Weekly Nikon news flash #246

→ The new Sigma 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 DC Macro OS HSM lens for Nikon is available for pre-order.

→ Price drop: Pro Optic 85mm f/1.4 lens for Nikon is now $249 (from $319).

→ New Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8G lens (grey market) for sale on eBay for $1,623.93. The same reseller still has Nikon D800 cameras for $2,332.82.

→ The Russian company Gfoto offers an add-on chip designed for Nikon 1 cameras (the chip is glued to the adapter) that offers focus-assist and automatic exposure in A mode for manual lenses. Update: the chip is now available on eBay (see also the Gfoto store).

→ Those are the latest Nikon instant rebates for the US (available also on Amazon).

→ Nikon Df camera finally listed on Amazon Germany (still missing on Amazon UK for some reason).

→ The Nikon Df was the reader's choice for the camera of the year (2013) at the popular Japanese website DC.Watch.

→ Nikon joins Zoom photographic charity auction (full press release available here).

BCN Ranking published their 2013 awards for best selling cameras in Japan:

DSLR Cameras Sales Share (%)
Canon 49.2
Nikon Corporation 42.5
Sony Corporation 3.0
Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Cameras Sales Share (%)
Olympus 28.9
Sony Corporation 26.5
Panasonic 14.2
Canon 9.3
Nikon Corporation 9.2
Compact Digital Cameras
Sales Share (%)
Canon 20.0
Nikon Corporation 15.5
Sony Corporation 15.4
Casio Computer Co., Ltd. 14.7
Panasonic 10.6
Fujifilm 9.9
Olympus 8.8
All Digital Cameras
Sales Share (%)
Canon 23.6
Nikon Corporation 19.2
Sony Corporation 14.6
Casio Computer Co., Ltd. 10.7
Olympus 9.5
Panasonic 9.3
Fujifilm 7.4
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  • Rui Nelson Carneiro

    I don’t see why people say Nikon’s sales performance was bad. It seems ok for me, not like Canon’s, but that’s normal.

    • Mansgame

      The numbers are unbiased. 43% vs. 6% drop.

      • Rui Nelson Carneiro

        who has dropped 43%?

        • rt-photography

          the last 2 quarterly revenues were 14% stock drop and 24% stock drop.

          • Mansgame

            I’m too lazy to check the numbers but I could have sworn Nikon’s sales were much lower than that. Still, the point stands that Nikon is not selling now. I blame the ill will on the D600 and the nickle and diming on service.

            • rt-photography

              the numbers are very bad so we will agree that “much lower” doesnt make much of a difference when youre in the shits.

              I think there are a lot of reasons why. D600 is one (maybe not in the sales, but I think it hurt their reputation the hardest), but there are more. the numbers dont lie and as of now, nikon is not doing so great. shame.

              economy is hard. people dont have a lot of money. people want worth for their hard earned cash and a lot of people are turning to 3rd party mfr’s. flashes, grips, batteries, lenses. all eating away at nikons sales.

              for me specifically, nikon prices are just too high. so I buy used or 3rd party. very sad situation nikon are in.

            • I think this is probably right.

              For me, the reputation surrounding various camera brands was as follows:

              Canon is about introducing toys and gimmicks, often before they are really ready.
              Pentax is the Honda Civic of the camera world. nothing fancy, but it has what it needs, it’s reliable enough, and cheap.
              Leica is what you get when you want to show off how much money you have.
              Nikon is what you get when you don’t want to fuss with things, you want the very best, a professional tool to do a job, and you want to get it every time, and you are willing to pay a bit extra for the peace of mind knowing that you can always count on it to work flawlessly.

              Then the D800 left focus issue and D600 dust issue popped up, weren’t adequately dealt with, and the reputation of quality and reliability was shattered; now all Nikon has left is the “you pay a bit more for it” part.

            • Tonio

              I think you’re showing anti canon bias. For every canon eos-m there’s a nikon 1, right? Canon is the one holdout still making its own DSLR sensors, which is holding it back somewhat. Unlike nikon, it has shrunk a true DSLR down to mirrorless size, and it continues to offer true firmware upgrades rather than desultory bug fixes at best. Nikon on the other hand is having QA issues, inventory issues, doing a terrible job of “innovating”, and its pricing shenanigans have left everyone wary. If it offers huge discounts off bodies or lenses and then takes them away, a lot of people will hold off buying for fear of being burned. I’m not going to pay $1200 for a lens that’s been on sale for $900 twice in the last 12 months.

            • I wouldn’t call it an anti-Canon bias per se; a lot of toys and gimmicks become tomorrow’s necessities. For example,.. built-in GPS and Wi-Fi and hackable firmware are two huge perks in Canon’s favour. I imagine a time where an SD card is more like a secondary buffer while your camera is transmitting the files to your computer or a cloud service.

            • nobody cares

              D600? I’d swear that the vast majority of their revenue comes from DX, not FX. I really don’t think the average DSLR buyer knows anything about the d600, 800 or 4. And why would they? For the most part, the 3xxx, 5xxx and 7xxx are more camera than they need.

  • Smithy

    Japan seems a unique market – by my rough calculations these figures imply:
    PnS cameras = 72.8% of sales;
    Mirrorless ILC = 10.7%
    DSLR = 16.5%.
    And I’m sure Casio doesn’t have that market share anywhere else in the world!

    • Morris

      Casio is jappy, probably feeds a lot of families, you can see gadgets gifted to workers, special deals (like apple gifted devices to the buyers, only there) etc etc

  • Mansgame

    I wouldn’t take a chance with the 24-70mm. Assuming it’s not defective when you first get it, you won’t have any repair service in the US should something happen. These lenses are known for getting the zoom ring stuck on any impact including shipping at times. It’s an expensive lens so you have to fix it, but it’s just not worht it.

    A new non-grey lens is about $1888 and most times Nikon offers a bundle that will bring it to $1688 for a brand new lens with full warranty and support. Last year Nikon even had $200 off rebates.

    Grey market makes sense for something like a $130 50mm lens where you save $30 because if you drop it, you’ll end up throwing it away anyway.

    • Aldo

      I got mine on craigslist for 1350… best money ever spent.

  • Chimphappyhour

    I don’t understand what that Russian chip is for.

    • The two main functions of the chip are focus assistant and automatic exposure in A mode.

      • Studor13

        I still don’t get it.

        I have the V1 and I already get focus assistant and automatic exposure in A mode with all my AFD and AFS lenses (with the FT-1 adapter).

        What lenses are they mounting?

        • groucher

          The chip seems to be for adaptors that have no electrical connections used with manual lenses – but I might be incorrect. The website is pretty poor.

          • Fred Flintstone

            They do appear to sell a number of mounts for Nikon 1, I’d assume it’s kind of an add on for those, Google Translate is struggling to load the page for some reason

        • Gfoto Store

          Yes, FT-1 does this, but only with Nikon lenses, our chip can provide this for all manual lenses.

          • It’s a really great development. This opens up a whole realm of manual focus lenses to be used on the Nikon V1.

        • whisky

          stud (andy) … it claims to make dumb adapters smart — i.e. M42, 39 LTM, C or D mount cinema adapter, Canon FD, Konica AR, Olympus OM, Minolta MD, etc.— by adding focus assist and auto-exposure functions in Aperture priority mode. well worth the $40 + shipping if it works.

          • Studor13

            Peter, I think I get it now.

            My 50mm AI for example doesn’t give focus confirmation even with the FT-1, whereas the 50mm AFD does. Of course as you might know the AFS is needed to get AF.

            Might still have a look at it just for fun.

            Any chance of a return to FL?


      • scott800

        i think I am confused too… What type of focus assist are we talking? Does it add functionality for other types of lenses when the f mount adpt is added? Or does is build on the existing focus assist for nikon lenses? Sorry if i sound like a dummy.
        It looks like maybe it adds those functions for manual lenses via an adapter? idk

        • I asked the guys from gfoto to stop by and clarify, I am also not clear on the details.

        • Gfoto Store

          It is “build on the existing focus assist for nikon lenses”.

      • Fred Flintstone

        Those crazy Russians. It seems to be related to mounting non-CX lenses to the camera but I can’t work out from the website what mount they are talking about

      • BdV

        That’s a smart product!

  • Spy Black

    $250 for a chipped Samyang, hmm. Probably returned samples being resold as new tho, it’s Adorama. It’s certainly tempting however.

    I don’t get that Russian mod. Where does that install? I looked at the pictures, makes no sense. Is that a manual third-party lens? Granted, it’s an act of desperation for a shìtty camera.

    Although chances are good that 18-200 Sigma will be better than it’s Nikon counterpart (doesn’t take much, that Nikkor is nasty), zooms of that big a range are never good to begin with. I would be surprised if it’s significantly better.

    The 24-70 Nikkor is a great lens, but it is in need of VR. Gray market is always a gamble. You may lose, but you may also win.

    • Studor13

      “it’s an act of desperation for a shìtty camera.”

      You forgot to add “that I don’t have and have never even used one”.

      • fred

        Same for the 18-200mm VR Nikon, it wasn’t bad.

        • Spy Black

          Sorry, Ive worked with that lens. The 18-55 and 55-200 I got with my D5100 are a much better investment.

      • Spy Black

        I prefer to invest in cameras that actually give me control of them.

    • groucher

      “it’s an act of desperation for a shìtty camera.”

      The usual ignorant and stupid comment by someone who knows nothing about the V1.

      • AM

        Try to understand him (Spy Black). This is a guy who would buy a 3rd-party Nikon body if there was one. He seems to praise everything 3rd-party, and bash everything Nikon.

        • RMJ

          Now that would be something ! Half the price and the same or higher quality like in the lenses ! I’d buy in a heart beat. Sigma D800 for me, thanks ! <3

          • AM

            I hope you’re being sarcastic.

        • MyrddinWilt

          You mean like Fuji?

        • Spy Black

          No I bash garbage made by Nikon. Nikon makes some great products, and some garbage. So does everyone else, but this is Nikon Rumors.

      • Spy Black

        The usual ignorant and stupid comment by someone who knows nothing about what I know about the V1.

    • AM

      Hey Spy Black, why don’t you start your own blog named 3rd-Party Rumors with reviews and everything?
      And at the same time start requesting Sigma, Tamron, and all those shitty companies to build 3rd-party bodies with F-mount.
      You’re the king of the 3rd-party crap after all.

      • Spy Black

        No, you just don’t pay attention.

  • Bruno

    Anyone knows where to buy the Russian chip? Their web site is full Russian, except for the installation procedure.

  • Neopulse

    Any idea on the pre-order date of the D4s?

    • Early February.

      • Neopulse

        Thanks for the quick reply 🙂

  • PhotomanAYU

    grey market 24-70 2.8 is so expensive. its on sale for $1550 in bccamera in vancouver. legit one with 5 years warranty

    • mikeswitz

      Canadian warranty. Years ago I bought a D100 in Toronto. Used it up there and brought it back to CA. Glad nothing ever went wrong with because Nikon in El Segundo would not have serviced it under warranty.

  • Global

    I don’t want to be too negative — I still like Nikon a lot and love my Nikon gear — but Nikon is NICKLE and DIMING on everything these days — its not a business model for luxury items. If you want to increase your prices, you need to bundle service (and parts replacement).

    If you want to sell cheap crap on the sidewalk — then a la carte. Nikon needs to choose which model its pursuing. It was far better off letting me buy accessories from others. And it needs to stop overcharging for accessories & give more 3rd party support.

    The Df without video and LACK of a D400 and foolish entry into Mirrorless (N1, instead of APS-C) was a horrific decision, showing Nikon doesn’t understand the market. Since Nikon has NO D400 — it should have made a Df style MIRRORLESS body with top-of-the-line (best of any) viewfinders and APS-C, completely specced out like a D4 and ultra sensitive ISO sensor with 51 AP points and all the bells and whistles to launch itself.

    Right now, they are just allowing themselves to seem “fuddy duddy”, “old”, and out of touch. Even the 35/1.4 can’t compete with the Sigma 35/1.4 — and Nikons new 35/1.8 costs almost the same as Sigmas 1.4.

    Does Nikon even have a strategy at all??

    I hope they DO lose huge stock numbers and someone fires the executives and brings in people who actually use cameras and modern technology and know how to open up firm ware, outsource for CHEAP accessories, and focus on cutting edge bodies and lenses and features — not just jacking the price up of those technologies from 10-30 years ago.

  • Captain Megaton

    Let’s talk about the BCN ranking for Japan. Mirrorless, its Olympus 29, Sony 27, Panny 14, and Ricoh, Canon and Nikon all at 9-10.

    For 2013, Canon had the M1. Ricoh(Pentax) had Q (and the K-01 and ancient GXR system which are barely sold anymore), and Nikon had Nikon 1. So Nikon sold about as many Nikon 1 cameras as Canon sold M1, and Pentax sold Q?

    I find that difficult to believe. Just as I find it hard to believe that sales of Olympus ILCs, OMD and all Pen models, is only three times that of Canon M1.

    I live in Japan, I take an interest in what cameras people are using. That’s completely out of line with what I see on the ground here.

    • Captain Megaton

      Two other points:

      Quick analysis of the data shows that the relative marketshare for the categories is dSLR 14.8%, mirrorless 7.9%, and compact 77%. In terms of sales, then, compacts are still huge.

      Also, Fuji not even on the list of mirrorless cameras? Sales of X1, Xpro1, and all the other new models less than Canon M1?

  • G0nzo

    Pro-Optic, in Austria known as Walimex managed by Samyang, anybody exprienced with or even have one of those lenses? Some of them are really interessing, especially the film lenses.

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