The GH2, 14-140mm and this:
The GH2, 14-140mm and this:
China, probably, at least the GH1 is. From a quality point of view, it doesn't matter, but if you want to take action against communism, dictatorship, discrimination of minorities etc., etc., you could always buy something else. Just remember to stop buying computers, computer parts, bags, clothes, most consumer electronics and so on as well. Good luck
I see that some of the sellers of the Panasonic 14mm f2,5 are showing "Made in Japan" (MIJ) versions and I've seen photos of the lens for sale with "Made in Japan" label on the barrel of the lens. I am unsure if the MIJ models are all black as I am yet to see a MIJ with a silver barrel.
Is it possible that they are all Made in Japan but only some are marked?, I would not expect any optical performance difference though. I doubt I'd pay more for a MIJ either.
body wise, i think its made in china for majority and made in japan for domestic. It generally was the case with the GH1 with domestic serials starting with F and overseas markets starting with W which was an assumption of which manufacturing plant it came from.
As for the lens, id place my money on them all being made in japan =) my gh1 body was china, 14-140 lens japan, 20mm is japan too.
I've worked for some big companies and their structure is similar. They use "international production networks".
Usually one facility located near the hq (or at least in the same country) is the "lead-fab", they manufacture more complex, demanding or innnovative products. They assure the quality, they cut out the mistakes - often in tight cooperation with the R&D (often located within the "lead-fab".
Once the processes are stable, management sources production out to low-wage-fabs and from time to time QM checks the processes/ quality and compares them to the lead-fab.
This is how they try to create the illusion that a fab without the historic background, infrastructure, experience and established workforce can achieve the same quality as the lead-fabs. They invest more into the low-wage-fabs because the numbers say they're more effective - in truth they're not, they just copy the achievements. When the lead-fab-production is turned down, the low-wage-fabs produce decreasing quality (they cannot rely on the know-how of the lead-fab anymore).
I know that Japanese rely on "trained-on-the-job" instead of trained craftsmen (that's makes the difference in international production networks from German companies even more substantial) but as far as I know, most employees in Japan (at least those working directly for Panasonic) work there for a longer period of time and get further training - they become more trained and experienced in their craft as well. They are well-paid (enough to buy US/German products) and invest in a social system, they have to follow social/environmental regulations. It's simply no comparison to chinese standards.
Managements find various reasons to not manufacture in Japan: closer to the customer, currencies...
It's all about lower standards. Employees that demand very little, have little rights, a government willing to pay substantial amounts of tax money into subsidies - it's a race to the bottom withouth a winner.
In the early 90s, Nikon fired many Japanese employees, closed down major production and off-shored it to Thailand because a worker gets only paid 150$ instead of 1800$ a month...
In the "finanical crisis", they fired many thai workers and replaced them with chinese, because they work for less than 150$...
It's disgusting, it slows down social achievements, it lowers quality, it destroys the world economy, our environment - it's BS forced by the financial system with it's short sighted strategy and grieve for more yield.
So you have a choice between "Made in China" and "Made in Japan"? I don't even have to think twice. It's not a big difference right there in the moment, but it's part of our responsibility as customers. You can't profit from "Made in China", period.
Hmm ... maybe I've been lucky so far. My GF1 (F serial number), 14-45mm, 20mm, 14mm, and LVF1 were all made in Japan. I haven't received any "Made in China" Panasonic parts yet.