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Are these eyepieces clones/copies?

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#1 Bener

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Posted 26 July 2021 - 12:27 AM

I have been looking at the APM UFF eyepieces as they were recommended as playing nicely with my AWB OneSky f5.

 

 I have noticed that the specifications for the APM 18mm UFF  seem the same as this Svbony 18mm model SV190.

 

How can one tell how these two eyepieces would perform relative to each other besides the specifications listed? 
 

Is one a copy of the other? Would the APM model be better quality?
 

Apologies for the possibly dumb questions!


Edited by Bener, 26 July 2021 - 06:42 AM.

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#2 dufay

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Posted 26 July 2021 - 02:38 AM

These are made by a well-known Chinese optics manufacturer. APM and Svbony is the name of companies that sells these eyepieces under their own brands.

 

One should expect them to perform identically no matter which brand name is printed on the barrel. It is conceivable that the manufacturer could offer these eyepieces with different polishing and coating specifications, though I doubt this is the case here at this price point.

 

Here are some of the other iterations of the same eyepiece. As you see there are some variations in outer housing:

 

https://www.tecnosky...ld-18mm-65.html
https://www.altairas...steel-236-p.asp
https://www.celestro...eyepiece-1-25in
https://www.meade.co...piece-1-25.html


Edited by dufay, 26 July 2021 - 02:40 AM.

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#3 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 26 July 2021 - 05:08 AM

These are made by a well-known Chinese optics manufacturer. APM and Svbony is the name of companies that sells these eyepieces under their own brands.

 

 

It is my understanding that it is a little more complicated than that.  I believe that Markes Ludes of APM hired a US designer to design the UFF series and then arranged with the factory have the eyepieces manufactured.  Beyond that, who knows.. 

 

Jon


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#4 RLK1

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Posted 26 July 2021 - 10:50 AM

The specs on the two 18mm eyepieces are the same. The only difference of consequence is the price and I'm glad an amateur can get it for less...



#5 CeleNoptic

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Posted 26 July 2021 - 01:53 PM

I believe that Markes Ludes of APM hired a US designer to design the UFF series and then arranged with the factory have the eyepieces manufactured.  Beyond that, who knows.. 

 

Beyond that, and we know it well,  the factory just continue offering them under private labels to everybody who will be willing to pay wink.gif  


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#6 Starman1

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Posted 26 July 2021 - 05:03 PM

These are made by a well-known Chinese optics manufacturer. APM and Svbony is the name of companies that sells these eyepieces under their own brands.

 

One should expect them to perform identically no matter which brand name is printed on the barrel. It is conceivable that the manufacturer could offer these eyepieces with different polishing and coating specifications, though I doubt this is the case here at this price point.

 

Here are some of the other iterations of the same eyepiece. As you see there are some variations in outer housing:

 

https://www.tecnosky...ld-18mm-65.html
https://www.altairas...steel-236-p.asp
https://www.celestro...eyepiece-1-25in
https://www.meade.co...piece-1-25.html

Svbony had just the 10mm, the last time I checked.

Now I see they've added the 18mm.

 

These eyepieces are made by United Optics in KunMing.

 

Note that the Svbony sale to the US is a "gray market" sale.

To read about Gray Market sales:

https://www.redpoint...is-grey-market/

 

Essentially, a gray market purchase may harm a US distributor or retailer and result in more US unemployment, lower the standard of living in the US, and 

rob the local, state, and Federal governments of taxes that support fire, police, and infrastructure maintenance.

Prices are cheap, but there can be a negative side effect of the purchase.


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#7 Bener

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Posted 26 July 2021 - 06:50 PM

Svbony had just the 10mm, the last time I checked.

Now I see they've added the 18mm.

 

These eyepieces are made by United Optics in KunMing.

 

Note that the Svbony sale to the US is a "gray market" sale.

To read about Gray Market sales:

https://www.redpoint...is-grey-market/

 

Essentially, a gray market purchase may harm a US distributor or retailer and result in more US unemployment, lower the standard of living in the US, and 

rob the local, state, and Federal governments of taxes that support fire, police, and infrastructure maintenance.

Prices are cheap, but there can be a negative side effect of the purchase.

Thank you for that information, Don.  I didn’t know this.

 

So are all the Svbony eyepieces purchased here in the US adding to this troublesome situation? I just ordered a Svbony zoom and had no idea. Does it matter where one makes the purchase? I bought the zoom at Amazon.



#8 Thomas_M44

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Posted 26 July 2021 - 07:50 PM

SVbony:

 

For me -never.

 

I want no part of it


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#9 RLK1

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Posted 26 July 2021 - 08:24 PM

Thank you for that information, Don.  I didn’t know this.

 

So are all the Svbony eyepieces purchased here in the US adding to this troublesome situation? I just ordered a Svbony zoom and had no idea. Does it matter where one makes the purchase? I bought the zoom at Amazon.

Amazon sells Svbony items without any undue issues that I'm aware of and I've purchased filters from them without any problems...



#10 Battlestamps

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Posted 26 July 2021 - 09:35 PM

If you're buying SvBony from eBay, Amazon or even AliExpress you pay state taxes if the state of the buyer collects taxes.



#11 Starman1

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Posted 27 July 2021 - 02:21 AM

If the Svbony products are shipped to you directly from China, they are likely gray market products. If they were imported by a distributor, then a 25% tariff would have been added and the prices would be higher.
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#12 astrokeith

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Posted 27 July 2021 - 02:40 AM

I wont buy anything now I suspect to be a 'knock-off' because of the damage they are doing to the astronomy equipment market.

 

I know they are 'affordable', sometimes insanely so, but buying them means the designer and/or brand name  is losing money.

 

Its not just astronomy kit of course. I find woodworking tools are being hit the same way.

 

The problem, is finding out which or what is the knock-off. I've learnt  to take the view that almost anything sold on Amazon. AliExpress, or eBay that isnt a known brandname is dubious. 


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#13 Bkoh

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Posted 27 July 2021 - 06:05 AM

I wont buy anything now I suspect to be a 'knock-off' because of the damage they are doing to the astronomy equipment market.

 

I know they are 'affordable', sometimes insanely so, but buying them means the designer and/or brand name  is losing money.

Astronomical eyepieces are precision components, they are not that easy to copy or knockoff properly. It takes some skill and knowhow to design an eyepiece, so making a cheap copy of a cheap eyepiece is a waste of time, instead it is simpler to use the same components, but skimp on quality control. For expensive eyepieces, the customers are generally knowledgable and quickly find out if the product is inferior, so you can't play that game either.

 

TL;DR: if a name-brand eyepiece is available much cheaper than normal, there are some simple explanations:

 

1. SCAM

 

eg Televue Ethos eyepiece for $99.

 

2. CLOSING DOWN SALE

 

eg Vixen's US distributor recently held a liquidation sale.

 

3. NON-EXCLUSIVE DESIGN

 

eg Markus Ludes got someone to design the APM eyepieces but did not secure exclusive rights, so the factory was free to sell the same eyepieces to any other buyer. A buyer willing to order in larger quantities would pay less per unit and could in turn resell the eyepieces at a lower price. Another (more controversial) example is the TMB 58-degree eyepieces designed by the late Thomas M. Beck, he did not secure exclusive rights either and these eyepieces can be bought under various brands.

 

Exclusive design example: Kevin Busarow of Oberwerk (OB) owns a stake in one or more binocular factories, so he has exclusive rights to some designs in the US.

 

4. LIMITED SUPPORT

 

AliExpress vendors typically have a 75-day return policy, but nothing beyond that. In contrast, many local vendors offer 1-year or 2-year warranties, or even lifetime warranties. Warranty support costs time and money. Even though the brand principal is the one who repairs/replaces the item, the vendors have to handle the returns etc.

 

This price difference is especially obvious with ES eyepieces on AliExpress - numerous reviews indicate the eyepieces are genuine. Fixed focal length eyepieces have no moving parts, so if they work fine on arrival, they should work fine for many years. Such customers sacrifice the longer warranty to save money upfront.

 

5. LOWER MARGIN

 

Every brandowner and vendor is free to decide what margin they want to earn. Even in the US, this is obvious when comparing Orion with Meade, Celestron etc. In some cases, the same eyepieces (in different clothing) cost significantly more under the Orion brand. That does not make the Meade or Celestron eyepieces fakes or knockoffs. Likewise, a Chinese ES vendor who expects to sell 1,000 ES eyepieces a year might accept a lower margin per eyepiece than an American ES vendor who expects to sell 100 ES eyepieces a year.

 

6. TAXES

 

Depending on the country of the purchaser, import and sales taxes vary a lot. In the US the import tax is currently 25%. Some CN members have reported that in their country, import taxes can reach 300% on telescopes, so they choose to import the optical components and build the telescope themselves. An item may genuinely be cheaper on AliExpress, but after adding the import and sales taxes, there may not be significant savings.

 

Some people try to evade import taxes by having vendors under-declare the value of the items. That is another issue altogether.


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#14 LDW47

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Posted 27 July 2021 - 07:17 AM

Good luck all, in changing the world as it is  Get used to it, some of these products are making this great hobby affordable for ....... and accessible for .......  As a great, Nobel winner once wrote ' the times they have'a changed '  Maybe for the better, its a big world out there



#15 LDW47

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Posted 27 July 2021 - 07:18 AM

But don't go by me, I just bought a Made in the USA solar scope



#16 LDW47

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Posted 27 July 2021 - 07:34 AM

Astronomical eyepieces are precision components, they are not that easy to copy or knockoff properly. It takes some skill and knowhow to design an eyepiece, so making a cheap copy of a cheap eyepiece is a waste of time, instead it is simpler to use the same components, but skimp on quality control. For expensive eyepieces, the customers are generally knowledgable and quickly find out if the product is inferior, so you can't play that game either.

 

TL;DR: if a name-brand eyepiece is available much cheaper than normal, there are some simple explanations:

 

1. SCAM

 

eg Televue Ethos eyepiece for $99.

 

2. CLOSING DOWN SALE

 

eg Vixen's US distributor recently held a liquidation sale.

 

3. NON-EXCLUSIVE DESIGN

 

eg Markus Ludes got someone to design the APM eyepieces but did not secure exclusive rights, so the factory was free to sell the same eyepieces to any other buyer. A buyer willing to order in larger quantities would pay less per unit and could in turn resell the eyepieces at a lower price. Another (more controversial) example is the TMB 58-degree eyepieces designed by the late Thomas M. Beck, he did not secure exclusive rights either and these eyepieces can be bought under various brands.

 

Exclusive design example: Kevin Busarow of Oberwerk (OB) owns a stake in one or more binocular factories, so he has exclusive rights to some designs in the US.

 

4. LIMITED SUPPORT

 

AliExpress vendors typically have a 75-day return policy, but nothing beyond that. In contrast, many local vendors offer 1-year or 2-year warranties, or even lifetime warranties. Warranty support costs time and money. Even though the brand principal is the one who repairs/replaces the item, the vendors have to handle the returns etc.

 

This price difference is especially obvious with ES eyepieces on AliExpress - numerous reviews indicate the eyepieces are genuine. Fixed focal length eyepieces have no moving parts, so if they work fine on arrival, they should work fine for many years. Such customers sacrifice the longer warranty to save money upfront.

 

5. LOWER MARGIN

 

Every brandowner and vendor is free to decide what margin they want to earn. Even in the US, this is obvious when comparing Orion with Meade, Celestron etc. In some cases, the same eyepieces (in different clothing) cost significantly more under the Orion brand. That does not make the Meade or Celestron eyepieces fakes or knockoffs. Likewise, a Chinese ES vendor who expects to sell 1,000 ES eyepieces a year might accept a lower margin per eyepiece than an American ES vendor who expects to sell 100 ES eyepieces a year.

 

6. TAXES

 

Depending on the country of the purchaser, import and sales taxes vary a lot. In the US the import tax is currently 25%. Some CN members have reported that in their country, import taxes can reach 300% on telescopes, so they choose to import the optical components and build the telescope themselves. An item may genuinely be cheaper on AliExpress, but after adding the import and sales taxes, there may not be significant savings.

 

Some people try to evade import taxes by having vendors under-declare the value of the items. That is another issue altogether.

In Canada there is no tax save for Canadian sales tax on the Canadian value, on astronomy gear



#17 RLK1

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Posted 27 July 2021 - 09:44 AM

If the Svbony products are shipped to you directly from China, they are likely gray market products. If they were imported by a distributor, then a 25% tariff would have been added and the prices would be higher.

Tariffs don't apply if the item is under a certain amount.. somewhere between $500-800.  That was already covered under a previous thread in this forum. And I've paid the same amount or even a bit less for Svbony products via Amazon as compared to the Svbony website in China and the product shipped from China. Of course, you still pay applicable sales tax as with any other product...


Edited by RLK1, 27 July 2021 - 09:45 AM.


#18 Starman1

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Posted 27 July 2021 - 11:26 AM

Tariffs don't apply if the item is under a certain amount.. somewhere between $500-800.  That was already covered under a previous thread in this forum. And I've paid the same amount or even a bit less for Svbony products via Amazon as compared to the Svbony website in China and the product shipped from China. Of course, you still pay applicable sales tax as with any other product...

But an importer wouldn't buy that small a dollar amount, unlike a consumer, so couldn't avoid paying tariffs.

So the only way a company can sell a product for so much less than the going price is if they are being charged less

(prices are different in different markets).

Then, if they sell outside the territory the manufacturer has those prices for, it is known as gray market.

 

I used to work in an industry where this was common, and the local distributors would get the factory to shut down the gray market sources.

It was sometimes a case of "whack-a-mole" to tamp it down, but gray market was usually suppressed.

 

But in this era of the internet, and direct-from-China sales, shutting down the gray market suppliers has become nearly impossible.

LDW47 doesn't see anything wrong with that.  But wait until all the local companies and retailers have closed and the ONLY sources are from China.


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#19 RichA

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Posted 27 July 2021 - 02:01 PM

Svbony had just the 10mm, the last time I checked.

Now I see they've added the 18mm.

 

These eyepieces are made by United Optics in KunMing.

 

Note that the Svbony sale to the US is a "gray market" sale.

To read about Gray Market sales:

https://www.redpoint...is-grey-market/

 

Essentially, a gray market purchase may harm a US distributor or retailer and result in more US unemployment, lower the standard of living in the US, and 

rob the local, state, and Federal governments of taxes that support fire, police, and infrastructure maintenance.

Prices are cheap, but there can be a negative side effect of the purchase.

If people cared about that they wouldn't be sending $700 billion a year in purchasing to Asia.


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#20 LDW47

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Posted 27 July 2021 - 03:50 PM

But an importer wouldn't buy that small a dollar amount, unlike a consumer, so couldn't avoid paying tariffs.

So the only way a company can sell a product for so much less than the going price is if they are being charged less

(prices are different in different markets).

Then, if they sell outside the territory the manufacturer has those prices for, it is known as gray market.

 

I used to work in an industry where this was common, and the local distributors would get the factory to shut down the gray market sources.

It was sometimes a case of "whack-a-mole" to tamp it down, but gray market was usually suppressed.

 

But in this era of the internet, and direct-from-China sales, shutting down the gray market suppliers has become nearly impossible.

LDW47 doesn't see anything wrong with that.  But wait until all the local companies and retailers have closed and the ONLY sources are from China.

I care, I definitely care but what can we really, really do when the grey people are offering something that performs well, for a great price, that you happen to want  I have seen both sides of the coin in many spheres, I own both sides of the coin, this is bigger than we mere mortals  We can't cease to exist waiting for someone to get in more stock because ............  I probably have more Made in the USA, more Made in Canada than most and as much as you, I have been doing that for decades but ......... If you think over my 73 yrs that I have been sitting in corners not noticing how the world turns decade to decade you are ........ When some of you ......... fix the world let me know


Edited by LDW47, 27 July 2021 - 03:51 PM.


#21 LDW47

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Posted 27 July 2021 - 11:52 PM

But an importer wouldn't buy that small a dollar amount, unlike a consumer, so couldn't avoid paying tariffs.

So the only way a company can sell a product for so much less than the going price is if they are being charged less

(prices are different in different markets).

Then, if they sell outside the territory the manufacturer has those prices for, it is known as gray market.

 

I used to work in an industry where this was common, and the local distributors would get the factory to shut down the gray market sources.

It was sometimes a case of "whack-a-mole" to tamp it down, but gray market was usually suppressed.

 

But in this era of the internet, and direct-from-China sales, shutting down the gray market suppliers has become nearly impossible.

LDW47 doesn't see anything wrong with that.  But wait until all the local companies and retailers have closed and the ONLY sources are from China.

' But wait until all ......... ', we used to say that about Made in Japan back in the late 50's - 60's, lol


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#22 Starman1

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Posted 28 July 2021 - 12:18 AM

' But wait until all ......... ', we used to say that about Made in Japan back in the late 50's - 60's, lol

But Japan retailers didn't sell directly to consumers for 1/2 the price American importers from Japan were selling the same products for.
I'm not talking about the fact the source of goods is China, but that Chinese retailers are selling directly to American consumers for much lower prices for the same products than can be sustained in the US because of higher costs and tariffs.

Edited by Starman1, 28 July 2021 - 12:19 AM.

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#23 LDW47

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Posted 28 July 2021 - 12:30 AM

But Japan retailers didn't sell directly to consumers for 1/2 the price American importers from Japan were selling the same products for.
I'm not talking about the fact the source of goods is China, but that Chinese retailers are selling directly to American consumers for much lower prices for the same products than can be sustained in the US because of higher costs and tariffs.

No but they surely would have  Maybe you don't realize that back then we didn't have the direct to ...... such as Amazon, Ebay, Ali......., the world wide communications, the exposed to everything instant like these wonderfull times  I really do hate threats to some monopolists from days of yore, I really do .....  Wake up all .... the world, the times they are a changin', me I'm just along for the ride like many fellow ......


Edited by LDW47, 28 July 2021 - 12:31 AM.

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#24 RichA

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Posted 28 July 2021 - 03:27 AM

' But wait until all ......... ', we used to say that about Made in Japan back in the late 50's - 60's, lol

Japanese operated with a different manufacturing philosophy than China.  In the late 1960s, the Japanese ordered that junk was no longer to be exported, what was to be sent the West had to be of good quality.  That began their ascent in cars, etc


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#25 BFaucett

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Posted 28 July 2021 - 05:40 AM

Japanese operated with a different manufacturing philosophy than China.  In the late 1960s, the Japanese ordered that junk was no longer to be exported, what was to be sent the West had to be of good quality.  That began their ascent in cars, etc

 

Just a quick note for those that may not be aware of him:

 

W. Edwards Deming

 

Deming is best known for his work in Japan after WWII, particularly his work with the leaders of Japanese industry. That work began in July and August 1950, in Tokyo and at the Hakone Convention Center, when Deming delivered speeches on what he called "Statistical Product Quality Administration". Many in Japan credit Deming as one of the inspirations for what has become known as the Japanese post-war economic miracle of 1950 to 1960, when Japan rose from the ashes of war on the road to becoming the second-largest economy in the world through processes partially influenced by the ideas Deming taught.

 

Deming made a significant contribution to Japan's reputation for innovative, high-quality products, and for its economic power. He is regarded as having had more impact on Japanese manufacturing and business than any other individual not of Japanese heritage. Despite being honored in Japan in 1951 with the establishment of the Deming Prize, he was only just beginning to win widespread recognition in the United States at the time of his death in 1993.

 

Deming's message to Japan's chief executives was that improving quality would reduce expenses, while increasing productivity and market share. ...  A number of Japanese manufacturers applied his techniques widely and experienced heretofore unheard-of levels of quality and productivity. The improved quality combined with the lowered cost created new international demand for Japanese products.

 

220px-W._Edwards_Deming.jpg

 

https://en.wikipedia..._Edwards_Deming

 

Cheers! Bob F. 


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