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-   -   Who builds Knoica/Minolta lenses the last couple of years? (

tango_28 Jun 17, 2006 6:26 PM

Is it Tamron? Just wondering.


RavenFalls Jun 17, 2006 9:32 PM

From what I've heard, they're made in a KM-owned factory in China.

JimC Jun 17, 2006 9:39 PM

It appears that a few of the newer lenses are Tamron from specs and optics. For example, the 28-75mm f/2.8 and the newer DT lenses)..

But, it could even be the other way around.... KM may have been manufacturing some of them for Tamron. lol

From what I understand, Minolta was even manufacturing Leicas at one pont in it's history (Leica R3, R4, R5).

RavenFalls Jun 18, 2006 1:26 AM

I based my answer from an exchange on another site, where one person was complaining about how the KM kit lenses were "made by Tamron" crap, and got a reply that the lenses were being made in-house at KM in a Chinese factory they own. Of course, that could be wrong.

JimC Jun 18, 2006 7:27 AM

They might be. ;-)

They don't have one in the Tamron brand that's exactly like the 5D kit lens.

But, the other DT series lenses and the 28-75mm are virtually identical to the Tamron branded versions optically.

The cosmetics, coatings, electronics are a bit different. But, otherwise, they're the same basic lens designs. So, there is pretty good chance they're made by Tamron (or made in the same factories as the Tamrons, or at a minimum sharing the optics design).

BTW, Sony owns 11% of Tamron (they're the second largest shareholder). So, I'd expect any relationships with Tamron to contiinue and improve.

A few years back, it wasn't that uncommon to the see the same lens design show up in more than one brand of non-DSLR model. One example: look at the lens on the Sony DSC-S70, Canon G2, Epson PhotoPC 3000z, Toshiba PDR-M70, and Casio QV-3000z.

They are all using the identical lens design (aperture mechanism, lens elements, apertures available at a given focal length, etc.), and the same Sony 3MP 1/1.8" CCD. These lenses most likely came from the same assembly line (probably with slightly different glass and coatings for the Sony, as required by the arrangement to use the Carl Zeiss label).

The actual focal length of the lens on these models was 7-21mm, rated at f/2 on the wide angle end and f/2.5 on the telephoto end (although the camera manufacturers sometimes rounded up or down for a slightly different advertised 35mm equivalent focal range)..

The Japanese companies tend to have pretty good working relationships and OEM partner for components shared in competing products. Heck, I can remember when early Nikon Coolpix owners were teased about using Sanyo cameras (Sanyo was the OEM manufacturer for some of the swivel bodied Coolpix models).

It's my understanding that some of the Olympus models were made by Sanyo, also. They're probably still the OEM for some of the cameras you see with other brands (manufacturers usually don't like to advertise it when they use other manufacturers to build their products).

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