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01-27-2014, 01:37 PM   #226
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QuoteOriginally posted by LaurenOE Quote
I am a Pentaxian. If I am going extinct, then I should be in some kind of protected preserve where they save my DNA or something like that.

I mean, don't we try and save species that once roamed the planet freely before industrial and overbearing conglomerates destroyed habitat?

I get it - really, I do - but then I am reminded of evolution. If I have to choose I'd rather have a K3 with Pentax on the front and Ricoh on the back than, well, a bunch of dead, orphaned cameras that have Hoya on the bottom.

01-27-2014, 02:43 PM   #227
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
Traditionally, Pentax hasn't had Mark IIs of anything.
Nobody told me that back when I bought my Spotmatic SP II. Just shows that the Spotties weren' t traditional cameras?
01-27-2014, 03:00 PM   #228
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QuoteOriginally posted by LaurenOE Quote
I mean, don't we try and save species that once roamed the planet freely before industrial and overbearing conglomerates destroyed habitat?

That's certainly one way to look at it. But the other side of the coin is that Pentax "earned" their current position fair and square.

Pentax simply did not possess the business acumen and foresight to transition from a top-tier optics and film SLR camera company to a company which could survive the realities of a changing and increasingly global photography marketplace.

Not that their engineering was subpar, in my view, but they floundered in executing the business side of the house, in vision, in marketing.

Pentax's own actions, or rather lack of needed actions, destined them to the indignities of a hostile takeover, in essence, by Hoya, subsequent plundering and sale to the highest bidder.

Of course I would have rather seen Pentax survive on their own so they wouldn't have to be subservient to Ricoh, but they did not. And it's not Ricoh's fault. My view is that at least Ricoh is finally restoring some business sense to Pentax, and not without some resistance.

Having said all that, I never understood why the Ricoh label was a big deal to you until a few days ago. I went to dev.mysql.com to look up some database language syntax and there it was: the Oracle logo plain as day.

How dare those guys! Makes me want to puke. Illogical though it is, I thought that's how Lauren must feel (about Ricoh->Pentax, I'm sure she would say Oracle->MySQL is super).

But Oracle owns MySQL, and Ricoh owns Pentax. Welcome to reality.
01-27-2014, 05:07 PM   #229
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QuoteOriginally posted by cfraz Quote
That's certainly one way to look at it. But the other side of the coin is that Pentax "earned" their current position fair and square.

Pentax simply did not possess the business acumen and foresight to transition from a top-tier optics and film SLR camera company to a company which could survive the realities of a changing and increasingly global photography marketplace.

Not that their engineering was subpar, in my view, but they floundered in executing the business side of the house, in vision, in marketing.

Pentax's own actions, or rather lack of needed actions, destined them to the indignities of a hostile takeover, in essence, by Hoya, subsequent plundering and sale to the highest bidder.

Of course I would have rather seen Pentax survive on their own so they wouldn't have to be subservient to Ricoh, but they did not. And it's not Ricoh's fault. My view is that at least Ricoh is finally restoring some business sense to Pentax, and not without some resistance.

Having said all that, I never understood why the Ricoh label was a big deal to you until a few days ago. I went to dev.mysql.com to look up some database language syntax and there it was: the Oracle logo plain as day.

How dare those guys! Makes me want to puke. Illogical though it is, I thought that's how Lauren must feel (about Ricoh->Pentax, I'm sure she would say Oracle->MySQL is super).

But Oracle owns MySQL, and Ricoh owns Pentax. Welcome to reality.
LOL. And Oracle owns me, so we have come full circle eh?

01-27-2014, 05:50 PM   #230
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QuoteOriginally posted by cfraz Quote
Pentax simply did not possess the business acumen and foresight to transition from a top-tier optics and film SLR camera company to a company which could survive the realities of a changing and increasingly global photography marketplace...........
...........Of course I would have rather seen Pentax survive on their own so they wouldn't have to be subservient to Ricoh, but they did not.
I wonder if Ned Bunnell had been as much as an advocate for Pentax as he was for Leica if things may not have turned out differently.
01-27-2014, 07:17 PM   #231
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QuoteOriginally posted by Parallax Quote
I wonder if Ned Bunnell had been as much as an advocate for Pentax as he was for Leica if things may not have turned out differently.
This is a totally unfair implication, but perhaps a legitimate question - I have always wondered how much Ned Bunnell was an advocate for New Bunnell.
01-27-2014, 07:26 PM   #232
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
Lauren just wants it to be a Pentax. A K5 Mk III would be a Pentax. K3 is a Ricoh.

Actually, it is a Ricoh.
I don't think it is. It is a true Pentax camera.

In this particular case, it is Ricoh company trying to live up to the name of the Pentax brand. And to do that, Ricoh employed all ex-Asahi Optical engineers to carry on and developed something they have imagined all along.

We are now heavily in the realm of symbols and to be honest to the truth, even before "Pentax users" never really understood it because they never invested in its future. A symbol is not a fixed in time thing; there is a dynamics associated with it. If nothing else, users never had a clue what those same engineers had in mind when they had worked for Asahi Optical, nor what they had in mind when they had worked for Hoya. Not users know what those same people think now when working for Ricoh Imaging. Maybe all we know about K-3 was imagined during the Hoya era. Would that make it a "Pentax camera" then?

Users can understand a brand only in retrospect, and engineers and innovators can already appreciate its future.
Therefore collision and misunderstanding. By that same token of misunderstanding, and from a strict user's perspective, a new person can never be employed and become an engineer working on a Pentax camera because that person may bring in something completely new and unknown to the brand. Which doesn't make any sense at all, of course, because one really want something new and amazing coming in the new understanding of the brand.

Last edited by Uluru; 01-27-2014 at 07:37 PM.
01-27-2014, 08:04 PM   #233
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According to asahi man, Ricoh apparently pulled the K3 project off the calendar in 2012 and substituted the K5II/s while at the same time challenging the engineers to make the K3 a much better camera than it was at the time planned to be. So does the K3 exist because Pentax engineers imagined it or Ricoh enabled it?

That sequence - finding an old Pentax project Hoya had stopped or diminished, taking it out of the planning stream, making it better and releasing it later - that sequence has apparently happened quite often and will result in numerous products in coming months.

Are they Pentax products or Ricoh products?

01-27-2014, 11:03 PM   #234
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
Are they Pentax products or Ricoh products?
It depends on how much Pentax is there, and how much slather Ricoh puts on it.

I don't see many Ricoh or GXR enhancements or anything that was "Ricoh" showing up in Pentaxes.

Does that mean Ricoh had a dead brain trust when it came to cameras?

If a master paints a canvas, and their apprentice puts it in a frame, does the apprentice deserve to put their name on the work of art?
01-27-2014, 11:06 PM   #235
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QuoteOriginally posted by LaurenOE Quote
It depends on how much Pentax is there, and how much slather Ricoh puts on it.

I don't see many Ricoh or GXR enhancements or anything that was "Ricoh" showing up in Pentaxes.

Does that mean Ricoh had a dead brain trust when it came to cameras?

If a master paints a canvas, and their apprentice puts it in a frame, does the apprentice deserve to put their name on the work of art?
The development cycle is too long to see much of Ricoh in current Pentax cameras. But Ricoh certainly has put money into the K-3 project that Hoya wasn't willing to spend. So they do deserve some credit. I think the next generation will have more Ricoh yet (and I hope not just in the form of 2 Ricoh logos...).
01-28-2014, 04:35 AM   #236
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QuoteOriginally posted by LaurenOE Quote
It depends on how much Pentax is there, and how much slather Ricoh puts on it.

I don't see many Ricoh or GXR enhancements or anything that was "Ricoh" showing up in Pentaxes.

Does that mean Ricoh had a dead brain trust when it came to cameras?

If a master paints a canvas, and their apprentice puts it in a frame, does the apprentice deserve to put their name on the work of art?
The hard part for me, Lauren, is that I can clearly see different "Pentax" companies. There is the Pentax that put out film cameras for many years and trickled into the digital market long after the time was right. There is Pentax under Hoya that was really conservative, releasing the bare minimum of products and no high end products. Under Hoya, the K3 would probably have come out with the same body as it did, but there would have been no update to auto focus, frames per second would have been significantly slower. It would have been an OK camera, but it would have been clear as well that corners had been cut in its production. Clearly Ricoh put some effort into the K3 -- getting the top of the line image processor, putting better auto focus and tracking auto focus into it, and yet keeping a very familiar shape and form factor. And releasing the camera without stains or, a bunch of other problems.

Ricoh owns the Pentax brand name at this point and I hope they continue to invest in it. It sure looks like they are -- TC coming soon, full frame maybe this year, a lot of things green lighted that Hoya never allowed to get past the planning stage. If the price for that is that Ricoh sticks their name somewhere on the camera, I am really fine with it.
01-28-2014, 09:32 AM - 1 Like   #237
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
The hard part for me, Lauren, is that I can clearly see different "Pentax" companies. There is the Pentax that put out film cameras for many years and trickled into the digital market long after the time was right. There is Pentax under Hoya that was really conservative, releasing the bare minimum of products and no high end products. Under Hoya, the K3 would probably have come out with the same body as it did, but there would have been no update to auto focus, frames per second would have been significantly slower. It would have been an OK camera, but it would have been clear as well that corners had been cut in its production. Clearly Ricoh put some effort into the K3 -- getting the top of the line image processor, putting better auto focus and tracking auto focus into it, and yet keeping a very familiar shape and form factor. And releasing the camera without stains or, a bunch of other problems.

Ricoh owns the Pentax brand name at this point and I hope they continue to invest in it. It sure looks like they are -- TC coming soon, full frame maybe this year, a lot of things green lighted that Hoya never allowed to get past the planning stage. If the price for that is that Ricoh sticks their name somewhere on the camera, I am really fine with it.
I totally agree with everything you said. I suppose that "Pentax", to me, are a group of Japanese engineers who *want* to build excellent products. For whatever reasons they have been able to remain and keep a distinct design and camera aesthetic through the good and the bad.

These engineers make me proud because in spite of the corporate pencil-necks/bean counters, they did the best they could to produce what we have.

I am amazed that those same engineers stayed with the company given the last decade.

When I think of the age of digital "Pentax", I own ALL of the first attempts at Pentax producing digital cameras.

What I see in those cameras is true brilliance that was ahead of just about everyone in the market at the time. We are talking the 1997-2000 era.

When Phillips produced the crappy MZ-D sensor and sunk Contax, the Pentax engineers, and the entire Pentax team, pushed to kill the MZ-D project as it would damage the Pentax brand and would be too expensive.

What happened after the MZ-D debacle was a scrapping/clawing to where we are now.

With no real resources - and in total amazement - we have the cameras we have now.

Yes, Ricoh came in and spent money, and breathed new life into Pentax and we finally have a world class dSLR in the K3.

However, I would think that Ricoh would have more sensitivity/honor and show that while they did provide the means to get the K3 over the finish line, it wasn't because the Pentax engineers didn't try on their own.

So I am grateful to Ricoh for providing the money, I am less convinced of them providing more of anything that the Pentax engineers already wanted and knew they needed.

Money doesn't buy honor, and therefore, the place on the back of the K3 should still belong to "Pentax".
01-28-2014, 09:38 PM   #238
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QuoteOriginally posted by LaurenOE Quote
I totally agree with everything you said. I suppose that "Pentax", to me, are a group of Japanese engineers who *want* to build excellent products. For whatever reasons they have been able to remain and keep a distinct design and camera aesthetic through the good and the bad.

These engineers make me proud because in spite of the corporate pencil-necks/bean counters, they did the best they could to produce what we have.

I am amazed that those same engineers stayed with the company given the last decade.

When I think of the age of digital "Pentax", I own ALL of the first attempts at Pentax producing digital cameras.

What I see in those cameras is true brilliance that was ahead of just about everyone in the market at the time. We are talking the 1997-2000 era.

When Phillips produced the crappy MZ-D sensor and sunk Contax, the Pentax engineers, and the entire Pentax team, pushed to kill the MZ-D project as it would damage the Pentax brand and would be too expensive.

What happened after the MZ-D debacle was a scrapping/clawing to where we are now.

With no real resources - and in total amazement - we have the cameras we have now.

Yes, Ricoh came in and spent money, and breathed new life into Pentax and we finally have a world class dSLR in the K3.

However, I would think that Ricoh would have more sensitivity/honor and show that while they did provide the means to get the K3 over the finish line, it wasn't because the Pentax engineers didn't try on their own.

So I am grateful to Ricoh for providing the money, I am less convinced of them providing more of anything that the Pentax engineers already wanted and knew they needed.

Money doesn't buy honor, and therefore, the place on the back of the K3 should still belong to "Pentax".
I totally and utterly agree with what you express here.
To me, had the name (even prominently) just appeared on the compliance plate at the bottom of the cam it would have come across with much respect to the name Pentax and would have looked more classy and urbane.

Rather than being in your face subtle and tactful advertising can be very, very effective.

But what is, is and I am grateful what RICOH have done

Greetings
01-29-2014, 08:39 PM - 1 Like   #239
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I really have mixed feelings on this broad subject of names - especially after reading another story/announcement that I'll touch on a bit later. I can easily hear the main two arguments that probably have been on going inside Ricoh since the purchase....
  • First argument - Ricoh has a history of buying and putting their name on the acquired product line - essentially broadening the Ricoh brand.
  • Second argument - Ricoh should maintain and embrace the "Pentax" name as their own, and continue using it, thereby wrapping its self in the rich Pentax history and adopting it as its own.
There are great reasons for each position. We really will not know if there is a actual change afoot that goes beyond what we currently have observed.
____________
I use to work for Motorola as an engineer. Motorola was created (1st generation), managed (2nd generation) and destroyed (3rd generation) by the Galvin family. It was a public company, but controlled by the Gavins in every way. I touch on this for two reasons...
  • Asahi/Pentax and Motorola have somewhat parallel histories. They both had excellent world class products at one time. They both hung on to the old technology for far too long, thereby loosing their advantage and market position. Once they lost their market leading position, endless series of mistakes, missteps and miscues occurred that just doomed them. Few know this, but Motorola invented the digital switch - management had no idea what they had, even when the engineers showed and demonstrated the potential - and how to productize and market it. It sat in the corner of a lab gathering dust. A couple of years later - Cisco discovered the same idea. Cisco knew how to convert on the idea and created a market. End of story. There are quite a few additional examples, but you get the idea.
  • I just read a news announcement, that Google has stripped off a couple of engineering development groups from their recent Motorola acquisition of a couple of years ago, and sold the rest of the (still money loosing) company to Lenovo. The original Motorola has been sliced and diced so many times into so many diverse parts that its a wonder that one can still find as about 15 different pieces that have been sold off to various companies. Its a real shame - but the bottom line is that the owners - the Galvin family - essentially Chris just "knew" better than anyone else and augured it into the ground.
Back to Pentax - at least Ricoh acquired the vast majority of it (sans the medical group) that they hold intact - and the product lines are coming to life. It still remains to be seen just how things ultimately turn out - but, there is more than just hope, looking at the K3, and other developments to date.

So, I too would like to see Pentax on the front and on the back, but I can be convinced of having Ricoh on the back - especially if they leave "Pentax" out front. It would also be nice to see Ricoh pushing the "Pentax" brand - however, after seeing the booth pictures posted in the other thread, I have to wonder just how all of this is going to ultimately turn out.

As Lauren noted - Zeiss' famous Contax brand crashed and burned on a single bad product. I think that Zeiss had the resources to recover, but for what ever reason did not. Anyway its history, however its still wonderful old glass works extraordinary well on my K5.

The poker game is still in play, and there are still hands to be dealt.... I want to remain hopeful.

01-29-2014, 09:45 PM   #240
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QuoteOriginally posted by interested_observer Quote
I really have mixed feelings on this broad subject of names - especially after reading another story/announcement that I'll touch on a bit later. I can easily hear the main two arguments that probably have been on going inside Ricoh since the purchase....
  • First argument - Ricoh has a history of buying and putting their name on the acquired product line - essentially broadening the Ricoh brand.
  • Second argument - Ricoh should maintain and embrace the "Pentax" name as their own, and continue using it, thereby wrapping its self in the rich Pentax history and adopting it as its own.
There are great reasons for each position. We really will not know if there is a actual change afoot that goes beyond what we currently have observed.
____________
I use to work for Motorola as an engineer. Motorola was created (1st generation), managed (2nd generation) and destroyed (3rd generation) by the Galvin family. It was a public company, but controlled by the Gavins in every way. I touch on this for two reasons...
  • Asahi/Pentax and Motorola have somewhat parallel histories. They both had excellent world class products at one time. They both hung on to the old technology for far too long, thereby loosing their advantage and market position. Once they lost their market leading position, endless series of mistakes, missteps and miscues occurred that just doomed them. Few know this, but Motorola invented the digital switch - management had no idea what they had, even when the engineers showed and demonstrated the potential - and how to productize and market it. It sat in the corner of a lab gathering dust. A couple of years later - Cisco discovered the same idea. Cisco knew how to convert on the idea and created a market. End of story. There are quite a few additional examples, but you get the idea.
  • I just read a news announcement, that Google has stripped off a couple of engineering development groups from their recent Motorola acquisition of a couple of years ago, and sold the rest of the (still money loosing) company to Lenovo. The original Motorola has been sliced and diced so many times into so many diverse parts that its a wonder that one can still find as about 15 different pieces that have been sold off to various companies. Its a real shame - but the bottom line is that the owners - the Galvin family - essentially Chris just "knew" better than anyone else and augured it into the ground.
Back to Pentax - at least Ricoh acquired the vast majority of it (sans the medical group) that they hold intact - and the product lines are coming to life. It still remains to be seen just how things ultimately turn out - but, there is more than just hope, looking at the K3, and other developments to date.

So, I too would like to see Pentax on the front and on the back, but I can be convinced of having Ricoh on the back - especially if they leave "Pentax" out front. It would also be nice to see Ricoh pushing the "Pentax" brand - however, after seeing the booth pictures posted in the other thread, I have to wonder just how all of this is going to ultimately turn out.

As Lauren noted - Zeiss' famous Contax brand crashed and burned on a single bad product. I think that Zeiss had the resources to recover, but for what ever reason did not. Anyway its history, however its still wonderful old glass works extraordinary well on my K5.

The poker game is still in play, and there are still hands to be dealt.... I want to remain hopeful.

That's a great post!

I've seen my share of brands/companies run into the ground, and I stopped buying Honda when Soichiro died. I was amazed at how fast Honda changed when he died. It was as if they honored him while he was alive, but the moment he died, Honda changed forever.

Part of me knows - no - all of me knows, that I have no control over what Ricoh does to Pentax. So far, so good, but I can't help but hold my breath.

I've been one of the folks that kept Pentax alive, in that I was buying the *istD (two to be exact) when just about everyone abandoned Pentax.
I am glad that I bought so many things when they were cheap on eBay!

I'm not Japanese, but I have a certain admiration for what I perceive as their old school ways when it comes to making cameras. I never saw Pentax as a "Cheap" brand or a low cost alternative. I never supported that narrative.

Like Honda, I see Pentax (and their engineers) as the soul of the company, and without a personality like Soichiro, I can only grasp at the ethos and aesthetic of what I can hold, as to being Pentax.

If Ricoh doesn't understand what classical Japanese brand management is, and how the rest of the (loyal) world perceives Pentax, then there's not much I can do but step aside and let the new generation decided what Pentax as a brand/aesthetic means to them.

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