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12-11-2009, 02:35 PM   #121
juu
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
*snip*
I think it would be great if consumers could do a thorough research on the actual cost structure, profit margins and continued outlook of the companies involved before the purchase and the data to do it would be available.

However, to actually expect that to happen is living in a dream world.

To answer the question in particular regarding me, back when I bought my first DSLR, I wasn't familiar with the market, nor what constituted good lenses, so even if I had the time to invest in such an analysis that you presume everyone should have done, I wouldn't have been able to do it well. I'm not alone in that.

Ironically, it could be that the only reason Pentax is still alive is that people weren't thinking very hard about its financial situation (like you suggest) before buying the products .

QuoteQuote:
Or did you presume that the big guys were colluding to price gouge their customers the same way you are presuming Pentax is price gouging you now?
I presumed that Canikon had excellent brand awareness and vendor lock-in, and could thus charge a premium for their products. I did not think Pentax's pricing was unsustainable.

And obviously since you probably haven't seen Pentax's and Hoya's financials you cannot even be sure that it was (at least at the time, before the big crisis), it's just your opinion.

12-11-2009, 03:10 PM   #122
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I don't know why i'v read this thread.... apart from - to crack myself up. Somebody should punch the table shouting: stop it!!! Is there any reason to stay with Pentax apart from sharing Leica price? Does limiteds justify having crapy AF? Haw does it look comparing to canikons? Are the lenses really worth the price? Am i stupid and naive sticking with pentax? Are canicons naive and stupid paying for plastick-fantastic and soft lenses but with fast and acurate AF? .................................?
12-11-2009, 03:18 PM   #123
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QuoteOriginally posted by juu Quote
I haven't, because printer companies don't raise the price of their cartridges by 100% nearly overnight. As opposed to Hoya which has, for some of the products.
Ah, we are deviating more and more from the initial post. But be it so:
Printer manufactureres have an even worse strategy: They raise the cartridge price for each subsequent printer generation so slightly - BUT that next generation contains only half as much ink, or even less. HP is a "good" example for that strategy.

Ben
12-11-2009, 03:59 PM   #124
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I doubt that pentax is going under any time soon. Their profits are up, they've got killer cameras out and they have a strong place in the Japanese market. They may become even more "niche" than they already are but that's ok. As long as the continue to make good products that I'm willing to pay for I will stick by them.

They wouldn't be buying full page/color/backcover ads in photo-magazines unless they had the money to do that.

I do believe that they need to expand their core business into the ff/pro level to establish reputation however. Canikon has a full range of camera's that allow the photographer to grow from beginner to pro-level. Despite the K7 being perfectly able to hang with the other prosumer, crop-sensor cameras the fact that they don't have a camera that is "pro" is a hold up for some people. The other 4 major manufactures have a pro level camera. Even Olympus which also doesn't have a FF has a camera that they market as a "Pro-level" camera.

The hold up may be hardware technology. Pentax is good at coming up with nifty, gadgety software features but they can't get their image processing/af to be fast enough. One of the hard-things about being a small company I suppose.


Last edited by lurchlarson; 12-11-2009 at 04:01 PM. Reason: clarity
12-11-2009, 04:29 PM   #125
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QuoteOriginally posted by ryan s Quote

Talking about that...don't you guys in the EU also make more money compared to (most) Americans? I know you have more taxes on pretty much everything and the cost of living is higher.
Just a point on that, I can only speak from my experience in Britain. Luxury items (what are considered non essential, lenses for example) and junk food are definitely cheaper in the US. Basic items (the essentials) like bread, milk, cereals tend to be more expensive in the US. In my experience the overall cost of living isn't much different between the two countries. People always make fuel price comparisons but that is smokescreen. Gas may be a third of the price in the US but you probably have to drive three times as far as in Britain. The vast majority in Britain can even walk to get their essentials, very few can do that in the US.


Regardless of the discussion about lens prices, they are what they are and I don't see that changing. The customer base for Pentax is changing from almost entirely enthusiasts to a mixture of enthusiasts and the happy snappers who are moving up from point and shoots. It's probably going to be a year or two before Hoya can get a handle on the balance of that split. Until then, it's going to be hard to decide what lenses to produce, they'll go with what they think they can sell and at what price they think they can sell it at. I think Wheatfield was probably right when he said most of the new customers are going to settle for the kit lens and a tele zoom. If that turns out to be the case, the enthusiasts are going to have to accept that the premium lenses will be a premium price and prices will vary greatly from country to country depending on the size of that market.
12-11-2009, 07:36 PM   #126
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QuoteOriginally posted by Damn Brit Quote
Regardless of the discussion about lens prices, they are what they are and I don't see that changing. If that turns out to be the case, the enthusiasts are going to have to accept that the premium lenses will be a premium price and prices will vary greatly from country to country depending on the size of that market.
I agree a bit, just like televisions and video games and everything else. It varies from country to country based on the market size. Some will be more expensive than others and some will be more easier for them to get it than others, it doesn't effect just lenses and cameras but also television sets, home audio sets, movies, video games, etc. Some will always be more expensive than others, there is no one economy, everything is very mixed up and the only point where everything will cost the same is when there is one country and one economy but there are hundreds.
12-11-2009, 08:49 PM   #127
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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.
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 am not sure if I was lucky or unlucky, stupid or unsuspectingly cunning, but I bought my first Pentax SLR when they were very expensive (an *istD in 2003 was 1200 or about $1800 US at the time). All the lenses I bought since are now worth double, so I have done pretty well finaincially from the deal I think.

The competition at the time was the truly excerable Nikon D100 or the Canon 10D which had the dynamic range of morse code. Moreover the Pentax was so well made and so small that it just made the other two look clunky and unnecessary and it was a doddle to use by comparison.

Finally with the K7 they made another body worthy of the brand. I never felt at home with the K10 or 20, and although AF is still not up to Canon levels in continuous mode, they have sorted everything else out pretty well. It has the same appeal to me as the initial *istD, in other words its a tool I want to take with me instead of leave at home and tell my mates about.

If the current DA* lens lineup had decent QC and slightly faster SDM motors, then they would be worth every penny of the asking price, especially the 50-135. Its not something that would be too hard to fix.

I still own a Pentax because I actually like them for positive reasons, despite being able to use most of the nearest competition on a regular basis. Until everyone else has hyper manual mode and the same size and weight, I'm not going anywhere. I dont ever feel shortchanged because I know why I'm here.

Anyone who buys into any brand because they are cheap are using negative rather than positive selection criteria. Subconsciously they are convinced they did the wrong thing and suffer permanent performance angst and brand association angst from the get go.

I would be quite happy to see them become a quality niche player, because I really dont mind paying a little more a little less often for something that lasts and I really dont want people to think I am cheap. If they could just make them last, that would be dandy. As a high quality brand, Pentax can afford the better QC and design standards that would make the product worth paying for.

And look on the bright side, if anyone wants to jump ship they can get a lot more for their used equipment than they could before.
12-12-2009, 01:27 AM   #128
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QuoteOriginally posted by *isteve Quote
Anyone who buys into any brand because they are cheap are using negative rather than positive selection criteria. Subconsciously they are convinced they did the wrong thing and suffer permanent performance angst and brand association angst from the get go.

*snip*

I really dont want people to think I am cheap.
Those are very good points, and the term 'cheap' certainly has bad connotations.

However, if instead you bought Pentax because it offered good value for money and wasn't overpriced, and you assume people will think you are financially savvy instead, that would turn the same purchase around.

Nevertheless, changing the perception of Pentax as being a premium brand, even though unwelcome for people like me, might actually be good for many as you would no longer have to explain why you are shooting that wedding with a Pentax instead of a Canikon.

However, a move upmarket by simply raising the prices in a haphazard way and otherwise doing the same things as before is likely to fail, even if the product were already up to the standard.

Time will tell if Hoya is simply squeezing what profit they can out of Pentax or has a long-term picture in mind.

12-12-2009, 01:40 AM   #129
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QuoteOriginally posted by jogiba Quote
I guess you are the last one to know about the new full frame smc PENTAX D FA 100mm F2.8 WR Macro .
smc PENTAX D FA MACRO 100mm F2.8 WR - Official PENTAX Imaging Web Site
I said I was responding to his remark, not to the lens. Check my posts, I know that lens for a week. But he commented about more lenses and bodies coming.
Is this comment a hope or supposed to be facts he heard from someone?
12-12-2009, 05:21 AM   #130
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Well, as I am no longer directly affiliated with Pentax, I wish to say the following.

I am still using the K20D for almost all of the commissioned shoots that I have done. At 100-400 iso and I generally stay with the later and in RAW, the output is as good as some of the top tiered brands. I do have some issues with the speed of the AF and the accuracy, but that has more to do with my laziness to have not as yet set up each of my bodies for each of lenses. I really have to take a day off and do so. As to the K7, which I have played with at length. It is a very solid piece of hardware. If I were still with Pentax and they gave me the bodies, I would have no problem using them for my work and again at the iso range I usually work within. When you are playing with around 15 megapixels, you can produce pretty much everything you would need for publication.

As to lenses. I really like the Pentax lens line and their quality is on par or better than most. The 40mm Ltd. has to be one of the sharpest lenses I have ever used and the 70mm limited makes a great portrait lens and is sharp from wide open all the way to f22.

However, if I ever switch, it will have more to do with commercial than for qualitative reasons. I guess you could call me a whore and if Sony came to me and said, ""hey Kanarek, we are going to give you 2 x alpha 850's and 8-10 lenses with battery grips" etc. I might consider putting my signature on their stuff. But hey, isn't that what athletes do all of the time? One day they are with Nike the next with Adidas...

PS..Hey Steve, when are you coming to Paris again so you can help me calibrate my lenses to my K20D bodies?
12-12-2009, 05:28 AM   #131
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QuoteOriginally posted by thibs Quote
I said I was responding to his remark, not to the lens. Check my posts, I know that lens for a week. But he commented about more lenses and bodies coming.
Is this comment a hope or supposed to be facts he heard from someone?
There is a Full Frame in the works. That I am sure of. I still have my sources. I smell a Sony 24.5 mega pixel sensor....
12-12-2009, 06:34 AM   #132
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QuoteOriginally posted by benjikan Quote
There is a Full Frame in the works. That I am sure of. I still have my sources. I smell a Sony 24.5 mega pixel sensor....
Well, this is indeed good news
12-12-2009, 07:21 AM   #133
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QuoteOriginally posted by benjikan Quote
Well, as I am no longer directly affiliated with Pentax, I wish to say the following.

I am still using the K20D for almost all of the commissioned shoots that I have done. At 100-400 iso and I generally stay with the later and in RAW, the output is as good as some of the top tiered brands. I do have some issues with the speed of the AF and the accuracy, but that has more to do with my laziness to have not as yet set up each of my bodies for each of lenses. I really have to take a day off and do so. As to the K7, which I have played with at length. It is a very solid piece of hardware. If I were still with Pentax and they gave me the bodies, I would have no problem using them for my work and again at the iso range I usually work within. When you are playing with around 15 megapixels, you can produce pretty much everything you would need for publication.

As to lenses. I really like the Pentax lens line and their quality is on par or better than most. The 40mm Ltd. has to be one of the sharpest lenses I have ever used and the 70mm limited makes a great portrait lens and is sharp from wide open all the way to f22.

However, if I ever switch, it will have more to do with commercial than for qualitative reasons. I guess you could call me a whore and if Sony came to me and said, ""hey Kanarek, we are going to give you 2 x alpha 850's and 8-10 lenses with battery grips" etc. I might consider putting my signature on their stuff. But hey, isn't that what athletes do all of the time? One day they are with Nike the next with Adidas...

PS..Hey Steve, when are you coming to Paris again so you can help me calibrate my lenses to my K20D bodies?


I am switching to Sony if Ben goes there
12-12-2009, 08:07 AM   #134
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Have you used Canon 5D Mark II ?

Have you used Canon 5D Mark II ?

If so what are your thoughts concerning it...

Thanks



QuoteOriginally posted by benjikan Quote
Well, as I am no longer directly affiliated with Pentax, I wish to say the following.

I am still using the K20D for almost all of the commissioned shoots that I have done. At 100-400 iso and I generally stay with the later and in RAW, the output is as good as some of the top tiered brands. I do have some issues with the speed of the AF and the accuracy, but that has more to do with my laziness to have not as yet set up each of my bodies for each of lenses. I really have to take a day off and do so. As to the K7, which I have played with at length. It is a very solid piece of hardware. If I were still with Pentax and they gave me the bodies, I would have no problem using them for my work and again at the iso range I usually work within. When you are playing with around 15 megapixels, you can produce pretty much everything you would need for publication.

As to lenses. I really like the Pentax lens line and their quality is on par or better than most. The 40mm Ltd. has to be one of the sharpest lenses I have ever used and the 70mm limited makes a great portrait lens and is sharp from wide open all the way to f22.

However, if I ever switch, it will have more to do with commercial than for qualitative reasons. I guess you could call me a whore and if Sony came to me and said, ""hey Kanarek, we are going to give you 2 x alpha 850's and 8-10 lenses with battery grips" etc. I might consider putting my signature on their stuff. But hey, isn't that what athletes do all of the time? One day they are with Nike the next with Adidas...

PS..Hey Steve, when are you coming to Paris again so you can help me calibrate my lenses to my K20D bodies?
12-12-2009, 09:15 AM   #135
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@ Benjamin
Thats the best news for me....
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