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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/19/2008 at 22:16
NightFighter View Drop Down
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Just trying to find out who are the binocular manufacturers in Japan.
 
I know of Light Optical Works, what about others? Which ones are the most respected and put out the best products at their price point? I pick up a lot if Nikons that say Made in China. Are they assembled in China of Japanese glass and components?
 
I am looking for a quality camo hunting binocular in 8x42 or 10x42 in a price range of $250 to $400. Low light performance, clarity and durability in winter and wet conditions are a must.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/19/2008 at 23:24
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Besides Light Optical Works, KAMAKURA KOKI CO. LTD of Japan is another large OEM that makes some of the lower end bino's for Bushnell, Olympus and Leupold best I can tell. To be honest, getting factual info such as you're requesting is going to be difficult. Most of the major labels do not want to give out this info and they often are not limited to a specific OEM if the manufacturer can make the bino's to their specification elsewhere. I can say that in your price range are the Bushnell Legend's and they usually get decent reviews for the money. Again, just because it's made in Japan is no guaranty that they are high quality.

Edited by Roy Finn - July/19/2008 at 23:25
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/20/2008 at 00:00
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I like the Leupold Cascades in camo. They are in my price range and are made in Japan as opposed to China. Why are optics companies so afraid of letting people know who makes their products? If a product is made by a respected company, they should be honest with their customers.
 
I would really like a pair of binoculars made by Light Optical Works from a respected company with a good warranty.  
 
Here is my personal bias:
I have an Aimpoint on my police AR-15 tactical carbine. It is made in Sweden. I trust my life to it and back-up iron night sights made by Meprolight in Israel. It was not cheap, but worth every penny.
 
I carry a rather cheap pair of Korean made Bushnell 10x50 binoculars in my police car for surveillance work. They are actually sharper than the Chinese made Nikon sports I compared them to in the store. The store clerk was very patient with me while checking these out.
 
I have an older Tasco World Class 1.5-5x scope made in Japan mounted on a rifled shotgun slug barrel that has lasted more than 10 years of harsh conditions and stout recoil.
 
My Weaver Classic Rimfire 2-7x .22 scope is made by LOW. Great scope for the money.
 
A Chinese Bushnell Banner muzzleloader scope could not handle three seasons and broke. I replaced it with a Burris Fullfield II assembled in the Philippines with Japanese glass.
 
Anyone know which binoculars are made by LOW?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/20/2008 at 03:02
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Originally posted by NightFighter NightFighter wrote:

Why are optics companies so afraid of letting people know who makes their products? If a product is made by a respected company, they should be honest with their customers.
 
 
 
 
I believe you answered your own question.
 
Someone here(might've been Chris) once said it wasn't unusual for a company to build a lines reputation in one place of manu. and then quietly move production to somewhere cheaper.
 
When I was younger, a products country of origin was easy to find. Company ads, dealer ads, product box, the product itself. I wish it was still that way. I've got a junk Tasco laying around here somewhere and the only way to see the "made in china" is to shine a flashlight on the eyepiece.Loco
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/20/2008 at 12:47
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I think the reason that a manufacturer will not tell who makes their products is due to the simple fact that people will read too much into it. 
 
For the sake of this discussion, a manufacturer, let's say Vortex, will come up with a set of specifications for a binocular.  In this case, Vortex actually designs and builds their prototype binoculars at their own facility in Wisconsin.  If they decide to market the prototype, they they seek out a builder who will produce their design to their satisfaction and to their specifications as relates to glass types, lens coatings, etc.  Let's call this Vortex glass the Viper and lets assume that Light Optical Works becomes the manufacturer. Now let's assume that Leupold does the same thing in Oregon.    Let's also assume that in Leupold's process that Light Optical Works also gives Leupold the best deal for the binocular they will market as the Cascade.  Just because LOW builds both, it does not mean that both binoculars are therefore equal.  It just means that LOW won the bid to build both different manufacturers different binoculars to each manufacturers different specifications. 
 
If we take a different approach, let's use the Bushnell Legend as the example here, and Bushnell looked around for a generic binocular they could simply have their name put on and not worry about their own specific design criteria.  Let's further assume LOW had an off the shelf design that Bushnell could sell under the Legend name.  Here, it also looks like exactly the same binocular as the Legend was briefly sold under the Browning and Smith and Wesson labels.  We see lots of different brand name binoculars that look the same in this price range.  Maybe they are all the same with a different label, but maybe there are some that use a basic frame made by LOW that are different internally.  Pretty soon the possible permutations of build possibilities gets way past any ability to keep up with what has happened.  It is sort of like a binocular version of Abbot and Costello doing "Who's on First?" 
 
What you have to do is decide which band offers the best warranty, price, or service, along with optical quality that goes with your eyes.  Even if you could track down several LOW made binoculars that does not mean they are the same glass or even the same build quality, and that therefore the least expensive one is therefore the equal of the most expensive one.  Please keep in mind that there is the key word here of different.  Not all manufacturers were going after the same build quality and optics in the first place.  Aso don't assume (because I assumed for the sake of discussion) the Vortex Viper, the Leupold Cascade. or the Bushnell Legend are LOW built.  I do not know, nor do I care.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/20/2008 at 13:42
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And to add an additional level of complexity, most Japanese optical manufacturers also have factories elsewhere.  For example, the above mentioned LOW also has a factory (or maybe factories) in the Phillipines.  I have seen fairly high end products from LOW made in Japan and in the Phillipines and the quality was good in both cases.

ILya
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/20/2008 at 15:35
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Quote
I think the reason that a manufacturer will not tell who makes their products is due to the simple fact that people will read too much into it. 
 
 
Shouldn't it be up to the customer to decide how much to read into it?
I've seen people avoid products from certain countrys for all sorts of reasons.
 
 
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/20/2008 at 16:50
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Originally posted by crispycritter crispycritter wrote:

Shouldn't it be up to the customer to decide how much to read into it? 


No.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/20/2008 at 17:35
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crispycritter,
 
I suppose anyone can read anything they want into whatever they want.  Likewise they can not read anything into anything as well.  The whole point of my post was to try and point out that it is the specs of the binocular that are more important than the manufacturer when we really have no way of knowing who made the thing anyway.  If you get along well with a particular makers products, the specs they require along with their company reputation are more important than whether LOW made the binocular or not.  Human nature being what it is if some body can identify a half dozen binoculars made by LOW (or any other particular builder) the assumption is all to easy to make that since they were made by the same company that the cheapest one is therefore just the same as the most expensive.  After all they're both 8x42 by LOW so they're the same.  Not really. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/20/2008 at 18:13
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Well, yes and no. Some optic houses have a reputation for excellent quality control which can reduce quality variation from bino to bino within the same specification. So, I personally don't think that every optic house has the capability to produce a high quality bino just because they have the specs. ILya could (can) speak more intelligently on this subject than I can, however.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/20/2008 at 18:30
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Originally posted by lucznik lucznik wrote:

Originally posted by crispycritter crispycritter wrote:

Shouldn't it be up to the customer to decide how much to read into it? 


No.
 
WOW.
 
 
 
Klamath, I understand what you're saying. Company chooses the specs. Even at that, we sometimes still hear reports of a drop in quality when the production of a line is moved.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/20/2008 at 18:58
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Well, if you feel that a company does not provide enough information about the product (i.e. country of origin) do not buy their product and inform them why you chose to go with a different brand.  If you strongly believe that you need more information than the company provides, vote with your wallet.

ILya
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/20/2008 at 22:46
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Got a reply from LOW today.
Here it is as follows:
 
Dear Mr. Mxxx Kxxxxxx, (my edit)
 
Thank you very much for your interests in our products. 
We are an OEM Manufacturer and we offer our products to wholesalers as well as to retailers but not directly to the end-users.
 
We do manufacture binoculars for Cabela's and Leupold as you mentioned. The models are Alaskan guide for Cabelas and Pinnacles and Katmai for Leupold.
Hope this information helps.
 
 
 
Sincerely,
 
Noriko Yaguchi
Sales Dept.
Light Optical Works
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/21/2008 at 11:05
Klamath View Drop Down
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NightFighter,

Well since you know that LOW makes Katmi and Pinnacle, if I were in your shoes I'd get one or the other.  The Katmi if you want small and the Pinnacle if you like a full size, or an Alaskan Guide if your a competitor sort of guy.  In my opinion both
 are better optically than the Casacade (don't know about the Alaskan Guide since I've never seen one).  However, it is likely due to the specs that Leupold required for the lower priced Cascade rather than the fact that LOW does not build the Cascade.  Who knows, maybe the Cascades are Chinese.  That's stuff for another topic. Good viewing, Happy Hunting, and Good Luck.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/21/2008 at 21:07
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Leupold Cascades say MADE IN JAPAN on the bottom in raised lettering that is part of the rubber coating. These are not made by LOW, however.
 
I looked through them at the Sioux City Scheels store today and they were really nice and sharp. I compared them to the Nikon Monarch ATB (Chinese) and could read text across the store better with the Cascades. They were out of camo Cascades or I probably would have been happy with them.
 
I need to find a pair of Pinnacles, which the Scheels did not have.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/22/2008 at 06:44
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NIGHTFIGHTER have you checked out the new LEUPOLD MOHAVE? I havent seen any yet but they look as though they may be Pinnacle optics in a new Open bridge design. Has any one compared the Mohave to the Nikon Monarchs?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/22/2008 at 11:07
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The Cascade seems to be a binocular Leupold keeps quietly improving without blowing their horn about it.  That's probably because they sell a lot anyway and they figure that is what they will always sell the most of, so why bother with any extra advertising?  It has always struck me as a pretty good binocular.  I really don't see much difference between the last Cascade I compared my Monarch 8x42 to.  However, I really thought the Pinnacles I have been able to compare Cascades to were better than the Cascade.  I haven't done a direct Mohave to anything else I cared about comparison, but I have looked at a couple.  The Mojave seems to compare favorably towhat I remember of the Pinnacle.  Didn't look to see if it was Chinese or Japanese.  It looks to me like a good option in the price range for an open bridge design if that appeals at all to you.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/22/2008 at 15:01
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The Mojave has the same center diopter focus setting as the Cascades. I just got off the phone with Leupold and they said the Mojave is an updated Cascades, not a Pinnacles series.
 
They also confirmed that the Mojave is made in Japan, as is the Cascades.
 
It is too bad the Pinnacles are not made in camo. I think the Mojave may be the way to go as an updated Cascades with a nice Mossy Oak pattern.
 
Has anyone ever seen another brand of binos with the same pop-out focus setting as the Cascades? I know of the C-A-B-E-L-A's XT, but that is all. I would still like to track down the maker of those and the Mojave just to break the wall of secrecy in the optics business.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/23/2008 at 10:38
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Well to add to the mystery, the Sightron Roofs and the Swift Audubon 8.5x44 roof look just like the Cascade.
 
Good luck in your Sherlock Holmes efforts.  I think you'd have about as much luck finding the Colonels secret blend of herbs and spices.  Leupold will always present themselves a Leupold, Nikon as Nikon, Pentax as Pentax , etc. and will do whatever they feel is necessary to keep their products associated with their name, not somebody elses.  That will include not telling you who makes their glasses, other than the obligatory made in China or Japan labels. 
 
Again, even it you do find out that two particular binoculars that look alike but from from different brand names are built by LOW, you still do not really know anything, because the glass quality and coatings inside the frame may well be different, hence the binoculars, while looking the same are really an apple vs orange comparison.
 
Thanks for passing on the Leupold Mohave and Cascade information.  That  seems to me is more important information that whether or not the were made by LOW ,or ABC ,or XYZ. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/24/2008 at 16:03
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Here is a reply from Sightron. They were very quick to respond.
 
"Our SIII842RM are made in our own factory in Japan.
Thanks for asking,
Eden"
 
 
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/28/2008 at 23:48
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I called Nitrex Optics today and talked to a very pleasant woman. I asked her the origin of their binoculars and she confirmed that they are made by Light Optical Works. This makes sense as this company is owned by ATK, which now owns Weaver. Weaver rifle scopes are made by LOW. These in my opinion are the best hunting scopes for the money. However, I saw a pair of Weaver binoculars that were made in China. Maybe this will change too.
 
Nitrex states on their web site that their binoculars and riflescopes are made in Japan. The Nitrex binoculars look OK, but they do not come in camo.
 
I work with a guy who uses the Leupold Cascades in 8x for bowhunting. He is super happy with his purchase saying they are much better than the Nikon Monarch ATB he compared them to.
 
The body of the Leupold Cascades looks much like the Swift binoculars except for the diopter system. I'll still poke around in my quest for info.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/03/2008 at 18:56
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Originally posted by NightFighter NightFighter wrote:

Just trying to find out who are the binocular manufacturers in Japan.


Japan Binoculars manufacturers
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