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Nikon 70-200 f/2.8 lens “back ordered” everywhere

The Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8D VR G-AFS ED-IF lens is still/again back ordered @ B&H and Adorama.
Amazon can sell you one for $2000 (ouch). 
Check here for the latest Nikon lenses rumors.
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  • Jack

    Ritz.com has had them in stock since Friday, and they still have them in stock now for $1800.

  • Brian

    Why does it take so long for a new lens to come out. It just seems like the companies are losing money by not having them in stock. Their is too long of a delay from one to end and the next to be in stock.

  • Kei

    Got one here in Hong Kong for ~USD1600 few weeks ago. Now it’s 1900(2050 for grey).

  • Shot

    Ritz is always the last to go, given their pricing premium over B&H and Adorama.

    Adorama sold me their floor demo unit of the 70-200/2.8 a month or so ago (no discount off list, but at $1624, it was a fair price given the supply situation). This was exactly a day before the rumor of a new 70-200 first hit Nikon Rumors. Clearly they knew a new model is coming out.

  • MarkDphotoguy

    It’s pretty simple.
    Mass produced = quick to market but more sample variation and poorer quality control.
    Smaller production scale = slow to market but much better quality control and less sample variation.
    When a lens like the 70-200 f/2.8 production line is turned over they do well before the new product is announced (hence it is now back ordered everywhere) in order to ensure a good sized first batch. Since the production has allot of hand assembled components and the lenses are checked rigorously before they leave the company (I used to work in repairs and have spoken to Nikon repair techs and reps extensively) the production times are slower so the old version is more likely to go into a back order situation.
    With a lens like the 70-200 and update will be jaw droppingly good so the best course of action is to wait and pick up one of the new ones after they are released or find an old version on the used market as many will be traded in or sold for the new model.
    Good lenses and good cameras are worth waiting for.

  • Mark

    No problems here in France with stock.

  • Blog Admin

    as always, thanks for the detailed post

  • charlie

    A long wait time for lenses and other products with Nikon has been a long time trend, while it has gotten better in the past year or so.

    I remember getting our first D200 18-200 VR kit, a preorder, in the store. The camera arrived 6 months after the preorder and about 4 months after they were “suppose” to be going out. Even a year after that it was still hard to find a D200 body.

    It’s mainly because Nikon produces cameras and lenses in smaller batches than say Canon or Sony. Canon and Sony have other businesses besides cameras and optics including printers, sensors, copiers, industrial machines, TV’s, government contracts etc. These companies can afford to pour money into camera/lens development and production at a short-term loss so they can reap the long term gains. Even if they don’t meet sales goals and have thousands of units sitting in a warehouse they can afford to sell them at a loss; which is why Canon always discounts older camera bodies on a sliding scale over time so heavily, just look at the original price of a 5D, over $3000. Now you can get one for as little as $1900.

    Nikon doesn’t have nearly as many other businesses to keep them solvent, only optics, a few scanner contracts and cameras, so they have to produce items in smaller batches over time, as to keep the up-front costs down.

    A side effect of this is that there is very rarely a lot of high-end Nikon equipment sitting in a warehouse gathering dust, so as soon as the production lines are closed down to retool for a new model supply starts to shrink rapidly.

    They do seem to be getting a lot better though, I got to play with a 14-24 F/2.8 THE DAY they said retailers would have it, same thing with the D3 and the D300.

  • Juergen

    Same as in Germany.

    Many leading photo dealers here list it as available immediately or within a week.
    So from the stock situation in Germany one can’t draw any serious conclusions.

  • Douglas

    there is also issues with Nikon being a much “smaller” company… they also physically dont have the facilities to produce enough product to keep up with the demand as often as not…

  • MarkDphotoguy

    You are correct about the pricing but the biggest issue really is the quality control.
    For instance on all models with a mechanical shutter Nikon fires the shutter 500 times before installing the shutter unit which prevents lubricant splatter within the camera. When the Canon 5D hit stores (20D, 30D and to a much smaller degree the 40D) our first batches being sold to customers had dust, lubricant splatter on the sensors and other issues with a quarter of the bodies in our first two batches. Never had the same issue with a newly released Nikon product (although IMO there was an issue with sample variation in the first batches of the 17-55 f/2.8). Nikon is also the only camera company to hold off on the release of a product high in demand for quality assurance (coolwalker) rather than release a faulty product (although perhaps this is why we didn’t see a 5D replacement at PMA 2008 as the Canon rep seemed to think it was about to be released when I spoke to him before PMA in Jan).
    Same reason why Nikon still makes a film body and have amazing lens compatibility for the higher models, Nikon cares about their customers and for some items this will slow down the production but quality will be high.
    The D200 and 18-200 were surprises for Nikon as they had projected sales for the D200 based on D100 sales + medium growth and were not prepared for the demand (they were ready with the 300) The 18-200 was also a really big surprise for Nikon as they had projected similar sales + growth as the 28-200 G lens and had a smaller production facility for the 18-200 than it really needed. After production was shifted to a larger plant the stock finally could keep up with the demand.
    Nikon is smaller than Canon, they are even smaller than Fuji but they do have the muscle to produce fast enough for the demand is more a question of quality (directly from the mouth of National Sales Manager of Nikon Canada Mary Mulder a four or five years ago as I was picking her brain about Nikon Japan and their philosophy) of final product.
    You are very correct about the pricing. Nikon will always be more expensive than Canon for some things because Canon is diversified enough to sell at a lower price point in the camera division because it will be made up for in another area.
    This is the basis of the CPS (Canon Pro Service) where authorized Canon retailers will sell to Canon CPS cardholder gear at a lower price point and be reimbursed by Canon. Canon’s direct sale to newspapers and magazines are also handled in a similar fashion. Ever wonder why Canon is so prevalent in photojournalism, its because they sell gear for cheaper than Nikon can.
    I don’t mind paying more for the Nikon as in my mind Nikon cameras have better ergonomics, features for the price point and better optics in terms of extremely low sample variation. To be diplomatic to the Canon cameras though, it is worth mentioning that they do have the second best cameras and lenses around ;)

  • Clickey

    Are you new to Nikon, admin? Nikon lenses are constantly on backorder. The 70-200VR is almost always on backorder. You need to try harder.

  • NikonChap

    Does anyone have any guesses/ideas on how a new 70-200 VR model will affect the 80-200 AFD? Will prices go down or will it be dropped/discontinued?

    Any thoughts?

  • stj

    Same in Switzerland. You’ll find 70-200’s in any larger (and even smaller) shop. And as always the price is high, no change there…

  • George.B

    Same in Greece. You can find the lens in all major shops (you can have it in 1 or 2 days by post), while the price is steady as a rock.

  • Chris

    Jessops in the UK have plenty of stock.

    In fact, they have an unusual amount. Of 70-200’s and rather oddly Sigma 300-800’s.

  • Steve H.

    One trick I’ve found useful is to use the wait lists that B&H maintains. If you put yourself on the wait list (through the “Notify when in stock” link on the product webpage), then magic can happen…and surprisingly fast!

    I’ve gotten several lenses in the past 2-3 months like this, all of them considered to be out-of-production or soon-to-be-replaced. B&H apparently has enough “pull” or orders large-enough quantities, that they can often get the impossible-to-get lenses. E.g., I just got a new 50mm f/1.2 AI-S after waiting only a few weeks…even though I thought this was permanently out-of-production and I’d have to resort to buying a used one… This also worked getting the 85mm f/1.4 AF, which was O/S for a long time.

    I wish Adorama, Ritz/Wolf, and Amazon would also create wait lists. But as long as B&H has wait lists, they’ll always be the first I go through for O/S lenses.

  • Rick

    Ritz.com had 50 70-200 lenses on hand as of Sunday September 14th. Is Nikon going to release the news of a new model at Photokina the end of this month?

  • Steve Hall

    Oh, forgot to mention: instead of the G-type (gelded) 70-200 f/2.8 VR (part #2139) you might consider buying the old non-G-type 80-200 f/2.8 non-VR (part #1986)…for about HALF the price! (Do you really need VR?) And they seem to be abundant…(and built more tank-like). Remember, this old lens was one of the original “Magic Trio” of lenses.

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