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Sunday, February 12, 2006

Pentax Holds a Product Massacre Too

It turns out that while everyone was fussing over the announcement that Nikon was cutting way back on its film camera business, Pentax was busy behind the scenes holding a massacre of its own. The Pentax Japan website has posted new lists of discontinued 35mm film SLRs and lenses. Only on the Japanese language site, though—nothing yet on the English language side.

The camera list is here and the lens list here. For those who don't want to wade through screens full of Japanese, the discontinued cameras are the MZ-S, MZ-3, MZ-L and MZ-30, leaving only the *ist, MZ-60 and MZ-M as current models. On the lens front, gone are the FA 24-90/3.5-4.5, FA* 28-70/2.8, FA 28-90/3.5-5.6, FA 28-105/4-5.6, FA* 80-200/2.8, FA 80-320/4.5-5.6, K Reflex 400-600/8-12, A 15/3.5, FA 20/2.8, A 20/2.8, FA* 24/2, FA* 85/1.4, FA 135/2.8, A* 200/2.8, FA* 300/4, FA* 400/5.6, K 500/4.5, A* 600/5.6, K Reflex 1000/11, A* 1200/8, M Reflex 2000/13.5, FA Macro 50/2.8, FA Macro 100/2.8, FA Macro 100/3.5, FA* Macro 200/4, K Bellows 100/4. FA Soft 85/2.8, K Shift 28/3.5, A Fisheye 16/2.8, and F Fisheye 17-28/3.5-4.5.

Pentax fans will recognize in that list some very long-running and distinctive items as well as the cream of the high-end autofocus lenses (other than the 31/43/77 Limited lenses, which remain in the line). Perhaps, per the BJP report, they're clearing the deck for some serious new glass oriented toward digital users.

A few of the discontinued lenses are still offered for sale at list price in the "Shop Online" section of the Pentax USA website. Most have already vanished from US dealer stocks.

Posted by: OREN GRAD


Blogger Fotohess said...

It is sad that Pentax is cutting all that great glass. Some of my favorite photos I have made since I started shooting had been with my MZ-S and the 24mm f/2 of an old 85mm f/1.8 screw mount. Only after the MZ-S died did I jump ship for Canon digital. But to this day, I still feel the MZ-S is the best designed small format camera out there. Pentax really screwed the pooch by never making a digital version of it. It was simple to use, intuitive, and tough. I don't think the *ist is any of these, and the digital *ist will never start to compete with any Canon EOS-1D bodies. Pentax used to make the best equipment no one was using, now they just make equipment.

3:34 PM  

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