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09-08-2012, 11:10 PM   #121
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QuoteOriginally posted by Docrwm Quote
So, if under MAP a lens is $1000 it cost the retailer $500. If that retailer sells 0 lenses at $1000 their profit is 0.
Actually, their profit is negative $500, per lens, because now they have capital tied up in inventory they can not liquidate. And losses continue for the retailer because now that inventory is consuming resources (rent, utilities, insurance, etc.).

QuoteOriginally posted by Docrwm Quote
Precisely how does raising prices astronomically to the point of lowering sales to near 0 levels benefit ANYONE? I still haven't heard a coherent explanation of how that works.
It doesn't.

09-08-2012, 11:21 PM   #122
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QuoteOriginally posted by bxf Quote
is it possible that Ricoh's intention is to stop Pentax from being viewed as a budget brand?
Yeah, definitely. But what mee said above is very relevant and accurate: the horse needs to come before the horse. Pentax strategically positioning itself as a higher grade brand is all fine and well but they have to add bang if they plan to demand more buck. They did this with the K-5, to an extent. It came in at a pretty high price initially yet it was a big seller. The FA Limiteds have commanded steep prices for so long because their quality is known and sought after. There's nothing wrong with Pentax having expensive, even really expensive, products in their stable but the quality and features must match the price. Nothing changed with the quality or features of the lenses that nearly doubled in price overnight. I have no doubt that there's room for Pentax to move up and sell cameras and lenses at higher prices but the only way I see that working is if it's done in phases whereby they replace and reissue their old models for newer, better ones. They would, of course, still need to offer a range of products to appeal to different budgets. Going Pentax wasn't by any means cheap for me; it was the better deal compared to the competition, in most but not all respects, but it was definitely not cheap.

QuoteOriginally posted by Biro Quote
I had planned to replace the K200D with the K-30 or perhaps another Pentax body if what's unveiled at Photokina gets my attention and I can afford it. But I think I'm putting the brakes on any more Pentax purchases until the company can straighten out its pricing structure.
I'm anxious to see what is revealed at Photokina as well. I will most likely stick with Pentax in the short to mid term but this pricing crap has got to get turned around in order for me to keeping shooting Pentax for the duration. I hate even thinking in those terms but I'm afraid that's exactly what is becoming the grim reality with this MAD pricing. This has really got me dismayed. For many investing in an SLR is a long term investment, and as such receives incremental reinvestment as time passes in the form of new lenses and upgrades. It's kind of a no-brainer that investors generally don't like the risk of unstable investments. Sadly, Pentax is painting themselves as one seriously unstable investment for photographers with any inclination to buy new lenses now or in the future.

QuoteOriginally posted by eastman Quote
The current MAD pricing scheme now has the DA*50-135/2.8 about $300 more expensive than the 70-200/2.8L from Canon (today's prices at B&H). That isn't the right approach if they want to sell any lenses.
It's like a bad joke, and no one is laughing.

And here I was all optimistic about Ricoh breathing new life into the brand. Guess I was wrong. I've got to stop thinking about all this; it's got me in a real doom and gloom mindset. Maybe there's a silver lining yet to be seen.
09-09-2012, 04:32 AM - 1 Like   #123
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QuoteOriginally posted by creampuff Quote
The upshot is most Pentax users want good and cheap but are unwilling or unable to pony up more money now. Either wake up to the reality that things aren't cheap anymore and you have to set aside a more realistic expectation and amount of money to shoot Pentax or suck it up and live with the situation. Penny pinchers are the worst demographic for Pentax. After all why should Pentax pander to the cheapskates? Frankly try using other camera brands and you'll likely cough up even more dough...
Wow.. Really? Thank-You! I feel so much better now knowing the lens I sent back that was $880 wasn't worth that much, Will now cost me $1400 to try a another copy should I choose. I'm happy for you. Must be nice being raised sucking on a gold tit and could careless about value, most of us of born into bronze or less. That doesn't make us cheap asses, all I expect is value for the money. If the value isn't there at $880, how is it going to be there at $1400!? Mind you this lens was around $600 at one point. Nothing about the lens changed, and yet they ask $800 more for it. If being Value/Quality driven is being a Penny Pincher, then sign me up. I'm the biggest frigging penny pincher you'll ever meet.

Trust me I'm wide awake.
09-09-2012, 04:43 AM   #124
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QuoteOriginally posted by Riv Quote
Wow.. Really? Thank-You! I feel so much better now knowing the lens I sent back that was $880 wasn't worth that much, Will now cost me $1400 to try a another copy should I choose. I'm happy for you. Must be nice being raised sucking on a gold tit and could careless about value, most of us of born into bronze or less. That doesn't make us cheap asses, all I expect is value for the money. If the value isn't there at $880, how is it going to be there at $1400!? Mind you this lens was around $600 at one point. Nothing about the lens changed, and yet they ask $800 more for it. If being Value/Quality driven is being a Penny Pincher, then sign me up. I'm the biggest frigging penny pincher you'll ever meet.

Trust me I'm wide awake.

I think Your missing his point. Pentax's cost increases as much as any other Companies. I agree that a jump in price on an already released Product, is rubish, but the general trend has to go towards more expensive Equipment. Especially if Pentax is to compete With Nikon and Canon. For most People, higher price Equals higer quality. It's sad but true.

09-09-2012, 05:58 AM   #125
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QuoteOriginally posted by Venturi Quote
Actually, their profit is negative $500, per lens, because now they have capital tied up in inventory they can not liquidate. And losses continue for the retailer because now that inventory is consuming resources (rent, utilities, insurance, etc.).
True, I tried to present a streamlined scenario for ease of understanding. But, you are quite correct that under Maximum Assured Pricing there is an actual disincentive to the retailer to hold dead product because it ties up capital. That means that it is actually less likely that those lenses will be sitting on a shelf waiting to be purchased.
09-09-2012, 06:17 AM   #126
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QuoteOriginally posted by timcatn Quote
I think Your missing his point. Pentax's cost increases as much as any other Companies. I agree that a jump in price on an already released Product, is rubish, but the general trend has to go towards more expensive Equipment. Especially if Pentax is to compete With Nikon and Canon. For most People, higher price Equals higer quality. It's sad but true.

I don't know if I missed his point or not, but the conveyed attitude struck a nerve even if it doesn't hit close to home as the saying goes. Yeah, the more is better by default is really annoying. If the quality is there, then I don't have a problem with it. But that's is the problem. Pentax does make some great glass. But the DA*16-50 wasn't worth $879, the DA*50-135mm was barely worth $899. Which makes the first a joke at $1400, and the second not worth it anymore. Maybe I've been shooting primes for to long. That said, the DA 15, 35 and 70mm limiteds are still a decent value at their new prices. I wish the 15 and 35 were WR though. The DA*55 not sure about anymore, and DA*300mm is still reasonable. I know there are others, but those are the ones I have first hand experience with (except the 50-135mm that based on comments/reviews).

It used to be illegal here to raise prices 100% then at the same time run a sale for 40% off, where by you paid more in the end compared to the day before the sale. That's just an example of what many furniture places used to do. This price jump/rebate is simular.

Last edited by Riv; 09-09-2012 at 03:28 PM.
09-09-2012, 06:58 AM   #127
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Well, it is true: Pentaxians have generally been the cheapskates of the photography world for the past 20 years or so. And the company has delivered incredible value. Maybe I'm missing something but I don't think we tend to hear as much lately from the contingent whose main concern is whether they can contnue using their classic Takumars. Most of us realize that Pentax's prices couldn't remain where they were before Hoya bought them and still have the company survive.

But the current pricing structure is too much. And, more importantly, the products often don't warrant the pricetag. Pentax has been long known as a prime company and most of those primes are still excellent. But the zooms are particularly galling. I own both the DA* 16-50 and 50-135. I got them in the $700 range (each) as part of a kit when I bought my K200D. Other than the SDM issue, the 50-135 is a solid lens. Worth the price but not more. The 16-50? What a disappointment. Other than the wider aperture, it's not much better than the DA 16-45, which can be had in the $300 range. And the 16-45 is better at the wide end.

And, as good as the FA 31 Limited is, I'm not sure any normal-range prime is worth more than $1000. Yes, I know all about supply and demand, and market forces. Pentax can charge whatever it feels it can get for the FA 31. But, as a customer, I reserve the right to walk away from a deal that doesn't make sense for me. That's why I bought a Sigma 28mm f/1.8. I suspect other Pentaxians may feel the same way.

The point is this: Pentax always had value going for it... which is why many of us put up with things like auto-focus systems that were (and may still be) a step or half-step behind CaNikon. But if Pentax wants to charge Big Two prices, it needs to make sure its products are as good as theirs or better. In some cases (camera bodies and primes) they're almost there. In others (zooms) they are not.

I don't believe most photo hobbyists are going to put up with the current pricing. Now, perhaps Pentax has its eyes on professionals. Fine, but if they do, they are getting ahead of themselves. They don't have anything close to the infrastructure and support system to go up against CaNikon in the professional area - at least not yet. It's still too early for Pentax to alienate thier traditional base.

Last edited by Biro; 09-09-2012 at 07:08 AM.
09-09-2012, 07:59 AM   #128
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QuoteOriginally posted by creampuff Quote
Frankly try using other camera brands and you'll likely cough up even more dough...
Is that so?

Pentax SMCP-DA* 50-135/2.8 = $1,521.95
Canon 70-200/2.8 = $1,329
Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM = $669

Note that it is the 70-200/4 which is equivalent to the 50-135/2.8, the f/2.8 version actually allows shallower DOF on FF (and it is an FF lens, whereas the 50-135/2.8 is not).

09-09-2012, 08:54 AM   #129
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QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
Is that so?

Pentax SMCP-DA* 50-135/2.8 = $1,521.95
Canon 70-200/2.8 = $1,329
Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM = $669

Note that it is the 70-200/4 which is equivalent to the 50-135/2.8, the f/2.8 version actually allows shallower DOF on FF (and it is an FF lens, whereas the 50-135/2.8 is not).
I'm not going to support Pentax' implementation of MAP (very poor) but the comparisons above are a little skewed:

* The comparison with the 70-200s is not one of equivalence. The comparison shown is of a 50-135 on an APC-C body versus a 70-200 on a different type of body (FF).
* Given the above, does it make sense to add the cost of a 5D Mk III? Probably not, but the problem is clear.
* The comparisons shown is of a stabilized (inherited from the body) 50-135 to two unstabilized Canon lenses.

We'll put aside the note that the Canon f/4 is a grey market lens as we will the SDM problem.

On a related topic, I'm convinced that Ned is not an idiot but instead is on a very short leash from HQ. I think his Tokyo handler is a recent graduate (in metallurgy) and someone's brother in law. Higher prices may be OK but you have to keep them in place to allow consumers to get used to them. Consumers will stop buying from sticker shock but many (the ones the supplier wants most) will eventually return if they continue to see value. The yo-yo effect does little but aggravate dealers and consumers, causing consumers to either leave or wait for yet another price change. But leave people will - it just takes too much mental effort to time the market.

Last edited by glanglois; 09-09-2012 at 12:33 PM. Reason: Removed "not" from "Ned is not"
09-09-2012, 09:15 AM   #130
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QuoteOriginally posted by glanglois Quote
......

On a related topic, I'm not convinced that Ned is not an idiot but instead is on a very short leash from HQ. I think his Tokyo handler is a recent graduate (in metallurgy) and someone's brother in law. Higher prices may be OK but you have to keep them in place to allow consumers to get used to them. Consumers will stop buying from sticker shock but many (the ones the supplier wants most) will eventually return if they continue to see value. The yo-yo effect does little but aggravate dealers and consumers, causing consumers to either leave or wait for yet another price change. But leave people will - it just takes too much mental effort to time the market.
Timing the market for a hobby is indeed asking too much effort. I do photography because a) I enjoy the activity, and b) I obtain semi-permanent mementos of important events in my life. I really don't want to keep charts, spread sheets, and invest hours in scouring the web for the best price. I agree with you and don't think many others want to pour forth that much effort, it's easier to go to a company with a sane pricing policy.
09-09-2012, 12:07 PM - 1 Like   #131
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Let's put all of this in some type of perspective. If you bought an apartment house (be it showing some age), with a fantastic view, you can do a couple of things. 1) up the rent. and 2) renovate the property and then up the rent. If you are going to up the rent for the same old crummy apartments, folks are going to move, and you are going to have a difficult time re-renting (especially if you did not even paint and clean the carpets). If you remodel the property and then re-rent at a higher price, then you are going to attract a different clientele that will be prepared to pay the freight.

Well, that's what Ricoh has done. Bought Pentax and effectively by some means, some one has upped the consumer prices. New lenses - I don't see any. Are they coming - maybe, but not here yet. The kicker is the new Tamron rebadge that Tamron sells for $600 and Pentax somehow believes that folks are gong to be stupid enough to buy the same lens for $900. They will just buy the Tameron, even from their local retailer and save a bundle. Give me a break. Some one is seriously delusional here - and needs to get back on their medication.

Now if Pentax, went back to their famous lens library and pulled / dusted off all of their great designs that folks really liked, updated the coatings and reworked the mechanics for AF - SCREWDRIVE and not the $&^**y SDM then re-marketed them, we have would something to go on. But we have not seen that as of yet. All we have been presented with is significantly higher prices for no increase in capability or quality, let alone an enlargement to the lens family. Then we have been insulted by being told that the additional funds are going to the retailer and that Pentax is not profiting here. Well maybe, but I do not see B&M businesses augmenting their business plans to bring in Pentax and create additional retail activity for them. May happen - I may also win the lottery.

If this is the adult supervision that Ricoh is bringing to the party, then we are in seriously deep do-do.


Last edited by interested_observer; 09-09-2012 at 12:22 PM.
09-09-2012, 02:26 PM - 1 Like   #132
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i'm so tired of the "pentax customers are so cheap" argument. pentax used to be on the top, the first brand on the market, canon and nikon where infants. used to be. the cheapskates and penny pinchers are the market they have carved out for themselves in this digital age. i love pentax for various reasons, but i'm a keen photogrpher, and photography is about lenses, not about camera bodies. i can go buy a plastic fantastic canon rebel (or whatever they call them these days) and some excellent glass, and take great pictures with it (and btw, they are no longer as bad as they are famed to be, the plastic is better these days ), i wouldn't enjoy it as much as my k20d, but photography is not that much about gear for me.

let me (for the second time on this forum, i think) show you something:

pentax
(note: currency is irrelevant, we're talking numbers here; they are current, trust me)

12-24/4 2129
16-50/2.8 2249
50-135/2.8 2449

excellent zoom lineup, one would have to agree, yeah, i know they are not perfect lenses, they are pretty damn good though. except for the 12-24 about which i have some doubts (more to do with my personal style), i basically "allways wanted them".

and now let's see, if i want these lenses so bad, what the alternative would be:

for canon/nikon (same tokina lenses)

12-24 1529 (note: 11-16/2.8 is only ever so slightly more expensive, i'd probably get that)
16-50/2.8 1253
50-135/28 1500

ouch.
(2129+2249+2449)/(1529+1253+1500)
1.59

(2129+2249+2449)-(1529+1253+1500)
2544

even worse, if i decide i'll use a prime for wide stuff

(2249+2449)/(1253+1500)
1.70

so that's 1.6 times the price, and the difference is considerably beyond the current price on the shelf for the k-5 (or equivalent nikon or canon)

and please spare me the "it hasn't got sdm" (good!), "it's not smc" (get over it, smc is good, but multicoating is no longer rocket science), weather sealing is a valid concern, but it barely makes up for sdm (if that): lenses are a long term investment, so if i buy these lenses form pentax now, i am buying manual focus zooms as far as i'm concerned, in the intent and expecting to use them without af (i'm sorry, but it's faulty, and for all i know has never been fixed). even without the faulty sdm, and with canon-level ring motor whatever, you'd think twice, and very hard, because it's 1k euro difference for the lineup, and "glass is more important".

(note: these are european prices, and they are the "old new prices", practically same from the last time when they doubled them or so; these are now considerably bellow us prices, and they do include the 20% VAT)

it's just one example. even going through this makes me again ponder selling my k-5 (my heart breaks to think of it), getting something like a canon 40d or such (or maybe a 400 bucks plastic fantastic canon 1100d or whatever, if i decide sensor is more important than build/handling, which is unlikely), and this lineup or similar (or a subset to begin with). i've definitely always wanted the 16-50, i never bought it, and it seems like i never will (see bellow), the cash was there, last time it went on the k-5 when it came out. that's bad for pentax, me using my 70's glass and drooling at 3rd party lenses is really bad, it's the difference between selling k5's like hot cakes and the nice glass to go with them, and.. just selling k-5's (less money, disposable - so not a strong stable user base being aquired, but just "people happening to use some dslr which is good value" (could be some other next year)). how many think/do like me? i don't know, but i have a hunch a bit too many for comfort.

16-50/2.8, old prime a 5th of the price? old prime: immortal, excellent glass, no eating cornflakes for a month, immortal, weather sealed, immortal.
16-50/2.8, 17-50/2.8 (...). the tamron costs half, is as good or arguably better glass, and no "suicidal mechanics/electornics" built in.

this is bad, it's bad as in bad business. i want my primes (i love old cheap small and great glass), _and_ my modern techie nerdy (excellent optics and build etc) glass, but i can't in all honesty buy the pentax ones, and that's what i'd really like to do, so i'm not buying any.

now what of this re-pricing? mistake? i think that's unlikely by now.

- imbecile at the controls? perhaps (i've seen worse)

- or there could be a plan behind this. these two sdm-lenses in particular (16-50 and 50-135) are pretty much dead. it must be clear by now, i think, to pentax, that they cannot sell at anywhere near the price they had in us (and still have in eu), so, at least the "western" market cannot or will not consume this product. it might be that either they want to kill these altogether, and start from scratch, or basically not bother to sell them outside japan anymore (or maybe a bit of both). you can look at it this way: pentax makes no cash on these raised prices, but it seems that hardly matters, because they where making as good as no cash on these lenses anyhow, so why do such a thing (dismissing for now stupidity), except to stir things up and follow up with some "big news" (replacements for these lenses?). don't tell me it's backwards to do that instead of lowering the price "while stocks last", you'd be preaching to the choir, but maybe they want to let it sink in, so that the prices of the new lenses won't be such a shock, and will be easier to accept, and accept the inevitable loss on the current lenses as a required price for this psychological game (not to mention, you don't want the people with "loose cash" to have it all spent and be stocked up on glass just as you're releasing your new shinny lineup)

- there is, of course, always another possibility: prelude to liquidation. hopefully not.

in any case, imho the "unrest" which is caused by such a move is not worth it, i agree with the explanation above about investments and investors being unhappy to see instability: i'm not a gambler, i'm tired of "i wonder what a pentax lens might cost this month" or "damn, i wish i had bought it 3 months ago when it was half the price" ("i wish i had bought it 3 months ago, when it was 75bucks/10% cheaper, well, i'm going to buy it anyway" is a slightly different matter, if you catch my drift); if i was a gambler, i'd be playing the stock market, or las vegas, not lens prices.

anybody still awake?
09-09-2012, 02:43 PM - 1 Like   #133
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Bean Counters

I've been quietly watching the forums since Ricoh bought the company. I use to work for Ricoh and would have never bought into my Pentax K-5s had I known Ricoh was buying Pentax. I have used Pentax cameras since the early 80s, but have become disillusioned since Ricoh bought Pentax. Ricoh ran its own line of cameras into the ground and is likely to do the same to Pentax. Their specialty is to re-brand products with their own name, maybe do a little cosmetic changes such as the color and add their own logos, while increasing the price radically! Just like the new rebranded Tamron lens they just announced.

Basically they are "bean counters" just out for a quick profit. They increase the prices with no value added. If you are looking for innovation... a company willing to spend money listening to their customers, ie. money invested in R&D... well I do not know what to say, but look elsewhere! Why on earth would you want to spend more for the exact same item available from the original manufacturer and usually with a "real" warranty, too? Oh yeah.... companies like Ricoh will often claim, "its but it built to their superior specifications".... this is total B.S.! If it was... why are they built by the same factories, which offer a far superior warranty when it bears the original manufacturer's name?

But they do understand seeing a diminishing income/profit line, since they are "bean counters"! So... we should be letting them know every time that they loose a lens sale due to their pricing policies, with no value added and quality control issues... a new thread possibly to show every lens sale lost to their competitors?

They think they have us by the gonads as there are fewer 3rd parties willing to manufacture Pentax mounted lenses now than ever.... so if we all encouraged companies like Sigma, etc to produce more lenses for Pentax, Ricoh may have a change of attitude towards the customer when they actually must compete for our hard earned money... you probably know that Sigma offers "splash resistant", "ie weather resistant" lenses, too, often with superior performance and a real warranty, 4 years in the USA... not to mention they are made in Japan, not Vietnam... but they have been dragging their feet at producing Pentax mounted versions.... so it would definitely be to our advantage to contact Sigma, as I have myself, to point out this huge niche in the market which Ricoh has created with Pentaxians loosing faith with Pentax. It would be great for their own "profit lines", while improving our lives, too!!!!!!!!!!!

Complaining about the price increases is only falling on deaf ears... but they do understand profit losses! Only "bean counters" can justify doubling prices during such tragic financial times in this world... how can you possibly believe the consumer is so stupid as to buy into their so called "big savings rebates" after they forced such incredibly high price increases? They are calling us "STUPID"!!!!!!!!!
09-09-2012, 03:25 PM   #134
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lazarus Quote
I've been quietly watching the forums since Ricoh bought the company. I use to work for Ricoh and would have never bought into my Pentax K-5s had I known Ricoh was buying Pentax. I have used Pentax cameras since the early 80s, but have become disillusioned since Ricoh bought Pentax. Ricoh ran its own line of cameras into the ground and is likely to do the same to Pentax. Their specialty is to re-brand products with their own name, maybe do a little cosmetic changes such as the color and add their own logos, while increasing the price radically! Just like the new rebranded Tamron lens they just announced.

Basically they are "bean counters" just out for a quick profit. They increase the prices with no value added. If you are looking for innovation... a company willing to spend money listening to their customers, ie. money invested in R&D... well I do not know what to say, but look elsewhere! Why on earth would you want to spend more for the exact same item available from the original manufacturer and usually with a "real" warranty, too? Oh yeah.... companies like Ricoh will often claim, "its but it built to their superior specifications".... this is total B.S.! If it was... why are they built by the same factories, which offer a far superior warranty when it bears the original manufacturer's name?

But they do understand seeing a diminishing income/profit line, since they are "bean counters"! So... we should be letting them know every time that they loose a lens sale due to their pricing policies, with no value added and quality control issues... a new thread possibly to show every lens sale lost to their competitors?

They think they have us by the gonads as there are fewer 3rd parties willing to manufacture Pentax mounted lenses now than ever.... so if we all encouraged companies like Sigma, etc to produce more lenses for Pentax, Ricoh may have a change of attitude towards the customer when they actually must compete for our hard earned money... you probably know that Sigma offers "splash resistant", "ie weather resistant" lenses, too, often with superior performance and a real warranty, 4 years in the USA... not to mention they are made in Japan, not Vietnam... but they have been dragging their feet at producing Pentax mounted versions.... so it would definitely be to our advantage to contact Sigma, as I have myself, to point out this huge niche in the market which Ricoh has created with Pentaxians loosing faith with Pentax. It would be great for their own "profit lines", while improving our lives, too!!!!!!!!!!!

Complaining about the price increases is only falling on deaf ears... but they do understand profit losses! Only "bean counters" can justify doubling prices during such tragic financial times in this world... how can you possibly believe the consumer is so stupid as to buy into their so called "big savings rebates" after they forced such incredibly high price increases? They are calling us "STUPID"!!!!!!!!!
If, what you say is true about the bean counters, then they should see the potential for growth for a company that is a distant 4th in the DSLR field. And in order for that potential to come true, they will have to offer a better product, or a similar product for a lower price, either of which is a win-win situation. If on the other hand, you meant profit takers, they have made a mistake since I believe Hoya already rode that horse into the ground.

I believe the next 12 months will show us which is the case.
09-09-2012, 04:24 PM   #135
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lazarus Quote
I've been quietly watching the forums since Ricoh bought the company. I use to work for Ricoh and would have never bought into my Pentax K-5s had I known Ricoh was buying Pentax. .......Complaining about the price increases is only falling on deaf ears... but they do understand profit losses! Only "bean counters" can justify doubling prices during such tragic financial times in this world... how can you possibly believe the consumer is so stupid as to buy into their so called "big savings rebates" after they forced such incredibly high price increases? They are calling us "STUPID"!!!!!!!!!
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