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Old Feb 25, 2008, 1:34 AM   #1
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Kazmir "Kaz" Zysk is Territory Manager in Canada. He was part of the Pentax group at the PMA08]

This "Bobcar" was at the PMA08 and it was seen all over the street of New York. Now that's good advertisement.]

[align=justify]It was just a little over a year ago that we started to hear about a new K10D DSLR that Pentax was about to introduce. I owned Pentax cameras all of my adult life, and after reading about the camera on every website I could find, I knew the camera would be a hit. Pentax used to be known by everyone that had anything to do with photography. They were at the forefront of the 35mm revolution. As a young boy, I remember walking to the camera stores in Montreal (That's my birth place but I now reside is Sunny California.) and looking through the display windows, just imagining how it would be great if I could afford a new Pentax Spotmatic. I would spend countless hours reading every small Pentax ads in every magazine. Yes, I was obsessed.

Many of the improvements and innovations, of Pentax in particular, were envisioned by Herbert Keppler who first worked for Modern Photography and later for Popular Photography. He was one of the first American to realized that "Made in Japan" for cameras meant good quality at a reasonable price. Of course, German cameras were the elite camera makers at the time, but the prices were exorbitant.

In the past two or three decades or so, Pentax kind of took a back seat to Nikon and Canon. I don't exactly know why, but ask most people younger than thirty years old, and you'll find out that most had never heard of Pentax until recently.

Here in the United States, Pentax was at a standstill until after the Pentax K10D was introduced. Now with the K20D
announced, there is a big buzz in the photographic world about the newest DSLR from Pentax. It boasts a new CMOS sensor with 14.6 megapixels and great images even at high ISO up to 1600 and beyond. Like its predecessor, the K10D, it has advanced features only found in camera costing two to three times more. It will be another success, and even bigger than the K10D.

It took about six months or more for magazines to test and write about the K10D after its introduction. It took the photographic world by surprise, in my opinion. As of this writing, the K20D is not in stores yet and Popular Photography and Shutterbug magazines have already published articles about the K20D with the camera featured on the cover. Could this be the same Pentax Company that everyone was ignoring a year ago? I'm afraid it is.

Maybe, we have to thank one person for that, at least here in the United States. It seems that as soon as Mr. Ned Bunnell was promoted to President of Pentax USA, things started to change. Full page ads started to appear in magazines, Pentax presence at trade shows increased, the Pentaxians site was created, a new Pentax Professional Services Program was instituted, etc. Changes are everywhere at Pentax USA. John Carlson has videos about Pentax DSLRs on "You Tube" and so on. I don't know Mr. Bunnell personally, but I had a chance to shake hands with him at the recent PMA08 in Las Vegas. For a man in his position, he seems to remain very accessible. He even has a blog site and actually takes the time to post articles fairly often. Mrs. Michelle Martin, who is the Media Contact for Pentax USA, has her email and phone number posted with every Pentax announcements and press releases on the Pentax Website. She actually answers her phone and emails. Try to reach people with the same position at Canon or Nikon!

Congratulation Mr. Bunnell for leading Pentax in a new direction and thank you for having a staff that is available and helpful. Owning a Pentax camera is not a "cash and carry" proposition, it's more like joining a family or being amongst friends. When you purchase a Pentax DSLR, you get all those benefits on top of owning some of the best DSLR cameras on the market for the price.

I guess you could classify me as a die hard Pentaxian. I'm proud of it.

Thank you for reading,

Yvon Bourque
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Old Feb 25, 2008, 4:57 AM   #2
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Yvon, I quiteenjojed reading your spirited post!IMO,therecouldhardly be anythingrequiring lessjustificationthan being enthusiastic about one's art tools : )

I guess Pentax should be thankful to the keen users at various Pentax forums in return, and in addition to the names you wrote above, I'd also add Benjamin Kanarek, whose works and suggestions, I think, providedincentive to the hesitants!
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Old Feb 25, 2008, 11:02 AM   #3
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Yvon - Thank you for a very nice article. In 1973 I bought a Spotmatic II and started a lifelong partnership with Pentax. When I first went digital, the *ist was not out yet, so I bought the hottest thing going, a Fuji S602Z. After 3 years, I wanted to get back into an SLR and by that time the *ist DL was out and so I'm a Pentaxian again - Bruce
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Old Feb 25, 2008, 1:57 PM   #4
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bper wrote:
Yvon - Thank you for a very nice article. In 1973 I bought a Spotmatic II and started a lifelong partnership with Pentax. When I first went digital, the *ist was not out yet, so I bought the hottest thing going, a Fuji S602Z. After 3 years, I wanted to get back into an SLR and by that time the *ist DL was out and so I'm a Pentaxian again - Bruce
Mine started with an ME Super in 1980 and a K1000 in 1982. I also went Fuji before tha *istDL, mine was the S602 replacement, the S7000.

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Old Feb 25, 2008, 3:54 PM   #5
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Yvon, Thank you for a very nice post. I started with Minolta, then went to one of the first Canon autofocus cameras. I bought it in Malaysia where it was called the 500, but it was the Rebel in the US.WhenI went digital it was with the Kodak 260 and then the 4800.NowI have the DL and ithas brought back the joy of photography. Its kinda fun owning a Pentax because it gives me a feeling of striking a blow for thelittle guy! I too spent a lot of time readingHerbert Keppler and always enjoyed his sense of humor and his straight forward way of explaining how toget the most out of your camera.Long live Pentax!

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Old Feb 25, 2008, 10:23 PM   #6
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Yvon, you have hit the nail on the head. I bought my first Pentax (S1a) in 1968, got an ES11 in 1974, K1000 in '84 (my wife's), bought the K10D in Nov./07. Pentax really lost out in Canada the past couple of decades as you indicated.

Back in '06 I started looking at digital SLR's and frankly the istD didn't do it for me, right from the name on. I was considering switching over and going Canon or Nikon. I was also getting nervous about whether Pentax would be around much longer. I don't worry about that now, especialy since Hoya and Samsung have got involved.

I waited and when the K10D came out I knew this was the one. I think the K100D, K100D Super and K10D have really ignited Pentax again.

The K200D and K20D promise to continue keeping Pentax on the upward swing. I have the Pentax 16-45, battery grip, 360 flash and I can hardly wait till the 55-300 zoom comes out.

BTW, Yvon, I have a copy of your book Pentax K10D ,my wife got a copy for me for Christmas. I recommend it.

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Old Feb 26, 2008, 11:35 AM   #7
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Unfortunately, you are right. Much of this is because there are so few of us. Canon and Nikon owners abound, so there is less of a feeling of kinship among them.

My first real camera was an Olympus that my girlfriend gave me as a college graduation present. Later, it served me well on our honeymoon and a tour in Germany.

It was at a PX in Heidelberg that I first lusted after a Spotmatic. At that time, Pentax was t-h-e camera. (None of my acquaintances could afford a Leica.)

Back stateside, in 1967, shortly before our first daughter was born, I siezed the opportunity to get one with a 1.4 lens for $100. Little did I know, that this was just a down payment.

The Spotty and its various prime lenses served well for almost two decades. But, the camera world changed and Pentax was no longer at the leading edge.

One of my co-workers told me about the new world of zoom lenses and I thought I would enter the present. Unfortunately, this meant leaving behind the world of M42 lens mounts. Fortunately, all my wonderful lenses could adapt and work on the K mount cameras just the way they did on the Spotmatic. (Remember, the Spotmatic uses stop-down metering.)

I started noticing that where ever I was taking pictures, there were fewer and fewer Pentaxes. Conversely, there was an increasingly larger percentages of Nikons and Canons. We few Pentaxians started to become self-segregating. So now, as with Porsche owners, we are like family.

To bring my story up to date, I migrated through a KX, MX, SuperProgram and (at my wife's insistance in Singapore) Z-1. All of these guys still work.

The *istD was so much like the Z-1, that, when I decided to come into the 21st century, it was a no brainer. It has proven an excellent tool that also infected me with a severe case of LBA. It would still be my camera of choice had ARDS not caused the need for shake reduction.

Luckily, the K10D was a major improvement and had SR. Another easy, happy choice.

Larry in Dallas
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