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03-31-2012, 12:26 PM   #91
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I'm actually in a relatively good location for local shopping. A couple of years ago I could walk to a pentax dealer (San Jose Camera) that had a k-x or k-r and some lenses - 14mm, 40, 55, Tamron 70-200 and Sigma 70-200. I think they have a 16-50 and a 17-70 too.

No k-5. In fact I went in there in about March of 2011 and they still had never seen one.

I moved a few miles away and now it's a drive.

03-31-2012, 12:27 PM   #92
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I say this is pretty much every thread talking about retail in the USA, but I have a camera shop that has a full Pentax selection in a 150,000 population city. I also have another shop that usually have a few Pentax DSLR items, but not too many lenses. I tried making and promoting a Google map to get some valid user submitted data, but not many people contributed to it.

I don't think the retail situation is that dire. Being in places like Best Buy is probably more (expensive) advertising than anything else. Maybe once Pentax can manage to get back into their retail stores, this will be brought up less frequently. Although, on a related note, the last time I was in Fry's near Chicago, they stopped carrying Pentax DSLRs... or at least the K-r I saw there was no longer there and I didn't notice any Pentax lenses around.

I don't think Pentax has much ability to change the average consumer's mind when they go to big box retailers looking for a DSLR and they have been programmed to desire Canon and Nikon. That's probably why we see Pentax still in some local camera shops and not in the big retailers. The person who goes to a local shop probably has desire to buy a camera that will work well for them rather than a specific nameplate.
03-31-2012, 12:51 PM   #93
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I'll chip in although no one asked.

I live in a midwest city with a population of a bit more than 200,000: state capitol, big university, regional health centers, etc.. There are three camera shops: all branches of one locally-owned firm so they have the same outlook at all three. They have a few Pentax bodies (not lenses) on not-very-obvious display at the nearest shop but I've never heard them discuss Pentax with anyone but me. They charge full MSRP plus tax and do a lot of co-op advertising with Nikon, although the chaps behind the counter seem to shoot mainly Canon.

They no longer hear, of course, from a Pentax rep. The contacts stopped years ago with the understandable result. I won't blame them.

If they ever get less interested in Pentax, I'll be a two-hour drive from the closest dealer, a dealer who may or may not carry any stock or have any knowledge.

I do what I can to shop locally ($500+/year with them in Pentax gear), hoping that it will help keep Pentax in their view. We'll see ....
03-31-2012, 05:33 PM   #94
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
Falk, unless you have been to the United States, and even then unless you have ventured outside of the Eastern Seaboard, you cannot imagine how thin the population density is here.
This is correct. Thank you for pointing it out.

However, as I mentioned above, I already drove NYC-Tallahassee (and that only was a tiny portion of what I covered over the years). So obviously, I have been to the US.

btw, unless you have been to Australia, you you cannot imagine how thin the population density is in the Northern Territories. It is so thin that they don't even have a speed limit. Which is real fun for somebody used to not have a speed limit At least on the one road which isn't a dirt road ... OTOH, they do have speed limits on some dirt roads though -- which I learned to appreciate

03-31-2012, 06:23 PM   #95
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QuoteOriginally posted by falconeye Quote
btw, unless you have been to Australia, you you cannot imagine how thin the population density is in the Northern Territories
No, I have never ventured to Australia, though I read the population density is so thin that locomotives on the Darwin ~ Alice Springs route automatically stop unless the engineer punches a button every three minutes - to keep the engineer awake.
03-31-2012, 09:47 PM   #96
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Well it's 47 minutes past the deadline and B&H hasn't changed their prices yet. Decisions, decisions.
03-31-2012, 09:53 PM   #97
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Pentax dealers don't seem that common in the Pacific Northwest of the US. Fry's is a dealer with outlets in the Portland and Seattle areas and
each of those areas have one additional B & M Dealer... there are a couple listed for Boise, ID. making most people within 200 miles of a dealer in this area.
although I Idon't think there is a dealer going south between Fry's in the Portland Area and Fry's in Sacramento a distance of 700 miles or so.
04-01-2012, 01:08 AM   #98
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
Don't forget the rounded blades on the XS. Its a question of Limited build versus rounder OOF highlights.

I was actually thinking of Target versus Walmart or REI versus The Alpine Shop versus I buy a lot of camping and hiking equipment.

Walmart is an awful, pushy, dirty, risky experience. We have an in-store Police substation in our Walmart - really!!I I never go there for anything.

Target is clean, bright, friendly and the shelves are stocked with a limited, basic line of gear. Whenever I can I shop at Target.

REI is clean, bright, the staff is helpful, the prices are good and they have the full line of gear. Whenever I need to, like for boots, I shop at REI and pay 35% more than the minimum for the fitting service and the open discussion of brand strengths and weaknesses compared to my outdoor goals. is like B&H - great value, absolutely everything you need, but online only (except Manhattan). Sometimes the price is too good not to buy from them (a tent is a tent).

The Alpine Shop is like an arrogant camera store. They always try to upsell me, tell me I don't know what I need, push a certain brand over the one I want and charge ridiculously high prices. I actually don't feel at all bad about going there to look at a $350 outfitter backpack, buying a pair of socks and ordering the backpack from Campmor. Because I've been an active hiker/camper since my teens I am well informed about the technical aspects of gear, the values, the relative merits of brands and I know why I want what I want. I have no earthly idea how Pentax could get traction in that kind of environment.

Hopefully Pentax wants to be in the analogs to Target and REI and try not to let Campmor dominate their strategy.
REI is an interesting example dear to my heart. I shop there a lot for my hiking gear as well as a lot of casual stuff. First of all a small "correction" REI is not 35% more expensive than minimum, it is "normally" 400% more expensive than minimum (or the minimum is 75% less expensive than REI regular price) 100% more expensive than regular low online price (or one can say the regular low online price is 50% less than REI regular price). (at least this is what I see). A more reasonably priced well regarded online retailer would be

Nevertheless I do all my shopping at REI. Yes the in-store experience and good selection is important, however that is not all.

- Of top importance is their 100% satisfaction guaranty. You can return anything for whatever reason whenever you want even years after purchase. With hiking equipment it is important. I'm often ready to pay more just for that (I do not exploit this policy, only returning things if they do not work as advertised). Does Pentax have this policy? ...
- Furthermore, REI has sales. Anytime there are discounted products on special shelves (up to 50% off) which brings it close to online prices. Let's take Pentax K-5 launching price $1600, 50% discount would be equivalent to $800. You wish!
- Once a year Pentax used to have a huge sale, when you could buy items at 75% discount or so - this was the major reason back then that made me shop at REI first place. This point is not that important now, however it was important to hook me up on REI initially.
- REI gives yearly cash back to members (up to 15% on purchases) and a very nice credit card ...
- REI has monthly scratch-and-dent sale were you can buy returned merchandise at ~75% discount

And on top of that REI offers adventure trips (at cost), free "courses" etc, + the tallest climbing wall in the town I lived before ...

Bottomline is REI offers A LOT to win their customers. What does Pentax offer? This is the big question which Pentax itself needs to answer clearly. Pentax needs to define clearly its principles and PROMOTE them. And this should have something original different or extra to what other manufacturers offer.

I got my Pentax almost by accident only because I spent (wasted) a lot of time researching my options and even then I was not convinced and made my mind only when got a better deal (by $270) on K-5 than on the Nikon D7000. While owning Pentax I have learned of several more good reasons to buy Pentax, it is a pity these reasons are not on the surface (not being promoted by the company).

Last edited by vanyagor; 04-01-2012 at 01:27 AM.
04-01-2012, 07:18 AM   #99
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QuoteOriginally posted by ElJamoquio Quote
Well it's 47 minutes past the deadline and B&H hasn't changed their prices yet. Decisions, decisions.
$1500+ for the body + a few items in their "kit" offering now.
04-01-2012, 07:28 AM   #100
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I've been watching a couple lenses - here are the prices from B&H from last night and now this morning:

DA*300 - $1125 / $1399
DA* 60-250 - $1249 / $1999
DA* 55 - $639 / $799
DA 15 ltd - $509 / $650

I bought my DA* 60-250 last week even before I saw the announcement - WOW - looks like I saved $750 on this one lens alone!
04-01-2012, 07:35 AM   #101
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Amazon has the K5 $10 cheaper today: Pentax K-5 16.3 MP Digital SLR with 18-55mm Lens and 3-Inch LCD (Black): Camera & Photo
04-01-2012, 07:45 AM   #102
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Been watching this with baited breath. I've wanted the DA* 60-250 for a while, and this finally pushed me to purchase. As of this morning (4/1/12) Amazon still has them at $1249 (usd).

First Post (yay!)
04-01-2012, 08:06 AM   #103
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16-50 went from $799 to $1499
60-250 went from $1249 to $1999
31mm still at $989
71mm still at $784
04-01-2012, 08:10 AM   #104

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QuoteOriginally posted by stormtech Quote
I've been watching a couple lenses - here are the prices from B&H from last night and now this morning:

DA*300 - $1125 / $1399
DA* 60-250 - $1249 / $1999
DA* 55 - $639 / $799
DA 15 ltd - $509 / $650

I bought my DA* 60-250 last week even before I saw the announcement - WOW - looks like I saved $750 on this one lens alone!
Fortunately, Amazon still has the "old" prices - the DA 15mm is $510, for instance.
04-01-2012, 08:13 AM   #105
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Ugh... if this pricing scheme isn't a joke.. then I'm going to just get that k-5 tomorrow on Amazon if they still have it at 1k..

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