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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  • Ren Kockwell

    The first person to build a smaller version of the Contax G2 system will laugh all the way to the bank. The M9 is a great camera, but the cost is insane and there is no AF. I don’t see this being done by Nikon.

    • Canon Fangirly

      The M9 costs less than a D3x, so I don’t see why that’s supposed to be insane for a Leica. I’d say there is much rather something wrong with Nikon’s prices since it used to be the company producing a camera as good as a Leica for much less. All they have now is a 3 lb monster with too many buttons and features. Definitely not the first choice for all those who prefer lightweight gear that’s not recognized from half a mile away.

      • Bob

        Sage advice there Canon Fangirly. Just in case you missed it, for those who prefer lightweight gear, DO NOT buy the biggest most expensive Nikon body. I repeat, if you wat lightweight gear, do not choose a heavy camera.

        Thanks for that.

  • andyh

    i hope that closed warehouse means an announcement of new goodies real soon!

  • Geoff

    When I suggested that Nikon may do RF TTL a year ago, people laughed at me. It would be nice to see this in the future.

    • GlobalGuy

      Does anyone know ANYTHING about Yongnuo and the quality of their stuff? I’ve heard this brand twice now, once on this site and once on lightingrumors (or something), but want to hear some reports.

      • Andre

        Have been using their rf602 triggers for over 12 months now, good build quality, haven’t failed at all and CONSISTENTLY reliable to 100 metres.

        Did I mention that 1 trigger and 3 receivers only cost AUD $75.00 delivered.

  • FakeKenRockwell

    I don’t think you are crazy, i just don’t see the market for digital RF. Most people can’t even autofocus.

    • digital RF could have AF. It is just that m4/3 most of the time have no real viewfinder and for many is using LCD screen to compose painful.
      Some good APS rangefinder with fast 24mm lens (1.4 at least) and i am sold. But to buy some leica which is worse and not that smaller then D5000, thanks but not thanks

      • Jivee

        I’m pretty sure Geoff ment Radio Frequency TTL. I agree here. Who knows their ITTL system better than nikon? I use CLS frequently, but when using brollies, I pull out my old faithful SB28s & SD8s, and ‘Wallet Wizzards’ (ebay triggers). Main reason is the line of sight of on camera flash. With RF, this would not be a problem, & I can use my SB900 replacement. SB1000?

        • GlobalGuy

          I don’t understand why Radio hasn’t been the standard for so long. There is a demand for this method at least as a co-standard.

          • LGO

            That’s easy to answer. Different radio standards in different countries.

  • bwhahaha

    Looks like D700 is good for Wedding photography hahahaha.

  • GlobalGuy

    Nikon are complete jerks for constantly trying to “empty” their warehouses. They need to figure out their production cycles. This isn’t funny to customers who wait 3 months for products announced almost a year ago or more. The market should have a slight oversupply, and YES Nikon can sit on it. They charge enough to cover a slight overstock and constantly pissing off your customers just makes less of them. The more Nikon acts so daft, the more I hope Sony continues to pull up.

    • M!

      i had no trouble getting the first batches of D3X (announced dec 08, received dec 08), or D3S (announced oct 09, received dec 09), may be they are not the mid level bodies that they need to empty the warehouse as you claim.

  • Have just tried Jessops for the D3s…The site states in stock but when you get through to checkout it aparently changes its mind and states out of stock 🙂

  • Andre

    The date might be the telling point of the lens rental story — abit behind the times I reckon.
    Lens Repair Data 3.0

    Posted 2009.05.17

  • Jake

    I ordered a TC-20E III Teleconverter from Adorama on 5/19/2010, it’s been almost 2 months and I still have no idea when it will ship.

    Hopefully this year.

    I can understand Nikon not wanting to have an over-capacity issue, it would make the gear even more expensive, but they’ve got to start planning better. I believe they are leaving significant sales volume for third party products and other camera systems.

    • M!

      and again, i had no trouble getting the TC-20E III. this time i walked into a dealer, and they have 5. and this is the time of the winter olympics. may be the world cup photographers snatched them all up.

      • Jake


        I’m glad you were able to get a TC-20E III. Product availability in February 2010 is immaterial. I was not in market for TC in February, I was in May.

        Or June.

        Or July.

        Maybe August?

  • Anon

    Ritz Camera salesperson here,

    This explains why I haven’t gotten a Nikon DSLR in a couple weeks. My safe is completely empty of Nikons. =(

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