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03-01-2010, 09:02 PM   #1
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Vietnam-made Limiteds

Apparently the new FA Limiteds are assembled in Vietnam. I got a silver FA 77mm and its serial number card says "Printed in Jappan", but the box says assembled in Vietnam, and the hood lacks "Made in Japan" sign, only the serial. The lens is gorgeous, looks and works fine, and I prefer to get it new than a used "Made in Japan." I'm sure the topic was discussed before, but if someone privy to those threads could summarize: is there any noticeable difference, prejudices aside? Did anybody who get a new Vietnam stock see a reason to prefer an older Japan one?

03-01-2010, 09:39 PM   #2
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There is no difference.

NED BUNNELL: Country of Origin Debate over Lenses Not New
03-01-2010, 09:43 PM   #3
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I just ordered one 77mm limited black straight from Pentax, it was shipped to me from somewhere in CO, it's made in Japan.
03-01-2010, 10:39 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by alohadave Quote
I think Rice Low is going to dispute that. However, I doubt there is any difference in the DA ltd lenses but I can't say about the FA ltd series.

QuoteOriginally posted by luke0622 Quote
I just ordered one 77mm limited black straight from Pentax, it was shipped to me from somewhere in CO, it's made in Japan.
BH used to have a supply of Japanese mad FA ltd lenses. I got a 77 in December from them.

03-01-2010, 11:35 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by luke0622 Quote
I just ordered one 77mm limited black straight from Pentax, it was shipped to me from somewhere in CO, it's made in Japan.
So you paid a $200 difference for the Pentax direct vs BH Photo? (Gotta check if their current price is for the Vietnamese...)
03-01-2010, 11:36 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Blue Quote
BH used to have a supply of Japanese mad FA ltd lenses. I got a 77 in December from them.
How mad are they?
03-01-2010, 11:52 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by braver Quote
How mad are they?
Very mad, someone is moving their jobs to Vietnam.
03-02-2010, 12:18 AM   #8
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From a repliable source from a Vietnamese friend (I am Vietnamese too) who is working at the Pentax factory. The price for "re-tailer" of the 31mm is $930, brand new from factory of course, and $750 for the 77mm.

So if you take a look at the prices on B&H, there is no big difference between their price and the price from manufacturer (Just -$30).

03-02-2010, 12:36 AM   #9
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AirSupply -- interesting. Perhaps you can ask your friend, what exactly is happening during the assembly, how the tools/robots are used, and how the quality control is done, so that folks know whether there's a chance for misalignments, and if any, how they are kept in check?
03-02-2010, 12:43 AM   #10
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I will ask him about those things, but I knew that most of the engineers in the factory they are Japanese.
03-02-2010, 12:53 AM   #11
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To me, I believe that there is no different between Japanese and Vietnamese factories. They use the same technology running by Japanese engineers. On the other hand, the Vietnamese workers are the skillful and hard working employees, but they get paid much lesser than Japanese workers for the same job.

I am not sure how many Viet engineer in the factory and what're their positions. But we do have many Viet engineers could run the chain-production like that (Toyota has a assembly factory in South Vietnam run mostly by Viet engineers too)
03-02-2010, 01:00 AM   #12
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No matter where the lens was made I am sure that there would be well quilified engineers/technicians from Japan or original essembling factroy of lens on site assuring quality remains the same.


Neil
03-02-2010, 03:33 AM   #13
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Interesting topic...

if manufacture outsourcing translate into better prices, I am definitely happy with it. but so far we see very little of that... only higher prices.

As long as it's not a third party manufacturing on demand (MOD) facility, QA should be in line with Pentax existing standards.

The disparity in quality of life is simply too great to convince me that the workers in Vietnam are of equal or better quality than Japan, USA, or even China, even tho they're presumably following simple instructions like robots, where craftsmanship has nothing to do with lens quality.

Last edited by tokyoso; 03-02-2010 at 03:52 AM.
03-02-2010, 10:24 AM   #14
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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! But since they do that, presumably they do it right. The discrepancy is that the product at hand is a luxury item, and such items need to carry the seal of all the right prejudices -- like the BMW's made in Germany, better with a German delivery. Here's the idea: Japanese lenses delivery! Pool the funds together, do a group buy, and have a tour of Japan at the same time. And perhaps Vietnam, too.
03-02-2010, 10:44 AM   #15
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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! But since they do that, presumably they do it right. The discrepancy is that the product at hand is a luxury item, and such items need to carry the seal of all the right prejudices -- like the BMW's made in Germany, better with a German delivery. Here's the idea: Japanese lenses delivery! Pool the funds together, do a group buy, and have a tour of Japan at the same time. And perhaps Vietnam, too.

I'm one of the guys that won't buy a lens from China and only by stuff from China as a have to case. When you are doing your tour as you put it, try touring a Chinese factories in a town other than Beijing. Of course the government usually makes sure you would see the better facilities. Plus, China has no compunction about reverse engineer things and violating international patents. On top of all of that, QC is all over the map in China. Go shopping at Harbor Freight sometimes. Last but not least, there is a little thing that went down called Tiananmen Square. That doesn't even get into global economy and the environmental disaster.

For the record, your BMW comparison is idiotic. If you gave me one I'd sell it and get a Porche Cayenne. However, what's wrong with wanting Italian shows actually made in Italy, or French wine from France or a Swiss watch from Switzerland? On one last note, I don't see any problem in the chance for Vietnam or the Philippines getting a chance to improve their situation.
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