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02-28-2010, 01:11 PM   #1
emr
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Ned Bunnell: no difference between 31mm ltd made in Japan and Vietnam

Was this posted over here already?

NED BUNNELL: Country of Origin Debate over Lenses Not New

Ned Bunnell discusses the quality of FA 31mm ltd lenses made in Japan and in Vietnam.

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So, in trying to summarize the reason for my post, I would not be overly concerned with the country of origin for any high-quality lens that you consider buying today. Based on my tests, I can't see or feel any difference between my FA31mm samples.
Then again, being the representative of Pentax, what else could he say in public? "Yeah, the lenses that we make today are inferior to the ones before, but don't worry - we won't either."

02-28-2010, 01:21 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by emr Quote
Was this posted over here already?

NED BUNNELL: Country of Origin Debate over Lenses Not New

Ned Bunnell discusses the quality of FA 31mm ltd lenses made in Japan and in Vietnam.



Then again, being the representative of Pentax, what else could he say in public? "Yeah, the lenses that we make today are inferior to the ones before, but don't worry - we won't either."
He probably wouldn't say anything at all - just ignore the discussion altogether and not manke any blog posts.
02-28-2010, 01:26 PM   #3
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I have no problems with lens quality but pricing is always a problem with all brands, regardless of where they're being made.
02-28-2010, 02:31 PM   #4
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I wouldn't expect any difference. Moving the production line may initally cause some problem, but I don't see any reason why would workers in Vietnam work worse than those in Japan.

02-28-2010, 02:52 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by elho_cid Quote
I wouldn't expect any difference. Moving the production line may initally cause some problem, but I don't see any reason why would workers in Vietnam work worse than those in Japan.
Exactly. I have Pentax lenses made both in Japan and Vietnam and the Philippines...no difference that I can discern.
02-28-2010, 03:12 PM   #6
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They use the same parts right? They use the same coating right? They use the same optics right? Why wouldn't it be the same? Made in Japan or not, it's still the same thing. Someone will eventually get a bad copy and say it's because it's made in Vietnam.
02-28-2010, 03:35 PM   #7
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Thanks for the link, hadnít noticed.
02-28-2010, 03:49 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by LeDave Quote
They use the same parts right? They use the same coating right? They use the same optics right? Why wouldn't it be the same? Made in Japan or not, it's still the same thing. Someone will eventually get a bad copy and say it's because it's made in Vietnam.
Pretty much how I see it.

02-28-2010, 05:25 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by elho_cid Quote
I wouldn't expect any difference. Moving the production line may initally cause some problem, but I don't see any reason why would workers in Vietnam work worse than those in Japan.
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.
02-28-2010, 07:45 PM   #10
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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.
Your theory also apply to those MIJ ones Pentax (or other camera/lens makers) change materials and glass coatings quite often even for the same lens which has been made in Japan.
02-28-2010, 08:11 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
He probably wouldn't say anything at all - just ignore the discussion altogether and not manke any blog posts.
Hence his silence on the debate about SDM failure issue
02-28-2010, 08:29 PM   #12
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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.
02-28-2010, 10:08 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by darrenleow Quote
Hence his silence on the debate about SDM failure issue
Good point!
02-28-2010, 10:16 PM   #14
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Quoted from the blog post:

"And to those that continue to promote widely that "made in Japan" FA 31mm's are better...you might just inadvertently end up setting higher prices for these samples on the "used", "LNIB" open market."

Conversely, these debates might lower the price of used Vietnamese 31mm Limited lenses.

...by all means, I hope the debate continues for a long time
03-01-2010, 03:54 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by infosyn Quote
Yes, the workmanship is likely to be the same, within the normal range.
It doesn't matter what the level of workmanship is, as far as the end user is concerned, if QC is good enough. Let's say the level of workmanship in Vietnam was initially 20% worse than Japan. If the QC checks are strict enough, more of the lenses in this hypothetical situation would be rejected at different parts of the manufacturing process. Management would be alarmed at the high reject rate and would implement procedures to reduce it, if for no other reason than to improve the productivity of the factory.

However, where you would be in a real mess of a situation would be if:

a) QC was slacker at the slack factory and let more lemons enter the market-lace.

b) QC picked up the greater level of defective lenses but management, eager to meet production targets, told them to lower the acceptable standard.

Dan.

Last edited by dosdan; 03-01-2010 at 04:06 AM.
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