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12-10-2009, 11:09 AM   #76
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QuoteOriginally posted by AlexanderMayorov Quote
I use Tamron 70-200 which is superb lens.

But the main problem is AF, I have a lot of friends who complain about AF system. I shoot a lot on the streets with my tele lens. Last week Ive been asked to take photos of my friends. I had terrible time with K10D trying to lock AF and take photo. At the end I took about 100 photos and only 3-4 of them are good but others are out of focus. Do I need those meaningless photos?

I can't explain how it was hard for me to show those photos to my friend.
Alexander, trust me... you will LOVE the AF of Canon or Nikon!!! I now have the 5DII Canon, and it's AF exceeds that of the K-7 my a wide margin (except the Tamron 70-200 for Canon which with it's non USM focusing motor is about like it was on the K-7 speed-wise)... Considering that many Canon owners consider the 5DII's AF to be weak compared to bodies like the 7D or the pro lineup, and also considering that Nikon's AF is said to be better than Canon's... you can't go wrong. (you'll have to start a new forum though ...)

12-10-2009, 11:23 AM   #77
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Returning to the original subject of the thread

I am from Turkey (not a member of the group mentioned).

I have/had problems with Pentax (sensor defect, lack of a representative, SDM failure)...

BUT, I am not thinking of jumping ship.

That is mostly due to the fact that I have too much Pentax branded items and I know I am (MYSELF) the most important factor in my failed photographs.

I also still believe that Pentax DSLRs are not meant for professionals; although they can use them and enjoy them. That is because the needs of the pros are a bit different. For example, you can not have your camera or lens repaired under warranty here in my country. That is certainly unacceptable for a pro. Also, as you perhaps know, lens rental services do not seem keeping a stock of Pentax lenses.

I do agree however that Pentax needs better publicity and better marketing to keep its user base happier. The competition is really, really tough.
12-10-2009, 11:30 AM   #78
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QuoteOriginally posted by juu Quote
I agree and I feel like this is very spot on about me. I bought Pentax because the K100D represented the best value for money at the time.

So probably did many who bought a K-x recently.

This part on the other hand is unfair. I don't think you should blame the customers if the company has it's positioning all over the place.
What does the company owe you?
They owe you a warranty if you choose to buy their equipment.
That's about it.

Right now, Pentax has a fairly cheap body and some fairly cheap lenses to satisfy the low end market, and they have a somewhat more expensive body and some more expensive lenses to satisfy the upper end market.

What more should they do?
What more do you want?
What more do you think you have a right to expect?
Well, other than make a fast standard lens for their APS-C cameras, I suppose.
But then, you want cheap, and a fast 30mm lens isn't likely to fit into that box.

QuoteQuote:
This is like, say, Honda suddenly deciding to take its brand even further upmarket and including any spare parts (assume no aftermarket manufacturers) in that. So you bought your Honda thinking the continued maintenance will be at Honda-levels but instead it suddenly costs as much as a Lamborghini. Is it your fault as a customer you didn't predict that?
This is a fallacious argument that has absolutely nothing to do with the topic at hand. At some point people will stop trying to compare apples to 2x4s.
But not today, apparently.
QuoteQuote:
I have great concerns that Hoya will simply take Pentax upmarket and make it a Leica-light to squeeze the last profit until it gets killed. I doubt you would actually enjoy it much either.
What I would like is for Hoya to see enough profit off of the Pentax brand to keep it viable. Since Pentax is a low volume brand, and Hoya seems to think that making some money is a good idea, they are going to be charging more than what the competition charges for an equivalent product.
If you don't believe me, perhaps you should read a few books on economics and manufacturing economies of scale.
QuoteQuote:
The rest of your rant trivializes the issue further. There was a comparison at the "other forums" recently showing how lens price differences in the UK and the US are all over the place, even accounting for VAT differences.

Basically, the Pentax marketing is a mess. It starts with positioning, continues with product decisions and ends with pricing.

I wonder to what part it is a attempt at the Gillette/printer manufacturer model w/ subsidized bodies and expensive lenses, but I feel Hoya are taking it too far.
Of course I'm trivializing the issue. I'm seeing a bunch of children bleating at the candy counter because the guy behind the counter increased the price of jelly beans so that it was worthwhile to keep selling them.
If you thought the K100D represented the best value at the time, then what's changed? Are the kit lenses that much more money?
Do they still have a couple of mid range zooms for you?
Did you bother to look at a price list and see that Pentax was perhaps a little light on the inexpensive glass and heavy on what they called Limited lenses?
Did you think Limited was just a word? In Hondaese it means heated leather seats and power mirrors.
If Pentax wants to go upscale and start selling really good stuff, I'm all for it. I happen to like really good stuff.
If Pentax's marketing seems out of step, be assured that it is their marketing, and they get to do what they want with it. For myself, I don't pay much attention to marketing, I pay attention to what is on the shelves right now.
That is way more telling than a marketing campaign that advocates "blunder" to prospective customers.
12-10-2009, 11:44 AM   #79
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QuoteOriginally posted by juu Quote
I guess it can be hard to accept that Hoya is simply making a bigger margin on those lenses now and not passing any savings on to you.

However, the Vietnamese workers would probably be better off if you kept buying the lenses they make instead of buying Japanese for extra $100/lens.

Strange how the world works.

Agree, if they want to make sure they products are not sold cheap (which is fair) they should just raise the dealer prices. If instead they try to ensure the minimum retail price is 1.5x dealer prices then they distort the market by favoring the biggest dealers and not letting dealers compete on price and lower overheads (stifling efficiency) and thus present a worse deal to the customer.

It is a very shortsighted requirement.

You call it a Hoya thing - were the agreements different in Pentax times?
I actually had a nice response to your well reasoned comments but I hit refresh, so gonna have to come back later to comment...you make a valid point in your first observation, but there is an a counter observation I want to make and add some supporting details to your final comment, basically the answer to that is yes, pricing was far, far different before the MAP requirements kicekd in this year along with HoyaTax eliminating a large number of small camera stores in favor of online and big-box style shops, downright competitive even. Not like today...

12-10-2009, 12:37 PM   #80
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
What does the company owe you?
They owe you a warranty if you choose to buy their equipment.
That's about it.
Yes and no. Legally speaking, yes. However, a brand is a promise and if this promise is broken then they don't get repeat business.

QuoteQuote:
What more do you want?
Well, personally, I want a reasonable explanation as to why the Pentax 12-24mm (AFAIK produced by Tokina for them) costs the equivalent of $1500 in the UK while the same design from Tokina in Nikon mount costs $400 (which would equate to $460 with VAT) in the USA.

Yes, part is the cost of doing business in the UK. Yes, part is EU warranty requirements. Very slight part is a higher cost of shipping. Part might be different SMC coatings or tighter QC.

Even with all these considerations the remainder (which is obviously the Pentax name/system premium) is obscene and it wasn't anywhere close to that when I bought my K100D with a lens upgrade path in mind.

QuoteQuote:
This is a fallacious argument that has absolutely nothing to do with the topic at hand. At some point people will stop trying to compare apples to 2x4s.
But not today, apparently.
Simply because you are incapable of understanding or accepting an analogy doesn't make it fallacious.

QuoteQuote:
What I would like is for Hoya to see enough profit off of the Pentax brand to keep it viable. Since Pentax is a low volume brand, and Hoya seems to think that making some money is a good idea, they are going to be charging more than what the competition charges for an equivalent product.
Let me get you right.

You think the best way for Pentax to survive is to simply charge more for an equivalent product as the competition? To fleece whom... people like you who have so much Pentax gear they cannot afford to switch? And people like me who don't have as much Pentax gear yet can simply go switch?

Is that what you are saying here?

QuoteQuote:
If you don't believe me, perhaps you should read a few books on economics and manufacturing economies of scale.
Oh, trust me, I have.

In addition, let me quote a previous statement made in this thread:
QuoteOriginally posted by Pål Jensen Quote
Not really. Lenses are essentially hand made and doesn't enjoy the price drop experienced by mass produced electronics.
Do you agree? If yes, then wouldn't that mean that manufacturing economies of scale aren't a significant factor for lenses?

QuoteQuote:
Of course I'm trivializing the issue. I'm seeing a bunch of children bleating at the candy counter because the guy behind the counter increased the price of jelly beans so that it was worthwhile to keep selling them.
Yes, you do only see that. And that's part of the problem.

QuoteQuote:
If Pentax wants to go upscale and start selling really good stuff, I'm all for it. I happen to like really good stuff.
And I thought you said economies of scale were a concern... as in if people like me don't buy into the system perceiving it to be affordable then Pentax cannot afford to develop the really good stuff for people like you? You have to pick one or the other instead of switching between these contradictory positions.

In the meantime, since you so seem to like highly priced luxury gear so much, why aren't you switching to Leica already? (in case you are, congrats)

QuoteQuote:
If Pentax's marketing seems out of step, be assured that it is their marketing, and they get to do what they want with it. For myself, I don't pay much attention to marketing, I pay attention to what is on the shelves right now.
That is way more telling than a marketing campaign that advocates "blunder" to prospective customers.
Actually, product, or as you call it 'what's on the shelves right now' is considered a part of marketing.

I for one would like the Pentax marketing to get their act together. You instead seem to prefer them to simply raise prices to get rid of the rabble.

Last edited by juu; 12-10-2009 at 01:22 PM.
12-10-2009, 02:09 PM   #81
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QuoteOriginally posted by pingflood Quote
I'm just getting tired of ignorance like this.
I couldn't remember so I asked.

Hell.

Can't even ask a question without being condescended upon.
QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
Dave, don't take this as picking on you specifically, you just had the bad fortune of setting me off on one of my rants.

This, in a nutshell is what really went sideways at Pentax. They undervalued their (underperforming) equipment for years to try to get customers to buy the stuff, and now what they have for a customer base is a bunch of cheap @ss whack jobs who, had they any brains, would have bought Canon Rebels.
Lenses are not consumer electronics. Anyone who tries to apply that theory to lenses is a fool, plain and simple. Good quality lenses are not cheap to make, and better quality lenses cost a lot more to make than good quality ones. The law of diminishing returns hits home very quickly with lenses.
Unlike Canon and Nikon, Pentax doesn't have the advantage of economy of scale. With something like 5% (whatever) of the market, they are probably selling 1/30th of the lenses that Canon or Nikon are selling.
Low volume = higher cost.
High quality = higher cost.

SDM issues aside (and believe me, for what Pentax is charging for lenses, there should be no QC or design flaw issues at all), Pentax is making some of the highest quality glass in the business.

I guess the question is, is Pentax's pricing questionable because they have a cheap customer base or is the customer base questionable because they want Pentax to give them something for nothing?

If you don't want to buy it, don't buy it. If you don't agree with their pricing and can afford to take a lens quality hit, then go somewhere else and buy a Holga.
No one will stop you, and you'll be respected more for doing that than carping about how gas used to be two bits a gallon, bread was 15 cents a loaf and Pentax gave equipment away until they bankrupted themselves.
I can understand that people don't want to pay more for something (who does, in their right mind?). Thinking about when the FA 50/1.4 went up like $100...how long was it at $200 or less?

I really don't know since I only started using Pentax...2 years ago? Already? Well, I'm hoping someone can provide a real answer instead of a patronizing one.

People were freaking out when gas went over $1/gallon, and that was around when I started driving. At $2.54/per currently, I don't hesitate to run my car while I clean the snow off.

We could be paying 1980s prices for computers...but I don't see people complaining about that. Anyone remember when cell service went mainstream and each minute cost $1? Don't see anyone clambering to return to that pricing model.

There was another thread on here where someone bought a Takumar for $40, and it retailed when new at $199. That $200 is $1300 today New lenses cost money...sometimes, lots of money.

We should start a "Realist" Social Group on here...you would be one of the first members for sure (That's meant in respect, not sarcasm.)

QuoteOriginally posted by juu Quote
This is like, say, Honda suddenly deciding to take its brand even further upmarket and including any spare parts (assume no aftermarket manufacturers) in that. So you bought your Honda thinking the continued maintenance will be at Honda-levels but instead it suddenly costs as much as a Lamborghini. Is it your fault as a customer you didn't predict that?
First, I'd want to know what planet that would happen on, since aftermarket products are always going to be a reality.

Second, although not costing a lot of money like a Lamborghini, I guess you've never heard of Acura?
12-10-2009, 02:28 PM   #82
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QuoteQuote:
First, I'd want to know what planet that would happen on, since aftermarket products are always going to be a reality.

Second, although not costing a lot of money like a Lamborghini, I guess you've never heard of Acura?
OK, so you don't seem to get the analogy, instead you argue about insignificant details of it. Let me try another one, maybe this will work.

You buy a Canon printer for $300 thinking that cartridges will cost $15, in line with competition. Instead after 3 months Canon increases cartridge prices to $30 making them more expensive than competition. Your total cost of ownership just went up without any benefits to you. How do you feel about Canon's behavior? How likely are you to buy a Canon printer again?


P.S. If you want to misunderstand this one and further derail the discussion with insignificant details I have a few hints to make it easier:
a. Claim you don't spend enough on cartridges for that to matter
b. Claim you would just buy a lifetime supply of cartridges for $15 when you buy the printer
c. Claim you would never buy a Canon printer or any printer in the first place
d. Complain about how all printers are subsidized and cartridges overpriced
e. Claim you would buy 3rd party cartridges (despite there not being any due to lawsuits and proprietary connectors)
f. Claim that cameras and lenses aren't printers and cartridges so no analogy can be made between anything ever
g. Object that Canon would never do such a thing

Last edited by juu; 12-10-2009 at 03:07 PM.
12-10-2009, 03:02 PM   #83
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QuoteOriginally posted by juu Quote
OK, so the analogy was too complex for both Wheatfield and you to (pretend to) understand... Instead you seem dead-set to argue about insignificant details of it. Let me try another one, maybe you will get this one.

You buy a Canon printer for $300 thinking that cartridges will cost $15, in line with competition. Instead after 3 months Canon increases cartridge prices to $30 making them more expensive than competition. Your total cost of ownership just went up without any benefits to you. How do you feel about Canon's behavior? How likely are you to buy a Canon printer again?
I can see your points and I do not like paying more for my equipment too. But my perspective is:

Pentax has been in troubles for years, with declining market share and products, which lagged behind the competition for years. So, when Hoya took over things needed to be changed. As we all know, restructuring a company and its strategy affords a lot of investment.

Then came the economic turbulences of the last couple of years, inlcuding the decline of the USD, the rise of the Euro and Yen. This makes business very difficult and risky for all companies, dealing internationally. Given that Pentax is small, compared to other typical international corporations, the risks and the concrete problems are even more severe.

So, the restrucuring cost and the rising cost due to the value increase of the Yen need to be taken into account. Also, Pentax has made investments in R&D and done some homework, they should have done years before (AF, more modern lens design etc.). It is still not enough, but at least they started. That also is investment and must be accounted for.

In the current banking situation, it is understandable, that Hoya/Pentax needs to charge these cost factors to the customers, because outside funding is hard to get by, expensive and anyway no longterm solution.

That the price increase comes in several steps and only late, should more something to be thankful about, because we could still buy quite cheap over the last two years. These times are over. May be prices will go down, if Pentax is successfully growing and selling more stuff in the future.

Ben

12-10-2009, 03:38 PM   #84
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Ben, what you write makes a lot of sense and I agree.

I disagree with Wheatfield, however, when he states that (and I pretty much quote) many of the Pentax customers "don't have any brains or they would have bought Canon Rebels".

That is the sort of shortsighted elitism that, if undertaken on the whole by Pentax and the community will only hurt Pentax.

Further, that doesn't explain the huge and seemingly random pricing differences between the USA and the UK.

Quoting richardday from "the other forums" (NB - yes he removed VAT):


Overall, it's a catch-22.

Pentax needs to charge premium prices to compensate for a lack of economies of scale. But Pentax also needs lower, not higher prices (or a much better/unique product) than competition to compensate for their poor product placement and brand recognition and to stay consistent with their previous positioning of providing good value-for-money.

On reflection, whatever we discuss here is irrelevant, as we don't see Hoya/Pentax financials nor do they know/care about our suggestions. It's all an intellectual exercise, I guess.

Last edited by juu; 12-10-2009 at 04:12 PM.
12-10-2009, 04:39 PM   #85
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it's interesting to read all the concerns about the cost of pentax lenses. i don't want to pay higher prices either - for anything. but when i think of good pentax lenses, i have to put pricing in context. a truly good lens is a treasure that will last as long as it is cared for properly, unlike much else in what has become (at least in the u.s.) a throw-away society.

in 2002 i bought an hdtv for something like $1800. with extended warranty coverage, etc., it has cost me well over $2000. today it's a lump taking up space in my living room because the picture tube appears to have died and since the technology is now "older," i have to ask whether it is worth - what? - $800 or more? - to fix it.

i have had three laptops - a sony and two macs - with hard drives that died. the sony was under warranty and the drive was replaced. when it was returned, the paperwork that came back with it showed parts and labor costs of $1500, which is what sony would have charged me had the laptop not been under warranty. i donated the laptop to charity because in the meantime, due to the advent of faster processors and graphics cards, it wasn't ready for the 21st century anyway.

my real concern about pentax is that it survive and continue to improve its product line. if it doesn't, then and only then will i have "lost" by purchasing a pentax dslr. i hope the k-x attracts a lot of new buyers who will enjoy it enough that eventually they will realize the true value of some of the "pricier" lenses, too. in the meantime, if the gloom and doomers are right, in order to be able to guarantee i can continue using my best lenses, i may have to think about buying another body to have "in reserve" in case pentax really does go under.
12-10-2009, 05:31 PM   #86
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QuoteOriginally posted by juu Quote
...doesn't explain the huge and seemingly random pricing differences between the USA and the UK...

Good point. It seems it isn`t only the VAT in Europe(16-21%). Could be a greater request for some lens in one place or another, so a greater price?


QuoteOriginally posted by patk:
...a lot of new buyers ... will realize the true value of some of the "pricier" lenses...

I just hope Pentax will not then double or triple the curent prices for lens , being backed-up by such fans, though I consider a very plausible posibility.
12-10-2009, 06:13 PM   #87
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
Dave, don't take this as picking on you specifically, you just had the bad fortune of setting me off on one of my rants.

This, in a nutshell is what really went sideways at Pentax. They undervalued their (underperforming) equipment for years to try to get customers to buy the stuff, and now what they have for a customer base is a bunch of cheap @ss whack jobs who, had they any brains, would have bought Canon Rebels.
so what you are saying is that i (not that i take it personally, just a random example) am a cheap ass for expecting to pay roughly the same price if not lower for the same quality product from pentax as from, say canon. and screaming "wtf?" when it costs twice as much is stupid and completely unreasonable. okay. check.

QuoteQuote:
Lenses are not consumer electronics. Anyone who tries to apply that theory to lenses is a fool, plain and simple. Good quality lenses are not cheap to make, and better quality lenses cost a lot more to make than good quality ones. The law of diminishing returns hits home very quickly with lenses.
okay, that's stating the obvious, but i fail to see how that affects the discussion. how does that explain pentax lenses delivering the same or similar quality costing considerably more than competitors lenses? are lenses consumer electronics, that are cheap to make even if they are high quality for everybody else, but they are not for pentax? i am confused.

QuoteQuote:
Unlike Canon and Nikon, Pentax doesn't have the advantage of economy of scale. With something like 5% (whatever) of the market, they are probably selling 1/30th of the lenses that Canon or Nikon are selling.
Low volume = higher cost.
High quality = higher cost.
so they are not consumer electronics, but low volume means higher price. i thought by "not consumer electronics" you meant mass production is not as beneficial (and cost doesn't go down as fast). either you meant something else, or you need to make up your mind, because what goes around comes around.

QuoteQuote:
SDM issues aside (and believe me, for what Pentax is charging for lenses, there should be no QC or design flaw issues at all), Pentax is making some of the highest quality glass in the business.
the sdm issues (and af issues you are one of the first to complain about) are unfortunate. i am not picking on that much, i can live with all but serious quality issues, for now at least (and yes, the sdm issues i've been hearing about are a case of serious issues), and yes, we all know it's some of the best glass around (not the best on the planet, but it's hard anyway to quantify). that's why most of us are here, i should think.

QuoteQuote:
I guess the question is, is Pentax's pricing questionable because they have a cheap customer base or is the customer base questionable because they want Pentax to give them something for nothing?
as i said, you seem to be ignoring, over and over again, what people are reporting. i have even made an informal survey of prices of various similar glass at present from different makers, including third party, on another thread, in this part of europe i happen to have landed. it might look very different in us/canada, but that's another story. we were talking mostly about europe, if you chose to ignore europe as irrelevant, please state that, and don't bother reading what european posters have to say on the matter, or address them teaching them abotu economics. just a htought

btw, vat is nothing new in europe, and the currency changes are not from simple to double since last year, so please, give it a rest, i am tired of that. we are NOT talking about the same price in euro as last year, as somebody implied, we are talking DOUBLE. TWO times, in euro, not in whatever local currency, in EURO. if you would find the 50-135 costs 2k usd tomorrow, instead of the 1k today, i think you would be scratching your head also.

so, again, for ****s sake, the question is if i am crazy to expect to pay similar prices for the same product from pentax, rather than roughly twice.

QuoteQuote:
If you don't want to buy it, don't buy it. If you don't agree with their pricing and can afford to take a lens quality hit, then go somewhere else and buy a Holga.
No one will stop you, and you'll be respected more for doing that than carping about how gas used to be two bits a gallon, bread was 15 cents a loaf and Pentax gave equipment away until they bankrupted themselves.
yes. right. we're simply idiots who can't understand the basic rules. maybe i will go for the holga thing. or maybe i will go canon (random choice), and get the tokina 16-50/2.8 for half the price of the pentax 16-50/2.8, and similar for the 50-135, 12-24, 11-16.. oh, wait, we don't have an 11-16. no weather sealing, granted, but.. half the price? somebody at pentax has been smoking some good shit, lately. i would pay a resonable premium to stay with pentax, have ws and the nice "pentax" logo on those lenses, but DOUBLE?

maybe i'm just crazy
12-10-2009, 09:38 PM   #88
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote

What I would like is for Hoya to see enough profit off of the Pentax brand to keep it viable. Since Pentax is a low volume brand, and Hoya seems to think that making some money is a good idea, they are going to be charging more than what the competition charges for an equivalent product.
QuoteOriginally posted by juu Quote
Let me get you right.

You think the best way for Pentax to survive is to simply charge more for an equivalent product as the competition? To fleece whom... people like you who have so much Pentax gear they cannot afford to switch? And people like me who don't have as much Pentax gear yet can simply go switch?

Is that what you are saying here?
No, what i am saying is that in order to make money, Pentax is going to have to charge more per unit than what their competition can charge.

QuoteOriginally posted by juu Quote
In addition, let me quote a previous statement made in this thread:

Originally Posted by Pål Jensen:

"Not really. Lenses are essentially hand made and doesn't enjoy the price drop experienced by mass produced electronics."


Do you agree? If yes, then wouldn't that mean that manufacturing economies of scale aren't a significant factor for lenses?

Yes, you do only see that. And that's part of the problem.

And I thought you said economies of scale were a concern... as in if people like me don't buy into the system perceiving it to be affordable then Pentax cannot afford to develop the really good stuff for people like you? You have to pick one or the other instead of switching between these contradictory positions.
In this instance, I don't agree, since the statement you are basing your premise on is somewhat flawed. Economy of scale is about recovering R&D costs and tooling costs. It is hard to argue that if a company can sell 10 times more of an item, the cost of designing and development, the cost of tooling, and probably to a some extent the cost of assembly is going to get spread over more units.
How many 60-250mm lenses do you think Pentax will sell compared to a Nikon or Canon 70-200?
Enough that the Pentax lens has to be priced more like the f/2.8s even though it's a stop slower?
I don't necessarily like it, but in spite of that, I bought a 60-250

If Pentax is going to make money on their equipment, then in the short term, they have to charge enough to cover those costs. In order to make the price of new equipment even remotely affordable, they have to spread the cost among their entire line, unfortunately even the legacy stuff that has probably paid for itself many times over.


QuoteOriginally posted by juu Quote

In the meantime, since you so seem to like highly priced luxury gear so much, why aren't you switching to Leica already? (in case you are, congrats)
Because I like good gear, not luxury gear, and the Leica R system never did anything for me.
At the same time, I had a very nice Leica for almost 11 years.
She's the one on the left.

Last edited by Wheatfield; 02-05-2011 at 08:44 PM.
12-10-2009, 09:38 PM   #89
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Nanok, you're not crazy. And I agree with your last point very much: I live in the U.S. - so I pay less than the Europeans do. And while I, like you, am prepared to pay a premium for the Pentax name, coatings and weather-resistance, I am most certainly not prepared to pay double - or close to double - versus the equivalent Tokina lens.

In fact, it's not even a choice: Soon I will be unable to afford any of Pentax's premium lenses. Already, I've had to give up on ever collecting the FA Limited series. I certainly hope the company won't price the DA Limiteds out of my reach as well. I have the DA* 16-50 and 50-135. But it looks like I won't ever be adding the 60-250 to the collection. The DA 12-24? Right now, the cheapest I can find it is $700. So maybe... maybe not.

Look. I'm not hear to whine and rail at Pentax. I work in financial news so I understand the economics. But I'd like to stay with Pentax and I hope people who must put a $500-$750 limit on lens purchases won't be forgotten by the company. Weather-resistant kit lenses won't be enough. We need more affordable, quality, mid-line options.
12-10-2009, 10:30 PM   #90
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
No, what i am saying is that in order to make money, Pentax is going to have to charge more per unit than what their competition can charge.
But then again, HoyaTax now uses CHEAP labor since relocation of production out of Japan, the competion is still in Japan, for the most part anyway. Also, the assumption as to overhead is missing something obvious, your assumption is HoyaTax also has the same advertising costs, labor costs, management costs, production/facilities costs...compared with the "big two" Pentax likely, has significantly less overhead. Plus as a rule Pentax uses smaller glass elements in their lenses which means lower component cost for most lenses because the production yield/batch of glass should be higher than for the larger analog lenses from the competition.

I do not think the costs are at all equal or even proportional to what the competition spends per lens. And we all know most of the cost for corporations these days is not on the mfg end but rather the paper pusher end of things as well as CEO/Executive compensation. It would be interesting to know what the paper pusher to lens ratio is compared to other camera makers. Same for camera body production.

I would bet that now, HoyaTax has the lowest labor costs of ANY camera maker. I suspect one of the things we customers are paying for is the move to Vietnam and that cost likely represents a significant portion of the last round of price increases. Previous to this relocation, Pentax had no real overhead for retooling or building new facilities, I am sure the physical plant was paid for in full long ago. So the reason for the relocation was to lower labor costs...but pass on the costs associated to that relocation on to the customer immediately while over time as that debt gets paid down, profits will go up w/o any effort on HoyaTax's part due to the reduced labor cost alone.

Basically I am saying is Pentax has lower overhead than the competition even if you look at marketing overhead alone. But I feel the reduced overhead goes deeper than marketing costs...a lot deeper.

And even with all of the above, as consumers all one can do is vote with our wallets and feet. I sense a lot of potential customers will foot-zoom over to "the dark side" when looking at prices because they simply do not sense the quality differences until they actually handle and use the gear...oh, wait, that is now next to impossible here in the US because I think like four stores in the whole country have floor stock anymore.

I can accept prices where they are as a fact of life because it is a done deal and they won't decrease in price EVER...I will just buy fewer lenses so unless HoyaTax makes like $500/lense profit then they will make far less money for the near, and prolly far, future as I will be buying USED gear instead. They already lost the sale of several SDM lenses because of the failed 50-135 experienced right out of the shoot. This next year they might get TWO lense sales to me because of the new prices.

I think another influence affecting people is the gawds awful prices Hoya charges for their filters...not debating the quality...but just that that small bit of glass can cost 1/3 as much as the lense upon which it is mounted. Add to that the whole MAP thing and I am not seeing the HoyaTax as a consumer friendly company at all to the point they make Canon look like the cool company who cares about their customers. To me HoyaTax is the eBay of camera makers now. Think about that image because once you sour your user-base on your companies perceived image, the road back is a LOOONG road indeed.

No matter what anyone's opinion this is an interesting discussion, in which we are all ultimately "tilting at windmills". Both POV's have valid observations.

QuoteQuote:
At the same time, I had a very nice Leica for almost 11 years.
She's the one on the left.
Your Leica is PRICELESS!! I would rather have your furry Leica than a nasty metal & glass Leica.
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