New “Philosophy of Nikkor” videos uploaded

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Nikon published two new videos from their Philosophy of Nikkor series:

The previous "Philosophy of Nikkor" videos can be watched here.

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  • BG

    The new philosophy of Nikkor? Creating great lens designs and then ruining them by shipping the lenses out decentered due to lack of quality control…

    • Eric Calabros

      Please don’t make “decentered” a key word about optical shortcomings. It’s Internet, I worry very soon we see people think the insanely huge number of things that may go wrong in production line are all about glasses not perfectly put in their place.

      • BG

        Well, I did mean decentered, as in glass elements not properly aligned. So what should I say instead?

        • Paco Ignacio

          Not centered

          • Duncan Dimanche

            haha

        • Eric Calabros

          But its not the only thing ruin otherwise a stellar lens, as far as QC is concerned.

          • PhilK

            Sony’s latest hype claims that their research shows decentered elements are a large contributing factor to poor bokeh, and goes on to tout their claim that they have some new magical assembly technique that is much more accurate than anything else.

            My BS detector needle started gyrating back/forth…

    • T.I.M

      My 24mm PC-E is decentered (and tilted) due to efficient quality control…

      • BG

        Sure. Also, VR activation leads to decentering of some elements, at least temporarily. Still, decentering is the correct word to describe the optical defects I was referring to.

        • Thom Hogan

          No, it is not. See above. De-centering generally has no discernible visual impact on side-to-side results unless it is extreme. I’ve not seen an extreme case in any of my testing of hundreds of Nikkors. I’ve seen many minor de-centerings.

          Also, in Nikon’s VR system, while the VR element de-centers while you’re partially holding the shutter release, the Nikon VR system is unique in that it re-centers the VR element when you press the shutter release (during the mirror flip). That’s not true of Sports mode, but is true of all the other VR modes.

    • Thom Hogan

      Sigh.

      Mis-centered is actually far less of a problem than mis-oriented. Given current optical designs a bit of mis-centering doesn’t necessarily cause any visual issue, though we can often detect that a lens isn’t centered through elaborate testing.

      What’s far worse is when an element is tilted out of perpendicular to the optical central line, which WILL produce visually obvious side-to-side differences.

      If you want to be truly informed, try asking the various lens makers whether how they perform multi-axis alignment in the factory. The answer may stun you. Some don’t do it at all (Nikon does).

      • BG

        Alright. Fair enough. I’ve seen my fair share of misaligned (?) Nikkors, to the point where it’s really annoying.

  • achmel

    well well well, these ´philosophies´ … have a 85 f/1,8 – lovely, always spot on (even though slow), have a 70-200 f/2,8 (I) – lovely, always spot on (even though slow) …

    … THOUGH had 2 samples of new & rather expensive 24 f/1,4 … & that is where I stopped with Nikkors as this lens is abs. garbage (was 2 weeks in the service, nothing happened, still unbelievable focus issues even when focusing manualy …) … so am keeping only the 2 above mentioned lenses & got rid of all the rest (but kept a superb d810 body) in favour of certain German manual lenses … & am happy about that.

    Tough job to get me back, Nik, if even doable …

    • Aldo

      Sounds to me like you still use nikon? I don’t use nikon sunglasses or nikon lotion… but my work still revolves around a nikon body and a nikon system.

    • Captain Megaton

      Certain German manual focus lenses made by Cosina in Japan perhaps? Or did you really spring for an Otus?

    • ITN

      The 24/1.4 Nikkor is one of the most difficult lenses to focus but the images have a very pleasing personality. So I put up with its autofocus difficulties. I simply love the images. On the latest cameras the AF works better but it’s not something you can count on in a tight spot unfortunately.

      • PhilK

        I’m curious what exactly you mean about “difficult to focus” and how you define “latest” versus “old” cameras and how that pertains to focusing?

        • ITN

          On many cameras my experience is that the 24/1.4 produces highly erratic autofocus results and caused some frustration (while I love the results when in focus). A lot of variation in focus from shot to shot. This includes D3,D700,D800. On my D810 it autofocuses well however. I think Nikon realized the problem and adjusted the system. I hope the D5/D500’s new AF system works well with f/1.4 Nikkors. I have heard from a few photographers that this kind of focus problems with 24/1.4 and 35/1.4 AF-S have been solved by Nikon service. So it could also be an adjustment issue with my older cameras. The D810 however autofocuses the f/1.4 AF-S Nikkors really well in my experience. Not always perfectly in low light but better than any of my older cameras.

          • PhilK

            Very interesting. So you’re sure it wasn’t a focus offset like the kind you can adjust in the camera, but erratic focus.

            I’ve heard it said that modern DSLRs aren’t necessarily optimized for bright lenses because they are not nearly as commonly used as in the film era. Eg the focusing screens are not ideal for manual focusing for one thing, and perhaps the AF is not as optimized either.

            I recently realized the 20/1.8 is only about $700 or so, which seems kind of amazing, especially considering the fact that all the users that bought one seem to rave about them. That may be on my personal shortlist.

  • T.I.M

    In that video I see D800 been use in Nikon factory to check lenses, D800 still rules (well, until May and the new D30x30)

  • fanboy fagz

    “….Hitoshi Imanari we have to talk to you. you are being let go. weve had to many QC issues…”

    • Aldo

      The work they do is still pretty neat though. I find amazing how optics are improving year after year.

      • fanboy fagz

        thats 100% true. its really nice to see them working there and Im sure the workers do the best they can as the japs have high work ethics. which confuses me to all the QC issues they have. electronic QC issues can creep up but how do you authorize and send out the 24-70G nonvr with the xoom stiffness. how does that happen? a $1900 and no strict testing, in the field nor at te lab with guys playing with many of them to feel there is a problem? I take my own weddings But I also do frellance work to many other photogs. I work with them. quite a few have the 24-70. all know and said of the zoom stiffness. and what about the D800 Af thats defective on the right side.

        its true that optics, sharpness, detail, color and bokeh have come a LONG way.

        • ITN

          When you turn the zoom ring on the 24-70G, the lens extends and elements move relative to each other at a variable rate. Thus the torque you need to apply to the zoom ring varies as a function of the focal length. They improved it in the E version

          and the zoom is much more even, but the new lens is physically larger and more expensive. I think if they had introduced the E version in 2007, people would not have widely accepted it due to the price and size of the thing. I’m not sure if it is widely accepted even now. Finely made is not the same thing as “commercial success”.

          • fanboy fagz

            my 28-70 AFS goes from one end of the range to the other with a mere flick of one finger. no stiffness in any range, maybe because its used. but speaking to people who have their 24-70 for many years, the stiffness doesnt go away. they even a video on youtube on how to fix it. there should be no issue with a $1900 lens. it should work perfectly. at least better than the older lenses it repalces.

            I dont think the $2400 price is accepted. its way too high IMO. for that price. it would be smarter for me to get the tamron 24-70 VC AND 15-30 VC for $100 more.

            I remember the flood quite well and imo is the reason why lenses look and perform bad with a higher price than the D version. the 50mm 1.4G is very slow in AF. also the 85 1.8G very cheap plastic build and slow Af. the D version was better. the G is superior in IQ a little but not worth the price. its the reason I dont upgrade from my 85 1.8G. D lenses are twice as fast

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ataDgMph_wI

            the 50G is even slower

            you can see that they are trying to cut corners and raising prices and people are not buying. see the last quarter revenue. very bad.

            • ITN

              Well, the AF-S primes in my experience autofocus more accurately wide open than the AF (D) versions, there is less sound, and the 35/1.4, 58/1.4 and 85/1.4 have easier to use manual focus rings. The G versions have less CA and SA wide open than the D. I like them but the AF could be faster if Nikon put more investment into their development (like they did with the 24-70E). However, primes are made for a small market now and they cannot afford to put in the money to develop them as much as they have with the f/2.8 zooms since the number of sales of each prime is just a few per cent of that of any of the three f/2.8 zooms. The high price reflects hand made elements and small number of lenses expected to be sold.

              The 24-70G’s zoom stiffness tends to get worse over time, and this is of course unacceptable. They fixed it in the “E” which is very smooth to zoom and has optical advantages as well (the “G” has purple fringing and poor bokeh in the corners at 24mm, f/2.8, considerable field curvature at 24mm; the “E” is excellent in terms of bokeh, produces contrasty and rich colours, and less CA, and has much less field curvature). In my opinion the “E” is clearly better in overall mechanical and optical quality but the “G” remains available on the second hand market for those who would like a less expensive 24-70/2.8. The 28-70/2.8 is thicker and I felt it is quite bulky for a lens of its time. It is not widely available because comparatively few were made and those that I’ve seen second hand seem pretty beat up (of course if I really wanted it I could find a way). I think Nikon’s 24-70 effort is dominated by their desire to make the lens thinner (than the 28-70) for easier handling in small hands, which has result in greater length and now also the front is quite wide (but the part you grip around the zoom ring is relatively thin). Anyway, if you’re happy with your 28-70/2.8 I don’t see why you’d need to buy a newer lens. It still tests fine on new cameras so as long as the AF-S motor works it should be fine.

              The general price increases in lenses reflect both currency fluctuations and Nikon’s conservative estimates of number of products that are expected to be sold. They assume that sales of specialized products are small in number and so they price them high to be sure that they make at least some money. This of course affects potential buyers’ ability to buy them and their impression of the brand, but I think Nikon is playing it safe for their long term survival.

            • Thom Hogan

              There’s no winning some of these arguments. The new AF-S versions have short focus throws. So while the focus rings are easy to move, they have very little precision available to the shooter in manual corrections, which the AIS and D lenses had in spades. It’s all tradeoffs.

            • ITN

              While the D lenses had longer throw, there was often play in the focusing mechanism (I’m not saying there isn’t in AF-S lenses, but not in the 35/1.4, 58/1.4 or 85/1.4 that I have; 24/1.4 unfortunately does have a “gap”) which made it annoying to use the manual focus ring. Also since the inner barrel was loosely mounted in many AF D lenses (e.g. 35/2, 50/1.4, etc.), the image shifted laterally as you turned the ring or changed the direction of turning, making it a frustrating experience to try to do precision work with them. Anyway, I find those three AF-S primes to be easier to manual focus than their closest AF D equivalents despite their short throws (the larger diameter of the focus ring helps). (I can’t undestand why Nikon cannot make all their lenses slack free in the manual focus.)

            • PhilK

              My 35 f/2 AF (non-D) has that helicoid sloppiness problem.

              My main issue with a lot of the mainline AF-S lenses are those pathetic narrow/flush manual focus rings. Only the giant lenses have what I consider to be a ‘real’ focus ring.

              I also never particularly liked the zoom ring to be farther away than the focus ring.

            • fanboy fagz

              I dont know about accuracy. I just use my 50 (hardly-I hate this FL) and my 85 1.8D and it seems ok to me. the 85 G is 2/3 stop sharper till around f/4 from 1.8-4 the D lens needs to stop down 2/3 stop to be at the same level. the bokeh is nice on the G and micro contrast as well. but fuck, the AF is crap slow. ther were tons of 1.8G sales and I couldnt bring myself to get it. better off. ill get the sigma art when it shows up.

              the 24-70 is horrible with zooming and I dont like the slim barrel at all but for me, fit wise its better because I have long fingers. the wider zoom ring is nice though. I had to replace my 28-70 zoom ring twice now. and the motor was fixed by an article I read through Peters site. THANKS!

              http://nikonrumors.com/2013/06/22/amazing-restoration-of-old-nikon-lenses.aspx/
              VERY FAST repair. to taiwan and back in less than 3 weeks. I think it was even less.

              for me, heft and weight makes little difference.I prefer it for better balance. but the 24-70E is too big. how the hell tamron did it in a smaller package and nikon couldnt. im sure theres a reason.

              I wouldnt buy that lens though. too much and the amount you get from the 24-70G is very little. like I said. tamron 15-30/24-70 VC combo for me. for about the same as the one nikon lens.

              yen is weak against the dollar. how they hell do they raise prices? there are great alternatives today. sony is stealing a chunk of buyers from them and fuji as well. 3rd party products (nikons crazy ripoff flash and grip prices)lenses, flashes and grips that sell for a 1/5 and deliver. I have 1 more nikon flash to sell (1Sb700/1Sb900 and 1SB800 and 1 more SB800 to go) sold and then all my flashes will be chinese flashes. I have 6 shanny Sn600N flashes and 2 560III. very happy. I think nikon are making bad choices. price increase when there are choices besides paying a premium for their products. today a friend asked me about my Tamron 15-30VC or go with nikon. I convinced him the tamron. he ordered it because the nikon is too high and in every way the tamron smokes it. houston calling nikon, come down to earth.

            • Thom Hogan

              Every lens is different in design. One of my complaints in my upcoming 16-80mm review is that there is a “notch” in smoothness at 35mm in the zoom, and it’s almost certainly due to the fact this is a lens with a dual extension barrel. With single extension barrels you have no transition point and the zoom feel can be smoother as a result.

            • fanboy fagz

              and wth is that? why arent they staying with something that works? this nothing new for them. price is crazy. 58 as well. the build looks like the typical stuff theyve been releasing. cheap plastic.curious. will wait for your review. with the fake asses today on the net, youre the only who I have mad respect for. youre like me. love nikon but hate them for the way they run things the last few years. following you since nikonians started, you even more years back.

              on a different topic and hard to say but curious your take on the d500 high iso performance. Im always reluctant to buy a DX. would love one to go with the 18-35 ART but I tried the D7200 and was not impressed. not sure they made such a leap. it may be me but I thought I saw a YT vid saying that “nikon is bold sayingt he performance is as good as the D5” and that cannot be. no way. and I dont shoot raw for weddings so it needs to have a good jpeg engine. I know very few photogs that I work with who shoot raw, except maybe the ceremony and family pics.

            • ITN

              Double extending barrels may be needed with extended zoom range (5x+) wide angle to tele zooms to make them compact when zoomed in and economical to manufacture. Wide zoom range lenses that are internal zooms exist but are huge even at their shortest focal lengths and so are not compact to travel with.

              Plastic does not feel cold when touched even it the temperature is <<-20C. With metal your fingers can freeze in seconds after holding a metal lens. Also all metal lenses can be jammed in cold weather if they are built to too tight tolerances. I prefer Nikon's choice of materials (because they work in diverse conditions unlike Zeiss) and the fact that the zoom or focus never get jammed in the cold. The aperture can in rare occasion get stuck though. But I'm not sure if anything can be done to fix that.

            • fanboy fagz

              my 85 1.4 AIS never froze or jammed on me and I never froze on it haha. I took it to Quebec and it was around christmas time. no issue at all. the plastic thats on nikon lenses cheap and theyre skimping on the quality. you know it, I know it and reviews say it. there is good plastic. the nikon primes dont have it. they look cheap. they feel cheap. the tamron 15-30VC doesnt look or feel cheap. the nikons do. the 85 1.4 G looks very cheap and feels it. and the AF is slow. Ill take my 85 1.8D plastic over the G plastic anyday. I think cause of the floods they had to cut corners.

            • ITN

              The 85/1.4D gives a lot more scatter from shot to shot in AF use than the 1.4G. This is true of all screwdriver AF lenses vs. AF-S. The 85/1.4D has no manual focus override so the operator has to slide a switch (which is notorious for its high failure rate in many lenses with rotating A/M switch) to access manual focus. This to me is unacceptable. The 85/1.4D was optically acceptable from f/1.8 onwards whereas the G version is good already wide open. I have no complaints about the feel or quality of materials in the G. I bought it and three other f/1.4Gs before the 2011 natural disasters which to my knowledge did not affect lens production in the way they damaged Nikon’s camera factories. I don’t think they changed the designs or materials of existing lenses in production because of that. The 58/1.4 is newer and it is lightweight because the glass elements are small, not because the materials are “cheap”. Making things lightweight it an important consideration if the products are to be widely used. With zooms you can work a whole day with one lens but with primes you often need a bag full of them, so weight does weigh in.

            • PhilK

              You know, regarding the whole “cheap plastic” thing:

              When I was in the camera business in the late 1970s/early 1980s Canon was in the process of transitioning from the old breech-lock mechanism, to a new mechanism that mated to the same lens mount, but instead of pushing the lens on and turning the locking ring like the traditional FD lenses, you pushed the lens on and rotated it, similar to how a traditional bayonet works. The difference is that Canon made the internal subassembly that actually contacted the mount stay stationery (since the breech-lock FD mount requires that) and instead had the outside of the lens rotate around that and then “lock”, which made it seem to work like a traditional bayonet.

              At the time they made that transition, they also started manufacturing a lot of the external parts of the “New FD” lenses with plastic. And I’ll be honest, the look/feel of that plastic was not particularly luxurious. It “seemed cheap”. But in fact, over time I think history will show that from a functional standpoint, they were just fine. Same thing for the camera bodies themselves – the T70 for example had a very cheesy flat-plastic look with silkscreened markings on the body that made it seem really cheap. But I don’t think it was necessarily any worse from a functional standpoint than the other common stuff in that price range.

              Getting back to Nikon – when I looked at the teardowns that lensrentals.com did of some similar Canon and Nikon lenses recently (I think it was the 24-70s and 35/1.4s), it really jelled: they proclaimed the Canon 35 to be just about the best built lens they had ever done a teardown on. And they noted that while many of the outside parts may be plastic, the INternal parts that were critical to the structural integrity were mostly metal and built like a proverbial brick shithouse.

              So a lightbulb went on in my noggin: what Canon has been doing for years now is very progressive and aggressive from a materials-science POV, and while in some cases the “high touch” impression of some of the products may not meet what most people deem to be “quality” or “robust”, that does not necessarily mean that the product in reality is not high quality or robust.

              I remember when I was in the home entertainment retail biz, one of the first things a customer would do when inspecting audio equipment was play with the one trivial aspect of the product that was mechanically visible to them, as a way to try to assess the product’s quality. (I’ve been guilty of similar) If it was a cassette deck they would repeatedly open/close the cassette well, if it was a CD player they would open/close the CD drawer. Never mind that those mechanisms didn’t have much bearing on how long the actual working parts would last, they scrutinized them because it was “the part they could see”. It was well-known in the industry that manufacturers often expended an inordinate amount of money on those parts of the equipment, because they knew customers would play with them in the store to determine the product’s “quality”.

              And in the same way it’s more clear to me than ever in the photo industry that the same holds true for aspects of the product that externally might seem “cheap” or “flimsy”, but in fact while those visible parts sometimes have an impact on the “feel” of a product, they often have little bearing on the ultimate lifespan of the product.

            • PhilK

              Seems to me they could either decrease the rotation –> extension (eg gearing) ratio and make that transition less noticeable, or cam it in a way that makes it smoother. I’m betting they just don’t think it’s an issue.

          • PhilK

            Actually, while those events certainly temporarily affected production OUTPUT, there is no specific reason why they should have affected production QUALITY. Ultimately the same tests should have been done after a product is assembled that were done before the factory disruption.

            Now it may have been the case that because of the disruption, Nikon decided to LOWER THEIR QC STANDARDS temporarily in order to increase production to catch up with backlogs, but that is a MANAGEMENT decision, not a fait accompli.

            I went back to the beginning of that “Philosophy of Nikkor” series and watched all the videos. Quite interesting, actually. But one of the first things that strikes you is how that entire series of videos seem to be trying to crow about how wonderful the 24-70E is. Shakespeare might have written “Methinks thou doth protest too much, milady.”

            All I know is that lens is an absolute monstrosity for something of that focal-length range. It sure better be good!

            • ITN

              I agree that they should have focused on quality control more in that difficult period. However it is also the year when Nikon DSLR sales peaked so the people in manufacturing must have been in tremendous pressure to produce a large number of products quickly. This then resulted in quality control problems. It is unfortunate but what happened cannot be undone. What seems to be happening however is that now Nikon is trying really hard to satisfy its customers in terms of the product features and quality. The fact that Nikon decided to make a D500 after such a long time suggests that they are trying to be more responsive to customer needs. I am sure they were thinking that they can make more money by making all high end models FX. But now they want to keep every customer and provide a product to suit their needs.

              I do not think lower QC was a management decision. It inevitably happens that when people are put under too much pressure, they will make mistakes.

            • PhilK

              Sure the stress can be a factor but my basic point is: the disaster does not make it inevitable that quality will fall. Management could have rejected every one of the (allegedly lower quality) products before shipping them. Not saying they should have, necessarily, but just that with few exceptions, they probably could have maintained the standards, with the possible tradeoff of temporarily lower production output and/or higher production costs.

    • Thom Hogan

      Actually, I was surprised at how many times those videos contained culturally frowned upon self criticisms and confessions of quality issues. That’s exactly what we want Nikon to do, folks: take responsibility for when they make mistakes, correct them, and do better next time.

      • fanboy fagz

        im glad to see them being open like that. as much as they are willing to. I like it. I appreciate when a company is transparent. they need to do it more.

        thats what pissed me off about the D600. they denied for the longest time. only when china broadcast it on tv and banned the camera and the class act threat did they come out with a “proper” apology. they also slapped those who bought the D600/Sb900 in the face with a “you want a proper product, but the X10 model”

        now you can see they have no choice but to be more humble. they have to tread lightly. the internet can help or hinder them. but you see its forced on them.

        • PhilK

          Agreed, but also consider that China these days also seems to have a habit of sanctioning lots of foreign product manufacturers over “quality” or “warranty” issues which seem picayune by international standards. Personally I think they are throwing their newly-found economic weight around a lot more these days. They know how important their home market is to foreign companies now, so if they tell them to “dance”, more often they will “dance”.

  • Max

    i wonder if they applied their philosophy when they built the 35mm DX G

    • Aldo

      That is a fine lens… it performs well on the field and your wallet. what is your point?

      • Captain Insane-O

        Mine had an off center aperture and took 8 weeks to be repaired. But I find it a good lens and works well on my d750 at 1.2 crop or fx with some dark corners (many have complimented the “artistic” value of it wide open. Lol) but can’t use it beyond 5.6 or it turns into a door peep hole.

        • Aldo

          I remember I used this lens for a long time on a d610… I only replaced it because I saw a deal I couldn’t refuse on the FF version.

          Sorry to hear about the defect on your lens and the time it took to get repaired. I live ‘close’ to the nikon repair center in Los Angeles… I guess I’m a little spoiled in that aspect.

          • Captain Insane-O

            I live in Huntington beach. About a half hour from their repair facility.

            Their reason was parts availability which sucks, but I’ve enjoyed the 50 1.8g I bought while I waited.

            Good job Nikon! Lol

          • PhilK

            Was a real shame when Nikon closed their repair center here in San Francisco back in the 1990s or thereabouts. Was so nice to be able to go there in person and talk to them in person and drop off/pick up items.

      • Max

        Your right it does. I’m actually referring to the build quality, especially the way the focus ring operates.

      • Max

        Your right, but I’m talking about the build quality.

  • Hardcore_Fanboy

    ah – a PR video material – it is like a politician telling his voters how good a job have he done – thx for “info”

    • Thom Hogan

      One interesting aspect of Japanese is that it reveals where the culture has no concept of some ideas. One that struck me in this video was “marketing target.” Note that these words are phonetically produced in Japan, meaning that they had no internal concept of “marketing”, let alone “marketing target” in their language. After the war, there were a lot of Western concepts that were brought over to Japan and adopted, or should I say Japanified?

      • PhilK

        Ehh… many of those “concepts” were forced down their throat by the occupation forces, too. 😐

        Don’t forget, Nikon got their start as a military optical product manufacturer, and that was the core of their business until after WWII.

  • FroBro

    Its nice to put a face to the people we need to blame for previously bad releases and wasted money on pointless software and web services.

  • whisky

    i get it. it’s not easy mass manufacturing precision optics by hand. a point these confidence assuring videos help drive home. which still makes it more important than ever, i think, that Nikon get on top of their QA practices in a world which has become more scrutinizing of QC than ever before.

  • LNGS

    The light is so aweful in those portraits… It’s a shame what Nikon is doing in marketing.

  • Aldo

    You know… I know nikon has had a few quality control issues but I’m VERY skeptical about half the people who claim to have issues with their lenses. Many claims are plagued with poor technique and user error. I may sound like Andrew a little but I have both experienced the errors myself… and seen other people do the same thing as well.

    • whattheblazes

      Totally agree, Aldo. For a Nikon based website with apparent Nikon users, people here do a lot of complaining and very little praising when Nikon actually does something right. I’m with you on the 35mm DX…excellent optics for the money and I have used it with great success in the past.

      Complaining is one thing, but if people are not going to be constructive about it, don’t comment. If Nikon has done something right or is progressing forward, give credit where credit is due. Don’t whine and go on like a jilted lover, dredging up the past, even when Nikon are doing things right. It’s not like every other camera company is not without issue, even the mighty Sony.

      For some reason, I have encountered so much vitriol here, you could be forgiven for thinking it was anything but a Nikon website.

      Yes, Nikon has a long way to go in all areas, but at least they are making progress, as slow as it is, but progress nonetheless. With that in mind, it is necessary to constructively criticise, but for God sake, don’t go on about it as if it’s the end of the world.

      • Aldo

        Nicely put… there is excellence in nikon and I for one wish them nothing but success. There must be a good reason why it is our preferred system… even those who complain and say they have ‘switched’ and never coming back can’t let go of their nikon bodies and/or lenses.

      • PhilK

        Trolling, griping and flaming is rampant everywhere in online and social-media fora, and it’s actually far less problematic here than most public fora I’ve been lately.

        The last thing I want is some place which is so heavily moderated to the point that people are fearful of speaking their mind on anything, making the “discussions” pointless pablum and hive-mind-speak.

        I think there are many people who are big fans of a product or company who nonetheless feel it is important to make critical comments and suggestions from time-to-time when they think that product or vendor is on the wrong track. Because they feel like they are actually doing the company a favor by pointing those things out.

        I certainly am in that camp.

        Case in point: a lot of people were criticized for periodically lamenting the fact that Nikon apparently had no intentions of ever replacing the D300s. Now Nikon have finally done exactly the thing that many told us we should stop wishing for, and my guess is it will be one of the hottest products they will have produced since 2007. If we all stifled our disappointment and stopped making noise about it, maybe Nikon never would have bothered making a D500.

  • bgbs

    The first change in philosophy should be getting rid of those gold rings on Nikons lenses. Only a few manufacturers deserve the gold ring, like Zeuss or Lica. Even Canon, despite patting it self on the back for great optics, was humble enough to put a red ring on their signature lenses.

    • Espen4u

      All lenses are compromises, even the otus’es. Personally I like the 58G a lot despite (or maybe because) it got bashed so much. Gold rings indicate (besides a markup in price) Nikons nanocoating, if I’m not wrong.

      • Thom Hogan

        They had gold rings before nano coating ;~).

        • Espen4u

          Aaa, tricky.

        • PhilK

          I did a little research earlier today and yeah, there were quite a few non-nano gold-ring lenses. Has Nikon ever actually defined what makes a lens qualify for the gold ring?

          • BG

            Gold ring = pro grade. In the old days, gold ring may also have indicated ED glass, but these days, many lenses have ED glass but no gold ring. Same goes for nano coating – the 60/2.8 has nano coating, but is not a gold ring lens.

          • Thom Hogan

            Not that I know of, though IIRC they first appeared with ED glass.

            • PhilK

              Yeah, come to think of it my old 400/5.6 AIS ED-IF has a gold ring. I do think it was associated with ED glass at one time.

              Fun fact: that lens weighs just 10% more than a 24-70E. Including the tripod foot. 😐

      • Michiel953

        The 58 is a great and wonderful lens, and wellmade, albeit of high quality plastics.

  • J.Coi

    Outside factory look dirty. Middlemen look tired and no spirit. Nikon is so much need culture help and change.

    • ITN

      It is the same everywhere where people work on genuinely difficult problems. The only way to be happy and smiling always is by electing to do easy things.

      • J.Coi

        I work in consumer photo imaging industry, with many engineer. Not everyone look like this.

        • ITN

          As I said, not everyone works on difficult problems. If they have a happy face, they are doing something that is easy (to them).

          • J.Coi

            That is mistaken idea. My group engineers work on very hard problem every day, they are most very happy! You can find so much example, like Google or Canon. Happy people working on very hard problem! If you work in company with unhappy engineers, you have problem.

    • PhilK

      If you go back and view the entire series of “Philosophy of Nikkor”, it’s apparent that they are portraying the designers as the more expressive “creative eccentric guys”, and the production people as very precise and regimented types. I don’t think that is a mistake.

  • PhilK

    Well that pretty much corroborates my sense that lens assembly is a very old-school manual process at Nikon. Hopefully their China and Thailand factories are more automated, otherwise I don’t know how they would ever be able to produce lenses at a competitive price point.

  • AD

    Has anyone ever seen inside on of the machineshops that makes the mechanical components ? What kind of machines do they use?

    • PhilK

      I’m guessing that Nikon is more worried about trade secrets there than on the assembly side of these higher-priced, lower-production lenses they described in this series. I would encourage you to check out the whole series, it’s pretty interesting.

  • PhilK

    Good overview of Nikkor “talking points” – from 2014:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tWVkCfJjdlA

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