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Ricoh buys Pentax to build interchangeable lens camera business

By dpreview staff on Jul 1, 2011 at 09:21 GMT

Hoya has sold the Pentax camera division to Ricoh. The Pentax Imaging Systems Division will be spun-out as a new company and its shares transfered to Ricoh on October 1st. The deal will also include the Pentax camera manufacturing subsidiary in Vietnam. A public announcement from Hoya explains that Ricoh is looking to build a consumer cameras business and wanted Pentax's interchangeable lens camera technology, lens technology and sales channels. Its plans for the business specifically include the interchangeable lens camera market. Hoya will retain the other Pentax businesses, such as medical devices, that it gained in its 2007 takeover. Terms of the deal were not disclosed but Japanese business paper Nikkei Business Daily reports a price of about 10 billion yen ($124.2 million).

Click here to download Hoya's statement on the sale

Comments

Total comments: 216
123
Tom Caldwell
By Tom Caldwell (Jul 1, 2011)

It did.

0 upvotes
alfonso_df
By alfonso_df (Jul 1, 2011)

Bad news for Pentax DSLR owners.

1 upvote
Tom Caldwell
By Tom Caldwell (Jul 1, 2011)

That Ricoh might buy Pentax outright might surprise a few people.

0 upvotes
xmeda
By xmeda (Jul 1, 2011)

Ricoh intends to maximize the synergy from the merger between Ricoh’s digital camera business and PENTAX Imaging System Business in various ways.
1) Strengthening the digital camera business
Enhanced interchangeable-lens cameras to meet expected future growth
Expansion of product lineup and interchangeable lens portfolio
2) Creation of new business delivering added value to consumers
Creation and development of value-added businesses such as making it easy to view, save and retouch photos.
3) Other benefits
Possible entry into the image archiving business using medium format digital cameras
Expansion of security related products

http://www.ricoh.com/release/2011/pdf/0701.pdf

0 upvotes
jmmgarza
By jmmgarza (Jul 1, 2011)

Will camera phones in the not to distant future have interchangeable lenses (not some cheesy attachment) .... zooms and some type of super-micro four thirds sensors. Will Apple, Microsoft, Sony, Dell and HP become the largest (phone) digital camera and video equipment providers?

Will Nikon, Hasselblad and Canon start selling phones? Will phones give way to some new technology that transmits thoughts, smells... yes, a brave new world awaits.

1 upvote
jmmgarza
By jmmgarza (Jul 1, 2011)

Honeywell-Asahi Pentax?

1 upvote
onlooker
By onlooker (Jul 1, 2011)

How the mighty have fallen... From a former giant, with Pentax K1000 & Pentax LX to their name, with so many inventions, with shelf space in every photo store, all the way down now to Pentax Q and being sold to a weird third rate camera company.

Good management can help the company rise, but bad management can destroy even what seems indestructible.

3 upvotes
Richard Murdey
By Richard Murdey (Jul 2, 2011)

Weird third rate camera company that has been making cameras since before you were born.

Ricoh 500 rangefinder. Look it up.

3 upvotes
onlooker
By onlooker (Jul 2, 2011)

Yes, there were many companies that were making companies in the past. Big deal. Today Ricoh is a third-rate weird camera company.

0 upvotes
onlooker
By onlooker (Jul 2, 2011)

That was supposed to say "companies that were making cameras"

0 upvotes
lumiere
By lumiere (Jul 1, 2011)

This is not surprising, as Ricoh has used a version of the k-mount before. They have some optical experience, just not consumer design.They have been trying to gain some kind of presence in the camera market mostly in the rest of the world but not the states. It is going to be interesting were they are gonna go with this. pentax has a small brand name recognition a lot of people do not even realize that they still make cameras (it has become a niche brand) and a small camera distribution in the states. Although Ricoh as a camera company has almost zero. I think it would take more marketing money to grow the Ricoh brand than to reintroduce Pentax to the general public. Pentax makes some great cameras and lenses , but are way behind the other camera company, thanks to hoya gutting and under funding them. It will be interesting.

0 upvotes
Richard Murdey
By Richard Murdey (Jul 2, 2011)

Some optical experience? Yeah. Some...

Ricoh.ri-kou. 理光. Name derived from *ri*-ken *kou*gaku kougyou. They've been making cameras since 1938.

One of my faves:

http://camerapedia.wikia.com/wiki/Ricoh_500

2 upvotes
TechOutsider
By TechOutsider (Jul 1, 2011)

I love industry shakeups.

2 upvotes
The Scurvy Dog of PR
By The Scurvy Dog of PR (Jul 1, 2011)

Pentax is not doomed. That is ridiculous.. Pentax is selling at the peak of their game. I hope Ricoh can keep the momentum up, Pentax started. Both have some innovative ideas, both have long histories in the camera market. I for one, wish them well.

3 upvotes
onlooker
By onlooker (Jul 1, 2011)

You haven't been around very long. Look up Pentax K1000 & Pentax LX. Today Pentax is barely a shadow of its former self, mismanaged into oblivion.

0 upvotes
JimC1101
By JimC1101 (Jul 1, 2011)

Possibly yes, a shadow of their former self, but with the resurgence of Pentax in the last couple years with the K-x, K-r and now the mighty K-5, they have made some giant strides in the right direction, which I think Ricoh will build upon if they are smart. I think this can work out very well for both companies.

6 upvotes
Eridan_Fetahagic
By Eridan_Fetahagic (Jul 1, 2011)

I am afraid Pentax is doomed.

0 upvotes
drwho9437
By drwho9437 (Jul 1, 2011)

I think for at least those in the US this is not good news. Ricoh has not had any significant presence here and Pentax is barely noticeable. When Hoya purchased Pentax there were many rumors they did so for the medical division, this seems to be the case. I personally felt there was a collaboration between Tokina and Pentax enough (now Kenko-Tokina, don't know if Hoya still owns it).

I wouldn't say there will be any rapid end for Pentax in all this. But I don't find the result encouraging.

0 upvotes
dentaku
By dentaku (Jul 1, 2011)

Not necessarily. Once upon a time, Lexus had no presence in the USA.

0 upvotes
richardday
By richardday (Jul 1, 2011)

Why worry about the USA? It's been a money black hole for many good companies in the past, Europe and the rest of the world is a much larger and growing market place.

Ricoh and Pentax are quite well represented and respected here in the UK.

Vive la difference!

Disclosure - I shoot with a Nikon D300s and Ricoh GX200, I was a Pentax user for many years and liked the products, but as a birder I felt I had to move on and couldn't afford two and a bit (Ricoh) systems.

1 upvote
Tom Caldwell
By Tom Caldwell (Jul 1, 2011)

USA market:

Huge
Product has to be cheaper than anywhere else
Huge cost of warehousing and sample stock (aka "demonstator stock")
Marketing very expensive
Easy-try and return policy means a lot of "demonstrator stock"
Propensity to sue ones socks off, product liability insurance premiums are huge
Great market, great people, great consumers, if you can afford to be in it
The rest of the world is "easier" to sell to
If you can sell everything you can make elsewhere then some might think "why bother"?

Hard to find in Australia as well, mmm wonder what we are doing "wrong" - maybe our market is just too small to get them excited?

In any case just because they are not in every shop near you does not mean the company is not selling all it can produce and happy enough with that.

1 upvote
vdubreeze
By vdubreeze (Jul 5, 2011)

I agree. When I read the part about acquiring Pentax's US sales channels I thought "? WHAT sales channels?" : )

Fortunately I live in NYC, where B & H is not lacking for anything I could desire. But when I've been on the road all over the US and checking out camera retailers of all sizes, Pentax barely exists. I would be thrilled for this to turn around, but...

0 upvotes
Salvatore Castrovinci
By Salvatore Castrovinci (Jul 1, 2011)

I am very hay for this event. I hope in a new era for Pentax.
I hope that The "Q" project will be forgotten ......

I hope in a new mirrorless with APS-C or more big sensor with compatibility with SLR Pentax and Ricoh lenses .

Ad maiora !!

Salvatore

2 upvotes
boogerschnot
By boogerschnot (Jul 1, 2011)

Yeah they need to dump that q system!

1 upvote
Vadimka
By Vadimka (Jul 1, 2011)

This is an amazing news, no matter how you spin it. I don't know and quit honestly don't care what Ricoh will do with Pentax name, what is important is what they will do with the new technology they now will possess. Now they will have lenses, DSLRs and manufacturing know-hows at their disposal. They can call new cameras Pendehos, for all I care, and I will still use it if its a great product. I have no problems using Panasonic G1 or GH2 and use it more than my 5D, and don't care that Panasonic is not synonymous with photography.

Ricoh needs to stay on their track of being Innovative and try to make the best of it. I'm almost certain they can do a mirrorless APSC and even a mirrorless Medium Format camera in few years time.

In today's day and age, product is more transparent than ever before. Independent reviews, photos etc... Consumer are more educated than ever and its more difficult for companies like Canon and Nikon to do nothing and get 95% share of the market.

3 upvotes
kanzlr
By kanzlr (Jul 1, 2011)

yep. I don't care about Pentax legacy, I care about Ricoh. I hope they will stick to the great GXR and dump the Q instead.

One thing important: the K5 has pretty good live-view AF. Ricoh could use that knowledge for their GXR modules. The 50mm is still rather slow compared to other systems.

0 upvotes
Vadimka
By Vadimka (Jul 1, 2011)

Yes, Q needs to be redesigned. Just slap in larger sensor, larger mount, register distance about 20mm, and move shutter from lens to the body and you have a winner.

Ricoh is a small company but they care about photography and GRD is a living proof. I think its still the best compact digicam today.
They always listened to users and issue a firmware released very often to accommodate most demands.

Regarding K-mount, I think the adapter will do the trick, just like Olympus did with their OM mount. They were some of the greatest lenses but sometimes you need to let go...

0 upvotes
Tom Caldwell
By Tom Caldwell (Jul 1, 2011)

The Qute is just like an interchangable lensed Ricoh CX really and one might wonder how much Ricoh had a hand in it. Perceptively it was announced just before Ricoh's purchase. You don't do a M$124 deal in five minutes over a cup of coffee. This must have been going on for some time.

Much ranting about "kill the Q" but it looks like too high a quality innovative product to have come from Pentax compact camera division. Not that they don't make great products, but the consumer end, is, well ... "consumer".

I expect that the PK Mount module will be available for the GXR "next week" and Pentax surely has some nice lenses that can be rebadged for it. Win win for both companies. Ricoh has probably the best firmware of all digital camera companies and have worked hard to perfect their user interface.

Don't forget that every module that fits on a GXR is effectively a new camera. Ricoh's quirky ways might end up looking pretty smart in the long run.

1 upvote
Vadimka
By Vadimka (Jul 2, 2011)

Yes, $124M deals don't happen over a cup of coffee, but Q-system was not developed over a long weekend either. It took Pentax at least few years to develop it and even they put it on paper probably even years before that. So Ricoh had no hand in Q. Besides, even if conversations about take over started six month ago, no one new exactly if it will or will not happen.

I don't know about RK mount next week. K is an AF lens that will take some major work and programing to make a fully competable, plus not sure if thats what Ricoh wants. I don't see people buying GXR just becouse they can use K lenses on it.

0 upvotes
PentaxNick
By PentaxNick (Jul 2, 2011)

> I don't see people buying GXR just becouse they can use K lenses on it.

I would. A compact camera for my limited lenses would be excellent. It might look a bit strange with the 80-250 on it though.

0 upvotes
Color Blotch
By Color Blotch (Jul 1, 2011)

After reading about Pentax releasing Q I though to myself this thing makes no sense. Apparently managers at HOYA though the same...

2 upvotes
The Scurvy Dog of PR
By The Scurvy Dog of PR (Jul 1, 2011)

You sell a company at it's peek, not at it's bottom. Economics 101.

0 upvotes
onlooker
By onlooker (Jul 1, 2011)

> You sell a company at it's peek, not at it's bottom. Economics 101.

Join real world. Companies get sold when they are cheap. They are cheap because they are failing. See MySpace.

0 upvotes
wutsurstyle
By wutsurstyle (Jul 1, 2011)

They're pretty much flapping in the wind now. RIP Pentax. Too bad, I like their newer cameras. I guess my k-x will be a collecter's item now. Samsung should have bought Pentax since they share similar lenses.

1 upvote
dentaku
By dentaku (Jul 1, 2011)

You imply Ricoh will kill off the SLRs and the K-mount?

2 upvotes
Doug Frost
By Doug Frost (Jul 1, 2011)

Pentax is being passed around like a cheap hooker. I fear the company is not long for this world.

5 upvotes
Tom Caldwell
By Tom Caldwell (Jul 1, 2011)

$124 million is some hooker

3 upvotes
Richard Murdey
By Richard Murdey (Jul 2, 2011)

Well, if you consider that Skype was worth 8B....

0 upvotes
justin1005
By justin1005 (Jul 1, 2011)

I'ld like FUJI to buy PETAX,instead of RICOH.

4 upvotes
navilink
By navilink (Jul 1, 2011)

i'm thinking of that too haha!

0 upvotes
Richard Murdey
By Richard Murdey (Jul 2, 2011)

You have it backwards: Fuji's small but highly-dedicated camera division should move to Ricoh-Pentax. X100 technology, Fujinon EBC lenses, GF670 rangefinder getting some proper love and care.

1 upvote
KAR-I
By KAR-I (Jul 1, 2011)

It's not at all an amazing news!
We will see...
Asahiflex, K1000 and finally K5, I hope a good change will happen ! lol

0 upvotes
tkbslc
By tkbslc (Jul 1, 2011)

This just helps confirm my fears that nobody but Canon and Nikon will be selling "traditional" DSLR cameras in 5 years. They are the only ones still making money at it.

1 upvote
Richard Murdey
By Richard Murdey (Jul 2, 2011)

If we keep buying, they will keep making.

On dSLRs: Panasonic gave up, Samsung gave up, Olympus has essentially given up, Sony is one or two steps away from giving up.

Canon and Nikon will never give up, unlike everyone else they have the pro market to feed and be fed by.

Pentax is a middle ground case, a tough call.

0 upvotes
Muhammad Jassim
By Muhammad Jassim (Jul 1, 2011)

Lame! I don't why I like PENTAX for some reason!!

0 upvotes
odpisan
By odpisan (Jul 1, 2011)

Interesting link to Ricoh
http://www.ricoh.com/release/2011/0629_3.html
I also think that Pentax has no future there.

0 upvotes
dentaku
By dentaku (Jul 1, 2011)

Not that interesting, many established companies are shedding jobs this year. Ricoh had over 100,000 employess last year and revenues of 2 trillion yen. Pentax had only a couple of thousand employees.

1 upvote
JesperMP
By JesperMP (Jul 1, 2011)

Quotes from Ricoh statement:

"Now Ricoh aims to establish a _consumer_ business."
Does not sound good for K5 and 645D.

"Ricoh takes it as an indispensable initiative to obtain the _small_ and
_lightweight_ interchangeable lens camera technology, lens technology and sales channels held by the Pentax Imaging Systems Division [...]"
Sound as they really like the Q.

Obviously Ricoh/Pentax cannot continue to maintain so many diverse products:
645D and lenses, Kr+K5 and lenses, Q and lenses, GRX and "lenses", GRD, and consumer P&S cameras.
What will be axedl ?
Will there be a new APS-C mirror-less ?

0 upvotes
Joseph S Wisniewski
By Joseph S Wisniewski (Jul 1, 2011)

"Obviously Ricoh/Pentax cannot continue to maintain so many diverse products"

Why is that "obvious"?

2 upvotes
igb
By igb (Jul 1, 2011)

I don't know if it is obvious or not but aren't you always highlighting that thing about R&D amortization and low sales volume?

0 upvotes
nekrosoft13
By nekrosoft13 (Jul 1, 2011)

Its obvious because Ricoh had/still barelly has camera business that they once ran into ground before.

0 upvotes
D1N0
By D1N0 (Jul 1, 2011)

The K5 is a consumer dslr, albeit a very good one. Calling it semi-pro is to make consumers feel good about themselves.

3 upvotes
Matthew Miller
By Matthew Miller (Jul 1, 2011)

> Sound as they really like the Q.

Or like they really like the DA Limited lenses for K mount.

2 upvotes
attomole
By attomole (Jul 1, 2011)

I would expect them to rationalise the compact end of the market, but are Richoh going to want budget compact through to medium format diversity?, i don't think its "obvious" that they won't, but i would say unlikely that they will go square on to CanNiKk in the same way Sony has

0 upvotes
dentaku
By dentaku (Jul 1, 2011)

Compared to Canon and Nikon, the K-5 is small. Compared to the competition, the DA Limited lenses are small. For a short tele, the FA Limited 77 is small.

I seriously doubt Ricoh would buy Pentax just for the Q - a risky product that isn't even on the market - and ditch the products that are already proven and well received. They would have just bought the technology from Pentax.

2 upvotes
Nass
By Nass (Jul 1, 2011)

This is misunderstood I believe. Ricoh has a large B2B business element whereas 645d, K5 is B2C.

1 upvote
MusicDoctorDJ
By MusicDoctorDJ (Jul 1, 2011)

This could be great news . . .

Perhaps Ricoh will have the business sense to put Pentax cameras back in the stores so potential buyers can try before they buy!

And also maybe fix their (Pentax's) quality control issues . . .

1 upvote
wijnands
By wijnands (Jul 1, 2011)

$124M... I knew Pentax was a smaller player in the market but that is cheap as chips!

3 upvotes
RedFox88
By RedFox88 (Jul 1, 2011)

Wow, Pentax cameras are worth just $125,000,000? At that price, why didn't Canon, Nikon, or Sony buy Pentax to eliminate a competitor or gain access to proprietary info? Sigma also for that matter so they could make K mount lenses without reverse engineering them.

4 upvotes
igb
By igb (Jul 1, 2011)

Isn't it obvious why they didn't

1 upvote
onlooker
By onlooker (Jul 1, 2011)

With a vision for future in Pentax Q, why would they? It's cheaper to let Pentax's management do it for them.

1 upvote
commiebiker
By commiebiker (Jul 1, 2011)

um, Pentax could hardly be called a competitor, and I doubt they had much the big boys wanted...as for Ricoh getting a distribution channel...really? Can't remember the last time I saw Pentax on the shelf. Just hope somebody can take the 645D idea and turn it into something

0 upvotes
jimrpdx
By jimrpdx (Jul 1, 2011)

I already merged, was using my Rikenon 50mm on my k-x just yesterday! ;)

3 upvotes
onesidedcoin
By onesidedcoin (Jul 1, 2011)

This opens the door for consumer produces with intellectual property rights for emerging markets etc.
It may be hard for some to digest but Rioch a strong company is better suited to manage Pentax than there present guardian

2 upvotes
Henry M. Hertz
By Henry M. Hertz (Jul 1, 2011)

a strong company who just laid of 10000 workers.

i don´t say ricoh isn´t a big company.. but if the camera branch is not making profit... these days are hard.

0 upvotes
Tormenborba
By Tormenborba (Jul 1, 2011)

They are not hard everywhere, sales of DSLR in Australia went up 56% in 2010. If a company like Canon, Nikon , Sony, Panasonic makes good cameras, people buy it. If they make rainbow cameras to make a sale, well is rather sad... and in the long term you see the results...

1 upvote
Henry M. Hertz
By Henry M. Hertz (Jul 1, 2011)

australias population is a mere ~22,650,000 people.

im curious how long that boom will last. :)

2 upvotes
Tormenborba
By Tormenborba (Jul 2, 2011)

well if wont last , the most troubled companies will always be the smallest, it's pure and simple economic!

0 upvotes
Wilmar Boer
By Wilmar Boer (Jul 1, 2011)

I think it will be the end of Pentax as a dSLR. Ricoh says it is looking into building consumer cameras and wanted the interchangeable lens technology. I suppose that means that they want to develop a mirrorless camerasystem like Olympus PEN.

2 upvotes
dentaku
By dentaku (Jul 1, 2011)

Do people not realise the K-series is a consumer camera with interchangeable lenses?

4 upvotes
Chaitanya S
By Chaitanya S (Jul 1, 2011)

I just hope the Pentax K mount remains in the market.

4 upvotes
herebefore
By herebefore (Jul 1, 2011)

I had looked to Pentax as my next DSLR brand, as the owner of an apparently dying DSLR line (Olympus)... I guess I'll need to look to Nikon.. as I see no future in buying into a line that has been sold off TWICE in very recent history.

1 upvote
HozicEmir
By HozicEmir (Jul 1, 2011)

Pentax now is in hands of company who actually have intentions to grow camera business not part of it.
Ricoh or Canon , copy machines and cameras, maybe Nikon need to be worry.

6 upvotes
keysmith
By keysmith (Jul 1, 2011)

I hope they will keep using the name "PENTAX". Personally i don't like the name Ricoh,as it reminds me of photocopy machines.

11 upvotes
RedFox88
By RedFox88 (Jul 1, 2011)

I hope so to, but somehow think everything will be Ricoh brand.

0 upvotes
Marty4650
By Marty4650 (Jul 1, 2011)

I feel the same way. I think Sony blundered by not calling their DSLRs "Minoltas" after acquiring Konica-Minolta.

1 upvote
Autodidact
By Autodidact (Jul 2, 2011)

It's like Škoda ...

I don't give a shait if it's VW-parts in it as long as the name sounds as bad as Lada and it in my mind it is also associated with a cheap feel and low quality.

If Pentax is a "unknown" in the DSLR market, what is Ricoh then?! I've noticed they make cameras, but beyond that I've hardly looked their way, ever. I don't know, or have ever known a single person owning a Richo camera.

My pushy Nikon friends (now that's a contradiction ... 8o) are normally met with "I don't know anything that would make me feel like leaving Pentax", but this one got me in the gut and upset my feelings — and that's a potentially strong game-changer ...

1 upvote
tkpenalty
By tkpenalty (Jul 1, 2011)

This is funny, Ricoh probably bought up Pentax, seeing their potential, trying to preserve it and manage it better haha.

1 upvote
steve131
By steve131 (Jul 1, 2011)

OK, now with a tiny market share ... Pentax developed the Q interchangeable system, announced it, and then sold to Ricoh?

So, that will be a Ricoh Q or Ricoh will drop that idea somehow and continue to develop its Leica M mount system?

0 upvotes
ozdean
By ozdean (Jul 1, 2011)

APSc K mount adapter module for the GXR makes perfect sense to me.

645d
K5, Kr & Gxr
Q
Ricoh & Optio compacts combine

Nice line Up!

1 upvote
Henry M. Hertz
By Henry M. Hertz (Jul 1, 2011)

a nice line up of shelf warmers..... some would say.

2 upvotes
steveh0607
By steveh0607 (Jul 1, 2011)

Seems like Pentax is undergoing a long, slow death. What a shame. It seems to be the step child nobody wants.

My first camera was a Pentax SuperProgram. I still have it and it still works.

2 upvotes
Brett St Pierre
By Brett St Pierre (Jul 1, 2011)

It's a funny sort of circle for Ricoh because of course Ricoh used it's own version of the Pentax K mount on it's own SLRs (not that it had anything to do with the decision to buy the Pentax camera business)

1 upvote
Mike Goltsman
By Mike Goltsman (Jul 1, 2011)

Wow, what a match! Pentax's tiny sensor ILC concept is an excellent match for Ricoh's interchangeable lens-sensor module product. The latter sold a total of 12 copies, and the former will sell about twice that. The SLRs were nice, too bad Samsung couldn't absorb Pentax. Maybe Nikon will buy what's left in a few years. Or Ollympus?

7 upvotes
Michael Barkowski
By Michael Barkowski (Jul 1, 2011)

Their brands are similar and their products and distribution channels do interleave, so this seems smart.

I might find a Rientacox quite appealing.

1 upvote
Henry M. Hertz
By Henry M. Hertz (Jul 1, 2011)

a few facts first.

pentax has 1.5% market share on the camer market.
pentax camera sales declined about 13% in the last fiscal year.

ricoh cut of 10000 jobs until 2014.
ricoh camera market share is so low i did not even find it listed.

any you realy expect ricoh/pentax to succeed in that hard digital camera market?

R&D cost of a new camera are nearly the same for all manufaturers.. but canon and nikon and even sony sell much more cameras then ricoh/pentax.
it´s a difference if you spend millions to develop a camera you sell 10000 pieces of or 1 million.

ricohs main business is office solutions.
digital cameras will never be a priority for them.

i did not see why some are happy about this merger... i see pentax going nowhere.

10 upvotes
DFMalan
By DFMalan (Jul 1, 2011)

You could say that Canon's main business is also office products. (Wikipedia confimrs this). I also suspect that Nikon and Canon spend way more $$$ on R&D than Pentax (who buy a lot of their tech). But yes, it's a hard segment to compete in.

1 upvote
Henry M. Hertz
By Henry M. Hertz (Jul 1, 2011)

look on the market share canon has in the camera business.
compare that to the ~2% ricoh/pentax will have.

as i wrote canon is making money with it´s camera business.
so they can afford to spend money on R&D.

1 upvote
ogl
By ogl (Jul 1, 2011)

it's not merger like Pentax/Hoya. Pentax is sold out. Only brand name is alive.

0 upvotes
Vadimka
By Vadimka (Jul 1, 2011)

Yes, I really expect Ricoh to succeed in that hard digital market. You are incorrect about Ricoh's priorities. I do believe Ricoh has plenty of priority and dedication in cameras. As an owner of GR1, few GRDs and GRD3, I know how hard they work on releasing an update and listening to customers requests and trying to improve at any cost. They are also being very innovative and do not shy away from R&D.

When was the last time Canon or Nikon released something groundbreaking like GXR (yes, market is small, but thats not changing things)

If you go back and look at Olympus as recent as 2007, you will be saying the same. But look at them now, they achieve a tremendous success, all through innovations. They are changing the industry all together with m4/3.

6 upvotes
Donglei
By Donglei (Jul 1, 2011)

Great! K mounts united. They should have done this 20 years earlier.

1 upvote
KAR-I
By KAR-I (Jul 1, 2011)

Pentax K mount or K monut, was created by Pentax in 1975.

0 upvotes
ogl
By ogl (Jul 1, 2011)

Pentax is exhausted by Hoya. Japanese plants are closed. The best two lens designers are discharged. QC is just above average. Only two really new lenses for 3 years: DA18-135 (really weak optically) and DA15/4. Ricoh has unprofitable small photo department. Pentax is unprofitable too.
Mixed emoutions...

3 upvotes
dsowner
By dsowner (Jul 1, 2011)

It cant that worse for Pentax with Hoya, Ricoh would not pay that money just for brand name. I have hope that it will get back on track and continue where Pentax was left just before Hoya acquisition.

2 upvotes
Henry M. Hertz
By Henry M. Hertz (Jul 1, 2011)

well 124 million dollar are not much.
our last CEO got 28 million $ just for leaving the company.. :)

ricoh will get some plants for it and some patents.
but that does not make a profit.

and who is willing to buy into the pentax system?
i mean... not just a camera and a kit lens.

canon and nikon both have much more to offer when you want to build a system.

pentax would be no choice for me.
even when the K5 is a nice camera.

1 upvote
PentaxNick
By PentaxNick (Jul 1, 2011)

Both Pentax and Ricoh have the best cameras with regards to ergonomics and use as photographics tools. Canon and Nikon could learn a lot from them in this area and so make their large systems more usable.

3 upvotes
Henry M. Hertz
By Henry M. Hertz (Jul 1, 2011)

well i don´t think the ergonomics of pentax cameras are better then canon or nikons.

but as pentax fan (guessed from your nick) i think you have to say that :)

1 upvote
richardday
By richardday (Jul 1, 2011)

As an ex Pentax (not Hoya) shooter for many years, both film and digital (the last was a K20D), who now uses Nikon and happy with my D300s and some reasonable Nikkors, I agree with PentaxNick about Pentax and Ricoh's ergonomics. I also own a Ricoh and again the ergonomics and quality construction are superb. i also have a reasonable knowledge of Canon as one of my good friends, who worked for Pentax for many years, now works for them.

Here in the UK Ricoh have an excellent reputation and are available from many quality photo stores and are rarely discounted. They may be small, but they have a very loyal user base which is not out of place, I know many respected professional photographers who pack a GR, GX, or GXR as their pocket rocket.

Let's hope that Ricoh, who have the experience of running a small camera division, can really make something of this. I have a feeling in my gut that this will be the case. I wish them (and the Pentax folk I've met over the years) all the very best.

2 upvotes
ExposureMeter
By ExposureMeter (Jul 2, 2011)

I thought Pentax was doomed when I sold my Spotmatic.

0 upvotes
Derek Bach
By Derek Bach (Jul 1, 2011)

My understanding was Hoya have been manufcturing Pentax lenses for some time - how will this change? Also, Pentax have been using Sony image sensors in most recent cameras as have Ricoh whats left?

0 upvotes
JensR
By JensR (Jul 1, 2011)

This is incorrect. Hoya provides glass to all major lens and filter makers, they do not "manufacture lenses", though.

2 upvotes
Richard Murdey
By Richard Murdey (Jul 2, 2011)

As noted, Hoya makes optical glass, not lenses. Pentax designs and manufactures the cameras and lenses, from the mechanics of the autofocus to the imaging pipeline to the feel of the grip to how many lens elements to use in the next zoom lens. The sensor is sourced from Sony just as the autofocus motor is sourced from an electric motor company.

0 upvotes
HeiSzy
By HeiSzy (Jul 2, 2011)

Will be interesting whether an actual and sustainable portion of R&D-related patents, personnel and know-how have been allowed to accompany the move over to Ricoh, as well. I'm really hoping that Ricoh does not put an end to the sysstem-development of Pentax DSLR-System.

0 upvotes
D1N0
By D1N0 (Jul 1, 2011)

There is some hope for my K10D successor yet.

0 upvotes
PentaxNick
By PentaxNick (Jul 1, 2011)

Where have you been for the past 3 generations of successors?

5 upvotes
HeiSzy
By HeiSzy (Jul 2, 2011)

Some people actually use their gear differently than others. Still on my K20D, as well. Was hoping to invest into some lenses and onther stuff prior to the next electronic toy that leaves me to re-learn its handling before it actually 'does stuff right' for me, again ;)

Also: the crispness of that 10MP-CCD in good light is still superb. I know of a k200D's pictures. More than capable of delivering many of the things most people ask of it.
Same with cars: Just because some people can afford to exchange them half-way through their designed life doesn't mean that - with a little care - not one actually _can_ return double or tripple that distance of 160,000km/100,000m of quality motoring.

1 upvote
D1N0
By D1N0 (Jul 2, 2011)

Ehm it still works. I'm not into the habit of buying a new camera every year, more like every 6 years, so I guess I'll have to wait until 2013, or maybe I'll even wait a year or two longer.

1 upvote
Zebooka
By Zebooka (Jul 1, 2011)

The interesting thing is about brand. Who will retain rights for Pentax name? Will Richo use Pentax name, or will it use own?

0 upvotes
Zebooka
By Zebooka (Jul 1, 2011)

I should read comments before posting...
They both will use Pentax name.

0 upvotes
JensR
By JensR (Jul 1, 2011)

Both companies have a thing for unusual concepts in cameras and user interfaces, but usually with the photographer as the first priority. Probably a good pairing - not sure how the finances will pan out - but we'll see...

3 upvotes
harrisoncac
By harrisoncac (Jul 1, 2011)

Hope that Ricoh will kill the Q.

0 upvotes
Zebooka
By Zebooka (Jul 1, 2011)

It seems that it is Ricoh who developed it

0 upvotes
igb
By igb (Jul 1, 2011)

Why it seems so?

1 upvote
Andrew Butterfield
By Andrew Butterfield (Jul 1, 2011)

One take might be that Ricoh are now stuck with two dead-end interchangeable lens systems. They would be better in my opinion falling in witht he m43 lot to kill off Samsung and threaten Sony. And to give m43 customers more choice.

3 upvotes
ogl
By ogl (Jul 1, 2011)

Pentax Q has Ricoh's ideas.

0 upvotes
Tormenborba
By Tormenborba (Jul 1, 2011)

what an imagination!
probably someone here dont understand that you cannot kill samsung and sony, they are the 2 biggest electronic companies in the known universe and Samsung is growing fast (like it or not!) and I could also add Panasonic.
Canon and Nikon have their big group of followers and are the most reliable as continuity and lens choice. The only ones that NOW and in the future will struggle are Ricoh (most people I know never even heard of it!) and Pentax which will be eventally be taken over by someone else in the future (see Konica-Minolta, didnt last long...)

1 upvote
Henry M. Hertz
By Henry M. Hertz (Jul 1, 2011)

i see not only ricoh struggle.
there is casio and olympus too.

olympus has some nice new products.. no question.
but profit wise.. it looked not good in the past.
and the older PENS are not bad either... still .. no profit.

1 upvote
ktwse
By ktwse (Jul 1, 2011)

Great news! The GRD is by far the best compact, and the K-7 / K-5 has taken DSLR ergonomics and handling to a whole new level. It's a perfect fit and Ricoh should be able to develop the Pentax brand than Hoya ever could.

8 upvotes
Antonio Rojilla
By Antonio Rojilla (Jul 1, 2011)

Amazing news. And I think this is good news, because I feared Hoya would just shut down Pentax at some point like Kyocera did with Contax. But Ricoh doesn't seem afraid of being a niche player with a tiny share and if anything this Pentax acquisition will make them grow. They are also a very photographer-centric company with unique and brave approaches. I wish them the best.

14 upvotes
igb
By igb (Jul 1, 2011)

http://www.ricoh.com/about/company/data/facts/index.html

Imaging and solutions (copiers) FY 2010: 1,516,172 Yen Million
Other (includes DigitalCameras) FY 2010: 124,402 Yen Million.

Ii IS a photgrapher-centric company because which photog doesn't use a copier, right?

1 upvote
Antonio Rojilla
By Antonio Rojilla (Jul 1, 2011)

It is a photographer-centric company by the design of their products Did you ever tried a GX or GR? It's hard to find small compact cameras with the same level of serious features and controls, and that coming for a company with just a bunch of cameras, says a lot about who design cameras for. Right?

5 upvotes
Henry M. Hertz
By Henry M. Hertz (Jul 1, 2011)

ricoh has next to nothing market share.
no mather how innovative their products are... next to nobody buys them.

ricoh is a OFFICE solution company.
that is where they make money.

and if they are unable to make profit they will close down this branch and focus on the business they earn money with.

0 upvotes
sir_bazz
By sir_bazz (Jul 1, 2011)

Why keep banging on about market share?

Nokia had the lions share of the mobiles market.
Apple was a 2nd choice computer manufacturer yet now.....

I bet Apple would not be in the position they are in now if they followed your "focus on the business they earn money with" strategy.

I also bet that Nokia wish that Apple did follow your advice. :)

bazz.

2 upvotes
Antonio Rojilla
By Antonio Rojilla (Jul 1, 2011)

Right, next to no market share, but that's exactly what make them different than Hoya/Pentax. Ricoh have been like that... mm... forever? Yet they never stopped releasing some of the most photographer-centric compacts with film or digital. I don't see how it would be any different now. It seems they never minded being a niche player.

4 upvotes
Henry M. Hertz
By Henry M. Hertz (Jul 1, 2011)

nokia and apple are two examples.

unfortunately for your example there are a gazillion of other examples that does not work out as it worked out for apple.

ricoh/pentax camera branches are just two dying dogs.
merging them will not produce a healthy horse.

you can be a niche player when you earn money.
but no niche player will stay alive when he don´t earn money.

0 upvotes
Antonio Rojilla
By Antonio Rojilla (Jul 1, 2011)

LOL, even Tom Hogan agrees with me:

"The one good piece of news in this is that both Ricoh and Pentax have strong enthusiast bases, and both companies are well known for solid designs that are photographer-centric. They can build something from that, I think."

4 upvotes
igb
By igb (Jul 1, 2011)

http://www.bythom.com/2008%20Nikon%20News.htm

"My advice is to look at the Ricoh GX-200 and the Panasonic LX-3 if you want a quality compact camera in the near term. Both have true raw support. Both are excellent, photographer-centric cameras."

Does that make Panasonic a photographer centered company? If so, which camera company isn't?

On another note, try not too laugh in public, you make disgusting noises.

0 upvotes
Henry M. Hertz
By Henry M. Hertz (Jul 1, 2011)

well it´s a word that sound good.... "photographer centric" but with not much real meaning.

every company a who builds more then consumer-bases-entry-level-full-auto-point-and-shoot cameras cann be called photographer centric.

and where thom sees a strong userbase... realy i don´t know what he is smoking.

strong compared to what?
sure not strong compared to nikon, canon.
not even panasonic or olympus when you look at the sales numbers.

1 upvote
Antonio Rojilla
By Antonio Rojilla (Jul 2, 2011)

Now even at the The Luminious Lanscape have the same opinion:

"Ricoh makes a very interesting new partner because it has a long history in the camera business, and though its current offerings are limited they are very innovative and photographer oriented."

1 upvote
sir_bazz
By sir_bazz (Jul 2, 2011)

Yes there are gazallion other examples other than Apple and Nokia however my points stands that success or failure has nothing to do with current market share.

Vision, strategy and execution, (and maybe a little bit of luck), will determine the growth of any business rather than "current" market share.

0 upvotes
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