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Are these eyepieces clones/copies?

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#26 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 28 July 2021 - 06:01 AM

To add to what Bob said about Deming:

 

The Japanese embraced Deming's messages and in Japan, the Deming award is highly prized.  

 

Shoichiro Toyoda, now Honorary Chairman and director of Toyota, said this in 1980:

 

"There is not a day I don’t think about what Dr. Deming meant to us. Deming is the core of our management."

 

https://deming.org/t...gement-history/

 

https://en.wikipedia...hoichiro_Toyoda

 

Jon


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#27 LDW47

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Posted 28 July 2021 - 07:35 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

I think the Chinese are starting to use the same in many cases, you can tell by comparing today compared to even 10 yrs ago  Oh yes and Mexico was branded by the same iron about 20 yrs ago  I guess its called free enterprise no matter what you call it, complain all you want  I buy Made in Canada / US whenever I can, I'm a huge advocate, but I know prices ........


Edited by LDW47, 28 July 2021 - 07:39 AM.


#28 LDW47

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Posted 28 July 2021 - 07:45 AM

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. 

So what is all of this going to really do in todays climate, to days huge buying selection for some pretty good products at ......, in todays worldly world  I think it is stored in a back ......, hopefully not fallen by the way side in todays highly competitive world  But don't get me wrong I can see where it irks some that live in the past, it does me, now I ..........


Edited by LDW47, 28 July 2021 - 07:50 AM.


#29 Zapp Brannigan

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Posted 28 July 2021 - 10:35 AM

If companies weren't using cheap Chinese labor to make their products to get more for less, they wouldn't be getting ripped off when the factory decides to keep making them for anyone who wants to get in on the action.  You do business there like that, you cut your own throat.  Don't just blame the consumer.  They are doing the same thing, trying to get more for less. 


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#30 Bkoh

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Posted 28 July 2021 - 11:15 AM

If companies weren't using cheap Chinese labor to make their products to get more for less, they wouldn't be getting ripped off when the factory decides to keep making them for anyone who wants to get in on the action.

To be clear, if you (as a company) secured exclusive rights and did not get them, yes you got ripped off. If you did not secure exclusive rights, you have no basis for complaints.

The factory has to invest in equipment and a workforce. For them to recoup their costs and turn a profit, either you order a large quantity on an exclusive basis, or you order a small quantity on a non-exclusive basis and let them sell to other customers. Either way, the factory needs the volume to survive.

A small but exclusive order would be so expensive on a per-unit basis that you might as well make it in Japan (like Pentax) or Taiwan (like Televue) and it would be priced accordingly.

Edited by Bkoh, 28 July 2021 - 11:17 AM.


#31 RichA

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Posted 28 July 2021 - 11:17 AM

If companies weren't using cheap Chinese labor to make their products to get more for less, they wouldn't be getting ripped off when the factory decides to keep making them for anyone who wants to get in on the action.  You do business there like that, you cut your own throat.  Don't just blame the consumer.  They are doing the same thing, trying to get more for less. 

One study said iPhones (as an example) could be made in the U.S. now for about 1/3 more money than in China.  Now, it's up to people if they want to put-off upgrading to new phones for a set time in order to afford domestic production. The least expensive telescopes made in the U.S. are probably TeleVue and they really aren't all "made" in the U.S.  There is nothing wrong with producing ultra-quality products like TEC and AP, but that isn't what employs masses of people, making middlin' products and outright junk is, which is what China produces.



#32 LDW47

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Posted 28 July 2021 - 11:30 AM

One study said iPhones (as an example) could be made in the U.S. now for about 1/3 more money than in China.  Now, it's up to people if they want to put-off upgrading to new phones for a set time in order to afford domestic production. The least expensive telescopes made in the U.S. are probably TeleVue and they really aren't all "made" in the U.S.  There is nothing wrong with producing ultra-quality products like TEC and AP, but that isn't what employs masses of people, making middlin' products and outright junk is, which is what China produces.

I would like to read that study, have you a link or do you remember


Edited by LDW47, 28 July 2021 - 01:08 PM.


#33 Bkoh

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Posted 28 July 2021 - 01:24 PM

There is nothing wrong with producing ultra-quality products like TEC and AP, but that isn't what employs masses of people, making middlin' products and outright junk is, which is what China produces.

China produces plenty of junk, like the $5 zoom eyepieces mentioned on another thread. It also produces plenty of high quality products, like the $5,000 binocular telescopes offered by Oberwerk. It all boils down to how much you want to pay.

 

Case in point: Explore Scientific. Its 82-degree and 92-degree eyepieces compete directly with Televue's Nagler and Ethos lines. I don't think many members here on CN would call ES eyepieces "middlin' products and outright junk".

 

How about Vixen? Its SLV eyepieces are made in China. Numerous reviews on CN indicate they are very good. SLVs are not particularly cheap either, and at least some of this is due to the cost of quality control.

 

Let's keep the discussion on the APM eyepieces, rather than bashing Chinese factories for trying to make a living. If China didn't make any astronomical equipment, a lot of us would simply not be able to afford this hobby.


Edited by Bkoh, 28 July 2021 - 01:25 PM.

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#34 LDW47

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Posted 28 July 2021 - 04:44 PM

China produces plenty of junk, like the $5 zoom eyepieces mentioned on another thread. It also produces plenty of high quality products, like the $5,000 binocular telescopes offered by Oberwerk. It all boils down to how much you want to pay.

 

Case in point: Explore Scientific. Its 82-degree and 92-degree eyepieces compete directly with Televue's Nagler and Ethos lines. I don't think many members here on CN would call ES eyepieces "middlin' products and outright junk".

 

How about Vixen? Its SLV eyepieces are made in China. Numerous reviews on CN indicate they are very good. SLVs are not particularly cheap either, and at least some of this is due to the cost of quality control.

 

Let's keep the discussion on the APM eyepieces, rather than bashing Chinese factories for trying to make a living. If China didn't make any astronomical equipment, a lot of us would simply not be able to afford this hobby.

Well said, that was partlly the reasoning for the Made in Japan epoch, that many of us weathered through, lol  And we made it to view another day



#35 Dobs O Fun

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Posted 28 July 2021 - 10:22 PM

One study said iPhones (as an example) could be made in the U.S. now for about 1/3 more money than in China. Now, it's up to people if they want to put-off upgrading to new phones for a set time in order to afford domestic production. The least expensive telescopes made in the U.S. are probably TeleVue and they really aren't all "made" in the U.S. There is nothing wrong with producing ultra-quality products like TEC and AP, but that isn't what employs masses of people, making middlin' products and outright junk is, which is what China produces.


That may be true but the Apple is looking at profit margins.

#36 RichA

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Posted 29 July 2021 - 01:13 AM

China produces plenty of junk, like the $5 zoom eyepieces mentioned on another thread. It also produces plenty of high quality products, like the $5,000 binocular telescopes offered by Oberwerk. It all boils down to how much you want to pay.

 

Case in point: Explore Scientific. Its 82-degree and 92-degree eyepieces compete directly with Televue's Nagler and Ethos lines. I don't think many members here on CN would call ES eyepieces "middlin' products and outright junk".

 

How about Vixen? Its SLV eyepieces are made in China. Numerous reviews on CN indicate they are very good. SLVs are not particularly cheap either, and at least some of this is due to the cost of quality control.

 

Let's keep the discussion on the APM eyepieces, rather than bashing Chinese factories for trying to make a living. If China didn't make any astronomical equipment, a lot of us would simply not be able to afford this hobby.

Nothing China makes at this point matches the top American and European brands.  Some things are very good, completely acceptabl

 

That may be true but the Apple is looking at profit margins.

Apple's margins are almost double that of other companies in similar fields...



#37 RichA

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Posted 29 July 2021 - 01:19 AM

Well said, that was partlly the reasoning for the Made in Japan epoch, that many of us weathered through, lol  And we made it to view another day

But although the new stuff is cheaper than Vixen was, the Vixen units are STILL better-made with better fit and finish than comparable Chinese stuff like Vixen SP mounts versus CG5 or derivatives from China. Some of the Chinese product is very well finished externally, superficially, but it's like comparing a Rolex to a Seiko, or an AP OTA to an Explore Scientific.  Just get close enough, you can see the differences.  What else tells you what is what is when you sell these products as used...An AP worth $3800 new will sell for up to $5000 in some cases (so you don't even pay for "rental" when you own it!) whereas I've seen ES stuff go for considerably less than new price when sold used. 



#38 LDW47

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Posted 29 July 2021 - 05:59 AM

But although the new stuff is cheaper than Vixen was, the Vixen units are STILL better-made with better fit and finish than comparable Chinese stuff like Vixen SP mounts versus CG5 or derivatives from China. Some of the Chinese product is very well finished externally, superficially, but it's like comparing a Rolex to a Seiko, or an AP OTA to an Explore Scientific.  Just get close enough, you can see the differences.  What else tells you what is what is when you sell these products as used...An AP worth $3800 new will sell for up to $5000 in some cases (so you don't even pay for "rental" when you own it!) whereas I've seen ES stuff go for considerably less than new price when sold used. 

I don't think so, this argument will go on for ever  The Chinese products will prove themselves just like the Japanese, the Mexican, the Taiwanese, the .......... brands have done before them, they are now, its inevitable, its a certainty  So who is really to blame for all of this  Maybe its the almighty $, maybe its freedom of choice, maybe its the freedom to choose and buy what you want  There are more happy astronomers out there than not


Edited by LDW47, 29 July 2021 - 06:05 AM.

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#39 LDW47

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Posted 29 July 2021 - 06:51 AM

But although the new stuff is cheaper than Vixen was, the Vixen units are STILL better-made with better fit and finish than comparable Chinese stuff like Vixen SP mounts versus CG5 or derivatives from China. Some of the Chinese product is very well finished externally, superficially, but it's like comparing a Rolex to a Seiko, or an AP OTA to an Explore Scientific.  Just get close enough, you can see the differences.  What else tells you what is what is when you sell these products as used...An AP worth $3800 new will sell for up to $5000 in some cases (so you don't even pay for "rental" when you own it!) whereas I've seen ES stuff go for considerably less than new price when sold used. 

We are talking low priced yet quality performers from China, the up and comers of the future and here you are talking about comparing Rolex to Seiko, an AP.............. maybe you haven't yet noticed the $ difference



#40 RichA

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Posted 29 July 2021 - 12:04 PM

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.

I think the U.S. normal tax is 8%.  Also it's not a tax, it's a duty, they are different.

This is the import code:

 

9005.80.40  Optical telescopes   8%  Free (A, AU, BH, CA, CL, CO, E, IL, JO, KR, MA,



#41 RichA

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Posted 29 July 2021 - 12:06 PM

We are talking low priced yet quality performers from China, the up and comers of the future and here you are talking about comparing Rolex to Seiko, an AP.............. maybe you haven't yet noticed the $ difference

False economy if the cheaper scope's value drops by 1/3 the moment it arrives at your door.  People always sell things later and that is a consideration. 



#42 Starman1

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Posted 29 July 2021 - 12:29 PM

I think the U.S. normal tax is 8%.  Also it's not a tax, it's a duty, they are different.

This is the import code:

 

9005.80.40  Optical telescopes   8%  Free (A, AU, BH, CA, CL, CO, E, IL, JO, KR, MA,

Eyepieces are normally duty-free but since 2018 a 25% additional tariff on Chinese-made eyepieces has been applied, so 0% + 25%.

It didn't really hit home in retail until the end of 2020, but has resulted in some heavy price increases on top of increased factory and shipping costs.

See the recent increases with Explore Scientific, for example.


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#43 LDW47

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Posted 29 July 2021 - 07:32 PM

False economy if the cheaper scope's value drops by 1/3 the moment it arrives at your door.  People always sell things later and that is a consideration. 

How many really care really  We aren't talking earth shattering events, we are talking an enjoyable hobby, a past time  Whats this false economy ...........


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#44 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 31 July 2021 - 03:47 AM

False economy if the cheaper scope's value drops by 1/3 the moment it arrives at your door.  People always sell things later and that is a consideration. 

 

You might always sell things later but many don't.  I buy a good piece of gear, I keep it.  

 

 

How many really care really  We aren't talking earth shattering events, we are talking an enjoyable hobby, a past time  Whats this false economy ...........

This is more my attitude..  

 

Jon


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#45 teashea

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Posted 31 July 2021 - 07:41 PM

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

I have purchased Svbony eyepieces and accessories from a variety of sources, in the US and direct from other countries - all have been consistently good.



#46 teashea

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Posted 31 July 2021 - 07:45 PM

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...

Not necessarily.  There is a lot of inconsistency in the tariffs charged for astronomical items imported.  I have recently purchased four Takahashi telescopes from vendors in Japan and Germany, plus accessories from China and Japan.  The import tariff has never been more than four percent - and in many cases, there has been no tariff.  



#47 teashea

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Posted 31 July 2021 - 07:47 PM

Svbony acts as their own distributor in the US.



#48 RLK1

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Posted 31 July 2021 - 08:02 PM

Not necessarily.  There is a lot of inconsistency in the tariffs charged for astronomical items imported.  I have recently purchased four Takahashi telescopes from vendors in Japan and Germany, plus accessories from China and Japan.  The import tariff has never been more than four percent - and in many cases, there has been no tariff.  

It may also depend on how the item is classified under the tariff system with regards to accessories from China. That's also been discussed under a previous thread in the eyepiece forum. 

Svbony items are generally available via Amazon although the current item of interest, the 18mm flat field eyepiece, is not but probably will be in time. I like ordering Svbony items via Amazon prime because they frequently offer discounts on their competitive prices and returns are usually free.  

I also don't have any problems ordering Sybony items from China in the same manner that you don't have any qualms about ordering items from Germany or Japan...


Edited by RLK1, 31 July 2021 - 08:07 PM.

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#49 darkandstormynight

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Posted 01 August 2021 - 05:29 AM

Another reason tarriffs may not be fully seen by the consumer is that sometimes one or more entities in the supply chain may decide to absorb part or all of them.



#50 f18dad

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Posted 01 August 2021 - 06:31 AM

Another reason tarriffs may not be fully seen by the consumer is that sometimes one or more entities in the supply chain may decide to absorb part or all of them.

 One of those entities is the PRC which adjusts their currency and offers rebates to exporters to balance the tariffs.




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