Eyewitness report from PhotoPlus Expo

Eyewitness report (thanks AK, photo by MTW):

I was at the PDN (PhotoPlus Expo) show yesterday, and they were exhibiting the new Nikon AF-S 50mm f/1.4. However, they said that the lens they were showing was a prototype, not a production model, so they requested that people not take home any images from it.

If they don't have a production model yet, that suggests (a) they won't be shipping real soon, and (b) they may be wanting to change something about the lens before they ship it.

Also, they still have no idea about price or delivery date for the GP-1. They did not even have a demo unit.

Finally, I overheard one Nikon rep telling someone "Expect new cameras early next year."

If you have any stories or pictures from the show and you would liket to share them, please contact [NR].

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  • Zoetmb

    I was at the show also and specifically asked to see the new 50mm. The rep did not tell me it was a prototype. It seemed very nice to me – it focused well even manually and gave a very bright and crisp image in the viewfinder. I could see myself buying this lens.

    These reps knew nothing — I would never believe any rumor passed by them. They didn’t know the prices of their own equipment — they kept saying things like, “oh, I haven’t looked that price up in a while” when queried by others. I pulled a sheet out of my case that had list and BH’s prices on it. I had more info than the reps did.

    Joe McNally did a great demo in the Nikon booth with the SB900 and the CLS.

    I also played a bit with the D90. I didn’t realize the D90 was so small and light. It seemed to me that it was a lot smaller and lighter than the old D70 even, at least as how I remember it. I tried video mode and at least on the small display, it looked really good. I tried zooming and moving slowly and didn’t have any problems. Only in one movement did I detect any smeared pixels, but maybe it would have been more noticeable when played back on a standard-sized monitor.

    Nikon gave out copies of their “digiguide” catalog, as they did last year. The catalog is dated Fall 2008, but the FM10, SB800, the D200 and the 28-70mm lens are still in there. The manual-focus lenses are gone! I don’t know whether that means that they’re still available on special order or that they’re no longer available at all. The catalog is a bit of a disappointment — while it has 12% more pages than last year’s catalog, it seems to have less information.

    The show was busy, but not especially exciting. There really wasn’t anything new there. I did manage to get my hands on the new Leica MF prototype. It looks much better in person than it does in photographs. It’s very solid, very heavy, and has a really great rubber grip. The viewfinder is huge, but focusing was very, very slow. I mean really slow. They kept telling me, “this is just a prototype.” The lenses for it are gigantic. And as simple as the controls seemed to be, I was totally confused as to what they were for. There was one 3-position switch in which the middle setting was “FPS”. I asked the Leica rep what that meant. She told me “focal plane shutter.” I said, “yes, I know the camera has a focal plane shutter, but what does the switch do?” She couldn’t tell me. I bet it actually had something to do with the number of frames you can shoot per second.

    I also tried the new LensBaby Composer, which I thought would be better than the original LensBaby products, which I returned after purchase once before. I still wasn’t impressed. Although much easier to use, I couldn’t get much of a desirable effect and I couldn’t get the center in focus – everything looked really soft. Maybe it’s just me.

    Other than that, it looked pretty much to me as exactly like last year’s show, except with a few less exhibitors, which is probably a reflection of the economy.

    • Thanks for the detailed report – this with the manual lenses is weird.

  • Anonymous

    It being a prototype doesn’t mean they don’t have any production models at all. This means they didn’t have one there, at the expo, not more, not less. Shortly before the D3/D300 release (I mean availability, not announcement) I was in a store where they demoed the two cameras, and the D3 was a production model, while the D300 was not (and it had quite a bunch of glitches and problems). However, it was obvious that there was a warehouse full of production D300s somewhere in Thailand at that time already…

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