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Thread: Avenon (Komura), Konica and Ricoh

  1. #1
    Senior Member thrice's Avatar
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    Avenon (Komura), Konica and Ricoh

    Why aren't these companies cashing in now? They made great M and LTM optics in the 90's, why aren't they doing it now when demand and prices are both stratospheric?

    At the moment the ONLY people making M lenses are Leica and Cosina, is Japanese pride in the way? Are these companies bankrupt? C'mon guys, cash in already!

    I personally would love an updated Kobalux, maybe with aspheric element(s)! The M mount is open source (no electronics anyway) so I'm bewildered more brands like Samyang for example haven't jumped in!

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    Re: Avenon (Komura), Konica and Ricoh

    Let's not forget Nikon, Canon, Fuji and Angenieux (they even make anything anymore?).

    It's really sad that so few are cashing in on the current desperation for interesting M lenses other than Cosina.

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    Re: Avenon (Komura), Konica and Ricoh

    I guess Ricoh, for example, have long given up their lens manufacturing facility and the costs of reintroducing it are too great for the volume of lenses they will sell. In short, there probably isn't that much profit in it - even in these heady days. I'm also not sure there is that much unsatisfied demand for non-Leica branded M lenses - especially at anything like the price points that Leica M lenses now command. Let's face it, brand snobbery and one-upmanship plays a part in the current demand for the fast Leica lenses. Have the German built Zeiss M lenses (which are priced in the same ballpark as the Leica equivalents) sold well? It might be interesting if Zeiss introduced a German built F1.4 35mm or 50mm M lens, priced at Leica levels, and see how much appetite there is in comparison to the Leica equivalents.

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    Re: Avenon (Komura), Konica and Ricoh

    And M lenses are sold at a premium because they are scarce and the Leica name. Once all these companies flood the market with their lenses, the demand will drop and they won't make any profit.

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    Re: Avenon (Komura), Konica and Ricoh

    There are more new M mount lenses available today then there were 20 years ago... I say be happy that someone is making affordable M mount lenses ans that all of the ones from the past are still available used.

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    Re: Avenon (Komura), Konica and Ricoh

    Konica, or Konica Minolta to be exact, does not make cameras or lenses. Hard to cash in when you sold your camera division to Sony 6 years ago...

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    Re: Avenon (Komura), Konica and Ricoh

    Konica-Minolta doesn't make cameras anymore, but they do still seem to make lenses. It seems likely that some Sony-branded lenses are still actually made by Minolta. There's also a (current) JVC camcorder that's advertised as using a Minolta lens.

    While we're on that subject, it's probably also worth a small reminder that many (all?) Leica CL/CLE's were actually manufactured by Minolta, so it wouldn't be an entirely new area for them (though CL/CLE production was long enough ago that it probably would be for most of the actual employees).

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    Re: Avenon (Komura), Konica and Ricoh

    Quote Originally Posted by jcoffin View Post
    Konica-Minolta doesn't make cameras anymore, but they do still seem to make lenses. It seems likely that some Sony-branded lenses are still actually made by Minolta. There's also a (current) JVC camcorder that's advertised as using a Minolta lens.

    While we're on that subject, it's probably also worth a small reminder that many (all?) Leica CL/CLE's were actually manufactured by Minolta, so it wouldn't be an entirely new area for them (though CL/CLE production was long enough ago that it probably would be for most of the actual employees).
    The partnership between Leica and Minolta is well documented. The primary engineers that worked on the CLE are long since retired. The rest of the company works for Sony and Sony does not have the technology nor expertise to remake the CLE.

    Konica Minolta rebranded their lens line for Sony when Sony bought the camera division. But Konica Minolta is out of the consumer lens market--they may produce OEM parts for other companies, but they are not going to be making and marketing their own line of lenses. The camera division was sold because Konica Minolta wanted to get out of the camera business, as far as we relate it to those two names. It was a sad day when they cut the division and Mr. T must be rolling in his grave.

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    Re: Avenon (Komura), Konica and Ricoh

    Never say never... who thought the Voigtlander name would be licensed by Cosina? Perhap, one day, the Minolta name could be licensed by some other company (even someone other than Sony) to make Minolta lenses again...of course it wouldn't be the same minolta of old though.

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    Re: Avenon (Komura), Konica and Ricoh

    Sony does not have the use of the Minolta brand, that is being used by Konica Minolta. I think it might be a little difficult for Konica Minolta to license half its name. Just sayin'...

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