Nothwistanding the Pentax users' s hunger for long tele...

Started Dec 17, 2013 | Discussions thread
paulkienitz
paulkienitz Veteran Member • Posts: 5,281
Re: The pro market is for visibility only, not volume

John_A_G wrote:

moving_comfort wrote:

John_A_G wrote:

My point is - Ricoh/Pentax doesn't have the luxury of all those high margin items without the professional base to consume them. So, they have to pick their battles.

There's a common, ongoing misconception that the 'professional base' represents a significant number of sales - it doesn't. It's tiny, and getting smaller. It's a fraction of the enthusiast base.

It is your ASSUMPTION that is wrong. You have zero empirical evidence. The number of hobbyists buying 400mm 2.8 and 600mm f4 lenses is tiny. Newspapers all over the world buy those lenses for their photography pools. Now, let's consider other equipment - the wedding professionals and what equipment they buy - the studio professionals and what equipment they buy. When you get to the high ticket items I submit it is still the professional market that is the primary consumer. Of course I have no more empirical data than you do.

Id wager that super-telephotos being sold to enthusiasts/hobbyists + amateur birders outnumber super-telephotos being sold to professional sports shooters 10 to 1. There just are not that many pro shooters left in the top 50 media or periodical markets combined.

.

When you're talking slow 5.6 I would agree. When you're talking 400mm 2.8, 500mm 4.0 and 600mm 4.0 I disagree. I think it's the opposite.

I think the number of amateurs and hobbyists buying those big lenses is bigger than you suppose.  The number of people who are actually paid to shoot sports with those lenses is small and getting smaller, but hang out with any bunch of birders and nature lovers, and there'll usually find one guy out of fifty or a hundred who are carrying $10,000+ of gear, including the thigh-sized telephotos.  It's a smallish portion, but the group it's a portion of is very large.

I think the largest market for top-shelf gear is rich amateurs, not pros.  This doesn't just go for teles, but other high end gear too, such as medium format bodies.  The real pros probably aren't profitable at all, except as advertising -- you have to provide all those emergency services to keep them happy, and at big visible events many of the lenses are loaned out gratis so the public will see them.

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