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View Poll Results: I have held/ tried out the Pentax camera(s) I own before I bought
Yes 3125.62%
No 9074.38%
Voters: 121. You may not vote on this poll

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08-14-2014, 07:02 AM   #16
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When I first began looking at DSLR's, it was in stores. Where I live in Upstate NY, there wasn't much available unless you traveled to Albany. It was dept. stores or Ritz Camera in our mall. At that time, there was no way I would have bought DSLR online. Ritz carried just about everything and on several occasions I went in and looked over the cameras and handled them. It was Thanksgiving weekend in 2007 and I stopped into Ritz because they were putting just about everything on sale. They had something new in that wasn't in the store on my previous visits. A K10D. I instantly took a liking to the way it handled and felt and the price was considerably cheaper than the Nikon D200 I was thinking about buying. I bought it on the spot with a 2 lens kit.

Without having a camera to handle, I would never have bought a Pentax DSLR. I bought my K5 online although I had handled a friends K7 which on the outside is the same camera body as far as ergonomics is concerned. Of course Ritz is now gone so any camera stores mean a trip to the city. Our area dept stores only carry a few entry level models as does the local Best Buy although if I want to drive 50 miles, there is a large Best Buy that stocks every camera Nikon and Canon make if I want to look and handle one. No Pentax.

I bought my first Pentax in 1976 right around when the K mount was first coming out. I had been forced to sell my gear 6 months earlier to pay medical bills when my kids got sick. I had been out of work for a few months and things were getting real lean. I found an SP1000 with a 55/2 Tak on a closeout deal. I still have that camera and it still kind of works although it needs new light seals. I had switched to Nikon for my film shooting in the late 80's but I had mechanical issues with the auto film winder in the Nikon body and I had further issues with bad service getting it fixed. That also helped me make my initial purchase decision. Most reviews at the time said the K10D was "built like a tank".

Pentax/Ricoh needs to get their cameras into stores and also advertise. The younger generations don't know the long Pentax history. Brand recognition with the general public is almost nothing these days. 30 years ago, anybody knew Pentax made "good" cameras whether they were photographers or not. Today, that recognition is not there and that's the biggest obstacle that needs to be overcome IMO.

08-14-2014, 07:06 AM   #17
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Initially, with my K100Ds, I never even intended to buy Pentax until I held/handled it - if felt/operated better than the Nikon D40 and the Canon I was trying to decide between, more 'pro', and the price was better to boot.
08-14-2014, 07:07 AM   #18
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I tried my buddy's K10D, and that was the deciding factor when I bought my K-50. I bought it locally (from the only local store I know of that sells Pentax gear). They had the K-500, K-50, K-3, and the Q + a decent selection of lenses (Pentax, Sig, Tam).
08-14-2014, 07:19 AM   #19
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The only camera I've ever physically handled before I bought was a Sony NEX-6. I purchased the K30 online without ever having handled it, but I did give it a thorough comparison with other cameras I was familiar with here: Camera Size Comparison

08-14-2014, 07:33 AM   #20
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The first Pentax I ever used was a High School Spotmatic that was clearly a loaner.

Here are the sources of the Pentax cameras I have owned:
  1. KX- Gift in 1977. I had never held a bayonet mount Pentax.
  2. MESuper - 1984, from a print Sales Contest prize catalog
  3. Mulitple used flim cameras - eBay and PF Marketplace - 1999-2014 (most have been sold)
  4. K10D - 2007 - Adorama - never held one
  5. K-01 - 2012 - pre-ordered during the introductory period from B&H
  6. Q, Q7 - 2013, 2014 - bought online as deals and NIB in the PF Marketplace
  7. K-3 - 2013 - Gift - showed up on my doorstep in a UPS box.

FWIW, I always handled the PnS film cameras my wife and I bought - we got them at big box stores beginning in the mid-80's - and they served their purposes admirably. My wife has shelves lined with binders full of Kodak prints of our family life from 1980 - 2009ish when I gave her an Optio A40 that I bought from B&H.

I bought a lightly-used Olympus E20n at a B&M camera store in 2005, I think.

Last edited by monochrome; 08-14-2014 at 07:41 AM.
08-14-2014, 07:34 AM   #21
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No, I didn't. I didn't even visit a camera store to try out the competitors, either! But, one of my friends had a K-5 and loved the ergonomics, and with the one-month no-questions-asked return policy at Adorama, I figured it was worth a shot.
08-14-2014, 07:56 AM   #22
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I haven't voted (yet) as we need a 'both' button on the poll (or the ability to click both buttons).

I bought my Spotmatic (1979), Spotmatic II (1981) and K1000 (1995) from camera stores where I had a chance to inspect the cameras and get a feel for them before buying. I bought my K-30 (2013) online without ever looking at a DSLR of any make in a store. I researched as much as I could online and bought the K-30 based on reviews, comparisons with the rivals at the time and my knowledge of Pentax quality.
08-14-2014, 08:27 AM   #23
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The first Pentax I ever had was the K1000, I wanted to learn how to use a camera other than one that took 110 film. I knew nothing at all about Interchangeable Lens SLR's and there were no classes for it I could get to and there was no one near that would or could teach me so the first K1000 I ever had came along with a study course. Then I had to go to the library and check out whatever books they might have.... The library was TINY! I weeded info off of anyone that would explain techniques.
I used up that first K1000 and bought another one from Adorama and then bought another used body, when it became difficult to get the film processed I had to quit using film and I used my husbands Olympus digital on point and shoot mode. I did not like this, I liked my film. What happened was that all the stores that developed film stopped and the only place to get film developed was in Austin which is 80 miles away. During that time we had much family crisis happen and I was unable to purchase another camera for myself, but when I started researching digital cameras I looked up Pentax first and then the others and narrowed my search back to Pentax. Since there are still no camera stores near me and Wally World only sells 'Rebels' etc I ordered the Pentax K3 from a large online store. I had also been perusing this forum to see what everyone one else thought. I love the K3 and am still learning new things, sometimes by accident.

08-14-2014, 08:28 AM   #24

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I'm fortunate to be in the NYC area with easy access to Adorama and B&H.
08-14-2014, 08:30 AM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by DeadJohn Quote
I'm fortunate to be in the NYC area with easy access to Adorama and B&H.
Not fair😊
08-14-2014, 08:34 AM   #26
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my first Pentax was a *ist DL which I bought used on Craigslist. I did try it in person but had no idea what I was looking for or what features were important, so the trial was lost on me.
All camera purchases since then (K10, K20, K5, 645D) were made sight unseen, my decision based on features and reviews.
08-14-2014, 08:38 AM   #27
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Yes. And no.

After extensive research I had decided to get a K-5 as my first DSLR. I went to a shop to try it in my hand, and bought it once I had got the confirmation I looked for. I had also handled the K10D before that (as well as other brands).

When I found a good deal on a K-3 I had not tried it before I bought it, but I really didn't see any need to do so.

Of course, I would be surprised if there's more than one, maybe two shops in town with Pentax in stock, and the selection of lenses (in stock) is not huge. Life must be easier for owners of other brands in this regard.

But then they have to pay the price every time they have to use their camera...
08-14-2014, 08:59 AM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by cxdoo Quote
One of the main reasons why Pentax Is Doomed is poor availability of the gear in stores and (some would say consequently) in general population. We're at a point where we report sightings of fellow Pentaxians, as if we're some elusive species on a brink (or already over?) of extinction.

First thing that comes to mind seeing some poor soul with that familiar strap around their neck, at least to me, is - How come you have a Pentax? Where did you buy it? Why?
This sounds awfully similar exactly the same as condescending questions I sometimes get from people carrying one of two more popular brands. But my questions arise for a very banal reason; I had to seek out all my gear online, and I bought practically all of it without seeing it / holding it in my hands / trying it out. I suppose it requires some faith (naivety? stubbornness?).

I also suppose I am not the only one who did so, so I'd like to confirm my feeling with wider audience.

So the question is very simple: Did you see in real life the Pentax camera you use, before you bought it?
I am aware it is a bit ambiguous as you might have seen the first one you got, but not the next one, however there is always an option to tell your full story.

As for myself:

* bought K100DS in 2007 online, haven't seen a real one before. What I did see is a K10D which was too much of a camera (and price tag) for me at that time.
* bought DA 50-200 the same year online, the same.
* bought K5II this year online, the same
* bought Tamron 17-50 & 70-200 & Pentax M50/1.7 online this year, the same
I'm told the K-r actually made an appearance at a local Sam's Club for all of two minutes but I think it's just hearsay. There's nothing here but Canon and Nikon and even that is usually entry level gear. In order to buy a Pentax camera I have to make a conscious decision to go after one online. Since I mostly buy used that means Amazon, Keh, B& H or Adorama. I can now buy exotic once hard to find items like tongol tuna at the local grocery stores, at Walmart and Target, but I can't buy new Pentax gear locally. It's one of my pet peeves...
08-14-2014, 09:46 AM   #29
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I bought my first DSLR, a K-r, at Fry's Electronics. All lens, flash, and body purchases since then have been online. It's good Pentax isn't readily available locally because I can't make impulse purchases, but it's bad because I can't make impulse purchases.
08-14-2014, 10:21 AM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by sherrvonne Quote
Not fair😊
Not cheap, I imagine.

I did not vote because there was no "held body only" button. I'm not even sure it had power. That was the K100D at Fry's, which I actually bought online from Beach Camera. All subsequent purchases were online, no touchy.

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