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02-23-2011, 08:30 AM   #1
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Pentax support in Europe

Well just saying first, I've got some very bad support experiences with a shop called 'Digitalstreet' in The Netherlands in conjunction with the Support Center of Pentax in the Benelux which is De Beukelaer.

I have got a Pentax DA* 16-50 F2.8 lens which is defect for long period already, the problem is, if I zoom to say 50mm it won't zoom back, it get stuck around 28mm. The lens itself is already since Oktober the second(2010-10-02) of 2010(yes two thousand and ten) in the RMA process of the shop AND with De Beukelaer as the importer of the Pentax equipment in The Benelux.
On the first of Februari this year(2011) I got a replacement lens from De Beukelaer, not from the shop but from the importer. Unfortunately this replacement lens is a lemon too !!! which is very bad in my opinion. This lens needs a Autofocus correction from the body +10 to be reasonable sharp(still too soft for such a high-grade AND pricey lens) which is unacceptable for me. The lens suffers also with a de centring which is quite bad the sharpness(or should I say softness ?) is not equal across the frame.

What I don't understand, is that De Beukelaer, as the official Pentax importer in the Benelux, sends out a bad aligned AND bad focussing to a customer which is already not happy with their service and with their defective products at that moment. I just don't understand their Quality Control and their Service strategy.

Anybody who can explain me this [b]bad support from PENTAX[b] here in The Benelux offered by the Belgian company De Beukelaer ?

And can somebody tell me their experiences with support of PENTAX products in other parts of the world ?

02-23-2011, 10:02 AM   #2
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FotoServis in Czech republic is very good when repairing old FA lenses or for example flashes. They have stock parts for many of those and I was always happy about how the legacy products are supported. For modern stuff like K-5 or DA* they do not have equipment locally and all is sent to Hamburg, Germany.
I believe Hamburg is the only fully equipped service center in Europe.
02-23-2011, 11:06 AM   #3
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sebulba's Avatar

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I left my k-r for front focus problem on Jan. 25 in Pentax authorized service center in Barcelona, Spain. Called them three times already, they keep telling me that technician didn't have a look at it yet. Apparently for all real repairs cameras are being sent to France. I am one unhappy camper because of the service, but I really like the camera.
Cheers all.
03-05-2011, 12:40 AM   #4
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Original Poster
Wednesday I got a call from the shop that my DA* 16-50 was back from the Pentax service centre and that I could pick it up. So I jumped in the car to drive some 100 ~ 120 KM to the shop but there was a big traffic jam, so I called them from the car and told them that I was under way from Amsterdam to them but I was in a traffic jam and I was going to arrive later than the shop opening times. I asked them if they could wait for me because this is a process which is playing already for nearly a half year and I am done with waiting, so they told me that they would wait for me.
Well I arrived at the shop....and it was closed gggrrrr
So I mailed them with the costs I made to drive to them and the hour costs.

The next day I tried it again but was there now just for lunch time at the shop, I came there and the shop was full of people. I asked if someone could help me with exchanging my loan lens with my own lens, they guy behind the desk was going to the back of the store to collect my lens. After he got back and gave me my own lens I tried it a several times with zooming out and zooming in, it did NOT stuck anymore BUT it was squeaking a LOT so it was making funny noises which was not funny for me...the guy behind the desk told me that is was lubricant and that it was going to be away after a couple of days of use, well that was okay for me for thát moment.
So I put the lens on my K20D and went outside to take some pictures to see if it focused right, and surprise surprise it didn't .
At F2.8 it was just too soft to be usable and it focused not right and I couldn't fix it from the body at that point.
I told the guy behind the desk that I was not very happy with this service and that I was being tired with this stuff and that it had to solved right away.
The guy behind the desk said that he didn't see any I told him that I wanted to speak his boss to solve this. He told me to go to the Headquarters of the shop a couple of KM's away.
So I did and I showed them there my pictures and they were fully agreeing that this lens was not right and not sharp enough for such expensive lens, especially because this very lens was good sharp at F2.8 before sending it away to the Pentax repair centre.
After some debate I told them that I wanted my money back and that I was done with this Pentax repair centre. They made a letter and took my lens and send them to the Pentax service centre with the letter which stated that they wanted a rebate(I think this is the right word, I mean they want the money back from Pentax for the lens) so I can get my money back.

After all, I don't have any DA* 16-50 lens any more. If I get my money back I am not sure if I am going to buy a new DA* 16-50 after these experiences.
Maybe I am going to buy it again, but then at a shop more nearby and where they have a couple in stock to try.

03-05-2011, 01:35 AM   #5
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The pictures:
At F2.8

At F3.2

at F3.5

at F4.0

at F5.6

At F5.6 it is sharp enough...but F5.6 is not F2.8....
These are 100% crops, middle AF point choosen and ISO 100.
03-05-2011, 04:08 AM   #6
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I wonder if this is a problem with independent distributors.
A week after getting my K10 a few years ago I could not open the SD card cover. Contacted Pentax UK and they swapped my camera. Could not have asked for better service.
I assume Pentax UK is owned by Pentax (Hoya), so you are dealing with the manufacturer and not there agents.
03-05-2011, 07:43 AM   #7
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I've 2 times needed to use the Pentax service center (DeBeukelaer).
With reasonable results: good repairs, but slow and expensive.

The first time I brought my 16-50mm lens to a local shop (lens was out of warrenty) which send it to Begium.
My zoom mechanism was broken, not like yours, its was wobbely. And the front element was somewhat loose.
After extensive traveling and 100.000+ photo's taken with it, I figured it to break at some point. I'm not very carefull with my equipment.

The lens was send from Belgium to the German repair center and it took them 3 months to return it.
The lens is again in good shape. Howver, it did cost me €500 to get it repaired.

Secondly I bought a K5 with several issues on the Internet ( Level off, front dial not working, etc.
I did send the camera back to to topfoto which had it repaired in Begium (debeukelaer) under warrenty.
The camera came back in perfect shape, cleaned and all.

I guess you cannot blame digitalstreet for any traffic yams, how frustrating it may be.
They are a low priced shop / internet reseller. I'd not expect a lot of good service there.

You seem to live in Amsterdam.
Perhaps, next time, go to Fotobooms in the Rijnstraat in Amsterdam.
They have good prices, sometimes not the lowest. But I have always got very good service from them in the past.

Good luck getting your lens back....


07-08-2011, 02:15 AM   #8
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Today I asked a camera shop owner in The Netherlands (after buying a 2nd hand lens) how the sales of Pentax cameras are developing. He said that it wasn't going that well, and he blamed most of all the very bad support from De Beukelaer.

It seems that De Beukelaer tends to blame the customer if there are problems with Pentax gear. The shop owner said that the only thing he could do was call and write many emails to De Beukelaer, but that the results often are not satisfactory. And that in the end the results of this lacking service is that customers buy less and less Pentax.

I saw on the website of De Beukelaer that they are also the distributor for Ricoh. That is IMHO not a good sign for the future...

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