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08-24-2009, 07:32 AM   #1
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Fa31ltd Japan/Vietnam

Hello everybody,I already have 43/77ltds both made in Japan and am wishing to complete the "set"but have been informed via retailer by CR Kennedy (Australian distributor) Limiteds are now assembled in Vietnam.If you were in the market would this make a difference?Strictly speaking as a photographer maybe not but resale value can be affected by any number of things.This is one of Pentax's most lauded lens an at 1600aud I feel the need for "an original"

08-24-2009, 08:52 AM   #2
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If you are buying for resale value and the country of manufacture affects this, then buying a made in Vietnam lens is a bad decision.
If you are buying the lens to actually use for photography, it shouldn't make any difference where the lens is made.
08-24-2009, 09:02 AM   #3
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this may seem like a dumb question, but do they actually write "Made in Vietnam" on these lenses? ...how does one ascertain the origins of the manufacturing plant where a lens came from?

I'm pretty certain mine is from Japan, the thing is damn sharp at f/1.8 the only reason to stop down is to increase DOF....truly an amazing lens.

Last edited by Digitalis; 08-24-2009 at 09:33 AM.
08-24-2009, 09:28 AM   #4
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Assembled in Vietnam is Printed on the box.Photographic Wholesalers(Adelaide)quoted the above price.CR Kennedy informed PW Japanese manufactured lenses are no longer available, B&H say there are.

08-24-2009, 09:43 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Digitalis Quote
this may seem like a dumb question, but do they actually write "Made in Vietnam" on these lenses? ...how does one ascertain the origins of the manufacturing plant where a lens came from?

I'm pretty certain mine is from Japan, the thing is damn sharp at f/1.8 the only reason to stop down is to increase DOF....truly an amazing lens.
I don't know know if made in Vietnam is on the lens but Photographic Wholesalers(Adelaide) told me assembled in Vietnam is printed on the box.Also PW chased up CR Kennedy and was told made in Japan Fa31's no longer available,however B&H say otherwise.If I get the lens I will have no ambition to sell it but in time I'd be willing to take a punt which "version"would be more popular.
08-24-2009, 09:53 AM   #6
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Hello,I don't know what's written on the lens but Photographic Wholesalers(Adelaide)tell me "assembled in Vietnam" is printed on the box.PW chased up CR Kennedy and were told made in Japan FA31's were no longer available,however B&H say otherwise.
08-24-2009, 10:26 AM   #7
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From what I've noticed

From what I've noticed,

The "VietNam" country of origin is hidden and very hard to see inside the rear mount right by rear element whereas "Japan" is boldly marked and sometimes painted in a different color on the outer lens barrel.

I'm just back from a trip and I couldn't easily find the thread but there is a thread in lensesforum here where a guy bought a real bad copy of 31LTD marked VietNam and then exchanged it for a perfect Japan origin lens. His dealer had both in stock still so he found satisfaction. Likely was a couple months ago if you want to search for the thread.

Some lenses are only VietNam, & others like the Limiteds are now getting outsourced to VietNam instead of being Japan made. I wonder if any Pentax lens is Made in Japan still? I don't mean unsold inventoried lenses like 600mm f4 FA but newly made ones in August 2009 like lets say a 50mm f1.2 SMC-A ?

If Pentax was Proud of "VietNam" manufactured lenses I'd assume they wouldn't hide the country of origin inside the lens mount, Right? Why Pentax doesn't paint in "VietNam" origin up at the filter ring where "Japan" used to reside is something I've noticed.










QuoteOriginally posted by Digitalis Quote
this may seem like a dumb question, but do they actually write "Made in Vietnam" on these lenses? ...how does one ascertain the origins of the manufacturing plant where a lens came from?

I'm pretty certain mine is from Japan, the thing is damn sharp at f/1.8 the only reason to stop down is to increase DOF....truly an amazing lens.
08-24-2009, 10:27 AM   #8
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https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/64415-fa-31mm-...-bad-luck.html

08-24-2009, 10:32 AM   #9
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It's all top quality material from Japan.
The Viet plant only assembles it nowadays.
As mentioned, optically should be the same.
08-24-2009, 11:24 AM   #10
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What Pentax Japan factories remain open to make lens component parts?

I thought I read Hoya closed numerous Pentax Japan plants, since April 2008, day one of their takeover of Pentax Corp. Where in Japan exactly does Pentax make its "Japan" manufactured lens components like individual lens elements & SDM motors,SDM motor parts, lens barrels, mounts, wiring, lens caps, lens hoods, ect... ? I thought I read of several Pentax Japan plants which were shuttered in past 16 months & then these Pentax Japan facilities & land holdings were then put up for sale by Hoya.


I'd really like to see a current August 2009 list of Pentax Camera & Lens manufacturing plants remaining in service in Japan.


QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
It's all top quality material from Japan.
The Viet plant only assembles it nowadays.
As mentioned, optically should be the same.

Last edited by Samsungian; 08-24-2009 at 02:38 PM.
08-24-2009, 06:49 PM   #11
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well my FA31 is 100% Japanese, I bought it on 27th march 2009 and considering the serial number, it's probably one of the last of the Japanese stock. And it looks like I got mine in the nick of time, I only paid $1450 Aud for mine.

Geography has little to do with image quality, the FA31 is indeed a phenomenal lens..all this means is that it may take some looking around to find a good one. the lens design is excellent it doesn't matter one bit as to where it was assembled, as long as the QC keeps it's eye open. Pentax isn't alone in this regard... I went through 5 copies of the Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L to find one that performed evenly at the wide end at Max aperture. I had a similar issue when I upgraded to the 16-35 f/2.8L MKII lens (I went through 3 copies some of them were de-centred). And my Canon 24-105mm f4L IS was one of the early ones that suffered from a rather horrendous flare problem....there is no rest for the wicked.
08-24-2009, 09:49 PM   #12
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My experience is opposite

My experience is opposite

Bought just one 16-35 2.8II & 24-70 2.8, both made in 2008 and they're fine copies. Nice thing with canon is they date code lenses so I can tell if my new glass is newly made or older stock. Everything I got new is Dec 2007 thru Dec 2008 manufacture and I have no complaints. Just glad I bought them all before the price increases.

As far as pentax goes I suspect over the years people will rightly covet "Japan" made Pentax glass & it will sell for more money on used market. All my Pentax glass is Made in Japan except a 80-320 FA I bought new a few years ago. Surprisingly back then it was boldly marked VietNam, not hidden inside the mount like Pentax does thesedays. No complaints with the 4 to 1 FA zoom either. All the old FA and SMC-A glass I have keeps me owning one Pentax Dslr.

If I had to buy new Pentax lenses I would only consider Made in Japan origin. I don't think this is possible now as I think no pentax lenses are Made in Japan now. Pentax "Made in Japan" Quality Control is worth the extra shopping effort. At least to my wallet it is. As it is I am no longer adding to my Pentax kit at current market prices for new or used.

Anyways, to me, you seem proud to own a 31mmLTD Made in Japan as its:

"100% Japanese"

You should be proud of your 31mm LTD as the Hoya lenses will never be Made in Japan again. Those days are over.



QuoteOriginally posted by Digitalis Quote
well my FA31 is 100% Japanese, I bought it on 27th march 2009 and considering the serial number, it's probably one of the last of the Japanese stock. And it looks like I got mine in the nick of time, I only paid $1450 Aud for mine.

Geography has little to do with image quality, the FA31 is indeed a phenomenal lens..all this means is that it may take some looking around to find a good one. the lens design is excellent it doesn't matter one bit as to where it was assembled, as long as the QC keeps it's eye open. Pentax isn't alone in this regard... I went through 5 copies of the Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L to find one that performed evenly at the wide end at Max aperture. I had a similar issue when I upgraded to the 16-35 f/2.8L MKII lens (I went through 3 copies some of them were de-centred). And my Canon 24-105mm f4L IS was one of the early ones that suffered from a rather horrendous flare problem....there is no rest for the wicked.

Last edited by Samsungian; 08-24-2009 at 09:56 PM.
08-24-2009, 10:15 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Digitalis Quote
this may seem like a dumb question, but do they actually write "Made in Vietnam" on these lenses? ...how does one ascertain the origins of the manufacturing plant where a lens came from?

I'm pretty certain mine is from Japan, the thing is damn sharp at f/1.8 the only reason to stop down is to increase DOF....truly an amazing lens.
I had "Assembled in Vietnam" engraved on the lens. I exchanged it due to being too soft. B&H then sent me a "Made in Japan" lens. No issues at all.
08-24-2009, 11:49 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Samsungian Quote
My experience is opposite

Bought just one 16-35 2.8II & 24-70 2.8, both made in 2008 and they're fine copies. Nice thing with canon is they date code lenses so I can tell if my new glass is newly made or older stock. Everything I got new is Dec 2007 thru Dec 2008 manufacture and I have no complaints. Just glad I bought them all before the price increases.
damn, I seemed to hit a rough patch with the Canon lens selection. I had to replace a few lenses namley: the 28-70 f/2.8L which was outdated had to be upgraded to the 24-70 f/2.8L and the corner sharpness advantage of the new 16-35 f/2.8L II couldn't be ignored, so I got new versions of these lenses earlier this year...and it took more time than I thought it would. 21MP DSLRs are rather harsh on lenses. The 24-105L has been a workhorse in the studio but it took canon a while to remedy the flare problem. Though the 24-105L isn't as useful when shooting under available light...

I was in the market for a silver FA43 f/1.9 but the Camera store rep told me that they are only being made in Vietnam these days, and he knows I can be a bit puritanical when it comes to lenses (I don't buy Canadian Leica lenses) I'll just have to settle with an incomplete set of FA limiteds
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