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04-10-2016, 08:45 AM   #76
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Very interesting thread indeed.

04-10-2016, 10:46 AM   #77
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the only negative point i point out to people who are interested in pentax is that they wont be able to find used products on kijiji/craigslist. but i also point out that if you go on amazon/ebay you can find anything easily.

but most things people point out about not enough lenses, i counter them by saying that pentax on its own has plenty of useful lenses that cover from the widest angles to the most telephoto to cover any photographic needs. on top of that, add sigma, tamron, tokina, rokinon/samyang/bower, ziesz, and adapters and you can use pretty much any lens out there. plus, any pentax lens can work on an any k body, that on its own is something not offered by many other brands. plus, the amount you save on the gear is well worth it if you buy something else
04-10-2016, 09:46 PM   #78
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QuoteOriginally posted by reh321 Quote
I have never been a fan of thin DOF, because context is important to me, so my style may work better with Pentax than is true of others. However, I have absolutely no concern in using my low-cost Pentax K-30 to take pictures that are happening in snow or rain {and will no longer be happening by the time the weather dries}; if I used a comparable Canikon camera, I would have to plan on buying a replacement real soon.
I don't have the breadth of your experience, but the approach I am taking two years in to shooting with a Pentax DSLR is similar to yours: I shoot outdoors, in sun, rain or snow, with the aperture set to F/8 if my subjects are at all likely to move. My shutter button is limited to firing, and I pre-focus using back-button focus. I use a powerful flash mounted on the camera's hot shoe, bouncing the light when that is possible indoors, using HSS for fill flash outdoors. I'm interested in capturing moments rather than making formal portraits, and I am usually the only person taking pictures, so my shots are all the documentation left.

The K-30 is entirely capable of snap shooting as I outline things above. I had one until I broke it recently. I used it with a DA 18-135 WR and a Metz Mecablitz 52 AF-1, with results that pleased me.
04-10-2016, 10:30 PM   #79
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
I just picked the 100 macro randomly, it doesn't really encourage me to head off down the Canon is cheaper path.
I hate to say it, but the Canon EF 100 L Macro is the better lens.

QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
Canon EF 35mm f/2 IS USM Lens $599
Pentax 35mm DA L F2.4 AL Lens $104
A better comparison would be against the FA 35/2 where Pentax still has the price edge, though not for features. (Lens is inexplicably absent from the U.S. market subsequent to the K-1 announcement. )


Steve


Last edited by stevebrot; 04-10-2016 at 10:36 PM.
04-10-2016, 11:22 PM   #80
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Going back to the OP's question...

There is no good technical reason or value reason for Pentax not being one of the top three. In fact, if you ask Pentax users, technical excellence and high value are generally the reason for ownership. AF is often cited as a soft point along with lens line, but for many (most) users, neither is a point of friction.

So, why the Canon/Nikon dominance? (Sony being sort of an also ran.) Simply put, when you go into Best Buy or Costco* you see nothing but Nikon and Canon. Best Buy pushes Sony, but the tables are full of the other two brands.

Market penetration? Everyone knows multiple people with consumer-level Nikon and Canon product and all those cameras take excellent photos, even when used in snapshot mode.

Consumer ratings? Both Nikon and Canon are very savvy regarding rating systems for Consumer Reports Magazine and the various review Web sites and group their features accordingly. They also know that the image quality evaluation is based on default OOC JPEG and that consumer-centered features result in high ratings. Aggressive repackaging (especially by Canon...how many "i"s deep are our EOS now?) produces multiple closely spec'ed cameras that tend to crowd the top 15 or so rankings. While most enthusiasts realize the high end features of the Pentax consumer line, those points don't result in higher ranking.
  • Are Pentax products sub-par? Absolutely not.
  • Is it easy to buy Pentax? Absolutely not.
  • Is the Pentax quality and value proposition well known? Not in N. America
  • Do things like warranty service influence buying decision? Probably not
  • Is the prospect of buying sight unseen, Internet only, attractive to most consumers? No
  • Are brick and mortar camera stores incented to carry Pentax? Conversations I have had with local stores indicate little desire to do business with Pentax in the years since the Hoya purchase with little change of attitude under Ricoh
I heard someone jokingly suggest a few months ago that if Pentax wishes to increase revenue, reputation, and market share, they should double or quadruple their prices and abandon the consumer market with product aimed at the enthusiast and pro market. It seems to work for Mamiya/Leaf, Hasselblad, and Leitz.


Steve

* Costco usually carries and sells consumer-level Pentax cameras online and at very good price points, though no Pentax product is in their current online catalog.
04-11-2016, 12:21 AM   #81
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QuoteOriginally posted by zmohie Quote
What are blamed for Pentax DSLR cameras
the answer :is/they were very late when decided to go digital era!
Not so...

As mentioned above, the MZ-D was very close to being one of the first FF dSLR cameras in 2001 and would have been except for quality issues with the Phillips sensor available at the time. Contax continued their development efforts with the Phillips sensor and the resulting Contax N Digital camera debuted in 2002 and remained on the market for less than a year. The failure of that model is often credited with death of the Contax brand in 2005. Obviously the stakes were very high and risk was high.

Instead of the FF MZ-D, Pentax built the *ist D line of APS-C cameras based on the *ist film camera. The *ist D was released in 2003 and was known at the time for its compact size, build, and performance. I would have loved to have bought one except that the original models were also known for their high price. To Pentax credit, their cameras were no more expensive than the competition.

The watershed years for consumer dSLR were about 2006 and following. It was during this time that Nikon, Canon, Pentax, and Sony brought competitive-priced high-feature APS-C dSLRs to market. It may not be well-appreciated by current users of this site, but the K10D was a game changer on the market at the time. 10 Mpixel was the high point for sensor resolution and the K10D brought build quality and features equal to or better than the Canon or Nikon products at a price point well below those makers. Sales were brisk enough in N. America that the K10D was backordered and fairly hard to find for the first several months after it hit the market.

How do I know that? It was the K10D that made me a Pentax owner. Having the camera in hand, it was obviously a better product than the Nikon D80 or Canon 30D (or later 40D). Its main soft point was somewhat less sophisticated auto focus compared to the Nikon product and the absence of stabilized long focal-length zooms. Sound familiar?

This Web site began its life at or near the time of the K10D release and I was an early participant. It was not long before the first wave of high quality DA* zooms were released along with the K20D 14 Mpixel camera. Although very similar to the K10D, the K20D was a significant improvement. During 2006-2008, several consumer model were also sold and it was not unusual to see Pentax product in stores or in use. At the time, most camera stores in the Portland area sold Pentax and those that didn't were attempting to become dealers.

So...what happened? It is hard to say, though much of the blame has been laid at the feet of Hoya who purchased Pentax in a hostile takeover in spring of 2008. Under Hoya, development stalled and marketing efforts became almost non-existent. When the K-7 replaced the K20D in 2009, it was not promoted and shelf space for the brand continued to decline despite the K-7 being one of the most competent cameras on the market at the time. Development efforts for the next couple of years were mostly due to inertia with the K-5 being an incremental improvement released in 2010. Ricoh acquired the Pentax camera division in 2011 and it would be two more years before the K-3 was released in late 2013 as the first fully Ricoh-designed product. The current progressive development pace and high spec level within the brand are all due to Ricoh's initiative.

Could Pentax have brought a FF dSLR to market in 2005? Probably, though at great risk. Could they have done so in 2008 or 2009? Rumors at the time were that such a camera was being prototyped and would be available very soon. Why no FF camera? Probably for the same reason why there was no marketing effort and dealers were actively being disinsented from carrying the brand. (Regional outside sales staff and representative network was being scaled way back at the same time as dealers were being required to purchase significant inventory outright in order to maintain their dealer status. Things were not good.) It was during this period that the service facility in Colorado was shut down.

Hmmmm...I guess it is safe to say that the current state of the brand is probably the best in almost a decade. The dSLR line of bodies is lean, but each model is feature rich and attractive to its market target. The K-1 is a very competent product and a worth flagship. Ricoh Imaging's engineers and marketing are enthusiastic about the products and things look pretty good.


Steve

Last edited by stevebrot; 04-11-2016 at 12:34 AM.
04-11-2016, 01:17 AM   #82
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
Not so...

As mentioned above, the MZ-D was very close to being one of the first FF dSLR cameras in 2001 and would have been except for quality issues with the Phillips sensor available at the time. Contax continued their development efforts with the Phillips sensor and the resulting Contax N Digital camera debuted in 2002 and remained on the market for less than a year. The failure of that model is often credited with death of the Contax brand in 2005. Obviously the stakes were very high and risk was high.

Instead of the FF MZ-D, Pentax built the *ist D line of APS-C cameras based on the *ist film camera. The *ist D was released in 2003 and was known at the time for its compact size, build, and performance. I would have loved to have bought one except that the original models were also known for their high price. To Pentax credit, their cameras were no more expensive than the competition.

The watershed years for consumer dSLR were about 2006 and following. It was during this time that Nikon, Canon, Pentax, and Sony brought competitive-priced high-feature APS-C dSLRs to market. It may not be well-appreciated by current users of this site, but the K10D was a game changer on the market at the time. 10 Mpixel was the high point for sensor resolution and the K10D brought build quality and features equal to or better than the Canon or Nikon products at a price point well below those makers. Sales were brisk enough in N. America that the K10D was backordered and fairly hard to find for the first several months after it hit the market.

How do I know that? It was the K10D that made me a Pentax owner. Having the camera in hand, it was obviously a better product than the Nikon D80 or Canon 30D (or later 40D). Its main soft point was somewhat less sophisticated auto focus compared to the Nikon product and the absence of stabilized long focal-length zooms. Sound familiar?

This Web site began its life at or near the time of the K10D release and I was an early participant. It was not long before the first wave of high quality DA* zooms were released along with the K20D 14 Mpixel camera. Although very similar to the K10D, the K20D was a significant improvement. During 2006-2008, several consumer model were also sold and it was not unusual to see Pentax product in stores or in use. At the time, most camera stores in the Portland area sold Pentax and those that didn't were attempting to become dealers.

So...what happened? It is hard to say, though much of the blame has been laid at the feet of Hoya who purchased Pentax in a hostile takeover in spring of 2008. Under Hoya, development stalled and marketing efforts became almost non-existent. When the K-7 replaced the K20D in 2009, it was not promoted and shelf space for the brand continued to decline despite the K-7 being one of the most competent cameras on the market at the time. Development efforts for the next couple of years were mostly due to inertia with the K-5 being an incremental improvement released in 2010. Ricoh acquired the Pentax camera division in 2011 and it would be two more years before the K-3 was released in late 2013 as the first fully Ricoh-designed product. The current progressive development pace and high spec level within the brand are all due to Ricoh's initiative.

Could Pentax have brought a FF dSLR to market in 2005? Probably, though at great risk. Could they have done so in 2008 or 2009? Rumors at the time were that such a camera was being prototyped and would be available very soon. Why no FF camera? Probably for the same reason why there was no marketing effort and dealers were actively being disinsented from carrying the brand. (Regional outside sales staff and representative network was being scaled way back at the same time as dealers were being required to purchase significant inventory outright in order to maintain their dealer status. Things were not good.) It was during this period that the service facility in Colorado was shut down.

Hmmmm...I guess it is safe to say that the current state of the brand is probably the best in almost a decade. The dSLR line of bodies is lean, but each model is feature rich and attractive to its market target. The K-1 is a very competent product and a worth flagship. Ricoh Imaging's engineers and marketing are enthusiastic about the products and things look pretty good.


Steve
Well, here at least the lack of shops that really support Pentax is a big issue.
Als the support for repairs here in this part of the Netherlands is an issue.
Thus when you buy a lens that has a fault in lets say the AF-sytem, you have to wait long and cannot always use a good replacement at the time. If you are using Canikon you are more likely to get a loaner from the shop.
Besides that, the real 'pro' line is not even sold here where the 'pro'-modells of Canikon are there and people can buy the second or third modell from top-down (which is still more expensive than Pentax would be).

For the technik compared to price, you get a lot more in general from Pentax then from the other brands imho
People were always telling that 'we' don't have full-frame which should be a big lag, though 'we' have a bigger sensor-camera.
In terms of selling, 'full frame' and 'more megapixels' is very well appreciated although the general user won't need it. It looks great though these numbers on display.
04-11-2016, 02:57 AM - 1 Like   #83
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Disclosure: I use Pentax and Nikon.

I think Pentax is simply a victim of its own low profile when it comes to marketing. The big two throw a lot of cash and incentives around to drive consumers to their product while Pentax has tended rest on its laurels a bit, letting its user base do the bulk of the heavy lifting for them (my opinion). Of course what happens in the market place is that when a salesman is getting a kick back / incentive he is going to push that product. Pentax's (Ricoh's) problem is that if they choose to compete head on what is the cost versus the return ?

for what it is worth as a user of both Pentax & Nikon I still adore the Pentax interface, it is just so intuitive and logical it really does leave the rest for dead....and I am fresh from hosting a weekend workshop where all brands were represented.

04-11-2016, 04:12 AM   #84
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
As mentioned above, the MZ-D was very close to being one of the first FF dSLR cameras in 2001 and would have been except for quality issues with the Phillips sensor available at the time. Contax continued their development efforts with the Phillips sensor and the resulting Contax N Digital camera debuted in 2002 and remained on the market for less than a year. The failure of that model is often credited with death of the Contax brand in 2005.
Pentax really dodged a bullet with that one. Had they been at the zenith of their film dominance in 2000 they might still have ridden it out, taken the MZ-D to market and got valuable experience for the follow-on, but AFAIK things were already sort of shaky and its failure would probably have finished them. It will remain one of the might-have-beens, a bit like any number of projects in the 1950s British aircraft industry which were canned at the most heartbreaking point - factories built, jigs constructed, multiple prototypes already halfway down the line... and then the bean-counters pulled the plug and all the effort was wasted, and we will never know if they would have lived up to their promise. (TSR-2 and the Canadaian CF-105 Arrow were heartbreaking for all concerned too, but at least they actually got to fly.)
04-12-2016, 04:42 AM   #85
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Marketing. They simply didn't do marketing.
04-15-2016, 07:54 AM   #86
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QuoteOriginally posted by zzeitg Quote
And I hope that Samyang keeps going further (lack of Pentax K-mount support in case of new lenses like 21mm f1.4 and 50mm f1.2 makes me a little nervous).
For what it's worth, those lenses are both short-flange mirrorless designs covering APS-C only. You can't get them for Canon or Nikon DSLRs, either. Samyang is putting a lot of effort into mirrorless designs because Sony's APS-C E-mount cameras are extremely popular, but Sony's lens line up is really genuinely bad. They don't have a single APS-C lens that could be called great, and a lot that can be called mediocre.

As for me, I have a few Pentax M42 lenses that my dad passed down to me with a (broken) Spotmatic II. I use the 50/1.4 in particular quite a bit on my Panasonic Micro Four Thirds cameras, and really enjoy it.

I'm looking to buy into Pentax primarily as an affordable but powerful weather-sealed set-up. So its reputation for that is powerful, anyway. The only viable competitor for it right now in this space is Olympus with the E-M5. If the K-S2 had a touchscreen to go with its articulation and/or the 35/2.4 was WR I'd already have put my money down, but the market is in such turmoil right now with all kinds of options, and nothing has all the features I want.
04-15-2016, 08:41 AM   #87
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QuoteQuote:
So...what happened? It is hard to say, though much of the blame has been laid at the feet of Hoya who purchased Pentax in a hostile takeover in spring of 2008.
I think you hit upon the right time frame when Pentax stepped back from the success of the K100D era. For me, the worst thing Pentax did was to replace the K200D with the K-m. At first it looked like Pentax was dipping deeper into the entry-level market, going head to head with the basic Canon Rebels and the Nikon D40. But then the K200D disappeared from the catalogue with no K300D replacement.
Perhaps Pentax feared the K200D was stealing sales from the K20D - they both had weather sealing, and an accessory grip. But around here, the K-m sold for $100 less than the K200D, and it was way less camera (and the DA-L lens was cheaper too). Pentax's price advantage with the K200D was gone.
04-17-2016, 09:49 AM   #88
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This is an old ad for an Indian suv, but if they could get a couple of ads released that could energize people with what Pentax cameras can do and survive. Then it just might do a difference.

04-17-2016, 02:37 PM   #89
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QuoteOriginally posted by christiandre Quote
I can't understand the lack of enthusiasm for Pentax DSLR... Do you know which are generally the reproaches made to the brand ? I heard that Pentax had a propensity to reach quickly the highlights burned, or that the lenses were not very effective or numerous ... What do you heard on your side, from no-pro photographers ?
I doubt it's a major drawback for most Pentax owners, but I find the video implementation on Pentax DSLRs to be very poor. DSLRs, in general are not as user friendly, or have the video quality, of mirrorless cameras. Not sure why they are so much worse than Canon, for example, when everything else about Pentax cameras is better.

Jack
04-17-2016, 04:51 PM   #90
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It was going to be Pentax for me precisely for the reasons they don't do so well. They're a bit different, a bit unknown, a bit of an underdog and a bit quirky. I hate following the crowd down the well trodden path.

We all know the benefits. Great quality and great value.

But the biggest downside for me is their availability on the high street. There is a cursory smattering of Pentax in a few stores, but no hope of finding anything beyond the K-50 and a couple of plastic fantastics. I have one proper official stockist 20 miles away, which is a shop the size of my front room up some back stairs that has a decent selection but at premium pricing and they need to order in anything special. Other than that I would need to go to London 150 miles away (the other side of the world in UK terms). The result is that if I want to try a high end lens, I need to buy it online and hope I like it or I'll be spending a wad to send it back. Rentals are hard to find, hard work, and very pricey.

Your average Canikon tribesman can wander into any camera store and try out anything they want or just browse and dream...I miss that. Or they can rent from a million places. Or they can borrow from a club...

I am doing a photography course and my tutor told me "yes Pentax do very nice cameras, but if you want to go professional you will need to switch systems" the reasons they gave is that I will need the support of a wide range of professional level kit, store and rental availability and repair service availability. I have to agree that if my income depended on it, I wouldn't try to forge on with Pentax...just finding a battery in an emergency would be a nightmare, let alone a replacement for a dropped lens or something more serious.
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