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04-20-2012, 10:46 PM   #256
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I pledge to not buy another K mount lens regardless of changes to pricing policies

04-21-2012, 03:27 AM   #257
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Out of my circle of friends and family, I am the one they turn to when they want advice on camera purchase.
I just posted a message on Facebook saying I no longer recommend Pentax.
04-21-2012, 03:54 AM - 1 Like   #258
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QuoteOriginally posted by riff Quote
Couldn't help but notice your tag line. Seems like an idea...
hey lets use three pens with primary colors and call it an Inkjet Color Printer.
Naaa, that'd never work.
Back around 1983 I bought a Radio Shack plotter (made by HP or Tektronix I think) with three colour pens. I wrote some warez (now called appz) to read IMG files (weren't no JPGs then) and interpolate colours, translate image dimensions to plotter steps, etc. Wow, did that focker boogie! My first inkjet-type printer was so tame in comparison. But cheaper to use...

QuoteOriginally posted by Katsura Quote
Out of my circle of friends and family, I am the one they turn to when they want advice on camera purchase.
I just posted a message on Facebook saying I no longer recommend Pentax.
That's nice. Which Pentax gear did you mention? Do you tell your pro 'scape toggers not to look at the 645D? Did you tell beach-going friends to avoid the WG-90? Did you mention that Pentax Limiteds outperform similar (but bulkier and costlier) competitors but should be shunned anyway? Can you tell us the basis and details of your advice?
04-21-2012, 03:55 AM   #259
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I guess I don't understand the blanket pledge. Not all lenses are affected equally, some have not changed in price at all, some have gone up phenomenally (mostly the DA * zooms). At the same time, I am pleased that Pentax is doing something (a) about QC, (b) to strength the US market (which apparently Hoya decided wasn't worth investing any effort to maintain) and (c) to bring some new lenses to market. This last issue is the biggest one to me. I have no problem at all paying a lot of money for lenses that are worth a lot of money. I am afraid that the 16-50 in particular is a lens that has significant weaknesses compared to competitors lenses and really needs an update. I also think the 50-135 could use one (its focusing is terribly slow, otherwise optically it is a great lens).

I don't want Pentax to continue to be a "value" company. Releasing products that are 80 percent of the price of competitors, with mediocre quality and worse optics than the competitors. To be the "Walmart" brand of cameras is a losing proposition and Ricoh clearly saw a need to change course.

04-21-2012, 04:10 AM - 1 Like   #260
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
That's nice. Which Pentax gear did you mention? Do you tell your pro 'scape toggers not to look at the 645D? Did you tell beach-going friends to avoid the WG-90? Did you mention that Pentax Limiteds outperform similar (but bulkier and costlier) competitors but should be shunned anyway? Can you tell us the basis and details of your advice?
You think 645D seeking pros will need my advice?

For water proof camera, I recomment the Panasonic TS-3, better waterproof rating, better AF, better high ISO noise responce. Heck I sold my own W60 to get the TS3. Looking at pentax, apart from flashy new plastic shells and higher pixel count each generation, there's no essential upgrade to IQ, I think the IQ is actually degrading each generation. On the other hand Panasonic actually stuck to and even reduced pixel density in successive generations.
Or, if they are into extreme sports, I actually tell them to get the Go Pro.

As for the other buying advice, it was mostly for entry level SLR gear, I used to sing praise for how great the Pentax value is. "You are paying less money and getting the same/more bang" I said. Especially if they wanted a few lens to go with their purchase.

Not any more, what more does the K-r + a few mid level lens offer over similar Canon and Nikon gear? What does the K-01 offer that's over the NEX? How about the OM-D? I am getting an OM-D for my boyfriend instead of the K-01.

You don't have to tell me the Limiteds are great lens - I own all 3. But dismissing primes from other makers is foolish.

Last edited by Katsura; 04-21-2012 at 04:30 AM.
04-21-2012, 04:17 AM   #261
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
I guess I don't understand the blanket pledge. Not all lenses are affected equally, some have not changed in price at all, some have gone up phenomenally (mostly the DA * zooms). At the same time, I am pleased that Pentax is doing something (a) about QC, (b) to strength the US market (which apparently Hoya decided wasn't worth investing any effort to maintain) and (c) to bring some new lenses to market. This last issue is the biggest one to me. I have no problem at all paying a lot of money for lenses that are worth a lot of money. I am afraid that the 16-50 in particular is a lens that has significant weaknesses compared to competitors lenses and really needs an update. I also think the 50-135 could use one (its focusing is terribly slow, otherwise optically it is a great lens).

I don't want Pentax to continue to be a "value" company. Releasing products that are 80 percent of the price of competitors, with mediocre quality and worse optics than the competitors. To be the "Walmart" brand of cameras is a losing proposition and Ricoh clearly saw a need to change course.
Of course, cheap and nasty is not what we want, but a lot of us frugal buyers came into Pentax because they used to be good value AND good /great quality.

See the success of Hyndai and Kia in recent years? They used to be a joke, but they have started to build very decent cars and selling them at better than competition price. Their stars are still on the rise.
On the other hand you have GM, bean counters cut as much corner as possible. nasty plastic interior, shocking bad components used even in Corvettes. No wonder they are in deep shit.

What we are afraid of (and currently is vindicated) is Pentax raising the prise without offering any increase in other fields - if you go out and buy a 16-50 tomorrow, you are paying 80% more but you are still getting the same 1 year warranty, possible SDM clutch problem as someone who bought one a month ago.

Where did you hear about they are doing something about the QC? Just some words from Ned? I will believe it when I witness it.

Last edited by Katsura; 04-21-2012 at 04:32 AM.
04-21-2012, 04:30 AM   #262
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QuoteOriginally posted by Katsura Quote
Of course, cheap and nasty is not what we want, but a lot of us frugal buyers came into Pentax because they sued to be good value AND good /great quality.

See the success of Hyndai and Kia in recent years? They used to be a joke, but they have started to build very decent cars and selling them at better than competition price. Their stars are still on the rise.
On the other hand you have GM, bean counters cut as much corner as possible. nasty plastic interior, shocking bad components used even in Corvettes. No wonder they are in deep shit.

What we are afraid of (and currently is vindicated) is Pentax raising the prise without offering any increase in other fields - if you go out and buy a 16-50 tomorrow, you are paying 80% more but you are still getting the same 1 year warranty, possible SDM clutch problem as someone who bought one a month ago.

Where did you hear about they are doing something about the QC? Just some words from Ned? I will see it when I believe it.
Yes, I agree that it is silly to raise prices on the DA * zooms. But as I read this thread it is trying to whip up support for a blanket boycott of all Pentax lenses, some of which have changed very little in price and are still good deals. Amazon currently has the DA 40 limited for 370 and the FA 50 for 350. If you contact Adorama or B and H directly, they will give you lower prices than their advertised prices. Prodigital 2000 does this too. So why restrict yourself from buying Pentax lenses? Just do what wise consumers have always done, figure out what you want/need and find a reasonable price for it. When it comes to a "normal" f2.8 zoom, that certainly is likely to be a Tamron or Sigma lens rather than the Pentax Da 16-50, but there are other lenses where Pentax stacks up pretty well against the competition, even with a price increase.

The FA limiteds have been pricey for a long time. I don't see a price increase on them, but then again, they have not been value priced either. Still, in my opinion, they are worth every penny and I just wish that Pentax made more lenses like these. Bring back a 135 f1.8, the 200mm f4 macro, a 50mm f1.2 lens and price them high. They may not sell many copies, but they will still bring value to the brand.
04-21-2012, 04:36 AM   #263
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I have never owned a DA40 so I can't comment on the price now vs before. But I owned 2 copies of the FA50. I bought one at $200 which unfortunately was lost at the sea. The replacement was $249. I think those are fair prices.

It is a very old design by now, to sell at $350 is unreasonable - Nikon 50 1.4 can be bought for $300while the Canon 50 1.4 is around $350 but has USM focus.


Last edited by Katsura; 04-21-2012 at 04:42 AM.
04-21-2012, 07:05 AM   #264
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
I am pleased that Pentax is doing something (a) about QC, (b) to strength the US market (which apparently Hoya decided wasn't worth investing any effort to maintain) and (c) to bring some new lenses to market.
a) is there any indication that Pentax has 'done' something about QC? Sincere question, what's your reasoning there?
b) I'm not sure this move strengthen's the US market, but I'm not sure it doesn't, either. It certainly doesn't help with Target, etc.
c) We haven't seen any new lenses yet. I'm not ready to call them vaporware but you don't raise prices first and provide value to your customer last.
04-21-2012, 07:45 AM   #265
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QuoteOriginally posted by ElJamoquio Quote
a) is there any indication that Pentax has 'done' something about QC? Sincere question, what's your reasoning there?
b) I'm not sure this move strengthen's the US market, but I'm not sure it doesn't, either. It certainly doesn't help with Target, etc.
c) We haven't seen any new lenses yet. I'm not ready to call them vaporware but you don't raise prices first and provide value to your customer last.
It is up to you whether or not you read signs of possible longer warranties as being a sign of improved QC. There is actually a lens road map now (which there hasn't been for three years) with new lenses on it. Certainly it is clear that Ricoh has green lighted a number of things that Pentax had cooking and that Hoya had held off on releasing.

Is all rosy? No, but under Hoya, things were bad and slowly getting worse. Certainly it will take awhile to get new lenses ready for release, but it is an indication of how lousy the pipeline for new products was with Hoya that there is so little in the way of new glass at this point. I think it is clear that more will come.
04-21-2012, 07:49 AM   #266
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QuoteOriginally posted by Katsura Quote
I have never owned a DA40 so I can't comment on the price now vs before. But I owned 2 copies of the FA50. I bought one at $200 which unfortunately was lost at the sea. The replacement was $249. I think those are fair prices.

It is a very old design by now, to sell at $350 is unreasonable - Nikon 50 1.4 can be bought for $300while the Canon 50 1.4 is around $350 but has USM focus.
The 50 f1.4 designs are all old designs, optically-speaking and no, there is no Nikon 50 f1.4 available for 300 dollars, unless you buy gray market. The Nikon 50mm f1.4 lenses are either 350 or 460, depending on whether you want the G or D (B and H prices).
04-21-2012, 08:15 AM   #267
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
It is up to you whether or not you read signs of possible longer warranties as being a sign of improved QC.
For what it's worth (not much) I don't really think there's all that much correlation between QC and warranty length.

But assuming there was such a correlation, you'd have to say that the since the warranty hasn't been increased, the QC hasn't increased, correct?

In other words, they're hinting at giving us something in the future and making us pay now?

QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
There is actually a lens road map now (which there hasn't been for three years) with new lenses on it.
Absolutely, and I thanked Pentax for the roadmap. But those lenses aren't out now, right (except for the 40xs which seems like a re-casing of the 40)

Not to be repetitive... but my point is, in other words, they're hinting at giving us something in the future and making us pay now?

QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
Is all rosy? No, but under Hoya, things were bad and slowly getting worse. Certainly it will take awhile to get new lenses ready for release, but it is an indication of how lousy the pipeline for new products was with Hoya that there is so little in the way of new glass at this point. I think it is clear that more will come.
I think it's awesome that there's a broader implementation planned with (perhaps/assumed) better stuff. Hopefully it's better still than the competition which right now looks to have stolen Pentax's thunder (D800, 5D3, D3200). Will the bodies/lenses be worth it for new customers to pay prices higher than Canon? We'll see. I hope so, because I already have the glass. If Pentax keeps these lens prices up, I can make a tidy profit. If Pentax goes down in flames, well, I've lost several thousand dollars.

The only lens I was really looking to acquire is the 560 f/5.6, which I was waiting/hoping would be a great reason for people to flock to Pentax. With the latest lens prices, though, it seems as if offering value to the consumer is not Pentax's priority.
04-21-2012, 09:18 AM   #268
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QuoteOriginally posted by ElJamoquio Quote
a) is there any indication that Pentax has 'done' something about QC? Sincere question, what's your reasoning there?
b) I'm not sure this move strengthen's the US market, but I'm not sure it doesn't, either. It certainly doesn't help with Target, etc.
c) We haven't seen any new lenses yet. I'm not ready to call them vaporware but you don't raise prices first and provide value to your customer last.
Re: a) and c):

Sometimes you do have to raise prices first, unfortunately. If Pentax failure rate were to decline to, say, half the existing level, it might take a year or two (maybe more) before we'd look at each other and say, "Yikes, we don't see as many SDM (or whatever) failures as we used to." It can take a long time to change customer perception of this kind.

OTOH, I would have suggested to Pentax USA that they make warranty changes at the same time as the new pricing model. I cannot imagine that it's difficult to do so. Even something as simple as offering an optional extended warranty as they do on camera bodies. $20-$40 for two more years would get me to look at a couple of new lenses even at the new price.

Can anyone suggest why that's a hard thing to do?
04-21-2012, 09:38 AM   #269
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Warranties for SDM model for sure....

QuoteOriginally posted by glanglois Quote
Re: a) and c):

Sometimes you do have to raise prices first, unfortunately. If Pentax failure rate were to decline to, say, half the existing level, it might take a year or two (maybe more) before we'd look at each other and say, "Yikes, we don't see as many SDM (or whatever) failures as we used to." It can take a long time to change customer perception of this kind.

OTOH, I would have suggested to Pentax USA that they make warranty changes at the same time as the new pricing model. I cannot imagine that it's difficult to do so. Even something as simple as offering an optional extended warranty as they do on camera bodies. $20-$40 for two more years would get me to look at a couple of new lenses even at the new price.

Can anyone suggest why that's a hard thing to do?
I can't agree more about the warranties. Particularly for any lens with a SDM in it. I personally have refused to buy any because of the risk of failure 1.5 years after purchase. Most of my other lenses from other brands had at least 3 year extended warranties. Pentax acknowledges the problem with these lenses by not offering any such option. They know it would cost them a bundle in future repairs rather than it being a cash flow for them as it is now. So hopefully the new 560mm will be none SDM or I won't buy it either.
04-21-2012, 11:02 AM   #270
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QuoteOriginally posted by glanglois Quote
Re: a) and c):

Sometimes you do have to raise prices first, unfortunately. If Pentax failure rate were to decline to, say, half the existing level, it might take a year or two (maybe more) before we'd look at each other and say, "Yikes, we don't see as many SDM (or whatever) failures as we used to." It can take a long time to change customer perception of this kind.

OTOH, I would have suggested to Pentax USA that they make warranty changes at the same time as the new pricing model. I cannot imagine that it's difficult to do so. Even something as simple as offering an optional extended warranty as they do on camera bodies. $20-$40 for two more years would get me to look at a couple of new lenses even at the new price.

Can anyone suggest why that's a hard thing to do?
Some random, general rambling only remotely connected to your post -

I think that raising the prices and changing the warranty in one action would've been a PR disaster.

Oh look! Pentax charges you twice as much for a lens, because they know they'll need to send you two of them!

What they really should've done was to introduce a 16-50 V1.1 with the price increase. Which incorporates some of the following (Pentax, please choose at least three)

1) Change the color of the decorative ring
2) Gen 1.1 SDM motor (call it SDM2, even if the only things that change are that the tolerance spec's are slightly changed)
3) Slightly improved coating (or even just a coating optimized for different scenarios)
4) Slight glass change (least likely and least recommended)
5) Improved WR
6) Silver color

Most of these things are marketing. Hell, basically all of them are marketing and none of them are really any substantial improvement (in the way I'm intending they be implemented). But for better or worse Pentax USA wasn't/won't be able to 'force' a 16-50 v1.1 through PRIC.

However... the limitations imposed on Pentax USA doesn't absolve them from the mistake of doubling the market price overnight. The current way Pentax operates would be unacceptable if I were Supreme Overlord of Pentax. (I'm not sure how to apply for that job but I think I'd be great for it (free FF for everybody!!)).

Many (former) Pentax ambassadors are going to remember Pentax Fool's Day for a loooong time.

Last edited by ElJamoquio; 04-21-2012 at 11:07 AM.
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