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Nikon issues third update after the earthquake in Japan

Nikon just published a third notice on the impact by the earthquake in Japan (see #1 and #2). Nikon basically warns again that they will not be able to meet customers’ demand in the near future:

"The Nikon Group would express our deepest condolences to the victims of the earthquake and extend our profound sympathy and heartfelt concern to those individuals and families suffering from the disaster.

The following is an update regarding Nikon Corporation and its group manufacturing facilities.

1. Safety of the employees
As have previously informed, to our deepest regret, death of one employee of Sendai Nikon Corporation has been confirmed and safety of three employees is not yet confirmed in the area of Natori City, Miyagi Prefecture.

2. Reopen of operation at the manufacturing facilities and outlook on the future production
One of our own plants and seven of our manufacturing subsidiaries are located in the disastrous region of Miyagi Prefecture, Tochigi Prefecture and Ibaraki Prefecture *. All of these facilities have resumed their operation now with reopen by yesterday, March 30 of Sendai Nikon Corporation and Miyagi Nikon Precision Co., Ltd.

It has been becoming clearer that we will be able to secure parts/components including their replacements through our investigation of the current conditions and possible measures to secure the procurement in our collaboration with our business partners. However, we have a concern that the situation may continue where our production cannot fully satisfy our customers’ requirement due to inability of full swing production worsened by the planned blackouts of electricity. While we will do our utmost effort to overcome such expected difficulties, we will be most grateful if our customers could understand such circumstances.

3. Forecast of effect by the damage to our business performances
We are continuing our endeavor to evaluate how the immediate damage by the disaster and planned blackouts of electricity will result in our group companies and business performances. We will announce our findings immediately when it is judged that there will be important change in our forecast."

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  • Son of FE

    I can only imagine the frantic efforts occurring to keep things going.
    As for Nikon semi-pro and pro shooters, this seems to confirm that the music has stopped and it’s time to grab a chair before one finds nothing. It’s going to be a looooonnnngggg year or so. My best to all the people of Japan.

    • steve

      Frantic ? Stoic.

      On a different note, the D5100 must be quite unexciting as no-one seems to be interested in leaking specs.

      • http://www.AlmondButterscotch.com/home Almond Butterscotch

        LOL.

  • venancio

    the silver lining…

  • chris

    gives me the few more months i will need to save up for the D700 replacement!

    • horseboy

      Way things are looking that might not be this year.

  • Eric Calabros

    I wonder what this “satisfy” means

  • Roger

    Purchased Nikon 16-35mm f/4G ED VR wide angle zoom before the quake and Nikon SB-900 flash last week – both are made in Japan but not sure where. I am looking for a D800, etc.

  • http://AdairCreativeGroup.com Ron Adair

    Does anyone know where I can find a D800 in stock?

    • Rob

      You’ll have to be quick, if you miss out now it will be next year before they’re back in stock.

    • Axel

      Yep,

      I just got mine (local shop in Dover DW) but it was one of the last …

      I have to say it’s a darn good camera, you should rush to get yours Ron !

      • http://micahmedia.com/ Micah

        …what firmware does yours have? Mine has 1.01, and it doesn’t seem to hit 24mp and 102, 400ISO simultaneously–only in crop mode. I mean, it’s a great camera either way…it’d just be nice to have the option.

        • KZ

          Only 24MP ? Just save a little bit more and get D4 like me.

          • Enrico

            naa haa

        • D700guy

          Mine has a beautiful Penthouse model who pops out of the lens and blows me every time I take a perfect shot.

          • James

            Eccliastes 3:1—be patient, since “to everything there is a season.”

    • The invisible man

      D800 in stock ?
      Sure, I have plenty of them, $8995 each (free shipping)
      :)

  • http://LeicaGlow.com Axel

    I cannot imagine the impact to each worker’s life, let alone the impact to a company. My prayers are with them all.

  • http://lestermultimedia.com/ Lester

    “Nikon basically warns again that they will not be able to meet customers’ demand in the near future.” As far as I can tell, Nikon has never been able to meet my needs. I feel sorry for the people living through the devastation in Japan, but not being able to meet customers’ demand is growing a little long in the tooth for me.

    • Ronan

      What?

      Nikon excel in every single category.

      How can it NOT meet your needs when they meet the needs of the best professionals out there… Maybe you should learn to use your equipment before whining on the internet.

      • http://micahmedia.com/ Micah

        Availability is what he meant. Gear you don’t have is horrible gear indeed.

    • ianz28

      Manufacturing is a delicate balancing act. There is the foretasted demand based on previous cycles and along with that forecast comes the orders for parts and supplies from vendors.

      Nikon released a bombshell in the D3 and D700 that pretty much throws the whole balancing act out of whack.

      Suddenly Nikon has to adjust all production expectations for multiple product lines to include professional lens production in order to meet the needs of the global market.

      Surprisingly due to the overwhelming success of their professional camera’s and the very compelling releases at the lower model lines demand is greatly increased which likely created pressure at all levels of production and distribution.

      An envious position to be in for most corporations. The fact that Nikon struggles to keep up with demand simply shows the strength of the product being offered.

      Demanding an increase in productivity from an already stressed system can result in lower quality among other problems.

      The fact that there is a natural disaster impeding production should only stress the need to be patient for some Nikon goods. No need to be negative and harp on the company for something that is quite simply out of their control.

    • http://www.seanmolin.com Sean Molin

      …wow.

  • Dave

    There is a lot of greed on this forum. In the last two post all you hear is “I want” “I need”. One person even suggested that the disaster was a good excuse to move production to a cheaper country. Sit back and give these guys a break for a minute. I am sure most of you have gear that will get you by for a few more minutes. It is like vultures pecking at a dying animal for chrissakes.

    • Dave

      The guy above me is a prime example.

      • Ronan

        I hope you mean Lester, but everyone already knows his a tool.

        • Dave

          Yes, I meant Lester, somehow more comments appeared between my message over night.

    • Björn Ulvae

      My relationship with Nikon is a business relationship, not a personal one. They aren’t giving me cameras for free, after all. And it’s not like I can buy Nikon a beer or take him to a baseball game either.

  • http://www.theartoftylerjordan.com Graphicnatured

    Man, this has to be very hard on them and everyone there. Godspeed to everyone in their recovery.

  • Chris P

    Somewhat off topic; this annoucement is a wonderful example of why the Japanese are so successful and my country, the UK, isn’t. In less than three weeks after one of the worse earhquakes ever recorded Nikon have managed to get all of their damaged factories up and running, a tribute to the Japanese national ethic.

    If it had happened here we would still be waiting for the HSE, Elf & Saftee Elves, to decide if was ok for anyone to enter the factories in the first place; and the employees wouldn’t be able to actually do anything until they had received ‘help’ from a lot of highly paid ‘counsellors’ for the ‘trauma’. These would of course be followed by a whole army of lawyers persuading people to sue the government for not warning them that an earthquake would occur in the first place.

    • islandshooter

      If this happened in San Francisco, the place would go outa whack! With everyone concerned about the “political correctness” nothing will get done. You gotta admire the Japanese, I have not seen anyone looting the malls, stores and pharmacies in any of the news coverage. There were no disorganized lines to get food and shelter. In the heat of the battle, people there still showed discipline. If it happened in San Francisco, Oakland or anywhere in the bay are it would be chaos. My condolenses and best wishes to all in Japan.

      • ZoetMB

        I don’t know if that’s a fair statement. I thought SF’ers behaved pretty well after the 1989 earthquake. I didn’t live there, but I don’t remember any looting or chaos. It did take some years to rebuild the elevated highway that collapsed and there were new building codes implemented which cost many people big bucks, but my memory is that the city handled it all pretty well.

        Having said that, I do think that people in the U.S. today would have behaved more selfishly in the same situation – cutting into lines, hoarding supplies, etc. And the response of the Japanese government still seems weak to me — I don’t see any massive attempts to house and feed people dislocated by the earthquake and they seem to be hesitating taking charge at the damaged power plants. (I thought only the U.S. government had become incompetent at dealing with big emergencies.) And communications also seems poor – I think this has to do with the “saving face” and “never go around your boss” culture of the Japanese, which frequently gets in the way of the truth.

    • http://www.andradefoto.com fotosniper

      not only that but there was no looting, no hoarding, no price gouging. everyone is civil. i saw some footage of a rescue shelter at night and everyone was quiet and asleep and organized. During Katrina in the middle of the night in any shelter there were people on phones, people stealing things from one another and just all around bad behavior. We all can learn a valuable lesson from the japanese people, how to act civilized even in the worst scenarios.
      Even the JSDF during rescue operations are collecting any and all photos and valuables. and placing them in a lost and found for people to try and save their connection to the past. Blows my mind.

      • http://www.seanmolin.com Sean Molin

        +1

  • Gill

    Well said Dave.

  • gncl

    Kudos to Nikon for making a straightforward and honest assessment of the situation.

    • Stuff

      Are you serious?

      In other news, there’s a ton of WMD in Iraq. Let’s invade.

      And that job you applied to, where they don’t have any openings at the minute but they’ll keep your resume on file? I hate to break it to you but…

      • gncl

        Erm… so when Nikon say:

        However, we have a concern that the situation may continue where our production cannot fully satisfy our customers’ requirement due to inability of full swing production worsened by the planned blackouts of electricity.

        Do you think they’re lying and everything is actually fine? Sounds to me that they’re being pretty upfront about their situation.

        And as others have noted, it’s impressive how well they’re coping in the face of such tragic circumstances.

  • 3rrolski3

    +1

  • mshi

    The world’s financial markets, including both the Japanese stock and bond market, feel really super-bullish about this whole thing. They firmly believe more destruction means more money for rebuild; thus, more profits for everyone. Do you love this or hate this profit-driven capitalistic mentality?

    • ZoetMB

      That is actually what I thought would happen after 9/11. I thought that the reconstruction of lower Manhattan would have created tons of construction jobs and re-jump start the economy. While there were temporary jobs for the cleanup and construction has begun on the new towers, it took until 2004 just for the Dow to return to over 10,000.

      But one difference is that NYC and Washington didn’t lose housing. The Japanese have to build new homes for all those displaced people, factories have to spend money to restart operations and even if the area around the power plants needs to be abandoned, ports are still going to have to be reubilt or expanded somewhere else and all of that will add to GDP and put people to work in Japan.

      As far as capitalist economies are concerned, it certainly has some disadvantages as it is not only based upon consumption, but (at least insofar as public companies go) it is based upon ever-increasing consumption. And when real wages are stagnant or in decline, as they’ve been for years in the U.S., that means that personal debt must increase, which compounds the problem. In addition, ever increasing consumption has negative impact for the environment. But what choice is there? While the Chinese have seemingly done a spectacular job with a centrally controlled economy that also has some aspects of private enterprise, there is no way you could centrally control the U.S. economy – there is such negativity towards government right now that I’ll be surprised if public schools and the post office survives another ten years.

      One change I think that should be made is the concept that the fiduciary duty of a CEO is only to the shareholders. I think this concept is detrimental to the society and reflects the greedy and selfish nature of capitalism. I think this should be changed to a shared duty to the shareholders, employees and consumers of the products.

      As of 2004, 60% of American corporations reported no tax liability for 1996-2000 and 71% of foreign corporations doing business in the U.S. reported no tax liability. I heard a figure the other day that 75% of large corporations don’t pay U.S. taxes. GE seems proud of the fact that not only do they pay no federal taxes, but they got a $3.2 billion credit. Is it any wonder we’re broke? I think this reflects a major ethics problem in our society where CEOs are taught to care about nothing except corporate profits (and usually only short term profits). They don’t give a damn about society as a whole. If anything is going to destroy modern society, this is it. Individuals get caught under the AMT – there should be one for corporations as well.

  • Tim Schroeder

    Well, as stated in the recent TIME magazine article, this quake caused the earth to shift on its axis just a wee bit, and moved the whole country of Japan to the east by one parking space. And with an event like this, that Nikon could even begin to see any light at the end of any tunnel is purely a miracle as far as I’m concerned. So if a D800, or whatever it’s called, takes another year to bring out, or two years, then se be it. Nikon has always taken its time for new anything, but when it does arrive, it’s a peach with sugar and cream on top. I’m still using my D2X cams, and ya know what…they still work and still produce sparkling images and haven’t skipped a beat in the 6 years I’ve owned them. I wish mostly now for the people devastated by this event to find themselves again and get back to some state of happiness and honor. I have no doubt that they will, it will just take time, and as far as new camera gear, all good things come to those who wait. Whiners make me sick, this is a huge disaster, maybe they should go over and whine while helping with the cleanup?

    • D700guy

      Does that mean that Japan gained some real estate? Or did they have to give up that parking space on the west border?

      • Tim Schroeder

        They had to give it up, seems it’s under water now!

        • The invisible man

          Yes, the space will be used for the new factory making all the Nikon waterproof cameras.
          :)

  • http://ronscubadiver.wordpress.com Ron Scubadiver

    I appreciate Nikon’s transparency, although this announcement contains no surprises. Many pro items were in short supply prior to the catastrophe, supply will be even tighter now. Fortunately, the supply chain appears to be in tact. That cannot be said for the automobile industry.

  • Harry Lavo

    I doubt there are many professionals out there who don’t already have the Nikon gear they need. It is we amateurs who will have to wait…..will it kill us? Perhaps we should focus on our picture-taking instead.

    • Shrubs

      We professionals are just like you, we wait and anticipate, too. But it’s your last sentence that I really like, well said!

    • Just A Thought

      “I doubt there are many professionals out there who don’t already have the Nikon gear they need.”

      But gear gets stolen or damaged beyond repair. Then what???

      New assignments may require more reach. Then what???

      At least batteries are still available. That too may change.

      • D700guy

        AS far as batteries, we will never really be completely out of luck.
        Both my D700 and F6 have the ability to use AA batteries with the use of the verticle grip. I never use them in that fashion, but it’s a nice back up if needed.

    • broxibear

      Hi Harry Lavo,
      From my experience I don’t know any photographer who bought all their equipment in one go. It’s a rolling thing where I update, upgrade and change as I go, and everyone I know does the same. My finances dictate when and what I can upgrade…few can afford to upgrade everything at the same time.
      It’s a myth that all professional photographers are up to their necks in the latest gear…most of us are just up to our necks in debt and doing the best we can with the best equipment we can afford.

  • Rob

    If people posting about upcoming cameras and lenses makes you sick since there was a disaster recently, maybe you guys shouldn’t be reading a forum with the sole purpose of discussing upcoming cameras and lenses. Maybe the Red Cross has a nice forum where you and your fellow saints can plan how you guys are going to save the world.

    • Shrubs

      Gee whiz, Bob, this still is a discussion of upcoming cameras and lenses, towards which I have as much excitement as any Nikon user, but I don’t think we need to seek Red Cross forums to discuss compassion and decency. Maybe you should switch to Leica, no quakes in Germany yet to interrupt your needs, and Leica Rumors is here so you won’t even have to switch URLs to talk about them. Here’s the Red Cross site, makes it easy for you to donate to the relief fund. http://www.jrc.or.jp/english/index.html

      • ZoetMB

        He’s not going to have any better luck with Leica. Leica can’t seem to keep products in stock either. Right now at B&H only 7 of 25 M-series lens SKUs are available (2 of the 25 might be discontinued) – mostly the 3.8s and the 2.5s.

    • http://www.andradefoto.com fotosniper

      so i suppose that if you DO come to this site it allows you to disregard all civility and act like an ass? ohh ok i see.

    • ZoetMB

      It’s caring human beings like yourself that make the world such a nice place.

  • http://www.eaglewheel.us bikinchris

    The simplest solution to blackouts is generators. In my area, there are many companies who rent out power generators. Some of them are big enough to run whole factories (or whole towns). Surely there are such things in Japan, in fact there are! I just looked them up. Hey! Nikon, Call these people:
    http://mysolar.cat.com/

    If enough companies ran their own power, the blackouts would be reduced for the rest of the general public in Japan. Hey! Nikon, Call these people:
    http://mysolar.cat.com/

    In the long run, unhooking from the grid is a good thing. Solar power, green engineering and so on, helps the bottom line, when ist saves money and helps the environment.

    • http://www.eaglewheel.us bikinchris

      Oops, I meant to delete the second paragraph.

    • Just A Thought

      “”In the long run, unhooking from the grid is a good thing. Solar power, green engineering and so on, helps the bottom line, when ist saves money and helps the environment.”

      Solar power does not help the environment. It only works when there is sunlight. At night you need huge banks of lead acid batteries. When it’s cloudy you need huge banks of lead acid batteries. Here’s an example for ya:
      ” Over 100 villagers suffer lead poisoning in China”
      http://www.bellinghamherald.com/2011/03/25/1934393/over-100-villagers-suffer-lead.html#

      You need massive space for solar to provided enough power for say a factory. In Japan space is at a premium.

      Coal fired power generation make far more sense and is safe in an earthquake prone area. LNG power generation is also in Japan but port facilities would have to be available. Roads would have to be repaired. etc etc. Oil fired works also. All three generate power day or night, sunny or cloudy. Solar costs more per watt delivered than other methods – hence the heavy govt subsidies in Germany. BTW it seems that the Germans have seen the light about Solar and cutting govt support.

      Solar Power does not help the bopttom line, unless a company was in Germany a couple of years ago and had received huge govt subsidies to install Solar.

      Why the factories in that areas do not have a backup sources for power generation is surprising. Being totally reliant on the public funded electrical grid in an area prone to earthquakes makes little sense. But hind sight is 20/20 vision.

      • greenpower

        I was going to mention something similar but it seems people do not understand how many solar panels and wind turbines would be needed to meet the power demand.
        The marketers for green power/ go green have done a great job in convincing people that this is a viable option and it is environmentally friendly.
        I saw an article where researchers in Spain have come up with a way to create oil the article is titled: “Spanish scientists search for fuel of the future” I would post a link but my posts with links get denied many times. It looks like a lot of big companies are investing in this.

        • http://www.eaglewheel.us bikinchris

          I agree that solar power would not help the lens kilns which run 24 hours, but it might help the camera production. Having the plant so close to the coast would help collect wind power, but both of those are only a partial solution of course, and both shoudl have been done years ago, not AFTER the disaster. Do you guys think hospitals rent generators AFTER the disaster? Nope, they buy them before and wire them into a circuit breaker, which disconnects them from the power grid when the power is cut off.
          One more thing. Trucking in a load of diesel fuel for a generator in a gasoline shortage is not a big problem.

  • Scoobysmak

    Well about the generator comment, with a shortage of fuel how are you going to power that 10 ton paper weight? Either way I do think its incredible that Nikon can open so soon. I have stuff on order that may take a few more months to get to me than it would have before, it does not bother me. Would I like it now, yes but I understand. I just hope nothing else goes wrong, the Japaneses have had enough problems to deal with.

    Build a solar plant does not happen over night, and secondly if it were cheap everyone would be doing it. I agree its a good way to be green but some people complain about the cost of equipment now, just think if they raised the prices even more.

    I hope they find the missing employees but at this point its looking grim. I wish everyone over there the best.

    • D700guy

      Easy! Gerbil driven power generators.

  • broxibear

    Apart from “It has been becoming clearer that we will be able to secure parts/components including their replacements through our investigation of the current conditions and possible measures to secure the procurement in our collaboration with our business partners.” this statement doesn’t add anything new to the previous one. An we already new they were going to take parts/components to their Thailand plant for assembly.
    As I posted yesterday the Tochigi plant is open, but as far as production and staff goes it sounds limited, here’s the Tochigi notice about rolling blackouts http://translate.googleusercontent.com/translate_c?hl=en&sl=ja&u=http://www.tochigi-nikon.co.jp/whatsnew/bn2011/20110330.htm&prev=/search%3Fq%3DNikon%2BTochigi%26hl%3Den%26prmd%3Divns&rurl=translate.google.co.uk&usg=ALkJrhgPlqCz7VMC9qJNRDVepOATSs-TRA
    Even if you look at it from the best case scenario…for arguements sake lets say Nikon get the Tochigi plant up and running at normal capacity next week, they would have lost a month of production. The knock on effect from that alone would be two to three months on orders reaching retailers, those retailers already have back orders to fill…any new orders, ie you walking into a shop and ordering a lens now, would have to wait until the second shipment…now we’re at five to six months away.
    And remember this doesn’t take into account all that’s happening in Japan that Nikon has no control over at all.
    Reading on various news and business sites many are now suggesting the rolling blackouts will last well into July. That would mean a further three months before normal production…to me this sounds a far more credible timetable.
    From the information I’ve been able to scrape together here are my personal thoughts, take them any way you want (add a pinch of salt too lol)…
    There will be a price increase in April, in May stock of the sought after pro gear will be gone and will be impossible to get until the end of the year, D5100 and D400 are the only new bodies released this year although you might get an announcement (not release) of the D800 and D4 late in the 4th quarter.
    The Nikon statement is purposely vague so as not to spook investors and share price.

    • http://nikonrumors.com/ [NR] admin

      Broxibear, this link is broken, do you have the original? I will try to extract it.

    • Just A Thought

      “As I posted yesterday the Tochigi plant is open, but as far as production and staff goes it sounds limited, here’s the Tochigi notice about rolling blackouts”

      You are assuming that the assorted sands which are used to cook the glass for the lenses has been unharmed. Apparently the tsunami damages coal aupplies in storage which was supposed to be used for Electical generation (not in Sendai and not by Nikon). New shipments of coal have to come in. If any of the silica/sands were harmed by the tsunami then new shipments have to arrive. Then the Glass Maker has to mix them to get the glass they want. The mixture is cooked over a long period of time and cooled over a long period of time. That requires a consistent power source for the heaters and over long periods of time – to reduce/eliminate bubbles and stress fractures and other reasons beyond my limited knowledge.

      Shott in Germany could supply Nikon with raw glass blanks to their specs – still would take lots of time to cook the custom glass formulas.

      • broxibear

        Hi Just A Thought,
        I’m not assuming anything?…If you look below you’ll see a post about Ohara Inc.

        • Just A Thought

          Hi: Hoya supplied some high end glass blanks (along with lots of low end consumer lens glass) to different manufacturers if my memory serves me. Hoya also owns most of the 3rd party lens manufacturers, so from your Ohara post it looks like that lens group availability will dry up also. That article (which you posted lower down) about Ohara and Hoya was very interesting – really appreciated your posting it.

          It amazes me that it seems that Japanese firms were totally reliant on one single source of electrical power – ie the publicly funded power grid. Especially any firm involved in optical glass and Integrated Circuit manufacturing, where you need consistent power for rather long stretches.

          Have enjoyed reading your posts – keep em coming….

  • Zim

    A D400 would be good.

  • l2z

    Complainers = gearheads and crappy photographers who think a camera update is going to help their disastrous skill set. Ironically enough they complained prior to the D3’s release and when it was released, they probably didn’t even buy it and the ones that did saw no improvement.

    Non-complainers = Those who are not jaded and as much as it is just a tool realize that the latest Nikon offerings are phenomenal cameras and deep down inside know that they blow the competitors line up away (but try not to say that too much out of respect lol). A lot of them excel in technical and creativity and can make beautiful pictures in any circumstances. Sure they want the next update to enable them to push further and achieve better things……. but they are fairly content and doing it now as opposed to waiting for the planets to align for the next release. Plus they are patient cause the next release causes them to have to drop another huge chunk of money. ;)

    I think it is safe to say that the skilled photographers understand the cameras shortcomings regardless of brand and know how to work around them… if the camera can’t do it then there are other aids that can (for example additional lighting, a good raw processor, colour calibrated monitor, nice lenses etc…)

    It is amazing how anyone ever survived with film…. could you imagine shooting a wedding and being stuck with 800 speed film in the camera?

    Cameras aren’t just nice to own, they are wonderful, relaxing tools to use and master and push the limits of…when you push these limits you can really begin to appreciate the subtle improvements offered in the newer models.

    Get over it, it is not like every one else is shooting with D4’s. The cameras are not what hinders us “we” are.

  • broxibear

    Just got some interesting information from Reuters about Ohara Inc, this name may not mean much to you but this is the comapany who make the optical glass used by Nikon, Canon and others for their lenses…

    TOKYO, March 31 (Reuters) – Camera makers such as Canon Inc could see sales of high-end cameras crimped by a lens shortage in the aftermath of Japan’s earthquake and tsunami, with power cuts in the Tokyo region hitting the top makers of optical glass.
    Japanese manufacturers control about two-thirds of the market for optical glass used in digital imaging and are especially dominant in the high-end materials used in lenses for sophisticated single-lens reflex (SLR) cameras.
    Both Ohara Inc and Hoya Corp , the top two producers, said they were curtailing output due to an unstable supply of electricity from Tokyo Electric , which is imposing rolling blackouts and asking firms to curb power use.
    “There is no timeline yet for returning to normal,” said Ohara investor relations official, Kyohei Yonekura, referring to the company’s flagship Sagamihara factory in Kanagawa, west of Tokyo.
    Uncertainty about power supplies is raising concerns about long-term effects on a broad range of manufacturers, with the government urging industry bodies to come up with energy-saving plans for the summer, when electricity demand peaks.
    Optical glassmakers could be among the most vulnerable users because, as in making silicon wafers, the process requires an uninterrupted supply of electricity.
    “There’s nothing they can do under the current blackout system, but if they can agree a different scheme, they may be able to cope.”
    Analysts say that although Chinese firms such as CDGM Glass Company Ltd and Hubei New Huaguang are expanding production of lower-grade optical glass and could make up for supply shortfalls in that area, SLR makers Canon and Nikon will likely continue to source from Japan to avoid compromising quality.

    A spokesman for Canon, the world’s largest maker of digital cameras, said it was too early to say if it might run short of optical glass. Canon also manufactures its own glass at two plants in Japan, one of which, in Utsunomiya, sustained significant damage in the quake.

    “It’s not that they will be able to produce nothing at all,” said Macquarie Capital Markets analyst Yukihiro Goto. “But there is a question as to whether they will be able to keep up with the remarkable growth in the SLR segment.”

    http://www.forexyard.com/en/news/Japan-power-cuts-hit-glassmakers-posing-risks-for-camera-firms-2011-03-31T051152Z-UPDATE-1

  • http://www.treehaus.co.nz treehaus

    I had a D200 for years and was waiting patiently for the d800 to arrive. I thought it would be the answer to all my dreams as I really want an FX with HD. But when the Tsunami hit and the prices for current models started to rise I grabbed a good second-hand D300. I though would be good enough and keep me going in the mean time. Well the D300 is so bloody good that the wait is over. Yeh the D800 is going to be better and I probably will get it, once the market has got over its frenzy and prices settle. To second or third what has been said before, the current gear is still excellent. If you cant make good enough photos with whats on offer now, then develop your technique or get the right lens.

    • http://AdairCreativeGroup.com Ron Adair

      “then develop your technique”…period

      Nothing more needs to be said. And you are absolutely correct. In the end, what is lacking is not the camera, but what lies behind it.

      • http://AdairCreativeGroup.com Ron Adair

        And for the record, I fully accept that this rule doesn’t apply to anyone more than myself.

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