Majestic flagship model
PENTAX’s first 35-mm full-frame image sensor SLR camera K-1. This camera is the premium model for photographers and advanced amateurs. Haga intended to create a camera that is so majestic that people can recognize it when they hear its name. A camera with a design which invigorates users and creates affection with universality so that all generations can enjoy the camera’s design regardless of current trends. What Haga appreciates most in camera design is the shaping of balance and productivity. “A camera is neither an artifact nor art but an industrial product that does not affect productivity”. With 26 years of experience in camera design, Haga elaborated on the PENTAX’s flagship model K-1 as a craftsman does.
Making observations from various angles
Haga is normally inspired by art and sculptures. He thoroughly observes works from various angles. “A gloss or shadow accidentally observed due to the direction of the light will give me new inspiration. Couldn’t I apply this to camera design?” He always hopes to create designs that are both fresh and majestic for cameras that are industrial products which prioritize productivity. Looking back at his childhood, Haga states “I liked to put 50 model cars side by side and continue to look at them all. I was particular about the details when I drew pictures of cars.” When looking at a passing car from a distance, he could tell what the car was. Haga’s persistence in shapes has been developed by observing things closely since he was a child. Another source of his persistence in shapes is his experiences in motorcycle design at his previous company. “I used to design, imagining scenes where motorcycles are running like the wind.” Starting from childhood hobbies and up to the present, he has continued to hone his senses in order to create balance.
Prime fitting feel
This time, Haga paid attention to pentaprism triangles placed above the PENTAX logo plate, which he elaborated on. The triangle is a traditional presence as part of a film camera’s dignity and sense of affection. Making the front part PENTAX logo plate curved rather than flat, he designed a firm surface, providing the camera with an advanced feeling. A camera with easily recognizable features has been created so that camera fans can identify it as a “PENTAX camera” or “K-1” even when looking at it from a distance. Another point Haga was particular about was the grip, an essential part of a camera. He created many samples and continued evaluation to find what shape the grip should take, and he created the best shape for the grip that can support the user in various shooting environments. “The user can prepare to take a shot immediately even when wearing gloves or the user’s hands are wet with rain, and I was mindful of providing the grip with a deep recess for the middle finger so that the user can instantly hold the camera firmly. Also, making each part on the front grip the finger touches and the surrounding areas of these parts larger or smaller by a few millimeters, I strove to provide the user with stability so that the grip will fit in the user’s hands at any time. Although it is hard to notice at a glance, fingers are caught with the unevenness of the small part of the grip, and the grip fits comfortably in the hand. Haga’s experiences to date and design sensibilities like a craftsman have been integrated into this grip.
I want you to use a camera to take photos if you want to leave a lasting impression
“The real pleasure of designing cameras is to buy a product I myself have designed. Also, I can gather reviews from magazines and the Internet. Good or bad, opinions obtained directly strongly motivate me.” This shows Haga’s sincerity and honesty in camera design. “I want K-1 users to carry the camera to various places and shoot as many photos as possible. In particular, I recommend using the camera to shoot landscapes where users can feel PENTAX blue/green”. “I myself wish to shoot snow scenes or floating ice as the camera is drip/dust-proof and can be used for shooting in an environment where the temperature goes as low as -10 ℃. I wish to use the K-1 to shoot scenes where shadows reflected in snow or ice turn blue”, he said. As the number of people using a smartphone to take photos has been increasing, we asked Haga about the role of cameras in the future. “I think smartphones are good for keeping daily records. However, I want users to use a camera to shoot scenes to leave a lasting impression or to take photos that are important to you. In the end I want users to be impressed with camera shooting. I would be delighted if the camera you select for shooting happens to be a PENTAX camera”. We wish his hope can be conveyed to customers.