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04-24-2007, 02:51 PM   #1
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Long talk with Pentax (about an hour)

Well I just got off the phone with an interesting person from Pentax and ended up having a longer conversation than I was ready for, but it was well worth the time spent with the cell phone glued to my head.

First, I asked about the FA* 300mm and 600mm 2.8 lenses being available and he said here in the USA no, but they could be in Japan from the parent company.

Next is that he would like all of use to send our lens suggestions to Pentax because right now they are looking for a reason to make more lenses and products available and need as much input as possible. He explained that we go to Pentax Imaging - Home and click on CONTACT US at the bottom of the page. All product suggestions are mailed directly to the VP of marketing and are then sent to the Pentax parent company where they are personally looked over and used to build an idea of what they need to make. This will also work with any problems that occur with your current Pentax DSLR, so if you feel banding, or noise, or shutter lag are a problem they want to know and rectify it asap.

Next is a hint on when the DA* series lenses will be available and he told me April won't be the month but you'll see in may how quiet, fast, and crisp this lens really is. He personally used the two new ones and says they are definitely better than anything else on the market in terms of speed, sound and sharpness and his model was a beta version. He said the delay was because Pentax had the working model worked out and sent it out to each subsidiary and wanted input on the lens , then took the input and hashed out the bugs. Oh and if you wanted to know the DA* series lens has the standard drive mount on it and should work with an auto teleconverter and even an AF teleconverter.

The last point was whether or not the rumor that firmware v1.20 will be out on April 26th and he says that he hasn't personally heard anything, but there has to be an update before the DA* lenses come out in order for the camera to operate the SDM.

So everyone send your suggestions now and he was personally excited to hear how enthusiastic this site is towards Pentax and their current growth so maybe mention that you heard this from here if Mo thinks it's a good idea.

04-24-2007, 04:01 PM   #2
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Well I sent out some stuff for Pentax to consider so maybe one day I'll hear back from them or even better see something new that everyone wants.
04-24-2007, 06:23 PM   #3
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Funny, I spoke to 2 diiferent folks in Colorado. One was supposed to be in the lens area. Both were retards. Hate to be blunt but it was the truth. Was really disappointing. The right people must have been out sick or something.
04-24-2007, 07:31 PM   #4
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Righto - sent Pentax Australia an email - said I was going to get the 50-135, am very interested in the DA*200, and hope that the new non-macro 35mm will be f1.8 or faster.

04-24-2007, 07:55 PM   #5
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VP of marketing is Ned Blundell who frequents Dpreview and I am sure doe shis own scannign of threads to garner an idea of our thouhgts. Well if they don't then they are truly stupid.

There are some basic faults that need fixing NOW on the 100D at least so i'd hope they are rectified on the new model but i'll bet $$$$ the same problems will surface.
04-24-2007, 08:23 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by codiac2600 Quote
Well I just got off the phone with an interesting person from Pentax and ended up having a longer conversation than I was ready for, but it was well worth the time spent with the cell phone glued to my head.

First, I asked about the FA* 300mm and 600mm 2.8 lenses being available and he said here in the USA no, but they could be in Japan from the parent company.

Next is that he would like all of use to send our lens suggestions to Pentax because right now they are looking for a reason to make more lenses and products available and need as much input as possible. He explained that we go to Pentax Imaging - Home and click on CONTACT US at the bottom of the page. All product suggestions are mailed directly to the VP of marketing and are then sent to the Pentax parent company where they are personally looked over and used to build an idea of what they need to make. This will also work with any problems that occur with your current Pentax DSLR, so if you feel banding, or noise, or shutter lag are a problem they want to know and rectify it asap.

Next is a hint on when the DA* series lenses will be available and he told me April won't be the month but you'll see in may how quiet, fast, and crisp this lens really is. He personally used the two new ones and says they are definitely better than anything else on the market in terms of speed, sound and sharpness and his model was a beta version. He said the delay was because Pentax had the working model worked out and sent it out to each subsidiary and wanted input on the lens , then took the input and hashed out the bugs. Oh and if you wanted to know the DA* series lens has the standard drive mount on it and should work with an auto teleconverter and even an AF teleconverter.

The last point was whether or not the rumor that firmware v1.20 will be out on April 26th and he says that he hasn't personally heard anything, but there has to be an update before the DA* lenses come out in order for the camera to operate the SDM.

So everyone send your suggestions now and he was personally excited to hear how enthusiastic this site is towards Pentax and their current growth so maybe mention that you heard this from here if Mo thinks it's a good idea.
Thanks for the great info! It'd be really nice to have an active Pentax rep on the site, but that's up to them, not up to me.

Speaking of lenses, I still can't believe that Pentax chose to discontinue the FA* line...

Adam
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04-24-2007, 08:38 PM   #7
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haha Pentax wants to 'cut' back on cost so they would like to spare that extra radius of glass. Yea I'm kinda annoyed about the whole thing too. Atleast Sigma still keeps the aperture right...albiet its kinda useless for that last few generations of Pentax cameras because of the crippled KAF mount.

I agree but they really need reps even undercover, to particpate in the Pentax forums here as well as other branches like as mentioned before, DPR.
04-24-2007, 09:17 PM   #8
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Well another point made in the conversation was that they did come to here (not too often) and to dpreview as well and I made the point that if they stopped by here they would get a little more useful information from us Everyone should send a suggestion to make this a frequent stop if they want good feedback on their equipment because of how diverse and friendly we are. We shall see won't we.

04-24-2007, 11:39 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mo Quote
Thanks for the great info! It'd be really nice to have an active Pentax rep on the site, but that's up to them, not up to me.

Speaking of lenses, I still can't believe that Pentax chose to discontinue the FA* line...
The "lens guy" at Pentax USA said he never heard of that. He said they won't stop selling limiteds until people stop buying them...

Last edited by sharpshoota; 04-25-2007 at 01:17 AM.
04-25-2007, 01:15 AM   #10
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Did you ask why Pentax is the only "major" camera company that does not support Microsoft Image Components (WIC) for the viewing of PEF files in Vista and XP (subset of tools)?

Out on dpreview one of the people there has created a codec that works -- somewhat -- If a non Pentax employee can do it - why can't Pentax?

Oh -- I asked --- Pentax USA said they were going to be looking into issuing a patch --- Ahhhh - a codec is not a patch ----- Helllllloooooo anyone home?

PDL
04-25-2007, 05:02 AM   #11
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I spoke to people from Pentax UK and Intro2020 a while back. Both were pretty clueless about what is available in the UK and what's still in production. Neither seemed to acknowledge the overinflated UK lens and accessory prices or see that it was a problem we get around by buying on ebay. And neither seemed to appreciate that most dealers only stock the 2 DA kit lenses. And neither had the slightest idea when the DA*s would be available!

Wasn't very encouraging.
04-25-2007, 07:16 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by sharpshoota Quote
The "lens guy" at Pentax USA said he never heard of that. He said they won't stop selling limiteds until people stop buying them...
The "FA *" and the "FA ltd" are not the same. According to John C (Pentax USA product manager) Pentax will still be making the FA ltd's for "a while". This was from a converstion I had with him in Bridgeport CT last October. I was expressing my desire to get both a K10D and a FA 77mm ltd and not having enough funds for both. He was pushing the K10D, and I mentioned that I was worried that the 77 ltd would be discontinued.

NaCl(and no, I have no idea what "a while" means)H2O
04-25-2007, 07:27 AM   #13
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Just received my reply from pentax about my suggestions and concerns.

QuoteQuote:
Dear Sir/Madam,

Thank you for contacting Pentax.

Also, thank you for your suggestions and information. Product engineering and design decisions themselves come out of our parent company, Pentax Corporation, in Japan. Pentax Corporation directs how all Pentax products are developed, and any strategic alliances of a global nature are formed at that level.

I will be happy to forward your correspondence to our parent company and Pentax subsidiaries, in a report designed for concerns such as these. Pentax always appreciates hearing from the consumer public regarding the use of Pentax products, or regarding suggestions for new products or improvements in any area. We appreciate you taking your time to express your thoughts.

If you are in need of further assistance, please respond to this email or call our technical support center at 800-877-0155.

Sincerely,
Regina Brown
Pentax Imaging Technical Support

Your Email:
PentaxImaging.com Contact Form

Submitted By:

Chris Warkocki
1434 livingston drive

Rockford, Il 61107 United States

codiac2600@yahoo.com


Comments:
I was talking with one of your representatives and he stated that suggestions are taken very seriously and I have a few from the very happy K10D user that I am.
First off is in the lens department and some gaps that need filling to make a lot of happy users. We Pentax users really need something to feed our long telephoto needs and something in the 600mm range is a lens needed and wanted by many even if it's just a 5.6 or a little higher. Maybe a DFA 400mm 5.6 (with crop factor 600mm) but even better would be a true 600mm lens. Also would be a better all-around lens to step up from the 18-55mm kit lens. A DA 18-55mm f2.8 macro would be a great replacement and competition to other lens makers that are taking business from you. The last lens that would be perfect in there is a prime portrait lens. I'm talking a super sharp DA 135mm or 105mm 2.8 or a remake of the 135mm 2.5 manual lens. It's a wonderful working distance and if you can bring the sharpness of the old 50mm 1.4 with it you'd have an easy winner.
One of the most difficult things to find a decent copy of is a teleconverter. A 1.5X and 2.0X auto teleconverter would help you compete and make a lot of happy Pentaxians since we all know you could make something a lot better then the competition. Maybe even make SDM contacts in it to operate the new lenses! You would sell one with every lens hands down.
Something I would find interesting to add to the camera would be a couple of different options in the menus. One would be to manual set the focus area, whether it would be slightly forward or back to help with some older lenses that may have focusing problems (the ultimate compatibility). Another option would be to pump up the sharpness level for people who prefer the over sharpened look. That is actually one of the things that a lot of people have suggested and would be very nice to have since in certain situations like with macro the high sharpness if preferred.
Hope this helps and I've mentioned that you guys take comments seriously to the forum I participate in so hopefully you'll get a lot of input from real Pentax users.
-Chris Warkocki


04-25-2007, 09:02 AM   #14
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UK Pentax are part of Pentax Europe

QuoteOriginally posted by fast50 Quote
I spoke to people from Pentax UK and Intro2020 a while back. Both were pretty clueless about what is available in the UK and what's still in production. Neither seemed to acknowledge the overinflated UK lens and accessory prices or see that it was a problem we get around by buying on ebay. And neither seemed to appreciate that most dealers only stock the 2 DA kit lenses. And neither had the slightest idea when the DA*s would be available!

Wasn't very encouraging.
If you look at the website for Camera King, SRS and Park Cameras you will see all the limiteds (in some cases in black) as well as the rest of the current range. Trouble is supplies are very limited across Europe so most have to be ordered. You can also place deposits for the new DA* zooms.

UK allocation is decided by Germany so they are not always in complete control. Having said that, UK supply to specialists is a lot better than before. France and Germany are bigger Pentax markets so tend to get first pick, but UK is next and has a much better supply situation than Spain or Italy for instance.

You should give Chris at SRS a call. Hes always very helpful. Sadly retail prices of the lenses is dealer controlled (Pentax wholesale prices are the same across Europe more or less) so if you think they are overpriced, argue with the dealers. Tight supply of the Limiteds is driving prices up but last time I looked, with taxes added, prices for the rest of the kit is not that different between UK and Germany.
04-25-2007, 09:31 AM   #15
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I requested a lens like the
Minolta/Sony STF 135/2.8, the bokeh wonder*.

They replied that this "is an excellent suggestion".




* lens info:
Sony 135 F2.8 [T4.5] STF SAL-135F28 review - dyxum.com
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