Weekly Nikon related news/links #94

  • The Nikon Store is selling refurbished D7000 bodies for $989.36 (update: sold out now).
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  • SGN

    Well, if you want to blast your sensor with the sheer force of photons, your tool just got cheaper!


    • 13,500 USD for 15700g / 553.7oz. of lightweight glass. I tried that lens at Photokina once. Ever since I’ve been quite pleased with the light build of the 600/4.0.

      • PHB

        Yeah, I was looking at the size/price and wondering why 100mm more on the 400 f/2.8 or the zoom feature would be worth it.

        If you have the MP to spare you can zoom by cropping. Or you can use a teleconverter or, or…

        Back in the day when Nikon made the super-super zoom it is alleged that 3 of them were trained on Ronald Reagan’s ranch in California to take pictures of him relaxing out of public view…

        • especially when whole lens makes no sense, as it is wide open as sharp as lensbaby in corners

  • Catalin Sandu

    The PocketWizards look really nice. Now where’s my VISA card?…

    • PHB

      There is a guy who keeps on popping up to plug radiopoppers, has anyone seen any comparisons?

      The strobist seems to think the Pocket Wizards are the ones, but would be nice to see any comparisons that might be available.

      • Man, all I know is that after purchasing his radio poppers, my buddy had to call me over to try to figure out how to use them. I’m still confused. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a photographic product so obscure, weird, and black box-ish. I know some may not agree, but if I have to read a manual to use it (which, by the way, isn’t included in the freaking box), then it’s NOT DESIGNED WELL.

        I’m really interested in the PWs. They seem like a great idea. Glad they’re finally shipping.

        • One customer at our store constantly raves about the poppers and strangely bashes pocket wizards. I don’t want to accuse anyone of anything, but I’ve never seen someone so passionate about radio triggers. I can’t make a judgment though because I’ve only used PWs. Maybe I will convince the company to buy some poppers so I can do a review.

  • Daf

    Worth noting – although I’d hoped they did – the PW FLex/Mini don’t currently support full CLS functionality from the in-camera menu.

    A reply I got from them on the topic:
    Thanks for your inquiry. Speedlite controls via the in-camera menus aren’t supported with our radios right now, though their firmware is open ended and it’s definitely a possibility in the future. You can use the controls of an SB-800, SB-900, SU-800, or our upcoming AC3 ZoneController to control the Flash Exposure Compensation and manual power levels of three independent remote groups of light. The connected MiniTT1 or FlexTT5 communicates with the commander in its top shoe and relays the changes via radio.

    (AC3 not available yet for Nikon)
    I have 2 speedlights to use off-camera – I don’t want to buy a 3rd just for this.

    • D700guy

      If you are using Pocket Wizards, why on earth would you even bother trying to use CLS? Set everything to manual and forget TTL.

      • Anthony D’Atri

        Not everything will patiently pose for the slow iterative process of guessing on levels, exposing, chimping, and repeating. Maybe you only shoot rocks, but some of us shoot subjects that move.

        • I’ve thought of this too, but try setting up before hand or if you’ve practiced enough with speedlights in different conditions you usually know about how much power to set the flashes too. I’ve found TTL with CLS to not be nearly accurate enough anyway to make it worth it. Hey just my two cents, a few of our Canon customers love the the flex/mini.

  • sirin

    “Nikon Store is selling refurbished D7000”

    “currently out of stock”

    nuff said.

    • did not even notice that – they were in stock few days ago

      • We should be getting more in stock within a week or two.

  • I’ll still be holding my breath for the following D7000 firmware updates:
    -Manual aperture control *during* liveview
    -On-screen VU monitor

    • mr quoll

      I’m yet to see a Nikon firmware update that actually adds functionality. Would love to be proven wrong though.

      • I second that sentiment, both times. I really hope Nikon figures out that this is a pretty big hole in their PR approach. Not only that, but it’s very damaging long term. Let’s say I purchase the 5dmkii. I buy it with 30fps capability out of the box, and later have 24p added through a firmware update. SWEET! In addition, I get manual controls. Then, as a bonus, I get a higher bitrate. Wow. Now the 7D is released. What good reason do I have to buy it? Slomo? I can buy a plugin that gives me the same thing for a fraction of the price. But is that what I choose to do? Nah, you can’t stroke, caress, or wrap your arms around a plugin. And you can’t go out on the town with it hanging all over your neck like a drunk hipster who is trying to rebel against the father figure in her life. But a new camera….

        Had Nikon given me full manual controls in the D300s through firmware, would that have delayed an upgrade from me? Not likely. I want the extra features, refinement, high-iso capabilities, etc that comes with the latest iteration of a VSLR. On the other hand—and this is the real clincher—knowing that Nikon halts capabilities the moment their product hits the stream gives me pause buying ANY body when it’s intended for video work primarily. In other words, the psychology is that I’m more inclined to buy because I have the peace of mind that Nikon will support the full potential of the camera after the fact, rather than simply letting it languish. I really hope Nikon takes a long hard look at this policy of theirs, and sees the long term benefit of adding the after-purchase support that firmware upgrades can bring.

  • L. Kemp

    Amazing that there are refurbished units, and my order from mid-October for a new one has NOT been shipped yet.
    Makes me wonder how the quality control is on the D7000 and if it is worth waiting for.

    • PHB

      Refurbished units can mean anything from returned after failure or refurbed review models.

      In general, if something goes out the door and comes back in again for any reason it turns into a refurb regardless of what happened or why.

    • Eric Pepin

      simple… someone drops there d7000 and it falls to peices, they send it to nikon for repair, nikon ships a dif model back to said customer and repairs original then sells as “refurbished”. Its not a D3 or even a D300, if you bang it enough, it will break (yes, jokes).

  • rwcs

    I sold mine 135mm and regret.. its time to buy a new…. 🙂

  • Daf

    Interesting – the 135 being replaced/discontinued has been one of those long running occasional rumours. guess this has paid to that for the time being.

    • Roger

      Unfortunately so.

      135 DC is not as good as modern 135mm lenses available (Sony&Canon). Replacement is long overdue.

      • Kevin

        Not in my experience. The 135 DC is incredible. Do you know of a sharper 135mm with a creamier bokeh?

        • Roger

          I do (above). Do you know a fast 135mm with worse CA than the Nikkor? Cause I dont.

          • Discontinued

            that was mean on the Nikkor.

            I still miss a mean “it took them a while to bring this screwdriver to stock”-comment.

            • Anthony D’Atri

              o It’s a 20 year old design
              o In typical Nikon fashion, it *looks* like a 50 year old design
              o I’m sure both people who use the DC (Ken Rockwell, and the guy who designed it) like it, but the rest of us would rather not have to worry about / pay for it.

          • Ronan

            Have your lens checked… I have yet seen anything come close to the old and superb Nikkor 135mm…

      • anonymule

        I’m going to have to disagree (and I think most would). But you can believe what you want.

      • Eric Pepin

        Its sharp, its built pro , and its beautiful. The new primes are sharp, and built out of plastic. Good plastic no doubt about that, but plastic. After renting the 24 1.4, i decided to not buy the new primes, flat out. I dont want plastic for a 2k lens, ever. Ill save for the 135 and the 28 1.4. I travel 5 – 7 days a week with my gear, and i am hard on it, plus i appreciate build quality.

  • JorPet

    And B&H is out of the Pocket Wizard already. Hopefully they will start to get a steady stream of them in over the next couple of months.

    • broxibear

      There’s a list of dealers on the Pocket Wizaed website JorPet, I’m sure someone else apart from B&H had stock… http://www.pocketwizard.com/wheretobuy/online/

      • JorPet

        At this point it isn’t an issue. Will be ordering everything for the year in March, so will be checking then. If they don’t have it when I’m ready to order, I will look for another dealer. I just like BH as they have always been very dependable for me.

  • Tommy’s Horse Heads

    Seems that they used a Nikkor 50/1.8 as a body donor and replaced all of the original optics, beside the AF system, with some vintage, hardcore cinematographic lens (t-stops instead of f-stops)… And it’s not the first chimera they’ve made… Weird as hell…

  • That Baltar is puzzling, I thought they stopped making those ages ago. I’ve found some earlier hybrids but never anything like that. Could it be that that poor 50mm was used as a crude form of f-mount adapter?

    • indianajoel

      I believe you are right. I did a search on ebay for a simmilar “baltar” lens and sure enough they have cheaper examples mounted on film Nikon’s. It seems that someone is converting these old B&L film lenses for use on Nikon mounts via the 50mm f1.8.

      • it is cheaper then buying chip, mount, making some housing, etc.
        just remove glass from inside, and you got everything for 100$

  • David

    Take note, I did a google search of the Sigma 200-500 and found the pictured used in the auction at http://www.juzaphoto.com/eng/articles/sigma_200-500_2_8_ex_dg_review_test_hands_on.htm. The picture was from a review done in 2008.

    I’m not looking to buy the lens but just did a search when trying to remember the size and weight of the thing. And this seller also seems to have 2 of them or just 2 listings for the same item? Different eBay item numbers and ending dates.

  • Peter B

    Im looking for a portrait lens and im planning to go full frame hopefully this year so…

    Nikkor 135mm or 85mm (old version)?

    • both!

      135 is close to perfect focal length but if you have only one body on photoshoot it might be too long. On FX is 85 perfect as you dont need to be too far and is yet another stop faster. Also optically is better, no AF issues as DC lenses have, etc.

      • Where’s my…

        And don’t forget to get the 105 DC too, even though it might overlap some with the 135 DC.

  • camaman

    I don’t think one would be allowed to fly on an airplane with that 200-500mm Sigma.
    Especially when they see that case and that paint job!

  • broxibear

    Anyone know of a “big” Nikon announcement tomorrow ?

    • FMaster

      I have seen some teasers for tomorrow in strobist.com and Mcnally’s blog…D800?
      I have the feeling that something BIG is coming tomorrow.

    • I seriously doubt this is Nikon related – Joe McNally and the Strobist will never be allowed to promote this in advance. My guess is that they have some new course/book/DVD to unveil.

  • Brent

    Bausch and Lomb company is before they became Bushnell. I’m sure you’ve heard of Bushnell hunting scopes and binoculars.

    • eyrieowl

      which doesn’t really help me understand why someone would bother. Is the lens magical? b/c the specs seem rather unremarkable…while the price seems VERY remarkable.

      • well some company like Apple or Leica based their business on it, so you cannot blame others to try to grab some waffers from dumb people…

      • I believe the price is based on the fact that there aren’t many 75mm Baltars out there. Apparently they used to be decent cine lenses. That’s what I can gather from looking on eBay. Also the conversion to Nikon AF is pretty unique in itself. However I never heard of a Baltar collector. LOL I’m sure the lens is decent, but no better than a 85mm f/1.8D


    The photo that you see on ebay is mine, you can see the original image in the 200-500 review:


    It has been used without permission, it is likely that the ebay seller doesn’t even own this lens.

    • I removed the link and the picture – maybe you can alert eBay and let them know.

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