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Pentax whispers?

Discussion in 'Pentax Chat' started by Gromit, Feb 12, 2013.

  1. Gromit

    Gromit RIP

    I was in a camera store yesterday, and asked if they stocked Pentax. They said no, but things might probably change in a few weeks.

    Now they might have been talking horsesh*t, but they said that Pentax are making big changes shortly and more retailers will be stocking them. They claimed that Pentax were going to reposition themselves in the marketplace, and there might be some big changes, including on prices. They refused to be drawn any further.

    Now whether this means that retail prices might change, or trade margins would be different I don't know. I've always felt that Pentax provided good value for money, on most products, so are they talking lower or higher prices.

    With Ricoh now owning Pentax are there big changes on the horizon? Has anyone else heard any whispers?
  2. thornrider

    thornrider In the Stop Bath

    Pentax used to be a big name in quality SLR's with high levels of pro ownership - even the most ardent Pentax fan would have to admit that this has not been true in recent years. Before the K30 fans start to fire off salvos, can you honestly say that people have pointed you out in the street when you have your camera round your neck - but they used to when someone was seen with a Spotmatic.

    Since Ricoh things have been on the up - so maybe Pentax may enter the DSLR market at the level of Canon and Nikon.

    So maybe more solid products at elevated prices. After all cheapish cars aren't selling but very expensive ones are.
  3. AlexMonro

    AlexMonro Old Grand Part Deux

    I haven't heard anything like that from any of the usual rumour mills in the web. The most significant recent news is that they are working on a full frame DSLR - from a Pentax Japan executive.

    I think Pentax have suffered, and are still suffering, from being slow to get a serious DSLR together/ The *ist models were a bit of a joke, and the unpronounceable name didn't help. It wasn't until the K10D that they had a serious class leading contender, but they were running to catch up from the back of the pack.

    Now they have some good models, class leading in various aspects, but they've still got a lot of catching up to do in market position.
  4. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    I heard something the other day that said they were looking to go internet-only, but it's not from a source I've heard from before.
  5. dangie

    dangie Senior Knobhead

    'Jessops Online' :rolleyes:
  6. PentaxManiac

    PentaxManiac Well-Known Member

    Comments like this crop up on this forum now and again, and I can never really see why. What exactly is "the level of Canon and Nikon" anyway? Larger companies with a larger range of cameras, nothing more or less. There are two arguable gaps in the Pentax SLR range: a full frame model, which is in any case under development, and a basic/ beginners model, to sit below the K30.

    Beyond that, why does anyone feel the need to dictate what models are necessary? From your comments you're obviously no (photographic) spring chicken. Perhaps your words of wisdom and business acumen would have been better directed, over the years, at quite a few other manufacturers rather than Pentax. I'm thinking here of;-

    Mamiya: now dead
    Rollei: now dead
    Contax and Yashica: now dead
    Minolta: dead in SLR terms now that Sony have killed the legacy
    Olympus: dead in SLR terms

    And that's not to mention a lot of smaller concerns like the USSR/Eastern Bloc manufacturers and the smaller Japanese players: Vivitar, Cosina and so on. Remember Cosina? I think their last contribution to the business we call photography was making SLRs for Nikon.
  7. thornrider

    thornrider In the Stop Bath

    No need to defend - the drift of my response is that hopefully Pentax are on the up again.

    The "level of Canon and Nikon" is no more than that models from their range are consistently the choice of pros who make their living from them. This used to be the case with Pentax - but it isn't anymore.

    Maybe with Ricoh behind them they will be again.
  8. PentaxManiac

    PentaxManiac Well-Known Member

    In that sense, the market dominance of the "big two" is to a great extent self-perpetuating but not necessarily an indicator of a superior product. This was touched on some time ago in one of Ivor Matanle's articles in AP when he looked at the Pentax LX. As a camera body this equalled any contemporary Nikon or Canon and pros would have been quite happy to use it. What limited its market penetration to pros was the reluctance of pro shops to stock and hire out extreme lenses, of the sort that pros would use but not use often enough to buy, in anything except Canon or Nikon fit.

    That said, John Hedgecoe used an LX until he died. Likewise Terence Donovan with the 6x7. At present I suspect there's considerable pro use of the 645D, but not amongst the high-profile pros we read a great deal about - paps, sports, celeb portraits etc - so much as jobbing advertisement and studio togs.
  9. thornrider

    thornrider In the Stop Bath

    Couldn't agree more about the LX - a colleague bought one when I had my F3. But Pentax let the reins slip - hopefully they will pick them up again. I am supportive.
  10. Gromit

    Gromit RIP

    Apart from the early digital days, Pentax always seem to have made cameras for photographers. What they have lacked is the marketing.

    The thing is, does the professional market lead the enthusiast or the other way around? If Ricoh make a better job of marketing Pentax cameras to the enthusiast, then will some of these enthusiasts go on to be professional photographers and keep their brand loyalty?

    We're all aware that many photographers believe they have to have the right 'name' on their camera before they can be considered a serious photographer. So in that respect it's going to be difficult to break the hold that Canon/Nikon already have.
  11. Zou

    Zou Well-Known Member

    They produce the Zeiss manual focus lenses, Voigtlander cameras and lenses, and iirc also did the Epson RD-1 digital rangefinder. So they're still quite busy in the business of photography. :)
  12. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    Not to forget the Zeiss Ikon cameras, either - and there was a Rollei-branded rangefinder after they made those nasty Nikons, too.
  13. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    Er, no; somewhat changed, but still in existence and making cameras.
  14. Done_rundleCams

    Done_rundleCams AP Forum Ambassador to Canada

    Well, FWIW, they've told me diddly-squat :eek: and I work in a
    camera store and shoot Pentax, so ya think ;).


    One thing that caused Pentax to lose out on a potentially large sale of DSLR's was the lack of AF in video, so that is something (whilst I'm not a fan of DSLR video or AF in it) that they must seriously consider. Scary part was that they (photo college) had K1000's, etc ... back in the film days ... and were going to go to (either) Canon/Nikon when DSLR's started to become the vogue but one of the instructors (a PJ) mentioned this to me and I informed him that Pentax had DSLR's and they could use all the old manual focus lenses and Vivitar 285 flashes :). Of course, that was back around 2003/4 and then 9 years later .... to Canon they go :( ........ at least, for the DSLR video aspect.


  15. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    A few adaptors and they can still use their lenses, and the flashes should work fine, too.

    I was never sure about the K1000 for students - sure, it was solid (until the last Chinese production), cheap and simple, but for me it's entirely wrong to teach people on a camera without that most critical of learning aids, depth of field preview - at least with film.
  16. PentaxManiac

    PentaxManiac Well-Known Member

    Nasty Nikons, but the old "Cosina make your SLRs" jibe can be used to annoy others as well: Canon fans (the T60) and also Olympians (OM2000).
  17. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    Quite right. I've got a T60, and actually it's a bit better than I expected - certainly nicer than the Miranda-branded Cosina I once had. But I actually like the Cosina CSR, great camera.
  18. nimbus

    nimbus Well-Known Member

    Many people I know or have known were Pentax users, in some cases their medium format products. However none of them continued to use Pentax, either as film autofocus or digital slrs. I myself was a user, I had an LX and considered it a tremendous camera, in terms of build and weight it was solid without being too heavy and was very well made, albeit a bit of a blind alley for the company.

    My view is that Pentax slipped up very badly with their film autofocus products and lost much ground to the other makers in this era. Not that their products were particularly substandard in most ways, but they just lacked that indefineable appeal and sales seemed to slump. Having found themselves in this situation their digital products are very much also-rans in the marketplace, although again decent enough offerings in their own way. I cannot see that they are now going to wean many buyers from Nikon, Canon or Sony, their line up doesn't have the breadth that the others do.
  19. dangie

    dangie Senior Knobhead

    Perhaps so, but how wide does the line-up have to be? It's quite wide enough for most enthusiast photographers. I'll bet the vast majority of Canon and Nikon owners never venture beyond a body, couple of lenses and maybe a flashgun. A large number won't even go beyond the kit lens.
  20. Zou

    Zou Well-Known Member

    I suppose Pentax have to decide if their USP is to remain 'the outdoor camera brand' by extending their WR lens lineup or if they want to appeal to more studio shooters by making big improvements to their lighting system. For my shooting the former would be better. For long term success, perhaps the latter.

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