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08-26-2014, 09:28 AM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by Gareth Iwan Jones Quote
My first point of contact was with Pentax because I need a replacement/loan camera urgently and thought they might be a better start point. This is the experience I'm moaning about, I was a bit taken back by how bad it was.

I own a Fuji x100 which costs less than a tenth of the 645z but as one of Fuji's 'premium' products they have an appropriate customer service for faulty 'premium' cameras. Replaced quickly whilst they sort the fault out. Canon Professional Service offer something similar. As the Pentax 645z is one of Pentax's premium products and likely to be used by professionals I was hoping they might offer something similar.

I'm now talking to the retailer who are talking to the Pentax rep so I'll keep the post updated as I progress.
Which Pentax service area? Pentax U.K. (based on your profile)? This is just for reference for other users in your area who have to deal with service.

I believe Pentax does have a professional service program, but I believe you have to be invited by Pentax into it. I don't remember how it works, I believe Kerrick James is one protog that has that service.

Please do keep us updated on how the situation goes with Pentax service and also your dealer, so we know how either handles it and what the resolutions are.

08-26-2014, 09:47 AM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by Royce Howland Quote
When the 645D came out, there was a spate of control wheel failures in the first shipments, and I believe most of these cameras were exchanged. At least the ones I know about.

I have spoken to my local Pentax rep and clearly stated that the best thing I believe Pentax can do to attract and retain the kind of photographers they want with the digital 645 system is not any lenses, tethering software, or other widgets. My #1 priority and I believe the same for many others is a professional level of support with options for replacement gear, loaners, expedited shipping, etc. I encourage everyone else to send the same message loud & clear through your local dealers and reps. Any manufactured item can fail, even high-end ones; it's what a company does to support the customer that will set the system at the professional level that Ricoh clearly wants.
Yes, I completely agree. Pentax have clearly aimed this camera at the pro level and so they need pro level customer service to go with it.

Fingers crossed this problem may well be resolved promptly through the supplier but I sort of expected Pentax to offer a premium service to resolve these issues quickly.

---------- Post added 08-26-14 at 10:00 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by JinDesu Quote
Again, where are you located, and by what service are you getting this camera replaced? For example, is it through your dealer? Or did you talk with Pentax directly, and how did you do so?
Yeah I'm based in UK,. Spoken to both Pentax support and Supplier. Supplier proving more helpful.

---------- Post added 08-26-14 at 10:30 AM ----------

I've written a blog with a little praise and a little moan about my experience with the 645z so far. There are a couple of portraits on there and I'll probably tweet it to Ricoh Imaging UK tomorrow and see if it sparks any sort of response.
08-26-2014, 10:57 AM   #18
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With the 645D we had pentax professional services in the u.s.a. . I had a bad one and was given a loaner for two months in 2011 while they verified my bad copy and ultimately sent me a new one. I assumed the Z was the same deal , but come to think of it , i did not get any PPS paperwork with the Z Maybe Ricoh has discontinued the program?
08-26-2014, 11:03 AM   #19
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Man oh man.... not much else to say....

08-26-2014, 11:11 AM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by Gareth Iwan Jones Quote
My first point of contact was with Pentax because I need a replacement/loan camera urgently and thought they might be a better start point. This is the experience I'm moaning about, I was a bit taken back by how bad it was.

I own a Fuji x100 which costs less than a tenth of the 645z but as one of Fuji's 'premium' products they have an appropriate customer service for faulty 'premium' cameras. Replaced quickly whilst they sort the fault out. Canon Professional Service offer something similar. As the Pentax 645z is one of Pentax's premium products and likely to be used by professionals I was hoping they might offer something similar.

I'm now talking to the retailer who are talking to the Pentax rep so I'll keep the post updated as I progress.
The difficulty is that your contract of sale isn't between you and Pentax, it's between you and the dealer. If you are UK based, then the fault can be assumed to be present at time of purchase if it arises in the first 6 months and it is up to the dealer to prove otherwise. The dealer has to in absence of such evidence replace or refund the camera.

I've Pm'd you the details of someone in head office at PRUK. To get a quicker fix, see if SRS Microsystems or Park Cameras or similar have any units and get a refund which is what you are entitled to. I bought mine from SRS and found the service good.

Last edited by itshimitis; 08-26-2014 at 11:24 AM.
08-26-2014, 11:59 AM   #21
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There is no Pentax professional service in Canada, at least, and hasn't been since the time I bought my first 645D. When my shutter went down the first time I dug for any official way from Pentax to keep shooting the project I was doing in Arizona at the time, and there was nothing. I limped along to finish the shoot. When I got back to Calgary, I sent the camera in to be fixed under warranty (10 weeks) and bought a 2nd 645D so I would be less likely to be caught in that situation again. I guess that's what you could call the self-support program.

In the 35mm world I normally maintained 2 active bodies for my main system, and I certainly will continue doing so now with the 645D/Z. But it was a bit of a pain to be caught out with a $10K body suddenly down within the warranty period, and no way to back it up... short of buying another one on the spot, or renting one for a weekly cost that would have paid for a new one outright after about 3 weeks.

When I spoke about this with my local Pentax rep, he did indicate that Ricoh is aware of this as a deficiency with 645 system support in particular. They are supposedly working on bringing out a new support program of some sort. But it seems likely that it will take some time to come out, possibly over a year or even more from now...
08-26-2014, 02:28 PM   #22
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It will be interesting to learn how these support issues work out in Australia. The same company here (CRK) distributes and supports both Hasselblad and Pentax, and has done so for decades. One would hope they know how to look after MF pros.
08-26-2014, 08:31 PM   #23
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My 645Z is about a month old, so far, no problems, but I will be on the lookout. I almost didnt buy into Pentax because I have heard of Poor support, but the "Z" seemed to good to pass up, particularly after reading very good reviews and some of the lastest YouTube post. I think the fact that someone I knew about (Joel Grimes I believe is his name) uses it, made it all the more desireable. I better get back to B&H and get their Warranty !!
Hopeing for the best!

08-26-2014, 11:34 PM   #24
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Reason enough you should not buy the first version of an expensive camera but wait for 2 or even 3 later versions while bugs and control system failures are dealt with. Same with buying the much-hyped, flash-bang bells-n'-whistles brand new car: WAIT! There will be a recall. There will be safety faults. There will be niggles. And what will happen 12+ months later? They will have been fixed. And so it is with the camera marques. There have been many gripes about the 645Z here in Australia too (display failures and metering errors). It's not a particularly good look for Ricoh-Pentax after all that trumpeting and chest beating for something costing as much as a small car.
08-26-2014, 11:43 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by Silent Street Quote
There have been many gripes about the 645Z here in Australia too (display failures and metering errors)
Admittedly I only have an academic interest in the 645Z, so haven't been following it closely, but this is news to me. Have these issues been raised on the Pentax AU Facebook or something?
08-27-2014, 01:51 AM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by Silent Street Quote
Reason enough you should not buy the first version of an expensive camera but wait for 2 or even 3 later versions while bugs and control system failures are dealt with. Same with buying the much-hyped, flash-bang bells-n'-whistles brand new car: WAIT! There will be a recall. There will be safety faults. There will be niggles. And what will happen 12+ months later? They will have been fixed. And so it is with the camera marques. There have been many gripes about the 645Z here in Australia too (display failures and metering errors). It's not a particularly good look for Ricoh-Pentax after all that trumpeting and chest beating for something costing as much as a small car.
If everybody waited then they would never sort out any issues as there would be no one to report them!

---------- Post added 08-27-14 at 02:04 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by rawr Quote
Admittedly I only have an academic interest in the 645Z, so haven't been following it closely, but this is news to me. Have these issues been raised on the Pentax AU Facebook or something?
Why are people so desperate to bypass the correct protocol for reporting a fault? This for me is one of the downsides to the modern tech world. People bypass due process and a fault that only a few are experiencing suddenly morphs in forums to a regular problem and so the camera must be avoided. You then run the risk of cameras never been released as it hurts residuals for the company. People are too quick to name and shame.

I have given the OP a contact who is responsible for service at Pentax Ricoh in the UK where he is based. I won't be sharing this publicly as it is unfair on that senior manager.
08-27-2014, 05:39 AM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by Silent Street Quote
There have been many gripes about the 645Z here in Australia too (display failures and metering errors). It's not a particularly good look for Ricoh-Pentax after all that trumpeting and chest beating for something costing as much as a small car.
How many is 'many'? Are you repeating hearsay or do you know of specific documented cases. I know owners here with the Z who have no issues with the camera to date.
08-27-2014, 06:45 AM   #28
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I know a few 645D owners and already a larger number of 645Z owners here in Western Canada. I'm the only one out of everyone I know who has had any real trouble with the cameras. And despite my comments above -- which I post to provide some "keeping it real" grounded reports -- I'm still extremely bullish on the Pentax 645 digital system. I'd buy into it all over again and go through everything even knowing about it advance, in order to get the results the system has been giving me. Others may have different opinions about risk/reward, or have a different level of need or interest in what the system can do. But in my case the hassles I've gone through have been worth it to me.

Probably the only thing I would have done differently, knowing what I know now, is that I would have bought my 2nd 645D sooner so I had it on hand when my first D shutter failure happened. Also I probably would have liquidated my Canon kit and doubled down on Pentax sooner if I had really understood in advance how much I would come to depend on the 645D. I want Pentax to improve their professional support, absolutely. But I also want to have this system and be able to shoot it, so I'm voting with my wallet to help make it a viable product line. I wouldn't do that if the results weren't there in the photographs, but the results totally are there.

I recognize that not everybody will share the same approach I do. But if we want alternatives in the marketplace, we have to put finances towards them. Niche products made by 2nd tier companies can be made or broken a lot easier than the latest DXXXX from Nikon or Digital Rebel Whatever from Canon.
08-27-2014, 06:46 AM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by Silent Street Quote
Reason enough you should not buy the first version of an expensive camera but wait for 2 or even 3 later versions while bugs and control system failures are dealt with. Same with buying the much-hyped, flash-bang bells-n'-whistles brand new car: WAIT! There will be a recall. There will be safety faults. There will be niggles. And what will happen 12+ months later? They will have been fixed. And so it is with the camera marques. There have been many gripes about the 645Z here in Australia too (display failures and metering errors). It's not a particularly good look for Ricoh-Pentax after all that trumpeting and chest beating for something costing as much as a small car.
you must be kidding right?

645Z is the 2nd iteration of digital 645 from Pentax. It is fine if this is your buying practice, but this doesn't means it is OP fault that he bought the camera as soon as it came out. The customer service that he received, IMO, is not good.
09-29-2014, 04:39 PM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by Gareth Iwan Jones Quote
Yes, I completely agree. Pentax have clearly aimed this camera at the pro level and so they need pro level customer service to go with it.

Fingers crossed this problem may well be resolved promptly through the supplier but I sort of expected Pentax to offer a premium service to resolve these issues quickly.

---------- Post added 08-26-14 at 10:00 AM ----------



Yeah I'm based in UK,. Spoken to both Pentax support and Supplier. Supplier proving more helpful.

---------- Post added 08-26-14 at 10:30 AM ----------

I've written a blog with a little praise and a little moan about my experience with the 645z so far. There are a couple of portraits on there and I'll probably tweet it to Ricoh Imaging UK tomorrow and see if it sparks any sort of response.

So have you had your 645Z replaced or fixed yet? How did it all go?
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