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05-06-2008, 01:55 AM   #1
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What about Pentax Scandinavia?

Dear all

I'm not working with news, media, journalism, so you pro's please have patience with and amateur. I normally write very concise but dull scientific articles.

Currently Pentax is on tour in Sweden, visiting one of the larger camera shops in each of the major cities in Sweden.

Pentax-on-tour-in-Sweden

Yesterday I visited Schöherrs photo in Stockholm when Pentax was there. First thing I saw was that they had covered the windows with 2nd hand gear with three large Pentax posters claiming that "One plus one is three" and "We invented the wheel again". Perhaps not the most inspired slogans, but since I'm not so used to see Pentax posters at all in the windows of our camera shops, it's OK.



Inside were more posters, and behind one desk, a salesman for Pentax. I managed to forget his name (me being an amateur), but he was a nice fellow. At my entrance with the K20D on my chest he stated "here is an important customer". Sorry for the tilting walls by the way, I had my 10-17 mm on, but at least it does show you that this is a serious shop, where you can do more than just processing you vacation photos.



Besides gossiping and figuring out what "Pentax on tour" meant, I wanted to get a look at the DA* 16-50 SDM , but he did not have that lens with him, simply because they only had one copy and a long order queue for it. But I did get to test the DA 35 mm limited, and the DA*200 mm, which was fun.

When he had shown his glass and I had shown him my glass (carrying the A*135/1.8 with me), we talked Pentax, past, current and future. Of course, he is a loyal salesman. I don't expect him to say anything bad about Pentax, and in that light everything has to be viewed (just as much as I think those listening to disappointed ex-Pentax-salesmen from Canada should considering that their trauma of giving up a long loyalty will color what they say, see current thread on Pentax Canada).

What he said was that in his eyes Pentax is looking healthy and that more is going on than before Hoya took over. When Hoya took over he was called (together with other national representatives I assume) to some workshop somewhere in Asia, managed to forget where (me being an amateur), and claimed to be amazed by the plans Pentax had (though not giving up anything I did not know before).

I asked him if they were aware of all the rumors on the web (Hoya closing Pentax, Samsung buying Pentax, full frame, etc etc) and he said, I quote "that he could not understand that people when they buy a nice camera and lenses for a lot of money, that he could not understand that they wanted to spend time in front of the computer gossiping instead of going out to take pictures", and I think he has got a point there.

Now to Pentax Scandinavia. If someone read my post on this tour you may remember that I noted that the web page of Pentax Scandinavia* had changed like if they had been less independent and closer tied to Pentax Europe. It is indeed so that the Pentax Scandinavia is no more. I've seen nothing about this in media, and I don't think it is even commented on their web page. He said that it had been discussed if they would be closed down completely and replaced with a representative traveling from Germany, but because their market share was over average (what that is in percent I do not know) this did not happen. Instead they got to keep the same office (in Uppsala Sweden), regional responsibility, service etc., but as a filial to the European main office in Germany.

Personally I am content with this until I see any reason not to be. My guess (not his saying) is that this has happened /will happen to all national/regional offices in Europe. Regional representatives that did well enough survives as filials (Pentax Scandinavia, also Pentax France as far as I understand, would be nice to hear from members in the rest of Europe, or the world for that matter if this is true), while regional representative that have not done well will be closed down and incorporated with the main office or another region. I'm not a market expert, but to me that sound like common sense. And if you live in a region where the former Pentax organization did a bad job, you might not be losing on this move. Considering the current thread on Pentax Canada I can't help think that there must be a parallel story here showing something of the global Pentax/Hoya strategy right now.

What else? Nothing on full frame. Negative signal on digital 645 (but on the other hand, what he said was not more than what he might have been instructed to say). Lens program growing fast now to a full set (I got the feeling he was very happy with this, like the lens program a couple of years ago was not so fun to sell, but now things getting more fun - me reading between the lines of what he said). Negative: many lenses are delivered very slowly, not only the limited, for which they get a small load now and then, but also key lenses among the new ones like DA*16-50 mm. Obviously Pentax need to build some capacity there.

Got a few brochures, no t-shirt , which would have been nice.

I can't help being optimistic.


My test of the DA*200 mm showing a car outside the window.

My test of the DA 35 mm limited, showing a large pentax poster in the middle of the shop.

*For those who slept on the geography lessons: Scandinavia = Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland, that is most of Northern Euope.

05-06-2008, 03:47 AM   #2
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Thanks for taking the time. Sounds good.

Fovitech, I think, is the same in Sweden and Norway, taking care of the market. Good to hear that they are doing good in Sweden. I've seen Pentax in a lot more shops lately, and been surprised. Sweet that you could play with the 200 and 35 lmt. Looking forward to see, what will be next on the roadmap.
I would welcome a new fast 135/2 lens.
05-06-2008, 04:53 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Douglas_of_Sweden Quote
*For those who slept on the geography lessons: Scandinavia = Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland, that is most of Northern Euope.
Well those who really didn't sleep on geography lessons know that only Sweden and Norway are in Scandinavian peninsula
You're referring to Scandinavia in historical-cultural context
05-06-2008, 05:28 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Edvinas Quote
Well those who really didn't sleep on geography lessons know that only Sweden and Norway are in Scandinavian peninsula
You're referring to Scandinavia in historical-cultural context
Well, whatever they had in mind when the named the Pentax Scandinavia, I'm pretty sure it was not the geological definition, more rather the cultural or economical definition. It is a bit floating, sometimes Finland is not included, sometimes Iceland and the Faeroe islands as well. Denmark is certainly included. And even geologically, half Finland is included in the "Scandinavian peninsula".
I don't know exactly in what area Pentax Scandinavia operated, and where they will continue to operate, how much they work in Denmark or Norway or if there are other representatives there, but I would be very surprised if anyone from Pentax Scandinavia ever went to the Faeroe Islands
But this is rather uninteresting for a pentax forum. I was merely pointing to the right corner of the globe, being aware of that there are some people who may have overlooked this somewhat dark and cold part. I do remember reading a poll somewhere a while ago that the concept of the "Nordic" countries was far more established worldwide, than the "Scandinavian" countries. And it is a common joke here to say that a typical American believe that Copenhagen is the capital of Sweden, or that Stockholm is the capital of Switzerland. Once, when I traveled with a taxi driver in Canada, British Colombia, I did not realize until we arrived at the airport that the Swedish mountains he had been talking about so enthusiastically was actually the Alps.

Scandinavia in Wikipedia.
Nordic countries.
Scandinavian peninsula.

05-06-2008, 05:30 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Edvinas Quote
Well those who really didn't sleep on geography lessons know that only Sweden and Norway are in Scandinavian peninsula
You're referring to Scandinavia in historical-cultural context

By the way, who represents Pentax in the Baltic states?
05-06-2008, 05:44 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Douglas_of_Sweden Quote
By the way, who represents Pentax in the Baltic states?
I think that local dealers were getting stuff through Pentax Scandinavia. Warranty repairs were definitely handled by Pentax Scandinavia.

BTW, you tell that americans mix your countries and capitals... Well, well, the same happens with us... except many Europeans do that: Riga is capital of Lithuania and of course we all speak Russian... Americans usually haven't even heard of us
05-06-2008, 05:55 AM   #7
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Here in Latvia official dealer is large non-Latvian company ELKOR (I think based in Russia). Actually it represents all of the photography brands. Service is pathetic and they don't care much about Pentax, since there is more recognizable brand names.
05-06-2008, 12:38 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Edvinas Quote
I think that local dealers were getting stuff through Pentax Scandinavia. Warranty repairs were definitely handled by Pentax Scandinavia.

BTW, you tell that americans mix your countries and capitals... Well, well, the same happens with us... except many Europeans do that: Riga is capital of Lithuania and of course we all speak Russian... Americans usually haven't even heard of us
Well, I think this is the destiny of small countries like ours. On the other hand, in school we usually get taught the geography of the rest of the planet rather well, and we are taught a 2nd and sometimes a 3rld language, which is reasonable survival tactic for a small nation and language like ours. Mind you, I've met Americans who thought Sweden was in the Warzawa pact and a communistic state.

Interesting that you were also covered by Pentax Scandinavia. Do you think that they will continue doing that after the re-organization? If you send your gear for service, do you do that to the same place as Pentax Scandinavia (Ziegers in Linköping, Sweden)?

...and Riga used to be the largest city in Sweden!

05-06-2008, 12:42 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by skaktuss Quote
Here in Latvia official dealer is large non-Latvian company ELKOR (I think based in Russia). Actually it represents all of the photography brands. Service is pathetic and they don't care much about Pentax, since there is more recognizable brand names.
Interesting that Pentax in Latvia has a russion official dealer, while Edvinas says Lithuania is (or at least was) covered by Pentax Scandinavia.
05-06-2008, 01:43 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Douglas_of_Sweden Quote
Interesting that you were also covered by Pentax Scandinavia. Do you think that they will continue doing that after the re-organization? If you send your gear for service, do you do that to the same place as Pentax Scandinavia (Ziegers in Linköping, Sweden)?
If I need service I just bring it to Lithuanian official Pentax dealer (Vilbra) and they send equipment to Sweden. Also I remember salespeople there many times mentioning that Pentax equipment must arrive from Sweden etc. so everything points to the fact that Lithuania was covered by Pentax Scandinavia. BTW many companies assigned the task to cover Baltic states to their Scandinavian branches.
I have no idea how it is going to be after reorganisation of Pentax European divisions.
05-06-2008, 01:49 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Douglas_of_Sweden Quote
Interesting that Pentax in Latvia has a russion official dealer, while Edvinas says Lithuania is (or at least was) covered by Pentax Scandinavia.
Anyway I think they get their stuff through some EU based Pentax division. It's much easier to organize supply from within EU than from outside... Especially from Russia with their beaurocracy and bribe-hungry customs officials.
05-06-2008, 04:53 PM   #12
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cool,

I bet the olympus and mamiya reps love the poster placement
05-06-2008, 11:12 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Douglas_of_Sweden Quote
Interesting that Pentax in Latvia has a russion official dealer, while Edvinas says Lithuania is (or at least was) covered by Pentax Scandinavia.
As Edvinas said: "they get their stuff through some EU based Pentax division". I know a guy who had a problem with k20d bf/ff and our official retailer sent his camera to Pentax Germany service.
BTW, I bought my k10d off Swede ex-Pentaxian JonasB, so my camera is Scandinavian too
05-07-2008, 11:04 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by philmorley Quote
cool,

I bet the olympus and mamiya reps love the poster placement
Actually, there were mainly 2nd hand canikon gear behind the posters
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