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Pentax (cameras) will get ever stronger with the support of Hoya 8456.38%
Pentax will continue to play as a niche but minor player and nothing will change 3221.48%
Hoya will sell the Pentax's camera division and brand eventually to 3rd party 2818.79%
Hoya will dismiss the Pentax camera division 53.36%
Voters: 149. You may not vote on this poll

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05-25-2007, 06:42 PM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by Classvino Quote
Idle speculation - not accurate... not valuable... why bother?
OK.. then how about a little puff piece then..........
SLR pioneer missed jump to digital | The Japan Times Online
................................
As the first Japanese company to commercialize a single-lens reflex camera for 35mm film, Pentax Corp. has a storied history. But that history may have prevented it from advancing into the digital age and delayed a crucial decision to be absorbed by Hoya Corp. for its own survival.
Pentax employees are more like artisans than cost-conscious businesspeople, explained Ryosuke Katsura, a senior analyst at Mizuho Securities Co.
"They believe good products should naturally sell well, and care less about such things as cost-benefit performance," Katsura said.

Pentax, in dire need of capital to develop digital products, agreed in December to merge with leading optical glass maker Hoya Corp. But after Hoya executives signaled that it might sell off the camera division after the merger, Pentax executives staged a coup in April and kicked President Fumio Urano off the board to scrap the plan. Urano was the main proponent of the surprise merger.

In the end, however, faced with unhappy investors and an unhelpful stock market, the Pentax board had no choice but to accept the Hoya takeover and performed an about-face. The confusion, Katsura said, was a symptom of Pentax's traditional corporate culture.

Pentax Director Shinichiro Mitsuhashi said the camera maker's management style is like that in "a back-street factory," whereas Hoya takes a rational approach and puts profit above all else.

"It's not that easy to integrate," Mitsuhashi reportedly said at a news conference May 11.

Pentax got its start as Asahi Optical Joint Stock Co. in 1919, a small factory that produced lenses for eyeglasses. After the family-run factory burned down during the air raids of World War II, it was reborn as a producer of binoculars and telescopes.

Asahi Optical finally made a name for itself in 1952, when it introduced the first Japanese 35mm single-lens reflex camera.........ect
Found it a bit heartwarming. Seems I'm already getting nostalgic for the old days


05-28-2007, 02:35 AM   #17
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I chose "stay a niche player" but lean towards in between that and " Pentax (cameras) will get ever stronger".

Canon and Nikon are tremendous competitors for Hoya-Pentax to tackle and probably never will. But if Hoya can instill better, western marketing and sales management then probably some of that income will go to better technology development and acquisition.

I think those who suggest Hoya will dump or sell Pentax camera business speak with their heart not their head.

Hoya, I have learned from all the babble, is Japan's biggest optical glass maker. It is still to some degree good business sense to have some vertical integration, therefore I think it's probably very attractive for an optical glass manufacturer to also own and manage an optical lens design manufacturer: leverage your product portfolio, especially the Japanese 'keep it in the family' practice.

As someone who works in technology product development, from experience companies with both a popular or retail products division and a medical or similar niche industrial technology division often use income from the former to fund the latter. Revenue is often higher, more consistent and predictable, however profit margins are lower compared to medical or similar niche industrial technology products. These have extremely high development costs, limited customers and very seasonal or cyclical purchasing patterns. Often service and parts fees add significant %age to income. As well, growth potential often is estimated quite high, as opposed to often lower for mass market popular or retail products. On paper then, a niche industrial technology division, like medical optical products, looks more attractive to the investment and M&A crowd. Numerous examples of technology company acquisitions have shown that one can't survive without the other or similar model as replacement. Acquiring companies and casual onlookers often fail to account for this.
05-28-2007, 01:23 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by RiceHigh Quote
That's what I think too. Especially about the cripped K-mount and traditional TTL flash support, which are the two major dirty spot which Pentax made to us, their long-time old users and supporters.
But then Pentax can really force their users to buy newer lenses and flashes by doing so in certain extents. However, their shortsighting makes them sell less cameras and they forget they are not Canon and Nikon and even they do the same thing as C and N, the effect and outcomes will not be the same!
I'm a noob to the industry, but a few cripples versus little to no legacy support on some C&N models is not quite the same thing.

QuoteOriginally posted by Donald Quote
I chose "stay a niche player" but lean towards in between that and " Pentax (cameras) will get ever stronger".
Canon and Nikon are tremendous competitors for Hoya-Pentax to tackle and probably never will. But if Hoya can instill better, western marketing and sales management then probably some of that income will go to better technology development and acquisition.
I think those who suggest Hoya will dump or sell Pentax camera business speak with their heart not their head.
People also need to remember that Pentax has also entered the Point'n Shoot market, hovering at the $100 price point!
That can't be good for business, and that might be most of what Hoya means by sticking with the "higher end camera" business.

They need to have 1-2 solid products -- like they do with the K100D and K10D now -- and go on volume.
As I mentioned before, Pentax's dSLR sales in 2006 December versus those now in 2007 April/May are worlds of difference with a 250% increase over the year prior with the ist D and others.

So, in the worst case on those statements, I see Hoya milking the existing 6MP (K100D) and 10MP (K10D) designs, maybe coming out with one more 10MP, improved APS-C sized model after the K10D.
Maybe that's what they want to do while producing a few more APS-C lenses, and then dropping the line, if the sales don't keep going to make it worth their while to maintain at least a single, "higher end' APS-C sized sensor.
In either case, I see those of us entering the dSLR arena with the K100D possibly being the "last generation."

Maybe they are really looking at seeing if they are going to stick with full frame, or maybe just drop completely into the medium format and nothing else.
Maybe they'll introduce yet another "cripple" K-mount to push newer lens sales for the newer full frame cameras, but I really don't see them doing much more.
While there is a lot of M, AF, etc... glass out there, I see Hoya still seeing a lot of glass regardless.

QuoteOriginally posted by Donald Quote
Hoya, I have learned from all the babble, is Japan's biggest optical glass maker. It is still to some degree good business sense to have some vertical integration, therefore I think it's probably very attractive for an optical glass manufacturer to also own and manage an optical lens design manufacturer: leverage your product portfolio, especially the Japanese 'keep it in the family' practice.
As someone who works in technology product development, from experience companies with both a popular or retail products division and a medical or similar niche industrial technology division often use income from the former to fund the latter. Revenue is often higher, more consistent and predictable, however profit margins are lower compared to medical or similar niche industrial technology products. These have extremely high development costs, limited customers and very seasonal or cyclical purchasing patterns. Often service and parts fees add significant %age to income. As well, growth potential often is estimated quite high, as opposed to often lower for mass market popular or retail products. On paper then, a niche industrial technology division, like medical optical products, looks more attractive to the investment and M&A crowd. Numerous examples of technology company acquisitions have shown that one can't survive without the other or similar model as replacement. Acquiring companies and casual onlookers often fail to account for this.
And as an American engineer who deals with American businesses all-the-time, it's hard to get them to stick with a solid market that still makes them money -- no matter how much I make the sell on microeconomics and risk.
They only stick with it when it screws over the customer, but screw them just short of "too much" so they will still buy the required, new products.
Now that's American businesses market, so I don't know what a Japanese company will do.

If I was in charge, I would drop the entire Point'n Shoot line, consider if the entry-level dSLR is worth it, which really depends on what Pentax is doing at the high-end.
Right now the K100D and K10D are an excellent $500-1,000 1-2 punch that is selling new DA glass, and sales are up -- way, way up -- something Hoya is not doing well to address right now, after talking when the outlook was more bleak in December.
But if Hoya sees a limited future for that, again, I think they will continue to milk the existing 6MP products and then possibly only a revision of the 10MP product before dropping.
I don't see how they couldn't with the volume now -- especially selling newer, lighter glass in the APS-C -- at least for the next few years.

But maybe they only see a future of $1,000+ products, and maybe that means sticking with full-frame, possibly getting on with finally releasing a medium format.
If that is the case, I'm not worried since Hoya will still probably keep the K-mount going, and I'll still have products do use on even the K100D.
I plan on keeping the K100D for a long, long time, even if I hand it down to my wife in 5 years.
Because if Hoya keeps Pentax moving forward, even if efficiently (1-2 products) while still keeping some glass compatibility, I'll probably buy one of their $1,000+ products in 5 years when I want to move beyond the K100D.

Just my view -- an utter SLR noob, but an engineer who sees the sense in Hoya not dropping the camera products, especially since sales have changed from December.
Hoya better realize that, before they really do lose out on some very profitable moves with their current, 6-month aged comments.
05-28-2007, 03:07 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by Classvino Quote
Idle speculation - not accurate... not valuable... why bother?
QuoteOriginally posted by jeffkrol Quote
OK.. then how about a little puff piece then.........
Slightly better - Only slightly...

It'd be nice to discuss photography, or photographic equipment or techniques with the same amount of input and fervour that this type of thread seem to generate... Call me selfish and callous, but I came to this forum to learn what I could to make myself a better photographer (and I use the term rather loosely in reference to myself...) not to learn about what so-and-so or what-his-face think about a business merger in Japan...

No offense intended to anyone (this is a personal opinion in a rant against personal opinions - go figure), but what is it that makes anyone think that someone else could possibly care what they think about a situation like this about which they have very little concrete information, and very little (none, actually) impact on the outcome ?

Cause and effect - your camera, lenses, and other assorted bits will work the same tomorrow as they did today, whether Hoya, Ford, or McDonald's buys the company. Or are we all caught up in some trans-dimensional Butterfly-effect sort of thing, where all our cameras will no longer be useable after the ink on the contract dries? Where's Fox Mulder when you need him?

And I know - why can't I just ignore the threads I don't want to read ? It's weird - I can't stop myself....

Sorry ... ... Carry on...

05-28-2007, 04:20 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by Classvino Quote
Slightly better - Only slightly...

It'd be nice to discuss photography, or photographic equipment or techniques with the same amount of input and fervour that this type of thread seem to generate... Call me selfish and callous, but I came to this forum to learn what I could to make myself a better photographer (and I use the term rather loosely in reference to myself...) not to learn about what so-and-so or what-his-face think about a business merger in Japan...

No offense intended to anyone (this is a personal opinion in a rant against personal opinions - go figure), but what is it that makes anyone think that someone else could possibly care what they think about a situation like this about which they have very little concrete information, and very little (none, actually) impact on the outcome ?

Cause and effect - your camera, lenses, and other assorted bits will work the same tomorrow as they did today, whether Hoya, Ford, or McDonald's buys the company. Or are we all caught up in some trphoans-dimensional Butterfly-effect sort of thing, where all our cameras will no longer be useable after the ink on the contract dries? Where's Fox Mulder when you need him?

And I know - why can't I just ignore the threads I don't want to read ? It's weird - I can't stop myself....

Sorry ... ... Carry on...
Sorry to bust your rant, but business IS part of photography. And it's expected that people talk about the merger since this IS a PENTAX forum, not just some general photography site.

It just so happens that some people care about the brand they use more than others. A lot of them might have a substantial investment in the brand and system already, and wouldn't want to have to trade dollars for pennies when they'd have to sell their equipment or be forced to move on to another brand if the one they're using dies. You can rant about how people think their cameras wouldn't work once the ink on the contract dies up, but the fact is, cameras WILL die eventually. If the company died long before one's camera breaks down, there's only so few who you could trust to fix his/her camera and expect it to work like before. Good if you're using a basic manual film camera. But what if you're using a DSLR with all the circuitry and electronics that go in there?

There's more to people concerned about the merger than just paranoia.

You can always ignore threads like these, and still get wonderful tips and techniques at other threads.
05-28-2007, 09:58 PM   #21
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Hoya will sell Pentax to Nikon and Canon 50/50. They will then shut down all operations and fire all employees. On April 1, 2008 they will make a large effigy of the Pentax logo and hang it in the parking lot of the closed Comp USA in Woodland Hills, CA. The CEO's of both Nikon and Canon will then light the effigy with a pack of matches picked up at a Waffle House in Multrie, GA and drink a 24oz can of Steel Reserve in honor of their conquest.

After that I heard something about midgets and peanut oil....but that's just an unconfirmed story at this time.
05-29-2007, 04:37 AM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by dwinnert Quote
Hoya will sell Pentax to Nikon and Canon 50/50. They will then shut down all operations and fire all employees. On April 1, 2008 they will make a large effigy of the Pentax logo and hang it in the parking lot of the closed Comp USA in Woodland Hills, CA. The CEO's of both Nikon and Canon will then light the effigy with a pack of matches picked up at a Waffle House in Multrie, GA and drink a 24oz can of Steel Reserve in honor of their conquest.

After that I heard something about midgets and peanut oil....but that's just an unconfirmed story at this time.
I heard, from some unnamed source, that uncle Phil was invited as well.
05-31-2007, 09:20 AM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by vinzer Quote
...business IS part of photography...
Yeah. Between the cameras, lenses, and their effects on my bank account - I had noticed. However, business seems to be the only part of photography we cannot directly affect. Unless you're a Pentax or Hoya exec. that is... The artistic and technical sides of photography are the reasons we're all here...

QuoteOriginally posted by vinzer Quote
It just so happens that some people care about the brand they use more than others.
It seems, at times, that the brand of the equipment, and the business practices of the company making the equipment, seem to have taken precedence over the function of the equipment.

QuoteOriginally posted by vinzer Quote
A lot of them might have a substantial investment in the brand and system already, and wouldn't want to have to trade dollars for pennies when they'd have to sell their equipment or be forced to move on to another brand if the one they're using dies.
That applies to me as well. I've been using Pentax cameras almost exclusively for 30 years. And my decision to continue using Pentax each time I upgraded was based on my assessment of how the piece of equipment I was buying suited my needs and my budget, and how I could leverage (you're probably surprised I know a business term like that... I guess my MBA studies haven't been completely wasted...) the equipment I already owned; not just because it had PENTAX on the label.

QuoteOriginally posted by vinzer Quote
You can rant about how people think their cameras wouldn't work once the ink on the contract dies up, but the fact is, cameras WILL die eventually. If the company died long before one's camera breaks down, there's only so few who you could trust to fix his/her camera and expect it to work like before. Good if you're using a basic manual film camera. But what if you're using a DSLR with all the circuitry and electronics that go in there?
Agreed. And when it does happen, I'll buy the best equipment I can afford to replace it. Hopefully it'll be a Pentax, or compatible.

QuoteOriginally posted by vinzer Quote
There's more to people concerned about the merger than just paranoia.
Granted. Much, much more. It's just not demonstrated very well by making un-informed guesses as to what very-well-informed people will do. And the fact that the people making those decisions couldn't care any less about my (or any other forum members) opinion is what makes me wonder why we bother publishing them. Ironic, I guess, since that's exactly what I'm doing here...

QuoteOriginally posted by vinzer Quote
You can always ignore threads like these, and still get wonderful tips and techniques at other threads.
You're right. I could. I probably should.

06-01-2007, 06:14 PM   #24
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It has been done! See:-

RiceHigh's Pentax Blog: Finally, It is Done.
06-01-2007, 06:16 PM   #25
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From what I can see so far from the poll results, I can see that most Pentaxians have strong faith in the brand and actually we are "brand loyalists" ;-)

For those who haven't voted, I still encourage that you express your view or put your bet here!
06-03-2007, 09:44 AM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by RiceHigh Quote
From what I can see so far from the poll results, I can see that most Pentaxians have strong faith in the brand and actually we are "brand loyalists" ;-)

For those who haven't voted, I still encourage that you express your view or put your bet here!
Misinterpreted. You can have strong faith that Hoya will be good for Pentax's imaging division with out being a "brand loyalist". The two are NOT linked in any way. You could vote for ANY of the three options and still be a "brand loyalist". If I were to interpret your straw poll in any way I'd say that most people are optimistic about Pentax's Imaging Div future, but that is the ONLY conclusion you can draw.

NaCl(not a "brand loyalist" )H2O
06-04-2007, 02:56 AM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by NaClH2O Quote
NaCl(not a "brand loyalist" )H2O
You are definitely right, Salty. We just treat this as a hobby. Pentax provides good tools for us to use and that is all.

I have been picking up canon gear again to do shots lately. Every brand deserves its place in the commercial photography world for what its worth.

Of course, we all want pentax to stay as we do not want to own a pentax camera and a few lens investments in hand, then witness the downfall of the pentax empire... That is just human nature not enjoying losing money
06-04-2007, 07:22 PM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by NaClH2O Quote
Misinterpreted. You can have strong faith that Hoya will be good for Pentax's imaging division with out being a "brand loyalist". The two are NOT linked in any way. You could vote for ANY of the three options and still be a "brand loyalist". If I were to interpret your straw poll in any way I'd say that most people are optimistic about Pentax's Imaging Div future, but that is the ONLY conclusion you can draw.

NaCl(not a "brand loyalist" )H2O
Hey, Buddy. You've been a sailor, photographer and tenor man - now your talking like a scientist. Nice to see a proper interpretation of data. Now, if I could just learn to shoot macro like you do . . . .

Jer
06-05-2007, 12:08 PM   #29
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I'm a noob to SLRs in general, and the Pentax K100D is my first.

Sales will dictate Hoya's attittude, hence why I picked the 2nd option. I don't see Hoya going "out-of-their-way" to market Pentax's cameras, and the smart money (from a business/engineering aspect) is to get what they can out of existing mindshare and product line, including roadmap. Continuing sales -- or not -- will dictate if the will keep it going. I think they will still stay a niche player, and will never reach higher than #3 in the market at best. I don't see Hoya breaking Canon or Nikon, although they don't have to in order to keep the camera division very profitable. They just need to stay focused and aim economically.

Again, like a broken record, Pentax's dSLR sales are worlds of difference between 2006 December and 2007 May. So Hoya is at least committed -- out of pure business sense -- to keep the existing 6/10MP dSLR products going. They have the mindshare, along with a solid, entry-level, easy-to-use dSLR and it's a no-brainer. I don't see sales of the Pentax K100D (much less K10D) dropping anytime soon, despite being only 6MP (and then there's always the K10D). And given those sales, you can be sure there will be at least one follow-up 10MP (or higher) APS-C sensor product, although what they do with full frame/media frame in the future (or APS-C after the next iteration) is always in question.

Every freak'n SLR user in my office -- people who are far more experienced with photography than myself (we're all engineers) -- is beyond jealous of my $500 (after rebate) Pentax K100D + 50-200mm lens combination. They cannot believe the quality of the photos that I get with the combination -- even the Canon and Nikon owners who dropped 3x as much for the same capability.

That is why the K100D is selling -- especially to us noobs. Hell, even the DA 18-55mm "kit" lens is better than the one on the Canon or Nikon, and I've decided to just stick with it for now (instead of upgrading to the DA 16-45mm or Sigma 17-70mm). For wide-angle, I have the Zenitar fisheye 16mm which doesn't have much barrel distortion on the APS-C (although I need to get the infinity focus re-calibrated).

About the only thing I'm certain that will die are the Point'n Shoot products. Too crowded and far too thin of margins.
06-08-2007, 12:30 AM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by dwinnert Quote
Hoya will sell Pentax to Nikon and Canon 50/50. They will then shut down all operations and fire all employees. On April 1, 2008 they will make a large effigy of the Pentax logo and hang it in the parking lot of the closed Comp USA in Woodland Hills, CA. The CEO's of both Nikon and Canon will then light the effigy with a pack of matches picked up at a Waffle House in Multrie, GA and drink a 24oz can of Steel Reserve in honor of their conquest.

After that I heard something about midgets and peanut oil....but that's just an unconfirmed story at this time.
This is all true and will happen. How do I know? I overheard the aliens talking in the ship [they thought I was still asleep.] As for the midgets and peanut oil, I am not allowed to tell. I told the aliens I'd keep it a secret. Time for the meds....
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