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Fakes of the Venus 60mm macro lens
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Joined: 21 Nov 2009
Posts: 1135
Location: Stockholm, Sweden

PostPosted: Thu Jul 20, 2017 4:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

elf wrote:
Obviously not a "poor counterfeit product" as the images are quite nice Razz

I think it is more likely that the factory contracted by Laowa to build the lenses is diverting some of their production to a third party. For many years this has been a common "business practice" in multiple Eastern Asian countries: factories contracted by US or EU brands to manufacture luxury goods often used the same production lines "after-hours" (sometimes skipping some of the finishing steps to save money and time - an example might be using simpler lens coatings in the Laowa "clones", for instance). The counterfeit products are then dumped onto the markets of countries known not to care about it.

I am not really surprised that some Chinese brands now get the same well-established treatment.
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Joined: 01 Aug 2006
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Location: Richland, Washington State, USA

PostPosted: Thu Jul 20, 2017 12:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This issue has been interesting for me to read about.

Quickly summarizing what I've been able to glean from the web:

1. Venus announced their lens in January 2015 (ref). Nobody disagreed with their claim to be the first lens with a range of infinity to 2:1.

2. The Oshiro version became available in or before February 2016 (ref).

3. The Oshiro website (HERE) makes claims that appear identical to Venus.

4. Oshiro advertisements appearing at Amazon show images that appear identical to Venus's, including what looks like a Laowa logo -- or something very close to it -- on the front of the lens. Compare these images:

5. Venus is a Chinese company; The Oshiro website (HERE) says that "Our production and assembly factory is located in China."

6. At https://www.flickr.com/groups/2760818@N21/discuss/72157671347420666/72157673388529345 appears this posting:
Htbaa 11 months ago
I contacted Venus Optics about the Bresser lens. This was their reply:

Please note that the Bresser 60mm Lens is a complete COPY of our Laowa lenses with extremely poor quality. We are now working with legal team to take them down. All our lenses design are protected by patent.

The main difference is the focusing ring and front window opening. The focusing ring of our Laowa product is metallic while the FAKE one is rubber. The shape of the window opening is also different.

Attached please find the REAL/FAKE comparison image for your perusal. Please excuse us that it is in Chinese at this moment. (LEFT: Laowa, RIGHT: fake)

You can view the image here.

I won't be getting the Bresser myself.

If I had to bet, I'd go for a combination of Enrico's explanation plus blatant ripoff of images and device description.

That said, the situation is murky enough that I wouldn't think ill about any purchaser who selected the cheaper option.

JohnDownie wrote:
I wonder how people would react if the thread was about new stacking software that Rik said violated his Zerene intellectual property.

It's just a guess, but I expect they'd take the lead from my own reaction. There's an example of that at http://www.photomacrography.net/forum/viewtopic.php?p=120151#120151 and in the surrounding thread.

But of course for me, the issue is never "new stacking software" but rather unauthorized exact or nearly exact copies, complete with my copyright notice, that are packaged with stolen licenses. Once you get one of the packages in hand, it's pretty clear what's going on. For me, I think those packages don't really represent lost income, on the theory that (a) anybody who actually uses one probably would never buy a license anyway, and (b) people who visit those sites tend to be punished by malware, so the problem is sort of self-limiting. (That doesn't mean it's small, however. The results from a Google search I just now did on "Zerene Stacker crack" started off by reporting "About 93,700 results".)

For Venus, the copies would be much more of a problem, because the copies look legit and actually do work well. So for them, it definitely would be a matter of lost income.

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Joined: 21 Nov 2009
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Location: Stockholm, Sweden

PostPosted: Fri Jul 21, 2017 2:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Judging from the pictures of Oshiro-branded lenses on Oshiro's web site, I am fairly sure that the Oshiro 8 mm f/3.5 fisheye is a rebranded Samyang (I used to have one with the Samyang brand, http://savazzi.net/photography/Samyang_8mm.html ).

The Oshiro 500 mm f/6.3 pictured on the Oshiro website looks similar, but not identical, to no-brand offerings from China on eBay (this Oshiro lens is available by the boatload on eBay, and similarly priced to the no-brand ones).

I don't recognize the Oshiro 35 mm f/2 and 135 mm f/2.8. They may or may not be available under other brands.

So I don't think it is far-fetched that the Oshiro 60 mm is a rebranded "something-else". I have one on order, by the way. Looking at the actual thing might show differences from the Laowa 60 mm. Oshiro might use pictures of the Laowa lenses in their ads, but then sell something else. Unfortunately I don't have an actual Laowa 60 mm to compare it with.

The no-name 60 mm f/2.8 2x on eBay with different cutout at the front and rubber focus/magnification ring, on the other hand, may be a different beast, at least mechanically. So we have for sure at least two different lenses (Laowa and no-name, a.k.a. Bresser, easily found on eBay by searching for "60mm super macro"), and possibly three (Oshiro).
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Location: California/Shenzhen

PostPosted: Wed Jul 26, 2017 10:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

there are also fake or clone of YN560 flashes ...
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