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04-04-2012, 11:18 AM   #391
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QuoteOriginally posted by v5planet Quote
It is a big deal. This argument that these price increases put the US in line with the rest of the world don't really matter. Yes, you've been paying more all along. That sucks. But that doesn't change the fact that many American Pentax customers chose this brand because the comparatively low prices relative to CaNikon made swallowing the bitter pill of its shortcomings easier. You take away that sweetness and the bitterness is all that's left.

I don't know about you, but I'm not in the habit of looking for the most expensive place to buy something I'm interested in. And neither is anybody else. Sure, I suppose you could import your milk from Australia; does that mean your neighbors should quit their moaning when milk prices double at home in Minnesota? At some point, maybe it's time to consider orange juice.
Completely agree with this comment. It *is* a big deal and US-based Pentax customers have been ROYALLY B#tCH slapped. I belong to a small photo club (~20 guys) and, with one exception, everybody shoots with Canon or Nikon, and we share lots of good-natured laughs about me being the lone wolf. Those laughs may soon be ending.

04-04-2012, 11:19 AM   #392
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QuoteOriginally posted by AGWoodard Quote
Ignoring the Limited debate, because there are other fine lenses that I believe compete quite nicely with them in IQ,

Let's talk abut In Body SR -

Most L glass or pro glass from the other two have built in IS or VR, at the SAME price Pentax is now charging while NOT having those features.

In Body SR was the big deal back when they came out with it because a lens would be cheaper because you didn't have to have an IS or VR system in each one. Remember? They stepped right in that one didn't they?



But you are right. At the current lens pricing policy, the lack of a full system of lenses, the lack of basic accessories, and no forward advancement to FF, there really isn't a good reason to stay with Pentax anymore.

I've been on the fence waiting for both a long lens and a FF body for a while now. Neither have come to fruition, and the new 560 - well, it doesn't seem to be a serious contender, though time will tell. But my guess is, it won't have any better IQ than a Bigma. And at a premium price now.

I'll probably wait for a used D700, or 5DMkII and then make the jump. It's really not personal or emotional, there just isn't any compelling reason to stay a Pentaxian anymore.

If this was the much touted "Plan" Pentax had for me, all I can do is thank them for giving me the nudge.
My query about the Limiteds are very specific to them, as opposed to other primes, due to the unique qualities - most are very small and relatively slow, and all have top-notch build quality and some even have that elusive "pixie-dust", so there is not really much direct comparison in Canikonland. There are alternative that are "just as good", but the Limiteds are simply a unique flavor that may not matter to some (most) people. I know of several Canon shooters who have a Pentax solely to shoot with Limiteds.

IIRC, at the time of introduction the non-IS/VR lenses were cheaper than their IS/VR counterparts. Like many other technologies, once in-lens IS/VR became mainstream and cheaper to produce, it was easier and more cost-effective for 3rd parties to include it in all mounts for a specific lens. And anyway, I was more pointing Pentax in-body SR toward the use of legacy glass. I mean, I have a stabilized Sigma 170-500 lens for 1/3 the price of what Canikonians can get. Also, many Canikon primes lack IS/VR. IMO, Pentax did us a real solid there.

But anyway... yeah, there really does seem to be a lot of merit to your idea of waiting awhile, and moving to a used FF. Like you, I'm not particularly sentimental about the camera equipment. I can extol the virtues of the Pentax system, but I can do so for the other systems, too
04-04-2012, 11:21 AM   #393
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Guys, please don't feed the troll, Belcik.
04-04-2012, 11:24 AM - 1 Like   #394
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is all this only for the nord american market ?
USA: Amazon.com: Pentax SMC DA* Series 16-50mm f/2.8 ED AL IF SDM Wide Angle Zoom Lens for Pentax Digital SLR Cameras: Camera & Photo
France: http://www.amazon.fr/Pentax-Objectif-16-50mm-ED-SDM/dp/B000NO5QV6/ref=sr_1_1...3562810&sr=8-1

now you have a good reason to come visit and come back with a nice souvenir ... and your wife will be impressed with a romantic vacation ...

04-04-2012, 11:30 AM   #395
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I think the main problem area looking at the pricing is the 16-50, 50-135 and 60-250 which are out of whack to some degree. I would be very surprised if there is no adjustment in those, or at a minimum regular rebate programs to lower the price

I'm not at all surprised to see the TV guys are doing this as well. In general in the Video and Imaging business there has been a race to the bottom on GM and it's killing off dealers left and right. That's not good for the industry or the consumer. When I began in the CE industry back in the early 80's we made on average 22-25 points on tvs last time i talked with people i know still doing it they are averaging 8-9 points. that level of margin is not sustainable at the B&M level. So if you want to have service and knowledgeable people to sell to you there is a cost. If you are going in and getting the help then ordering online and driving the margin down and thenfind there is no longer a local guy to help then you have been part of the issue.
The Computer industry is even worse, it's early model was always aimed at gear heads and people that knew more than the salespeople most times. then it exploded into a mass market thing. the prices were maintained by killing off the small guys and centralized manufacturing then offshore manufacturing. Most stores lost the knowledgeable staff because they had to cut the pay (from a commission base) to generally minimum wage to minimum plus a buck or 2. Which means when you buy a computer it's tough to find good help if you are not technically inclined.
I think one of the reasons Canada's B&M has survived is the cost of running a business that is web based with free/cheap shipping up here is higher than in the more population dense US, that and If I buy here it doesn't matter where it ships from I pay the same tax as local so the tax advantage is gone.
The small guy up here though has mostly been wiped out unless he has become part of a buying group that allows him to maintain margins closer to what the big chains and big boxes are getting
04-04-2012, 11:41 AM   #396
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QuoteOriginally posted by eddie1960 Quote
The Computer industry is even worse, it's early model was always aimed at gear heads and people that knew more than the salespeople most times. then it exploded into a mass market thing. the prices were maintained by killing off the small guys and centralized manufacturing then offshore manufacturing. Most stores lost the knowledgeable staff because they had to cut the pay (from a commission base) to generally minimum wage to minimum plus a buck or 2. Which means when you buy a computer it's tough to find good help if you are not technically inclined
I hope Falk reads this. He cites the 300 Apple Stores as an example. He seems to think Pentax could have 1 Salesman call on the 300 best camera stores in the USA once a year and solve this problem.
04-04-2012, 11:44 AM - 1 Like   #397
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Sports photographers are not the only "Pros" making money from photography.
04-04-2012, 11:48 AM   #398
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It's my gut feeling that the DA* zooms will be phased out because of their bad SDM rep. Hence their enormous price hike to keep some stock while the replacements are being manufactured...

04-04-2012, 11:55 AM   #399
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They would just discontinue them.

QuoteOriginally posted by Asahiflex Quote
It's my gut feeling that the DA* zooms will be phased out because of their bad SDM rep. Hence their enormous price hike to keep some stock while the replacements are being manufactured...
04-04-2012, 11:59 AM   #400
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The B&M dreams in this thread are getting out of control. Buying electronics from B&M stores is going away. There was never any margin in the electronics stuff. Margin was always in film developing and other value-added services.

The remaining B&M stores left generally have clueless sales staff. In other words, there is no value in buying from them which is why the educated consumer has abandoned them.
04-04-2012, 12:00 PM   #401
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Canada

I checked a Canadian webstore yesterday and it still had the DA* 60-250 for $1290. Today it is up about $150. Still a little cheaper than the US sites, for those who want to swoop in on the old pricing.
Here are three examples:

Prodigital 2000, Stratford ON
http://stores.ebay.ca/Prodigital2000/Pentax-/_i.html?rt=nc&_fsub=13&_sid=780...4&_sop=3&_sc=1

The Camera Store, Calgary AB
Products | The Camera Store

Henry's in Toronto ON
Shop for Digital Camera Lenses - Wide Angel or Telephoto Lenses - Henry's best camera store in Canada
04-04-2012, 12:01 PM - 2 Likes   #402
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Perhaps what Ricoh is doing is paralleled in the business I am most familiar with: High End Audio.

I work part time for an internet/mail order dealer of such things and may have a bit of insight into this situation....

Many manufacturers are interested in nothing more than brick-and-mortar stores where customers can go to hear, see, touch, and learn about the equipment...B&M stores do serve a valuable function. Yet, there are hobbyist magazines that describe in detail the sound qualities of different pieces of equipment (much like we discuss things like bokeh and color rendition) and generate interest for more exotic gear in wide ranging areas...

BUT, there aren't the number of stereo shops around (like there were back in the 60's, 70's, and 80's, their demise parallels that of the stereo shops) to serve all those who may want something besides the normal consumer grade, disposable dreck sold in most stores today. My own city used to have five "specialist" type stores and dozens more of a more pedestrian type that all did quite well...back then....today, one of the original high-end shops has gone way more mass market, but still has a bit of better gear, and the fellow I work for went from being a B&M to home-office/listening room based business,...that's it for traditional high-quality stereo shops, that is, unless you want to buy some of the cheap stuff at Best Buy or somewhere similar....

So, where do these people go for their upper tier gear?

To the Internet and the retailers there.

The manufacturers realize this and so have instituted programs, like Ricoh's, to protect their B&M dealers...

Things such as:

Protected areas, i.e., you have to ask a customer if there is a dealer in their area selling the gear that they are inquiring about. Big no-no to sell into a protected area without a manufacturer's OK on each individual sale....

Minimum advertised and minimum selling prices. This especially helps protect the B&M's from being undersold by retailers with vastly reduced overhead expenses.

Introducing just these two policy changes can cause a drastic effect on perceptions and sales, and not always for the positive, that can take buyers by surprise....

But, you can throw in free shipping and no tax and maybe get a sale, maybe not...

I, too, had to buy my K-5 from B&H as the local dealer listed by Pentax as a dealer, wasn't....I was unable to put my hands on any Pentax (well, since my film KX) locally, I had to rely on written reports and what I found here on this forum. I also know that their price (at the time) would have been likely less than what I could have made a deal for locally, especially considering that there would have been an extra $123.75 in tax added to any local sale...

It just may be that the manufacturing world is just trying to come to grips with the wild and wooly world of the Internet in an attempt to "equalize" things and give traditional shops a chance to survive and provide their services to the buying public....

Will this help or hurt?

I personally miss the camera shops I used to hang out in back in the 70's and 80's....I learned a lot, went to camera club meetings, went to swap meets, bought, sold and traded gear, learned about working on cameras...and had a lot more local interaction with the folks on the other side of the counter...I got decent prices, too, and understood that the shop keepers had to make their ends meet, so it was one helping the other....

Today, there is only one of those camera shops that has survived as it serves a large number of professional photographers, but very little of the hobbyist scene remains....

I find it out here on the Internet....

Take this for what it is worth, just some thoughts from a cheap old fart that's been snappin' a shutter for over fifty years...
04-04-2012, 12:04 PM   #403
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rick_B Quote
Many manufacturers are interested in nothing more than brick-and-mortar stores where customers can go to hear, see, touch, and learn about the equipment...B&M stores do serve a valuable function.
Cameras are small and portable by design. So direct marketing and consumer purchasing online is soon to be the norm.

This is not about protecting B&M retailers. This is about controlling Amazon.com inventory over-purchases and permanent sales philosophies.
04-04-2012, 12:06 PM   #404
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QuoteOriginally posted by krebsy97 Quote
They would just discontinue them.
Discontinuing several lenses without announcing new ones would cause end-of-the-world predictions over here. So who knows, Asahiflex might have a point.
04-04-2012, 12:07 PM   #405
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.

I think what I wrote is still the most likely scenario, and it does encompass some of the other channel strategies being mentioned:

QuoteOriginally posted by jsherman999 Quote
.

One possible way this could be unfolding: Start out at that MSRP, and then just keep dropping the 'Unilateral' price on each SKU say 10% per month until they see the sales figures jump - and land on that discovered sweet-spot price.

To do that, they'll need to start high - which looks like what they're doing.

If this is the strategy, it's bad for anyone who wanted to buy in the next couple weeks or months, but might end up being OK in the long run if it ends with 1) new 'Unilateral' prices close to existing street, but a bit higher, depending on the item - and 2) a real B&M presence.


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