Made in Japan vs Made in Vietnam? No difference says Pentax USA President


creampuff

Senior Member
Jul 11, 2006
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#1
Many times in this Pentax sub-forum and elsewhere, the debate on whether a lens that was made in Japan was in some way "superior" as compared to the supposed inferior quality and manufacturing standard of a made in Vietnam lens frequently rears its head. Most recently here. This issue in particular crops up with reference to the expensive and top of the line FA Limited and FA series lenses. My take is I am not particular if it says Made in Japan or Made in Vietnam (where it is made won't show up in your pictures).

Anyway Ned Bunnell, the President of Pentax USA has come forward to try to clear the air on the matter on his blog. http://nedbunnell.blogspot.com/2010/02/country-of-origin-debate-over-lenses.html

His conclusion:
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.
 

darrrrrrrrrr

Senior Member
Sep 19, 2006
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#2
:thumbsup::thumbsup: Maybe it's the sellers of MIJ lenses that are suggesting this myth to inflate the price of their lenses. Hopefully Ned's comments will set things straight.

Next thing is for Ned Bunnell to talk about the SDM failure issue, since that's a much bigger wildfire on Pentaxforums with people actually getting hit with $200 repair fees.

Something else I noted in his blog: "I had our logistics manager procure for me three samples of the 31mm lens made in Japan, as well as three samples of the 31mm lens made in Vietnam." Good life being President of Pentax USA! ;)
 

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Baracus

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Mar 24, 2008
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#3
:thumbsup::thumbsup: Maybe it's the sellers of MIJ lenses that are suggesting this myth to inflate the price of their lenses. Hopefully Ned's comments will set things straight.

Next thing is for Ned Bunnell to talk about the SDM failure issue, since that's a much bigger wildfire on Pentaxforums with people actually getting hit with $200 repair fees.
Yep. Straight from the horse's mouth. And Toyota's recent QC disaster goes to show that MIJ products aren't as infallible as perceived.
 

ricsal

New Member
Jun 23, 2007
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#4
Its embedded in our mindset that MIJ is much better than made in other country. I honestly have that kind of thinking. But after what he said, maybe I have to change my way of thinking. And also force my Best Buddy to change his way of thinking too. :p
 

night86mare

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#5
i have loads of things made in china that seem to last longer than some of the things i have that say they're made in japan!
 

creampuff

Senior Member
Jul 11, 2006
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#6
Yeah if Toyota (with their hybrid cars expertise) ever made SDM for Pentax, you'd get probably get comments like:
Buy a Pentax... with SDM you'll never stop!!!
Pentax...performance that's unstoppable!!! :bsmilie:
 

clioboy

New Member
May 25, 2008
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#8
of cos he has to say there is no diff...he need the general public to accept the fact that they are moving from place where the wage is the highest in the world to a developing country and still sell the lens at about the same or even higher price..

this kind of thing should be tested..let an independent and NON-BiAS body to a blind test.
Then it can be taken as facts.

just like the Toyota incident..if not for several accidents and deaths..i don' think they would have stepped forward and address their issues..and the cars are made in USA and affecting the USA Market..not really MIJ products..:bsmilie:

so if the users of the lens made in vietnam suffer from deaths of their photos..they should write in personal to complain hor.

get yr facts right 1st.

and i quote..

In a related move, with its US sales slumping amid the recalls, Toyota said Tuesday it was suspending production at two plants -- in Kentucky on February 26 and in Texas for two weeks beginning March 15.
http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_asiapacific_business/view/1037925/1/.html
 

Baracus

New Member
Mar 24, 2008
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#9
just like the Toyota incident..if not for several accidents and deaths..i don' think they would have stepped forward and address their issues..and the cars are made in USA and affecting the USA Market..not really MIJ products..:bsmilie:

so if the users of the lens made in vietnam suffer from deaths of their photos..they should write in personal to complain hor.

get yr facts right 1st.

and i quote..


http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_asiapacific_business/view/1037925/1/.html
Oops... My bad. That's what I get for skimming through headlines. :embrass: I don't read in-depth at stuff that doesn't directly affect me...
 

#10
Since already MIV liao... at least they are still producing it, so there is no choice if u are looking for a brand new 1...

but i still prefer MIJ though, but thats just my own personal preference, nothing to do with potential defects coming from MIV or MIJ...

anyway my primary concern is the pricing... MIV more expensive than MIJ ?? Is the Yen still a factor ?
 

clioboy

New Member
May 25, 2008
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#11
no problems..just getting the facts right tat's all..

then i like to pose a question to the floor.

will it make a difference if the assembly worker is:

a) a Japanese, paid USD$50 an hour, has gone thru in college/university in an established education system, certified and trained according to Japanese's QC system and in-house training, only then be able to handle the lens.

or

b) a vietnamese, paid USD$5 an hour, similarly educated in a vietnam college/university, certified and trained according to Japanese's QC system, translated from Japanese and in-house training, only then be able to handle the lens.

:bsmilie:
 

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#12
Well i have work in Japan(not lens nor camera related) for a very short stint, all i can say is, there is a hugh difference is manufacturing standards as compare to Singapore... i dunno how is Singapore manufacturing standards as compare to Vietnam...

but if u ask me to choose a MIJ product or a MIS of the same product... MIJ anytime...
 

sabee

New Member
Mar 12, 2009
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#13
Talk about a highly unreliable source... Of course the president of Pentax would have you believe that there is no difference in their products made in Japan vs their products made in Vietnam.

It could be true but surely not based on this particular individual's words.
 

scorpioh

New Member
Jul 17, 2007
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#14
Well i have work in Japan(not lens nor camera related) for a very short stint, all i can say is, there is a hugh difference is manufacturing standards as compare to Singapore... i dunno how is Singapore manufacturing standards as compare to Vietnam...

but if u ask me to choose a MIJ product or a MIS of the same product... MIJ anytime...
I agree with Flowerpot on this. The place of manufacture does matters. It's not just the process, its the whole CULTURE!!! Japanese are very rigourous and demanding where quality is concerned.
 

fengwei

Moderator
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Aug 25, 2004
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#15
anyway my primary concern is the pricing... MIV more expensive than MIJ ?? Is the Yen still a factor ?
MIV (or should we say AIV - Assembled In Vietnam) ones need to be sent to Japan first, then sold elsewhere. That's some extra freight cost we buyers have to burden? :dunno:
 

fengwei

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Aug 25, 2004
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#16
I agree with Flowerpot on this. The place of manufacture does matters. It's not just the process, its the whole CULTURE!!! Japanese are very rigourous and demanding where quality is concerned.
Oh yeah. Sigma is probably the only lens maker that still keep all product lines in Japan. But they sure don't have the best reputation for lens quality (especially built quality).
 

#17
MIV (or should we say AIV - Assembled In Vietnam) ones need to be sent to Japan first, then sold elsewhere. That's some extra freight cost we buyers have to burden? :dunno:
not efficient leh... they should just distribute worldwide from Vietnam...
 

creampuff

Senior Member
Jul 11, 2006
5,116
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#18
of cos he has to say there is no diff...he need the general public to accept the fact that they are moving from place where the wage is the highest in the world to a developing country and still sell the lens at about the same or even higher price..

this kind of thing should be tested..let an independent and NON-BiAS body to a blind test.
Then it can be taken as facts.
There will always be ever so slight variations between copies of a particular lens because lens elements are made and assembled in batches. This is true irrespective of where a lens is made. Even though there is production automation, lens assembly still involves a considerable amount of human involvement and testing. As long as the lenses meet the QC limits, they should be fine. But like anything manufactured, there can and will be ever so slight variances between copies.

Independent testing is great, but even the most exhaustive on-line reviews and tests only test at most one copy of the lens. So given that lenses are made in batches at different manufacturing dates, can the so called reviews be really indicative of every copy of that particular lens. In philosophy this is the fallacy of generalizing from a single instance, so take those reviews with a pinch of salt.

The fact remains that a key Pentax representative has come out in the open to challenge the issue openly. Sure he could be saying there is no difference because he wants to assure Pentax users and has a vested interest to get them to buy MIV lenses. But then again he could have said nothing and allowed the unsubstantiated claims of the supposed superiority of MIJ lenses to circulate. Pentax shifted production but didn't change the product. Perhaps those who doubt his conclusions should come up with their own MIJ vs MIV tests because until anybody can come up with results otherwise, his assertions are pretty much there for everyone to see.

just like the Toyota incident..if not for several accidents and deaths..i don' think they would have stepped forward and address their issues..and the cars are made in USA and affecting the USA Market..not really MIJ products..:bsmilie:

so if the users of the lens made in vietnam suffer from deaths of their photos..they should write in personal to complain hor.

get yr facts right 1st.

and i quote..

http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_asiapacific_business/view/1037925/1/.html
FYI local Prius owners also got recall. I should know as I have a friend who drives one.
http://www.toyotasingapore.com.sg/special_prius.asp
http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/business/2010-02/09/c_13169960.htm
http://www.asiaone.com/Motoring/News/Story/A1Story20100209-197697.html
http://www.cnngo.com/singapore/none/toyota-prius-gets-recalled-singapore-815099
http://www.straitstimes.com/BreakingNews/Money/Story/STIStory_488216.html
 

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