Weekly Nikon related news/links

  • Yongnuo will offer TTL radio trigger built into a speedlight (Nikon iTTL version expected).
  • Nikon UK announced that Simon Coleman (General Manager for Imaging) has left the company to pursue other interests.
  • Rumor: Nikon met their quarterly goal in the US and sold out their warehouse. The rumor is that Nikon actually closed their warehouse facilities for two weeks (until July 5th, 2010). They were not taking orders of any types during that time, which may explain some of the recent shortages. This seems to be a common practice - I have reported similar closures in the past.

Some failure rates stats for Nikon equipment after the break:

  • Some camera failure rates and the Nikon related stats:

Reliability of cameras between $300 and $500, by manufacturer

Source: Squaretrade

Lens Annualized Repair Rate Typical Problems
Sigma 120-300 f2.8 41% Zoom mechanism, calibration, autofocus
Sigma 18-200 OS 37% OS, Autofocus, zoom, barrel separation
Nikon 18-200 OS 31% OS, Autofocus, zoom
Sigma 50-500 31% Zoom mechanism, autofocus
Canon 300 f4 IS 25% IS, autofocus electronics, barrel separation
Tamron 70-200 f2.8 27.5% tight mount (Canon), autofocus
Tokina 12-24 f4 PRO 25% zoom mechanism, autofocus
Nikon 17-55 f2.8 25% Calibration, zoom ring, motor burnout
Canon 50 f1.4 22.5% AF motor
Canon 35 f1.4 22% Calibration, focus mechanicals
Canon 17-55 f2.8 EF-S IS 22% IS failure, AF electronics, ERR99
Canon 10-22 EF-S 17.5% barrel separation, autofocus
Nikon 70-200 f2.8 VR 17% zoom mechanism, manual focus clutch
Nikon 17-35 f2.8 17% calibration, electronics
Nikon 80-400 15% Electronic issues
Canon 85 f1.2 13% Electronic issues
Sigma 30 f1.4 12.3% calibration
Canon 24-70 f2.8 11% Calibration, zoom mechanism
Canon 100-400 IS 11% Zoom tension ring, Err99, calibration
Nikon 14-24 f2.8 10% zoom mechanism

Just because we get asked it a lot, I’ll add that the Supertelephoto primes (300 f2.8, 400 f2.8, 500f4, 600 f4 from both Canon and Nikon) are our lowest repair rate lenses. Basically we’ve only had damage repairs for any of them.
A couple of observations.

  • The Sigma 120-400 and 150-500 are no longer on the list because we no longer carry them. Both had failure rates of about 45% while we had them. New batches may be better (ours were all bought early), we don’t know.
  • The failure rate for the Sigma 120-300 is still high, but much better than it used to be. We think this is because we’ve changed the way we pack this particular lens. We no longer see the very high failure rate after shipping that we once did.
  • The Canon 300 f4 IS has leaped up this list. It was a lens we’ve never had trouble with in the past. It may be notable that we turned over a large number of copies (6) about the same time last winter and these seem to be the ones having trouble, despite being newer lenses. I have no certain knowledge, but wonder since the problems seem largely electronic, if there was a batch of bad circuit boards or connectors.
  • The Tokina 12-24 f4 PRO also climbed up the list only recently. It may be significant that a number of our copies are now 18 months old, particularly since most of the failures seem to involve zoom mechanism mechanicals.
  • The Canon 35 f1.4 is probably a bit of an outlier: when we started using a more sensitive tool (Lens Align Pro) for calibration checks we immediately found several copies that needed calibration which raised its repair rate significantly.
  • Two lenses: The Canon 50mm f1.2 and the Sigma 100-300 have behaved so well they’ve dropped below the 10% repair rate cutoff.

Source: Lensrentals

General stats:

  • More than 10% of the cameras failed before 2 years
  • The statistical projection tells that there are/will-be more than 15% failure within 3 years
  • Accidents are a major cause for failure: 40% of cameras were broken in such a way
  • The more expensive, the more robust
  • For SLR cameras, Canon and Nikon go hand-in-hand
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