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03-04-2010, 08:45 AM   #1
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Pentax demise?

Purchasing a DSLR has not been high on my to-do list only because I still like film. But after recently using my son-in-law’s Canon DSLR, I’m now feeling the urge to purchase a new Pentax. I went to the local camera store to test drive one. While waiting to speak with a sales person, I searched the displays for anything Pentax, but found nothing. When I spoke with a sales person I learned that they were still an authorized Pentax dealer but they no longer carry any in-stock items. His personal opinion was Pentax is fading away. Of course he could order one for me, but if I’m going order a camera sight unseen I’ll order from B&H.

My question of the forum is this: Are there any rumors of Pentax’s demise?


Last edited by J.Scott; 03-04-2010 at 09:41 AM.
03-04-2010, 10:03 AM   #2
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I'm new to the forum myself, but from what I've read around here, there's been rumor of Pentax Doom for the past 5 years to a decade. And guess what? They're still around and still coming out with new products.
03-04-2010, 10:07 AM   #3
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Even for the past 20 years I have been told. Today, Pentax seems to be in a much better situation than when I bought my K10.
03-04-2010, 10:21 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by einstrigger Quote
I'm new to the forum myself, but from what I've read around here, there's been rumor of Pentax Doom for the past 5 years to a decade. And guess what? They're still around and still coming out with new products.
I first heard that "Pentax is going out of business in the next 6 months to a year" from my college photography professor. That was in 1977-78 and he shot Minoltas.... Ironic?

Mike

03-04-2010, 10:24 AM   #5
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Again? I guess when it's gone, it's gone. I'll worry about it then..
03-04-2010, 10:24 AM   #6
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The new Pentax models are doing quite well. By all reports, they are back in the black ink on the ledger sheets. Probably the biggest complaint, especially here in the US, is the lack of Pentax cameras in the retail stores. Their marketing strategy leans heavily towards the internet/mailorder outlets. Be aware that the demise of the camera store you were in will likely happen long before Pentax disappears from the scene.
03-04-2010, 11:16 AM   #7
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When I got my camera in 2005, Pentax users were lucky that film-era lenses worked and were still available. There were only 15 lenses in the catalog:
  • the three FA Limiteds
  • FA 28/2.8, FA 35/2 and FA 50/1.4 now discontinued or in short supply
  • the FA-J 18-35mm that they tried to use as a kit lens on the *ist D
  • the DA 18-55v1 and DA 50-200
  • two macros with digital coatings
  • the DA 14/2.8
  • the DA 40/2.8
  • the DA 12-24/4
  • the DA 16-45/4
Nothing long except the DA 50-200, few zooms, not much choice.

Since then, a couple of those lenses are no longer made, and a couple more are at least expensive if not on their way out. But Pentax has added 20 more lenses if you include the various kit lens versions as separate. They've added I think 12 different DSLRs, counting minor variations like the K100D, K110D and K100D Super separately, not counting Samsung. In a week or so they'll add the 645D.

Pentax is still a niche player in cameras and they could still fumble. However, all I've seen is steady growth and increased sales.

Last edited by Just1MoreDave; 03-04-2010 at 12:34 PM.
03-04-2010, 12:28 PM   #8
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I was also lucky to have bought my Apple computer just prior to their demise.

I agree with others here. This has been an ongoing sentiment for quite awhile. I also agree that most of the retail camera stores save Best Buy (big boxes) will be gone prior to Pentax. The economy and the internet has killed off many already.

03-04-2010, 12:46 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Keith M Quote

My question of the forum is this: Are there any rumors of Pentax’s demise?
There were rumours when I got my first DSLR (K10D) 2 years ago ... and there always will be. Seems to me they are mostly spread by the Canikon crowd who are unaware of what Pentax are doing these days.
03-04-2010, 12:57 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Keith M Quote
I went to the local camera store to test drive one. While waiting to speak with a sales person, I searched the displays for anything Pentax, but found nothing. When I spoke with a sales person I learned that they were still an authorized Pentax dealer but they no longer carry any in-stock items. His personal opinion was Pentax is fading away.
This is pretty funny. It's bricks and mortar stores that are fading away. Pentax seems to be doing fine.

Aside from B&H and Adorama in New York City and perhaps a handful of other stores, virtually NOBODY in the USA keeps everything, from every maker, in stock. And most of the local stores stock only a couple of items—the low-end Canon and Nikon DSLRs and perhaps a model or two from Sony or Olympus. They figure what you don't know won't hurt them.

Will
03-04-2010, 01:20 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by MRRiley Quote
I first heard that "Pentax is going out of business in the next 6 months to a year" from my college photography professor. That was in 1977-78 and he shot Minoltas.... Ironic?

Mike
I was told of the demise of Pentax by a Minolta user about 25 years ago. Pentax could not keep up with technology, no AF ect. Pentax users are constantly being told that they always have equipment that is behind in development terms to other manufacturers. You never know in 25 to 30 years time Pentax may well have caught up with the rest. By then Canik will have developed a camera that will do all the photography for you wile you stay at home watching 3D TV and eating microwave meals.
03-04-2010, 03:27 PM   #12
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Shame about these so-called rumours.
It seems a trend for stores that don't carry Pentax to say it's going under.
Naturally the salespeople aren't going to praise a brand they don't stock.
"Yeah, Pentax is going down" (Meaning we don't stock it).
"Have you seen this shiny (plasticky) new Canon, that we have in abundance."
And that's about it.
03-04-2010, 04:17 PM   #13
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Interesting to see this thread. I was in Holland Michigan last week and decided to stop in a large camera shop to get my hands on a K-X to see what it looked like up close. The owner was behind the counter. He was the only one in the store in fact. And I was probably the only one he'd seen in the last hour. Let's not digress on some flameout concerning the loss of "bricks and mortar". There are obviously too many pros and cons to that situation to make any mention of the trend worth while in one thread. But it was pretty interesting that he had most of the other major brands present except Pentax.

When I asked of this, he got a little pissy. While admitting that it was always a fine product, he claimed that Pentax just never supported it's retailers in the last decade. Whatever support that constitutes, advertising, cardboard signs, fast warranty service.... I don't know. But it sounded like Pentax might just be trying to ride a little ahead of this wave that is online business. I mentioned in another thread that Pentax enjoys a relative "luxury" of manufacturing to primarily photographers (particularly in it's SLR lines). While most of the others, as I put it, are trying to keep themselves visible to the 'gadget as status symbol' crowd and teenagers tweeting with Ashton Kutcher. A typical Pentax photographer is less likely to need the sales person. He knows what he wants because he's done the homework, and also knows where to get it.

It's mostly a good thing for the Pentax consumer, I think. Demise does not look likely. But who ever knows? Ask a Saab owner.

Last edited by frascati; 03-04-2010 at 04:24 PM.
03-04-2010, 04:29 PM   #14
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frascati,

I certainly didn't mean to "flame out" when I said that bricks and mortar camera stores are going out of business. That's a simple fact. The ones that are staying in business are selling almost nothing but low-end, high-volume cameras. The entire Dallas-Fort Worth area—which has several million people in it—supports just ONE halfway decent camera store (Arlington Camera) and it certainly isn't in the league of B&H or Adorama.

Now I have heard it also said that Pentax didn't handle its relationships with resellers as well as it should have. I can believe that. As far as I can tell, Pentax doesn't actually have a marketing department at all.

Anyway, the basic fact is that the Internet is becoming the marketplace of choice for serious photographers of all brands.
03-04-2010, 05:25 PM   #15
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I find it hilarious that every Ritz, Wolf, Kits, etc. that I have been to, mentioning the word Pentax is like a dirty word. All you will get in reply is some eye rolling and the generic (almost rehearsed sounding), "Pentax is going out of business". I have heard every salespersons' stories for years and yet Pentax seems to be doing fine under their new owners (Hoya), who bought them out in 2007 for $864M. I don't see them going anywhere, anytime soon.

I find this post from openphotographyforums.com ironic because the author was writing about how (despite the rumors back in 2007), Pentax was not going out of business and that people should go ahead and buy the K10D or K100D. I also find it ironic that he mentioned the 645D (which is still available 3 years later).

Here is the link to his post:
My Meeting with Pentax Today... - Open Photography Forums

On a side note, Pentax Japan's website shows an outline of what could be the 645D and under their news section I translated this:

"This new product is its dual equipped with SD · SDHC memory card slot, the unlikely event that an error has occurred and peace of mind of one card, and two concurrent writes the same data slot, well paced shooting in low-capacity cards continued, and two different operations can be sequential write across the slot.

Latest information to the public so that we can only deliver little earlier e-mail newsletter, please register.
In addition, we will send you a catalog of products registered as a benefit!"


I am not sure if it has to do with the 645D or another camera, but it is a cool idea I think.

-Jason
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