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Old Jul 1, 2011, 11:18 AM   #1
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Default Hoya sells Pentax Imaging Systems Business to Ricoh.

Hey there,

Did any one notice this today?

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/...pe=companyNews

http://www.hoya.co.jp/english/index.html

Any thoughts?

Take care,
Glen
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Old Jul 1, 2011, 11:52 AM   #2
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Yes, I certainly did. There's a lot of talk about this on a certain, well-known, Pentax-oriented web site. It's hard to say what the fallout from this will be - and it'll probably take a few years to know for sure.

I will point out that Ricoh is a larger company than Hoya - one that has has been able to compete VERY effectively against Canon in the professional office copier market. Ricoh has also made cameras for quite a while. They have always been well-made, quality pieces. Recently, Ricoh's cameras have been very unusual but feature designs and concepts that clearly demonstrate a willingness to think outside the box.

And here's what I like: Ricoh is buying the Pentax camera unit because it wants it. That's unlike Hoya, which wanted the Pentax medical imaging business and had to take cameras as a part of the deal. For now, I will have to take the news releases at face value. But until I have more information, I am prepared to err on the side of optimism.

I certainly hope Ricoh will be more open and forthcoming toward Pentaxians than Hoya has been. The deal is supposed to close at the beginning of October. A clear mission statement for Pentax at that time would be very helpful - and a serious lens road map by the end of the year would be fantastic. Both would go a long way toward boosting the confidence of the photo community in general and Pentaxians in particular.

I wish Ricoh and Pentax all the best and I sincerely hope they will work hard to make me want to remain a Pentaxian.

By the way, without knowing of this deal, I held off on purchasing a K-5 this week, opting instead for a DA Limited 21mm lens. Part of me says that was probably a good thing. But, after thinking about it, I seriously doubt we'll see any major shift in Pentax strategy for a while. And I am sure we'll still see the next generation of products, which are already in the pipline. My point: I don't think this news should prevent anyone from making a Pentax purchase.
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Old Jul 1, 2011, 12:11 PM   #3
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This could be a good thing - Ricoh is likely to be willing to invest more in Pentax than Hoya ever was, as it was viewed by them almost as an unwanted stepchild. Ricoh has made good cameras, but has been unable to significantly penetrate the American camera market. Their film SLRs* were vastly underrated - their TLS 401 was an inovative camera, ahead of its time, the XR was an excellent entry llrvrl SLR (sold by Sears as their KS-2) and their XRP was IMO the equal of or better than most consumer SLRs of the day. This should give them the necessary foothold, no matter what name their products are sold under. Biro makes some good points, and I agree than Pentax will not be going away anytime soon.

*Edit: I should have mentioned that the Ricoh SLRs used the Pentax lens mount. If there is any sense of corporate tradition, they won't drop it now.
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Old Jul 1, 2011, 2:32 PM   #4
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I'm not surprised that there are folks on other places that are predicting the immediate demise of Pentax (all right, that's an exaggeration). I've been hearing that since I before I bought the DS in 2003. I'm a bit more optimistic than I was when Hoya announced they were buying Pentax, because their announcement indicated they were mostly interested in the medical/endoscope part of the company. I wouldn't be surprised if they had been trying to sell the camera department from the beginning. The fact that Ricoh is buying it because they want the camera division is a positive. But only time will tell whether the match will be made in heaven or if Ricoh decides it can't make it work and lets the Pentax camera mount die.
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Old Jul 1, 2011, 2:54 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Biro View Post
Yes, I certainly did. There's a lot of talk about this on a certain, well-known, Pentax-oriented web site. It's hard to say what the fallout from this will be - and it'll probably take a few years to know for sure.
I just found out, thank you to Tactic Designs for posting this thread.


Biro I think you're right. It will take a couple of years for the fallout to become apparent. I've been relatively happy with Pentax Canada. There always seems to be Pentax product available at the camera stores I frequent and if not in stock, I always seem to be able to order in fairly quickly.

I know that things seem to be a bit different, in the USA from what I've read on different camera forums.

But that is second hand info for me, as I haven't had much camera shopping experience in America, so I don't know for sure, if that is the case.


I will point out that Ricoh is a larger company than Hoya - one that has has been able to compete VERY effectively against Canon in the professional office copier market.


I didn't know that Ricoh was larger than Hoya. Hoya is quite large, I recall seeing # of employees @ Hoya, somewhere around 32,000. That's heartening to know that Pentax has been bought by a relatively large company.I'm not a Wall Street maven so one part I don't understand is that Hoya will continue with the Pentax department that makes medical cameras , medical lenses, etc...while Ricoh will have the Pentax camera department.

But both Hoya and Ricoh will retain marketing rights to the Pentax name. I wonder if that will last for any length of time and if the Pentax name on camera bodies will eventually disappear ?

Although the Konica-Minolta name is long gone after the Sony purchase, I believe Sony still uses the Konica-Minolta mount and if the Pentax name becomes the Ricoh, with a Pentax K mount and the ability to use all my Pentax equipment, accumulated over the years...well that would be ok...I suppose. I still favour continuing with the Pentax name.

Ricoh has also made cameras for quite a while. They have always been well-made, quality pieces. Recently, Ricoh's cameras have been very unusual but feature designs and concepts that clearly demonstrate a willingness to think outside the box.

And here's what I like: Ricoh is buying the Pentax camera unit because it wants it.

Good point. Quite right, I think and if I'm also optimistic this is a very good thing.

I know some have felt that Hoya didn't really have their heart into the Pentax camera side of things. Don't know if that was the case or not. After all, good products continued to stream...K5, 645D, Q system, etc... under Hoya. I do hope that Pentax returns to it's former greatness when it was one of the heavyweights...or at least one of the light-heavyweights in the SLR game.
That's unlike Hoya, which wanted the Pentax medical imaging business and had to take cameras as a part of the deal. For now, I will have to take the news releases at face value. But until I have more information, I am prepared to err on the side of optimism.

I certainly hope Ricoh will be more open and forthcoming toward Pentaxians than Hoya has been. The deal is supposed to close at the beginning of October. A clear mission statement for Pentax at that time would be very helpful - and a serious lens road map by the end of the year would be fantastic. Both would go a long way toward boosting the confidence of the photo community in general and Pentaxians in particular.Again I agree Biro. I think that would be an excellent strategy. A lot of Pentaxians are old Pentaxians like me. I've had Pentax since the 1960's. Brand loyalists as it were.

But we do need, as you say, a boost (strong boost, IMO) in confidence from the new owners. Is Pentax going to continue to be a viable DSLR option for serious enthusiasts ? Is the plan going to mean more R+D into new products, bringing out new DSLR's that are competitive with the biggies...C+N ?

I for one have bought...all new... two Pentax DSLR's, about 7 Pentax lenses, battery grip, 360 flash etc. since 2007. I've also convinced a couple of other people to buy into the Pentax system. My fear is that Pentax will go the way of the dinosaur. Two buyouts since 2008 and declining sales does not bode well in my eyes. But being bought by Ricoh, an imaging company, because they wanted Pentax is as Biro says ...good.

I wish Ricoh and Pentax all the best and I sincerely hope they will work hard to make me want to remain a Pentaxian.

By the way, without knowing of this deal, I held off on purchasing a K-5 this week, opting instead for a DA Limited 21mm lens. Part of me says that was probably a good thing. But, after thinking about it, I seriously doubt we'll see any major shift in Pentax strategy for a while. And I am sure we'll still see the next generation of products, which are already in the pipline. My point: I don't think this news should prevent anyone from making a Pentax purchase.
I'm of mixed feelings. I committed (financially) to the Pentax system in 2007. I came very close to going Canon (the 30D) or Nikon (the D200)....but the K10D convinced me.

I've been very happy...for the most part with my Pentax DSLR system. If I do everything right with the controls...the pictures are great from this system.

But as it has been every so often throughout the years....I've had a nagging feeling...did I make the right decision back in 2007 ?

In the past year or so, Pentax has brought out a great system the 645D, a great DSLR, the K5 and an innovative new system just a week or so ago...the Q.

IMO, these new products are not the sign of a dying company, but a company that is still in the game and in some areas (645D, Q) has taken a leadership role.

I'm hoping for more R+D, more excellent products (how about a 400mm F 5.6 for starters) and as Biro says a clear, positive road map for the Pentax future. I do need the confidence that Pentax will be around for a long time, before I make a further commitment and purchase something, at the expense level of say a K5 body or a DA 300 lens.

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Old Jul 1, 2011, 6:18 PM   #6
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I'm also reservedly optimistic. Here's another angle:

Ricoh is a pretty large company, and has a retail marketing presence in the US, and I assume the rest of the world, unlike Hoya. I'm thinking that we might see a new, much more visible Pentax after the acquisition.

I do know that I'm very aware of Ricoh as a business equipment brand even though I pay no real attention to advertising for these products since I don't use them. Hoya's main business is in a segment that is totally invisible to the public, and I wouldn't be aware of them at all if I didn't have an interest in photography. The two companies have totally different marketing strategies for their major divisions. Could this show up in some changes to the marketing strategy for selling Pentax gear? There's hope with Ricoh, but little or none with the continued ownership by Hoya.

I don't think that many Pentaxians would argue that the marketing effort for their brand of camera could be improved by a different philosophy.

Scott
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Old Jul 1, 2011, 6:29 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snostorm View Post
I'm also reservedly optimistic. Here's another angle:

Ricoh is a pretty large company, and has a retail marketing presence in the US, and I assume the rest of the world, unlike Hoya. I'm thinking that we might see a new, much more visible Pentax after the acquisition.

I do know that I'm very aware of Ricoh as a business equipment brand even though I pay no real attention to advertising for these products since I don't use them. Hoya's main business is in a segment that is totally invisible to the public, and I wouldn't be aware of them at all if I didn't have an interest in photography. The two companies have totally different marketing strategies for their major divisions. Could this show up in some changes to the marketing strategy for selling Pentax gear? There's hope with Ricoh, but little or none with the continued ownership by Hoya.

I don't think that many Pentaxians would argue that the marketing effort for their brand of camera could be improved by a different philosophy.

Scott
Good points.
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Old Jul 1, 2011, 7:02 PM   #8
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My fingers are crossed right now you can't touch a real Pentax in the Detroit area, online sales only.

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Old Jul 2, 2011, 4:00 AM   #9
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Add me to the optimistic camp as well, looking forward to seeing what happens. Itching for the next Pentax DSLR, been holding off buying the K5 as something new should be out within the next 6 months (hopefully)

Thinking of buying the new Olympus EP3 for something more portable and to cure my itch until the new Pentax is announced.
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Old Jul 2, 2011, 3:38 PM   #10
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I don't think Hoya was bad for Pentax. The 645D, the k-5, the KR are enough proof.
Ricoh slr's once used the K mount, and the new Ricoh GXR shows that their inventiveness.
I hope they wil push the pentax even higher. Hope this change is as good as last one.
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