Nikkor AF-S 105mm f/2.8G ED IF VR Micro lens now made in China

Starting February, 2010 the Nikkor AF-S 105mm f/2.8G ED IF VR Micro lens is being produced in China instead of Japan. See the slideshow below for more details (source: Eri_c@flickr):

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  • ed nafzger


    • Formatted

      Great post bro!

      This is interesting. Will we see a increase in availability?

      • Banned

        Great so where is the price drop now?????

        • Richard

          Yea, really! The exchange ratio has been the excuse for the price of Nikon products going up nearly a third in the last two years or so. Now we shall see…don’t hold your breath.

          • zack

            The price will stay the same, I’m sure. They want to retain the profit by scaling down on price for the labour. I’m sure they will claim that the lens is the same if not better quality. Watch this space

      • Anonymous

        Look beyond what is happening and look at what it might mean….. tthat Japan is making room on it’s assembly line for a high end lens(es)?

  • ArtTwisted

    I rather my expensive lenses be made in japan thank you very much.

    • Enrique

      I agree, unless they’re going to reduce the price….LOL YEAH RIGHT.

      • Matstar

        ..but might keep it from going up!

    • Nice.. I just hope Nikon’s quality control doesn’t go downhill.. I almost can see the day when even the Dx series will be made in China :\ oh well.. as long as they keep strict control in the fabrication..

      • another anonymous

        I have 1 year old 105f2.8 VR made in Japan and recently started to change it’s “full hole” aperture in mode A during focusing proces. Veeery strange behaviour, i’m looking forward to visit some service in short time. As if that lens felt that it’s brother are not from Japan anymore…….. ;(

        • Jason

          This is perfectly normal behaviour for a macro/micro lens – as you focus closer the effective aperture changes. When you’re closed down a couple of stops the camera just compensates for it by not closing the iris so much, but when you’re wide open all it can do is report accurately what your real aperture value is.

          • another anonymous

            many thanks for your notes on the behaviour, but is it also ok when minimum aperture officially published on nikon web is f32 and when i stop that focusing on full hole in A mode somewhere in the middle of focusing range with “actual full hole” changed to for example 4.5 and then changing aperture in the same A mode to f36 or more even if the lens has its minimum on f32 as published by nikon? i didn’t noticed that behaviour before so i can’t really say it wasn’t there but i didn’t ever noticed to have problem to set f2,8 no matter when on the lens that is f2,8… any help is welcome.. thanks

    • The invisible man

      We better by the ones made in China before Nikon decide to make them in India !

  • ed nafzger

    Well they made the biggest wall still standing and over a billion population so let them help Nikon making more availability

    • J

      Yeah… built the wall using slave labor… wonder how much has changed since…

      • Truth

        Yea, its not like America has built many things using slave labor……oh wait, I stand corrected!

    • Y

      want some lead paint with that?

  • Zoetmb

    Nikon reps told me recently that the price of this lens is going up to $1300. If that is true, announcing a manufacturing move to China, where labor costs are far cheaper, is adding insult to injury.

    I bought this lens recently and noticed that it had what seemed like an amazingly low serial number. Maybe mine is one of the first to be produced there. Do we know the serial # ranges of Japan vs. China produced lenses?

    • Blackpeppers

      It should be indicated where the lens has been produced, I suppose. You may look on the box or directly on the lens.

      Please, don’t blame me for my English. πŸ˜‰

    • mine is a few years old and in the 254xxx range. Made in Japan.

      But as long as QC is Nikon’s own, then who cares where it is made?

  • Latetotheparty

    Glad I just bought an AF-D version.

    Ironic that a macro lens slideshow is devoids of closeup details.

  • My 105mm VR is made in Japan but the lens hood is made in China. Personally I do not care where they are made as long as the quality is excellent.

    • Banned

      Don’t feel ripped off when they increase their margins significantly and you don’t take advantage of it as a Customer? That’s free market -> if you stop caring they will rip you off that much more. Customers have to play their part in free market.

      • choiMatthew

        yep. and that supernormal profit may be reinvested and we can enjoy upgraded lenses in a quicker pace. so… it can go both ways =]

  • The invisible man

    Great !
    Now I can sell mine (made in Japan) for more that I paid for it !!!!

    • Matstar

      Which is just stupid to do because if you need it again, you will have to settle for a Chinese one or a second hand Jap one. Short term gain – long term loss IMO.

    • another anonymous

      LOL πŸ˜‰ me too after it will come from service

  • JBakes

    Could this be in response to Nikon producing a new ( expensive / professional / prestigious ) lens and in order to make room the Macro lens was moved out of Japan.

    • Yeah, that’s prob true. Perhaps the 24mm f/1.4 or some yet to be released lens.

      • Anonymous

        ja….dream on …..they just want to earn even more..!!!!

  • alvix

    If i had to choose..I prefer made in thailand or taiwan…its just that I dont like the “sound” of “made in china” ..hey, but the entire audio world….is made in china ..too! aarghhh,,,,!!

    • Banned

      Well, the entire world is now made in china for that matter. You could as well just call your country “china”, whatever it was before πŸ™‚

      • alvix

        yes..but at present time I’m working for a firm that makes audio hifi products,
        and we were finally able to find a way to build the entire line of amplifiers,cables AD/DA and speakers here in italy, without the high costs usually associated to that..sure, we bought from china in the past, but from now on we are back here in our country and we are proud of it…you have a direct control of the manufacturing process, raw materials, and dont have to “fix” all of the stuff coming from china.. πŸ˜‰

        • ZoetMB

          I think it’s great that you’re back to building in Italy. I think that all manufacturers have a responsiblity to employ people at decent wages wherever their products have substantial sales.

          That doesn’t necessarily mean that manufacturing must be local (although it helps), but I think it’s misguided to expect sales in a region where people don’t have jobs and you expect other companies to provide those jobs so that you can be successful.

          In addition, building locally is generally better for the environment because it lowers fuel consumption related to shipping, etc.

        • another anonymous

          great work alvix

        • Jason

          Which company? I’m in the market for a good hi-fi kit

        • Musicpark

          Are you at Sonus Farber?

    • Got some Shuguang vacuum tubes once. Sounded great, but didn’t last as long as their Russian counterpart. However two sets of the Shuguang’s cost considerably less than one set of Russian tubes. Good deal for a wear part. Not so sure about Nikon branded glass.

      Does this mean Nikon is moving to leaded glass?

  • The same people that complain about stuff being made in China are those who hunt for the best prices. If you want things to be made in expensive countries – don’t bargain shop!

    • ArtTwisted

      i dont bargain shop, i paid 1400 for the 85 1.4 instead of 500 for the 1.8 mainly for the build quality.

      • preston

        + 1
        you gotta understand though – we’re NOT the majority

      • I paid $230 for my 85/1.8. New.

        2/3 of a stop isn’t worth it for the low light I use it in. I haven’t found a 1.4 sharper. But if I do, I can sell my 1.8 at profit. : D

        • nick

          I paid $280 for the 1.8! You got a killer deal.

          But people don’t pay all the additional money for the 85mm 1.4 for 2/3rds of a stop. They are paying for its superb ability to render out of focus regions smoothly. The 85mm 1.4 can create images with backgrounds that almost look painted. And, for a professional, that is absolutely worth the money.

    • TheIncredibleUlk

      ANYONE who’s buying a Nikon is LOOkING for quality. Otherwise you would buy another brand.

      That doesn’t mean i want to spend more money than necessary . If Nikon is lowering their standards and raising the prices, well, i am sure there will be other brands who’d love to fill in. A good manager is aware of that (but a capable manager is hard to come by these days, i guess).
      Nowadays companies and politicians trying to screw us more than ever. As a result of this we owe loyalty to NO ONE but ourselves.
      They make their decisions, i make mine. As long as Nikon stays on top i’ll stay with them…

    • Theodore

      The two aren’t mutually exclusive. You can get a bargain on the most expensive items, it’s just relative to what others might pay, i.e. a used D3 that recently sold for $2600 was a bargain. I don’t think we want to confuse it with cheap. It’s not a bargain to pay a low price for something that isn’t worth much.

      • hah

        what he is saying is:


        pick any two.

  • TheIncredibleUlk

    If they can keep up the quality, so be it πŸ˜›
    But hey Nikon don’t toyota us just for the quick cheap buck.
    Thirst is nothin’ , image is all πŸ˜€

    • anglsu

      toyota’s plants are in the USA.

      do you mean to say not ever switch production to the US for quick $$$?

      • b

        go to thisamericanlife and listen to the NUMMI podcast.
        Both of you, if you havent!
        shines a lot of light on what you’re hinting at….

        • anglsu

          excellent advice.

          i heard the podcast.

  • Ronan

    Made in China just mean cheaper assembly cost. As long Q/C is strict, no problems. You can bet your ass Nikon will have a very tight Q/C.

    Asking for less is reasonable though.

  • kk

    most ipods and mac laptops are assembled in china.

  • Anonymous

    nikon lenses made in china! forget it im moving to canon!

    • Matstar

      Arrivederci then!

    • another anonymous

      see you back when you get where assembles it canon hehe

  • Cache

    Can anyone give an example that a previously Japanese made lens moved to China and display significant quality change?

    If no such evidence, how can you conclude the quality of this 105 VR will have lower quality after it start being made in China? Do you really worried about the build quality or just the word changed from Japan to China on the tag??

    • anglsu


    • zzddrr

      yes, i did purchase some for somebody who had to learn … guess what, it broke down faster

      • nick

        1. you didn’t give specifics, so we don’t know what you’re talking about.

        2. even if you did give specifics, an isolated personal experience is not proof that quality reduces because production is moved to china. Proof means statistical evidence that the number of malfunctioning lenses produced has increased after the move. Even occasional Japanese lenses are faulty.

    • hah

      all the top pro lenses nikon makes are japanese so it isn’t a fair comparison to make since pro models are built to pro specs.

      but chinese goods have earned a reputation of being junk, poisoning people, pets etc. thus it is understandable people frown on them for lenses where quality matters more than in your china made shoes and toys.

      time will tell. But you will always get what you pay for. buy a cheap chinese lens and that’s exactly what you get: a cheap chinese lens.

  • I ordered one 2 weeks ago from amazon and never even thought to check where it was manufactured. just looked at the lens and definitely says “made in china” right on the lens. aside from adjusting to shooting macro in general, I don’t have any particular complaints so far (aside from the fact I wish nikon would lower lens prices in general). no basis for comparison but am happy with it’s sharpness and the level of detail it retains even when at 100% cropped (on a D300). check out my flickr stream if you want to see examples, the most recent two sets have some pics with it (and the new-ish 70-200 VRII which i’m also pleased with)

  • Anonymous

    “””””Can anyone give an example that a previously Japanese made lens moved to China and display significant quality change?””””” :


    The paradox is that Nikon as a Japanes brand will loose its Honor if the quality issues goes on.

    • achton

      sooo true πŸ˜‰ !

      • Ben H

        I’m not impressed, Nikon! I’d rather pay a little more for a lens that I don’t have to worry about for years to come. Made in Taiwan or Thailand or even Malaysia would be a vast improvement. It speaks of Nikon’s (lack of) commitment to quality.

        • …speaks more to the state of the world economy than any commitment to quality. I’d rather Nikon make a commitment to staying in business in order to keep bringing the goods, than hold some unreasonable request to keep manufacturing in a country that’s has better resources for design and management.

    • Richard

      Honor??? They have any left?

    • hah

      just for the record: the 70-200VRII is made in japan.

  • it have been so for half a year, our last model came from china also, but after some heavy use appears to be same quality wise. Also no focusing adjustment needed, perfect.

  • achton

    sure, let’s see how it will brake apart in 5 years…

  • zzddrr

    I have nothing against the Chinese but if they had to have the same environmental, labour, and business practices standards etc. then the cost would be pretty much in the same level than anywhere else.

    It is really disturbing what Nikon has been doing lately. I have nothing against the Chinese people but their practices is highly questionable. There is long list of companies that went down this route and although they realized short term benefit many has encountered serious problems. Among them the number 1 item is that they lost their “top line” customers.

    I guess we no longer can trust in these Nikon execs. They lie and do whatever they want as any other corrupt organization that rips off its customers. Now I am almost certain that Nikon is involved in price fixing. Shame on you Nikon, shame on you!

    Let’s take a look at the other brands.

    • Ben H

      Me, I’d rather not support that Communist regime any more than I have to.

      Also, if it were a throw away kit lens, I’d understand but the 105 is a gold ring lens.

      • Then go live on the mountain with no technology. Otherwise you’re a part of the global economy. If you pay taxes, you support a communist regime. Wake up and get used to it, or quit yer bitchin.

        • Anonymous

          Micah, most likely you’ve never visited China. Perhaps you may want to go there and see for yourself what you support Commie!

          • Discontinued

            Micah has made a valid point here,
            unless you refuse to pay taxes you support that regime anyway. It’s our western governments who are very supportive towards china and who are just as spoiled as Nikon’s members of the board. And it’s ourselves who are as much consumer slaves as there is slave labor in this world. Realism is not communism.

    • nick

      how on earth did you conclude that nikon price fixes based on the 105mm VR now being manufactured in china?

  • Joe

    Gotta go out and grab a made in Japan one before it run out.

  • lucas

    labor costs in china is not that cheap nowadays.

  • Gavin

    What Is the big deal if they outsourced to China? All it means is that they have a factory in China. Not that a 5 year old is assembling your lens. If they quality remains the same what’s the problem? Your lens says made in china on it? last time I checked the writing on your lens did not effect its performance.

    So to everyone who is bitching.. Shut The F*** up until there is a correlation between Nikkon lens’ made in china and poorer quality; although I do not think that day will come.

    • Ben H

      It’s because my and many other’s experiences, Made in China means stuff will break down faster. My iMac, 2 Macbooks, and one MBP all have had multiple problems with logic boards and a power supply (iMac). My 2007 Chinese Sony LCD has given me many more problems than my Sony CRT from the 80s ever did. Asus desktop motherboards only give me problems if they are Chinese. If I get a Taiwanese board with Japanese capacitors, it remains rock solid for many years. I buy so many electronic gadgets that I see a definite relationship between country of origin and reliability and quality.

      • Truth

        Umm, we’re talking about Nikon, not all those other brands you have. I actually own a few lenses from Nikon that were made in China and they work perfectly. I don’t understand why people seem to be so high strung about this. Nikon has made lenses in China for years and years and there has never been any major issues with them. As long as the quality control is good, then that’s all that matters.

      • Plenty of “made in Thailand” n80 cams still kicking. Asians seem to resent China for various reasons and this somehow has morphed into a worldwide distrust for gear made in China.

        I once had a Viet dude back out of buying an N80 from me because he saw that it wasn’t made in Japan. No n80’s were EVER made in Japan! What irrational fears some people have…

      • nick

        your post just convinced me how bogus this outrage is. If and when a decline in quality has been proven, then go ahead and complain. Until then, please refrain from your wild speculation and broad generalizations.

      • Do people get so emotional about buying American made products? here are the worst cars on American roads:-

        However, I too am sceptical about China made or sourced products, but mainly toys, household appliances and edibles (including medicines).

  • Jane

    There are many problems with China, poor pay and working coditions but also human rights issues, environmental issues and more. The only reason companies move production to China is to save money, nothing else. Nikon does NOT move to China to improve quality and get a better product for their customer, they go there because producing in China is cheap. Now this is their decision, and if they would pass part of the savings to their customers, the whole thing would be okay for the end users I guess. But Nikon does not lower prices, they keep increasing them, so the bottom line for their usually very long term and loyal customers is: pay more for less. Since Nikon Pro products are already very expensive and in many cases overpriced, moving the production of said items to China does not go down well with customers. If I pay high prices for Pro gear from a premium Japanese manufacturer, then I want them to concentrate on delivering the BEST products they can possibly produce, not on moving production out of their very own home country to save some dollars!

    But if you are, like me, a person buying very expensive and in some cases clearly overpriced products, then you

    • Truth

      Seems like some of you are still living in the mindset of the 1950s.

      I usually don’t agree with most of KR’s rants, but he makes some very valid points here for those of you who are concerned about where stuff is made:

    • Nikon thinks China is a fast growing market . Makes sense to manufacture there.

  • Kerni

    The right one is a bit smaller, look at the pics guys!

  • ShutterDragon

    Like most other China or Korea made products, they are being made using Japan-sourced machineries under Japan QC standards. They shouldn’t suffer quality problems. The only thing bad about Made in China is product image. But when you spend that kind of money people expect and want “Japan” engraved on their products. I’m glad my VR 105 is made in Japan.

    • Markus

      Partly true. A lot of cheap bad made products are made in China, often by foreign specification to keep it as low priced as possible…from real expensive Gant woolen sweaters to fake Lego toys.
      But a lot depends on quality checks. There is no difference in the past between lenses made in Japan or China, it will be not in the future.

  • achton

    1 day we will ALL eat some PVC as lunch & answer that China has nothing to do with it. That it tastes good & have to deal with our cancers. Chines simply dont care about quality products, its a matter of short term survival…

  • Stefan

    Interesting… I just bought the 105 and did notice the “Made in China” on the lens body and also a low serial number (200xxx).
    I recently bought the D90 kit with the 18-200 lens, this one is made in Thailand.

  • Kenny Ng

    Shall I say this will be the 1st Pro Lens (gold ring) made in China? Anyway, who cares made from where? As long as strict QAQC, it doesn’t matter anymore which country made it.

  • Nutty4Nikon

    I watched a show recently about Hyundai (Korean) They don’t make camera lenses but they are making a Quality Car lineup that will Rival Toyota according to predictions. Check out there new 2011 models. WOW!! KIA is another Korean company isn’t it, best warranty in the industry (10 years) I believe, so they must be doing something right also. Unlike American Car companies, they weren’t bailed out by YOU & ME either.

    • i think i will die from laughter.
      Yes, if you will alive their service costs for 10 years of not transferable warranty, they might fix you a bit rosted bolt.

      Hyundai, Kia. Lol. Some people will never learn.

  • Is this bad or good?

  • Anonymous

    either they keep it made at japan at the price or i expect to see a price decrease. !!

  • Joe

    Didn’t they did it to the 50mm AF-D F1.4? and the made in Japan one is sharper than the Made in China one?

    • hah

      that lens was always made in china.

  • Clark

    Although I too am a little sad to hear that this lens is now made outside of Japan, Canon makes most of their stuff in Japan and their QC is amazingly poor. I know, I’m a 5D2 user.

    I thought NIkon made their lenses in Thai.

  • MrMoo

    There should be no diminution of quality in the lenses made in China. I could be wrong, though.

    I remain skeptical. Especially of people who spell skeptical sceptical.


  • Anonymous

    I know this is a liitle off subject but…
    I got sick of waiting for d700x/s/900. So i bought a 5dm2 and a bunch of nikon to eos adaptors. Now I’m shooting nikon glass on canon… I think this is a great option for many of us waiting for a higher megapixel body.


    • hah

      who was asking?

    • LGO

      Since you still have your Nikkor lenses, you can still make the most of it when Nikon introduces a new FX by August this year.

      But one Canon lens worth getting since Nikon does not have a counterpart to it is the Canon TS-E 17mm.

  • Mephisto

    Bummer, should the build quality go down, with the price hike as Nikon indicates, that will not be good

  • Nutty4Nikon

    This just came from a different DSLR rumor site.

    Expect the release of four new Schneider lenses during the next months. Those lenses would be designed by Schneider but built in Korea by Samsung/Optron-Tech with Schneider supervision and quality control.

    Looks like a potential market trend for having lens made in Korea.

  • longtimenikonshooter

    The new ones that are now made in china since jan 2010 start to show front-focusing and rear-focusing issues. i ordered one copy from amazon and it has front focusing, and exchanged to a second copy that has rear-focusing, got it returned back. and i bought a used copy (made in japan version) that works without any flaws.

    Admin, here is the datebase for nikkor serials. look under 105mm 2.8 miro VR you will see two versions based on production country.

  • Christ

    erf a “made in china” gold ring lens ! :/
    Spending a (almost) thousand bucks on a upclass lens “made in china” despite Nikon’s control quality …. is definitely not the same as spending the same amount on the one marked “made in japan”. At least you know why and where you spend your thousand bucks !
    Now, will the “new” 105 from china cost at least 30% off (to be significant). I doubt !

    For those who are refering about “nikon control quality” or whatever from nikon’s chinese factories..
    When i spend a $1500 on a D300 “made in thailand” it is because it would have cost $2000 if it was manufactured in japan.
    So, Nikon has and must drop the price of the “105 v2”.

    About my concern, no problem about Nikon to manufactured some lenses in china. But those might and ONLY be the “first price” lenses (such as lenses come in a kit or basic 3.5/5.6 lenses) but NOT those upclass lenses !

  • My understanding is that the escalations in Nikon prices are a result of the millions of dollars lost by Nikon when Ritz Camera went belly up.

    The Chinese do not recognize the concept of intellectual property. Do not be surprised to see a NoName Lense that looks suprisingly similar to the Nikon with crappy glass and poor mechanics.

  • nir.e

    The serial number of the Chinese lens is placed higher on the lens itself, not like the Japanese one which is placed on the edge of the bayonet

  • Torben

    You can joke all you want, but I think this is a serious problem…, I found a chickenleg inside the box of my Nikkor 35mm 1.8.

  • achton

    πŸ™‚ hope you are kidding ? !!! πŸ™‚

  • John

    I’m not paying top dollar for N glass and accepting garbage quality out of China. Fail.

  • aaa

    Why are ple talking about serial number placement and sequunce to identify if it was made in China? Shouldn’t the “made in china” or “made in japan” label suffice?

  • abc

    well 105 micro isnt exactly high end nor an expensive lens compared to some other lenses like 24 1.4 or 14-24.
    I guess doesn’t really matter where its made @@

  • Lionel Couturier

    Think this is bad, very bad. I buy Nikon glass and pay premium price because I trust that it is made to the very high standards demanded by professionals. Of course the lense will have to pass quality assurance and sharpness tests. But how about the things subcontractors of subcontractors supply that will not be immediately evident. An ethos that feels it is alright to put a toxic thickening substance in milk meant for human consumption to raise it’s butterfat content may not be hesitant to use inferior multi-coating substances that fade or blur or cheaper glue to seat the elements. Even perhaps alloys not up to the specs required. All things that might make the lense a very expensive paperweight in a few years. Not what I want for my $1K, $2K or $3K lense. The Japanese suppliers have a history of longterm quality.

  • Gustav

    Wow, people. Who cares? If the lens works, who cares where it’s made? If you feel it’s not worth the price Nikon is charging for it, then don’t buy it. And if you don’t think Nikon, as the manufacturer, should get to decide their own profit margins, then start up your own lens making co-op.

    • Torben

      Seems like you lack some life experience…, sure it matters where it’s made, do you want a Ferrari made i Poland?, what about a rolex made in Vietnam?….

      • Peter

        Well, I am Polish for instance and I think you know little about my country. Italian management of Fiat would liked in 2010 to move the production of the engines of Fiat 500 from Pratola Serra and Termoli to BIelsko BiaΕ‚a – you know where is it? Surely, you know – and now you can check why.

  • 2 cents

    I had occasion to borrow and use this lens last week and I was extremely impressed it. Very solid and well built. The images were sharp and clean with fantastic macro ability. This just ‘felt’ like a great lens mounted to my camera as well. My little D70 was thrilled to partner up with the 105mm. I would hope that the quality of construction would not be hindered in this move to a new manufacturing country. This is such a solid performer that poor construction would ruin the quality of this lens.

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