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Sendai earthquake update

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Yesterday Nikon had to shut down their production at two plants again after a 7.1 magnitude earthquake (source):

"Nikon suspended production at two plants in Miyagi, the prefecture closest to the earthquake’s epicenter off the coast of northeastern Japan. The company is assessing damage at the plants, said Sayaka Suzuki, a spokeswoman for the Tokyo-based camera maker."

Nikon will not use lower-grade glass from China (source):

"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."

Power blackouts may continue till September in Japan (source):

Crippled power infrastructure, however, will complicate the recovery. “Any rebound from there is likely to be bumpy due to unstable power supply,” Mr. Aida wrote. “Following the rolling blackouts through to end-April, we expect planned blackouts to resume in July-September, when power consumption tends to grow.”

Sony's manufacturing abilities have also been severely hit (Sony provides sensors for some Nikon cameras). Take a look at this video of Sony facilities in Sendai:

Prices of Nikon equipment are continuing to go up, in some cases 50% above MSRP: the Nikon AF-S 35mm f/1.8G DX lens for example is now up to $289.95 and it's not even in stock.

I got a confirmation that the current Nikon lens bundle instant rebates will not be extended past April 30th.

Thanks to broxibear for providing most of those links. If you have an interesting Nikon related story, drop me a line.

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  • Merv

    I read that there were at least 3 confirmed deaths so far; hope all the workers are coping.

    Aftershocks like this can continue on for months.

  • D700guy

    Made in China wont be etched on the lenses?

    • Global

      I dont like that it says that they will “Likely” avoid 3rd party Chinese glass.

      • IsamuM

        The Japanese language is extremely subtle. When someone says something like, “‘Likely’ avoid 3rd party Chinese glass,” that pretty much can be interpreted as, “It ain’t gonna happen.”

        • Simon

          Only according to so call analyst. Japanese language has a habit of twisting the truth. It is down to what they interprete as low or high quality. It doesnt rule out them using “high quality” glass from China when they decide to call it high quality. Anyway Canon already has lens manufactured in China. Also it does not exclude the possibility of shifting equipment for production in China.

  • The invisible man

    This could end to definitive closure of Nikon Japan factories.
    Better buy “made in Japan” lenses while they last.
    Most pro lenses are already out of stock at Adorama and B&H.
    I’m now thinking buying a D700.

    • Nikkorz

      Amazon’s already price gouging on the D700. More specifically, however, the prices amazon is showing are the 2nd party merchants that are offering the product through amazon. BH and Adorama still showing it in stock for the MSRP of $2699.

    • Pos

      Hey, Invisible dude,
      Nikon has other factories all over Japan. Such as in Kanagawa. I am sure when they say they are assessing the situation, they must be looking at shifting their work elsewhere as well? It may take a long time to machine up the other plants, well, they may just have to do that.
      The poor people in North-East Japan. It’s just so devastating to hear and see it all. My prayers with them.

      • The invisible man

        It’s important for pro cameras and lenses to be “made in Japan” .
        Would you buy a Leica lens made in China ?

        • Michael

          We don’t have this problem because you CAN’T buy Leica lens MADE IN CHINA:)

        • Simon

          I wouldnt buy a Leica lens from Japan unless it is made in Germany.

        • http://www.brandondykes.com aetas

          I dont care where the lens comes from as long as the quality is there.

          • Gonads

            Same here.

        • Eric Pepin

          If it was made by well trained craftsmen that happen to have chinese names and go home to there chinese families after there done work, then yes. The chinese have a long history of making beautiful , finely made things. We all see the Mcdonalds to and assume thats all there is.
          kinda pathetic.

          • The invisible man

            True, I only eat noodles made by Chinese people.

  • broxibear

    Here’s some better news about Sendai.
    Sendai airport will reopen next week with Nippon Airways and Japan Airlines saying they will restart flights next week to and from the airport. http://blogs.wsj.com/japanrealtime/2011/04/08/sendai-airport-back-in-business-april-13/

    • http://jtra.cz/ jtra

      That reopening (although limited) is admirable given the amount of destruction:
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LrS1ITc2yF4

      • broxibear

        Hi jtra,
        Credit where credit’s due, the U.S. Marine Corps, Army, Air Force and Navy were heavily involved in restoring the airport.
        Good PR for the US forces based in Japan after all the incidents around Okinawa ans all the Japanese protests ?
        http://mdn.mainichi.jp/mdnnews/news/20110405p2a00m0na022000c.html

        • Pos

          Not really. The Yanks should just leave now, and give the land which the bases occupy to the Japanese people so they can re-develop those areas and make them habitable. Land in flat-areas are as precious as gold in Japan, and the Yank bases occupy some prime realty on the beaches and coastlines. It’s time they left, no matter how much they helped. It’s not good PR – they should just do that, EVERYBODY should just do that, as HUMAN BEINGS anyways. Did you hear that all the family members of the military have all left? They were all sent to Korea or California or wherever, SAFE and AWAY from the supposed impending doom that they were told could happen in Japan. All those families who usurp the local resources the whole time they live and breath there while their husbands and wives partake in living off the land and its people where the bases exist.

          • Pos

            To add, I was going to say that the families DIDN’T EVEN STAY TO HELP. The local Japanese around Yokota and Yokosuka were astounded to find out after about 3 days of the initial tsunami, that the Yank families had all left with their kids, leaving the bases mostly empty except for essential minimum personnel to look after the equipment.

            • Rob

              ROFL @ obvious troll. Be a little more subtle and you might get people to believe you. Nobody is that stupid.

            • Mock Kenwell

              I for one love all the US bashing that goes on around here. It’s all very well-informed. When the US helps in a crisis, and NO country is more generous in helping when there’s a crisis, you get chowder heads like you finding something to bitch about. What an idiot. And I’m still not sure what any of your biased rant has to do with the thread topic, Nikon or cameras. Hang it up.

          • broxibear

            Hi Pos,
            I think you missed the “?” in my post…I was being a little sarcastic.

  • http://photoartbymark.zenfolio.com photoartbymark

    chinese glass you really got to be kidding i rather wait

    • Charlie Sheen

      If you read a little closer it says that Canon and Nikon will likely NOT use the Chinese glass, so there is very little reason to worry. Don’t get your panties in a tussle.

      • BratPack

        Charlie! Good to hear you’re in good SPIRITS (er, no pun intended hahahahaha)

    • Panfruit

      I’m sure under the supervision of Nikon, any place they choose to manufacture will provide suitable quality. They have a reputation to uphold, you know, and will be doing their best to maintain that wherever production goes.

  • http://tumbleweed-092.livejournal.com/ Slow Gin

    Hoping for better, but…

  • Delano1997

    Well, the wise tale is good things come to those who wait! I’ll be patient with Nikon and wish them well as they recover. I can get by, with my current D300s and 2.8 glass, until I get that D800.

    • ja

      i totally agree !

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

    This must be hell on earth. It is a good thing I am not waiting for some expensive lens or a D3s. If I have to keep my D700 a few months longer, so be it.

  • paul

    they just can’t seem to get a break lately. However, in order to shut down production again, they had to be producing again. If that’s true, then it’s a testimonial to their resilience! Also, kudos to them for insisting on quality first over keeping a production line moving with substandard alternatives. Best wishes to them.

  • Knockwell

    So sorry to hear this, the country certainly did not get a break from Mother Nature.
    The upside is, they may source glass from Germany !!

  • Ant

    It’s ok to shift production to lower-cost areas, because you can still maintain your own factory management, quality standards etc. and keep a solid quality level. However, you really can’t scrimp and save on your raw materials, because you can’t add quality back into the mix; it needs to be there from the start. Kudos to Nikon for keeping the performance ethos, despite the obvious financial pressures to do otherwise.

  • AndrewM

    Do you any idea guys when the’re going to lunch a new Semi o pro camera??
    ‘coz i will shift from d90, to its either d300s o d700…..

    • paul

      you are joking, right?

    • Rob

      D300s or d700 is the way to go if you need pro features the d90 isn’t supplying. Get one quick or wait for the new models, probably a year for dx upgrade, one to two years for a new fullframe.

  • broxibear

    I’ve been trying to get information about the workings of the Sendai and Tochigi plant but there’s not a lot out there. I did find this one article from Sept 2007 and a Sendai plant visit, the images give you an idea of what these places are like inside and the type of machinery involved in producing pro bodies. Feels strange to think that one of these ladies in pink made my D3… Apparently it takes one employee 80 minutes to assemble a D3. I’m trying to convince myself that the lady who worked on mine took 90 minutes because she was being extra meticulous lol.
    It’s interesting stuff and worth a look…
    http://www.e-fotografija.si/templates/?a=1132&z=93&page=2

    • patrick

      Very cool. Thanks for the link!

    • Apoooo

      WOW! That WAS very cool! Thanks for sharing! :)

  • PAG

    Prices of Nikon equipment are continuing to go up, in some cases 50% above MSRP: the Nikon AF-S 35mm f/1.8G DX lens for example is now up to $289.95 and it’s not even in stock.

    New on Amazon, where it is actually in stock at some places, it starts at $364.99 for a new lens and goes up from there. Prices start at $284.99 for used.

    • DanielJH

      Those are individual retailers hoping to take advantage of the limited availability and being one of the few who actually have it. Amazon lists the lowest price that has stock, and acts as a broker. If you look at the “Ships & Sold by Amazon” option, it is still listed at $199, and eligible for you to place an order that will fulfill when it’s in stock.

      This lens is made in China, and was out of stock at Amazon/Best Buy/Adorama/B&H for a good month before the Tsunami… While the Tsunami may have put some kinks in the supply chain, I doubt it is the main contributor to the disappearance of this lens.

      I noticed B&H had them on Gray Market the other day in stock @$280

  • sirin

    Admin, is that Nikon’s August announcement still on the table, or did they move/cancel it?

    • Just A Thought

      “Admin, is that Nikon’s August announcement still on the table, or did they move/cancel it?”

      The August 16 announcement was never made public.

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

        I have not heard anything about a delay (yet). The last word, after the earthquake, was that everything is still on plan. Nikon can still announce new products, but they will not be available for a while.

  • Mark

    The plight of the Japanese people is heartwrenching. Their courage is overwhealming. I’m off to my bank to donate funds through the Canadian Red Cross.

    Nikon has done so much for me – they gave me my first SLR – my trusty FM. My 3 year old used F3 packed it in a few months back after a wonderful but short life. And I now have the amazing D700. I could not be happier that I chose Nikon (perhaps they chose me). So their difficulties truly bring home to me, at least to some degree, the difficulties of the Japanese people. We, in Canada, the USA and Europe, are so lucky that we have so little to complain about, and that goes for our petty complaints about all matters political.

    I wish the best for Nikon and its employees and their families. They are truly without equal.

    Mark

  • broxibear

    I don’t know if any of you have seen this before, I just watched it for the fist time and it’s fascinating stuff. It’s video on the making of a Canon 500mm F/4L IS USM from raw material through to finished product. It’s astonishing how much intricate, by hand, work goes into these things…
    http://www.digitalphotographywriter.com/2011/01/how-camera-lenses-are-made-canon-500mm.html

  • Chris Crowe

    I’ve seen price hikes of 20-50% on gear in Australia (and that is on Made in Thailand products!!)

    • Just A Thought

      It’s not the fault of the retailers. They have to buy from authorized distributors or else it’s classified as grey market. Retailers base their prices on their cost from the distributor. Talk to the distributor? Guess who usually owns the distributor?

      • pabs

        My guess is that the camera and lenses currently being sold by stores such as Adorama, B and H etc have been purchased by them before the 9.1 quake and remian in their inventory. Cameta has listed the 70-200/f2.8 for $3000! ($2979 to be exact). The lowest price now on Amazon USA for the D700 is $3300 from Roberts and then $3500 from Willoughby’s. Their cost has not gone up, only their greed. Not only would I never pay this prices for a situatuib that will be resolved in a relatively short while, I would shun these stores with any subsequent camera needs.

        • broxibear

          Hi pabs,
          Don’t trust what the retailers list on their website about stock. Here in the UK I contacted several retailers who were showing stock of certain lenses which I knew were near impossible to find. In reality most of them had no stock at all, even though their websites stated “in stock”…the few that had stock had one, the display model.
          Some retailers have had items on backorder 3 months before the earthquake…someone who ordered a 24mm f1.4 G AF-S in January 2011 might not see it until January 2012.

        • Anonymous

          Its understandable that retailers will have to sell even their old stock at the higher price as the replacement cost for the new lenses will be higher.

          In the future when the supply will normalize and the price goes down, the retailer cannot sell at the high price even if his cost for these are higher if the other retailers sell theirs at a low price.

  • http://www.truphotos.com gnohz

    Wasn’t the earthquake 7.4? Maybe they did a reassessment, but in any case, it’s considered a huge aftershock :(

    • Yianni

      No, it was 9.0 magnitude. The Japanese are excellent in getting back on their feet. It will take a huge effort but they’ll get there.

      I’m betting productions of cameras and lenses will be back to full speed sometime in 2011.

      I would simply hold off purchasing something unless you “need” it.

      Prices are definitely fluctuation and are on the rise but I’m betting this is a short term thing till they’re back at full capacity and stock levels rise again.

      • Just A Thought

        “No, it was 9.0 magnitude. ”

        That was the big one a few weeks back. Since then they get aftershocks – many small ones followed by a big aftershock. The big one this week was 7.1 which the news is calling an earthquake – the prior big aftershock was 6.5 about a week ago.

        Haiti got flattened by a 7.0 in 2010 and is still flattened more or less.

      • broxibear

        “I’m betting productions of cameras and lenses will be back to full speed sometime in 2011.”
        I’ll take that bet Yianni…there’s no way that’s going to happen.

        • Anonymous

          I expect the supply to normalize no earlier than early 2012. Until that time, we will likely see further increase in lens prices.

  • Phil

    I’m surprised Nikon and Canon aren’t bringing in generators to run their plants. I’m sure they’ll need an army of them, but it’ll keep the plants going.

    • Rob

      Electricity isn’t the only thing in short supply. Fuel is also scarce because refining capacity was lost. Without fuel, generators are no good.

    • broxibear

      Hi Phil,
      Apparently the generators needed to power factories are very large and take months to find and install, on top of the fuel issues that Rob mentions there are enviromental regulations concerning their use…it’s just not an option for factories that need high amounts of constant power.
      The smaller portable generators are being used by hospitals and shelters but they sold out a few days after the earthquake…Honda and Yamaha can’t make any more because they’re short of parts, and of course they have power blackouts ?
      There’s no simple answer and it’s going to take a lot longer than people think.

    • Just A Thought

      “I’m surprised Nikon and Canon aren’t bringing in generators to run their plants.”

      You can’t power a factory with portable generators. You need lots of juice – more so for the glass makers. Most portable generators are also gasoline powered. Oil Refineries blew up and others damaged so there is a gasoline shortage. Can’t import gasoline if the docks do not have the ability to offload and store any gasoline brought in by ship. This problem is not likely going away any time soon.

      It seems that in Japan everyone is reliant on the publicly funded electrical grid. Have not read anything about backup generators to run any factories in case of power outage (except at the Nuclear plant).

      The Sendai area had the six nuclear reactors for power. The utilty had plans to build two more reactors at that site. All the reators are down and people are risking their lives to try an prevent an even greater nuclear disater there. The idea for two more reactors being built there is not going to happen.

      Other generation plants were damaged. An amazing number of electrical lines were toppled. Curious that the Japanese do not bury their power lines. Stockpile of coal to run the coal fired plants apparently were made useless by the tsunami – have to wait for replacement imports. Natural Gas lines which power about 30% of their generation plants were ruptured.

      General Electric is shipping 10 huge gas powered generators to Japan at the request of the electrical utility. They are Natural Gas fired. Thankfully the Middle East is awash with Liquefied Natural Gas – Middle East infrastructure was built prior to the US developing Fracking to unlock huge amounts of natural gas in the USA – no need to import any LNG. There should be no problem to meet Japan’s increased need for LNG. Hopefully by next year the ten GE generators will be operational – who knows???

      Then there about 500,000 newly homeless and automobile less individuals whom you have to house, feed and take care of. How many of those people worked in the camera gear factories?? How does one arrange transport to go to work when there is a fuel shortage and fuel shortage is causing problems just distributing food and water?? One possible answer is that you don’t because it just can’t be done. One can say a factory is open, but you still need workers and electricity among a number of other things???

  • broxibear

    The Japanese government has announced yesterday plans for businesses and homes to cut power use by 25% to minimise black outs. The idea isn’t going down to well with companies who need a large power supply for production.
    “The automakers were not asked…and the government statement is not clear whether it seeks to control power usage on the basis of one site, or on a company who could be operating several plants,” said one source familiar with the auto industry’s discussions with the government.
    One source in the automotive industry said the plan seemed to have been drawn up with little consultation with the affected industries.”
    “The power cut scheme will affect businesses and homes in Tepco’s service areas — Ibaraki, Tochigi, Gunma, Saitama, Chiba, Kanagawa, Yamanashi and Shizuoka prefectures, and Tokyo — and those of Tohoku Electric — Akita, Miyagi, Iwate, Aomori, Yamagata, Fukushima and Niigata prefectures.”
    These areas include Nikon Sendai (pro bodies) and Nikon Tochigi (pro lenses).
    http://www.platts.com/RSSFeedDetailedNews/RSSFeed/Metals/8768344

  • Dweeb

    First article that actually says something. I’m sure everything will be hunky-dory for the Christmas sales production push.

    • Just A Thought

      “I’m sure everything will be hunky-dory for the Christmas sales production push.”

      Sure, in South Korea and China.

      • Anonymous

        Samyang gets their glass from Japan and is as badly affected as the Japanese companies.

        • Just A Thought

          Did not know that Samyang gets it’s glass from Japan – Thanks for the info. Samyang makes some nice lenses especially considering their comparatively low retail prices.

          Any idea if and how much Samsung is affected? I suspect that Samsung may be one the few winners coming out of the tragedy in Japan.

  • LMNOP

    That’s a real Catch-22 statement, isn’t it? Seeing as it says both that Japanese glass is better and higher in quality, and that Chinese glass is poor and not good enough!
    I mean, the Chinese could take that the wrong way, again! You know how the Chinese are about hating on the Japanese!

  • hah

    the US should take notice of how japan prefers to help their economy and keep quality up by avoiding to buy chinese made trash. unlike the US which outsource everything to china and now has imported everything (even unemployment) from china leading to a string of bad quality products and toxic goods.

    until china doesn’t improve (and they never will for that’s the only way they can compete), the developed world should avoid their goods altogether. good for japan.

  • Kenny Son

    Nikon AF-S 35mm f/1.8G DX price gone up? Aren’t those ones made in Thailand (or China?)

    These bloody scalpers…

    • broxibear

      Hi Kenny Son,
      It’s made in China but assembled in China would be more accurate.
      Have a look at this image of the D300 main board http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/d300/images/d300-board.jpg , it has Japanese components all over it…the D300 box says made in Thailand.
      The price of all Nikon equipment is going up and getting closer to the mrrp.

    • Just A Thought

      “These bloody scalpers…”

      Don’t blame the retailers. To be Nikon authorized they have to buy all their gear from official Nikon Distributors. Retailers set their prices based on their cost to acquire the goods (incl shipping – has the price of gasoline or diesel gone up in your area over the last few months ?). Talk to the distributors if you don’t like the prices. Guess who usually owns the distributors???

      Me, I’m pissed at the oil companies. The spot price of oil rises and they raise the price of gasoline. It takes lots of time to fill a tanker and then sail it from the Middle East or Venesuela. But they raise prices overnight. Do you think that big oil refineries buy oil on the spot market?? Should they not be locked into long term supply contracts at fixed prices??? Hmmmm, why then are they raising the price of gasoline ???? The idiots in the media just pander to them. What ever happened to investigative reporting??? Even the US Pres has apparently come out saying “get used to it” (based on memory about recent news article). One would think that he would have set a Investigation in motion to “CHECK” why “exactly” is the price gasoline rising. Let the oil companies state which oil refineries are buying their raw oil on the spot market. The other thing is that they are using different quality oil – not Texas Sweet or Brent. Lots of oil coming to US also from Canadian Oil Sands and that sure ain’t Texas Sweet and it was acquired based on long term fixed price contracts – no ???

      Oil could top out this time around $300 US a barrel. The last time it topped at $150 which was double the prior top of $75 (approx) – Mr Groppe, a rather accurate US oil analyst (over decades), stated that and I agree with him.

      Sorry for the rant …. I feel better now…..

      • Rob

        You should be mad at the traders, not the oil companies. The traders set the price based on their speculation.

        • Just A Thought

          “You should be mad at the traders, not the oil companies. The traders set the price based on their speculation.”

          Traders don’t sell gasoline, but the oil companies do. If you have long term fixed price supply contract signed with suppliers in Middle East or Venesuela or Canada then the trader in Chicago or New York is not the reason why gasoline prices have risen. So why blame them?? It’s the same with electronics/photo gear prices rising since the earthquake in Japan. Why blame the poor retailer when it is the distributors that set dealer’s cost ???

          I bought a new Sandy Bridge processor laptop recently. Did not need it for a few months but figured that better get it now while the getting was good. Sure enough the price has gone up on the laptop, if you can find one. And this is only a short time since the earthquake. Good luck to anyone looking to buy anything made in Japan in whole or in part, during the summer.

          • Rob

            Take an economics course. Or 20.

            • Just A Thought

              “Take an economics course. Or 20.”

              Studies were done of the affect of Oil Traders, the last couple of times that the price had doubled – $35 to $70-$75 and $70/$75 to $150. The Oil Traders got the blame from the uninformed each time the price went up. The actual driving force for the rise in the price of oil was OPEC. The Oil Traders had a relatively insignificant affect on the price rise (single digits percentage wise). Similar to Camera Gear retailers now getting blamed for rising prices.

              Thanks for the advice about taking 20 economics courses. I’ll think about doing so when I see the Profs who teach those Economics Courses driving a Rolls Royce and not having to rely on the free housing provided by the University.

              Economics Courses teach Economic Theory. Oil Traders live in the real world. Comparing them as groups the Oil Traders are far wealthier then the Profs who teach Economics courses. Why is that?? One would think that those who teach Economics would be raking in the money if their Economic Theories are so valid????

              Do you know of any Economics Profs who predicted the Financial Meltdown that happened between 2007 and 2009. They come out with reams of gibberish after the fact and are often interviewed by the media after the fact. Mum’s the word before anything happens. Of course Hindsight is 20 20 vision.

              Thanks again for your well thought out and helpful to the discussion remark.

  • broxibear

    You know those silly unboxing videos you see, and even the “sniff” tests (you know who you are lol), well here’s something I came across… a truely joyful unboxing…
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eb-3l0xrmlI&feature=player_embedded
    I think he probably got lucky that night, unless she went out to shoot some night images lol ?

  • http://www.truphotos.com gnohz

    The D800 seems further and further away

    • broxibear

      Hi gnohz,
      Well I suppose it depends when you expected to see it ?.
      An educated guess would suggest it’ll be announced at CliQ in September, but not available to buy until 1st quarter 2012.
      Every power blackout puts it back further. I read that high tech plants like Sendai can’t just turn on and off their equipment, it takes several hours after switching on for the machinery and computer systems to recalibrate before they’re ready to go again. When a high precision lens grinder is stopped while working on a piece of glass that glass is no longer usable, you have to start again from scratch…the power blackouts cause major problems for this type of precision engineering.
      I’d be surprised if Nikon isn’t at least thinking of moving the production of Sendai and Tochigi to another country, yes it would involve vast expense and time, but there will come a point where it makes more sense to do so.
      That of course brings it’s own problems which would still be related to Japan, the raw glass is still made there, the equipment to work on the raw glass is made there, the parts are made there, the highly skilled employees are there?
      There is no easy answer for this.

  • http://www.cvp1.com Ken Burg

    There was a time when one of the things that separated Nikon from Canon was that Nikon MADE their own glass rather than buy it. Apparently that has changed too over the years.

    • broxibear

      Hi Ken Burg,
      Yeah, both Nikon and Canon get their raw glass from Ohara Inc and Hoya, as far as I know Leica source their optical glass from Schott Glass in Germany.
      What they get are raw glass “pucks” http://c.photoshelter.com/img-get/I0000EDL0_ISCSk4/s/850/850/090518-leica-lens-003.jpg which they then grind, coat etc to their own particular designs at their own plants.
      Making their own raw glass would be too expensive.

      • broxibear

        This guy’s got an interesting gallery with images of the Leica lens production process, Nikon Tochigi will be pretty similar… http://axis5.photoshelter.com/gallery/LEICA-LENSES/G0000IH6BLTGw_q8/

        • Just A Thought

          Neat find. Thanks for sharing it and all the other stuff

      • broxibear

        According to P2E below Nikon make their own raw glass, but Ohara Inc show Nikon as a major customer?…I don’t know know lol ?

  • H

    ALL Japanese stuff will be radioactive in a near future. This is a fact.
    Not safe tu buy anymore!!
    From now on only Made in Germany..
    If the Japanese government is not resposable enough and allows nuclear plants to be build in a unsafe area, they will suffer in this way…

  • Mourie

    new 7.1 quake in Japan

    11.04

  • P2E

    Hello! I work for the glass division at Nikon. We have had to deal with power outages since the quake and it has affected our production. Not only have prices begun to increase due to this unfortunate situation, before the quake arrived…we were dealing with rare earth material price increases. Combo these two issues and it gets messy for us photographers.

    I am not sure what will happen for the remainder of 2011…but I would not plan on the same pricing structure as before. We strive to make our optics as competitive as possible.

    As for Chengdu, it has and never will be an option to use their high index glasses. The quality cannot compare to our melts in Japan. Chinese glass is well known for color issues…and some additional issues as well.

    • Just A Thought

      I don’t believe you. There is no way that anyone at Nikon would be allowed to make a post on this site – let alone your post and state that they work for Nikon.

      “We have had to deal with power outages since the quake and it has affected our production.”

      What production??? You claim to work in some glass division. Since the earthquake how much glass production has there been??????

      Nikon does not have a division called glass division There was no problem with pricing of rare earth material. There was an issue of China supposedly delaying shipments of rare earths to Japan – diplomatic dispute between China and Japan – the Chinese have never really forgiven Japan for what it’s soldiers did in Shanghia and the rest of China during WW2.

      Rare Earths are not really rare nor generally valuable. Just not worth mining them in most places. China is major supplier due to low labor costs. The costs of the rare earths in glass is insignificant when compared to the cost of grinding and coating.

  • P2E

    And per Broxi’s msg above…Nikon does not get its glass from Ohara or Hoya. It comes from an internal division. Ohara is owned by and supplies Canon. Hoya is on its own.

    • broxibear

      Hi P2E,
      So Nikon manufacture their own raw glass at Sagamihara, Kanagawa ?
      The Ohara Inc website states Nikon as a “Major Customer” http://www.ohara-inc.co.jp/en/company/overview.html and their also in Sagamihara, Kanagawa ?

    • Just A Thought

      “And per Broxi’s msg above…Nikon does not get its glass from Ohara or Hoya. It comes from an internal division. Ohara is owned by and supplies Canon. Hoya is on its own.”

      You don’t know what you are talking about – but broxibear DOES.
      There is no way that you are employed by Nikon in Japan in some glass division.

      • broxibear

        Thanks for standing up for me Just A Thought but P2E brings up an interesting point which I looked into further.
        Ohara Inc clearly say on their website that Nikon are one of their “major customers”, on the Nikon USA site it says “Nikon is the only major optical company in the world that still controls and manufactures every aspect of its glass-making business, allowing it to finely tune Nikon lens specifications, quality and performance. From the raw silicon to the final coatings”
        The other intersting, and confusing, thing is that both Nikon Glassworks and Ohara Inc are based in the same area, Sagamihara, Kanagawa. It’s possible both companies work together on the raw glass ?
        I don’t know if P2E works for Nikon or not but if anyone out there knows more about it please post any information….it helps us all understand what’s going on as Nikon aren’t providing much.
        At the end it still amounts to the same problem, wether Nikon makes the raw glass or someone else does, they’re based in the same small town and they’ll suffer the same power cuts…which means no raw glass production.

        • broxibear

          P.S. one thing I am sure about is that Canon do not own Ohara Inc.

          • Just A Thought

            Ever wonder why the Tamron 70-300mm looks a lot like the Nikon 70-300mm ???

            First hit on goggle:
            http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/70300af.htm

            Where does Tamron get it’s glass from?

            Also on the P&S cameras you will find similar things via Google.

            Did Cosina make lenses for Nikon in the past??

            I have read in the past (can’t remember which book or magazine) about a link between Nikon and Hoya for certain glass blanks. Hoya has 40-50% of the optical glass market, so they are capable of producing high quality glass blanks.

            I have read in internet posts about visitors to the Leica plant in Germany seeing boxes marked Hoya which contained lens elements? The final grinding, coating and assembly is done in Germany – per posts apparently confirmed by Leica. As long as the glass maker follows a specific recipe there should be insignificant difference where the glass is made or by whom – like the difference between two batches of the same glass made in the same plant.

            Nikon divisions make their own optical glass, but is every element in every Nikon labeled lens made by Nikon???

            Was every element in every lens, out of the last 60 million Nikkors sold, made from glass produced by a Nikon owned division in a Nikon owned plant??

            “The other intersting, and confusing, thing is that both Nikon Glassworks and Ohara Inc are based in the same area, Sagamihara, Kanagawa.”

            Reminds me of the who makes Nikon Image Sensors question If the glass is produced in an Ohara or Hoya plant, under contract from a Nikon recipe and overseen by a Nikon employed QC guy, then can one claim that the glass was manufactured by Nikon?? Joys of marketing jargon.

            • broxibear

              Hi Just A Thought,
              I think it’ll be another month before the impact of no lens production becomes clear.
              As I said before if everything was ok for Nikon, Ohara etc they wouldn’t be releasing such pessimistic statements…Nikon’s share price dropped over 3 % last week.

          • Just A Thought

            “Nikon’s share price dropped over 3 % last week.”

            They and other companies in the Sendai area have been extraordinarily lucky that the wind has been blowing the fallout material from the nuclear plant disaster out to sea. Had the wind blown in the direction of the Sendai area for the last month then, we could have started to see the breakup of certain companies to allow a major consolidation of the camera industry in Japan.

            The wind can change course and the nuclear disaster is no where near under control.

  • Not me

    Nikon’s Northeast Japan factories are suffering from some issues right now, but they are recoverable: power outages will taper off until the summer heat and humidity strain the reduced availability, and the tooling in the factories needs some repair and recalibration. Some Nikion factories are now working evenings & weekends to reduce the power impact, and this will continue as needed. There will be some shortages, but Nikon will contiue to make most of their glass internally (glass plants are okay) and compromising quality for a short term sale is a bad idea: that buyer would probably switch brands, so not likely to happen.

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