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04-07-2013, 02:58 AM - 1 Like   #121
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Samsungian, that was a sobering post, giving us detail of your personal investments photographically, and showing us how you've voted with your money. I think this is an important aspect for Pentax to look at more seriously, and repeatedly to reinforce the point that it is not just the lower end market that makes money and encourages more customers.

If Pentax wants to be known as the enthusiast photographer's choice, then it should be *seriously* looking at releasing at least one strong FF camera in the near term. They should *seriously* consider the progressive loss of higher-end customers, whether pro or amateur, just as described by Samsungian, even if this represents a small percentage of the customer base. Surely it would be at least as successful a venture as their prized 645D? And wouldn't it too put Pentax more on the map with our enthusiast group looking for more than the K-5/D7100?

We see it again and again. It's not about what we enthusiasts need or don't need. We're OK with products that Pentax has produced, but we're asking for a little more. A choice to partner Pentax's unique legacy lenses with a format that can fully utilise its image circle. It is not the end of the world not having a FF camera. But it would sure be nice to shoot with a K-mount variety of one.

04-07-2013, 07:52 AM - 9 Likes   #122
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"The next phase, he says, is to "find people who have abandoned the brand" and figure out why that happened."

In 1977 while on military duty in Japan I bought a K 1000, some Tri X film, took a couple of on base photography courses and started a lifelong hobby that Pentax was a huge part of. I’ve never owned any other SLR or DSLR other than Pentax until a month ago. Even when I was shooting a Mamiya 645 system from 1984 until 2007 I still had an ME Super and then ZX-L with me almost every day. I moved to Digital with a K200d and then shortly thereafter a K20d in 2009. That adds up to 36 years of shooting Pentax cameras.

These are the reasons I left Pentax for Nikon last month.

The first is MAP.

You instituted this program, at least in part, to help Brick and Mortar camera shops compete with on line retailers.

Below is a photo taken this morning of the store front of the Hunts Photo and Video store in my home town of Manchester NH. Hunts is one of the largest camera retailers in New England, with 8 stores in Mass, RI, Conn, Maine, and NH. As you can clearly see from the photo, more than a year after MAP, there isn’t even a Pentax sign in the window. Up until about a week ago, they did not even stock the K5II.. They still don’t have the K5IIs but at least it is now on their web site (as unavailable however). They have 6 lenses available on their web site, 10-17 fisheye, 35 2.4, 50 1.4, 50-200, 17-55, and 12-24. None of these are available in their store. Neither is the K5II. I have to either order them on line, or order them in the store and then go in to pick them up when they come in. I cannot touch, look at, try or drool over anything but a K30 in my local camera shop. (and some point and shoots)




If I want any new Pentax lens, now that MAP is has been instituted, I STILL HAVE TO BUY IT ON LINE. To add insult to injury, I have to now pay a premium for doing so, and, I still have to pay shipping or make arrangements to go pick it up at my local camera shop. So please tell me, one year later, how MAP is benefiting me.

The next reason is that my photography needs and goals have changed and Pentax simply can no longer support them.

Until a couple months ago, I could not buy any new Pentax lens over 300mm. Today, I have the option of buying the 560, but the gap between buying what once was an $1,100.00 and now is a &1400.00 lens and the new 560 at $7,000.00 is huge. There isn’t even a TC available from Pentax today. (Yes, I understand there is one on the Road Map, but again, how does that help me now?) and there is nothing in between. There isn't any macro longer than 105mm either, not from Pentax or anyone else, and this is something I really wanted. There are simply too many gaps in the system for the kind of photography that interest me, and no hope of those gaps being filled in the near future. This includes both cameras and lenses.

I was still shooting a K20. I wanted to upgrade to the new K5II or IIs. After much thought, I bought a D7000 for 900.00 I could have bought a K5 for $750.00 or a K5IIs for $1,200.00, same price as the new D7100. No big difference here. I added to this a 300 f4 AF-s for $1,280.00, the DA* 300 that I wanted had gone up to $1,400.00), with a 1.4 TC for $500.00, not currently available from Pentax at any price, a Tamron 180 Macro for $740.00, which again is a focal length not even supported by Pentax or any of the third party manufactures in a K mount and a 16 35 for $1,260.00, which might seem like a lot of money for a 16-35, but Pre MAP, I think I paid around $540.00 for my 15 Limited and the 35 limited I wanted was running about the same price back then, about $540.00. Post MAP, those two lenses total $1,350.00 from B&H. $90.00 more than the Nikon zoom that covers both focal lengths. In addition, the three lenses I purchased are all FF lenses, so if and when I move to a FF camera, that Pentax doesn’t seem to think anyone wants, I wont incur any additional cost replacing them. If you add it up, with what is currently available from Pentax, the cameras are a wash, but the lenses are $210.00 less, and come with a 5 year vs 1 year warranty. In addition, I was able to get two other items I felt I needed for my type of shooting that Pentax does not offer.

In reality, it boiled down to this........

You say in your interview, and in others posted on this forum that 1) you don’t have the data to support that there is an SDM issue. 2) people on Facebook tell you they don’t want a FF camera, 3) you don’t want to compete on price.

The data on this forum supports that there is at least a PERCEPTION that there is an SDM problem, and yet you still offer a 1 year warranty on your best glass, doing nothing to counter that perception. You ask 20 and 30 somethings that use Facebook about FF cameras, and take their word as gospel when there is a wealth of information right on this forum that you ignore. I suggest you peruse some of the other photography sites on the internet and look at the number of advanced matures, (many over the age of 40 who do not use Facebook) as well as semi professional and professional photographers who use and are interested in FF cameras, that same question. Also realize that many of these photographers have moved away from Facebook because of the problems with imaging rights for photos posted there, and so are not apt to even see your Facebook poles. In short, the people you want to reach, do not use the medium you are asking the question on, and your are ignoring the largest group of dedicated Pentax users in the world. Therefore, any conclusion you come to will be grossly misrepresented. Last but not least, there is no real worry about Pentax now competing on price in the US market because, as I have shown above, you have priced yourself right out of it. It is now actually cheaper to build a system with other manufactures offerings. It is also still easier, at least in my neck of the woods, as I can walk into a B&M camera shop and walk out with the lens or camera I want, vs a sales slip and the hope that UPS doesn't play soccer with my new treasure.

There are no hard feelings. I am disappointed, but I harbor no ill will against Pentax. If I were a street photographer, or doing a lot of travel type photography, Pentax would be my first choice. But the options are too limited, and the number of days to shoot too short to keep dreaming about what might come from Pentax when it is already offered by someone else, and, at a better price.


Disclaimer: I understand the current QC and Customer Service problems with Nikon, but I much more confident that they will work through them and correct them than I am that Pentax will ever address the SDM, FF or MAP issues that caused me to move to Nikon.

Last edited by wildimages; 04-07-2013 at 07:58 AM.
04-07-2013, 07:54 AM   #123
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I think that Pentax can climb up the food chain of camera business if they shift their focus entirely to the enthusiast market, and they can easily do this by opening an on-line store here on Pentax forum, at a severe discount.

As for FF, I think they should continue producing APS-C cameras, but market a portion of those as FF. This way they can please both camps without offending the members here on the forum. I doubt in the end not many will notice or catch on. If many did catch on, they can deny or ignore the uproar, just like how they handled SDM and K-5 stain issues. People will eventually forget and forgive.

In regards to the market share, I do wonder if it is feasible for Ricoh to somehow sell off Pentax, and do a hostile take over of Nikon and/or Canon, and rebrand them as Pentax. Or, perhaps Ricoh can try to somehow get Nikon or Canon to hire Jim Malcolm or JC, so that they can promptly drive these companies down to the gutters so that Pentax can sweep right in and claim the dominant market share. It just maybe easier though to market little stickers that say "PENTAX" that can be placed over any brands of camera.

During times like these I think they need to think outside of the box.
04-07-2013, 01:53 PM   #124
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In the reviewed.com feature page, the image posted of the Facebook outreach program to solicit public views on their personal desires shows the first response "when is FF then?". Quite ironic to then say Facebook responders didn't want a FF camera. Then we have long term Pentaxians in good number, like wildimages, giving their life stories about how they have resorted to other brands in the digital age because Pentax haven't yet come to the party with a bridge product between APS-C and the illustrious yet expensive 645D. It isn't a greatly inconveniencing effort to switch systems, and I think brand loyalty in the photographic world is overstated and not enough to rely on.

04-07-2013, 02:13 PM   #125
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QuoteOriginally posted by LamyTax Quote
...

Even in western companies such a person is pretty low down the food chain when it comes to decisions about technology.
Now, this is a Japanese company. His responsibility is the U.S. and nothing else. Certainly, he's not involved in the decision process about new technology.
He might not even know everything (being a new guy in the company doesn't help).

Indeed funny how so many people are overreacting these days. It might be a better choice to switch to Leica. They're pretty consistent. Better for the mood.
Agree totally.
This Jim bloke can't change anything and doesn't know much more.

A thousand new colour combos and still no 1.4 TC
04-07-2013, 02:33 PM   #126
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
In the reviewed.com feature page, the image posted of the Facebook outreach program to solicit public views on their personal desires shows the first response "when is FF then?". Quite ironic to then say Facebook responders didn't want a FF camera. Then we have long term Pentaxians in good number, like wildimages, giving their life stories about how they have resorted to other brands in the digital age because Pentax haven't yet come to the party with a bridge product between APS-C and the illustrious yet expensive 645D. It isn't a greatly inconveniencing effort to switch systems, and I think brand loyalty in the photographic world is overstated and not enough to rely on.
Well, since people are worried Jim Malcolm could send the wrong kind of feedback to Pentax Japan, how about writing an open letter (which we'd sign), about e.g. how we are appreciating Pentax products, and we want (as in: we are ready to buy) a full frame made in the same style?
You could mention the "Next desired camera..." poll, which shows the FF idea is popular between those who want more than the current range.
04-07-2013, 02:41 PM   #127
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That would be at least something. I'm about to start a working week and might only have sketchy time available to draft such a response, but I'll see how I go.
04-07-2013, 04:16 PM - 1 Like   #128
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
In the reviewed.com feature page, the image posted of the Facebook outreach program to solicit public views on their personal desires shows the first response "when is FF then?". Quite ironic to then say Facebook responders didn't want a FF camera.
I saw that too. It's more than ironic.

QuoteQuote:
.. It isn't a greatly inconveniencing effort to switch systems, and I think brand loyalty in the photographic world is overstated and not enough to rely on.
As I said before, I know users think that from their own emotional perspective, but in marketing reality, the brand loyalty is described as the brand's loyalty to their users. A brand must show care and keep users excited, enthusiastic.

Jim Malcolm shows he wants to hear only that what he has in store to sell. He wants to hear that people want more colourful K30s, more colourful Q10s. It reminds me of this Simpson episode (move to 1:00 min)


Marge: Can I just have a cup of coffee.
Bartender: Beer it is.
Marge: No, I said coffee.
Bartender: Beer ..
Marge: Coff .. ee
Bartender: Be .. er.


This is how far his "listening" goes. :-)


Last edited by Uluru; 04-07-2013 at 04:26 PM.
04-07-2013, 08:31 PM   #129
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04-07-2013, 09:48 PM - 1 Like   #130
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Your point being?

If you think that some of the responses to the Jim Malcolm interview are too fanatic then please consider that Pentaxians had to suffer quite a bit from Pentax USA already.

Jim seemed like a great replacement for Ned and many (including myself) were very enthusiastic about his potential. I don't think it borders on fanaticism to be now disappointed about his choice to send a message of stagnation ("keep doing what you're doing") rather than hope ("no FF in 2013, but we are working on it").

Maybe Jim's next actions will be brilliant and we'll all be happy again, but for now AFAIC he has caused completely unnecessary damage. What would have been lost if he had been more diplomatic about his own conclusions regarding FF from the phone conversations?
04-07-2013, 11:32 PM   #131
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QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
If you think that some of the responses to the Jim Malcolm interview are too fanatic
Bingo. He's virtually lynched because what he was told by us doesn't match what you wanted to hear.
The damage is done not by him, but by you people.

Food for thought: if some Pentaxian really needs FF, why didn't he jumped ship to Canikony, i.e. actually buy one? The result was predictable, yet people are talking as if every single one of us is desperately waiting for a Pentax FF. Let's get real, only few of us will buy it, FF is single digit and a Pentax version won't be different.
04-07-2013, 11:44 PM   #132
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kunzite Quote
Bingo. He's virtually lynched because what he was told by us doesn't match what you wanted to hear.
The damage is done not by him, but by you people.

Food for thought: if some Pentaxian really needs FF, why didn't he jumped ship to Canikony, i.e. actually buy one? The result was predictable, yet people are talking as if every single one of us is desperately waiting for a Pentax FF. Let's get real, only few of us will buy it, FF is single digit and a Pentax version won't be different.
You're saying that the Pentaxians have already gone, and what remains is the APS-C-centric?

Wouldn't Pentax's lack of success, market-share wise, indicate that might in fact be what's happened?
04-08-2013, 12:13 AM   #133
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"Pentaxian" doesn't mean "FF-lover", so I'm not saying that. I'm afraid though that those who really needed/wanted a FF and were able to afford it jumped ship.
Please note that I'll go (Pentax) FF even if I don't need one. But if I did, I'd be now a Nikonian.

Pentax' lack of success, market-share wise, cannot be solely explained by the lack of a FF camera. Even with APS-C only, I'd say their position could've been much stronger.
04-08-2013, 04:36 AM   #134
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Belated kudos to the interviewers (deadwolfbones?) for
  • not summarising Jim's findings about the user feedback in a call out box.
  • leaving the "when comes FF?" reply in the Facebook post snapshot.
  • questioning Jim's assessment of the level of FF desire among Pentaxians.
  • wondering about whether Jim's vision of having become a firm third (next to Canon/Nikon) in 3-5 years has merit.
Thanks for carrying out the interview and all the above.

I don't agree with the title of the article because I feel that Jim Malcolm is not (yet) giving loyal Pentaxians a representative voice, but we can agree to disagree on this one.

Last edited by Class A; 04-08-2013 at 06:38 AM.
04-08-2013, 06:18 AM   #135
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I was one of the interviewers, yes, and you're welcome.
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