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05-28-2009, 09:11 AM   #1
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Hoya/Pentax a change in thinking?

With all the buzz right now about the K-7 (not just here but all over the net) I was wondering if we are overlooking a new level of thinking at Pentax. With the old company, MF was there professional line and 35mm was an amature/semi-pro line. (yes I realize many pros have and still use Pentax cameras but it is a marketing thing.) Everybody seems to think Pentax is too small of a company to go up against the giants (Canikon), but does Hoya? According to a recent report I have seen here, (don't have a link to the thread) Hoya has predicted a 48%increase in units shipped fo this FY. (feel fre to correct me if I got the number wrong). Hoya also ressurected the 645D an obvious move aimed to bring studio Pros back to Pentax. Pentax is pushing rugged, weathersealed affordable bodies with unique features and arguably Pro-Specs. Is Hoya looking to take a stab at sports and wildlife pros? Why not with a pentax system you can buy a MF for your studio shots, use the MF lenses on your DSLR saving money on the expensive glass. Purchase multiple bodies for less than a single Pro body from you competitor. With APS-C use less expensive shorter lenses to achieve roughly the same image as a FF counterpart (DA*200 f2.8 vs 300 f2.8 for example).
Does anybody else think Hoya may see an opportunity to chip away at the dominance of Canikon in the world outside of the sutdio?
It also seems to me that the K10, and K20 were cameras that were designed more to keep current Pentax users with Pentax as opposed to trying to get other brand users to switch. With the K-7 it seems Hoya is trying to make current Canikon users (and other brands as well) think twice. If this trend continues I see very good things for the future of Hoya/Pentax.
I think one way we will be able to tell if thinking this is close to Pentax's line of reasoning will be to watch for change or modifications to Pentax's Pro servicing Plan.
Just because other companies have a higher R-D budget doesn't mean they are unstopable. There are many many example of small companies developing better products and taking a bite out of their competition.
So heres to the future and lets see where Hoya/Pentax goes.

Erik

mods not sure whether to put this here or in everything else, so I'll let you decide

05-28-2009, 09:40 AM   #2
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This is not a new policy but must be over ten years old. It just take long to implement. The message back then was that Pentax will move into higher end and niche. The first Limited lens, the 43mm/1.9, was to test the waters for en exclusive Pentax item. That was the reason for the Limited name as well; if it failed they could say it was a limited edition anyway.
05-28-2009, 09:47 AM   #3
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I like your thinking; I know zero about this stuff, but I hope you are right.
05-28-2009, 09:49 AM   #4
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I mean by change of thinking I referring to getting more sports and wildlife pros interested in Pentax. Perhaps trying to capture more of that market segment. Perhaps offering affordable cameras with the needs of professional photographers in mind. I guess you could say, widening the niche. While the K-7 doesn't truely compete with the top spec'd offerings of the big guys, it is a definent shot accross the bow, and perhaps a warning saying "here we come". I hope it lives up to all the hype ( and don't see why it won't).

05-28-2009, 09:57 AM   #5
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As an outdoor photographer myself, I can clearly see the need for a small, sturdy weather-sealed camera (and lenses). Bulk and weight is an anchor for outdoor use. Theres definitely an unexplored niche here; Nikon and Canons offerings are brutally large and heavy on par with Pentax medium format!
I hope Pentax weather seal the 645D and it's lenses as well truly signaling that this is not a studio system. Pentax MF systems have always catered to the landscape photographer over the studio shooter. No wonder they will emphasize this aspect even further...
05-28-2009, 11:24 AM   #6
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It appears that Hoya has continued the tradition of "Bang for the Buck." God Bless them!!!
05-28-2009, 11:26 AM   #7
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I think Hoya has a higher goal than Pentax had.
To use Pentax now-how, understanding of customers
and to use Pentax tradition Hoya can make Pentax "big"
by using Hoyas now-how in marketing and slim economic thinking.

K7 looks very good, but after Hoyas takeover we have seen
worse service(now "my" Swedish Pentax site are run from Hamburg
next year from Paris and no newsletter as before), waiting for lenses
(reconstruct and ?), small areas at exhibitions as Photokina and so on.
So Hoya can also be a bureaucratic top that stop Pentax to come out
with products in time...

K10 was a rely good camera that got prices from Europe and Japan.
It was weathersealed, had SR and was very cheap...

But if Hoya can hold their fingers from everything Pentax doing,
Pentax can have peace to make the products that we want(and in time).

But to beat Canicon? no it´s enough to(try to) beat Sony/Olympus.
05-28-2009, 11:28 AM   #8
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perhaps this is by design, perhaps not but... sort of a long story but it points to what I think the pentax appeal is and how they can develop that into a larger company.

I started photography with a canon s2 is as a christmas present, I liked taking pictures as a kid so my parents bought a good point and shoot camera. With this fantastic zoom range I learned I liked photographing some things over others, mainly wildlife. As I grew older I wanted to take it more seriously...I started using in program or full manual mode, learning new techniques and what not. What happened is I stumbled upon what I believe to be a lifelong passion.

I am a college student, not a ton of money but I work as well so I've got some disposable income. I chose to use my tax rebate on a DSLR kit that would allow me to grow as a photographer. I was sold on the d300 until I saw the k20d. The value was better to me not only for the body but all the accessories. Not just for what I could afford now but in the future as well. The body has its drawbacks but overall I will be able to take more pictures with different techniques due to the fact that pentax stuff just plain costs less. d90 changed things a but but I decided to go with weather sealing over video.

The future? I plan on being a wildlife shooter and a damn good one. Pentax is a little limited right now in its long telephotos but I see that changing. This new "super telephoto" could be a game changer and the DA* 200 and 300mm lenses are steals at under 1k most places. In the mean time I can throw a WR kit lens for those rainy oregon camping trips and not worry about damaging a $3,000 lens because I wanted to push the limits of my equipment and myself. I can also reach a quality 300mm f/4 that is image stabilized MUCH faster than other systems. Finally, the introduction of the k7 shows me that pentax is not only willing but capable of producing competing equipment that still holds the value of the pentax line.

In short, their value brought me here and unless they royally screw something up, they've got a life long customer. If hoya really is playing the "long con" and getting new customers with quality, affordable gear and as they progress moving into more expensive equipment then they are a far better off than many people would indicate. They types of companies that grow customers are the types that survive a long time.

Pentax: Keep making rugged outdoor based gear and I will keep buying it. Come to Oregon, we've got plenty of outdoor photographers. I think the best marketing ploy you could use is get canikon shooters together, give them some pentax gear like a k7 and some nice glass and say "push it to its limits".

05-28-2009, 06:53 PM   #9
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I've used pentax gear to shoot snowmobile races in -20f weather (pz1p) I've watched my camera bag with my K10 and $3000 worth of lenses fly off of a pack horse hell bent on destroying everything in her pack and seen my gear continue to function. I hope Hoya/Pentax appreciates the potential they have in outdoor/sports photography and will try to exploit that. Hopefully customer service will not be the area they choose to try to cut costs on. I have read many horror stories about people trying to get gear serviced. To be honest it seems many of them are with second party operations, not Pentax directly. I think if enough people feel Pentax is lacking on service, instead of complaining here on a reletively obscure forum, we should address our complaints directly to Pentax in your respective country/locality. It would seem Pentax has been responsive of many of our wishes with the K-7, so lets see what Hoya/Pentax will do to support us. One thing to remember, no matter how great the product, the company will fail if nobody purchases it. Think of the Vector Supercar, tons of potential, mismanaged into oblivion, now relegated to the oscure annals of past dreams which never came to fruition.

Erik
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