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05-25-2014, 12:43 PM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by texandrews Quote
Super helpful post, rawr! converting some of those prices gives me some answers I've been looking for. Thanks, mate! Here's a map for you:http://flourish.org/upsidedownmap/hobodyer-large.jpg
Well if I understand your tone (on an internet Forum it isn't easy to read tone) your response is going to get you a lot of help.

Why not try contacting Pentax directly, as I linked above? Just might work.

05-25-2014, 02:06 PM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
Well if I understand your tone (on an internet Forum it isn't easy to read tone) your response is going to get you a lot of help.
I think you did not understand my tone, if you mean that you think I was being sarcastic. I was not!---rawr's post was truly super helpful, because it gave me prices new for some of the things I'm looking for, but so far could only find domestically on the used market. For instance, as a hypothetical example I'd rather not pay $100 for something used that only costs $135 new. The price list rawr linked to was the best and most concise I've seen. For the other, stuff, i was also not being sarcastic---but if you check the B&H site that stuff is scattered about, and there are no links from the 645 pages to any of it---plus several things are not even on the site, in fact the things I'm looking for. Plus I had mentioned looking there. And that it's not on the Pentax/Ricoh site? Extraordinary to me. Even the far less than good Sony site is better---at least the accessories are there!

QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
Why not try contacting Pentax directly, as I linked above? Just might work.
I'm PM'ing you about that so as not to put that out publicly...yet. But I will probably follow your suggestion later in the summer.
05-25-2014, 03:09 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by texandrews Quote
For the other, stuff, i was also not being sarcastic---but if you check the B&H site that stuff is scattered about, and there are no links from the 645 pages to any of it---plus several things are not even on the site, in fact the things I'm looking for. Plus I had mentioned looking there. And that it's not on the Pentax/Ricoh site? Extraordinary to me. Even the far less than good Sony site is better---at least the accessories are there!
Yeah, still can't believe you won't tell us what you are looking for. Everything Pentax ever made for the 645 is available here some new and some used. Some of it has been out of production for a long time and not available new unless old stock anywhere on this earth. I offered to help as I have seen every item for sale at one point or another and bought and sold a bit as well. I am out, good luck.
05-25-2014, 05:30 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by texandrews Quote
I think you did not understand my tone, if you mean that you think I was being sarcastic. I was not!---rawr's post was truly super helpful, because it gave me prices new for some of the things I'm looking for, but so far could only find domestically on the used market. For instance, as a hypothetical example I'd rather not pay $100 for something used that only costs $135 new. The price list rawr linked to was the best and most concise I've seen. For the other, stuff, i was also not being sarcastic---but if you check the B&H site that stuff is scattered about, and there are no links from the 645 pages to any of it---plus several things are not even on the site, in fact the things I'm looking for. Plus I had mentioned looking there. And that it's not on the Pentax/Ricoh site? Extraordinary to me. Even the far less than good Sony site is better---at least the accessories are there!

I'm PM'ing you about that so as not to put that out publicly...yet. But I will probably follow your suggestion later in the summer.
The first and most important thing to understand is, the Webstore is not Pentax. It is an independent contractor that maintains its own inventory, makes its own stocking decisions, runs its own deals and sales (on top of deals that Ricoh Imaging offers all dealers) and presents itself as the PentaxWebstore. It is operated by a company called SureSource LLC and specializes in this kind of arrangement.

Second, I'm not completely certain about this, but I don't believe Ricoh Imaging maintains a warehouse and inventory in the USA. I believe they closed that function, along with service, website administration, Customer Service (since brought back in-house) and many other functions that were outsourced and contracted. There were apparently 2 Sales Reps - one for east and one for west of the Mississippi. At one time there were over 200 employees in Golden, CO. When Pentax moved to Denver in summer 2011 they brought 50 people. Pentax USA under Hoya was essentially an internet shell - a Distributor. That isn't true of Europe or Canada. Jim Malcolm is gradually rebuilding Pentax, but they aren't yet at the point where they are a full-service division yet, IMHO. They are apparently very expense aware and every expenditure decision matters. Maybe warehouse functions will change if they get enough dealers - but they ahve to get enough dealers. It is a sort of Catch-22. We all assume Ricoh can just frop a few tens of millions of dollars into the USA and fix everything - that just sin't going to happen. I once read a study by a respected equity analyst which stated that Ricoh would have a meaningful earnings cut for several years if they invested enough money to compete globally in digicams immediately. They've openly stated their time horizon is #3 in the 'Intermediate Term,' which I interpret to mean 5 - 7 years, and I interpret to mean they must finance growth internally from cash flow rather than from a capital call on Ricoh.

Third - prior to about March 1st there wasn't any availability at all in the USA for FA645 lenses - just the new DA lenses (maybe one FA). The Pentax Japan Product Manager was actually surprised during when made aware of that during the Imaging Resource interview at CES. Sometimes Denver has their hands tied by Japan.

Fourth - is it fair for us to assert that Pentax should have control over B&H's website and product organization decisions? B&H chooses what to stock based on their assessment of what they will sell. If indications read here are correct the intial run of 645z bodies is 2000 for the world, then 400 a month. If 500 of those come to the USA and 120 a month, how many accessories will B&H, Adorama and Amazon sell?

I'm not trying to defend Pentax - the situation is maddening. I just try to understand reality and the causes for these shortcomings and try to see a way forward when things might improve. The issues are much more complex than just asking, "What kind of company doesn't even make accessories available for its flagship camera?" The USA, at this time, is not Ricoh's primary camera market. That a bitter pill for Americans to swallow - after 65 years of having anything we want, when we want it, we're not the most important people on Earth any more.


Last edited by monochrome; 05-25-2014 at 05:57 PM.
05-25-2014, 05:48 PM   #20
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All I want to be able to buy is one of these:


or maybe one of these:
05-25-2014, 06:35 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by rawr Quote
All I want to be able to buy is one of these:


or maybe one of these:
How bad do you want it? There are services that you pay them and they buy an item it gets delivered local to them in Japan and they forward it to you. But for a coffee mug you would have to want it pretty bad.

QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
I'm not trying to defend Pentax - the situation is maddening. I just try to understand reality and the causes for these shortcomings and try to see a way forward when things might improve. The issues are much more complex than just asking, "What kind of company doesn't even make accessories available for its flagship camera?" The USA, at this time, is not Ricoh's primary camera market. That a bitter pill for Americans to swallow - after 65 years of having anything we want, when we want it, we're not the most important people on Earth any more.
I think we should consider ourselves lucky. When I was living in Africa there was no Pentax dealer within 4000miles. Anything I wanted had to come out of Japan, Europe, or the States/Canada. Paid a lot of money in shipping when over there, and bear in mind there isn't much market for shipping there so the cost to securely ship a package even if just a lens started at $500. But that is how I got good at finding what I wanted and sorting out how to get through the rules (like most Japan stores will not ship internationally, most US stores won't ship to Africa, etc...) Then there was the customs forms and rules...

Last edited by atlnq9; 05-25-2014 at 06:45 PM.
05-25-2014, 06:54 PM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by atlnq9 Quote
I think we should consider ourselves lucky.
Well. I wasn't going to be so rude as to reply, "Meh. First World problems . . . . . . "
05-25-2014, 07:25 PM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by texandrews Quote
Yes, somehow Canada is a hotbed of 645 stuff! Here in these forums we had tell of a new Z demo in shops in ....Sasketchewan!!!???? I mean no offense to the fine people of that province, but the largest 2 cities there together have less population than my mid-Atlantic city of Baltimore, I think by nearly a factor of 2. Open that up to the Richmond to Philly corridor and we're talking about a population and wealth concentration that probably exceeds that of several provinces, yet I've heard of no samples making the rounds. U.S. Pentax seems far less excited than Canadian Pentax about this great new camera....
When it comes to Pentax population has nothing to do with it. In Vancouver where I live, we have more brick and mortar stores selling Pentax gear than NYC, which has a population about 5 times that of the Vancouver area.

Pentax has always been more popular/available in Canada than the US and for better or worse it still continues in these current Ricoh Pentax times.

I can go to a local drug store chain in Vancouver and while my prescription is being filled, test out a 645D. Bet you can’t do that in Baltimore, but you can in Regina!

Phil.

05-26-2014, 04:42 AM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by atlnq9 Quote
Yeah, still can't believe you won't tell us what you are looking for. Everything Pentax ever made for the 645 is available here some new and some used. Some of it has been out of production for a long time and not available new unless old stock anywhere on this earth. I offered to help as I have seen every item for sale at one point or another and bought and sold a bit as well. I am out, good luck.
Sorry to be cagey about that and possibly irritating to you, but these are used items that indeed are for sale here and out of Japan. There are 3 in particular that I want to snap up before the Z hits the streets here and prices start to shift---at least one I'll get today. If there were a ton of these things available it would be a different story, but there are only several instances of each. And I have been burned before when I telegraphed precisely what I was looking for when there was very limited supply of that thing. You may think I'm being silly, but for instance KEH quickly went from 2 full pages of lenses down to just a few in the last few weeks after the Z announcement. I feel very lucky to have gotten what I already have at the prices I did. And, as I said what I really wanted was some sense of what these things were going for new so as to better judge the used prices.

My other comments just had to do with something I thought was odd about the way these accessories were less than easy to find all in one place (even at B&H) in an organized way. That chart, for instance, isn't even available at the Ricoh/Pentax U.S. website that I can find---don't know where IR got it. But monochrome has some explanations that are illuminating, posted here and in PM's to me. So, now those questions are answered. Thanks for your offers of assistance
05-26-2014, 06:51 AM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
The first and most important thing to understand is, the Webstore is not Pentax. It is an independent contractor that maintains its own inventory, makes its own stocking decisions, runs its own deals and sales (on top of deals that Ricoh Imaging offers all dealers) and presents itself as the PentaxWebstore. It is operated by a company called SureSource LLC and specializes in this kind of arrangement.

Second, I'm not completely certain about this, but I don't believe Ricoh Imaging maintains a warehouse and inventory in the USA. I believe they closed that function, along with service, website administration, Customer Service (since brought back in-house) and many other functions that were outsourced and contracted. There were apparently 2 Sales Reps - one for east and one for west of the Mississippi. At one time there were over 200 employees in Golden, CO. When Pentax moved to Denver in summer 2011 they brought 50 people. Pentax USA under Hoya was essentially an internet shell - a Distributor. That isn't true of Europe or Canada. Jim Malcolm is gradually rebuilding Pentax, but they aren't yet at the point where they are a full-service division yet, IMHO. They are apparently very expense aware and every expenditure decision matters. Maybe warehouse functions will change if they get enough dealers - but they ahve to get enough dealers. It is a sort of Catch-22. We all assume Ricoh can just frop a few tens of millions of dollars into the USA and fix everything - that just sin't going to happen. I once read a study by a respected equity analyst which stated that Ricoh would have a meaningful earnings cut for several years if they invested enough money to compete globally in digicams immediately. They've openly stated their time horizon is #3 in the 'Intermediate Term,' which I interpret to mean 5 - 7 years, and I interpret to mean they must finance growth internally from cash flow rather than from a capital call on Ricoh.

Third - prior to about March 1st there wasn't any availability at all in the USA for FA645 lenses - just the new DA lenses (maybe one FA). The Pentax Japan Product Manager was actually surprised during when made aware of that during the Imaging Resource interview at CES. Sometimes Denver has their hands tied by Japan.

Fourth - is it fair for us to assert that Pentax should have control over B&H's website and product organization decisions? B&H chooses what to stock based on their assessment of what they will sell. If indications read here are correct the intial run of 645z bodies is 2000 for the world, then 400 a month. If 500 of those come to the USA and 120 a month, how many accessories will B&H, Adorama and Amazon sell?

I'm not trying to defend Pentax - the situation is maddening. I just try to understand reality and the causes for these shortcomings and try to see a way forward when things might improve. The issues are much more complex than just asking, "What kind of company doesn't even make accessories available for its flagship camera?" The USA, at this time, is not Ricoh's primary camera market. That a bitter pill for Americans to swallow - after 65 years of having anything we want, when we want it, we're not the most important people on Earth any more.
Thanks, monochrome. Lots of great insight about the situation. It explains a lot. And I don't expect Pentax to control B&H! I just expect B&H to be better---they are de facto the world's reference website overall for photo gear.

---------- Post added 05-26-14 at 09:55 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by gofour3 Quote
When it comes to Pentax population has nothing to do with it. In Vancouver where I live, we have more brick and mortar stores selling Pentax gear than NYC, which has a population about 5 times that of the Vancouver area.

Pentax has always been more popular/available in Canada than the US and for better or worse it still continues in these current Ricoh Pentax times.

I can go to a local drug store chain in Vancouver and while my prescription is being filled, test out a 645D. Bet you canít do that in Baltimore, but you can in Regina!

Phil.
Fascinating! Well, that explains things. I've always felt our cousins up north were admirably level-headed. So, monochrome's explanations taken into account, I wonder how the situation in the U.S. got so messed up?
05-26-2014, 07:07 AM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by texandrews Quote
So, monochrome's explanations taken into account, I wonder how the situation in the U.S. got so messed up?
Honeywell would be my guess. They were the sole importer/distributor of Pentax in the US for decades. They defaced Asahi Pentax cameras and put their own name on them and did not sell some Pentax accessories in the US market, like flashes.

They were looking after their own companies sales first and Pentax was a secondary product line they distributed to retailers.

We never had that issue in Canada.

Phil.
05-26-2014, 02:08 PM   #27
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This accessory thing has me thinking: Of the eight 645 lenses I own for my 645D, six are MF. I dearly need the discontinued split screen focusing screen. I missed a few on ebay. I wonder why Pentax does not re-introduce it? If I had to guess, why would they make it EASIER, and MORE POSITIVE to focus discontinued MF lenses? They would rather us buy current AF lenses I guess. If anyone has a 645N split screen let me know.
Thanks
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05-26-2014, 03:40 PM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by gurtch Quote
This accessory thing has me thinking: Of the eight 645 lenses I own for my 645D, six are MF. I dearly need the discontinued split screen focusing screen. I missed a few on ebay. I wonder why Pentax does not re-introduce it? If I had to guess, why would they make it EASIER, and MORE POSITIVE to focus discontinued MF lenses? They would rather us buy current AF lenses I guess. If anyone has a 645N split screen let me know.
Thanks
Dave in NJ
Those are hard to find but I have seen them; it's often easier to buy a 645N I or II with it installed (you would then have to resell the camera body...). I ended up deciding I didn't need one after I got the viewfinder magnifier.

There were two companies that I was talking to, to make a custom one for me. I don't remember who was actually going to do it but I think it was bright screen. Cost was like $400 with split screen and the ground circle around it with gridlines. So it was more than just a 645N style one...

Unofficial Maxwell Precision Optics Webpage (Has contact information)

Index of / (I think they are out of business as the owner and designer passed away in 2012 when I was looking to buy one)
05-27-2014, 01:18 AM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by texandrews Quote
I just expect B&H to be better---they are de facto the world's reference website overall for photo gear.[COLOR="Silver"]
Ummm..., maybe the English speaking world...
05-27-2014, 04:52 AM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by revdocjim Quote
Ummm..., maybe the English speaking world...
Well, I'm sure Japan has some amazing resources, but....Japan remains a bit of a closed loop to the outside world. And the "English speaking world" is now pretty vast, for better or worse....

But I have no doubt that Japanese stores are way ahead on Pentax stuff....
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