Ricoh Dethrones Canon as the Copier King

Toshiba merger makes Ricoh the world #1 for office machines

By cjfeola in Photo Industry News on May 30, 2023

Ricoh is merging its printer and copier manufacturing with Toshiba, creating the world’s largest office equipment manufacturer on a shipment basis. Currently Ricoh is number two behind Canon, with Toshiba checking in with seventh place. Ricoh holds 85 percent of the investment into the new venture, with Toshiba holding the remaining 15 percent. Both companies will maintain their own sales and marketing branding, staffs and sales channels.

Ricoh said in a news release that the move was driven by continuing weakness in the office equipment market.  “Although the office printing market is recovering from the sharp decline in printing volume caused by the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, the pre-existing and ongoing trend toward a paperless transition continues. The global market as a whole will continue on a gradual downward trend.”

The partners also cited the need to stabilize supply chains because of ongoing geopolitical risks.

Ricoh Office Equipment

Ricoh said the market is moving to digital solutions that combine hardware and software into unified office solutions. “Against the backdrop of expanding remote work and a worsening labor shortage due to Japan’s shrinking workforce, the need for digitalization of various operations in offices and in the frontlines has become apparent.”

Pentax Film Project: Lost Engineering Being Reborn

New Details Released on the Pentax Film Project

By cjfeola in Photo Industry News on May 22, 2023

Pentax is developing a compact, fixed lens 35mm camera with an “old-style, SLR-type hand-wound mechanism” to wind the film, according to Takeo “TKO” Suzuki, the product planner and designer for the Pentax Film Project.

TKO described the progress and struggles with the new camera in Film Project Story No. 2, released May 11. But first he said he, his team and Pentax have been overwhelmed by a world-wide outpouring of support for the Film Project.

“Since this project was first announced, a number of corporations, individuals and photographers have voiced their eagerness to work with us. There are many, many people out there who value the film photography culture, and are willing to work for it. These are the people who have offered their assistance to us. I was very surprised and delighted – I actually shed a few tears of joy!

“What we found out was that we weren’t alone and that we had partners in our mission. It was a great encouragement to us. We received many comments from them, including a wish for the development of a successor to the Pentax LX and a hope for the revival of the Pentax 67, and a desire for a fully mechanical SLR camera.  I’d love to have such cameras, too!”

So would we! In fact, in last month’s Pentax Forum article "Bring Back the Beast" we called for new versions of the K1000 and 6x7. We would definitely take a LX, though.

Ricoh announces 97% profit increase for Fiscal Year 2022

Camera sales singled out as bright spot

By cjfeola in Photo Industry News on May 12, 2023

Ricoh’s annual operating profits soared 97 percent, in part driven by “ongoing profitability of camera business.” The company singled out cameras as a fiscal bright spot in the Other category. (Ricoh does not break out camera sales.)

The category “significantly increased revenues and earnings from PFU consolidation and ongoing profitability of camera business. (In 2022 Ricoh acquired PFU Limited, a consolidated subsidiary of Fujitsu Limited that specialized in document scanning.)

Other sales rocketed from 35.5 billion yen in Fiscal 2021 to 123 billion yen in 2022, an increase of 246 percent.  Ricoh is projecting 173 billion yen in sales for the category for Fiscal 2023. That’s an additional 40 percent jump in sales in one year for the category that includes cameras on top of 2022’s strong growth.

It’s important to remember that Ricoh is issuing that number as guidance to investors. Companies tend to be very conservative about such guidance because they can be criminally prosecuted and sued if they are wrong. For example, the US Securities and Exchange Commission went after Elon Musk and investors filed a class action suit after his 2018 tweet that he had “secured funding” for his Tesla electric car company.

Video Tour: New Pentax Club House in Tokyo

By PF Staff in Photo Industry News on Aug 3, 2022

This week, Ricoh Imaging opened the new Pentax Club House in Tokyo.  This redesigned facility serves not only as a showroom and service center for Pentax gear, but also a user lounge and a small museum focused on the history of Pentax.  The new location replaces the prior Ricoh Imaging Square which have since been closed.  It may well be the only place in the world where you can interact with every single Pentax product currently available!

You'll also find quite a bit of Pentax merchandise, including the J Limited gear featured alongside the corresponding camera models, as well as historical promotional items.

In the video below, Albert Siegel gives us a video tour from the opening day, along with a bit of trivia about some of the items on display!

See also the forum thread with the latest discussion abou the Pentax Club House.

Dispelling a rumor: on Ricoh's use of the Pentax name

By PF Staff in Photo Industry News on May 26, 2019

A rumor has made its way across the Internet in in the past few days that Ricoh will lose its ability to use the Pentax trademark in 2020 (visit the forum to see how the discussion evolved). We reached out to Ricoh Imaging (in Japan) for an official statement and this is the reply we received:

"This is not a fact at all. It is true that Hoya is the owner of the PENTAX trademark, but there are no restrictions or limitations for Ricoh to use the Pentax brand in the camera business. We will continue to offer the Pentax brand cameras beyond 2020."

So there you have it. The Pentax name is not going anywhere and Ricoh (obviously) plans to continue developing Pentax products.

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