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Old Sep 25, 2009, 7:08 PM   #1
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Default What's Going on with Pentax Lenses

Cruising the internet and looked at Pentax lenses on B&H. They listed the 18-250 & 35 2.0 as discontinued -so I checked the Pentax site-which confirmed this. Also the prices are obscene-they are now charging $349.00 for a 50mm 1.4. I paid $199.00 about 5 months ago. All the other lenses seem to be at least $100 more than they were in mid summer. Anyone have any ideas?
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Old Sep 25, 2009, 7:26 PM   #2
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Pentax announced price increases two months ago or so (right around the time they introduced the K-7). B&H and Adorama sold off their old stock at the lower prices, I think, at least it took them a while for them to do it. That was one of the big reasons I bought 2 more lenses than I had planned on - I figured I wouldn't be able to afford them at the higher prices. I kept checking both stores until I actually had the money in hand - Adorama raised the price of one of the lenses the day before I could order, so I bought from B&H. But I'm sure that everyone has now raised their prices to reflect this increase by now, so I'm very thankful it worked out for me.
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Old Sep 25, 2009, 7:51 PM   #3
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Nothing like alienating your customers with outrageous price hikes! The 75% price increase on the 50mm lens indeed obscene! What a way to invite new customers into the fold. I continue to be concerned about the future of Pentax and this type of behavior gives me even more concern.
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Old Sep 25, 2009, 10:29 PM   #4
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Looks like a great way to decrease sales-this economy is not the time to raise prices this way. I did not check Tamron or Sigma-I currently do not own any of these brands but I may start.
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Old Sep 26, 2009, 11:39 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DMJJR View Post
Looks like a great way to decrease sales-this economy is not the time to raise prices this way. I did not check Tamron or Sigma-I currently do not own any of these brands but I may start.
I have also noticed the increase. I ordered a FA 50mm f1.4 about 3 months ago from Adoram for $224. I thought the price was reasonable at that time, but I probably wouldn't buy one at the current price . I also own a Tamron 28-75mm f2.8. I really like this lens and highly recommend it.
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Old Sep 26, 2009, 1:56 PM   #6
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I rounded out the lenses that I had been wanting about a year ago with the 12-24. Now the only items left that I am eying are non Pentax items - an L bracket, and some other minor items.

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Old Sep 26, 2009, 9:35 PM   #7
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How much of it has to do with the (lack of) value in the dollar I wonder? I noticed the 35mm f/2 was discontinued a couple months back when I finally decided to buy one. At that time the 50mm was up to $249. I am hoping to get a 77mm limited before those disappear too.

Tim
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Old Sep 27, 2009, 2:14 AM   #8
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It's not the USD, the price has skyrocketed in Europe as well, and in Japan too. In spite of falling rates, I think the USD is still a bit overvalued and will fall further. The Chinese export surplus is still enormous.

Kjell
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Old Sep 27, 2009, 12:35 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by bilybianca View Post
It's not the USD, the price has skyrocketed in Europe as well, and in Japan too. In spite of falling rates, I think the USD is still a bit overvalued and will fall further. The Chinese export surplus is still enormous.

Kjell
It all makes sense...revenues are down this year due to low sales...so let's raise prices to juice up revenues. Economics 101 it is not.
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Old Sep 27, 2009, 4:12 PM   #10
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My own little conspiracy theory. . .

I don't think that the price increase was just coincidental to the introduction of the K-7. With a compact body that is in the same performance ballpark as the 50D and D300, not to mention the chatter that the K-7 was the camera that the E3 should have been from the Oly camp, It's possible that Pentax is gambling that a significant market segment might be carved out of high-end shooters from other brands who might be willing to buy a K-7 with a couple of Ltd primes for a very compact/high build quality/performance carry-around kit that's not available from the brand they shoot, nor is it likely to be offered. They boost the prices of the lenses to more closely match the level that these shooters are used to paying, then after a reasonable amount of time, offer rebates for the Pentaxians who are slowly building their lens kits as they can afford them.

Pentax would gain from:

1. Increased sales of existing stock at the old prices.

2. Increased body and lens sales from a market segment that doesn't mind the price point, and would need the lenses immediately to complete their kit.

3. Then, later on, Pentax gets the advantage of the added immediacy of "taking advantage of the rebate while it's still offered" to motivate buyers looking for a deal, while at the same time making a higher margin and adding to sales dollar volume.

The major disadvantage is that the large increases might turn off a number of existing customers. . . but where would they go? Probably nowhere -- they'd complain, but stand pat and either wait for rebates or look at the used market for lenses. Those who are heavily invested in K-mount lenses aren't really effected since they already have their lenses. Some would migrate to C or N, or possibly S or O, but probably would have anyway, eventually. This migration would also supply the used market as they sell off their gear to finance their new systems, thus reducing the pain of the complainers.

On balance, I think that Pentax gains from this strategy. I can't say that as a consumer that it makes me happy, but I'd rather see Pentax survive, or better yet, make significant gains in the tough economic market that currently exists, than see them join the ranks of extinct camera mfgs. This is especially important considering that Samsung seems to be backing off of DSLRs and focusing more on EVILs, so Pentax might end up being the only source of new bodies for the K-mount.

I've always felt that Pentax sacrificed an incredible volume of profits with their commitment to backwards compatibility across the board with all their DLSRs, a very rare example of corporate loyalty to its customers in effect (even if not by choice). I don't begrudge them a bit for trying to make some of this up in a very competitive and still actively growing market.

I'm lucky in the sense that there are very few gaps in my lens collection, and I'd only be looking to upgrade IQ, speed, or features in a few cases. None of these are anywhere close to critical, so I can, and will, wait for the right deals to satisfy the remnants of a what has been a very virulent case of LBA.

Scott
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