I have been looking through several Ebay auctions for a lens (50mm and/or 85mm 1.8D) for my D70. I have seen many state that their lens was made in Japan vs. the China factory and that the China lenses are of inferior quality. Is this the case? I would think that a company the size of Nikon would outfit their factories (regardless of locale) with the finest in optical equipment and that the standards would meet or exceed the lenses of the past.
Should I steer clear or be less inclined to buy Chinese made lenses? I'm just beginning the hobby and now from past experience that equipment makes the difference as to whether you enjoy/progress in the field.
Also, one last question, the reason I am looking for a 50mm or 85mm 1.8D is for portraits (newborn daughter). Any suggestions on lens choice?
You are absolutely right - Nikon does, in fact, equip the factories, train the employees and control the production of their lenses (and cameras, and ??), regardless of the country of origin. This has been discussed many times on the Nikonian web site (www.nikonians.org) - a great place for information related to any Nikon or Nikon-related equipment. As far as I know from reading magazine articles and the messages at Nikonians, there is no evidence that the equipment manufactured in China is in any way inferior to that manufactured in Japan.
My F100 was made in China and in over two years of considerable use has given me not one problem.
A Nikon is a Nikon is a Nikon. Origin of manufacture should not be an issue. Look at the D70 - Nikon's best selling camera EVER is NOT made in Japan.
With respect to lenses, all 50/1.8D are made in China (the older non-D was made in Japan). I believe all of the 85/1.8 were and still are made in Japan. Several of the new consumer AF-S zooms are made in Thailand, and quality is equal to Japan made Nikkors (at least my 24~85 AF-S is).
The 85/1.8D would be a better choice for baby photos I think.
Richard - could you check the bottom of your F100? Unless production has been shifted, it should say "MADE IN JAPAN". Mine does (s/n 224xxxx).
You were right about my F100 - it is made in Japan. I could have sworn...
I did not mean to mislead you about that point - for some reason I really belived the camera was manufactured in China. It doesn't change what I've read nor my opinion - Nikon controls their production and stands behind their product regardless of the country of manufacture.
China has an extremely poor human's right's record and is a communist dictorship. Everybody knows and understands these facts. Why then do Americans support something that contradicts the core values of our great nation? Of course, most Americans want their products as inexpensive as possible and are willing to look the other way for a cheap lens or camera body. If Nikon noticed unwillingness to buy products from countries that allow slave labor, harvest organs from political prisoners or maintain communist dictorships, they'd make their goods elsewhere. I've noticed Nikon products made in Thailand had excellent fit, finish and optical quality, so there are other choices.