Pentax/Ricoh putting prices up


Link Posted 14/04/2012 - 20:51
They've a long way to go to catch up Olympus

6,900 for a 300mm f/2.8 link

Half Man... Half Pentax ... Half Cucumber

Pentax K-1 + K-5 and some other stuff


George Lazarette

Link Posted 14/04/2012 - 21:02
Algernon wrote:
They've a long way to go to catch up Olympus

6,900 for a 300mm f/2.8 link


Don't give 'em ideas.

Keywords: Charming, polite, and generally agreeable.


Link Posted 14/04/2012 - 21:47
George, I am from the UK too. I have A levels in Mathematics and Further Mathematics, both grade A (before A* was introduced) and I am a Chartered Accountant. I am also fluent in my mother tongue. In the UK margins are generally taken to mean sales revenue less cost of sales. That depends upon sales volume not just mark-up. An increased margin is something earned rather than just dreamed of (or forecast, which means the same).

Problems with Ricoh are not largely caused by events outside their control. There have been problems affecting all but Ricoh's main problem is competition in their core business, aka rivals' products and lack of innovation. This has been compounded by other events. Cash reserves mean nothing without product development/marketing as they merely serve to prop up the share price for a while by maintaining dividend expectations. Ricoh makes office equipment and the trend is towards paperless, where Ricoh don't have much presence. Companies during a downturn find ways of economising and those are maintained during the upturn, that's why Ricoh must innovate rather than acquire, which has been the previous growth strategy . The quake happened way after Ricoh's profits were hard hit.

A deferred tax asset (a moot point and I would argue the initial capitalisation was imprudent) should of course to be written down, but what exactly do you mean by a write-down for the quake? Sales may have been affected and through demand and prodcution issues but what was the asset impairment? There are of course provisions to be made for the staff reductions but there should be mitigating immediate cost savings too as it is a rolling programme. I can't see how a write-down would apply here anyway since employees aren't capitalised.

Let's hope that Ricoh's results improve to what you think they are.
You can see some of my photos here if you are so inclined
Last Edited by DrOrloff on 14/04/2012 - 21:50

George Lazarette

Link Posted 14/04/2012 - 22:15
OK, I am trying to distinguish between the different effects that can flow from a change to prices.

The first is margin, meaning the difference between unit cost and unit price. All else being equal, a change in price will improve the margin (and therefore the bottom line).

However, thanks to elasticity of demand, a price increase is likely to result in a fall in sales. So the positive effect on the margin will usually be offset to a larger or smaller extent by a reduction in volumes.

It is also far from impossible that a fall in volumes will lead to an increase in unit costs, therefore affecting the margin negatively.

In the case of Pentax, there is some inelasticity of demand because there may be no alternative if you want a particular lens, for instance. In the longer term, of course, prices need to remain competitive or users will switch brands.

I am afraid I did not produce Ricoh's accounts, and can't answer your question on the quake, other than to say that Ricoh mention it as costing them 14 billion yen. An extraordinary cost, rather than a write-down.

Staff reductions cost 29.6 billion yen, and yielded a 3rd qtr benefit of 5.4 billion. Next year therefore they should see a benefit of approx 21 billion.

The reason I take a slightly more optimistic view than you is that the timing of Ricoh's troubles exactly mirrors the global economic downturn. I believe there may be some connection.

Keywords: Charming, polite, and generally agreeable.


Link Posted 14/04/2012 - 22:35
arno wrote:
I'm just pleased I jumped on a new 15mm Limited from Flash Camera last week for 399. Already gone up to 459 there

Grrr! Jealous!


Link Posted 14/04/2012 - 22:37
By the way, I've started thread on here before and watched them die a slow death... This one is one page three after a few hours! People are pretty annoyed about this...


Link Posted 14/04/2012 - 23:56
George, you keep stating that margin is only correctly defined as being unit price less unit cost. If you talk to a cost accountant or similar then that is probably true.

In my experience of advising businesses and working in financial reporting people would often assume you mean total turnover less cost of sales.

In either case, in my experience it is not unusual for someone to ask you to clarify whether you meant unit margin or gross margin.

It was obvious what Dr Mhuni was saying so there was no need to play the pedant and try and pick fault.
You will only prise my 43Ltd from my cold, dead hands...


Link Posted 15/04/2012 - 00:45
Oops 'Orloff' not 'Mhuni'.
You will only prise my 43Ltd from my cold, dead hands...


Link Posted 15/04/2012 - 01:01
I'm no accountant (although I was a financial journalist of sorts in the dim and distant past) and hesitate to get involved in this typically Pentaxian row, but my publican, a successful businessman in many spheres, prefers to sell customers a pint of Coke rather than beer "because the margin's higher". He's talking about the the cost price versus the selling price.

I must say I find these linguistic points far more interesting than the price of any particular product, which will settle at a sustainable level in God's good time.


Joe S

Link Posted 15/04/2012 - 03:50
I think the Tokina equivalent lenses are a good indication of what is going on. They are not moving anywhere and that means the 12-24mm can be had in Nikon mount for around 400 pounds. If the price rice was due to increasing production cost Tokina would be doing a massively better job than Pentax at keeping these down. I have read quite a few tests of the Pentax/Tokina offerings and I don't see anything indicating that the ones from Pentax are much superior.

I am with Chris on this one. It is obvious to me that Pentax is intent on positioning the brand as something else than the budget alternative to the "real" makers (Canikon). That they seem to think they can pull this off "just like that" puzzles me, as they are disadvantaged from the beginning. Brand perception is probably different to some degree in Japan but they surely cannot be mistaking Japan for the general picture. They have to follow through with some very exciting products, spotless QC, advertising and improved communications.

Or they are going high margin niche products () and rely on us being too lazy to go through the problems of switching systems (applies to me!) This just surprises me, because I am not sure I can see the big picture in this for Ricoh. I thought they bought Pentax partly to challenge Canon.
Hi. My name is Joel and I'm a travelholic.
Stolen kit: Pentax K7 #3428965 and Pentax FA 43mm #0028350
Last Edited by Joe S on 15/04/2012 - 03:53


Link Posted 15/04/2012 - 11:17
I have no special insight into the camera business, but there do seem to be some parallels with the way companies making printers operate: sell the initial product (printer/camera) at an acceptable but not handsome margin and then supply the follow-on materials (inks/lenses) at significantly higher margin. Not an exact parallel: you will need inks to get a result from your printer, whereas lenses (after the first) are in theory optional! But as a business model it's sound. I wonder how many first-time buyers calculate at the outset what their full package (camera plus desired lenses) will cost. The risk, if the pricing is misjudged, in that existing owners could begin to calculate that they might be better off decamping -- though the misjudgment would have to be pretty serious for that to happen on any scale.

But I've shelved plans to buy a Pentax lens I was considering, and may opt for a closely comparable Sigma. So that, I suppose, is a partial decamp.
Regards, Christopher



Link Posted 15/04/2012 - 12:24
George Lazarette wrote:

Putting up prices will ALWAYS increase the margin, which is the difference between cost and sales price.

You might conveniently have forgotten that both cost of material and labor have gone up as well?
Pentax K10D + Vivitar 55/2.8 macro + Super Takumar 55/1.8 + SuperMultiCoated Takumar 85/1.8 + SuperMultiCoated Takumar 135/3.5 + SuperMultiCoated Takumar 200/4 + Super Takumar 300/4
Pentax K100D + DA18-55ALII + DA55-300
Pentax K5 + FA31Ltd + M50/1.7 + DFA100WR + M120/2.8 (+ DA18-55WR at occasion)


Link Posted 15/04/2012 - 12:30
You wrote; - You might conveniently have forgotten that both cost of material and labor have gone up as well?

Maybe, but NOT by 30%!!
K5's (2)both gripped, K10d gripped, Pentax 28-90 f3.5, Sigma 18-250mm, Sigma 150-500mm. Sigma 105mm f/2.8 EX DG Macro, Sigma 10-20 f.4-5.6.EX DC, Hoya 135 f2.8, Take on 28mm f2.8 Pentax AF360 flash, 2 fill in slaves. 30 metre remote release, Rt angle viewfinder, Giotto NOT 3261B Tripod with Manfrotto 808Rd4 ball head, Manfroto 4861RC2 monopoly, shoulder stock, various filters etc, Panasonic SET HBS HD Video cam, Tamrac Explorer 8x backpack and a sore back.....
Photography is an index for measuring futility and pride.......




Link Posted 15/04/2012 - 13:47
It doen't help that we pay VAT at 20%,
so your 500 lens costs 600, more price rises more VAT added....
that is if your willing to pay...
k-5, K-5ii,60-250 f4, 50 f1.4 af,17-70 f4, 100mm macro wr,siggy 10-20 siggy 100-300f4
Last Edited by obione on 15/04/2012 - 13:47


Link Posted 15/04/2012 - 14:23
I think a lot of people are overlooking the obvious.. ( imay have mentioned this a few years back already) but cameras are noe consumer electronics, not the jewel like devices they used to be. To remain competitive with products that lose thier value rapidly as newer devices hit the market, Pentax needs to raise the prices on the lenses and lower the prices on the bodies. The lenses will hold thier value long after your new k-5 is seeling on ebay for $150.00 CDN....
the company had to do this sooner or later to remain viable.

watch Pentax keep it's niche market as a lower cost alternative by introducing more affordable cameras to offset the more expensive lenses. How many years have I told people Pentax was the best VALUE for cameras and lenses going? well the days of cheap sharp glass are gone... but they will still be worth buying... but digital bodies, like computers will not hold thier value and edge towards "disposable" in terms of resale value.
Fired many shots. Didn't kill anything.
Add a Comment
You must be registered or logged-in to comment.