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01-17-2016, 08:31 AM   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
Did you just say Ricoh +Pentax make one product? Really? Do you proof read your work?
25 years ago Ricoh sponsored my touch football team, in an unknown football league in Toronto. This is not a small company. At that point Ricoh SLRs were history, but Ricoh has a long tradition in the camera industry and used to make Pentax compatable gear. But they also make a lot of other stuff.

Thats like saying GE make one product. Light bulbs.

You seriously need to get back to a neutral outlook here, where stuff you say is actually true. One bad SDM lens and you totally lose touch with reality. That's not healthy.
Well there is one thing about Ricoh and camera's. Currently Shiro Kondo and Zenji Miura are the board of directors of Ricoh. I met the both of them in Cologne at Photokina 2012 and had the Oppertunity to have a talk with them. Both have a history, especially Shiro Kondo, in Ricoh's camera branch. The question is when a next generation is going to lead Ricoh and they have no history in camera's, what is going to happen? I think that by that time Ricoh Imaging needs to meet financial demands and have less space to manouvre.

01-17-2016, 08:37 AM   #32
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
Did you just say Ricoh +Pentax make one product? Really? Do you proof read your work?
QuoteOriginally posted by clackers Quote
Don't know what's happened to you over the last couple of months, Biz-engineer. You've become increasingly irrational, as if you're having a crisis of confidence.
QuoteOriginally posted by Cynog Ap Brychan Quote
What makes you say that? Please share your source of information.
Sorry guys, please take the time to compare the product lines having some development activities 5 years ago and in 2015/2016 (or no, please do not look and put your head deep in the sand in order not to see).
Check it out on DPReview for each brand of camera; the number of new product releases for each year and compare Canon, Nikon, Pentax and Sony. How many new products introduced by Ricoh in 2015 , compared to Canikon?
Also, you can look a Pentax sport optics, did Ricoh do any new design to compete with Nikon, Zeiss and Swarovski? No, Ricoh barely renamed the products, there is no change from the Pentax/Hoya era.

Now, if you don't want to see, it's your problem, but I disagree to not tell the truth to newcomers, it's not nice advice to them. Also, again, we have to take PF comments carefully, some members while claiming the merits of Pentax on Pentax forum were selling all of their gear in the market place, and switched to Nikon... no very honest IMO.

QuoteOriginally posted by RonHendriks1966 Quote
On your purchase. The camera body you buy will have no economic value in three years. Depending on the lenses you buy some will lose value over the coming 5 years and some are good for the next 25 years. That is with all brands. So even when the brand you buy today will go out of business, you are still good to go for the next 5+ years and even some time longer. There are enough camera body's to buy in some years to come even when production would stop. On the bright side, you can then purchase some lenses that are now to expensive for grabs.
I like that answer more, it's realistic.

Last edited by biz-engineer; 01-17-2016 at 08:52 AM.
01-17-2016, 08:45 AM   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by jddwoods Quote
There seems to be a wealth of dealers who stock Nikon and Canon DSLR cameras but not Pentax/Ricoh. Looking at the cameras they are always the most basic entry level cameras and budget zoom lenses. The higher level Nikon and Canon cameras and lenses are just as hard to find as Pentax.
In the UK,the biggest chain retailer, Jessops, stopped stocking Pentax, and then went out of business, They were bought by entrepreneur Peter Jones and now stock Pentax again. Business is growing. Not saying anything, just observing ;D
01-17-2016, 08:50 AM   #34
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Pentax may not be the future of photography, but it will continue as it always has as a part of the future of photography.

01-17-2016, 08:50 AM   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by biz-engineer Quote
Sorry guys, please take the time to compare the product lines having some development activities 5 years ago and in 2015/2016 (or no, please do not look and put your head deep in the sand in order not to see).
Check it out on DPReview for each brand of camera; the number of new product releases for each year and compare Canon, Nikon, Pentax and Sony. How many new products introduced by Ricoh in 2015 , compared to Canikon?
Also, you can look a Pentax sport optics, did Ricoh do any new design to compete with Nikon, Zeiss and Swarovski? No, Ricoh barely renamed the products, there is no change from the Pentax/Hoya era.

Now, if you don't want to see, it's your problem, but I disagree to not tell the truth to newcomers, it's not nice advice to them. Also, again, we have to take PF comments carefully, some members while claiming the merits of Pentax on Pentax forum were selling all of their gear in the market place, and switched to Nikon... no very honest IMO.
So, what you're saying is Pentax must behave like other companies in order to compete with them? Canikon's strategy with DSLR's sure isn't resulting in growing profits, it seems.

Canon introduces nearly identical DSLR's with tweaked feature sets (like 5DS and 5DS-R) and people count that as two new products. Seriously, may as well count each individual color of the K-S2 as a "new" camera.
01-17-2016, 09:00 AM   #36
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QuoteOriginally posted by biz-engineer Quote
How many new products introduced by Ricoh in 2015 , compared to Canikon?
That's a pretty poor basis for evaluating the health of a business. Sometimes, doing a few things well is better than doing a bunch of things mediocre.

Edited to add: I think Pentax's biggest problem isn't their products...it's their marketing. Here we have a potential customer in the OP who WANTS to buy Pentax, but can't find one to put his hands on in order to close the sale. That's a sales/marketing issue.
01-17-2016, 09:13 AM   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by TaoMaas Quote
That's a pretty poor basis for evaluating the health of a business. Sometimes, doing a few things well is better than doing a bunch of things mediocre.

Edited to add: I think Pentax's biggest problem isn't their products...it's their marketing. Here we have a potential customer in the OP who WANTS to buy Pentax, but can't find one to put his hands on in order to close the sale. That's a sales/marketing issue.
Agreed, their biggest problem is their marketing.
But that may be by design. I do not think the company is capable of handling the customer base that it has, let alone trying to market to an even larger audience!

Look at their repair service. Nearly every repair is put on hold for weeks due to parts being on back order.
Repairs are handled by a single service center for the entire US. That service center is incompetent. When a repair has finally failed enough times for Ricoh to handle the repair themselves, they go to Japan (or other cross globe location) for repair or replacement.

Ricoh creates great products, but a new marketing campaign could be summed up like an old deodorant commercial;
"Strong enough for a pro, but made for a hobbyist".
01-17-2016, 09:17 AM   #38
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QuoteOriginally posted by luftfluss Quote
Seriously, may as well count each individual color of the K-S2 as a "new" camera.
That is funny. I guess in that case Pentax will have dozens of new cameras!

What does Pentax have compared to the other brands:

1 - The 645Z, the best bang for the buck selling at somewhere between 1/2 to 1/4 the cost of the nearest competitor. By all accounts, the camera has been a smashing success

2. The K3II which is one of the best APSc cameras out there, selling at a price below its competitors of similar specifications
3. The new FF will match or better anything out there especially when you consider the price. I saw it and it is going to kick butt. Wait until it shows up.
4. There are enough lenses in DSLR and 645 system to satisfy most user demands

The only place Pentax lags is video performance. I remember seeing a discussion that Ricoh wants to be the best still image company. They have done that and are showing a strong commitment to keeping up. Who knows if they will ever address the weakness in video. Realistically if video is the focus, and you want to use a DSLR type camera, even Nikon and Canon are not good enough. Sony and Panasonic seem to own that space right now.

The only downside to Ricoh/Pentax brand is lack of recognition compared to the other established names. That we owe to poor marketing and total mess of an organization under its previous ownership (Hoya). It looks like Ricoh is trying to fix the problem real fast and from all the evidence, they are doing a great job.

01-17-2016, 09:31 AM   #39
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QuoteOriginally posted by btnapa Quote
The only downside to Ricoh/Pentax brand is lack of recognition compared to the other established names. That we owe to poor marketing and total mess of an organization under its previous ownership (Hoya). It looks like Ricoh is trying to fix the problem real fast and from all the evidence, they are doing a great job.
That story is getting old. Ricoh is now closing in to be owner of Pentax for nearly 5 years. Bought Pentax and owning it sinds november 2011. Don't you think that there is still some old staf from before that just isn't up to the job?
01-17-2016, 09:34 AM   #40
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QuoteOriginally posted by TaoMaas Quote
Edited to add: I think Pentax's biggest problem isn't their products...it's their marketing. Here we have a potential customer in the OP who WANTS to buy Pentax, but can't find one to put his hands on in order to close the sale. That's a sales/marketing issue.
Yes, exactly.

QuoteOriginally posted by TaoMaas Quote
That's a pretty poor basis for evaluating the health of a business. Sometimes, doing a few things well is better than doing a bunch of things mediocre.
Yes, I agree with that, and there's a feedback loop, less presence in the distribution channels meant less sales, less sales led to lesser budgets for new products developments, less products = less sales, and so on...

I'd say that if your competitors sell 10 times more units of a similar product/target market, with the same price range, you never get out of that downward spiral, unless you get out of competition by not having the same type of product for the same type of end customer (as Sony did with the A7 series having 30% market share for the mirroless products).

Last year, market shares for Pentax DSLR was roughly <5%, to be compared with the 93% of Canikon and 2% of Sony DSLR (=failure).
The next product is the Pentax full frame, which is going to get a portion of the remaining 5% (in volume)...since not 100% of APSC users will switch to FF (although FF should provide a better profit margin). Obviously, what in the short term keep sales and marketing expenses on the low side for the Pentax products is the "online only" retail, which in the long run leads to further erosion of market share, because people buy online when they already know what they buy (already Pentax users), there is hardly anyone new to the Pentax brand via online only sales.
01-17-2016, 09:48 AM   #41
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QuoteOriginally posted by jimr-pdx Quote
Cameraworld pulled out of Pentax.. I cannot remember why. That pretty case full of gear is gone though they may still have an online store.
Was in there a couple weeks ago dropping off some film (they're 6 blocks from where I work) and noticed no more Pentax. Asked the guy at the counter why, said they couldn't compete with online since Ricoh didn't give a price break to them. He added it was a bad buisness decision for them so they stopped stocking Pentax. How true it is, don't know, but their prices were fairly high compared to online the couple times I checked there. Now there's plenty of Canon, Nikon and 3rd party gear where there was once a good selection of Pentax.

(thread drift on) - Perhaps Ricoh should adjust their business strategy, can't blame it on the stores struggling to compete and stay in business with a consumer base trying to get the best value for their money (thread drift off)
01-17-2016, 09:55 AM - 4 Likes   #42
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Given the quality of product and the design/engineering expertise, Ricoh needs to do many things to make Pentax a more significant brand in the West rather than just in Asia:

  1. spend millions of dollars for five years buying television ads with a celebrity to 'endorse' them
    1. to induce middle income consumers to buy something they are afraid to spend money on
  2. sponsor professional sports photographers (which is a rapidly dying industry)
    1. spend millions of dollars providing global, on-demand support to them
  3. arrange $100,000,000 revolving credit facility to perpetually finance USA dealer inventory so they can get in B&M stores
    1. B&M stores don't ever use their own money for camera inventory
  4. spend tens of millions of dollars on sales and support reps to support the B&M store product turns
    1. people are very expensive
  5. Invest in distributor facilities and on-shore inventory
    1. which is an ongoing, embedded cost,
  6. significantly expand PRI USA headcount to support the market
    1. which is an ongoing, annual cost
  7. invest in its own warranty repair facility with its own tools, trained workers and service level agreement
    1. see #5 & #6
  8. invest tens of millions of dollars in production facilities so they can produce enough product to gain placements in BigBox stores, with an additional production cushion
    1. when you contract with WalMart of Target or BestBuy you have a performance clause. You pay a penalty if you fail to ship the agreed # of units.
    2. see #5
  9. on an ongoing basis invest million of dollars in design/engineering staff to create new product to shove through the system
    1. see #6
  10. mis-apply Ricoh's manufacturing process expertise chasing a product iteration (MILC and video) which isn't yet fully mature
    1. see GoPro and Sony

Which if history is a guide will be followed by a global recession.

If you want to destroy Pentax, convince Ricoh to embrace that business model.

Or you can let Ricoh make a tidy profit making a small number of high quality niche products in a rapidly changing industry

Last edited by monochrome; 01-17-2016 at 10:09 AM.
01-17-2016, 09:56 AM   #43
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Pentax 360,


I'll leave the question as to the business health of Pentax to others more knowledgeable than me. I was in your shoes a couple of weeks ago.


I also live in Oregon and was frustrated not to be able to get a hands on experience with Pentax cameras here in Eugene. Looked at Canon/Nikon in my price range locally and was not overly impressed with the build quality. Also, living in Oregon buying a camera with WR sounded like a good idea.


Saw that Camera World in Portland advertised Pentax on their website so gave them a call. No luck. Camera would have to be ordered and would take 2-3 weeks.


Then checked out B&H Photo in New York. The camera and lens I wanted was in stock and priced at $100.00 less than Camera World.


I hate buying anything site unseen but decided to roll the dice and take a chance ordering from B&H. From the other side of the country! Sure glad I did. My new K-50 feels much more substantial in quality than the cameras I was able to check out in person. AND took only one week to get here.
01-17-2016, 09:57 AM   #44
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Just how many product lines is considered healthy? Do store presence always translates into good sales? Take for example Sony RX100. Critical acclaim, very positive reviews, lots of enthusiasm about this line. Yet numerous stores still have the first generation model in stock. Followed by mark II and mark III. And now there is mark IV. All versions on display nicely lined up next to each other, those cameras just not rolling as fast as Sony keeps making them.
01-17-2016, 09:59 AM   #45
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I think its a bigger chance that Pentax are around then Nikon in 10 years..as things are at the moment. Thing can change fast, so nothing is certain.
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