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03-29-2010, 08:34 PM   #31
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Ya, Pentax is gonna bring out the 645D then go bankrupt...gotta go out in style no other way to do it!!!

03-29-2010, 09:22 PM   #32
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QuoteOriginally posted by yurihuta Quote
In terms of the folks at the camera stores - I worked with some really knowledgeable people and also shared the counter with people who had no qualms about saying things that were extreme distortions of the truth or outright lies.
Ditto. In my experience, you get two kinds of people who work at camera stores: Those who passionately enjoy photography, and those who used to work at the used-car lot down the street. Unfortunately, the photo enthusiasts soon realize that it's all about the almighty dollar and which manufacturer gives a higher margin, and they who sell the most cameras from the latest company hotlist get the highest rewards, and finds another job that doesn't make him or her feel like a cheap prostitute, giving up loyalty for the craft for the sake of a paycheck.
03-29-2010, 11:35 PM   #33
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Whenever I go into Georges (I assume thats the "G" store of which you speak) I always end up talking to them about pentax. Most of the people I talk to in there have shot Pentax at one time or another (either Medium format or at least K1000). Every one of them has told me the same thing. Pentax pulled all their reps and won't come to their store anymore. The last time a Pentax rep was in the store they were only there for about 5 minutes to drop off some brochures and then leave.

From a consumers point of view we are always looking for companies to take care of us but don't forget that for a retailer they ARE the consumer (of Canon, Nikon, Pentax etc) and they also want to be taken care of. Its hard for me to blame them for getting out of Pentax. Especially in these last 5 years of photography where each model of camera becomes obsolete within 12 months. It would be tough to spend money on inventory that was likely to sit on your shelf until its value had dropped in half and a new model was about to supercede it.

Still... I prefer Calumet in Escondido anyway. They know me as "the Pentax guy" even though half my gear is Canon
03-30-2010, 07:09 AM   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by kunik Quote
Still... I prefer Calumet in Escondido anyway. They know me as "the Pentax guy" even though half my gear is Canon
Funny, I'm known as 'Pentaxman' in mine

03-30-2010, 02:58 PM   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by clawhammer Quote
Ditto. In my experience, you get two kinds of people who work at camera stores: Those who passionately enjoy photography, and those who used to work at the used-car lot down the street. Unfortunately, the photo enthusiasts soon realize that it's all about the almighty dollar and which manufacturer gives a higher margin, and they who sell the most cameras from the latest company hotlist get the highest rewards, and finds another job that doesn't make him or her feel like a cheap prostitute, giving up loyalty for the craft for the sake of a paycheck.
There exists a third kind of person who works in a camera store. Actually I have found oodles of kinds of people who work in a camera store, but the key third kind is the guy who listens to his customers, discusses what equipment is most appropriate and then tries to find something from his inventory that fits the customer's budget. The way to make that work is to foster a culture for a particular brand and then keep doing that. In the store where I work, and it's just a single store, I convinced the owner to bring Pentax in back in the mid '90's when the PZ-70, PZ-1P then the ZX series were big. Since then we have built a pretty steady Pentax base by carrying more than just the most obvious Pentax product.

An earlier post mentioned Creve Couer Camera in Missouri as a retailer capable of meeting Pentax's $100k threshold to buy directly from Pentax. They are one of the great camera stores in the country, and they are big Pentax supporters. It's a pipe dream of mine that I might have their purchasing muscle one day, but even so my little store pretty easily reaches the $100k level each year. And I manage to do it without frequent visits from a sales rep, special incentives to the sales people and without a super well recognized celebrity barking for the brand. In fact reaching that threshold is really not so difficult if a store simply orders a modest assortment of Optio products, some of each of the SLRs, a fair assortment of lenses and flashes, accessories and binoculars.

The trick is maintaining the momentum and remembering what is good for business. Changing loyalties based on the latest hot release is as fundamentally sound as buying and selling stocks on a daily basis. Maybe there will be occasional hot buys, but continuing to invest in what works and sticking with it even when the market might be suggesting that's the wrong thing is what brings long term success.
03-30-2010, 03:16 PM   #36
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QuoteOriginally posted by dnaseigel Quote
There exists a third kind of person who works in a camera store. Actually I have found oodles of kinds of people who work in a camera store, but the key third kind is the guy who listens to his customers, discusses what equipment is most appropriate and then tries to find something from his inventory that fits the customer's budget. The way to make that work is to foster a culture for a particular brand and then keep doing that. In the store where I work, and it's just a single store, I convinced the owner to bring Pentax in back in the mid '90's when the PZ-70, PZ-1P then the ZX series were big. Since then we have built a pretty steady Pentax base by carrying more than just the most obvious Pentax product.

An earlier post mentioned Creve Couer Camera in Missouri as a retailer capable of meeting Pentax's $100k threshold to buy directly from Pentax. They are one of the great camera stores in the country, and they are big Pentax supporters. It's a pipe dream of mine that I might have their purchasing muscle one day, but even so my little store pretty easily reaches the $100k level each year. And I manage to do it without frequent visits from a sales rep, special incentives to the sales people and without a super well recognized celebrity barking for the brand. In fact reaching that threshold is really not so difficult if a store simply orders a modest assortment of Optio products, some of each of the SLRs, a fair assortment of lenses and flashes, accessories and binoculars.

The trick is maintaining the momentum and remembering what is good for business. Changing loyalties based on the latest hot release is as fundamentally sound as buying and selling stocks on a daily basis. Maybe there will be occasional hot buys, but continuing to invest in what works and sticking with it even when the market might be suggesting that's the wrong thing is what brings long term success.
Creve Couer is a great company. They've been doing what they do for almost 40 years now. They built their brand on Pentax and they have kept the brand alive here. Steve Weiss bought the business in 1998 and has very astutely continued to run the business for consistent, long-term growth.

Creve Couer just announced they will purchase Columbia Photo, a 40-year-old camera store in Columbia, MO about 100 miles West of St. Louis and the location of the University of Missouri. Columbia has operated since 1968 and is well-known to area photographers. I guess Tom Atkins just couldn't see a way to compete any more.

Weiss says he will bring the full line of CCC products to Columbia - so hello Pentax in another town.

It CAN be done - and to dnasiegel - keep the faith - think long-term - caring about your customers always wins in the end if you just keep caring.

Last edited by monochrome; 03-30-2010 at 03:28 PM.
03-30-2010, 06:06 PM   #37
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At the regional photography convention I approached the Sigma table to check out their lenses. I chatted up the guy trying to see what was new or upcoming and he quite matter of factly commented how if he was me, he'd be concerned for Pentax' future in the camera market.

I am still debating on turning him in to corporate, particularly considering how Sigma currently offers over 35 lenses with Pentax mounts plus they just announced 3-4 new ones just this past February.

I would have expected this BS from the Canon table, but not from Sigma...
03-30-2010, 07:54 PM   #38
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QuoteOriginally posted by Frogroast Quote
At the regional photography convention I approached the Sigma table to check out their lenses. I chatted up the guy trying to see what was new or upcoming and he quite matter of factly commented how if he was me, he'd be concerned for Pentax' future in the camera market.

I am still debating on turning him in to corporate, particularly considering how Sigma currently offers over 35 lenses with Pentax mounts plus they just announced 3-4 new ones just this past February.

I would have expected this BS from the Canon table, but not from Sigma...
Report the clown. I would also asked him how long he had his head up CaNikon's a$$ and recommended him to a proctologist for a cranialrectumectomy.

03-31-2010, 08:50 AM   #39
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Creve Coeur Camera

QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
The big issue for these stores is the $100,000 a year minimum inventory order. If you are a 1-Store Chain or you are trying to stay in the end-bracket for Canon you really can't afford to sell Pentax. If you never see a Pentax rep and your Sigma and Canon and Nikon reps are constantly whispering in your ear the latest inside rumor from some recent camera show, who are you going to believe? And that's the HONEST guys!!

Our local chain of 8 stores, Creve Couer Camera, carries and features Pentax gear, runs Pentax co-op radio and TV ads and features Pentax online, as well. 8 stores is enough to make the $100,000 cut. They're also just plain good retailers. They could sell anything successfully.

The feature box in the upper left of the online webstore kind of alternates between the K-x and K-7.

Some of the countermen are a bit pissy about Pentax, but so what? I can say no with the best of them.

Or just go over to the used section and spend my good money on K glass.
I can't stand some of the employees at the Creve Coeur location of CC Camera. But overall they are a good store. They have all brands on display behind the counter and are very knowledgeable. They also have a decent (not amazing, and a bit steep) corner of used gear. Whenever I am home for the holidays I always stop by there since I grew in Creve Coeur and my parents live a mile from the store.

Last edited by StephenMerola; 03-31-2010 at 08:56 AM. Reason: added details
03-31-2010, 03:32 PM   #40
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QuoteOriginally posted by StephenMerola Quote
I can't stand some of the employees at the Creve Coeur location of CC Camera. But overall they are a good store. They have all brands on display behind the counter and are very knowledgeable. They also have a decent (not amazing, and a bit steep) corner of used gear. Whenever I am home for the holidays I always stop by there since I grew in Creve Coeur and my parents live a mile from the store.
Hi Stephen: Yes , I was referring to the Ballas Rd. store, but I still try to give them as much business as I can. The used may seem overpriced but it is warranteed and usually clean - beats fBay.

I started going to Crestwood recently - smaller but friendlier.
03-31-2010, 03:34 PM   #41
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Of the San Diego stores mentioned in this thread so far:

1) The parking situation at George's absolutely sucks, which is why I have not been in there in years. They used to have a good selection of products when I was last there. Attitude was not always great, but that seemed to vary.

2) That must be an old picture from Nelson's . . . they have not carried any Pentax gear for at least a year now. I used to find the occasional great deal on used Pentax lenses there, but no longer. They used to carry a big selection of new Pentax, but completely closed it out a while back.

3) The people who work at Calumet in Escondido are all good, even if they don't all know about Pentax specifically. Last week the store did have both a K-7 and K-x on display. I doubt the had a big selection of lenses though. Always good attitude in that store, and I've known some of those people for close to 20 years now.
03-31-2010, 03:47 PM   #42
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Sounds a l lot like what it was like to buy a Mac in the 2000's...
03-31-2010, 04:15 PM   #43
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QuoteOriginally posted by Frank B Quote
2) That must be an old picture from Nelson's
[...]
3) The people who work at Calumet in Escondido are all good
I updated my earlier comment.

Yes, Pentax Imaging lists Calumet Escondido as well, for the 92xxx zip codes.

Calumet is a nice chain operating at a world-wide scale. 29 shops altogether, where one is in Escondido and another one is in ... Munich . However, last time I went to their Munich store (one block from the Dinkel store I mentioned earlier), they only had a very old 6x7 Pentax lens because it was such a cool item to showcase
04-15-2010, 08:05 AM   #44
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"I first heard that "Pentax is going out of business in the next 6 months to a year" from my college photography professor. That was in 1977-78 and he shot Minolta.... Ironic huh?

Mike"

LOL, when I purchased my K20D Pentax was going under (being purchased by Hoya). I remember going to RitzCamera and inquiring about Pentax cameras. I went to quite a few in the region and the answer was the same: we haven't shelved them in months and we're not sure when we'll have them in stock, if ever.

I then found this forum and there was a lot of rumor about Pentax coming to an end. I wasn't convinced, otherwise I wouldn't have sticked with Pentax. I would suggest that you not to worry about it either unless there's obvious sign that they are going to be gone. In the past year they came out with enough products that should make you confident over their dedication to their camera business.
04-15-2010, 10:08 AM   #45
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In Lethbridge Alberta (Canada) and several other Alberta cities McBain Camera carries a full line of Pentax. The counter display sections are the same size for Pentax, Nikon, Canon and Sigma (lenses only). The last time I was in there, a couple of months ago, They had K20, K7, K-X cameras in the display case, along with every current Pentax lens up to and including the gorgeous (will my wife notice if I bring it home? - Yes, oh, no I can't afford it) DA* 300 the 60-250 the ... 540 and 360 flashes (I didn't check on the ring flash for macro).

I guess I am a lucky guy to live where I do, 100 miles (160 Km) West of the store. We don't have a camera shop in Sparwood, BC, population 3812 according to one source. We do have deer in the back yard, though, along with the odd bear.
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