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03-02-2010, 10:58 AM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by braver Quote
The guy here who doesn't want Chinese-made lenses made me laugh -- the Japanese companies are moving manufacturing to Vietnam because the Chinese labor prices are too much already!
I can honestly say that every lens in my collection is either made in Japan, or Germany. That isn't likely to change in the near future either.

The only lenses I want to buy are Sigma, which only makes anything in Japan, or Zeiss.
Sigma's factory is pretty small... some people say too small to bother moving

Presently, all my Pentax glass is either K or M or Screwmount. Anything Autofocus I own is made by Sigma, whom is entirely Japanese. One OLD Tokina, one E-German Zeiss, and one Pentacon makes up the rest of my equipment.

03-02-2010, 11:04 AM   #17
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Well, if we attach politics and history, we can find fault with any country. It's quite amazing that the US was at war in Vietnam 35 years ago and now luxury lenses are made there for the US consumption! Given what Ned described, a Canada vs Germany debate for a previous lens, this can be a philosophical challenge -- how do you derive a quality comparison between countries' labor forces for a specific product? I'd say they simply have to be tested and judged on merit. Since Ned is an interested party, would be good to get an independent comparison... Perhaps two Pentaxians from a metropolitan area with the same lens from the two countries can team up.
03-02-2010, 11:27 AM   #18
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Lol, forgive me but not many people in the world know exactly what really happened in the Vietnam war, and especially what Communism was and is! Communists open the gate for Western capitalist to invest in their countries because of the need of $$$, that's all. As long as you obey with their "freedom in Asian style" and spend millions of dollars on infrastructures, you are fine and always welcomed to their country.

Vietnam and China are providing a huge market of skillful labors but much much cheaper than other neighboor countries like Malaysia or Indonesia. With the iron-hand control of the Communist, the investor can peace of thier mind because the political environment is very stable (but they couldn't see the protested waves on the bottom of the river).
03-02-2010, 11:30 AM   #19
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Nowaday, it is not that important where a product is made

I have a Pentax 645 FA75mm F2.8 that is made in Vietnam. I think it is a top notch lens!
I have a Pentax 28-105mm (made in Japan) and it has problem with power zoom buttons.

My K10D is made in Philippine. It is very well made and never gives me any problem.
My ZX-5 is made in Japan. However, it has multiple issues, built-in flash, AF, etc.

Being made in Japan doesn't guarantee you a better lens. Advances in technologies have made a product's location of manufauring a lesser contributor to its quality, while its design an increasingly bigger contributor. Your Sigma lenses, even though made in Japan, are seldomly thought to be at same level as Pentax lenses (even though Viet made). I hope you're not buying Sigma lenses just because they are made in Japan. I have seen bad Sigma lenses.

I bet 40 years ago not many people in US were thinking of buying Japanese made cars. Then, the trend has changed for the past several decades. We can say the same for Korean made cars by looking back past 2 decades.


Last edited by hyyz; 03-02-2010 at 11:37 AM.
03-02-2010, 11:33 AM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by braver Quote
Well, if we attach politics and history, we can find fault with any country. It's quite amazing that the US was at war in Vietnam 35 years ago and now luxury lenses are made there for the US consumption! Given what Ned described, a Canada vs Germany debate for a previous lens, this can be a philosophical challenge -- how do you derive a quality comparison between countries' labor forces for a specific product? I'd say they simply have to be tested and judged on merit. Since Ned is an interested party, would be good to get an independent comparison... Perhaps two Pentaxians from a metropolitan area with the same lens from the two countries can team up.
Well, we were at war with China as well in the 50s and they were backers of the NVA at one point. But that is out of the scope of this thread. Tiananmen Square was relatively recent and not much as changed unlike when the Wall in Europe came down. You also forget we were allies with half of Vietnam and there were a lot of immigrants to the U.S. following that "policing action." Vietnam had a lot of western influence.

For me as a collector, I like period correct things from Asahi to be from Japan. With the DA ltd, it is appropriate that they be from Vietnam. I just don't get into SeaGull.

QuoteOriginally posted by hyyz Quote
I have a Pentax 645 FA75mm F2.8 that is made in Vietnam. I think it is a top notch lens!
I have a Pentax 28-105mm (made in Japan) and it has problem with power zoom buttons.

My K10D is made in Philippine. It is very well made and never gives me any problem.
My ZX-5 is made in Japan. However, it has multiple issues, built-in flash, AF, etc.

Being made in Japan doesn't guarantee you a better lens. Advances in technologies have made a product's location of manufauring a lesser contributor to its quality, while its design an increasingly bigger contributor.

I bet 40 years ago not many people in US were thinking of buying Japanese made cars. Then, the trend has changed for the past several decades. We can say the same for Korean made cars by looking back past 2 decades.
No one said that anything made in Japan or Germany was going to automatically be better. However, there is a difference in Japan, Korea, the Philippines and China. Now if you were talking about North K. maybe you would have a point. I won't buy anything from sweatshops if I know about them either regardless of whether they are in California, Georgia, Central America, or China.

Edit: Or put another way the Chi-Coms are making trillions off of the backs of its people.

Last edited by Blue; 03-02-2010 at 11:39 AM.
03-02-2010, 11:52 AM   #21
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I think we are talking about the lens quality, not politics or morality, right?

If you're buying prodcuts out of your political/moral belief, I don't have anything to say. That's your choice and I am perfect fine with it.

What I am trying to say, is that things are changing. Sometimes, they may be changing faster than we thought.
03-02-2010, 01:06 PM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by hyyz Quote
I think we are talking about the lens quality, not politics or morality, right?

If you're buying prodcuts out of your political/moral belief, I don't have anything to say. That's your choice and I am perfect fine with it.

What I am trying to say, is that things are changing. Sometimes, they may be changing faster than we thought.
They aren't changing as fast as you think in China. As far as lens quality goes, what from China do you have to base it on? Seagull? However, China can't even make dog food without poisoning the dogs. There are issues of toxic paint and toy recalls too numerous to count. Go look around Harbor Freight if you want to get an idea of general quality. Nails and other hardware coming from China are absolutely worthless. I think some of the foundries there could find a way to screw up an iron anvil.

Edit: There was a time when Pentax made some of its lenses in Taiwan I'm guessing at their old subsidiary CPC. Some of the M 50mm f2 lenses were made there. Some of the K1000 bodies were made there as well as Hong Kong and later China, but the earliest k1000 were made in Japan. The Chinese ones are pitiful in comparison.

Last edited by Blue; 03-02-2010 at 01:20 PM.
03-02-2010, 03:33 PM   #23
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I'm done with this thread.....

but check the title of this thread, please. Where are Pentax limited lenses made?

If you have off topic issues, there are "Off Topic Forums" in this forum. Take care.

03-02-2010, 04:13 PM   #24
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@hyyz -- I've tried to steer it back again. It will remain an important question in the minds of the buyers of those lenses. But I agree with @Blue that this is a great chance for Vietnam to shine. If you guys get a Vietnam-made lens and like it, don't be shy. I have a great respect for the Vietnamese people and am happy I can give credit where it's due. However, if the labor cost is lower, I agree with a previous poster that Hoya must pass it on.
03-02-2010, 05:29 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by hyyz Quote
I'm done with this thread.....

but check the title of this thread, please. Where are Pentax limited lenses made?

If you have off topic issues, there are "Off Topic Forums" in this forum. Take care.
You take it thee off topic forum. We were discussing Vietnamese lenses and some of us stated we would prefer and buy lenses made in Vietnam but not China and a couple of you guys took issue with that. This is something of a duplicate thread relating Ned's blog post anyway.

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/92032-ned-bunnell-no-difference-between-31mm-ltd-made-japan-vietnam.html

Last edited by Blue; 03-02-2010 at 05:42 PM.
03-02-2010, 05:34 PM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by braver Quote
@hyyz -- I've tried to steer it back again. It will remain an important question in the minds of the buyers of those lenses. But I agree with @Blue that this is a great chance for Vietnam to shine. If you guys get a Vietnam-made lens and like it, don't be shy. I have a great respect for the Vietnamese people and am happy I can give credit where it's due. However, if the labor cost is lower, I agree with a previous poster that Hoya must pass it on.
The DA ltd lenses line is exclusively built in Vietnam and have been from their beginnings and I like them. In fact that is true for many if not all of the DA lenses. I agree that if Hoya is using any differences in labor costs as a profit margin that it is exploitation. On the other hand if they are using it for capital outlay in Vietnam, that's another matter.
03-02-2010, 06:04 PM   #27
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Having been in association with both people in China and Vietnam, I can't say if manufacturing in Vietnam compares favorably to China. Vietnam has only lately entered the manufacturing on demand scene.

Like I said, I don't have any problems with buying Vietnam or China made lenses on Pentax/Nikon/Canon/etc. badges, but if I'm going to spend $1000+ on a lens, deemed a luxury spending in my humble opinion, I sure as hell would like them to be made in Japan like the high end Canon and Nikon lenses.
03-03-2010, 09:33 AM   #28
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Well I can certainly vouch the following Made in China cameras are top notch...

Fotoman
Shen-Hao
03-03-2010, 10:36 AM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by creampuff Quote
Well I can certainly vouch the following Made in China cameras are top notch...

Fotoman
Shen-Hao

We weren't really discussing "boutique" cameras and aren't mass produced per se. Nikon, Canon, Oly, Pentax don't fall into that category and never really did. The fact is Mr. Zhang IS Shen-Hao by the looks of things. Fotoman is closed down.

QuoteQuote:
hen Hao Cameras are made in Shanghai,China by Mr Zhang. He has been in business for some 11 years. All the cameras are designed by him. He and his team use CNC machines and other lathes to make all the metal parts on site. All products are subject to rigorous QC procedures to ensure that the item you receive will give years of productive service. In addition to the standard 45 camera, the HZ45AII, the company also makes a 57 field camera, the HZ57AT, with titanium metal parts for increased rigidity and stability. Shen Hao is also offering its new 8x10" with 57, & 410 reducing backs and a 4x10" with either 57 or 410 back.
That said, that is the kind of operation I'd like to see building the Limited lenses and given the size of or lack of it for Pentax, I'd think Hoya would keep them in Japan. But perhaps the move was already in progress when Hoya acquired Pentax.

Edit: On the other hand, how long has those view and field camera designs been around? I bet they will invent the flash bulb next.
03-03-2010, 04:23 PM   #30
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Well I dare say some of you only know China (and perhaps Vietnam) from only from what you have read or culled from the media (whatever their respective slant/bias/objectivity may be).

I've actually got stuff made from Shenzen for my client about 2 years ago and the quality was top notch at a fraction the cost compared to a European and a US supplier my client was using and who both couldn't meet the tight deadline. I had to meet the Chinese factory and the design/production engineers and it was most definitely not a sweatshop employing child labor. The customer service was first rate throughout from first contact to delivery and I still have dealings with them today. So all I'd say is I challenge anyone who is an armchair critic/hypocrite to actually take a trip and experience things first hand.

Unfortunately the pace of change and development in most Asian economies is faster that most Westerners can comprehend (particularly those who don't travel to these parts). The population is large and there still remains wealth inequality and room for improvement in work practices and productivity but the fact remains there is an eagerness to get things done, quickly and efficiently, which is not always the case with some non-Asian suppliers I've dealt with firsthand. Some are real good but there are also those with a lot of hype but dodgy on the deliverables.

And as a side note to consider, almost from zero base, Vietnam is now probably the second largest producer of robusta beans in the world, a key ingredient in boutique coffee (to add body to arabica beans) and instant coffee.
So those brand snobs pooh-poohing all things Vietnamese should take the moral high ground and not buy instant coffee from the likes of Nestle or from boutique coffee from companies like Starbucks... whose buyers buy loads of Vietnamese coffee... bottomline is we live in a globalised economy and things are so inter-related.

Last edited by creampuff; 03-03-2010 at 04:40 PM.
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