Weekly Nikon news flash #133

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  • Several photography websites were invited to visit the Nikon 1 factory in China. They were not allowed to take pictures and could only publish images given to them by Nikon:

  • Check out the Tamarkin's rare camera auction that will take place on Sunday, October 30. A black Nikon SP rangefinder is part of the auction (get the PDF catalog here)

  • Nikon has a patent (7138663) from 2006 about a color separation device of solid-state image sensor:

"A microlens condenses incident light to an opening. Light passed through the opening reaches a first dichroic mirror. The first dichroic mirror passes blue light and reflects green and red light. Only the blue light is incident on a first light receiving surface. The first dichroic mirror leads the green and red light to a second dichroic mirror. The second dichroic mirror passes the green light and reflects the red light. Only the green light is incident on a second light receiving surface. The second dichroic mirror leads the red light to a third dichroic mirror. The third dichroic mirror reflects the red light. Therefore, the red light is incident on a third light receiving surface."

Cygnus Launch from Erich Leeth on Vimeo.

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  • EvanK

    Hmm, should I go Nikon or 3rd party for my battery grip? My main concerns are the battery drain issues, the constant electronic issues that people have had (I’m hoping that it won’t ruin my D7000!), the cheaper construction and the reverse controls. IMHO, $300 is a bit outrageous for a battery grip, but would saving $250 and going for the 3rd party model be a bad decision? This review just made my decision even more difficult…

    • My experience: I bought a Meike produced MB-D1o knockoff and it died after a year. Meike offered to replace it if I shipped it to China. Rather than wait, I purchased the genuine Nikon article and it has worked without failing for a couple years. I could replace a knockoff once a year for three years with what I spent on the real Nikon MB-D10. Whether the hassle is worth it is up to you.

      I will say that weather sealing is superior on the Nikon grips, and the real MB-D10 and MB-D11 are usable on a tripod, while the plastic knock-offs are not.

    • SojIrOu

      I’d recommend the Nikon grip for sure. I’ve heard of a third party grip actually frying the D7000. I’m sure the added paeace of mind and build quality is worth the extra $200.

    • Geoff

      I own one for my Nikon D90. It gets used at every HS sporting event on friday nights for hundreds of shots for the last 2 years. It still works like a champ. I could not see myself spending the extra $250 on a nikon brand. /shrugs

      • Geoff

        “but comparing the Meike’s structure to that of the Nikon makes me wonder if the Meike would stand up heavy tripod use with large lenses.”

        On a “large” lens you use the tripod foot on the lens, not the battery grip.

      • dps

        Bought my D90 when it was first introduced, as well as the Nikon MB-D80, and an extra battery that went directly on the camera when it arrived. I’ve taken over 60,000 photos over the past four years with the grip on the camera and have had no problems. Nearly 20,000 of those photos have been taken on a tri-pod (Manfrotto 322RC2 head). Camera, grip, and batteries all work great… no complaints!

    • James

      Canon user here, Nikon grips are DAMN nice. Spend the extra money. It is worth it for the quality.

    • Drew Hoover

      I’ve been using the Nikon MBD10 since the summer of 2008, first on a D300 and now on a D700. It still works really, really well, and it has stayed attached to a body (and carried with me literally everyday) since I bought it. Zero problems.

  • I think you got it wrong with that Romanian website.
    The 7999 in the corner is the price for the camera in Lei. If you convert that to euro it is 1859.

    • It’s Ok.

      Now the price is 7.999, between 18.10.2011 and 20.11.2011, according to the romanian importer’s site:

      However, 500 Ron off, is not a big deal. Last price was 8.500 Ron.

      • NikonD80Still

        D700 still not easy to find …. but no replacement in site

  • Neil

    Anyone going to try that n-photo magazine?

    • Justin S

      Not at $116 a year. That’s a Sb-400 for a years subscription. I’d rather have the flash.

    • AM

      Why would you spend over $100 for information that you can get online earlier, and for free?

      • EvanK

        Why would anybody shoot Canon? 😉

        Just kidding, but some people just prefer a magazine I guess. I subscribe to Popular Photography which is about 20$ or so a year, it’s nice to get something real and not virtual in the mail. However, IMO $116 is a bit outrageous.

    • TaoTeJared

      I’m looking at it. Photo mags around here are about $11 a month at the news stand and I only get about 10% of interesting stuff out of those. I would love to get one that focuses on Nikon stuff.

    • broxibear

      Future Publishing are the same group who publish the Canon version called PhotoPlus which was launched six months ago.
      The same group are behind several magazines and websites you’ll recognize http://www.futureplc.com/what-we-do/portfolios/technology/

  • dan

    Nikon: The megapixels race ended years ago….LOLJK 36MP D800

    • Groosome

      Exactly! I’m hoping the rumours are rubbish and it’s under 20MP assuming the bloody thing ever comes out and replaces the D700.

      • NikonD80Still

        No D800 soon according to some forums 🙁

        So no megapixel race. we are stuck with D3X

    • lolly

      The megapixel race is just starting with Nikon with Sony’s help 😉

    • Not Surprised

      “Nikon UK says the megapixel race ended years ago.”

      Are we to infer from this that Nikon is -STARTING- MP World War 2?
      36MP is garbage. 24MP max & give me D3S or new Canon level ISOs!!
      Nikon executives PROMISED a “balanced” approach in the future!
      Are Nikon executives liars and Cold MP Warriors? I am KGB?

      If Nikon is “balanced” and non-MP war — then the D800 will not be 36MP.

      • Jabs

        Yeah it ended years ago – called a D3X that settled that score between Nikon, Canon and Sony as to who is better in images from a FF camera.

        Now on to higher megapixel cameras that perform better just like they do in the Kodak sensored cameras in MF of higher megapixels.

        Race ended, upwards thrust in megapixel never ended, just that one race between the three Manufacturers ended.

        Maybe now – multiple color sensors like R-G-B (Red, Green and Blue) or pixel shifting technology or whatever they come up with, but higher pixels is almost a given now but with cleaner files emphasizing output quality plus speed of processing and not merely megapixels numbers for bragging by a Manufacturer.

        Thus, end of an Era.

  • About the spotting scope, with the x10 magnification, does it mean x10 the focal length of the mounted lens? e.g. a 70-200 with a mounted spotting scope will have it’s focal length multiplied by 10 when seen through the scope?

    • Just plain FU

      Magnification in binoculars/scopes describes enlargement of subject in reference to the observer. Plain and simple; This set up enlarges the ‘image’ ten times as opposed to viewing with un aided eyes.

    • Vertigo

      In the related guest post it’s said that magnification is FL/10, e.g. a 70-200 gives 7-20x magnification. With a 500mm you get 50x magnification it seems. What are the magnifications of regular spotting scope btw ?

      • iamlucky13

        20-60x is a common zoom spotting scope magnification range. 40x or 50x are common fixed magnifications.

  • Discontinued


    Right, improvements in RES and the DSLR-evolution in general may no longer qualify for the term “race” and maybe never did in the first place, but still the statement “The megapixel race ended years ago” remains somewhat funny. How come we see 24, 18 and 16 MP APS-C-sensors today if true?
    I don’t care much for DX but there is no prophecy needed to predict that 12 MP on FX sure ain’t it. I highly doubt we are ever going to see another 12 MP FX.

  • na

    v1 and j1 are made in china but still cost more than others, I hope those workers pay well – bet what they made in a month can’t even buy the j1, just like the people who make those iphone in china……

    • Geoff

      that is how their economy works.

      • na

        at least those who made the m4/3 can buy the basic model with what they made in a month

  • broxibear

    The effect on prices from the Thai flooding is starting to show up here in the UK. A few retailers have raised their prices on D5100, D7000 and some DX lenses.
    Don’t know how it’s going to affect the U.S. market since the new pricing policy and the rebates which all seem to have been pulled.
    Less stock and higher prices…deja vu ?

    On a side note, sad to hear about the death of Marco Simoncelli, made worse by Dan Wheldon’s death a few days ago. You tend to forget about the dangers and become used to seeing riders and drivers walk away from massive crashes, very sad.

    • Image

      Sad day indeed. I am also a motorcycle roadracer and it’s scary when stuff like this hits home. It’s very very rare. 🙁 RIP Marco! A great guy and very fast!

    • Jabs

      Price gouging – Nikon’s worth more than gold and being ‘stuck up’ when you go to buy a camera – lol

      Yeah, Dan was testing a new NASCAR car designed to prevent or minimize that type of tragedy, so ironic too.

      Death is a part of racing that you don’t get used to.

  • Some of these patents, you never know what will show up in a product later.

  • AM

    As far as I can see, the original MB-D11 is also made in China. So, why is it that it’s been out of stock for a while?

  • Been there guy

    That’s it! Made in China did it for me. I’ll NEVER buy Nikon 1 or 2 or whatever.

    Stuff made in China are pure junks!

    Nikon should let Wal-Mart to have exclusive rights, since they sell most of junk coming from China.

    I have not bought anything from Wal-Mart. Their stuff are made in China junks, the check-out line are long, the isles are too long to walk around, the outside parking is a zoo and the shoppers are mostly illegals.

    • Andrew

      You sound too intelligent to make statements like these. Don’t let your bias cloud your good judgement.

  • lolly

    The Nikon 1 is at least assembled in China but the parts can come from anywhere … so it may not be 100% made in China.

    The iPhone 4 is assembled in China too … if you think it’s junk too then any scavenger will gladly take it from you 😉

  • paul

    While it seems that the D800 is likely to be manufactured in Japan, I wonder if any of it’s parts are produced in Thailand. It seems like October 26th is going to come….and then go.

  • broxibear

    That Nikon AIPP event in Adelaide, Australia was starting tonight, anyone got any information from it ?

  • WB

    Announce the “D800” right NOW!!
    So Canon can announce the “5D Mark III”
    and I can choose which one to buy!!!

  • Grip Dials

    Hey, everyone…. in regards to the off brand MB D11’s…… I purchased the one that is branded as a Nikon. The one that comes in a Nikon box and everything. I paid $31 and so far so good. I just wanted to let everyone know that the dials are NOT reversed on this one. They perform exactly the same way as the camera. I know other have complained about the dial direction issue but it’s good on the fake Nikon. I am NOT thrilled about supporting people who make knock offs but money is an issue right now.

    • Grip Dials

      Also, there is zero play in the grip. It is tight against the body. It’s probably the best fake out there.

  • One More Thought

    Given the lack of rumors surrounding any D800 at this point, I would have to surmise there will be no announcement on the 26th…

    • broxibear

      Here’s a rumour for you One More Thought…no new products from Nikon this year.

  • Anonymous

    Oh, I just bought a Zeiss hand me down second hand ZF 35 f2. I just can’t wait to get my hands on that baby. Priority mail, hurry up! It’s been a day already! I want my MTV! I mean, my Zeiss ZF! Something lovely about manual focus, smooth and satisfying. I’m so suck of my auto focus locking on the background instead of my subject. Why can’t we see that in the viewfinder? Anything over twenty or so feet out is a crap shoot. You think you got it locked, then get home on the big screen and see the softy. The softy focus. I hate that.

    • stev

      I get that with my 35 1.8 lens on my D40 auto focus sometimes sucks badly at moments. My camera sucks at manual focusing so that is not an option I think.

  • Looked through the auction catalog. Very interesting that the old Nikon rangefinders are much more valuable in auction than the Hasselblad. Or the older Leicas, even. It’s only around the M5 or M6 that the Leica’s auction prices catch up to then surpass the Nikon rangefinders’.

  • chris

    Hi admin, at this point in time, I keep telling myself not to expect the D800 to be released on Oct 26. As you posted before, there’s a 99% probability of the D800 announcement on that day. Now that we are two days away, what would you say is that probability? Still 99%? Curious to also know what everyone thinks.

  • broxibear

    Floodwaters in Bangkok have reached Don Muang Airport, one of the Thai capital’s two main airports…
    “The decision to divert water through canals in Bangkok means parts of the city and its surrounding suburbs, such as Rangsit, are flooded.
    More high tides are expected in the coming week, which could cause rivers to back up, further raising water levels, according to Thailand’s Flood Relief Operations Command.
    Overall damage from the floods have risen and could top $6 billion, with the worst yet to come as the waters destroy shops and paralyze factories nationwide, the Thai Finance Ministry said.”

    • AnoNemo

      I think Nikon and Sony already wrote off those plants. I would not trust in the future in the Thai authorities when it comes to flood management and would move my factories somewhere else.

      I would not be surprised that Nikon and Sony is already gearing up new facilities somewhere else.

  • 36 megapixels

    checking the examples posted here for the 1dx I can confirm d800 get very close to those of the new cannon. The executive said very clear: the megapixel race has ended. Absolutely!
    And quite simply: technology has advanced, signal ratios have advanced, algorithms have advanced and sensor tech has advanced (like the sigma one and the new 3 layers nikon) which means: megapixel will not be a differential in cameras. Similar to what AMD introduced long time ago, when intel processors where reaching 5MHz speed and AMD came up with 2.5 cpus that were beating out of any intel (i am talking about 10 years ago, not now where intel tech is way superior than those from AMD)…
    wait and see…

  • The invisible man

    Only 2 more days……
    Yesterday I took my wife at Harry’s, better be nice with her before the found out the D800’s $4000 price !

  • I wonder whether the 26th Oct announcement is going ahead. There has been no updates from NR for the last few days on the same!

  • Jabs

    From my perspective, the megapixel race was basically a thrust by Canon and Sony to counter the excellence of the images of Nikon cameras and to make Nikon look irrelevant or even stuck in the past.

    Nikon concentrated on clean image output and speed in their top cameras at 12megs and Sony plus Canon concentrated on the bragging rights of saying – Look, we have more megapixels, so we are technically superior or more advanced.

    Two cameras from Nikon clearly disproved that while the first one shook them up completely.

    D3 shook them up after Canon went from 16meg to 21 megs in a FF camera.

    Sony introduced what it thought would be a world beater with now 24megs.

    Nikon introduced a 24meg D3X that redefined what a high res body could do or what the images from it should really look like.

    Sony continues on the megapixel madness or pretenses, as their own 16meg bodies perform better than their newer 24meg bodies.

    Canon seems to have backtracked and is now trying to outdo Nikon while also aping Nikon and thus vindicating Nikon’s stance since the D3 was released.

    Engineering wise, the problem with megapixels is not the size but the sub-system that processes things inside the camera after it leaves the sensor and Nikon has been the best at that – look at the D3X versus the Sony A900 or any Canon 21meg FF body.

    We are now at 36meg bodies and I expect the same rules to apply – build a better sub-system and faster throughput and that is exactly what Nikon has done.

    They went from analog to digital output plus many more channels in their new Expeed 3 and the Nikon 1 amply demonstrates this fact.

    36megs is now easy for Nikon to produce with quality files, as they alone now perhaps, have a working camera output sub-system that is digital plus fast while able to process large amounts of data quickly.

    End of the megapixel pretenses then, or this madness of pushing pixels while not able to process them properly or quickly enough.


    36meg and above – here we come, as we finally have something to process them quickly – Expeed 3.

  • Jabs

    Wow – it’s really bad there.

    Sony seems to be worse hit than Nikon too. I hear that all of their digital cameras are manufactured there, while Nikon is in Malaysia, China and Japan plus maybe South America and Mexico.

    Lots of shortages upcoming then from everyone now.

    Disk drives, automobiles, auto parts, cameras, lenses, new releases and more.

    Epic disaster too and rice fields washed away, so higher rice prices too or not much Thai rice available.

    Basmati rice – here we come!

    The people must really be suffering too and Schools, Shopping Centers, Medical Facilities and such might be in bad shape.

    Diseases and dysentery, malaria and such might be rampant later on.

    What about sewage and such overflowing all over the place?

    A really sad mess of a situation for all.

    Thanks for the link too.

  • Jabs

    Yeah – patent (7138663) = Nikon’s RGB sensor or three colors collected separately like Sigma, maybe.

    No wonder Nikon and Sigma got into that Patent spat. I wonder what happened since then?

    Will the D800 have a Nikon RGB sensor then?

    Will it be 12 x 3 = 36megs -or-

    Will it be 36megs x 3 – RGB, then?

    Expeed 3 for a 3 color R-G-B sensor camera – hmmmm!


    Such an eenteresting monster!

    • So is this suppose to be like the Foveon X3 sensor? I never saw a patent for this but I always assumed that the photo-detectors were stacked vertically. This doesn’t seem like a very efficient what to capture lite as the opening’s seem pretty small. I guess that depends on how effective the micro-lenses are. Does do any current sensors on the market use micro-lenses? How does Sigma do it?

  • le_eiji

    Mega Pixel War is over? Really? Freaking Really? They will release full frame camera with 36MP and will probably release 24MP APS-C camera and they are saying Mega Pixel war is over years ago? What a Nonsense! LOL

  • D700guy

    It warms my heart to see so much D800 info available 2 days prior to the alleged announcement

  • AnoNemo

    I am about to lose my patience with Nikon. WTF are they waiting for?

    It took Nikon 4 years to create the little crap Nikon1, no wonder they cannot deliver a new FX camera. At least if they have something new then announce it so people can budget for next year because anyway we know the products will not be available for another 6 months (or even a year).

    NR Admin, have you heard anything lately? I assume the quiet means that you heard nothing.

    BTW, the lens2scope is available on Amazon.com

    • I think it all depends on the flood in Thailand. I do believe the D800 is ready to be released, it’s just a matter of when.

  • broxibear

    New Nikon Advert just popped up, make of it what you want…

    • AnoNemo

      I think it is crap. It says nothing.
      Nikon should come clean and tell us when the new products will be here and how much it will cost. The f-ers do not know that people and companies have to plan ahead their expenses (for 2012).

    • D700guy

      Well, that video clip certainly answers all my questions.

  • broxibear
    • AnoNemo

      Do they have ads for the 4 years old FX system? I bet they say it is new….

  • D700guy

    Wednesday’s announcement is going to be like one of those $35 fireworks you buy at the stand on the 4th. You anticipate greatness, you take it home, light it, watch it fizzle, and go kick the dog.

  • iamlucky13

    I thought I’d throw in a clarification about the D300 to space to story – while I think projects like these are awesome and generally commendable, it’s not really true that they’re carrying cameras to space.

    It is effectively impossible for a balloon to go into space, as space is defined as the region where there is no longer sufficient atmospheric density for aerodynamic forces to contribute meaningfully to a trajectory. The buoyant forces (arising from static fluid pressure) that support a balloon diminish with altitude in a similar manner to aerodynamic forces (arising from fluid motion).

    This is kind of a fuzzy definition, but the traditional definition of space is above 100 km (62 miles) altitude.

    The flickr caption says they estimate their altitude as around 100,000 feet (about 30 km). The record for an amateur balloon flight is 136,000 feet (42 km). The record for any balloon is 170,000 feet (52 km), or about halfway to space.

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