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01-16-2016, 07:01 PM   #1
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health of Pentax as a brand.

Iíve doing research for getting my first DSLR, and Pentax stands out with a better feature set than the competition.

But, I live in Portland Oregon, and there are no Pentax dealers in the entire state.

Besides wanting to see one in person before purchasing, it has me a little worried about the health of Pentax as a brand.

I donít want to invest in k mount lenses and then at some point in the future (probably 8-10 years) when I upgrade not be able to use my lenses or have them plummet in value because there are no new Pentax cameras.

How is Pentax doing as a brand, are they making enough money?


Thanks.


(ps I tried posting this in the visitors center and it wouldn't work)

01-16-2016, 07:27 PM   #2
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I'm sure the brand will stick around. The medium format line is bringing in profits and the K-mount lineup is maturing nicely under Ricoh's leadership.

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01-16-2016, 07:48 PM   #3
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Anybodies guess is as good as mine. But I see no reason they won't continue as they are.
01-16-2016, 08:17 PM   #4
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Welcome neighbor! Pentax as a brand has had some dark days, but the answer right now is the future is bright. They were bought by Ricoh a few years ago and since then things have steadily improved with new cameras, new lenses and constant improvement.

CameraWorld downtown had Pentax the last I heard.
Robi's in Lakewood stocks Pentax up in Washington, at least they did last time I was there.

01-16-2016, 08:34 PM   #5
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I bought into Pentax almost seven years ago and they seem stronger now than anytime in that period. I say it seems strong since new products seem to be coming more frequently and I see more Pentax users . It seems like their US strategy is focus more on internet sales than brick and mortar sales.
01-16-2016, 09:01 PM   #6
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There is a Pentax store in Oregon:

01-16-2016, 09:14 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by pentax360 Quote
Iíve doing research for getting my first DSLR, and Pentax stands out with a better feature set than the competition.

But, I live in Portland Oregon, and there are no Pentax dealers in the entire state.

Besides wanting to see one in person before purchasing, it has me a little worried about the health of Pentax as a brand.

I donít want to invest in k mount lenses and then at some point in the future (probably 8-10 years) when I upgrade not be able to use my lenses or have them plummet in value because there are no new Pentax cameras.

How is Pentax doing as a brand, are they making enough money?


Thanks.


(ps I tried posting this in the visitors center and it wouldn't work)
P360, go for another brand if you just want to run with the herd. Pentax's sales are largely in Japan but fans like us can be found all over the world.

The market leaders Canon and Nikon are in real trouble at the moment.

A Ricoh board pessimistic about the camera market could have wound things down in recent years, but a medium format model was released and some time this year a full frame one will happen.

The K-S2 would make a nice first DSLR. If you are already experienced in, say, film, a K-50 or K-3 would be great.
01-16-2016, 09:44 PM - 1 Like   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by clackers Quote
P360, go for another brand if you just want to run with the herd.
Clackers, this is the herd I run with...



01-16-2016, 10:21 PM   #9
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I'm not sure anyone can guarantee that any current camera manufacturer will be around in 8 to 10 years. All I can say is that Pentax has been around for a long time, and Ricoh, have been making cameras for at least 40 years, long before it acquired Pentax. The good point is that Ricoh seems to be happy to hold on to its imaging business despite not having a massive market share. As others have pointed out, the 645Z is a success in the medium format arena, and the brand does appear to have a steady, loyal following. The full-frame camera should cement their commitment to making cameras and lenses for the foreseeable future. I am pretty heavily invested in Pentax, and will be buying the full frame when it emerges. In the worst case scenario, if Pentax stopped producing cameras tomorrow, I will still have a system capable of taking great photographs for many, many years to come.
01-16-2016, 10:27 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by pentax360 Quote
Iíve doing research for getting my first DSLR, and Pentax stands out with a better feature set than the competition.

But, I live in Portland Oregon, and there are no Pentax dealers in the entire state.

Besides wanting to see one in person before purchasing, it has me a little worried about the health of Pentax as a brand.

I donít want to invest in k mount lenses and then at some point in the future (probably 8-10 years) when I upgrade not be able to use my lenses or have them plummet in value because there are no new Pentax cameras.

How is Pentax doing as a brand, are they making enough money?


Thanks.


(ps I tried posting this in the visitors center and it wouldn't work)
There is no telling who is going to be around 10 years from now. That goes for any of the major brands. 2016 is the 10th anniversary of Sony's acquisition of the Minolta brand. Minolta, a major player in the camera business simply disappeared overnight. I do not know if you have heard that Samsung is possibly out of the camera business. So who know which brand is next. Most of today's camera brands have strong parent companies with the resources to help them survive rough economic times. Pentax with Ricoh as the parent company is just as strong as the rest of the major brands.

Pentax with its DSLR, the 645 system, the Q and GR is pretty diversified. They are a lot more diversified than Canon and Nikon. Sony is another story. I am invested in the Pentax APSc system and will be adding the full frame as soon as it is out. Am I worried about survival of Pentax 10 years from now? Not really. Who know which brands is going to be dead or alive then. I want to shoot top notch pics today and Pentax gives me that capability and their cost of entry is the lowest of all the major camera brands.
01-16-2016, 10:29 PM   #11
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Can't read the future, but will admit that Pentax offers excellent value for the money. Sounds like you may have some brick and mortar options with in your greater area. If you decide to purchase sight unseen I'm sure you won't be disappointed as the value Pentax offers is readily apparent when the camera and lenses are in one's hand (e.g. solid construction, attention to detail). Online stores like B&H and Adorama provide excellent services if you ever decide to go that route. Ricoh as a company has a long standing history of producing excellent business products as well as its own camera brand. And Ricoh seems to be actively interested in supporting and building upon Pentax as brand and its legacy. A promising outlook for the immediate and longer term future.

PS- one more comment based purely on personal opinion… Pentax has some interesting lenses available that display particularly nice characteristics. Not talking clinical top-of-the-market chart resolution performance stuff here. Instead am referring to subtle, but special rendering. Watch for trends when looking at sample images from lenses such as the DA star 55mm, DA 15mm, FA 77mm limited and others.

Last edited by One3rdEV; 01-16-2016 at 10:39 PM. Reason: PS
01-16-2016, 10:32 PM   #12
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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.

As to the brand - as noted above it's in better shape now that Ricoh is in control.

Greetings from a lifelong PDX dude now an hour north of ya.
01-16-2016, 10:37 PM   #13
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Judging by Google's Search trends at https://google.com/trends/explore#q=DSLR there has been a steady increase in search interest for DSLRs.

But when you add search terms like Pentax, Canon, Nikon, Sony --- there is a regular DECLINE in interest in _all_ brands over the last ten years.

Pentax has always been a niche player and so there is a lively second hand market in its lens and hardware devices generally -- especially over the Internet.

While only about one one in 20 interchangeable lens devices are Pentax these days, there remains a strong disproportionate interest in the brand. If you do a Google search of Pentax, Nikon & Canon in ebay.com you will get the following estimates Nikon (425,000 results), Canon (441,000 results) and Pentax (348,000).

I suspect this is due Ricoh/Pentax making backward lens mount compatibility fundamental to its future. So the market of Pentax users is broad and rather loyal notwithstanding, it is not a top brand purchase these days. I also suspect Pentax users hold onto their gear much longer than other brands.
01-16-2016, 10:58 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by pentax360 Quote
Iíve doing research for getting my first DSLR, and Pentax stands out with a better feature set than the competition.

But, I live in Portland Oregon, and there are no Pentax dealers in the entire state.

Besides wanting to see one in person before purchasing, it has me a little worried about the health of Pentax as a brand.

I donít want to invest in k mount lenses and then at some point in the future (probably 8-10 years) when I upgrade not be able to use my lenses or have them plummet in value because there are no new Pentax cameras.

How is Pentax doing as a brand, are they making enough money?


Thanks.


(ps I tried posting this in the visitors center and it wouldn't work)
After being bounced around a couple of times, Ricoh seems to have given Pentax a nice home. I'd say just HOW nice is hard to determine. But they do seem to be making a serious attempt at rebuilding and growing the brand. K mount has been around since 1975.. and all the K mount lenses fit on modern Pentax bodies.

The other things to consider are modern (sold in stores) 3rd party lens, accessory, and flash support for a brand as well as repair services. Right now, our only option for repair (USA) is Precision and they don't have the most stellar grade. There is rumor, however, that their contract for handing Pentax repair is up in the middle of the year and Ricoh wants to do something (so I assume) with getting repair in house. More news might be available at the end of next month at CP+. And, of course, the modern FF body is probably shown in detail there.

But.. Hmm.. in 8-10 years the DSLR market might not look anything as it does today for any brand.

I had to buy my first Pentax camera without handling it through an online vendor since no one around me sells Pentax cameras. On the lower end of the market, Pentax is good as the others in this regard. However, in the upper end, Pentax (imo) has the best handling and feel between Pentax, Nikon, and Canon. To me, the Pentax (K-7 K-5 K-3) feels like a pro tool -- it is solid and the dials and buttons are in logical places. Nikon and Canon felt a little hollow and plasticky.

But Canon and Nikon have much deeper lens availability in terms of modern lenses (largely from much more thorough 3rd party makers). I think this is because both brands have significantly more customers. Pentax is currently the dark horse. I think this year will really show where the brand is going.
01-16-2016, 11:14 PM   #15
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I haven't read any other replies so mine is sheerly my own and my own opinion.

Pentax is probably one of the few brands that is actually in an upswing in certain things. That doesn't mean money or anything else... but it does mean that Pentax is gaining ground.

There are no dealers because previously under previous ownership Pentax as a retail camera brand was pretty much the red headed step child to the previous owner's corporate goals and interests. The previous owners had "Pentax" to use for the medical device division and cameras for you and me were a afterthought.

NOW though it's completely different. The new ownership of the brand is primarily in the retail segment and in my opinion are improving things quite a bit. There is still quite a bit of work to be done though.

In my opinion though the health of the economy is going to be the real determining factor for all camera brands. That said I do not see Pentax going away as a brand at all. As in ever. It's here to stay.
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