The new Nikon AR11 soft release button will set you back $30

The new Nikon AR11 soft release button for the Df camera is priced at $27.95 at Adorama$29.95 at B&H and Amazon. Shipping will start on July 17th.

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  • DuncanM

    Really? $30 for a button?

    • nwcs

      Some Lensmate ones cost even more. It is silly, though, but the epitome of a niche market so higher pricing is expected (especially with branding). As long as it is a standard thread size, there are lots of alternatives.

      • Global

        This is an honest answer — thank you, and 100% agreed. Call it what it is, 3000% markup. Probably outsourced to one of these companies and following their exact model. Produced efficiently and cheaply, but markedup like crazy.

    • Mike

      This is retail. Not what Nikon sells to retailers. By the time it gets onto shelves, it’s been marked up 3 times. I will challenge you though to go make one for less than $30. I will congratulate you if you can make one for $10 with the Nikon engraving and all. But then I’ll point out the gas you used to acquire the materials and the time it took you to make it yourself. You can pay with your wallet or with your time. Sometimes it’s less hassle to pay with your wallet. $30 is not unreasonable for this type of product.

      • Global

        Mike, stop being an apologist for a very crappy business model. This is a $5 part at most. I thought Nikon setup a China factory for this sort of crap.

        You can get 3 gold plated 6 foot HDMI cables for less than $5 delivered to your doorstep, and Nikon charges $30 for a button. Just stop lying, and stop being an apologist.

        No one expects the CEO of Nikon to personally hand engrave a button! More BS, making everyone hate the Df and showing the wing of Nikons management whose true colors are anti-consumer.

        Something is sick in their management teams head where they have a $30 button, and yet NO grip. Not even a thin, hallow one that doesnt take batteries and is made out of wood, to correspond with the Dfs backwards thinking.

        • Mike

          I may be Canadian, but I’m not being an apologist, sorry. ;-). Between the factory where these are made and the product hitting the store shelf, there is likely 3 levels of business making profit on it. What starts as a $5 item to make (just as an example) ends up being $30 plus tax to leave the store with. There is money involved just to transport between warehouse to warehouse to retailers. HDMI cables are a far less precise product to make and are made in hundreds of metres at a time and capped off at various lengths and the market for cables is massively higher than this. More HDMI cables will be sold in half a day today than this soft shutter release button will in 2 years. It’s not being apologetic, it’s being realist. This business model is capitalist. It’s what makes the world spin. Keeps people working and $hit.

          • Qwerty

            I agree with Mike and really I would rather get ripped of “$20” than hundreds like on the other items, services and processing fees we pay for everyday…. This is far from an isolated incident and why all this sense of entitlement?

        • rt-photography

          everyone hates the DF becase it offers little for the high price. but if it sold for the D600 price itd be the bomb.

          I disagree with you regarding the button. $30 isnt that much. me personally, id buy an aftermarket one and use some mild loctite thread sealer and be done with it.

          something like this

      • Pete Grady

        Totally agree.

  • Roberto

    For what purpose?

    • broxibear

      Matt Granger explains it really well in this video 4:00 in

      • Csaba

        Does anyone take this guy seriously? Well, I can think of one reason only – he’s really good at marketing. Considering his portraiture work is mediocre at best, he managed to build pretty good online presence (but so did He Who Shall Not Be Named as well).

        • broxibear

          Hi Csaba,
          I’m not here to judge Matt Granger or anyone else, I just thought what he said about the button was funny and would be echoed by many, that’s why I posted the video.

          • Csaba

            Hey, no worries, I just think the guy doesn’t deserve the kind of attention he gets. There are just so many great portraits photographers out there sharing tips and tricks – I find Matt’s interaction with models (and people in general) as well as his photography pretty bad compared to what’s out there, that’s all 😉

        • sxc

          The only reason why I watch it is his chick, or shall I say…the “model”

      • Roberto

        Ok, got it… :)

  • Zesty

    And zero sense.

  • waterengineer

    Still cheaper than anything saying “Leica” on it.

    • Pete Grady

      If it was Leica it would be made in the Black Forest out of 24k gold and Ecuadorian Onyx wood.

  • Arthur Tazo

    Excellent price. Bought two as a pair of earrings for my wife.

    • Andy Aungthwin

      Easily the best reply thus far.

      Only God knows why the others are taking this so seriously.

      It is what it is. If you don’t want one don’t buy it.

      And I’m not kidding but if if it were possible to drill a hole to turn it into an earring I’d might even get one for my wife.

      She would definitely see the funny side of it.

  • rt-photography

    I think this is the more sane price tag to a product theyve put out. it has the nice retro logo, and matches the DF perfectly. not sure why people are complaining. If I owned the Df (would never buy one as I think the camera is too crippled and overpriced) I might have gotten one myself. completes the look rather nicely.

    that BR strap that sells for double what a non-nikon logo BR strap costs is crazy.

    $30 for a metal button. looks ok to me?

    that 58mm 1.4 at $1700 is the ripoff of the year, amongst many other items I can mention.

    • Mike

      I agreed with you until the 58 comment. Use one first.

      • rt-photography

        thats ok. we can agree to disagree.

  • stormwatch


  • anon

    the only reason to hate this is if Nikon cannot sell it to the people who already paid WAY too much for a Df. If those people do buy, you should love this product for the entire fact that it becomes a great way for Nikon to recoup operational costs. This thing costs pennies to make, if they can sell a lot to dopes with a bunch of money, fantastic. They’ll have more money to put into R&D for useful products. Obviously if it doesn’t sell, it’s a bust, but it’s such a small risk because it’s such a small cost to make in the first place.

    You have to keep in mind the target market: people with a lot of money who like to blow it trivial things. The D800/e and D810 are all around WAY better cameras than the Df. Really no comparison. But plenty of people paid nearly the same amount for the Df entirely because it looks “retro.” Those people will be OK with adding on a signifantly overpriced “retro” looking accessory that very marginally increasing “comfort.” Personally, as a functional product, I think this thing is a complete piece of garbage. But i also disliked the fact that Nikon has released several of the niche/not so useful/uni-tasking products they have (Df, Nikon 1, Coolpix A) so Nikon isnt’ considering people like me in this release. Realistically, if you want Nikon to do well, even if you hate this thing, you’ll still praise it, because then people who care about image will be less likely to NOTwaste their money on it. We want them to waste their money.. We want Nikon to make revenue and hopefully use it to make new products

    • Ric

      That is a lot of words to hate on a $30 product

    • Carleton Foxx

      I think they paid that money for the D4 sensor in a smaller body.

  • vipmediastar

    I would buy one. I bought some for under 5$ on amazon and they kept falling off even with teflon taped added. Does it work? does it make a difference?
    Yes, the shutter button itself is flush and while its not hard to trigger the shutter the button does help.
    Since now I have an option of this one vs the Gariz I’m going with this one.

    • ragamofyn

      and that, my friends, is exactly what a soft-release is supposed to do! just because you don’t understand something doesn’t make it automatically “stupid”.

  • batmanwhomshallnotbenamed

    They’re pushing it a bit, aren’t they.

  • pjapk

    They’d make some nice cufflinks…

  • FredBear

    Make a nice earring – just screw it in 😉

  • Rich Murray

    Maybe I’m just a ham fisted old dog but, I’ve been seeing this “soft touch” things since the 70’s (I think) and never could see a real differance when using them.

  • lorenzo

    About 40 years ago I had a similar soft release button for the Nikon F2; that was even more expensive than this one. It did work very well as increasing 8X the surface touch for the finger it decreased its pressure. Unfortunately it could be used only on that camera as the shutter release button starting from the F3 no longer had the same attachment – wish they threaded the button of the D800E too.

  • Carleton Foxx

    Dudes, don’t hate. This is just the same as buying a fox tail for the antenna of your Model T or streamers for the handlebars of your bike.

  • Pete Grady

    This is a throwback accessory for a throwback camera. Nikon used to make a soft release for F-model film cameras. I know some photographers who used and liked them because it put their fingertip at a different angle and they claimed it gave them a more tactile experience and helped them in pressing the shutter at the exact moment they wanted. I had one but ditched it after a month or so because I didn’t find it useful in any way. But, I totally see why Nikon is offering this for this camera.

  • Royl

    I love my Df. I’m not sure how this add-on could make me love it more, but I would give it a try if it were a little less expensive. However, I thought the Df was too expensive until I began using it. Best money I have spent for my hobby in many moons. I will probably pass on this button, as the camera is already a great joy to use.

  • Lamar Lamb

    Hmm, I have one that came with one of my F2’s. I can’t say it really helps much but it does seem to provide a bit nicer angle for my finger on the release. I don’t think it does anything to improve the shot that I can tell.

  • Ric

    I sure hope this is made in Japan! I won’t buy if made in Thailand. ‘-)

  • DavidMCano1

    This is just the same as buying a fox tail for the antenna of your Model T or streamers for the handlebars of your bike.

  • Aldo

    the button is worth it… now the camera idk…

    • LongTom

      No camera worth its price these times. But the Df is the best in the Nikon line for MY needs. And I suspect the needs of many more photographers as well. The point in my view is if Nikon priced it rightly or made a marketing mistake.

  • whisky

    at only 4x the price of a generic soft release, or ½ the price of a Leica branded equivalent, it is pretty.

    also, for collectors, it’s the perfect addition for topping off a Prince Albert.

  • Lee

    Given the likely low volume this probably is a fair price / profit margin for this item. But that certainly doesn’t mean the item is WORTH $30. Not even close. For a real camera they would’ve declared this “not economically feasible.” The fact that they produced it even though they knew they couldn’t give it a non-insane price tells you that the Df is Nikon’s answer to the Leica M Hermes Edition.

  • ragamofyn

    I’m guessing that most people who are poo-pooing this item have never used the Nikon AR-1, AR-8, or AR-9 before. I’m certain that most Df users will never “need” the AR-11, but if you’re wearing gloves or are in a humid/sweaty environment, the extra height of the button plus the improved grip and tactile feel of the button is vastly superior to a bare threaded shutter release.

    the “problem” with the Df shutter release is that the button depresses into the surrounding metal ring. if you’re wearing gloves (or have super fat finger, I suppose), you won’t be able to bend your finger enough to fully depress the shutter button without getting hung up on the shutter ring, which causes a lot of extra camera movement. the AR-11 solves this problem.

    so the AR-11 may not be useful for most people, but saying a product is “dumb” without understanding it’s purpose is well… just “dumb”.

  • riskinhos

    as a CNC operator I recon this can be done in large scale for as little as 10cents. selling for 30$ is just absurd.

  • cowboycoffee

    far superior to the AR10. I’ll be updating mine as soon as pigs fly.

  • independentskeptic

    It makes the Nikon V3 seem like a bargain!

  • Rob

    Has anyone seen it yet?
    I haven’t ever found a store that has it in stock yet.


  • DuncanM

    Well, let’s break it down a little. .03¢ worth of metal, let’s be generous and say that specialty rubber is $1.00, and $1.50 a day for some poor Chinese worker to glue the two together. Yup, definitely worth $30.00.

  • Sebastian Wunsch

    what if i told you that those are not the only costs that are involved?
    sure, there’s a price-tag for nikon, but you MUSTN’T forgen, for a precisely engraved product (look at the nikon-engraving) you need a CNC-turning-center, and those are not cheap at all, even if the material is cheap as f***. also you need one that can program that center etc.
    i’m from that corner of job, and it frustrates me on a daily basis that all forget the surroundings of production.
    if you only see the material, then go ahead, make one your own with the same quality. (nikon-addition left aside)

  • Nuber

    Let’s say:
    $0.30 Metal
    $0.70 Rubber
    $0.10 Adhesive
    $0.50 Machining
    $0.10 Packaging
    $1.50 For the Thai factory worker to glue and package button
    $0.05 Shipping cost per button from factory

    = $3.25
    Now, the factory gets a cut of 5%:
    = $3.41
    Nikon Parts and Accessories Margin: 75%
    = $13.64
    Typical Distributor Margin: 50%
    = $27.28

    That sounds about right to me. Nikon could be making 85%-90% margin, but that’s how accessories usually go.

    For example, the Nikon speedlight stand is $12.95, but injection molded at probably 20X the volume. The cost to Nikon for that part is probably $0.25, so they are probably making 95% margin on that part, but nobody raises a stink about that.

  • steven8217

    I think the calculation will be very different when the CNC machine craft out 5 characters, just change them from Nikon to Leica, same time to craft on 5 English character…..LOL

  • DuncanM

    Nikon already owns all that manufacturing equipment, negligable cost at best to make a small production run of engraved Df buttons. You act like they built an entire factory ground up just to make these.

  • Michiel953

    Agreed Sebastian. The stupidity in this kind of posts is frankly astounding.

  • stormwatch

    So, practically you came and said that CNC engraving costs around 25$ for six letters per button…man….from the first hand I know that it’s nowhere to be the truth.

  • nwcs

    You’re still making an awful lot of assumptions on cost of fixed assets, amortization and depreciation, retooling for a tiny run of product, marketing and sales effort, packaging and delivery, etc. A very low volume niche product is always going to cost more. Not like you have to buy it.

  • Qwerty

    Remember this the next time a potential client doesn’t see the value in your work. After all it isn’t like you need to pay for film and you already own a camera and computer. Hey, let’s start demanding free cars too…

  • rt-photography

    he spews too much garbage as of late. really not liking his attitude. he used to be more humble. I dont follow his videos anymore.

    what really fired me up was this video

    at 3:15 he goes shoots a guy with a hat “I like your hat” then walks away saying “I dont really” not cool.

    then at 3:30 he shoot another with a hat and makes a nasty comment after that.

    guy is low class. Im done with him and his superiority complex. his images are crap. hes good in explaining about gear and technical stuff but he doesnt have a gram of art flowing through his body

    matt you are a douche. thumbs up.

  • Maji

    no use arguing with people who are out to bash and complain. I am not sure if he even owns a Df or if he will even need to buy that gizmo. However, he definitely has a need to moan and groan.

  • Csaba

    Following in the footsteps of the That Other Guy we shall never ever speak about on nikonrumors 😉

  • rt-photography

    I think $30 is fair for the button. not cheap but not over the top.

    flash stands though, I buy from ebay for less than a $1 shipped. bought 5 because they easily get lost. work great.

  • Lee

    I’d guess a little less for the adhesive and a little more for the packaging, and maybe a bit less for the labor, but I think you basically nailed it.

    People can complain about that 75-90% margin on accessories all day long, but let ’em know how much a D4s would cost without it and they’ll get real quiet.

  • Qwerty

    So use your own cnc machine then and get rich..oh wait, you would have to charge even more than $25 each. No one is denying a profit being had…

  • stormwatch

    For NIKON I will do it for free!

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