paying for.

Look at the Nikon 3Dx, it used to be much more expensive than the Nikon 3D or the Nikon D700. Nikon could easily put 3Dx electronics in a D700 like chassis. That would be good for customers but Nikon has little incentive to make it's technology cheaper until there is some competition. So you make a product and set the price so you can sell enough of them. You could of course increase production, but it's not really easy. Building cameras in small series requires craftmanship, and experienced craftmen don't grow on trees.

This of course also applies to Pentax. They obviously feel that they can compete at a lower price point. They can probably reuse technology from other product lines.

Regarding quality and performance against the alternatives, the market will decide. For that decision, we have to wait.

Best regards
Erik


Quote from: nad54
So the Pentax 645D uses a Kodak chip 44mm x 33mm and is reasonably priced. THe Leica S2 uses a Kodak chip 45mm by 30mm and rather less reasonably priced.

Anyone care to explain.....
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Nemo
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« Reply #18 on: March 11, 2010, 03:58:08 AM »
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Quote from: nad54
So the Pentax 645D uses a Kodak chip 44mm x 33mm and is reasonably priced. THe Leica S2 uses a Kodak chip 45mm by 30mm and rather less reasonably priced.

Anyone care to explain.....


1) Leica tend to abuse their customers (do you remember the Panaleicas? The same camera than Pana, double price).

2) Pentax only distributes and supports the camera in Japan, so costs of distribution and support are quite low. Leica tries to distribute and support the camera (at a "pro" level) worldwide, and that is very expensive.

1) and 2) explain far lower margins.

3) Pentax uses components shared with their small DSLR cameras. Those are components bought at large volumes.

2) and 3) Explains lower costs.

The S2 would be a great competitor for the real "pro" segment if the price is "correct". That strategy was discarded in favor of a chimeric "competition of titans" with Hasselblad (Will Hasselblad resist?). Now, Pentax did it.
« Last Edit: March 11, 2010, 06:55:10 AM by Nemo » Logged
archivue
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« Reply #19 on: March 11, 2010, 01:24:23 PM »
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going back, it was the same between a leica R6 and a Pentax 24x36... they did share the same... film !
not really surprising, not really the same body and lenses... not the same customers as well !

Anyway, i still think that Leaf backs are the way to go if image and color quality is important.
And the price is just between the pentax and the leica.

With both pentax and leica, you can't use the back on a technical camera !
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