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10-11-2010, 11:39 AM   #1
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Lack of Pentax retail support in the States

I've known that Pentax was dropped from Wolf Camera for a while. Not too much of a downfall, as they typically don't have much in stock. However, since I had the day off work, I decided to visit camera shops within about a half hour radius of me. I live in the suburbs of Chicago, and found a list of three off Pentax's own site. None of them carry Pentax anymore.

It's quite disappointing, that to handle a lens before buying, I would have to rent from somewhere online. Even then, I'm limited to what they have and may not be able to try out a lens I'm in the market for. Not only that, but if repairs come up, I'm stuck coordinating remotely and sending in my products.

Calumet Photographic had a couple demos left over, yet they wouldn't knock off any money off retail, despite them phasing Pentax out. I'm pretty disappointed.

Does anyone else have this experience?

10-11-2010, 11:43 AM   #2
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Before I went with Pentax, I had a slight interest in Olympus and went shopping around. The local camera shops here are way over-priced and insist on selling you Canon / Nikon stuff.
10-11-2010, 12:12 PM   #3
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I'm in PGH Pa area and not any pentax dealers here also
10-11-2010, 12:13 PM   #4
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Olympus is priced fairly here, but it's mainly 4/3 stuff. Pentax is nowhere to be found. I will have to see if there is anything even in Chicago, but I'll call ahead first. Trusting Pentax to update the dealer listing is obviously not wise at this point.

10-11-2010, 12:29 PM   #5
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The only place I know of in Southern California to put your hands on a Pentax body is at Fry's electronics stores. If you want to handle any lenses other than the 18-55 good luck. Samy's says they have Pentax on their website, but whenever I call them I am told that Pentax is basically out of business, but they would be happy to assist me in switching to Canon or Nikon.
10-11-2010, 12:52 PM   #6
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That's sad. I know there isn't much Pentax can do about it. If the products don't move, they don't move. It doesn't matter how low the overhead would be for the store. It's just difficult to believe that, in major metropolitian areas here, there is almost zero support.
10-11-2010, 12:52 PM   #7
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Just curious...

QuoteOriginally posted by Rory Quote
I live in the suburbs of Chicago, and found a list of three off Pentax's own site. None of them carry Pentax anymore.

It's quite disappointing, that to handle a lens before buying, I would have to rent from somewhere online. Even then, I'm limited to what they have and may not be able to try out a lens I'm in the market for. Not only that, but if repairs come up, I'm stuck coordinating remotely and sending in my products.
May I ask, if you had found a new copy of the lens you wanted in a shop, would you have bought it on the spot for the asking price (incl sales tax)... or would you have left the shop, surfed the net for a better price then bought it for less from a reputable net-seller with a generous return policy?
10-11-2010, 01:08 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Michaelina2 Quote
May I ask, if you had found a new copy of the lens you wanted in a shop, would you have bought it on the spot for the asking price (incl sales tax)... or would you have left the shop, surfed the net for a better price then bought it for less from a reputable net-seller with a generous return policy?
It's a valid question, and doesn't have one answer. I think if it was something that I'm interested in that has known hiccups (Sigma 30mm, Tamron 70-200, etc), I would prefer to deal with someone in person. I can get the Sigma 30mm through Wolf Camera for 459. I would buy it there before going through Amazon for 439. If I have an issue, I walk in, I don't have to box it up, send it off, pay for postage, etc, and hope that they'll find what's wrong, as opposed to going in and demonstrating it. If it was a large amount more, I highly doubt I would buy it there.

10-11-2010, 01:17 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Michaelina2 Quote
May I ask, if you had found a new copy of the lens you wanted in a shop, would you have bought it on the spot for the asking price (incl sales tax)... or would you have left the shop, surfed the net for a better price then bought it for less from a reputable net-seller with a generous return policy?
Yup, this is the catch-22 and why the concept of a local camera shop is pretty much a thing of the past. I would love to go into a local store and actually handle the K-5 before I buy it, or check out a new lens, but I'm not going to pay retail, not to mention the tax on a $1000++ purchase. I can get what I need from Amazon/B&H/E-Bay with little worry about returns.

Any local camera shop I've visited has a bunch of over-priced crap for sale, or their employees don't know a damn thing about gear, and I just leave frustrated. This is why hands-on reviews, and people's experiences on forums like this are so important. Pentax is hopefully sending Adam a free K-5 so he can get the word out on if it's really worth upgrading...
10-11-2010, 01:36 PM   #10
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This is another example of how Pentaxians in the New York City metropolitan area can't complain: We have the brick-and-mortar stores of both B&H and Adorama at our disposal... and the Internet prices are pretty much what you find in the store. Just add sales tax, of course.

For Canon and Nikon, you can pretty much shop at any major electronics retailer, just like everywhere else. However, if you want anything beyond the kit lenses, you still have to find a very good, dedicated camera shop.
10-11-2010, 02:24 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Biro Quote
This is another example of how Pentaxians in the New York City metropolitan area can't complain: We have the brick-and-mortar stores of both B&H and Adorama at our disposal... and the Internet prices are pretty much what you find in the store. Just add sales tax, of course.

For Canon and Nikon, you can pretty much shop at any major electronics retailer, just like everywhere else. However, if you want anything beyond the kit lenses, you still have to find a very good, dedicated camera shop.
Agreed. And that's what I was hoping with Calumet. They have an very good sized store, with everything from prosumer, to full professional supplies. All L lenses in stock, Profoto lighting in stock, etc. Pentax listed them as a dealer and I got excited. I thought my search was over. Instead I left disappointed. I purchased an umbrella adapter I needed just to justify the trip to myself.
10-11-2010, 02:59 PM   #12
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Nobody in Portland keeps Pentax in stock either. Actually, that's not true. The other day I wandered into the Shuttberbug downtown (Alder and Broadway, I think) and there on the shelf, in a rumpled looking box, was a KX. Clerk said they keep the "body kits" in stock, but nothing else.

Its a shame. The build of the K100d is what sold me on it. Had I not been able to hold one in my hands in a shop, I never would have taken the plunge. I don't and won't pretend to understand the economics of the DSLR business, so I won't second guess the rationale behind not being in stores. I'm sure there's a valid, logical business reason behind it. I just wonder what it is.
10-11-2010, 03:27 PM   #13
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No Pentax in Baltimore. It seems to me that Pentax USA is a bad joke.
10-11-2010, 03:55 PM   #14
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This is a bummer. I was hoping for some reason the Midwest was just neglected. I guess we just have to hope that Pentax is profitable enough for BH and Adorama to continue carrying stock.
10-11-2010, 04:20 PM   #15
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No Pentax here. Just Canon and Nikon, and not much else. I'll have to buy online when I am ready to go there. I'm likely going with Amazon, Adorama or B&H online. But I have no way of testing out the Pentax line of cameras before I buy unfortunately. I'd have to leave the state to even go look.
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