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11-01-2011, 02:00 AM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by wlachan Quote
For whatever reasons, there is a general disrespect toward Pentax K mount system wherever I have been to for the last 2 decades. This is true even by experienced photographers who know the Pentax history well. The Pentax 120 systems are however, quite different and well respected. My advice to any potential buyers, if you care how you will be perceived, DON'T BUY PENTAX. If you are the confidence type and know what you are doing, go ahead and be different.

My opinion is that Pentax products have lagged behind for the last 2 decades, and AF performance being the most obvious, but Pentax have been doing pretty much nothing to address it. Now, if anyone asked whether there is any genuine reason buying Pentax today, the only one I can come up with will be LIMITED primes which are unique. BUT, the majority of people actually benefit from good zooms much more than awesome primes, and today's Pentax zooms just aren't that great to be honest. Can Ricoh raise Pentax from the almost dead? I believe so. Will they? That's remain to be seen but it will be a very steep uphill struggle, especially when the world economy is in such deep trouble.
That is not entirerly accurate. many tests in magazines have pointed out that the best standard zoom is the pentax 18-55. It outperforms all the others. As that is the most used lens by most of the people that buy cameras with just standard zoom. There would be no reason to go with canikon if lens quality so important.
But when looking at some of the reviews of cameras and lenses. You can almost certainly say that some magazines already have a bias against Pentax. And that it will not rate as high as canikon no matter what. I have read a review of the K5, where they said that the High ISO was just ok, that models from other brands were a lot better (this is when the K5 just came out, so I really wondered what camera then was so good. And don't even ask me what they wrote about the 645D, as that was even more rubbish). Also many reviews of lenses they do not include Pentax, they mostly test Canikon, the 3rd party lenses, more and more Sony and some times Olympus. But most of the times, no Pentax. So apart from bad marketing, magazines also do not help by exluding Pentax with many tests.

11-01-2011, 02:34 AM   #17
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Is Pentax struggling in Netherlands? In France it is very popular. Also here in Czech republic I see a lot of Pentax users. I shot an event this weekend and met there 3 other Pentax photographers. There were more Pentaxes than Nikons. And yes, you see no advertisement for Pentax, it is all just the underground pentaxian community that knows which cameras are the best.
11-01-2011, 02:55 AM   #18
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The first mistake is when you actually made an inquiry at Wolfe's. Pentax shortcomings are another thing.

Jason
11-01-2011, 04:05 AM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by Macario Quote
But when looking at some of the reviews of cameras and lenses. You can almost certainly say that some magazines already have a bias against Pentax. And that it will not rate as high as canikon no matter what. I have read a review of the K5, where they said that the High ISO was just ok, that models from other brands were a lot better (this is when the K5 just came out, so I really wondered what camera then was so good. And don't even ask me what they wrote about the 645D, as that was even more rubbish). Also many reviews of lenses they do not include Pentax, they mostly test Canikon, the 3rd party lenses, more and more Sony and some times Olympus. But most of the times, no Pentax. So apart from bad marketing, magazines also do not help by exluding Pentax with many tests.
That's not surprising really because magazines are funded by ads. The majority of reviews are just occupying spaces.

I am not saying Pentax have zero good zooms, but just a few like the DA fisheye & 12-24. Somehow Pentax have the tendency of cutting serious corners on their bread and butter consumer zooms. In comparison, C/N consumer zooms are generally more firmly built while Pentax zooms tend to wobble, and wobbly lenses do suffer from optical misalignment. I think Pentax should seriously looking at their consumer grade products and refrain from flooding their entire line with poorly built lenses which they have been building since the FA series. They might save a few dollar per lens but at the same time losing consumer confidence fast. They seem to focus at the moment instead of planning for the future.

11-01-2011, 04:16 AM   #20
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Who cares - if the shop does not carry what you want, go somewhere else. No shop can carry all brands.
In your list are many other names lacking, Leica, Alpa, Linhof, Hasselblad, ....
That admitted Pentax is not a must have brand.
11-01-2011, 04:38 AM   #21
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I do not recognize this type of Pentax discrimination. Here in Holland the real photography shops generally all carry most brands, inclusing Pentax, Leica and Zeiss. Only the mainstream electronics department stores carry nothing but the canikons. But that says more about those brands, then the other way round.

Untill I go online with my pics, and become confronted with a more US-based crowd:
Them: "Wow, great capture! What do you shoot?!"
Me: "Thank you very much. Pentax K5"
Them: "Ohw..." (including a very disappointed undertone or negative additions.)

And that again says much more about the two bigger brands, then about Pentax. Those two are more of a fashion-statement, in-crowd-like products. Yes, it has to be *that* brand or it's no good. Kinda like in highschool.
11-01-2011, 04:59 AM   #22
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Just chalk it up to ignorance. Pentax has a long history, but in recent years, it has not sold well, particularly in North America.

To Wlachan's point, I think in particular when it comes to sensor performance, current Pentax cameras beat down anything that Canon has to offer, short of full frame. You can argue about differences in zoom build, etc, but there is no doubt but that Dxo Mark ranks the sony sensors that Pentax is currently using much higher than those in Canon bodies.

Nikon uses the same sensors and gets similar amazing performance from them.
11-01-2011, 05:47 AM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
To Wlachan's point, I think in particular when it comes to sensor performance, current Pentax cameras beat down anything that Canon has to offer, short of full frame. You can argue about differences in zoom build, etc, but there is no doubt but that Dxo Mark ranks the sony sensors that Pentax is currently using much higher than those in Canon bodies.

Nikon uses the same sensors and gets similar amazing performance from them.

Yeah, you can't have everything with any single system...
Pentax: robust cameras, poor AF, so-so zooms, anti-shake, nice sensor output, unique--light, high-class--primes

Canon: underwhelming sensor output, ok camera build (some feel more plasticky than others--not talking about FF), excellent AF, excellent zooms (build and performance), some excellent primes

Nikon: nice sensor output, rather plasticky build, excellent AF, some nice zooms, some excellent primes (including cheap primes)...

My quick, summary comparison isn't complete, for sure. For instance, "some nice zooms" does not capture the difference between ok consumer zooms and superb expensive pro lenses. And there are various degrees of build distinguishable among consumer zooms as well...

After using a Pentax dslr camera for a few years, while perhaps regularly visiting this forum, one gets an idea of what Pentax can do to improve its market share: AF, flash, zooms, a number of "missing" primes, marketing, etc... I'm sure some would like to mention FF. (Of course, extending business is also a matter of money available for investment--but that's another thing.)

I was thinking: what about a seriously systematic effort to systematize and hierarchize our preferences concerning the points Pentax needs to urgently address with respect to their APS-C lines? (I suspect AF would come out on top, followed by marketing.) I think PF can--and should--be a good marketing study tool for Pentax.


Last edited by causey; 11-01-2011 at 05:58 AM.
11-01-2011, 06:35 AM - 1 Like   #24
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First off... are you talking "Wolfes" or "Wolf Camera"? Wolfe is an independent dealer in KS that does sell Pentax, while "Wolf Camera" is really Ritz Camera in (pardon the pun) sheep's clothing. Both are currently owned by David Ritz who bought his bankrupt company back from his creditors in 2009 for pennies on the dollar... effectively walking away with millions of dollars worth of mostly Nikon and Canon equipment for a song. Before the bankruptcy, they did sell Pentax and my daughter actually worked there and bought me my first digital SLR. She, being a very smart young lady ( ) pushed Pentax as often as possible. Anyway, Pentax refused to deal with them after the bankruptcy since they would no longer pay up front. Can't say that I blame them either given his history.

Of course, Ritz/Wolf/etc isn't the only store to not carry Pentax. The Penn Camera chain here in the DC area stopped carrying Pentax a couple of years ago as well, mostly due to lack of sales volume but also because of Pentax's lack of interest in smaller stores/chains. I don't think Penn will even take Pentax as trade-ins any more though they used to have a extensive selection of used Pentax gear. The only store around here that does carry Pentax is Ace Photo, a full service, pro level store that caters mostly to the advanced amateur to Pro markets. The owner is a big Pentax fan and is one of a handful of authorized dealers (perhaps the ONLY small brick and mortar store on the east coast) for the 645D.

As for "whats wrong with Pentax?" well they have not had a functional marketing department for25 years and they let Nikon and Canon dominate the market. Add in a disdain for people's desire to hold something in their hands before plunking down hundreds or thousands of dollars and a, hopefully bygone, fascination with gimmicks like multi-colored cameras (3 or 4 colors is one thing but 30???) and finally a parent company who never felt any worth in the camera division and you have what we have today... a once proud and innovative company that traditionally led the curve, falling to the curb and begging scraps from Canon and Nikon. I have high hopes that Ricoh will fired the entire marketing department and light a fire under Pentax. The embers are already smoldering... especially in places like PF, but only Ricoh can add fuel to the mix and grow the brand.

Last edited by MRRiley; 11-01-2011 at 06:41 AM.
11-01-2011, 08:45 AM   #25
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I wouldn't worry about it. That hired monkey of a clerk probably knows about as much about photography as Snooki knows about nuclear fusion.
11-01-2011, 08:54 AM   #26
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Still, Pentax makes the best consumer zoom in the 18-55 range. When the K-X came out, it was regarded in Holland the best entry level camera. Combine that with the best 18-55 standard zoom, and basicly you have the best combination possible. But still, people bought Canikons, why? Because they are better. But why, well they are Canikon, so clearly they must be better. That is basicly what is mostly going on (I think). It is not that Canikon make better camera’s than Pentax, it is just everybody thinks they make better camera’s. It is like with cars, everybody says German when asked what are the best build cars. Even though for years, the Japanese have been making better quality cars.
And for that mindset to be changed, a lot of time will pass. Sales persons in shops don’t know better, let alone a majority of the consumers.
But The lack of marketing from Pentax side, also does not help. Magazines not testing Pentax gear along others, does not help (here I do not know if they don’t want to, or if pentax does not provide the equipment, which would be very bad marketing).
Also coming to the right conclusions when testing would also help. As there is so little between the camera’s these days, that the differences are almost only noticed in lab testing. And even then the differences are marginal. And mostly when saying who is the winner, it comes down to personal taste. (just look at the DP testing, if you have 79% you get the silver award, if you get 78% you get no award (don’t pin on the %, as I do not know exactly at what % you get an award), so which one is better? Neither, they are the same, with very marginal differences. And depending on your needs, it can go either way)

Elho-cid, I do not know how well Pentax is doing in Holland. What I just see is, that the camera-stores (brick&mortal and internet) are more often waiting for Pentax products (not having them on stock) than on Canikon. But I do not know how well they sell. Does anyone know?, I am curious now. And yes in France they have a big precense, saw the super big ads in the metro last summer. Every station had atleast one, most of them 2 or more.

Last edited by Macario; 11-01-2011 at 09:00 AM.
11-01-2011, 09:32 AM   #27
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As far as their various colored cameras, Pentax should just release them as a "Limited" batch each color, so then they don't have a warehouse full of various colored cameras that didn't sell right away or will take a while to sell.

Hopefully now that Ricoh owns Pentax, they start focusing on marketing more, and on the next pentax camera they'll improve things that need it. Hopefully they'll add a few new lenses and update some of their lenses & flash units.
11-01-2011, 09:33 AM   #28
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It's all Anadre Agassi's and Maria Sharopva's fault. Not being known as two of the world's most cerebral people, people just assume, if those two can get great results , anyone can. I mean really, can you imagine either Sharapova or Agassi sitting down and reading a users manual? The sad thing is, to achieve success with the masses, you have to cater to them. Maybe Pentax has just been a little too snooty. It probably would have offended me to see those two canon spokes people pushing Pentax. That's obviously not a problem for a lot of my compatriots. In fact, I would find it embarrassing to go out in public with my Pentax and have people think I could be affected by such crass marketing. However, crass is often effective. But it would have been better to have some less than cerebral celebrity type stars on their ads. I swear a lot of women look at Canon ads just to see Sharapova's hair.

The sad thing is, if Richard Avedon, Ansel Adams and most other great photographers, all came out for a particular brand of camera, Agassi and Sharapova would out sell them, 10-1, regardless of the money spent on advertising.
11-01-2011, 09:42 AM   #29
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I do hope that things will change with the new ownership but I will believe it when I see it. As things stand in much of the US Pentax risks going into a death spiral where the only people who buy their gear are the ones who already own it so more and more retailers quit stocking the brand which leads to fewer people buying the gear and so on. Here in Colorado (home of Pentax USA) there are no retailers in the state that stock Pentax cameras so there is no way someone can actually handle a K-r before deciding to buy one and that leads to them (by default) going with Canon, Nikon or maybe Sony. I have been a Pentax user since the late 1970's but in the current environment my next camera will not be one of theirs since I refuse to spend that much money on something I have never handled. I am not going to but one from Adorama or B&H only to have to go through the hassle of sending it back if I don't like it. I will be far likelier to buy a 60D or a D7000.
11-01-2011, 10:06 AM   #30
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Good point about it being just one guy at one particular camera store. Btw, I'm originally from KS so I knew about Wolfe's. When I found out there was a Wolf's down in TX (where I live now) I just assumed they were part of a chain and I put the "e" on by mistake.
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