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01-21-2009, 11:59 PM   #136
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QuoteOriginally posted by lol101 Quote
Ultimately, I think the "niche" argument a little bit dangerous when it is used to put aside sales figures as "non important because we are different, thus the market rules don't really apply to us".

I don't think Hoya's people see it that way...
Unless Hoya is willing to invest a *lot* more money to produce a whole range of new products on a regular basis, along with real marketing muscle to grab shelf space and mind share, they have no right to see it any other way.

01-22-2009, 01:56 AM   #137
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Mmm Hoya said they were looking at Pentax being a niche player. That's official.

Now, what is their true intentions, who knows ?
01-22-2009, 02:16 AM   #138
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QuoteOriginally posted by GaryM Quote
Unless Hoya is willing to invest a *lot* more money to produce a whole range of new products on a regular basis, along with real marketing muscle to grab shelf space and mind share, they have no right to see it any other way.
Then all they have to do is define clearly (and pass the message to the prospective buyers) what niche they're after... and issue products accordingly.

Maybe 2009 will see this direction getting clearer, it's urgently needed IMO.
01-22-2009, 02:19 AM   #139
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QuoteOriginally posted by thibs Quote
Mmm Hoya said they were looking at Pentax being a niche player. That's official.

Now, what is their true intentions, who knows ?
Well, it is not enough to just say so... you also have to define what you call your niche and pass the message to the prospective buyers (ie position yourself clearly).

If I understood well the last interviews from Pentax (Hoya?)'s exec, the new marketing motto is "be different": 2009 should be the year they clearly show in what sense they want to be perceived as "different" and the corresponding line of products.

01-22-2009, 03:53 AM   #140
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and if their "niche" position is going to be high-spec ENTRY level dslr's, then I foresee a parting of the ways between then and me pretty soon..

I want a brand that I can grow my photography with, not a brand that I always end up sitting at the kiddies table with at every function...
01-22-2009, 07:47 AM   #141
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QuoteOriginally posted by StephenG Quote
and if their "niche" position is going to be high-spec ENTRY level dslr's, then I foresee a parting of the ways between then and me pretty soon..

I want a brand that I can grow my photography with, not a brand that I always end up sitting at the kiddies table with at every function...
1000% agreed.
01-22-2009, 09:52 AM   #142
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I just don't get the inferiority complex stuff. Wonder how Canon and Nikon owners felt ten years ago when they weren't even included in the B&H Professional Photo Source Book. 608 pages of professional photography equipment and Canon was not included anywhere. Nikon only was included for their large format lenses. Pentax had multi-page sections for 645 and 67. The little tiny format of the day--35mm was not considered professional--no matter how many frames per second a Canon could rip out...nor how many big white lenses they could boast at Wimbledon.

Coming from that background, I could care less how much market share those other companies have. Doesn't your Pentax shoot the images you want? If not try another brand, bet theirs won't shoot images any better since, after all, it's the shooter not the equipment that makes great images.

If you want to feel superior, buy into the Leica system and spend the necessary dollars. Then you can shoot the same pictures--manual focus only by the way--but feel better about yourself while doing it.

You should know by now, Pentax will build whatever they want with virtually no input from North American or European photographers and our fragile egos are of absolutely no concern to Pentax. Get over it and go shoot!

Last edited by Ron Boggs; 01-22-2009 at 09:59 AM. Reason: add a word
01-22-2009, 11:07 AM   #143
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How true!!!

QuoteOriginally posted by Ron Boggs Quote

You should know by now, Pentax will build whatever they want with virtually no input from North American or European photographers and our fragile egos are of absolutely no concern to Pentax. Get over it and go shoot!
Now that is hitting the nail on the head. Since I'm fairly sure Canon or Nikon won't be developing what I want I'm hoping Hoya is taking Pentax in a niche direction that fits my needs/wants. Because of the economy I'm not going to be holding my breath for them to hit the market with anything I want this year.

01-22-2009, 11:47 AM   #144
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A little dangerous...

QuoteOriginally posted by Ron Boggs Quote
I just don't get the inferiority complex stuff. Wonder how Canon and Nikon owners felt ten years ago when they weren't even included in the B&H Professional Photo Source Book. 608 pages of professional photography equipment and Canon was not included anywhere. Nikon only was included for their large format lenses. Pentax had multi-page sections for 645 and 67. The little tiny format of the day--35mm was not considered professional--no matter how many frames per second a Canon could rip out...nor how many big white lenses they could boast at Wimbledon.
Now while I agree with you in general, then I do think that your approach is dangerous, sure 10 years ago, the big two were not considered professional, but things have changed a fair bit over the last 10 years and today they are.

QuoteOriginally posted by Ron Boggs Quote
Coming from that background, I could care less how much market share those other companies have. Doesn't your Pentax shoot the images you want? If not try another brand, bet theirs won't shoot images any better since, after all, it's the shooter not the equipment that makes great images.
Well as long as pentax sells enough to survive all is well, but the situation is different than it was 10 years ago, very different and it is a diffferent market out there. a lot of the companies that were professional 10 years ago, are not around at all anymore. So what was true 10 years ago, may not apply today.

QuoteOriginally posted by Ron Boggs Quote
If you want to feel superior, buy into the Leica system and spend the necessary dollars. Then you can shoot the same pictures--manual focus only by the way--but feel better about yourself while doing it.
now that I comment I am not sure i understand at all, nor are the leica users I have met feeling superior, they ust shoot something different than I do.

QuoteOriginally posted by Ron Boggs Quote
You should know by now, Pentax will build whatever they want with virtually no input from North American or European photographers and our fragile egos are of absolutely no concern to Pentax. Get over it and go shoot!
Too true... but for people to want more from Pentax is not a bad thing, is it?
01-22-2009, 01:05 PM   #145
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If I sound cynical and jaded it's because I am. After spending maybe ten years wishing Pentax would keep up at least the appearance of competing with the market topping ideas of the day...I've given up, and long ago too. But I just can't spend time feeling inferior.

Funny thing is, the stuff Pentax comes up with just keeps catching my fancy and capturing great images--in spite of itself--as a market watch might imply.

When Pentax started building digital SLR's did you buy in? When they came out with extreme quality Limited and * lenses...did you buy in? Have you upgraded from one Pentax SLR to a newer and supposedly better one? Have you added a Pentax accessory item or two and maybe a digital point and shoot with the Pentax name on it?

Pentax will continue to do fine in spite of all the worries we've all harbored for DECADES. There are many dozens of smaller companies that manage to survive in the marketplace. Pentax will too. Hell, when I bought my first 600/4 *lens back about 15 years ago, two stores told me Pentax was doomed any day and certain to go out of business and render my lens moot. Well, a buddy is using that lens and I got the silver FA* 600 and geez it all works. Every now and then another photog in a public place gives me the warning as well. Ho hum...as frequently as most of us on this forum upgrade our kits, a total changeover in the event of Pentax's demise wouldn't be that different than our buying habits today--bet your most used body and top two lenses weren't in your kit 5 years ago! If they were, then you almost certainly have an understanding of the Pentax mystique--which will continue for many years to come.

P.S. I'm up for full frame any time now! Scary big, fast new supertele DA* lens would be nice. 8 or 10 frames a second would be pretty nice. Resurgence of medium format and/or digital medium format would be up my alley. I have a wish list too, and dang it would be nice if Pentax would get their heads out of the sand and act on this stuff already. But in the meantime, I don't feel inferior when someone shooting the other brands sees me in public...
01-22-2009, 01:19 PM   #146
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Continuing the rant. The idea that Pentax is a niche product. I've said that myself. Then several posts bring up the very valid point that Pentax should clearly choose a niche and clearly market to that niche. Very sound thinking.

So what is Pentax's niche? It's not medium format, it's not panoramic cameras, it's not studio gear, but really, what is the Pentax niche?

On a silly note, I vote that the Pentax niche is something akin to, "We're the little guys--and we're easy to deal with too." That type of niche doesn't restrict the product offerings to a certain niche...only the corporate image...
01-22-2009, 04:19 PM   #147
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Ron, I'd have to agree with that, I went with Pentax to be different, to get all those nice little extra's (features/lower price) you get from the under dog trying to grab sales from the 2 big incumbents. That's the niche market I hope they stay with!
01-22-2009, 05:01 PM   #148
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ron Boggs Quote

On a silly note, I vote that the Pentax niche is something akin to, "We're the little guys--and we're easy to deal with too." That type of niche doesn't restrict the product offerings to a certain niche...only the corporate image...
Actually, if they went with, "Pentax - we're not Canikon" they'd probably do fine as well.

Some people like different, especially if it performs in a manner that they can use. I was looking online at Nikon lenses today and I see NOTHING that has the vibe of any of the FA ltd lenses. I do not see a 77ltd equivalent. While some may offer up a variant of the 85, it just doesn't look or handle like the Pentax ltd. Now for some that doesn't matter, but for others it does. While the image is the primary focus, photography is a process. For some people the form and function are intertwined. This is where Pentax could find a niche. Essentially great form with function for a reasonable price. Don't compete with Canikon on specs, but rather on a mix of style and substance and attitude.

Quirky sells. And if quirky also has quality, it'll sell even more.
01-22-2009, 06:50 PM   #149
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I am not really concerned about Pentax's niche, I am concerned about Pentax's existence. If you haven't noticed, the world isnt exactly in the best economic state. If you dont turn a profit, chances are you won't be around much longer. So if Pentax isn't profitable, guess what, bye-bye!!
01-23-2009, 12:15 AM   #150
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ron Boggs Quote
You should know by now, Pentax will build whatever they want with virtually no input from North American or European photographers!
Well with their market share in Japan down from almost 5% to 1.6%, maybe they should be listening more to users in other regions

Who really knows what they are going to do in the future, Hoya's long term goals may well be very different to the old Pentax board...

Last edited by joele; 01-23-2009 at 12:24 AM.
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