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03-30-2013, 12:56 AM   #1
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When Were The Last MIJ's Made...

and when did the AIV's debut?

03-30-2013, 01:06 AM   #2
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Before they closed the Japanese lens factory, of course! I think that happened in 2005 or 2006.

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03-30-2013, 03:37 AM   #3
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Does it really matter, I would have thought the same high quality standards will be applied to Pentax lenses no matter where they're made.
03-30-2013, 04:36 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by kerrowdown Quote
Does it really matter, I would have thought the same high quality standards will be applied to Pentax lenses no matter where they're made.
In an ideal world, yes....

03-30-2013, 05:58 AM   #5
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Some say there is (or once was) a subtle cultural difference between Japan and most other countries that obligates a Japanese assembler to take personal pride in the quality of the work - though (he) will forever be anonymous and (he) will be personally unknown to the buyer.
03-30-2013, 07:22 AM   #6
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I would like to believe that workers who assemble precision instruments (and I think lenses qualify as such) take a little personal pride in the quality of their work regardless of where they live. I have some Nikkor's that are made in Thailand. Do Nikon owners debate this issue?
03-30-2013, 08:59 AM   #7
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@reeftool I have no idea what Nikon owners debate but the Japanese response to post-war US opinion that Japanese products were "cheap" was to emphasize personal responsibility for the quality of each piece assembled. Some of this culturally harkens back a thousand years - to the feudal culture, then the 19th century zaibatsu and then their modern derivatives, the keiretsu.

Nikon is part of by the Mitsubishi keiretsu, by cross-ownership of shares, and has a special banking relationship with the controlled bank of that keiretsu. Canon is part of the Fuyo keiretsu, along with Hitachi and Ricoh.. Hoya is part of the Sanwa keiretsu, along with Konica Minolta and I believe Kyocera (Contax licensee).. Sony was independent - and large and diverse enough to act like a keiretsu itself - but appears now to be part of Mitsui. Each of the companies in these orbits is culturally influenced by the core banking entity and the associated directors. That much cannot be denied.

When business conditions in Japan more recently dictated that manufacturing be moved offshore some of the corporate culture built up since WWII was lost. That also cannot be denied, though the stronger and wealthier the group the more controls and investments could be made in the foreign assembly locations..

I find it notable that Pentax was not associated with one of the six dominant keiretsu after it was sold to Hoya (having been made independent of DKB) - and likely it won't want to play poor cousin to Canon in Fuyo.

Last edited by monochrome; 03-30-2013 at 12:47 PM.
03-30-2013, 04:09 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
@reeftool I have no idea what Nikon owners debate but the Japanese response to post-war US opinion that Japanese products were "cheap" was to emphasize personal responsibility for the quality of each piece assembled. Some of this culturally harkens back a thousand years - to the feudal culture, then the 19th century zaibatsu and then their modern derivatives, the keiretsu.

Nikon is part of by the Mitsubishi keiretsu, by cross-ownership of shares, and has a special banking relationship with the controlled bank of that keiretsu. Canon is part of the Fuyo keiretsu, along with Hitachi and Ricoh.. Hoya is part of the Sanwa keiretsu, along with Konica Minolta and I believe Kyocera (Contax licensee).. Sony was independent - and large and diverse enough to act like a keiretsu itself - but appears now to be part of Mitsui. Each of the companies in these orbits is culturally influenced by the core banking entity and the associated directors. That much cannot be denied.

When business conditions in Japan more recently dictated that manufacturing be moved offshore some of the corporate culture built up since WWII was lost. That also cannot be denied, though the stronger and wealthier the group the more controls and investments could be made in the foreign assembly locations..

I find it notable that Pentax was not associated with one of the six dominant keiretsu after it was sold to Hoya (having been made independent of DKB) - and likely it won't want to play poor cousin to Canon in Fuyo.
Finding "Made in Japan" is almost as difficult today as finding "Made in USA". I have plenty of electronic products around home from established big names from Japan like Sony, Panasonic and Hitachi and none of them have MIJ labels but are outsourced all over Asia and mostly China. I can't say there is any loss of quality that I can notice. I think much of this is consumer perception. 25 years ago, discount stores were full of electronic products from Samsung and Gold Star (now LG) that were considered "cheap". Now they are top tier brands. The recent DXO articles on finding the best lenses to take full advantage of the Nikon D800's sensor lists some of the Samyang lenses very high despite their perception of being "cheap". I have had some MIJ Pentax F lenses that have very suspect build quality.

03-30-2013, 04:43 PM   #9
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AIV build quality was questionable for the first year or two of production before problems were ironed out. I think the quality since then has been as good as MIJ ever was.
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