Nikon lens production reached 85 million

Nikon lens production reached  85 million

Nikon announced the production of 85 million Nikkor lenses. This time it took them almost seven months to produce 5 million lenses (compared to 5 months back in 2012):

Press release:

Total Production of NIKKOR Lenses for Nikon Interchangeable Lens Cameras Reaches 85 Million

TOKYO – Nikon Corporation is pleased to announce that total production of NIKKOR and 1 NIKKOR lenses for Nikon D-SLR and Nikon 1 advanced cameras with interchangeable lenses, respectively, has reached 85 million in January 2014. For more than 80 years, NIKKOR lenses have set the standard for sharpness, reliability and image quality for both casual shooters and professional photographers alike.Nikon has steadily expanded its lineup of NIKKOR lenses in the past year, incorporating advanced optical technologies cultivated over a storied eighty-year history.

In August 2013, Nikon announced the AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR lens, a versatile 7.8x high-power zoom lens compatible with DX-format D-SLR cameras, while in November, Nikon introduced the AF-S NIKKOR 58mm f/1.4G, a fast FX-format offering capable of elite low-light performance, earning accolades for its ability to minimize sagittal coma flare*(1). In January 2014, Nikon announced two new NIKKOR lenses including a new compact and lightweight zoom lens, the AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR II for DX-format shooters, featuring a retractable lens design for maximum convenience. Also introduced was another addition to Nikon’s acclaimed f/1.8 lens lineup, the AF-S NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G, a versatile fixed focal-length prime ready to thrive in any shooting situation.

Nikon also released the world’s first*(2) waterproof and shockproof 1 NIKKOR lenses, the 1 NIKKOR AW 11-27.5mm f/3.5-5.6 (included in the Nikon 1 AW1 waterproof zoom lens kit) and the 1 NIKKOR AW 10mm f/2.8, alongside the Nikon 1 AW1 camera. With eleven total lenses included in the 1 NIKKOR lens lineup, Nikon remains committed to expanding and enriching the lens offerings for Nikon 1 shooters.

September 2013 marked the deployment of Nikon’s Optical Performance and Total Image Analyzer (OPTIA), a new measurement device that is able to measure all forms of aberration in interchangeable lenses for cameras, as well as a dedicated image simulator. Using OPTIA and the dedicated image simulator not only offers greater control over resolution, but also enables the development of lenses with more control over varying characteristics of each individual lens.

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  • Morris

    my 300 f4 VR is surely the 85Mth :), Nikon should compensate me!

  • AlphaTed

    wow, that’s a lot of variants of the 18mm zoom lens. 😀

    • fred

      ….and plenty more to come…..!

  • DistrictGopher

    In before a comment similar to, “85 million lenses, and still no D400?”

    • Kaj Moerenhout

      They have the D7100.

      • Jonathan

        I think not.

        • No no no no

          Here is to the fellow D400 nihilistic dreamers: We don’t have nothing, and they can’t take that away.

          • Jonathan

            Since that is a double negative, would that mean we actually have something?

      • Pat Mann

        Given Fujifilm’s support for APS-C with a strong lens lineup, they may well bring out the D400 before Nikon does.

    • koenshaku

      I think D400 and the 7D Mark II both companies could be a little confused with the target market for them. With everything going full frame it is a confusing format to place I mean the D400 could just as easily end up being a D700S or if they kept it crop they have to differentiate from the D7100 or the 70D canon. Canon would have an easier job doing their because they can through their mark III focusing system at it. Nikon however would have to develop an entirely new focusing system, put their new Expeed 4 processor in there add a frame rate bump, improved ISO etc as incentives for purchasing.
      So basically whining about when it will come out is pointless unless you want something like the D7100 on an expeed 3 to be released with a couple more frames that would have murky product placement. Be patient my friend the Expeed processor has already reared its head in the D5300, so a refresh of most of their line should be in store soon enough…

      • neversink

        You guys don’t wait long to get off topic, do you. This post is about 85 million lenses. Cool your ego and please wait for the official day of whining for the D400!!!!!! (Which may never come, and if it does, you’ll be whining that it is a rotten replacement and you want the real upgrade….. I can’t wait… NOT!)

        • Sundra Tanakoh

          What’s a D400?

          Oh, yeah, it’s nothing, nothing to see here, move along.

        • Pat Mann

          Part of the reason the lenses aren’t selling is because there is no D400, and if there were, the lens lineup for it is looking pretty thin right now, with not a single fast wide DX prime. So the D400 is definitely on topic if you’re talking about slow lens sales. How many lenses do you think the average D400 purchaser will buy compared to the average D5xxx or D3xxx or D7xxx purchaser?

          • neversink

            Why wait for a D400 when it may never come out? Shoot with something else that you own and enjoy. If a D400 doesn’t come out, no big deal. Life goes on. Photography will continue.

          • zoetmb

            I think that’s silly. There are many reasons why lenses might not be selling (including the lack of fast, wide DX primes, as you state), but the lack of a D400 is not one of them. If someone today owns a D200, D300, D7100, D3200, whatever, how does the lack of a D400 stop them from buying a lens that they think they need? If anything, if the D400 is released and one purchases it (and assuming it’s not their first DSLR), that could take away the dollars that one would have spent on lenses.

            The only thing I will agree upon is that a very small segment of D400 owners would be more likely to buy lenses than D5xxx, D3xxx or D7xxx purchasers, but it’s probably not enough to move the needle.

            The reality is in the entire industry, an average of only 1.54 lenses are sold for each body. Nikon’s average is a bit lower, about 1.41 lenses per body. That means that fewer than half of Nikon DSLR/Nikon 1 owners ever buy even a second lens. Most people buy a camera, take the kit zoom and never buy another lens, even though one of the primary reasons to buy a DSLR in the first place was because one could change lenses.

            The enthusiasts and pros who do buy many lenses are actually a niche part of the market.

      • Remedy

        Excuse me, since when “everything is going full frame”??? Last time I check (and it was just few days ago) full frame was beyond marginal fraction of all DSLR and mirrorless sold. Beyond marginal! Just because D610 or 6D are full frame doesn’t mean those are more of a cameras than say D300s or 7D. There is TONS of room for something like D400 and 7D MkII, there’s more than that – the market for those pro DX cames is several times bigger than for 6D or D610.

        • El Aura

          It’s more about everbody’s aspirations are going full frame.

          • umeshrw

            Or rather more like these companies hyping that everybody’s aspirations are going full frame.

    • rensuchan

      Dammit, you beat me to it. Though I’m pretty late to reading this post, I was thinking of posting pretty much the same comment.

  • ereshoping

    But how many are they selling?

  • DLSR

    To circumvent this they will bring the following lenses in 2014:

    18-19mm APS-C
    18-20mm APS-C
    18-21mm APS-C
    18-22mm APS-C
    18-23mm APS-C
    18-24mm APS-C
    18-597mm APS-C
    18-598mm APS-C
    18-599mm APS-C
    18-600mm APS-C

    • ereshoping

      And of them between F3.5 and 5.6 🙂

      • filip

        18-600 F5.6 would actually be quite cool 🙂

        • ereshoping

          Not when you see the price

          • Fred Flintstone

            And the weight

    • Morris

      Holy **** ! 😀

    • EJPB

      Can anyone recommend me a good 18mm lens 😉 ?

      • Dpablo unfiltered

        f3.5 AIS
        I don’t care what everyone says.

      • Tim

        14-24 f/2.8

    • hung

      gear porn?!

  • EJPB

    And still… more and more third party manufacturers start making better lenses, Zeiss, Sigma,… almost every recent release excelled in pure image quality over the standard Nikkors, looking cheaper by the day. I find it a shame if you compare at all these plastic ‘gelded’ lenses to what Nikon was able to do in the seventies.

    • K.G.B.

      How right you are, EJPB… While some Nikkors nowadays look like third party lenses, Zeiss is making lenses that make even the great AI- and AI-S lenses look shabby…

      • EJPB

        I’ve got a friend collecting old cameras including Nikon F’s. And all the glass that belongs to it. You don’t believe your eyes, which wonderful stuff Nikon could make, art and craft, lenses as beautiful as Leica glass – built to last forever. Today, look at all that cheap, crappy plastic. I don’t want to know how this stuff will look like over 40 years. This is precisely the world where we are living in, everything has become a consumable, doesn’t matter and over a few years we all buy new over and over again when it’s broken.

        • Dpablo unfiltered

          How many plastic lenses did you break?

          • EJPB

            None. But I got dust in some. Not a good sign.

        • peteee363

          I sold all of my old Nikon glass. on my newer Nikon cameras, the resolution, and aberration just couldn’t handle the higher mp resolution. at some openings, the photos just looked off. got some modern nano coat lenses, and what a difference.

          • Joven

            Don’t worry, it’s the same people calling today’s “plastic, toy cars” from oversees crappy compared to yesterday’s American “boats.” For some reason people always associate metal and old with high quality.

            Just like when the 58mm 1.8G was released, everyone was clamoring that it wasn’t as good as the Noct. Then the side-by-side comparisons came out on this site and everyone went quiet.

            • peteee363

              it is big and plastic. but if you put that large glass in metal, they would be very heavy. also, the plastic takes more shock then the metal, so the glass is protected better in plastic. and yes the 58 1.4g is better then the 1.2, but I think the 85 1.4g is a better lens. but the 24 1.4 needs a smaller opening. f16 is still too big. for landscapes the 24 would be better if it was 1.4 to 22 or 32.

            • EJPB

              In the sixties/seventies everything was metal. And full frame. The sizes were 1.5 – 2x smaller than the current FF-glass. Leica can still do it without sacrifcing the IQ, Nikon not? Oh yes, AF, VR. Even than, the glass is impressive for the the same type of lenses.
              Many metal lenses in the Leica-world easily survived 40-50 years of usage. I don’t even want to know how these plastic Nikkors look like over 10 years. If the plastic isn’t gone, the design will surely be outdated.

            • peteee363

              but I am not sure about that. just look at the glass of the 85 1.4g. it is much larger glass then the older 1.4 metal, while giving the same specs. the larger glass gives some of the extra flare control, and better resolution at the edges then the old glass. but the plastic should hold up for 10-20 years. but yes, after 20-25 years the plasticizer will start to leave the plastic, this is when the plastic will start showing the weakness. for that reason, this type of lens will not have the longevity of the metal alternatives. there will be little anybody can do to preserve the age problems, as the plastics all have this age problem. but while people complain about the plastics in the lenses, the camera bodies with plastic will have this same flaw.

        • Alex

          Make no mistake about it…plastic is going to outlast you or any metal. 🙂 And let’s not forget that today’s fire arms are 50% made of plastic (glock). There was a funny eco thing I read 2-3 years ago … it ended saying: “The same plastic bag, from the local supermarket, that you used today is going to outlive your grandchildren”.

        • zoetmb

          IMO, that’s a ridiculous comment. My old metal lenses for the Nikon F3 are all banged up and scratched and while they may have been very good lenses for their time, from an aesthetics point of view, they’re far from beautiful industrial design. They’re all still “usable”, but no one would say that they’ve “lasted” – they look like they were used by a war photographer.

          There’s nothing wrong with modern composite plastics and there’s much good about them. All of the lenses I’ve bought from Nikon in the last 14 years look just about as good now as the day I bought them. This bias against modern plastics is absurd.

          Zeiss lenses (and Leica lenses for that matter) do have nicer aesthetics (if one cares), but I don’t want to have to get a mortgage to buy a lens. Nikon lenses are expensive enough as it is.

          And because most of today’s lenses are so much larger than the old primes without motors, if they were all still made out of only metal, they’d be even heavier than they are today.

    • Ronan

      Sigma… LOL

      The Zeiss are pretty nefty, but look at those price tags…

      My high density polymer lenses from Nikon are second to none. Very high quality, pretty light and the optical quality is amazing.

      • neversink

        Now that’s NOT Baloney.. that is pure organic filet mignon~~~ I couldn’t agree with you more… I am thrilled with my Nikon lenses….

      • Reese

        Someone has been living under a rock lately…

      • mikeswitz

        Someone doesn’t shoot with Nikon primes, the just read reviews.

      • Johnny Dough

        Nefty – combination of nifty and hefty? 🙂

    • neversink

      Balogna…. or do you prefer Baloney….

  • Don Hogfan

    They could sell much more if they introduced a MF line with silky smooth focus and metal body.
    They can use the same optical formulas of their top/mid primes but just change their housing.
    Is it that hard?

    • ereshoping

      Only people with a Df would them.

      • ereshoping

        Sorry should be a buy in there, keyboard playing up 🙁

      • groucher

        Speak for yourself. I have a D800 and a Voigtlander 40mm Ultron plus several old metal Ais and H series lenses. It would be great to see Nikon make more manual lenses with the finish and feel of the Ultron and the resolution of the old Nikkors.

    • Arthur Nazarian

      Why would they sell more of those? As much as I like metal, it’s heavier and too inconvenient to use in cold weather.

      • Don Hogfan

        They wouldn’t sell more MF than AF, but they would sell more in general.
        Since I don’t use AF, I will not spend > $1000 for a plastic lens that will not last for more than 5 years. I will buy a Zeiss.
        Durability of the modern lenses is not anywhere close to that of the MF lenses.
        Again I don’t use AF, and I like the focus ring to be smooth since it makes focusing easier and more precise. The MF implementation of the AF lenses is crap in comparison.
        There is a rubber ring around the focus ring and in addition In very cold weather I wear thin gloves since shooting for long time is inconvenient no matter the matterial of the camera or the lens.

        • Arthur Nazarian

          I totally understand what you’re saying, and I agree with you. However, the majority is not using MF-only (including me, I can’t imagine using my 85/1.4G in MF, especially for events), so that’s why I don’t agree with “they would have sold more”. But again, when using MF only, you are absolutely right.

          And I also use thin leather gloves, but sometimes I forget them! 🙂

        • Andy

          What do you mean the polycarbonite lenses only last five years? Sorry, you’re an idiot. You do realize we make bullet proof vests from poly carb. Metal went out with jousting. Try learning something about materials.

    • Spy Black

      Unfortunately the focusing screens on modern cameras are not designed for MF lenses.

      • Don Hogfan

        If they had product like that, that would be a motivation for better focusing screens, or even giving us the choice.

        • Spy Black

          You have to remember that Nikon lost it’s leadership position to Canon because they initially pooh-poohed AF and stalled AF production, giving Canon the crown for good.. I’m sure the burn from that still aches at Nikon. This is why the most obvious of cameras that should have a MF focusing screen, the Df, does not have one.

          • peteee363

            I find on most lenses, mf is the way to go. in auto the focus just isn’t right for some shots. 90% of the time I am in manual. granted with the darker viewfinders it is a bit harder to focus. but on my fa I had the grid screen, which did not have the split circle in it. so I am used to focusing without that aid.

            • Spy Black

              Depends on what and how you shoot. If you’re old school MF is second nature. Most “kids” today find the concept ridiculous. For quick action they’re handy, but a double-edge sword, because AF systems may not necessarily focus where you want them to, and sometimes critically so. When I shoot models I use a single-point AF-S mode, so I’m somewhere in-between MF and typical AF, so while I may not be the fastest shooter for it, I’ll have far more focusing accuracy for the kind of shooting I do.

    • Ronan

      HIGHLY doubt it since Nikon knows a lot more about their customers than you.

      • Don Hogfan

        It seems that NIKON doesn’t know sh*t about what I want.

  • owner of d4

    I want :
    16-35mm f 2.8g
    50mm f 1.2g
    100mm f 2.0g
    135mm f 1.8g
    180mm f 2.8g macro lens
    300mm f 4.0

    • Arthur Nazarian

      I’m in for the 135/1.8!

      • rt-photography

        Even a 135 f/2.8 thats useable from open aperture is just fine with me.

        • owner of d4

          I ve got 70-200 at f 2.8
          Nikon patens are for :
          16-35 mm 2.8g
          50mm 1.2g
          135mm 1.8g.
          200mm 3.2g macro
          300mm f4.0 g

          • rt-photography

            sigma has the 135 1.8 on the way but I dont know how well it will deliver. Im hoping they dont fuck it up. but if it sells for $700-850, I will get it. as long as its sharp from 2.2. wouldnt mind it being sharp from 1.8 but Im suspicious they can deliver. well have to see.

        • guest

          Wha’? I couldn’t even find a use for a 135 in 1971. Even now, jus’ don’t know how…

          • rt-photography

            I have the 10VR and its just amazing wide open for portraits. creamy bokeh, very sharp. I dont shoot wide open a lot, usually it f/3.2-3.5

        • Spy Black

          As long as they do it right. I once bought a 135 f/2.8 Ai to use when I didn’t want to deal with the weight of my 135 f/2 Ai (or needed the speed/DOF), and discovered that the f/2.8 was quite a crappy lens. My f/2 simply blew it away at every equivalent F. It’s too bad too, because I really loved the handling.

          • rt-photography

            yes it must done right. bravo. it must be very sharp at open aperture. I use the 105VR open and the DOF is very small so a 135 2.8 is excellent. very nice bokeh for portraits. even at f/4, the 135 should be very beautiful. for $500-600 (I hope), I would buy it. its not a macro so I dont think it will cost $850. but maybe $700.

            • NoMeJodas

              Fully agree about the 105VR. This was my favorite Nikon lens for portraiture, together with the 60mm micro. It has a very solid build, feels great in hand and the VR makes handling it a joy. Yes it is very sharp, but not over-sharp and over-contrasty like the 60mm micro which is actually too sharp for portraiture for my taste. I always had to un-sharpen the portrait images shot with it in post a bit, but not so with the 105VR.

      • saying

        Nikon will sell more lens if they start “Two lens, $200 off”… instead of just camera + lens, 200 off.

    • Jer

      The macro should be a 200 f4. A f1.8 would be to big IMHO. A update 200 f4 with better AF and a tripod foot and collar so you can rotate to vertical shoots very easily.

    • webster

      How much more are you willing to pay if the lens are made in Japan

      • decisivemoment

        Ideally a lot, but in my experience the QC on the Chinese and Thai stuff has been better than on the Japan stuff.

  • broxibear

    Talking about Nikon lenses…

    • neversink

      Nice Bokeh (“bawkeh”) on the 85mm f/1.4, and sharper than the 58….. Nice “bawkeh” (bokeh) on the 24 f/1.4 and sharper (and more useful than the 58. I wanted to like the 58, but after testing it decided just to stick with the other two f/1.4 lenses I mentioned plus the 50 f/1.4….

      • Arthur Nazarian

        Nice bokeh on the 24mm? I don’t think it comes close.

        • neversink

          It’s actually pretty good for a wide angle lens. No, it’s not like the 85mm, but the bokeh — for a wide angle lens — is nice wide open on the 24. Try it…. I use the 24 wide open quite a bit and love the results….

          • Arthur Nazarian

            I know, I rented it a couple of times, I would love to have one. But I was referring to the 85 and this 58mm indeed. You’re right though, for a wide angle lens, the 24mm is great regarding the bokeh!

    • Mansgame

      Not a huge fan of bokeh. having a big DOF in low light would come in more handy to me but I guess I can’t fight physics.

      • Aldo

        A good trick is to shoot wider (of course not with this lens) at fast apertures… gives you more dof… I do it all the time.

      • neversink

        What kind of comment is that. You are “not a huge fan of bokey…” It’s not about whether or not you like bokeh. Bokeh is just one characteristic of photography. It’s whether you like soft creamy bokeh or hard ugly angular dirty bokeh in the out-of-cocus areas in your photos. I’ll take the creamy stuff any day.
        If all you are interested in is DOF, then shoot with the iPhone camera or a wide angle lens of a Nikon1 system. Then you will have very little blkeh to deal with.

        • broxibear

          Hi neversink,
          I don’t think that’s what Mansgame meant by saying “Not a huge fan of bokeh.”
          Personally I couldn’t care less about bokeh, it’s not a part of my images that I purposely look for, other aspects of the image are far more importtant to me…but I understand that some people are “bokeh whores” as Kai put it in the video. The type of photographers whose pictures I really like, and who have helped mould my way of seeing and feeling have never been big on bokeh or super isolation. (photographers like Bettina Rheims, Helmut Newton, Herb Ritts and more).
          Don’t get me wrong I’m not saying there’s something wrong with images that use bokeh as part of the overall image, I just don’t find it that interesting and often you see the bokeh first and the rest of the image is duller than ditch water.
          Each to their own and all that.

          • neversink

            Sorry… It’s not about caring about bokeh…. If you isolate your image, with the 85, 105. 70-200, 300, 500 you are going to have out-of-focus areas in the image. What do you mean it’s not a part of the images that you purposely look for.
            I look at every part of my image. And ugly, hard bokeh subtracts from the power of a good photograph.
            Bokeh is just part of many images. it’s not whether you find it interesting or not, it’s how it effects the overall image.
            Bokeh means nothing if the whole image doesn’t work, but ugly, harsh angular bokeh can destroy a great image.
            By the way, there is no such thing as a bokeh whore??? What in the world are you talking about??? You are sounding much like our old friend / fiend robert.

            • broxibear

              As I said, Each to their own and all that….bokeh whore ?…you have to watch the video.

  • radek_42

    And can you imagine how many they would sell if they fill up obvious hole in their line-up (DX primes being prime example – pun intended)?

    • Deep_Lurker

      Maybe not all that many. My understanding is that Nikon sells an average of only 1.5 lenses per body, which implies that a majority of owners have only have the kit lens that comes with the camera.

      OTOH, I think Nikon and the various camera dealers are missing a bet by not pushing the 35mm f/1.8 DX as the second lens that they try to sell to those buying their first DSLR – instead of the 55-200 telephoto that seems almost universally touted as the second lens to get.

      And it Would Be Nice if Nikon were to come out with some enthusiast-level lenses for DX: F/4 zooms and f/1.8 primes, rather than f/2.8 zooms and f/1.4 primes. In particular, start with a 16-85mm f/4, a 60 or 70mm f/1.8, and a 24mm f/1.8, and then go on from there.

  • Mansgame

    85 million lenses and they couldn’t use a dust free room for the D600?

  • Dino Brusco

    wait. in 2 yrs they produced 1/4 of all the lenses they ever produced??? that’s an impressive achievement, despite I am not sure that the profit on them is as much as it was once (i.e. kit lenses very common have profit very low)

  • broxibear

    UK magazine What Digital Camera hint at the D4s using the new Pro CFast card…

    • decisivemoment

      Please let it be true . . . . or it’s going to be SD UHS-3 for everyone in a few years. The SD cards are too easy to break and too easy to lose IMHO.

  • Michal Zdunek

    OOOOHHHH…. where is the D700 replacement ? TROLL !

  • whisky

    millions and millions sold. happy 85th anniversary nikon, and thanks for the great moments.

  • Captain Megaton

    Is this the first time the “sell rate” has fallen?

    • decisivemoment

      First time significantly — but it isn’t just Nikon. It’s the entire industry. 50 years of exponential growth and then the great smartphone coup of 2013 (also known as “phone cams that finally work”). I sure hope Nikon, Canon and everyone else have an answer for the sake of all of us who will never be able to miniaturize all we do to a phone cam. Perhaps built-in WiFi across the entire camera range, smartphone tethering capabilities, and a good, easy, photosharing app for smartphones that connects to the camera on both WiFi and USB?

  • Steve

    No, I’m not a troll. I love my Nikon stuff. But, I have to say, I want to be impressed with quality not quantity.

    I have had the privilege of shooting with some fabulous Nikon lenses — just amazing — but I’ve learned never never never to buy just one. Buy two or three and compare. If you get three, at least one will be killer and one will probably look “broken” next to it. What does that tell you?

    And make sure you get it right up front, because heaven help you if you need Melville NY to fix it for you. That place is a train wreak. Once you know you have a winner, return the others.

    I *hate* doing this to Nikon dealers but it’s self-defense. The thing that really bothers me is, how does the person who hasn’t discovered the loose tolerances of Nikon lens QC know if he’s gotten a bad lens? We read the reviews and we get some gauge on what kind of performance we can hope for. But, if QC isn’t reliable, then what? Maybe you’re shooting with a great lens and maybe you’re not.

    So, congratulations Nikon on 85 Million lenses. Too bad so many of them made in the past few years are sub par, and too bad your techs in Melville, with all of their sophisticated equipment, can’t find lens problems I can find with nothing more than a tripod and one of the walls in my home.

    I say, by all means buy Nikon, but buyer beware!

    • AlpCns

      That’s not my experience – in over 40 years, never had a lemon from Nikon, neither bodies nor lenses. I guess I was lucky, then.

      • Steve

        That’s awesome. I wish I could say that.

        I should clarify something. Someone pointed out that 25% of those lenses were made and sold in the last two years. Let’s consider that.

        I’m posting about what is likely a fairly recent phenomena. I believe the stuff built before Nikon became a mass marketing company is another story. I have some Nippon Kogaku lenses (!) that I LOVE as well as more recent MF and AF offerings. Most of them are jewels of industrial art that still work beautifully and take a great picture. So, the problem I’ve encountered seems to be more recent, meaning the past few years.

        And, I hasten to say, when I buy a new lens, and compare a few to pick the best one, the winner will be a marvel.

        So, I’m not knocking Nikon QC because I don’t love Nikon. I do. My first Nikon was a Nikkormat bought used back in 1980. I have a LOT of Nikon stuff and am very invested. Like many others who love their Nikons, I want to see them clean up their act because Nikon is “my” camera company and I want to be able to count on them.

        Maybe it’s not realistic to hope they will have QC like they did in the film days. But I think they can do much much better than they are doing now.

        • decisivemoment

          I think it’s more than just a mass-production problem. Nikon does mass-production well. It’s the craft stuff they have trouble with. The QC problems in my experience go back at least 15 years, before the huge digital-era increase in sales. And I’ve had a lot more trouble with pro-grade gear than consumer-grade, and indeed no trouble at all with consumer-grade lenses — just the bodies.

      • Bm

        It’s very similar to listening to people on the web that own cameras and take pictures of bricks. Who are we to believe? It seems like just as much as a crapshoot listening to these opinions on forums such as these. What percentage of these people know what they are talking about? Are they knowledgable or a goofball looking for a difference in lenses that could only be visible to a bionic eye.

        • Steve

          I guess you have no way of knowing unless you look into this yourself.

          It’s worthwhile to clarify that I’m talking about pro lenses. (Let’s leave the poorly-focusing and lubricant-slinging bodies out of this.) And, we are certainly paying pro prices for them.

          I’ve now done many of these comparisons when purchasing a new pro lens. Sometimes the difference between a winner and a loser is subtle. In that case, what you don’t know probably won’t hurt you.

          But, some have *not* been subtle. And, if you just buy your new lens trusting that it’s Nikon-perfect, you might go out and take a lot of photographs that just aren’t what they could have been.

          Maybe that idea doesn’t bother you, But it sure bothers me. Pro lenses are a major investment. And, after what it takes to plan for, travel to, discover, stalk and take a fine photograph, I don’t want to find out there are problems after the fact when it comes time to make the print.

          I’ve been a professional in creative services of one kind or another most of my life. Some times I have supplied the tools to creatives and some times I have used them myself.

          Most creative services people I know are critical about the performance of their tools. Maybe an amateur or semi pro can afford to shrug off lapses in the production quality of the tools they are using. But, most pros do care. And Nikon is supposed to be building pro equipment.

          Why should anyone have to sort through lenses to find a good one? What ever happened to the Japanese ethos?

          85 million? I’m not impressed. It’s quality not quantity we need.

      • decisivemoment

        You’ve been very lucky.

        To be fair every single consumer-grade lens I’ve had from Nikon has been very, very good, but the story on “pro” lenses is sadly different. I’ve had a 17-55 that needed a very minor focus adjustment, a 24-120 that was good to go (some cynics might call that one consumer-grade anyway, even though it certainly does the business for me), and then an epic series of disasters on wide-angle zooms and 80-200 or 70-200 zooms. I gave up trying to find a good 12-24 . . . . as for the f2.8 telezooms, I’ve owned a bunch over the past 16 years and only two, one of which thankfully is the one I currently own, have been defect-free. As for the others, it ranges from stuff like “sticky” focusing rings and UPS/Nikon mishandling all the way to severely misaligned elements.

        I’ve also had three different digital bodies that required autofocus mirror adjustment out of the box in order to correct a situation in which the camera was backfocusing under lower color temperatures (e.g. incandescent), focusing correctly at 5000K (e.g. sunlight), and frontfocusing in high color temperatures (e.g. cloudy light.) Nikon never did get my D200 quite right, but at least they got both D7000 bodies dead-on consistent.

    • umeshrw

      Good strategy. Too bad We from outside U.S. cannot do that.

      • Steve

        Sorry to hear that.

  • NikonLens4ever

    40 type of those 80mil is in my arsenal and keep on growing.

  • Ennan

    I’m still waiting for my 1-3000mm f/0.95 macro tilt-shift VR XII Nano Crystal Coated pancake lens. If Samyang can make one for under $100 why not Nikon!?! WHY DON’T THEY LISTEN!?! Moan, moan, moan, grumble, D400, grumble, moan, D700 replacement, moan…


    • Jorge


  • Pat Mann

    I would have picked up many of the following over the past 10 years had they been available. I will not be purchasing these going forward until there is a D300s update with a current state-of-the art sensor:
    DX Zoom: 50-135mm f/2.8
    DX Prime:
    60 to 75mm f/1.4
    35mm f/1.4
    24mm f/1.4
    16 or 18mm f/1.4 (or even f/1.8)
    12mm f/2.8
    8mm f/4
    16 or 18mm PC
    FX+DX Prime:
    400mm f/5.6 AF-S VR
    200mm or 180mm f/2.8 AF-S VR

  • decisivemoment

    It’s fascinting — they (and other camera manufacturers) really did hit the wall in the second quarter of 2013. 50 years of exponential growth gone, just like that. It’s a huge shock to their system, and I hope they get smarter about it than they’ve been so far.

  • Apple announces sales figures, Samsung — shipments, Nikon — inventory.

  • Neopulse

    Hmmmm… would it be a good idea if Nikon did a makeover for 2014 of their lenses kinda like what Sigma did with their Art lineup. What material (if anyone knows) would be a good idea for lenses nowadays especially for the weather sealed kind.

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