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11-24-2013, 04:54 PM - 10 Likes   #1
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Pentax @ Stockholm Photo Fair (Fotomässan) 2013

I want to start with, wow what a difference from earlier when it came to Pentax at the show.

The first thing I saw was a wall of Q's, sadly behind tripods, but at least it was there I thought. Last time I mailed them if before that show to ask them about if they would bring any Q's they straight out told me that the interest was too low for them to even bring any, this year was different.




Just around the corner was another colorful wall, this time with K-50's. That wall drew a lot of attention and male and female, old and young, Pentaxians or not, praised how stylish and wonderful they looked and a lot of people talked about getting one.
They had a computer there where you made your own color combination and had a competition where one would actually win a custom made camera, sadly I lost. I can tell you that military or forest-inspired combinations and the "swedish" blue and yellow ones were very popular.




There was always a lot of people buzzing around the table with cameras and lenses and the staff was really enthusiastic, they actually seemed to put more promotion and energy into the Pentax section than all their other (Tamron, Zeiss, Samyang etc). I immediately became some kind of center of attention with my Silver K-5 Limited as they thought I had got the first K-3 Limited in Sweden but after I showed them that it was a K-5 with a different grip they wanted to hold it.






First I went for the 20-40mm Limited and the gentleman showing me the lens joked about how weirdly they had for the alarms with a non-WR 18-55 secured but leaving lenses like the 20-40 and the DA*300 completely without security. The first thing that struck me was how light it was and how small it was next to the DA* zooms next to it. Zeiss was right next to the table so I could compare the build and was surprised how close they were in feel, with zeiss lenses having more heft to them for good and bad. To me it at least felt like an expensive lens and they should make that wonderful ring a standard.






Shooting was rather limited as I didn't want to hog it too long or go away from the table with staff already having hands full with people checking out lenses. (Note the hard conditions to shoot in so do not make 100% checks)

40mm F4


26mm F3.5


20mm F2.8


20mm F2.8



Some flare-testing against a very harsh light.

20mm F2.8


33mm F3.5


26mm F3.5



If you continued to read this far I had a wonderful chat with the staff. You could see them bubbling with enthusiasm and ambition and on guy kept saying to me "There is a lot of things in the works at Pentax" and "Pentax got big things in store for Q1, just wait!". They were really happy with the positive press for the K-3 and all 100 limited were booked up in Scandinavia and they had the whole stock they were receiving now already sold to stores.

They were very eager to listen to me and called me "you're one of the enthusiasts we are trying to get more of" or something. We had quite a chat about my use of the gear and the man was really interested in things like the Q with adapted lenses and I mentioned what guys like Crewe1 are able to do and that Pentaxforums is a great place for seeing what people does with Pentax stuff. He had never checked the forums out but he said that he had to do it later after all I told him about the big community.

So as we already were talking about the forums I also took up some negatives that is circling around like people thinking Pentax was going under when nothing happened for a long time and how Ricoh uses their name on the cameras and in the marketing. He said that "Pentax had a really weird ownership structure and it was big problem that Ricoh have spent a lot of time sorting out", but that they are getting ready now to go full-speed. He said that there is a bit confusion for some with the use of Ricoh in combination with Pentax like they are doing now but that it's simply Ricoh putting a lot of prestige in this part of the market and that they really are set to make it grow and evolve. Next year is supposed to be the big comeback as it sounded.

One of the biggest surprises to me was the Q7. At first most people laughed at it at a distance and called it a simple toy camera, but a soon as they approached it they started praising it, talked with the staff, checked out all the colors and in the end wanted one for their own! With most other companies going for black and grey retro at the moment, the cheerful, colorful and simply fun stylish approach Pentax have seems to work extremely well! The sheer multitude of different types of customers it appealed to was remarkable.

All in all I've never felt Pentax this alive since beginning photography!

11-24-2013, 05:13 PM   #2
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Hi,
thank you for showing these shots taken with the DA20-40mm. I Pre-ordered one and now waiting for it's delivery. Looks promising, but it was to be expected from a Ltd lens. Does the DC motor is fast and quiet as it should be ?

Thanks.
11-24-2013, 05:23 PM   #3
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Original Poster
One more interesting thing. While the colorful Pentax cameras drew a crowd, super-hyped cameras like the Sony A7 was often just sitting there for long stints with nobody even seem to notice the camera. I did and got motion sickness (I seem to be sensitive to Sony ones) from the viewfinder, quite unimpressive after trying out the wonderful optical one in K-3.

QuoteOriginally posted by leopold Quote
Hi,
thank you for showing these shots taken with the DA20-40mm. I Pre-ordered one and now waiting for it's delivery. Looks promising, but it was to be expected from a Ltd lens. Does the DC motor is fast and quiet as it should be ?

Thanks.
As I mentioned, it was hard to test the lens but from my brief experience it was fast and got a short throw to make it a bit like the DA 70 and similar. Now that you mention it I didn't even think of the sound, so at least in a noisy place like that it's dead quiet.
11-24-2013, 05:48 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by VisualDarkness Quote
One more interesting thing. While the colorful Pentax cameras drew a crowd, super-hyped cameras like the Sony A7 was often just sitting there for long stints with nobody even seem to notice the camera. I did and got motion sickness (I seem to be sensitive to Sony ones) from the viewfinder, quite unimpressive after trying out the wonderful optical one in K-3.


As I mentioned, it was hard to test the lens but from my brief experience it was fast and got a short throw to make it a bit like the DA 70 and similar. Now that you mention it I didn't even think of the sound, so at least in a noisy place like that it's dead quiet.
Proof that cameras to the general public is more about the look and name than the performance and innovation !

Thank you for the answer, hope i will receive mine before Christmas

11-24-2013, 06:54 PM   #5
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Great presentation. Get ready for 2014
11-24-2013, 07:22 PM   #6
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Thank you for the enthusiastic report!! I sense big things are coming - what a change 1Q 2104 will be from 1Q2012!!

It seems Ricoh does have a plan.
11-24-2013, 08:06 PM   #7
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After reading a couple of reports of Pentax at various camera shows (in the past year) and were very unenthusiastic to say the least, its VERY refreshing to see the Pentax staff enthusiastic and energetic about both the products and company.

Wonderful report!!

11-24-2013, 08:29 PM   #8
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Thanks for the report, Andreas! It is great to see Ricoh pushing Pentax in the Scandinavian market, and too bad you didn't have your Silver K-3 and grip with you!

11-24-2013, 09:36 PM   #9
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Cheers mate!
Was not able to go the the show so thanks for a great report to us Pentaxians
Atm I am saving up for next year as it looks like it will be an interesting year!
11-24-2013, 09:37 PM   #10
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Thank you for your thorough report . I'm pleased with what has been happening with the grand old brand...Pentax...under Ricoh ownership.
11-24-2013, 10:11 PM   #11
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Cheering report, thanks.
11-24-2013, 11:15 PM - 1 Like   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by VisualDarkness Quote
All in all I've never felt Pentax this alive since beginning photography!
More than any lens or camera, to me this is the most important sentence of the entire report.

Excellent reportage, and you can feel the enthusiasm through your words and pictures.

-Heie

P.S., since we're all gearheads here...that flare control is EXTREMELY impressive!
11-25-2013, 01:10 AM   #13
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Wonderful report VisualD! It is great to hear that the response to Pentax is so positive.
I hope to see the K-3 and 20-40 in real life myself someday.
11-25-2013, 01:35 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by VisualDarkness Quote
I want to start with, wow what a difference from earlier when it came to Pentax at the show.


All in all I've never felt Pentax this alive since beginning photography!

Do you understand where f2.8 end? I mean DA20-40.
11-25-2013, 02:54 AM   #15
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Thanks for the nice report. Looks like a good presentation for Pentax in Sweden.
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