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11-09-2010, 05:14 AM   #1
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Lenses made in Vietnam

Can anyone please tell me if Pentax lenses made in Vietnam are any good. Have been told that all Pentax lenses are made their now. Thanks.

11-09-2010, 05:21 AM   #2
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They are identical to lenses made in Japan.
11-09-2010, 05:34 AM   #3
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The country where goods are manufactured have no impact on the quality of the goods. What has impact is the capability of the company to ensure that its processes (assembly, validations, quality control) are well implemented.
11-09-2010, 05:38 AM   #4
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The Lens are ASSEMBLED in Vietnam. The optic is still probably made in Japan. The K-X is assembled in Phillipines.

11-09-2010, 05:53 AM   #5
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For some purists the MIJ lenses have bigger resale value than the newer AIV lenses. But quality wise there isn't really difference. I used to have three DA lenses and never had a problem with them. And bobmaxaja pointed out the bodies (not just K-x) are made in Phillipines and they are all still top notch. The country of origin really doesn't matter it's the QC. Look at Sigma, their lenses are still MIJ (AFAIK) and their QC is well known to be shaky...
03-18-2011, 09:55 AM   #6
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I have Pentax 18-55 made in Vietnam which is a very good lens.

Anymore, where things are manufactured is not important at all. Most companies adhere by ISO9001 quality management standards, which goes a long way toward assuring that a "brand x" product you buy that's made in China, Vietnam, or wherever, is identical to the stuff cranked out by their factory in say, Japan or Germany.

Most people do not know that, so they tend to think "Made in China" or "Made in Vietnam" = garbage. Which is not true.
03-19-2011, 03:37 AM   #7
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Some would claim that the AIV lenses are inferior in that they don't assemble to the same tolerances as the MIJ lenses. I am not qualified to comment as I'm only passing on opinions I've heard.
03-19-2011, 05:46 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by GibbyTheMole Quote
Most companies adhere by ISO9001 quality management standards, which goes a long way toward assuring that a "brand x" product you buy that's made in China, Vietnam, or wherever, is identical to the stuff cranked out by their factory in say, Japan or Germany.
Don't be fooled by ISO9001. I was involved in attaining this label for the last company I worked for and it is almost entirely about record keeping, other management tasks and customer satisfaction surveys. It has almost nothing to do with product quality control.

This does not mean that I am against the assembled in Vietnam or the Phillipines products.

03-19-2011, 01:41 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by calicojack Quote
Don't be fooled by ISO9001. I was involved in attaining this label for the last company I worked for and it is almost entirely about record keeping, other management tasks and customer satisfaction surveys. It has almost nothing to do with product quality control.

This does not mean that I am against the assembled in Vietnam or the Phillipines products.
I can affirm this as well. it's nothing more than a label but does not really assure quality assurance. otherwise, why do product recalls still exists?
03-19-2011, 04:40 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by axl Quote
For some purists the MIJ lenses have bigger resale value than the newer AIV lenses. But quality wise there isn't really difference.
Sometimes the lenses behave differently, possibly due to different coatings, but that is based on the revision of the lens, not the country of origin. It just so happens that if you're looking at a MIV FA 43 ltd, it's not a first series.
03-19-2011, 08:13 PM   #11
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Having visited the country and having interacted with its residents while touring as an indivdual (i.e. not insulated from as in a tour group), I came away with the impression that the Vietnamese are a hardworking, meticulous people, much as the Japanese are. Furthermore, multinational companies such as Pentax pay significantly more wages than local companies, as such they attract the best workers. Pentax would continue to assemble in Japan if they could, but the reality is that the cost of manufacturing in Japan is significantly higher due higher labour costs, hence the move to a country that has the same high work culture but sgnificantly lower labour costs.
03-19-2011, 11:04 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Clinton Quote
Sometimes the lenses behave differently, possibly due to different coatings, but that is based on the revision of the lens, not the country of origin. It just so happens that if you're looking at a MIV FA 43 ltd, it's not a first series.
Hi Clinton, so are there MIV FA 43's now? I bought mine late last Summer from B&H, and it's MIJ.
03-20-2011, 12:01 AM   #13
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"Some would claim that the AIV lenses are inferior in that they don't assemble to the same tolerances as the MIJ lenses. I am not qualified to comment as I'm only passing on opinions I've heard."

Unless they've been on both factory floors (in the Philippines and Japan), how can they *possibly* know? I think it's tactitly racist to make such assertions in a way; it's making an implication about work ethics or something.

For years, as a professional guitarist, i heard similar pablum about 'buying American'. Assertions were always made that US quality control was superior - I suspect people told themselves this to justify *to themselves* paying two to three times as much as for the (often superior) Japanese products.

Even at face value, their claims were ridiculous. Leaving out the argument for a culturally inflected work ethic (win to Japan), Japan's is a culture of reverence for craftmanship and finely detailed handmade goods. *For thousands of years before the US even existed, much less developed a 'cultural identity'*.

For hand-made items requiring precision engineering, I'll take Japan or Germany over US manufacturers every. day. of. the. week.
03-20-2011, 07:12 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by NeverSatisfied Quote
Hi Clinton, so are there MIV FA 43's now? I bought mine late last Summer from B&H, and it's MIJ.
Oh? I was under the impression that MIJ was all old stock, but maybe that's just the FA 31

The discussion happened over here:

But the relevant parts are:

QuoteOriginally posted by frank Quote
SMC PENTAX-FA 1:1.9 43mm Limited

Type-1 0000001~00160xx
Silver Version

Type-2 0013xxx~0015xxx
Black Version

Type-3 0016xxx~0019xxx
Silver & Black

Type-4 0020xxx~0023xxx
Silver & Black

Type-5 0023xxx~ Still in production
Silver & Black
Old Version:


New Version


Here's the difference in coatings:


The original article is here: http://stevenlins.blogspot.com/2008/06/type-of-pentax-fa-4319-limited.html

Last edited by Clinton; 03-20-2011 at 07:26 AM.
04-02-2011, 01:53 AM   #15
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If they are using the same test equipment, I don't think they will make any difference. I don't think we can find many hand made products in the market now where worker skills are important. Not all Japanese are craftsmen, most of them also depend on a high level of automation. QC ethics are very important, at least no evidence being shown that Vietnamese QC are less honest, we have to trust the Pentax name. Even Toyota and Mitsubishi plants in Japan also had their fair share of QC records falsifying scandal and so on. For survival, Pentax will not gamble on their name, especially Pentax is serving a niche market, unlike Canikon who serve the mass market that they have to offer some cheap lower IQ products.
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