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09-16-2014, 02:03 PM   #196
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
The really difficult thing to internalize here is the amount of Pentax human capital that was retained by Hoya or terminated (and now is retained by competitors). There was certainly a Pentax design team and a specific design ethic - that differed from Ricoh's - to the extent that building unity and then synergy might have been more challenging than expected. Some posters here will think about that and view current products in a context. Others will just sneer.

I believe you are a thinker.

P.S. - it has taken my company 5 years to have our 'legacy thinking' beaten out of us by our acquirer. Finally, everyone who is going to complain has been terminated; everyone who is going to leave has left; and we seem to be pulling our oars together at last.

It takes a long time.
Been there, done that. The university that I recently retired from was "taken over" 20 years ago by a new chancellor who had his own vision and he nearly destroyed a rare and wonderful piece of higher education. Some of us survived but oh the wonderful, talented and experienced engineering faculty that left the institution. Hurts to see a beautiful thing destroyed. Somehow I think that Pentax will survive. Ricoh may not yet understand what they have but somebody there does because they had the smarts to put the new 645Z out which in my opinion is a grand slam. Its not in my budget but its sure going to shake up the medium format sector and profile the Pentax name. Other than they don't have a super birding lens yet I like the rest of their offerings. I'm looking forward to hear what Adam has to say when he gets back. Bob

09-16-2014, 03:23 PM   #197
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QuoteOriginally posted by woodywesty Quote
It matters, companies that are risk averse don't invent, they follow other companies who invent , invest and take risk. Those companies tend to stay in business. To me it seems like Ricoh really isn't interested in photography only in finding easy ways to make a few bucks. If most of their great product offerings came from earlier companies then the long view isn't good for Pentax. On the other hand if Ricoh is totally responsible for the new 645Z then that's a very good sign.
But Ricoh is investing, and is interested in photography... why do you think they bought Pentax?
09-16-2014, 03:27 PM   #198
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kunzite Quote
But Ricoh is investing, and is interested in photography... why do you think they bought Pentax?
For the patents and Canon and Nikon was to expensive...
09-16-2014, 04:05 PM   #199
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QuoteOriginally posted by johnmflores Quote
In the game as cameras as sport, yes. In the game of "I need tools to take photographs", Pentax has served me well, and where there are gaps I have filled them with other brands.
I have been shooting multiple systems for many years. I still consider myself between brands, but I have been looking for somewhere to land for the last few years. I was using an Olympus E-3 and sold out when it became obvious that 4/3 was dead even though Olympus said publicly that they would continue to develop for the 4/3 platform. I bought my Contax 645 9 months before Contax tanked. Contax has served me well over the years as well, but I wont be buying more Contax gear. What they did for me yesterday is not what I'm worried about. Its about the future.

Sony just went their entire Photokina roll-out presentation without a single mention of the A-mount system or future. Not a single slide on A-mount. They are selling a lot more A7 series bodied than A99 bodies. IS A-mount dead? You would have to be crazy to buy into A-mount right now which might be good for Pentax, but Pentax needs to show they are moving forward, and not stagnating. The industry is changing very fast. Just a few months ago Sony was planning on introducing new SSM versions of the CZ 85 & 135 lenses that work with the A99 tracking AF-D. Those lenses are no where to be seen right now.

How can Pentax stay ahead of the competition? What are they going to offer in a DSLR that will appeal to people outside of the existing user base? What technology does Ricoh have as an advantage over Sony, Olympus, Panasonic, Samsung, or Fuji? Samsung has 20% market share in imaging sensors. Fuji & Panasonic have a partnership in sensor technology. Olympus and Sony are working together. Fujinon and Olympus both make premium glass. Sony has Zeiss and owns part of Tamron, Samsung has Schneider, Panasonic is working with Leica. When was the last time Ricoh produced premium glass? Pentax is just a brand name and Hoya apparently fired the most talented lens designers Pentax had.

09-16-2014, 06:19 PM   #200
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kunzite Quote
But Ricoh is investing, and is interested in photography... why do you think they bought Pentax?
Like all businesses they bought it because they believed it was a good investment where they could make money and it was related to their main business focus. That's not a bad thing and it doesn't mean that they are wild about photography. I'm certain that they have a lot of very sharp people running the organization and they seem to me to be making the moves that make them the most money. I'm not sure though if catering to us "enthusiasts" with expensive to produce product is a big money maker? Going head to head with Canon and Nikon probably isn't a good idea. Making a BIG move into the medium format market is a FANTASTIC idea as well as making lots of cool, colored entry level cameras. I think they will do well but I don't know if we will.....
09-16-2014, 06:31 PM   #201
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QuoteOriginally posted by woodywesty Quote
I think they will do well but I don't know if we will.....
They want to make serious cameras and lenses, but they are pragmatists. Look at the quality of Ricoh copiers - they're bomb-proof. They know how to make stuff, and how to make it right the first time and make it better the next time - over and over and over.

In order to do well for us they have to do the other things first. We need to learn to be patient.
09-16-2014, 06:41 PM   #202
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
They want to make serious cameras and lenses, but they are pragmatists. Look at the quality of Ricoh copiers - they're bomb-proof. They know how to make stuff, and how to make it right the first time and make it better the next time - over and over and over.

In order to do well for us they have to do the other things first. We need to learn to be patient.
Well, that's true and they're doing pretty good so far but patience is a young mans game.... I'm getting close to the "circling the drain" generation so I want it now. And I think that the DA*300 and 1.4 TC is going to fill most of my needs. If I had the money I'd go ahead and get the Sigma 300mm 2.8 but that's twice the money of the DA*300 and TC for one f stop. I'm going to enjoy the DA*300 and see where it takes me and if I miss the drain who knows what I might buy next! ;-)
09-16-2014, 06:59 PM   #203
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kunzite Quote
But Ricoh is investing, and is interested in photography... why do you think they bought Pentax?
I'm not trying to extrapolate by analogy but there aren't any automatic answers to your question. For example... did Boeing buy McDonnell Douglas to grow the MD-11 and MD-80 airframes?

09-16-2014, 07:37 PM   #204
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QuoteOriginally posted by IchabodCrane Quote
I'm not trying to extrapolate by analogy but there aren't any automatic answers to your question. For example... did Boeing buy McDonnell Douglas to grow the MD-11 and MD-80 airframes?
To flog the analogy, no - but they sure do make use of the Douglas Long Beach and Seal Beach assembly facilities. And McAuto sure does own a bucket of useful patents.
09-16-2014, 09:01 PM   #205
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Well I'm optimistic for the future of the K-mount and very encouraged by the PF Photokina interview

  • "To be honest, there is the effect [of the market downturn], but we are still on track to be improving."
  • "we have two parallel lines, one to attract the Pentax core fans, and we want to change and continue the innovation lines to attract new generations of customers"
  • "we do believe we have really nice core fans for Pentax K-mount DSLR cameras"
  • "we value the still image rather than videos"
  • "we have a variety of choices about which areas we will going to upgrade or implement. So, please look forward to what will be the answer from Pentax."
  • "our engineers are engaged in the development of full-frames"
  • "Firstly, we thank you for all the members who are joining Pentax Forums, because we do believe you give a good overview to our body of customers."
  • "At the same time you [PF] are a really nice influence for our new customers. So, we see the forum as a nice platform to communicate the [philosophy] of Pentax, really thank you."
Thanks Adam and PF staff for organising the interview, and thanks to Ricoh's Hiraku Kawauchi and Kazunobu Saiki for their openness.
09-17-2014, 01:18 AM   #206
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QuoteOriginally posted by IchabodCrane Quote
I'm not trying to extrapolate by analogy but there aren't any automatic answers to your question. For example... did Boeing buy McDonnell Douglas to grow the MD-11 and MD-80 airframes?
I'm not looking for automatic answers, but ones which fits the subject being discussed.
Ricoh's camera business was a money losing hobby. By acquiring Pentax, Ricoh was able not only to seriously get into some non-consumer markets like Factory Automation, but also to have a viable camera business, one they can grow.
I don't think Boeing needed McDonnell Douglas to save their aircraft business, so I wouldn't attempt an analogy

woodywesty: of course they want to make money, that should be a Duh! Which company doesn't?
I agree with you about not going head to head with Canikon, attempting it would be suicide. But, they are investing and they are working on things, perhaps not at the pace we'd like. It's a mistake to assume Ricoh would throw money at Pentax, proportionally to the entire corporation's size - and without caring about ROI. If that's what you were talking about, then we agree.
But I would rather discuss them starting from more realistic expectations.
09-17-2014, 01:14 PM   #207
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
To flog the analogy, no - but they sure do make use of the Douglas Long Beach and Seal Beach assembly facilities. And McAuto sure does own a bucket of useful patents.

Finally something I can speak inteligently about (happens once in a blue moon).

I have intimate experience with both sides of this (Long Beach, Seal Beach and St Louis) and how it effected them.

Boeing bought McD to 1) kill a competitor to their commercial product lines and 2) get a foothold in the military market, which McD had in St Louis.

I think 1) doesnt apply to Ricoh-Pentax, but 2) certainly does as they wanted to get a foothold in the DSLR/Lens selling business.



Shortly after Boeing bought McD, they pretty much canned all of McD commercial in Long Beach, and to this day it is a ghost town where McD used to pump out DC10/MD11, MD80 etc. All that is left are the support centers of the McD commercial world.

Regarding military, the defense industry was doing OK during the time of the merger, but the need for military aircraft soon plummetted (DSLRs maybe?) and Boeing was left with an entire wing of their business that wasn't nearly as profitable as they had hoped and was a hassle to manage. To this day, it is really debateable how serious Boeing still is about their defense products. Like I said, being intimate with the St Louis facility, one can easily make a case for both sides of the argument (that they are or are not serious about their defense products).

But what isn't up to debate is that Boeing pours a lot more resources into commercial than defense. And yes, the defense side is still profitable, but that does not equate to more "exciting products". It means that they are creating more variants of existing products (F-15, F-18 variants), and taking less risk.



So...is there some buyer's remorse from Ricoh for buying Pentax right before (or at least the start of) the decline of DSLR markets? Maybe not, but even the staunchest Ricoh backer has to admit that there is the that possibility.

Now, don't think I am saying that Ricoh plans to not develop the K-mount any further. But i think there is a real possibility that they continue to do small things that don't excite many people (HD coatings, adding DC motors and WR to existing lenses) but still allow them to be profitable.
09-18-2014, 03:17 PM   #208
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QuoteOriginally posted by ogl Quote
Nikon offers D750, Ricoh - K-S1. Feel the difference.

---------- Post added 09-12-2014 at 12:14 AM ----------



You chose wrong brand.
I did.. I did not know that photography would become such a serious hobby. I need sponsors :P
09-18-2014, 03:34 PM   #209
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QuoteOriginally posted by cali92rs Quote
I have intimate experience with both sides of this (Long Beach, Seal Beach and St Louis) and how it effected them.
This was the meaning of my obtuse reference.



Pentax factory in a Park - now a Hoya manufacturing facility. I wonder what the allocated cost of acquisition was.
09-19-2014, 05:55 AM   #210
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kunzite Quote
I'm not looking for automatic answers, but ones which fits the subject being discussed.
Ricoh's camera business was a money losing hobby. By acquiring Pentax, Ricoh was able not only to seriously get into some non-consumer markets like Factory Automation, but also to have a viable camera business, one they can grow.
I don't think Boeing needed McDonnell Douglas to save their aircraft business, so I wouldn't attempt an analogy

woodywesty: of course they want to make money, that should be a Duh! Which company doesn't?
I agree with you about not going head to head with Canikon, attempting it would be suicide. But, they are investing and they are working on things, perhaps not at the pace we'd like. It's a mistake to assume Ricoh would throw money at Pentax, proportionally to the entire corporation's size - and without caring about ROI. If that's what you were talking about, then we agree.
But I would rather discuss them starting from more realistic expectations.

We agree! Its just going to be a slow process but I do wish they communicated more with their fan base...

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