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04-20-2012, 11:30 AM   #301
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
Giving Ned and John the benefit of the doubt, Hoya has left them a Gordian Knot to untangle.
And I believe it's reasonable to give them the benefit of the doubt (even if some people here would like to lynch them...). We know Hoya's policy was about downsizing; maybe the situation in U.S. was an unavoidable result.
I'd guess we'll know in few years, if they'll manage to make things right (and I wish them good luck)

04-20-2012, 11:35 AM   #302
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QuoteOriginally posted by Medium FormatPro Quote
Two years is a lifetime in any electronics field. If they do not renegotiate their SLA within the next two quarters then Pentax may very well be beyond repair.

I'll give them those two quarters myself. If not I'll shelf my entire Pentax system and look elsewhere
The two years refers to the entire job of restoring full corporate services across the spectrum, beginning last October. Buyout "Best Practices" suggest the acquiror just take an "inventory" of people, practices, assets and business conditions over the first six months before making substantive changes. Then they start making changes - which appear to have begun right on schedule. Some changes don't take long at all. Others can take a very long time. When I say Ricoh has a plan, I mean they have thought through all the issues and things that need to be fixed and changed, and prioritized them both as to urgency and cost. They should do the most important things first, then the next most important, etc. They've announced some corporate restructuring actions - perhaps those steps were necessary for legal reasons before they could start on operating changes.

We know they advertised for a Media Realtions / Trade Show person. One would hope they are negotiatiing any SLA's with C.R.I.S. as we speak. One would hope they are negotiating with any Customer Service Call Center contractor or hiring new employeees if that is still in-house. One would hope they are. They likely can't hire a national sales force to cover all those new dealers in 12 weeks - that would take the two years, for instance. They can't immediately build a complete schedule of local workshops - needs staff and space. Etc.

When changes start rolling out one hopes there is a positive corporate announcement every two or three weeks and excitement about positive change builds on the positive changes.

I know some here will call that fanboyism (or worse), but I am absolutely not a fanboy. As a student of businesses, I'm simply fascinated to watch how (for that matter, whether) PRI manages this. I put myself in the position of a decisionmaker and ask myself, "What would I do?"

Some of the things people here are asking for are really good ideas and necessary to Pentax's future, but perhaps cannot be accomplished at the desired (from a customer's point of view) time nor in the desired order for various reasons, including perhaps legacy legal agreements.

Some things are really good ideas that can't be accomplished at the desired (from the customers' point of view) prices.

Some things are desireable (third-party lenses in K-Mount) but cannot be controlled by Pentax.
04-20-2012, 11:39 AM   #303
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QuoteOriginally posted by Medium FormatPro Quote
Two years is a lifetime in any electronics field. If they do not renegotiate their SLA within the next two quarters then Pentax may very well be beyond repair.

I'll give them those two quarters myself. If not I'll shelf my entire Pentax system and look elsewhere
I think for the effects to be felt 2 yeas is a good guess. but long before the 2 years are up you should be seeing the actions being put in place to improve things. Whether or not you like the action is a whole other story. The lens price issue is a good example. I doubt anyone likes it per se, many have gotten extremely angry over it, others while not liking having to pay more can see what it may of happened and be willing to wait and see how it plays out with other things not visible to us yet.
I think in 2 quarters you will see a lot of the plan being implemented (not all of it though) but measurable results are further off. Right now there seems to be a lot of messes (and not just at the US level, most countries need to improve in some areas, and I imagine head office is a beehive of activity just dealing with R&D and Production schedules etc to support the head office growth plan

No company will ever tell you all their plans though.
04-20-2012, 11:43 AM   #304
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QuoteOriginally posted by Quicksand Quote
I think the reason MAP is less prevalent today is because it simply doesn't work with Internet sales.

Back in the day, all advertised prices would be the same, or a flyer might say "Reduced!" You'd never know what the price actually was unless you called or visited multiple stores.

But now, you can prevent your resellers from directly advertising a low price, but then you get silly things like "add to cart to see price," and it only takes five seconds for a prospective customer to do exactly that -- and then to take it out of the cart again.

So the choice today is basically between a unilateral minimum sales price (Canon, Nikon, Sony, now Pentax) or no price management at all (Pentax before).

I have jousted a bit with Docrwm and others in this thread, but I fully agree with him on one point at least: prices for a number of lenses, 16-50 and 50-135 in particular, are shocking and unsustainable. I think there will be considerable downward adjustment at some point. I would have preferred sooner rather than later, but hey, I think we're in a gradual transition as Ricoh figures out how to manage Pentax in the global market.

I think they screwed up the order of things in the US (how about extending that warranty at the same time, or introducing faster service turnaround, or making some other substantive change?), but that's just the opinion of some dude on the Internet.
I understand your points and agree in the main. My concern is that having read the rulings relating to price fixing (for that is what I believe the Supreme Court in fact allowed, yes - I disagree with the 5 members) and the interpretations provided here by attorneys, and several subsequent cases it seems to me that Nikon, as an example, may not be following the rules. Based on my limited look around the internet today, they are allowing fluctuations across sellers in their lower end lenses but not their higher end ones. My reading of the rules since the 2007 decision is that it’s an all or nothing and the manufacturers must be diligent and uniform in their application of the sanction of not supplying sellers that do not comply and they CAN NOT give them warnings and 2nd chances as that creates a different contract nor can they entertain complaints from competitors or that negates their exemption (or whatever you want to euphemistically call it) from the anti-trust acts in question. It seems that the manufaturers what to have their cake and eat it too (and why not if we let them get away with it). As for starting at a more reasonable level - a Nikon AF50/1.8 at $159 MSRP is a very descent entry to primes, which is close to what the market said the 35/2.4 was worth prior to the fiat from Pentax that raised it to $219.


Last edited by Docrwm; 04-20-2012 at 11:52 AM.
04-20-2012, 11:53 AM   #305
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QuoteOriginally posted by eddie1960 Quote
I think for the effects to be felt 2 yeas is a good guess. but long before the 2 years are up you should be seeing the actions being put in place to improve things. Whether or not you like the action is a whole other story. The lens price issue is a good example. I doubt anyone likes it per se, many have gotten extremely angry over it, others while not liking having to pay more can see what it may of happened and be willing to wait and see how it plays out with other things not visible to us yet.
I think in 2 quarters you will see a lot of the plan being implemented (not all of it though) but measurable results are further off. Right now there seems to be a lot of messes (and not just at the US level, most countries need to improve in some areas, and I imagine head office is a beehive of activity just dealing with R&D and Production schedules etc to support the head office growth plan

No company will ever tell you all their plans though.
You said before, they're not geniuses. That's for sure. I don't think anyone would have complained if they replaced the DA* line with a line of lenses with the same qualities as the Canon L series, DFA* and charged a heck of a lot more. They'd have just realized it was a change in direction. I borrowed my friends D7000 to see if I could live with it, but I really do like my K-5. I hadn't really planned on buying many more Pentax manufactured lenses, but I do have a concern if the company will last in the USA. If they do not survive then I guess you Canadians will buy all our used stuff, but our equipment is a huge investment to many of us that we can't risk it being devalued, so the not knowing is frustrating. No company tells you their plans, but that doesn't really lend much to their customer's confidence. I want to buy a Sigma 70-200, but do I buy it in Pentax mount even if I keep my other Pentax stuff?
04-20-2012, 12:12 PM   #306
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QuoteOriginally posted by eddie1960 Quote
I think for the effects to be felt 2 yeas is a good guess. but long before the 2 years are up you should be seeing the actions being put in place to improve things. Whether or not you like the action is a whole other story. The lens price issue is a good example. I doubt anyone likes it per se, many have gotten extremely angry over it, others while not liking having to pay more can see what it may of happened and be willing to wait and see how it plays out with other things not visible to us yet.
I think in 2 quarters you will see a lot of the plan being implemented (not all of it though) but measurable results are further off. Right now there seems to be a lot of messes (and not just at the US level, most countries need to improve in some areas, and I imagine head office is a beehive of activity just dealing with R&D and Production schedules etc to support the head office growth plan

No company will ever tell you all their plans though.
I wonder if some of the points in this thread - not singling you out - are looking at things from the wrong end or at least from only one end. My understanding is that Pentax under Hoya had fairly limited manufacturing facilities which would constrain any sudden move to produce a wider range of models/lenses and/or perhaps longer production runs of existing models/lenses. I appreciate that Ricoh must be bringing some added capacity to the mix but even so I would have thought that some information on what Ricoh Pentax are doing at the plant and manufacturing end would be useful guides to what they are actually able to do at the sales end, once you strip out all the marketing talk, opinions, etc. Unless Ricoh Pentax have been able to source pretty well a whole new factory, some of the talk about four new models and many new lenses sounds pretty fanciful to me. My impression is that Q + K01 +Kr (or successor) + K5 + existing lenses was keeping them full enough and, so far as we can tell, in profit of some kind at least. Maybe someone out there has some info.
04-20-2012, 12:13 PM   #307
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QuoteOriginally posted by kenafein Quote
You said before, they're not geniuses. That's for sure. I don't think anyone would have complained if they replaced the DA* line with a line of lenses with the same qualities as the Canon L series, DFA* and charged a heck of a lot more.
Well maybe they are going to.
Maybe they discontinued them and the price rise is so that the stock don't run out whilst they are making the DFAs*.
04-20-2012, 02:06 PM   #308
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QuoteOriginally posted by parsons Quote
Well maybe they are going to.
Maybe they discontinued them and the price rise is so that the stock don't run out whilst they are making the DFAs*.
Yeah that maybe, but it would have eased many of our concerns if they did it first. I know that may not have been possible, but it would have been nice to see these on the roadmap. The roadmap does show a replacement of the 16-50 with something like a 16-85*(hopefully it will be DFA), but they didnt show anything for replacing the longer DA*s if I recall.

04-20-2012, 02:23 PM   #309
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QuoteOriginally posted by Docrwm Quote
I understand your points and agree in the main. My concern is that having read the rulings relating to price fixing (for that is what I believe the Supreme Court in fact allowed, yes - I disagree with the 5 members) and the interpretations provided here by attorneys, and several subsequent cases it seems to me that Nikon, as an example, may not be following the rules. Based on my limited look around the internet today, they are allowing fluctuations across sellers in their lower end lenses but not their higher end ones. My reading of the rules since the 2007 decision is that itís an all or nothing and the manufacturers must be diligent and uniform in their application of the sanction of not supplying sellers that do not comply and they CAN NOT give them warnings and 2nd chances as that creates a different contract nor can they entertain complaints from competitors or that negates their exemption (or whatever you want to euphemistically call it) from the anti-trust acts in question. It seems that the manufaturers what to have their cake and eat it too (and why not if we let them get away with it). As for starting at a more reasonable level - a Nikon AF50/1.8 at $159 MSRP is a very descent entry to primes, which is close to what the market said the 35/2.4 was worth prior to the fiat from Pentax that raised it to $219.
My reading is that the manufacturer can set minimum pricing for dealers but does not have to set exact pricing. Retailers are free to set any price they choose as long as it's equal to or more than the manufacturer-set minimum and less than the manufacturer-set maximum (if any). It would not be unusual to see differences among the retailers. There is no requirement for uniformity across the product line.

One decision specifically allows manufacturers to react to complaints from one or more retailers that another is undercutting the minimum price that was set by the manufacturer. But it does continue to prohibit a contract to maintain that minimum price.


You may wish to re-read some of these decisions as well as the Wikipedia articles about this subject.
04-20-2012, 02:24 PM   #310
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The DA* primes are FF anyway aren't they? So it's just the zooms that need replacing anyway, and there're only three of them.
04-20-2012, 02:31 PM   #311
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mareket Quote
The DA* primes are FF anyway aren't they? So it's just the zooms that need replacing anyway, and there're only three of them.
Nope. Some of them are ok stopped down. The DA40 and DA70 are ok at f5.6. The DA35 is good with a 1.15x crop. There is a thread with tests of them on this board.
04-20-2012, 03:19 PM   #312
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QuoteOriginally posted by kenafein Quote
Nope. Some of them are ok stopped down. The DA40 and DA70 are ok at f5.6. The DA35 is good with a 1.15x crop. There is a thread with tests of them on this board.
I was referring to the DA* primes, and there are only three of them anyway. I know the DA limiteds have... limited use on FF.

Pentax have more lenses suitable for FF than Fuji or Sony have for their new systems.
04-20-2012, 03:26 PM   #313
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QuoteOriginally posted by glanglois Quote
My reading is that the manufacturer can set minimum pricing for dealers but does not have to set exact pricing. Retailers are free to set any price they choose as long as it's equal to or more than the manufacturer-set minimum and less than the manufacturer-set maximum (if any). It would not be unusual to see differences among the retailers. There is no requirement for uniformity across the product line.

One decision specifically allows manufacturers to react to complaints from one or more retailers that another is undercutting the minimum price that was set by the manufacturer. But it does continue to prohibit a contract to maintain that minimum price.


You may wish to re-read some of these decisions as well as the Wikipedia articles about this subject.
Sorry I did see other wording that appears to explicitly exclude complaints from other retailers being a basis for action and if it is invalidating the exemption. As for exact pricing - no but there is an exact minimum, there must be per what I read, in order for it to be policed adequately. At this stage it would appear from the uniformity of the ADs we know of and their prices in the US on the 60-250 for example that Pentax set an MSRP in the traditional sense of a specific $ figure without a range specified. As for uniformity across the product line, it was my understanding that individual products could, of course, have different MSRPs but that the manufacturer had to police the entire range or none. I'm not as able to access ruling from every district but will try to look further because this change by the US Supreme court seems so incredibly out of step with everything that has come before that its just odd, which makes it interesting to me.
04-20-2012, 03:46 PM   #314
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mareket Quote
I was referring to the DA* primes, and there are only three of them anyway. I know the DA limiteds have... limited use on FF.

Pentax have more lenses suitable for FF than Fuji or Sony have for their new systems.
True the 200 and 300 are, but the 55 might vignette until F8(missing data, thought I saw something deeper in the post though). The DA 35/2.4 is full frame. Also the DA* 60-250 is full frame. Maybe that's why they are replacing the DA* 16-50, and plan to just dump the DA 50-135.

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/31629-da-lens-...ts-thread.html
04-20-2012, 04:10 PM   #315
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QuoteOriginally posted by kenafein Quote
True the 200 and 300 are, but the 55 might vignette until F8(missing data, thought I saw something deeper in the post though). The DA 35/2.4 is full frame. Also the DA* 60-250 is full frame. Maybe that's why they are replacing the DA* 16-50, and plan to just dump the DA 50-135.

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/31629-da-lens-...ts-thread.html
so would that give them the FA 31, 43, 77, plus DFA 50 + 100 and DA 200 + 300 and two zooms what would work on FF?

that would be plenty. maybe a wide-angle?

it is easily within the realms of possibility. or at least its not the lenses that are holding them back.
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