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03-01-2010, 04:48 AM   #16
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But somebody already saw difference...

03-01-2010, 05:35 AM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by lithos Quote
Now, if Pentax just picked a random factory in Vietnam and said "we want these lenses built for 1/10 of what we're making them in Japan," and left it at that, I'd be worried. I don't think Pentax would be that stupid, though.
Question is, would "profit driven" Hoya be that stupid, as they are in the driver's seat now.

As for Ned, what do you expect him to say - "Sure, they're not as good as they used to be, but they're good enough."?!
03-01-2010, 05:36 AM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by lithos Quote
What I'm guessing is that there's a bloke from Tokyo in the Vietnam factory, keeping tabs on everything. It's not like the Vietnamese or any non-Japanese (or non-German, for that matter,) is physically unable to make a decent lens.

Now, if Pentax just picked a random factory in Vietnam and said "we want these lenses built for 1/10 of what we're making them in Japan," and left it at that, I'd be worried. I don't think Pentax would be that stupid, though.
Pentax built then expanded the Vietnamese factory. In a small way the cost of expansion helped put them on the financial bubble that led into the buyout by Hoya.
around that same time Hoya also built a facility there..
03-01-2010, 06:17 AM   #19
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Pentax merely changed the place of manufacture, not the product.

03-01-2010, 06:28 AM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by infosyn Quote
Yes, the workmanship is likely to be the same, within the normal range.

However, there still may be minor differences in the materials or the methods. For example, when Pentax moved the assembly line for the FA31 to Vietnam, they might well have changed sources for some materials, perhaps making them in-house, or purchasing them locally, instead of shipping the parts from Japan.

Or perhaps Pentax took this opportunity to make improvements (or take new shortcuts) in quality control testing. Could be.

These types of changes might not be obvious, even with very careful inspection and testing of a few lenses.

Incidentally, I'm NOT saying that Pentax DID make any changes whatsoever in workmanship or materials or QA testing. I'm just saying that there's no way to know for sure from just looking at a couple lenses.
I'm afraid whatever minor differences you're theorizing is unproven speculation and unsubstantiated.
For all we know the new and expanded factory in Vietnam would probably have newer and even better quality manufacturing equipment than the Mashiko production facility in Japan that was closed? Who knows?
03-01-2010, 09:00 AM   #21
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What I find even more interesting is the fact the Ned took the time to investigate such a perceived difference in QA. It would be equally nice if he would do the same about the "perceived" high SDM failure rate and publish hard numbers at last. Perhaps he will,... lets hope so.
03-01-2010, 10:06 AM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by creampuff Quote
I'm afraid whatever minor differences you're theorizing is unproven speculation and unsubstantiated.
For all we know the new and expanded factory in Vietnam would probably have newer and even better quality manufacturing equipment than the Mashiko production facility in Japan that was closed? Who knows?
Thank you for pointing out that unsubstantiated theories are unproven speculation, followed by more unsubstantiated theories that are unproven speculation. Both your post and the post you quoted essentially state exactly the same thing!!!

Does someone want to visit the Vietnam factory and report back to us? Then these theories would become substantiated.
03-01-2010, 10:53 AM   #23
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I made the following response to Yvon Bourque based on his comment
QuoteQuote:
" As long as the specs are the same, the lens is the same. Would someone dare saying that Japanese workmanship is better than Vietnamese workmanship? I don't think so. When employees are trained properly, and I'm sure they are, it has nothing to do with Country, Race, Color, or anything else. ,
I'd go as far as to say Japanese workmanship may be better than current Vietnamese. Lets face it. The Japanese got in the game in the lat 40s and by the late 50s were pushing the Germans and by the mid-60s "owned" the Germans in regards to 35mm slr. Lets face it, the reason the assembly plants have moved to Vietnam is to get cheap labor because the skill pool is behind the curve at the moment. Furthermore, none of that says they Vietnamese can't do good work and get up to par down the stretch. The fact is, I own 3 DA ltd lens made in Vietnam and I'm o.k. with that. The "collector" in me resulted in me acquiring Japanese built FA 50mm f1.4 and FA 77mm ltd lenses. I will buy Vietnamese lenses in the future as well. However, and I put it in all caps, I WILL NEVER BUY CHINESE MADE PENTAX gear.

Yvon over looked that the state of Japanese optics didn't just go "poof" and get to the dominance they had in the last third of the 20th century and the present. What he is saying is akin to starting a brand new pro sports team with players that have never played on the field/court in their life and expect to be playing in the Championship the first season. I have experience with Vietnamese workers and they can learn quickly and get to a point of excellence but I think they have a curve. Everyone does regardless of race, nationality etc. That said, Vietnam is more diverse than many realize.

Edit: I suspect those black lens caps Ned was bragging about mixing up weren't made in Vietnam.

03-01-2010, 10:53 AM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by regor Quote
What I find even more interesting is the fact the Ned took the time to investigate such a perceived difference in QA. It would be equally nice if he would do the same about the "perceived" high SDM failure rate and publish hard numbers at last. Perhaps he will,... lets hope so.
I second that!
03-01-2010, 11:06 AM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by Blue Quote
However, and I put it in all caps, I WILL NEVER BUY CHINESE MADE PENTAX gear.
I agree 1,000,000% (is that even possible?)
03-01-2010, 11:54 AM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by GoremanX Quote
I agree 1,000,000% (is that even possible?)
Vietnam (North - or South -) is not China!
03-01-2010, 12:07 PM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by philippe Quote
Vietnam (North - or South -) is not China!
Who said they were? That's the point. The Philippines and Vietnam are one thing, but China is a different issue. The point was made to Ned so that any future plants don't end up in China.
03-01-2010, 01:07 PM   #28
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Probably the big difference between the 2 will be resale value. I can see the "Made in Japan" attracting a higher price on the second hand market.
03-01-2010, 01:22 PM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by GoremanX Quote
I agree 1,000,000% (is that even possible?)
No...

China is the manufacturing behemoth in modern times...someone's going to have to give up photography among other things if they refuse to buy anything "made in China"
03-01-2010, 01:35 PM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by Clicker Quote
China is the manufacturing behemoth in modern times...someone's going to have to give up photography among other things if they refuse to buy anything "made in China"
I don't see why, there's a ton of lenses already available on the used market that weren't made in China. There's no way I'll ever stoop to buying Pentax lenses if they start manufacturing them in China. Of all the photographic equipment I own, the worst is by far the stuff made in China (none of it lenses). I can easily sort through all my gear and set aside the Chinese stuff just by touch.

If Pentax ever starts having lenses manufactured in China, they won't see a dime from me on those products. I'll stick to the used market instead.
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