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11-02-2007, 02:46 PM   #1
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Pentax Publishes Letter to Customers

October 31, 2007

Pentax released today a letter to its customers stating its future intentions with respect to merging with Hoya. Pentax is also asking its customers to remain loyal, and it promises to deliver quality products after its merge.

Regardless of what Pentax may be implying, it has not made a universally positive impression with its latest DA* lineup, as it does not match up with previous 'star' lenses. We hope that Pentax sees more success in the future, and that it returns to its previous high lens standards.

Letter from PentaxImaging.com:

To our customers,

On October 29, 2007, HOYA Corporation and PENTAX Corporation, a consolidated subsidiary of HOYA announced that we have entered into a merger agreement with respect to a merger which will become effective on March 31, 2008.

Following the merger, based on the common core technological foundation in optics, imaging, and materials, the new company will optimize its business portfolios, focusing on the life care, optics, information technology, eye care,
imaging system areas. All PENTAX business divisions will be optimized within the same framework of the HOYA's other business divisions to strengthen its business. By doing so, better communication, prompt management decision, and proper resource allocation will be assured. We continue to devote our efforts to make even more outstanding the PENTAX brand even after the merger.

PENTAX promises to provide more satisfactory products and service to our customers. So, we will ask your continuous support to PENTAX Corporation and the HOYA Corporation following the merger.

Yours Sincerely,

Nobuaki Tanishima and Ned Bunnell


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11-02-2007, 02:57 PM   #2
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I assume imaging systems includes cameras?
11-02-2007, 03:08 PM   #3
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Why do I get a feeling that Nobuaki wrote that and not Ned
11-02-2007, 03:32 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by PaulAndAPentax Quote
I assume imaging systems includes cameras?
Imaging Systems Division = Cameras and binoculars, according to:
http://www.pentax.co.jp/english/news/announce/20071029-02.pdf
(look at page 8).

I believe the lenses are in there too. ("Cameras" meaning "Cameras and associated accessories").

11-02-2007, 08:34 PM   #5
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Well, since the letter came from Pentax Corporation, obviously Nobuaki Tanishima wrote it, Andreas. As is routine practice, Ned Bunnell, head of the imaging subdivision of Pentax USA solely, simply signed onto the letter afterwards.

What surprises me is how long the entire merger process is taking. The two companies apparently came to an agreement some time ago, but the merger will not become effective until the end of March next year (no merger of the two companies until then), with no date given for ultimately completing the merger.

That merger date obviously raises doubts about recent claims on the internet, here and elsewhere, concerning how much the two companies are currently working together on pending products. Since the two companies have not yet merged, it seems unlikely any significant exchange of product development finances or cooperation exists at this moment prior to the merger.

stewart
11-03-2007, 02:34 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by stewart_photo Quote
Well, since the letter came from Pentax Corporation, obviously Nobuaki Tanishima wrote it, Andreas. As is routine practice, Ned Bunnell, head of the imaging subdivision of Pentax USA solely, simply signed onto the letter afterwards.
It was a joke, but ok
11-03-2007, 06:47 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by stewart_photo Quote
Well, since the letter came from Pentax Corporation, obviously Nobuaki Tanishima wrote it, Andreas. As is routine practice, Ned Bunnell, head of the imaging subdivision of Pentax USA solely, simply signed onto the letter afterwards.

What surprises me is how long the entire merger process is taking. The two companies apparently came to an agreement some time ago, but the merger will not become effective until the end of March next year (no merger of the two companies until then), with no date given for ultimately completing the merger.

That merger date obviously raises doubts about recent claims on the internet, here and elsewhere, concerning how much the two companies are currently working together on pending products. Since the two companies have not yet merged, it seems unlikely any significant exchange of product development finances or cooperation exists at this moment prior to the merger.

stewart
No-one said that they cooperated only that Hoya had a good look at the Pentax strategy and gave the green light for the new SLR bodies and lenses. Everything else was stated as an intent.
11-03-2007, 08:37 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by *isteve Quote
No-one said that they cooperated only that Hoya had a good look at the Pentax strategy and gave the green light for the new SLR bodies and lenses. Everything else was stated as an intent.
Steve,

While I am a life long and loyal Pentax user, and aware of some of the forthcoming products, I have to admit that statement being issued in the OP sound (to my brain) like fingernails raking across an infinate chalkboard or the wonderful sensation of gnashing on a brick with my delicate incisors and molars.

The past year, and at least another 6 mos. to a year, of largely unfulfilled promises makes one wonder why we need to wait for a 14+MP camera and fast ultralong lenses when Nikon's 12.3 and lenses are already there.

With all due respect to the complexities of a merger and the soemtimes unforseeable consequences thereof, the time for delays and excuses need to cease and production and delivery promptly adhered to in an intelligent, comprehensive and executable plan/timetable.

Stephen

11-03-2007, 07:35 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by SCGushue Quote
Steve,

While I am a life long and loyal Pentax user, and aware of some of the forthcoming products, I have to admit that statement being issued in the OP sound (to my brain) like fingernails raking across an infinate chalkboard or the wonderful sensation of gnashing on a brick with my delicate incisors and molars.

The past year, and at least another 6 mos. to a year, of largely unfulfilled promises makes one wonder why we need to wait for a 14+MP camera and fast ultralong lenses when Nikon's 12.3 and lenses are already there.

With all due respect to the complexities of a merger and the soemtimes unforseeable consequences thereof, the time for delays and excuses need to cease and production and delivery promptly adhered to in an intelligent, comprehensive and executable plan/timetable.

Stephen
Well, you could switch to Canon and buy an $8,000 FF body that does not focus properly, a problem that Canon stonewalled for 5 or 6 months. Even after (sort of) announcing a recall/fix for "some" cameras made it absolutely clear that there will be no refunds because of this problem.

You can read about it here:

Rob Galbraith DPI: An analysis of EOS-1D Mark III autofocus performance

Or maybe you could buy a $2500 FFCanon 5D with all of the alleged high ISO advantages, well, except for the banding issues:

DSLR Photography Chuck Westfall comments on 5D camera banding issues

The Canon flash system is ETTL-II for a reason as well.

I am sure you can find similar stories about Nikon products with just a bit of research.

I find all of this whining about not being informed about the Hoya/Pentax future plans simply childish. Have you been informed of Toyota's specific plans? How about GM or Ford? Intel?

Perhaps you missed the YEARS of denails by Nikon about producing a FF DSLR? What, they introduced a FF camera recently? Did they announce the plans for this camera before they developed it? I guess the Nikon users were all secretly informed about the latest Nikon cameras quite some time ago, right?

I am sure that the Nikon system is good and that you would be happy with the products, but I seriously doubt that they will keep you any better informed than Hoya will.

Ray
11-06-2007, 08:50 AM   #10
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Well, I'll take this as a positive. At least Pentax didn't keep quiet all throughout.

As long as companies are improving on the K-mount (be it Pentax, Hoya, and/or Samsung), I'm a happy camper.
11-06-2007, 09:37 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by stewart_photo Quote
What surprises me is how long the entire merger process is taking. The two companies apparently came to an agreement some time ago, but the merger will not become effective until the end of March next year (no merger of the two companies until then), with no date given for ultimately completing the merger.
The business year in Japan ends the 31th of March, the new year starts the 1st of April.
This is the reason.
11-06-2007, 09:43 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by SCGushue Quote
The past year, and at least another 6 mos. to a year, of largely unfulfilled promises makes one wonder why we need to wait for a 14+MP camera and fast ultralong lenses when Nikon's 12.3 and lenses are already there.
Cameras: Sony gives priority to Nikon, since Nikon is a much bigger customer than Pentax. Remember the *ist D? It was delayed several months because Sony couldn't deliver the sensor, the success of Nikon's DSLR's meant that Sony did not have any capacity left for Pentax. Now Sony has released their own DSLR's using Sony sensors, which means that both Sony and Nikon gets new sensors from Sony before Pentax.

There has been other sensors in the working for some years now, and hopefully Pentax now can use them instead of Sony.

Long telephotos: Pentax official strategy is to care for the consumer market first, and then moving upwards. Long telephotos was to be released this year, but due to problems with parts supplier and manufacturing, this has not been possible. It is said that Pentax are getting tired of flying to Vietnam to sort the production problems out. Pentax has indeed problems with their lens plants there, and are working on a solution. Because of those production problems, they simply can't manufacture the long lenses right now.
11-06-2007, 01:09 PM   #13
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Ya Know......

I read all of this and think to myself, "Boy, I sure am glad that I decided on a Pentax DSLR before ever reading or even becoming familiar with all of the forums here on the web."

Had I read before what I have read since, I probably would have gone with Nikon or Canon (Heaven forbid) and summarily dismissed Pentax as a viable camera option.

Ignorance, must in reality, really be bliss.

For had I made an informed decision based on what I have read here, and other places, in the past year, I would have denied myself the pleasure of owning a K100D, and now a K10D, and the wonderful Pentax Glass that I have to go with them.

Even if, Pentax never developes a 14mp DSLR or never comes through with the much anticipated long glass, I have a camera, and lens kit, that more than fulfill my needs as an amateur Photographer.

Yes, Ignorance surely must be bliss!!!!
11-06-2007, 01:53 PM   #14
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Haha Eddyin. I started with Canon. Cuz of all the talk about the new digital rebel, I though a film rebel couldn't be so bad. They let me down so many times. Can't manual well, can't AF well either. Best decision I even made was when I traded my Rebel for a Pentax MZ-M.

Canon's over its head with its marketing gimmicks lol. Remember those complaints about the 40D sensor 'overheating' from live view and then refusing to operate until cool again?

I looked over the link to those rapid Mark3 shots at Rob Galbraith's page demonstrating AF inaccuracies..

Gotta put it into perspective, it is 10fps a second right? You are pretty close to making stop motion with the flash applets he posted. With the runner's arms moving like that, you think its something that can initiate a change autofocus?

(Might as well take those HD Camcorders, blaze down 60fps and then pull out the 'crisp' images. )

I think perhaps we are reaching a certain optimal in product performance vs design. Like with the conventional 1/2.5" CCDs in digital cameras for example. At about 4-5mp range, performance began to top off and noise took over. Nowadays, digicams at ISO200 can barely make what DPR, DCR, ImgResrc. would call usable prints.

Perhaps we at reaching the limit with autofocus as well or perhaps expecting too much out of it. Going back to Rob Galbraiths article about Mark3 AF issues, look at the runner series. Could the folds in her jersey, the swinging of her hand, panning of the camera alter focus point?

Anyways, this is Canon's battle to win. Perhaps one day they'll go back to making cameras with serious photographic innovation and not just one up on the automation .

Last edited by FotoPete; 11-06-2007 at 01:58 PM.
11-06-2007, 03:33 PM   #15
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Quoted from Ned Bunnell's blog:

"Pentax Letter to Customers

With the announcement that, effective March 31, 2008, PENTAX will become a wholly-owned division of the HOYA Corporation, we felt it was important to communicate what we see as the benefits of this merger to our customers.


Also, I would like to clarify one statement from the "Public Notice of Execution of Merger Agreement". In this notice, it mentions that "PENTAX will be dissolved on March 31, 2008 in conjunction with the Merger". This does not mean that the PENTAX brand, its products, or business will cease to exist. In simple terms, this statement refers to the fact that effective with this merger the fiscal entity, PENTAX Corporation and its shares will no longer exist or be traded on the Japanese stock market.


In fact, becoming a division of HOYA will create flatter corporate structures and enable new business areas to grow, ensuring agility and speed in management decision making and ensuring appropriate allocation of resources. From my view as the new President of Pentax Imaging USA, this is good news for our future and yours as a PENTAX photographer."


It would seem that he remains positive about the fate of the photography division....
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