Weekly Nikon news flash #212



  • Coming soon: LeNs is a new interactive digital magazine for Nikon photographers.


  • New Nikon Centre of Excellence is now officially open in London.


Equinox Underwater Housing for Nikon D7100

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  • AM

    Tomorrow the US Senate votes the online sales tax bill that, if approved, will have a huge impact on camera gear sales, I think.

    • Foolishcfo

      It sure will. Lets hope Boehner and the House vote it down if the senate passes it.

    • Spy Black

      It won’t have any impact. People will just pay the tax and buy whatever they want. It’s not going to stop people from buying what they want. They may bitch and moan about it, but they’re still going to buy. People are too addicted to online shopping.

      • lorenzo

        This topic might be a little off Nikon and photography.

        I think there will be an impact, not on people as you say because we still buy, but on many online stores. This bill will destroy what is left of the .com.

        Think of this: why should one buy at B&H (or other stores) to pay for taxes plus shipping when can get the same item locally, cheaper and faster?

        I might be wrong but this bill, if passes, will also lead to loss of more jobs 🙁

        • patto01

          There are a lot of items that I can order online and have in a couple days, that local stores don’t carry and can’t get. If you live in a rural area, there may not even be a camera (or whatever your interest is) store within a couple hours drive.Add the cost of gas and wear and tear on your car to the taxes… And those, in my opinion, are the true advantages of shopping online.
          On the flip side, I would always prefer to touch, see, and try out a product before buying it.

          • lorenzo

            I totally agree with you and when your on-line stores will disappear because people that aren’t in rural areas don’t want to pay taxes, you will be penalized with the costs of driving miles away.

            Unfortunately I can whine on this and the bill will pass anyway, it is too appealing to those idiots that most Americans elected and put in command.

        • Spy Black

          First off, online stores killed a lot of local Mom & Pop stores long ago, reversing the trend would actually be a good thing, but I digress.

          Second, people are too lazy to get out of bed, let alone drive down to a local store to get something. They’ll be exceptions to the rule, but read my comment above.

          Third, places like B&H have buying and selling power most others never will. They’re not going to hurt at all.

          The bill, if it passes, will have no affect whatsoever in the makeup of online sales.

          • lorenzo

            Most of Mom & Pop stores of long ago have become online stores today, so no damage was done to them. Tell me who doesn’t have a computer or with a little more a server.

            I read your comment above, that’s why I wrote mine and sorry to state that I disagree with you saying that this bill will have no impact with the .com.

            It is not about people being lazy or not it is about people that want to save some money instead. For instance take a D4 (which I wish I could afford), 10% tax will bring its price from $5,999.95 to 6,599.95 (ref. Keeble and Shuchat Palo Alto CA local store). It is fine for you it isn’t for me.

            However, I can be pissed off as much as I want, this bill will pass, as all the bad things and laws that are passing in this Country.

            Our votes count, they said. That’s all BS!

            Let’s read the news at 3:30 p.m PST….

            • Spy Black

              “Most of Mom & Pop stores of long ago have become online stores today, so no damage was done to them.”

              Not true. Not everyone jumped. Today it’s all about who can order large and sell large. At least, in this business. My point is if you want a D4 you’re gonna pay $6,599.95 for it, period. It is what it is. The people who lead in this industry online will continue to do exactly the same. Sales may drop for a bit, but then, it will be business as usual.

    • Another Thought

      Let’s consider the true ramifications of this online sales tax bill.

      First, to the extent it hurts online retailers it will help local brick and mortar stores. My local camera store will probably benefit. So if someone buys local rather than from a large online retailers, that’s OK.

      In fact, brick and mortar stores tend to employ more people than online retailers; that’s one reason why online operations can often undercut in price.

      So this bill may benefit local stores and their communities.

      Second, I don’t think it will hurt online retailers as much as some fear. People will still buy from online retailers for the convenience, and in many cases, the online retailers will still have lower prices, as well as better selection. Online retailers will find a way, make no mistake about that.

      Third, I am so sick and tired of people just complaining about taxes, without any thought of how they would pay for roads, schools, police, the military, etc. Of course taxes can be too high, but they can be too low as well. In one sense it only seems fair to level the playing field for all retailers.

      So collecting sales tax on online sales will hardly be the end of the world, and it just might do some good as well.

      • lorenzo

        Oh, I do feel so bad for those 5 states that have no sales taxes: they must have no roads, no police and no schools. Better not to talk of the military, the wasted money in wars that are not of our business, the severe budget cuts to NASA to pay the Russians $70M a seat on the Soyuz… thanks to our Federal Monkey.

        In my last job I was paying 57% in taxes between Federal and California… I wonder how many roads I built and why all the roads here have so bad potholes that force an alignment to cars every couple of months.

        I think you live in a bubble!

      • Micah Goldstein

        First off, large ≠ bad

        Employing more people ≠ good. Employing more people than it takes to do a job efficiently is silly.

        Benefiting local stores is not good just because they’re local. There needs to be more reason than that. If you want to buy local, why don’t you find someone in your town to make you a camera?

        Forcing online companies to pay more taxes is at odds with history. It used to be called “mail order”.

    • Larry Gray

      Actually, the tax is backwards. Everywhere else in the US (Brick n Mortar and InState internet) you pay at point of sale and it doesn’t matter if you are a resident or not. Tourist pay equally. More importantly, the business owner only files one State tax report and subject to one auditor. There is nothing wrong with paying sales tax if one is due, but should Internet business be subject to paying/filing reports to 50 States (or up to 9000 is local tax jurisdictions included) and subject to audit by each one. Perhaps internet customers should be considered ‘virtual tourist’ just like physical tourist at a B&M store and pay that State’s sales tax. Order from B&H, pay NY’s sales tax, order from Amazon, pay WA sales tax. That approach would be very equitable to all businesses and should be enacted by States – avoiding Constitutional issues as stays intrastate, while the federal bill runs into equal protection and other Constitutional issues. About the only federal law that would be needed (and perhaps mirrored in State law) would be closing a loophole making the tax based on the “higher of” corporate HQ or other location to keep from having businesses create order taking call center in zero sales tax States. Not only would that be equitable to businesses, but it follows the KISS principle.

      • zoetmb

        Actually, what you state is not quite true anymore. If you buy something out of state and bring it back home for use in your home state, New York State, for one, expects you to pay the sales tax in New York. It’s all voluntary and there’s a small flat fee you can pay instead of itemizing, but this is a scam that many states are starting to increase revenues. (Personally, I don’t know how they haven’t been sued over this.)

        In physical stores, you pay at point of sale because you are considered to have taken delivery in that state. But if you order by mail, it’s the physical location of the vendor that counts. However, there’s also the issue of “nexus”. If the vendor you ordered from has a physical presence in your state, even if that other business has nothing to do with what you purchased, you have to pay sales tax if that state is the delivery state. This is what got Amazon into trouble because the States ruled that a affiliate constituted Nexus even if one didn’t order through the affiliate. This is why Amazon originally threatened to leave California and why they stopped affiliate programs in some smaller states. Amazon has actually been charging sales tax in New York for some time, even though they have no actual physical presence here.

        IMO, they should change the tax system so that you pay based upon either the state of the vendor or the state of the delivery address.

        As for an internet tax, the issue is not charging the tax as all e-commerce systems have the capability to load an little Excel database file with all the tax rates by zip code. The problem is paying all those jurisdictions. If Congress is going to enforce an internet tax, they should set up a clearing house for businesses that do less than $X million in sales. Otherwise, the costs for small business will be enormous and it will put many sites out of business.

        Personally, I think an internet tax is fair as without it, physical stores face a distinct disadvantage and it’s helping to put Main Street out of business.

        • zoetmb

          I shouldn’t have said “voluntary” – I meant “on the honor system”.

          • Larrry

            True, the honor system, which applies as well for me in FL as well as many other States. Reality is, it cost more to collect it than it brings in so there is limited enforcement. I pay it, if applicable, for business purchases as that is the one area that is very auditable, but then I receive a greater return with the tax deduction, reducing the States total tax receipts, and the non-business owning taxpayers effectively buy it for me. Thank you very much.

            I said ‘if applicable’ earlier. The State has no taxing authority on foreign purchases and is prohibited from entering into (tax) treaties with foreign goverments. Only Congress can, but such a treaty is not in the best interest of a foreign government. Many foreign manufacturers, like Kenova, Yougnuo, Cactus and others, have no US distributors, have Ebay or Amazon stores and ship from Asia.
            That also is the HUGE loophole that noone has addresssed…and Congress may have pushed employment overseas with their action. It is a very simple formula. Incorporate as a foreign corporation 100% located outside the US, and hiring locals (which is partly why foreign governments wouldn’t enter into tax treaties, the other being cororate tax revenue stream and too easy to move to a ‘friendlier’ country). Now bypass Customs and foreign shipping by having business to business relationship with US based dropshippers. For the consumer, the purchase contract i with the foreign company…not the B to B intermediary. Take that example to the extreme. Amazon spins off its delivery network creating a new company and they become the new company’s customer. Now layoff everyone in Seatle, moving key people to the Bahamas where they re-incorporate as a foreign (Bahamian in this case) corpoation. While this is hypothetical, Amazon would deny that they are going to do that, but how many US corporation – Amazon included – don’t have their finance departments crunching the numbers.

  • Spy Black

    I’m curious why the guy at PetaPixel ripped apart a brand new lens when he could have accomplished the same thing using any number of used lenses.

  • paymore

    Well, I think it’ll be sad if an interstate/intenet sales tax is passed. There are very few tax “loopholes” left for the common man. It’s nice to have at least one. But no, we have to pay for a government than cannot contain its spending (Iraq war).

  • fjfjjj

    “Advanced methods for Nikon photographers.” ::sigh:: Step one: Stop thinking that which brand of camera you have is so freaking important.

  • AnthonyH

    Does anyone buy Tokina lenses any more? It seems like Tokina has been surpassed by Sigma and Tamron. There was a time when they were competitive, but now Sigma and Tamron produces lenses just about as good as Canon-Nikon (sometimes even better) while Tokina sort of circles around looking for scraps.

    • The Tokina 11-16 f/2.8 is still the wide-angle lens to get for DX. Sigma and Tamron have nothing on it.

    • Jonathan Ingram

      Tokina has a good reputation for wide angle right now, the 16-28 and 11-16 are both very solid lenses and doing very well in sales. I agree though, Tamron made some great strides in popularity recently with their 24-70 VC and 70-200 VC. Sigma of course did the 18-35 1.8 dx zoom, which turned some heads as well.

      • Micah Goldstein

        Except for build, I still prefer the Tamron 28-75 to the new lens. It’s one of the sharpest optics around, and it’s dirt cheap used.

      • AnthonyH

        Over a decade ago, in the days of film, Tamron hit a home run with the 28-200mm zoom, while Sigma came out with a neat 50-500mm zoom. Tokina had their 12-24mm zoom for DX starting in 2004. Today, Tokina does have some good wide angles as pointed out but does seem stuck in neutral. Tamron has their great mid-range lenses plus all-in-one zooms for FX and DX. Sigma has a great range as well. Where are Tokina’s telephotos? Mid-range zooms? They had great lenses for film before, so it saddens me to see that their only a niche seller now.

        • Yup, today Tokina only offers 5 wides, 2 macros, and 2 fish. http://www.tokinalens.com/tokina/

          Of those I’ve only tried the 11-16 f/2.8 but I like it better than the two Nikon DX wides I’ve used (10-24 and 12-24.)

          Back in the day Tokina offered a DX Trinity of 11-16, 16-50, and 50-135 f/2.8. I had the discontinued 50-135 f/2.8 which I liked for its compactness but eventually sold it for a comparable Sigma, which has OS.

          I wonder if Tokina got out of the long business because they could never figure out / patent their own version of OS / VR?

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