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Who manufactures Pentax & Vixen eyepieces?

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21 replies to this topic

#1 Dave.

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Posted 05 August 2007 - 12:58 AM

Hi all,
With so many eyepieces on the market now and how lucky are we!
Could someone tell me if the Pentax XW’s and Vixen LVW’s eyepieces are made in the same factory in Japan? They look different side by side but from underneath they look very similar.
I’m not trying to find out what’s better I have had both types and find them great.
I only have the LVW’s because I prefer them, my choice.

I would just like to know the manufacturing behind them.

Any information appreciated.

Thank You.

#2 Lawrence Sayre

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Posted 05 August 2007 - 01:26 AM

Ah, the old issue of which eyepiece factory (or factories) in Japan really make(s) these things strikes again. Good luck in finding the answer to this one!!!

#3 Stephen65

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Posted 05 August 2007 - 03:20 AM

I don't know where the Vixens are made (other than that they are made in Japan) but Pentax has its own factory in Japan and since the XW's come with "made in Japan" emblazoned on the packaging I assume they are made there.

#4 Rob S

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Posted 05 August 2007 - 04:00 AM

Well a Vixen dealer told me Pentax didn't make them themselves.

Rob.

#5 Stephen65

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Posted 05 August 2007 - 04:21 AM

This page is all I could find out about Pentax's Japan factory:

http://www.pentax.co...any/office.html

#6 Teal'c

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Posted 05 August 2007 - 04:55 AM

Well a Vixen dealer told me Pentax didn't make them themselves.

Rob.


Not the first time and sure won't be the last time that one company, or dealer of, has said that its competition doesn't do this or that.

#7 tybee

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Posted 05 August 2007 - 07:52 AM

Well a Vixen dealer told me Pentax didn't make them themselves.

Rob.


Who did he say made them?

#8 Veshtan

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Posted 05 August 2007 - 08:00 AM

Being in sales as long as i have, one has come to realize that when one competitor starts talking about what another does or does not do, you can rarely expect to find the whole truth in the statement. Sometimes you can't find any truth. Whether they are spreading falsehoods on purpose or not is hard to say, but i tend to take what one competitor says about another with a grain of salt.

#9 Glassthrower

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Posted 05 August 2007 - 08:24 AM

Some of the newer Vixen Plossls are marked (on the boxes) "Made in China" ....!!!

All of my Lanthanums are made in Japan.

I have no idea which factory or if Pentax shares any production line time with them. Multiple companies can share a manufacturing facility - the same way scientists share time on the big observatory scopes. Time is set aside for production run, the eyepieces/glass are made, and then it can be briefly shut down, re-tooled to new specs, and then another company can have their glass made during a subsequent run. That is how it is done in many Chinese factories and American factories. I don't know if it's the same in Japan.

Regards and clear skies,

MikeG

#10 csa/montana

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Posted 05 August 2007 - 09:54 AM

Well a Vixen dealer told me Pentax didn't make them themselves.

Rob.


And said dealer wasn't interested in selling you his brand, by chance? :lol:

Regardless of where or who makes an eyepiece, if the quality is there, & the consumer is pleased with the purchase, does it matter?

Carol

#11 Lawrence Sayre

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Posted 05 August 2007 - 10:04 AM

My thoughts exactly! Perhaps the answer is "yes" only if you are attempting to uncover history, as with my attempt to do this for the Masuyama line, so the designer of these no longer made eyepieces can finally get the full glory he deserves, and take his place in history along side Ramsden, Abbe, Konig, Nagler, Kellner, Rank, Erfle, Plossl, and the like. Basically, I figured that if I could pin down exactly where the Masuyama's were actually made, then (assuming that the factory is still in business) someone there would be able to lead me to their actual designer. Various leads have strongly indicated that this factory still exists, and is most certainly (thank you Amalia for discovering this) currently making the UO HD Orthos (Baader Genuine, Antares, etc...Orthos), as well as perhaps (with somewhat less absolute certainty) the various pseudo-Masuyama's, and with even lesser certainty (to the point of being virtually mere speculation) the Tak LE series. Now just where this factory is remains a complete mystery.

#12 Glassthrower

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Posted 05 August 2007 - 10:28 AM

Lawrence,

We have a member in the classics forum who is Japanese (and lives in Japan of course) named "Galakuma" who is very knowledgable about older Japanese optics. He has been a great help in Classics in determining who made what and giving specifications. You might try sending him a PM. He has not posted in a while though.

Regards and clear skies,

MikeG

#13 Rob S

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Posted 05 August 2007 - 02:10 PM

He didn't, but i'm sure he was hinting Vixen.

Rob.

#14 Lawrence Sayre

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Posted 05 August 2007 - 04:56 PM

MikeG,

I would think that over the many years that I have presented this plea both here and on other forums, many Japanese would be aware of what I seek and why I seek it (which I feel is a noble cause), including some who have the correct answer. However, none of them have ever spoken up, sans to offer that many Japanese do not ever wish to be acknowldeged for their greatness.

#15 Jaxdialation

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Posted 05 August 2007 - 06:45 PM

Pentax eyepieces are made by elves.

#16 Rob S

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Posted 06 August 2007 - 12:52 AM

It's quite funny the whole business. Years ago a high up guy in Yashica was touring here. He pulled out his camera to take some pictures and it was the first model Olympus Mju (Stylus). My mate said "why don't you have your own brand?" The guy said 'we make these'.

Rob.

#17 Rusty

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Posted 06 August 2007 - 09:14 PM

It's worth noting that many things are "assembled" in one country from parts made in another (auto parts are an example). As another example, (and only an example), it's feasible that Tak and Vixen EPs are assembled at the same plant using parts supplied by the respective manufacturer.

#18 Dave.

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Posted 07 August 2007 - 02:55 AM

I was looking for information on manufacture and history.
But it seems a bit of a secret or unknown.
Not looking for who said what. Just some facts on these eyepieces.
It would be interesting to know who makes the lenses and who makes the body's and them who does the assembly.
I thought they would be done in the same factory.
Who knows?

#19 csa/montana

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Posted 07 August 2007 - 07:38 AM

Doing a search turned up this website; perhaps with a little digging, you can find out the information.

Pentax history

Carol

#20 jdmenton

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Posted 07 August 2007 - 04:26 PM

The most famous Lens maker is the U.S., and who has visited the Vixen facilities on many occasions, has stated on another forum that Vixen has NEVER made telescope optics, and has never even had an optics lab on the premises. All their lens fabrication is outsourced and manufactured to their specs. Their mounts and accessories are another story. Hope this helps...Clear Skies...JIM

#21 gks

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Posted 07 August 2007 - 05:25 PM

Dave,
This may not be a complete answer but may give you some additional information.
Pentax started out as Asahi Optical in 1919 as a spectacle lens manufacturer. Prior to WWII Ashai made optical instruments. After the allied occupation they manufactured binocular and camera lenses for Minolta and Konica. They introduced their first camera in 1952 - the AsahiFlex. They first used Honeywell as a distributor for their products in the USA. Pentax originally stood for "PENTAprism and refleX", their breakthrough camera design in 1957, and they offically changed their name to Pentax Corporation in 2002.

Based on their history I would hazard a guess they still design and manufacture lenses (if not the whole eyepiece).

#22 Dave.

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Posted 08 August 2007 - 03:38 AM

Thanks for the information.


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