Time to rethink the KIT LENS idea?

Started May 30, 2014 | Discussions thread
Bob Corson Senior Member • Posts: 2,316
Re: Time to rethink the KIT LENS idea?

Zvonimir Tosic wrote:

Instead of mucking around in endless circles with variations on the same theme when it comes to kit lenses, I would rather suggest Pentax turns a new chapter and makes:

  • all “normal” lenses a constant f4 aperture, nice quality glass, and
  • higher-end lenses at f2.8 or f2 (where applicable) for those who need more.

So instead of endless 18-55/3.5-5.6 iterations, make just ONE: say, 17-50/f4, with better glass. The quantity of sales will justify the investment. And then seal the deal.

And that is the quality incentive loud enough to draw attention and buy the Pentax camera and the system in the first place, and convinces people to stay longer with the brand.

Boring variations of the same f3.5-5.6 kits are seen everywhere, across all Japanese camera makers, and they mean nothing. It's a repetitive formula that I sincerely doubt it works. In today's camera market, it strikes me more like "being penny wise, and pound foolish." Which means, caring more about little costs now, but caring less about losing a LOT in the long run. User's loyalty today means everything and is a difference between staying in business and going out of business.

As you say this type of kit approach is pretty well across all brands so there must be a reason why they all think that is the right approach. I think the issue here is that there are at least two if not three markets to be addresses:

1) the new DSLR user/casual user

2) advanced amateurs/semipros

3) Pros

In the case of the first group cost is a factor as is convincing them, as someone already said that a price increase to get a better lens is worth it. Probably not going to make a difference with most of this market segment. Cost and brand awareness are most likely to win the day in this group. Hebce cheap lens that does adequate job and gets the customer started into the line.

Group 2 is different and lens quaility in the kit will be an advantage. This group is going to be more knowledgeable though and so would probably be more likely to be prepared to buy lenses from other folks like Tamron and Sigma etc. So I am not sure that an f4 17-50 is going to be seen as that big a deal to this group especially given Tamron has a super 17-50 f2.8 at pretty good price.

That is one, and, I believe, primary reason people switch brands — users never experience better quality lenses from day one, or lenses that make a helluva lot difference in image quality and, from there, users never experience higher esteemed value of the system. And that is why they don't invest in new lenses. Incentive to buy new lenses (main profit for the camera maker) come only from a good lens. Otherwise people think it's a camera problem, and switch brands.

Are there really that many people switching brands? Any idea what the stats are of people switching from one brand to another? I have a feeling it is not that high and doesn't warrant a marketing plan to counteract it.

What are users thoughts on this?

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Madamina, il catalogo è questo; Delle belle che amò il padron mio; un catalogo egli è che ho fatt'io; Osservate, leggete con me.

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Bob Corson
To truly see one must open their mind as well as their eyes

 Bob Corson's gear list:Bob Corson's gear list
Pentax K-30 Sigma 10-20mm F4-5.6 EX DC HSM Pentax smc DA* 60-250mm F4.0 ED (IF) SDM Tamron SP AF 17-50mm F/2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical (IF) Tamron SP AF 90mm F/2.8 Di Macro +5 more
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