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04-04-2014, 08:26 AM - 1 Like   #46
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QuoteOriginally posted by formercanuck Quote
Which puts us back to the 'Chicken and Egg' issue.
Unfortunately, EVERYONE (Dealers, component suppliers, thrid-party manufacturers, consumers) including Sigma, is a chicken, so Ricoh has to be the egg.

04-04-2014, 09:22 AM   #47
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The part that disappoints me the most is that this appears to be a US only issue, leaving a few large shops in NYC to carry, and a few brave shops (eg. Lighthaus Camera in Hawaii).

While I could go across the border into Canada, which has < 1/10th of the population, and find many more stores across the country (vs 1 city) that actually 'stock' Pentax gear - such as Henry's, London Drugs (a drug store, no less!). Sigma isn't alone in not keeping up with all of their lenses. Look at Tamron - they aren't putting many of their newer/large lenses on the Pentax mount. I suspect that some of this is 2 fold. 1 lack of sales, 2 those lenses are typically 'full frame' - which Pentax supports, but doesn't sell as a camera.
04-04-2014, 12:02 PM   #48
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QuoteOriginally posted by formercanuck Quote
1 lack of sales, 2 those lenses are typically 'full frame' - which Pentax supports, but doesn't sell as a camera.
Contradiction between those two factors though, FC.

APSC makes up 90 percent of DSLR sales, AFAIK.

I think your first point is the key.
04-04-2014, 01:01 PM   #49
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I have one Sigma lens (150-500) and many Pentax lenses. Like them all, except the kit 18-55.

I was hesitant about getting a lens that was not made by the camera manufacturer, as I had bad experiences with two non Pentax lenses many years ago.

I'm pleased with my Sigma though. Sharp.

Every so often I read about some that complaints about the Sigma 150-500. In those cases I think they either got a bad copy, or they don't understand how to use a large, heavy telephoto. I use different settings with my 150-500 then with other shorter focal length lenses and am happy with very sharp results.

Sometime I would like to get a Sigma 18-35 F 1.8.

04-04-2014, 01:19 PM   #50
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"Expensive" mount vs no in-lens stabilization

Sigma can say that our mount is "expensive", because partly mechanical/not pure electronic but they tend not to offer in-lens stabilization for Pentax and Sony and of course have no discounts for that. So they can easily have their money back
04-04-2014, 02:31 PM   #51
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QuoteOriginally posted by clackers Quote
Contradiction between those two factors though, FC.

APSC makes up 90 percent of DSLR sales, AFAIK.

I think your first point is the key.
I personally agree. Fortunately, I just shoot for hobby, and don't have that much need for that many lenses.
Pentax (Ricoh) has effectively performed seppuku in the US with their retailers back in the Hoya days, and may never recover, and doesn't appear to have that much interest in trying.
The question is - are they also attempting to sway from having 3rd party lenses, or is this just a power play ?
04-04-2014, 09:02 PM   #52
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
That's old news.

It is clear that when Ned Bunnell announced the 'Box Store' strategy, Pentax under Hoya specifically modified its Dealer Agreements and - I've heard - credit terms (the REALLY BIG DEAL) such that nearly every B&M store was forced into the new Distributor model. Adorama, B&H, Crever Couer Camera in St. Louis, Abe's of Maine, Hunt's and a few more continued to stock product but the one-store guy on Main Street just moved on.

Jim Malcolm would love to have Dealers return Pentax to store shelves and Pentax has focused its efforts on dealer distribution to the point that their sales pitch is now about the higher profit margin on their gear. They invested significant money in thier Exhibition and Conference Room space at CES to make exactly that presentation. Unfortunately, Dealers have a long memory and Pentax is not making much headway achieving new Distributions yet. Jim has very openly said it has been much harder to get back in stores than he originally thought it would be, though there have been some promising announcements since the K3 was released..

Hoya and Ned Bunnell essentially poisoned the well, salted the fields - whatever metaphor you want to use - for Pentax in the USA, possibly forever. Pentax may be forced into an internet-only model because no one wants to upset their existing relationships with their current brands, compete with Amazon, Adorama and B&H and take product stocking risk - just to put a great camera and lens line that's an unsupported third-tier brand back in their stores. Ricoh doesn't seem to want to spend marketing money in the USA until volume supports it. We seem to be at an impasse.

As I've written, Dealers seem to be saying, "I'm a chicken. You're an egg. This time the egg has to come first."
I was talking to a salesman on the floor at Camera World of Oregon just this morning. They have a good stock of K-50 kits in various colors as well as a couple K-3 and K-500 bodies. They also had most of the Pentax DA lens offerings, but I did not see any DA* or Limiteds on the shelf. I asked him about sales of the K-3 and he indicated that they only moved about 1-2 per month, but that was fine with him since they have trouble getting stock from Ricoh. He said something about things being shipped from Britain and getting hung up in customs and high tariffs and...at that point, he quit, seeing that the angle of my eyebrows indicated astonishment. I mentioned that duties are zero for most cameras and lenses from most-favored nations and wondered why they were not dealing with Ricoh Imaging, U.S.A for inventory.

He then volunteered that working with Ricoh was much better than dealing with Hoya. Hoya placed most of the risk on the dealer and required a huge investment in paid-for inventory just to offer the line. Ricoh is much easier. He then said that he wished that Pentax would move forward on FF development as an option to the Canon and Nikon offerings.

The good news is that they had more Pentax than Olympus or Fuji and actually had a big round display of multiple colorful K-50s! They are a Sony dealer, but have some sort of agreement with Sony that they will not compete with Best Buy. Therefore, no Sony lenses or cameras either. Go figure.

At the end of things, I asked him what it would take to assemble a kit of the K-3, grip, and Sigma 17-70/2.8-4. He told me that both the lens and the grip would have to be ordered and that he could not confirm pricing on special order items. You see, they only stock Canon and Nikon mount for Sigma lenses. The thought going through my mind was, "Why should I buy from you if I have to wait on shipping and cannot evaluate quality before I buy? Oh, and there is also the matter of the grip maybe being held up in customs for 5-6 weeks." Adorama is looking real good right now. Walking in, I was interested in a K-3/Sigma kit and maybe would swing to Sony if I liked the camera. Walking out, there was no sale due to lack of inventory. What you don't have, you can't sell.

I guess that sort of explains part of the Sigma-Pentax situation. If the dealers won't stock the inventory, they can't very well sell the product. Why the store's buyers do not stock the excellent Sigma 17-70 in all mounts for which they sell cameras and coach their salespeople to promote that lens in combo with higher-end offerings such as the K-3 is beyond me.

Oh...one last rant...the only feature of the K-3 the guy seemed to be aware of was the excellent weather sealing. According to him that was the camera's main value point.




Steve

Last edited by stevebrot; 04-04-2014 at 09:24 PM.
04-04-2014, 10:49 PM - 1 Like   #53
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I always thought the reason Sigma don't always have K-mount for their glass is because Pentax camera is so good that it will out-resolve most of the Sigma glass....

JK. :P

04-04-2014, 11:44 PM   #54
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If I look at the price of a Sigma 50-200 HSM lens for Pentax for example I cannot understand what the heck could be so expensive supporting this mount. It's always and only a matter of cash flow in my opinion.
They are so great in development of lenses that I cannot believe the PK mount should give their engineers some hard nuts to crack....
04-05-2014, 04:24 AM   #55
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QuoteOriginally posted by forest_bear59 Quote
They are so great in development of lenses that I cannot believe the PK mount should give their engineers some hard nuts to crack....
And yet they can't engineer a decent rear lens cap to save their lives...
04-05-2014, 06:46 AM   #56
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
Oh...one last rant...the only feature of the K-3 the guy seemed to be aware of was the excellent weather sealing. According to him that was the camera's main value point.
Though I'm known as eternally an optimist (and I remain so for the long term) the appearance of certain business decisions (who can really know the truth?) are vexing in tyhe short term.

Ricoh doesn't have many sales people here, maybe as few as two, dividing the USA into east and west of roughly the Mississippi River. Since it is a comission job, and since there are so few dealers stocking product, who would sell for Ricoh? I know a salesman (since retired) who switched from Pentax to Canon in 1996 just so he could keep making a living! (He gave me a lot of 70's Pentax collectibles.)

Without sales people to call on the dealers, who is to train the sales staff? Without training, how can the sales staff know the features and sell the product. Without comparative feature explanation, how can customers select Pentax. Ergo store sales are too low to support a direct sales staff.

As far as inventory is concerned, it appears even Ricoh USA will only stock what they can sell quickly. Their 'Webstore' is actually an outsourced internet storefront that is just another Dealer. They are apparently the only major camera company that does not have import and inventory facilities in New Jersey, so they perhaps aren't even really fulfilling the services of a Distributor. Clearly the big dealers order direct and have the only substantial inventory of certain items in the entire country.

This all makes me wonder how much change Ricoh has really accomplished - are the conservative Pentax hive-minds in Japan still running the business side of the company?

Sure, Dealers are Chicken. They've been cooked over and over by Pentax since the mid-80's. Ricoh is the egg. At some point Ricoh has to invest money in (i.e. plan to lose money in) the USA for several years to rectify this situation.

I do know that Ricoh spent considerable money at CES on a dedicated conference room, and worked very hard to have presentation appointments in that conference room throughout the show. Ricoh does have a story to tell Dealers, but it is outside the box.
04-05-2014, 08:23 AM   #57
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
Without training, how can the sales staff know the features and sell the product. Without comparative feature explanation, how can customers select Pentax. Ergo store sales are too low to support a direct sales staff.
So true. Perhaps it is time for Ricoh to do another product tour similar to the one Pentax USA did when the K-7 launched.


Steve
04-05-2014, 09:00 AM   #58
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
Without training, how can the sales staff know the features and sell the product.
DP Review into the breach.
04-05-2014, 09:01 AM   #59
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
So true. Perhaps it is time for Ricoh to do another product tour similar to the one Pentax USA did when the K-7 launched.


Steve
Perhaps - and I was just thinking, if we think it is frustrating for us imagine how frustrating this all must be for them!
04-05-2014, 11:02 AM   #60
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I can't imagine K mount being so expensive. You can buy plenty of new super-cheap k-mount lenses. Some completely manual (Mitakon) slightly less manual (Zenit, Horus Bennu), auto-aperture but no AF (Samyang), plastic K-mount (some Pentax DA lenses). And you can get top of the line metal, WR, AF and auto-aperture K mount, as well. Its been used for full frame lenses, fast lenses (f1.2),.. very few limitations, really.
The only problem with K mount is that Pentax doesn't support third party lenses perfectly (regarding focal length and lens ID).. well, and maybe that there aren't as many Pentax cameras on the market to give a significant profit to a third party lens maker..
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