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10-25-2011, 09:29 AM   #31
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Something to keep in mind. The US economy is having some ongoing issues and the world economy is having its issues too. Super mass production has led to the demise of some large companies and or caused them to leave certain lines of merchandise. They just can not mass produce products fast enough and cheap enough to compete (and this includes large companies like sony). Companies and or stores that have been around to see the turn of 2 different centuries are gone or have been through recent (recent being last decade or 2) bankruptcy. Pentax is alive and going on (and survived being sold a couple of times without being obliterated). Its current owner sees the value of the brand and rang of products and is going forward in full force with "PENTAX", the brand, the company and the products (
at least so far as we know they are going to). They have faired better than many including other camera companies. They may not be the largest but they have stayed alive and well which is better than a lot have faired. I would love to see pentax more main stream and be able to get stuff locally even at the discount stores, but at least there still is pentax. They could have gone the way of the minolta product line, especially with someone like hoya owning them and wanting them for something other than their camera division. I guess they saw the value in the camera devision even though its not really what they cared about.

10-25-2011, 10:01 AM   #32
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mike Cash Quote
Oddly enough, I happen to know for a fact that at least some of the police in Japan use Pentax. I've personally set up and done shots with a K20D belonging to the Nishi-Urawa (Saitama) Police Department. The cop was glad to hand it over as he personally was a Canon guy and not entirely familiar with the K20D.

Maybe TV cops don't use them, but somebody managed to sell the real cops a batch.
You can find Pentax cameras including the latest Q (in fact, Casio and Ricoh as well) in camera stores in Japan, just not in North America.

QuoteOriginally posted by wlachan Quote
I think Pentax just don't care about marketing, and when they do, their ads are downright cliche and boring. If I were a teenager looking for something cool to buy, I would steer clear of Pentax.
LOL, I wonder why you are still hanging onto the Pentax stuff here... why not sell them and move on??
10-25-2011, 10:11 AM   #33
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As a 44 year Pentax user, I've been largely oblivious to almost all the marketing etc. My sister had an Olympus, because one of her teachers (and later boy friend) had one, my mom had a Nikon, because she was one of those people who goes into a store , flirts with the sales guy and then buys what he recommends. That being said, one of the saddest days of my life was the day Pentax cancelled the K1000. I was teaching photography and I spent the next 10 years scrounging second hand ones with slush funds to keep my photography class going. One of my school buddies, a wedding photographer, used Hasselblads and Nikons. I never saw anything, shot with either of them, that was something I'd like to shoot that couldn't be done with my Pentax. My mom's Nikon felt cheap to me... a plastic body that eventually broke when it fell off a table. So the big question has always been for me, can I get done what I want to do. And I've been totally oblivious to the marketing stuff. I'm a big Tennis fan, I can't tell you how many Andre Agassi- Sharapova commercials have bounced off my consciousness. For me, it's always been the lens compatibility thing. Strange because I don't actually have any of my old lenses. If I were starting over from here today, I'd be looking at who has the best 2.8 long zoom capable of producing good results with a 2x converter. The Sigma 70-200 2.8 with the Sigma 2x converter is probably my drool combination. ANd I'm pissed at Pentax because I think my DA*60-250 is a better lens than the Sigma, and if they were still making the auto 1.7 converter, I wouldn't even be wondering if I couldn't have done better elsewhere. For me it's all about glass and portability. Pentax makes good glass, and their current philosophy seems to be geared towards portability. Hence the f.4 lenses instead of f2.8. So for me and others, that's the issue.

The price is great, the portability and functionality are great. But am I going to end up looking at another system somewhere down the line because of not actually being able to find a glass in the focal length I want. Right now, in the area I am, talking to other photographers, wildlife shots are a large part of their income. The 250mm I have now in good glass is barely useful. The extra 50 mm to go to a 300mm fixed lens is just not worth the extra weight. There are some holes in the Pentax line up. For those of us more concerned about practicality than marketing, that's what Pentax should be addressing. Thinking you can play on the big stage without having at least one decent piece of glass over 300mm, might be just a little bit naive. I'm not really sure why they don't reintroduce the 400mm f4.5. TO me it would have been smarter than having the DA* 300, which is just way too close to the DA*60-250 to help with market share. It's not about marketing for me, it's about what you can do. I'm still using my K20D. Bodies don't impress me much, it's all about the glass.

Of course that has nothing to do with market share. Market share is about your image with amateurs. People who want to be thought of as better than they are, because of the gear they carry. As long as the company continues to survive and makes lenses as good as my DA*60-250, I don't care what their market share is. I just wish they made more of them. I can keep myself happy for a while by spending money on DA limited primes. But at least 40% of my earning potential is in longer lenses. The legacy lenses I'd look at are way out of my price range. If I have to go really expensive (like over $3000) then I'm probably better off going Nikon of Canon. And really, I see a lot of photographers where I live, and they are carrying lenses no longer available new from Pentax. I see a lot of tourists going by checking to see what brands they are using. I see then trying out each others lenses and other gear. Being a Canon or Nikon user makes you part of a community. Pentax, not so much. The workshops that run up here for budding nature photographers are run by folks using Canon equipment for the most part. One of the advertised features is always the lenses that will be available for try outs. I can't even see the lenses I'm interested in, in the retail stores. They are always special order only, and that's for the ones that actually are still in production.

I think Pentax depends on guys like me to spread their name. But , they aren't providing me with the equipment to make a positive impression. My buddy steve still can't believe I can't get a *x converter. He's never going to be a Pentax man, just based on that one thing. For most, it's more hassle than what they have now. Most people will switch to get something they don't have. Unless you're counting on the Q as the way of the future, Pentax isn't offering much.
10-25-2011, 12:03 PM   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by wlachan Quote
I think Pentax just don't care about marketing, and when they do, their ads are downright cliche and boring. If I were a teenager looking for something cool to buy, I would steer clear of Pentax.
I might be in the minority in disagreeing with this, but I have found the albeit sparse marketing Pentax has employed in the past is clever and teases the logic and intellect of the crowd, getting them to think more about what photography is about rather than obsessing with gear. And the brand actually lives up to that maxim quite well.

10-25-2011, 12:16 PM   #35

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I have heard that Pentax will not/can not provied trade credit to resellers. If this is true, it may be more of a problem than I had previously thought.

Many of the big-box stores demand merchandise on credit. Walmart, for example carries ZERO inventory. Every item in every Walmart in the world belongs to the manufacturer until a customer carries it out the door. Walmart doesn't pay a penny to suppliers until the product is sold. If a supplier can't/won't comply, their products don't appear on Walmart shelves. Walmart is big enough that the suppliers need Walmart more than Walmart needs the suppliers. Many other big chains have watched that business model make Walmart the juggernaut it is and are trying to get to that point.

This may go a long way toward explaining why you never see Pentax in a Walmart, Best Buy or Target. Even camera stores probably prefer Canon and Nikon for that reason. If you owned a camera store, which would you choose to stock, the Canikon that you get for "free", or the Pentax that ties up your capital and may sit on your shelf for six months before its sold?
10-25-2011, 12:21 PM   #36
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Marketing is a big reason , I think Paul detailed the decline pretty well actually. aside from the interweb world sales pentax really seems to be out of the US market. In canada they still have B&M presence but generally get little exposure
i could care less if the end up in best buy et al, but they need to works with the camera chains to get share
this means
1. more money for co-op
2. money towards displays and fixtures
3. steady rep presence at the store level
4. spiffs during promotional times to drive salespeople enthusiasm
5. Brand advertising. Which now days means something other than a 30 year old billboard and an entry to TV advertising and some more effective internet marketing

30 year old billboard Canada's advertising plan


Last edited by eddie1960; 10-25-2011 at 12:44 PM.
10-25-2011, 12:40 PM   #37
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I like rooting for the underdog, and Pentax is pretty small potatoes compared to
the Big 3. Glancing in the rearview, Hoya bought out Pentax, then Ricoh bought
Pentax from Hoya. Now a Korean lingerie company is in negotiations to buy out
Ricoh (yes, this is fairy dust/unicorn farts, but these takeovers might appear
to consumers that the brand is on the ropes, a Sign of Weakness).

Opinions/perceptions vary, of course.

That being said, no brand renders colors like Pentax DLSRs, IMHO.
10-25-2011, 12:50 PM   #38
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QuoteOriginally posted by ripit Quote
They just can not mass produce products fast enough and cheap enough to compete
This seemed to be true until we take Apple as example under Steve Jobs' management. I think the following article is worth reading even though it is about PC.

Rahul Sood: Computing Devices of the New Era Need a Soul - X-bit labs

QuoteOriginally posted by aleonx3 Quote
LOL, I wonder why you are still hanging onto the Pentax stuff here... why not sell them and move on??
Very intelligent.

11-01-2011, 06:22 PM   #39
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When I decided to go dslr digital I first researched and ultimately went (stayed) w/Pentax b/c I have always been happy w/my Pentax ME-Super which I had bought 30 years earlier and would be able to get lenses that work on both. My k-x hasn't let me down either! Who needs marketing, lol
11-01-2011, 08:03 PM   #40
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QuoteOriginally posted by kodai84 Quote
When I decided to go dslr digital I first researched and ultimately went (stayed) w/Pentax b/c I have always been happy w/my Pentax ME-Super which I had bought 30 years earlier and would be able to get lenses that work on both. My k-x hasn't let me down either! Who needs marketing, lol
I too bought a ME Super 30 years ago....and their lies the problem. Pentax has a company culture of relying on their history rather than reaching out to the masses, partly because they dropped the ball in the 90s and they are now too small to fund a major ad campaign. Once Hoya bought them, I thought this might change, but Hoya wanted to flip the camera division, so there was no money spent for long term gains. Hopefully Ricoh will be better prepared to run the company.
11-02-2011, 01:19 AM   #41
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I called a local shop to check on Pentax. I was told "Pentax does'nt take care of us". I googled that exact phrase and found out that Pentax demands payment upfront as others have said already. All it comes down to is money in the end. What a surprise. I as a 1st time DSLR owner found Pentax. They seemed to have the best bang for the buck, so thats who I went with. I will say thought that after reading about the Pentax "exclusivity" that is also appealing. Why get a Rolex when you can get a Patek Philippe? Patron is another example, Casa Noble is much better. I bought a Pentax because all the review ranked it the better camera in my opinion and I really thought going into this I would get a Canon 60D.
03-08-2013, 10:05 PM - 2 Likes   #42
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The more and more I read about it.. it quite clear that we definitely are a special group of people into the detail of things, and love the systems we use.. even the shutter sound.. one of my favourite features in pentax, compared to other "software like" sounds in Canon or Nikon.. pentax sounds more, mechanical.. i would say.. as a machine may be.

I would put it simple as,
Canon = Windows in a software/os perspective (every one has it just because they want a camera, as in buying a pc)
Nikon = Mac (costly, good looking.. "up there" for some people.
Pentax = Linux/Unix - the smart mans choice!

I guess in a way that explain why only some guys hold a pentax versus every other person.
03-08-2013, 10:54 PM   #43
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It does not matter. Pentax has its own vivid color.
03-13-2013, 03:27 PM   #44
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The chap sitting opposite me at work has just bought a Cannon 7D with a nice zoom lens. That thing is enormous compared to my K5 and I wouldn't want to carry it around as my travel camera. Listening to various podcasts etc it appears that many pro's are considering the micro four thirds system (because it is smaller!), why do they not even note Pentax as an alternative option? I switched from Olympus a few years ago because the sensor was just too small to get a decent shallow depth of field shot, even with a fast lens. The Pentax system appealed because it wasn't much bigger than the Olympus but the quality (weather sealing, larger sensor, quality lenses etc) was superior. I didn't want the large Nikon or Canon and their lenses were just too expensive due to requiring shake reduction etc. Olympus has improved their cameras since, but the sensor size remains a problem if shallow depth of field is desired. For me the K5 with 3 or more Limited prime lenses is the ultimate travel camera, I suspect most photographers are totally unaware of the Limited lenses (including the Pentax marketing Department) and therefore never give Pentax due consideration. I guess Pentax will remain unpopular until they start to shout about their strengths!
03-19-2013, 02:01 AM   #45
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Because Pentax lost its "Asahi" or "Honeywell" words.

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