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09-14-2010, 10:46 AM   #1
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No respect...

I'm a little upset. It seems that Pentax gets no respect compared to Nikon and Canon. Most of the "how to" books seem to concentrate on those two brands. My personal opinion is that Pentax matches their quality and does it with more bang for the buck.

One big advantage, and I've been a Pentax user for over 20 years, is the ability of the modern cameras to use glass from years past. This has been a big savings to me in recent years. I don't see this with other brands.

It's high time Pentax shucked its Rodney Dangerfield image among the camera snobs.

John

09-14-2010, 10:54 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by PALADIN85020 Quote
I'm a little upset. It seems that Pentax gets no respect compared to Nikon and Canon. Most of the "how to" books seem to concentrate on those two brands. My personal opinion is that Pentax matches their quality and does it with more bang for the buck.

One big advantage, and I've been a Pentax user for over 20 years, is the ability of the modern cameras to use glass from years past. This has been a big savings to me in recent years. I don't see this with other brands.

It's high time Pentax shucked its Rodney Dangerfield image among the camera snobs.

John
Welcome to the wonderful world of "the other brand". I went to a photographer/model mixer this past Sunday. Someone asked me what brand camera I have. I said "Pentax". They responded... "Wow, you still shooting film?"

Get used to it.
09-14-2010, 11:08 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by PALADIN85020 Quote
I'm a little upset. It seems that Pentax gets no respect compared to Nikon and Canon. Most of the "how to" books seem to concentrate on those two brands. My personal opinion is that Pentax matches their quality and does it with more bang for the buck.

One big advantage, and I've been a Pentax user for over 20 years, is the ability of the modern cameras to use glass from years past. This has been a big savings to me in recent years. I don't see this with other brands.

It's high time Pentax shucked its Rodney Dangerfield image among the camera snobs.

John
John:
Get used to it. Even your closed friends that use the two "main" brands will tell you "Are you using Pentax?".

I always been a Pentax user and I can see any other way. I can use my old lenses as well as the new ones making my kit more affordable. I hope Pentax starts to push a more aggressive marketing campaign, so more people buy the cameras and get some recognition.
09-14-2010, 11:19 AM   #4
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Ha it happens sometimes. But as long as you get respect from your pictures, and you enjoy what you do, who really cares about what brand you are using?

09-14-2010, 11:32 AM   #5
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I was at a large carshow this weekend. Someone passing me said "Finally, someone who isn't using Canon or Nikon".

You should get over it, as this subject has been done to death :-)
09-14-2010, 11:46 AM   #6
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Actually, I take it as a badge of pride. When I'm in a photo class or with a group of photographers, I generally have more stuff and know how to use it much better than the Canikon gaggle. Just this weekend I met a pro landscape photographer who saw my K20, DA*lens and grip hanging off my neck. He said is that a 5D? I said no - it a Pentax K20. Nice camera he said. Case closed.
09-14-2010, 11:49 AM   #7
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There are two parts to this problem.

First, there's the fact that Pentax users are a small minority of the market. This, you must get used to.

But there's a second part of the problem that is, I think, different—and relates to your topic title. And that has to do with Pentax's image among people who ARE aware that Pentax makes DSLRs and lenses. You can see the problem here by comparing the image Pentax has to the image Leica has. Nobody actually uses Leica DSLRs. OK, that's an exaggeration; I think they sold about nine cameras in North America last year. But, like Porsche or Apple, Leica has a sterling rep.

We get respect only from the folks who have actually used Pentax stuff and there are too few of us for this to matter nearly enough. Ultimately, the blame has to be assigned to Pentax marketing. The Pentax engineers aren't very imaginative (compared, say, to the engineers at Sony, Panasonic, Samsung, Ricoh...), but they are awfully good. But the marketing department at Pentax? I am inclined to think that there could not be a more clueless bunch of folks in the world of marketing. They don't seem to have any idea how to distinguish Pentax in the marketplace, or how to generate buzz.

Will
09-14-2010, 12:11 PM   #8
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Scott Kelby is pretty bad about that. If you read his books you will find the assumption that everyone uses either Canon or Nikon. Fortunately, you can do exactly the same things with Pentax that you can with those (and a few extra things besides).

At the same time, Pentax only has about 5 percent market share in Japan and significantly less in North America. It is not surprising that authors, writing for the general public would ignore the small number of folks using Olympus, Pentax, etc. Hopefully the numbers improve over time, but I'm not really hopeful. It is really hard to set yourself apart, in particular when a company like Canon deluges the market place with 50 different models.

09-14-2010, 12:20 PM   #9
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My advice to anyone bummed out about the lack of Pentax aimed publications would be to get out and learn the camera in the field and become your own expert.

Jason
09-14-2010, 12:20 PM - 1 Like   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by PALADIN85020 Quote
I'm a little upset. It seems that Pentax gets no respect compared to Nikon and Canon.
John
Hi John, I respectfully disagree with you. Let me explain why. I have just completed a 15 km trail run and as I was cooling down I had a look at my favourite forum As I read your post the lessons of trail running came into mind.

First, trail running is a most egalitarian sport where nobody gives a damn about your equipment (after a while one's trail running shoes are so scuffed that they all look the same anyway). What matters is how much guts you've got and then your time. In that spirit I would say - let your photos do the talking, and not your equipment.

Secondly, only a select few win races, the rest of us fit in somewhere in the vanguard. But the stragglers who are battling against unfortunate physiology have just as much respect. Just so in photography, only a select few will be top flight photographers, the rest of us will be also rans. But in the community of Pentaxians I have seen that all have respect for their guts and their commitment to their photographic vision.

Why should this be so?
Trail runners, as a group, are marked by their mental robustness and hardiness. They follow their own pole star regardless of group think and herd mentality. They don't need the validation of the herd. They are motivated by a strong inner conviction that defies conventional views.

Over time I have come to the conclusion that this description applies also to Pentaxians. (You would be surprised how many Pentaxians are mountaineers, hikers, runners etc. No wonder Pentax makes small, weather resistant gear ) Pentaxians are a hardy lot. They are not insecure and don't need the warm comfort of the herd with its suffocating group think. They don't need the validation of the herd. They choose a camera whose quality, robustness and features matches their own values and robust, hardy outlook on life.

So lets not worry about respect but rather follow the pole star that motivates our photographic vision.
09-14-2010, 03:21 PM   #11
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I drive in 4x4 off road competition trials, the 'top drivers' generally use Land Rover based stuff, I drive something I built myself, the chassis is home built, the engine is Subaru and the gearbox is Daihatsu. Only the axles are Rover, and that's changing soon.

But there are days I more than hold my own against these Rover guys, some of these people have their 4x4's built for them and cost thousands of Pounds. Mine was built in my back yard for hundreds, it's built the way I like it.

And although I can't build a camera, I can make decisions as to what I want my camera to do, just like my 4x4, which is why I'm still using a K10.
It's the first Pentax I've ever owned, after nearly 40 years of Canon, so it was a choice.

Most people decide they want a camera, look at the advertising and troll off to buy a Canikon.
I've yet to meet a Pentax owner who did that, or for that matter an Olympus owner. We buy what WE want based on decisions WE make.

Feels good, doesn't it?
09-14-2010, 03:31 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lloydy Quote
Most people decide they want a camera, look at the advertising and troll off to buy a Canikon.
I understand what you're saying and agree, although honestly, I think Canon and Nikon are the choice of people who do NOT look at ads. You don't have to see ads to know that Canon and Nikon are the default choices. It's almost like "Kleenex" = tissue, "Xerox" = photocopy, and "Google" = search. "Canon" or "Nikon" are synonyms for "camera," in the sleeping minds of the masses.

There are lots of really smart people who are better photographers than I, who pick Canon and Nikon for very valid reasons. I don't mean to insult them. ;-)


QuoteQuote:
I've yet to meet a Pentax owner who did that, or for that matter an Olympus owner. We buy what WE want based on decisions WE make.
Much truth in this.


QuoteQuote:
Feels good, doesn't it?
Yes and no. Reminds me of that great scene in the movie Broadcast News, where Holly Hunter is objecting to the network head's choice of William Hurt to anchor a special broadcast. The exec listens politely, then responds:
EXEC: You're right and I'm just wrong, is that it?
HOLLY HUNTER: [nods head]
EXEC: It must be nice always to be the smartest person in the room.
HOLLY HUNTER [grimacing in real pain]: No, it's awful.
It would be less painful if there were a few more equally smart people in the room with us. ;-)

Will
09-14-2010, 04:36 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Zav Quote
Ha it happens sometimes. But as long as you get respect from your pictures, and you enjoy what you do, who really cares about what brand you are using?
Amen. I'm a watch collector and the parallel there is Rolex/Omega/Breitling. If you're wearing a Sinn (think of it as the Pentax of watches) only a true watch pro knows what it is and that it's technically superior. But you know.
09-14-2010, 04:45 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by WMBP Quote
"Kleenex" = tissue
Only in your country I think!
I do enjoy being in the minority, for some perverse reason, especially being side line on the sports grounds. Now if only I had a weather-sealed 70-200/2.8 and TC I could use so didn't have to cover up my gear when it rains! That would be ultra-cool.
09-14-2010, 05:04 PM   #15
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On Kleenex = tissue...

QuoteOriginally posted by Arpe Quote
Only in your country I think!
Ah, maybe so. Never thought about that.


QuoteQuote:
I do enjoy being in the minority, for some perverse reason, especially being side line on the sports grounds. Now if only I had a weather-sealed 70-200/2.8 and TC I could use so didn't have to cover up my gear when it rains! That would be ultra-cool.
Wouldn't it now?

Well, I'm deeply, perhaps pathologically conflicted. I've been in the minority most of my life. I have a masters degree in poetry. I performed medieval and baroque music for years (harpsichord and organ). I have read Beowulf in Anglo-Saxon (a.k.a. Old English) and I taught Latin and Greek for twenty years. I hate large crowds. I like movies with subtitles. I am, in short, a contrarian. If I see thousands of people walking THAT way, I tend reflexively to walk in the other direction.

But sometimes, I worry that I hurt myself by doing so. The majority seems to enjoy being the majority. And perhaps the rest of the world IS right or at least not as wrong as I thought. Some years ago, I more or less gave up on the Mac and switched to Windows. The sky did not fall, I didn't suddenly find myself spending all my time dealing with viruses. In fact, almost nothing changed, except that I was able to pay less for new computers.

What would happen (other than me losing a LOT of money in the process) if I gave up on Pentax and switched to Nikon? I'm pretty sure they make good cameras, including some really good ones. Ditto Canon. So why do I find myself almost unable to entertain the thought?

*

But usually, after I think this way for a while, I shake it off and go back to being a contrarian. I keep thinking seriously of moving my computers to Linux. And in the world of cameras, I find myself strangely tempted to switch to Ricoh.

It's a sickness. But I guess there's no cure. ;-)

Will
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