Weekly Nikon news flash #249

→ New: Yongnuo YN-622N-TX i-TTL LCD wireless flash controller and trigger transceiver for Nikon DSLR cameras. Check pricing and availability on eBay.

→ Nikon still cannot get rid of their J1 stock even at heavy discounted prices. The Nikon 1 J1 was originally announced in September 2011.

15% discount from Phottix when you use code HORSE15 (they recently announced the Phottix Mitros+ flash for Nikon).

→ Another Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G lens review. The new lens should start shipping on February 6th (price: $596.95).

→ Shameless bragging: Photoshelter just released their survey results from The Photographer's Outlook on 2014 and NikonRumors is listed as one of the top 13 blogs.

→ Very cool Nikon timeline.

→ New Nikon support article - Nikon digital cameras and airport security scanners: "The digital cameras themselves are not sensitive to X-rays and will not be damaged by a properly operating security scanner."

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  • Spy Black

    “Nikon still cannot get rid of their J1 stock…”
    Hopefully you’re not surprised.
    “Very cool Nikon timeline.”
    Ah yes, when Nikon was truly great. Sad to see it go from that to the J1.

    • AM

      And they had their opportunity of redemption and botched it with the Df.

    • phil

      to be fair, a J1 is still a better choice than a P7800 and similar “professional” P&S

      • Spy Black

        The P7800 gives you control of the camera. That’s partly what makes it a “professional” P&S, instead of the amateurish ripoff known as the J1. There’s good reasons why Nikon can’t sell the J1, or most Nikon 1 products.

    • MB

      Nikon J1 was announced 3 years back and 2 lens kit was around $800 if I recall correctly.
      If Nikon wasn’t greedy and if the price for the kit was around 500$ they could have sold the whole batch.
      Today even at 300$ nobody wants it.
      The moral is you shouldn’t be too greedy … eventually you will loose all the money …

      • Spy Black

        The real moral is you should make a real camera that people actually want. That’s why it didn’t sell. There are far better cameras out there, and that’s what people are buying.

        • Chicken

          I think their biggest problem was inflating the Nikon 1 series too quickly. In the last 3 years, we’ve seen 6 different models come out and almost all of them have different specs. Part of the problem is what you said: they need to make a camera that people want, but I think we can boil it down further and say that they need to focus on something instead of shotgunning the market with as many options as possible. They’ve spread the Nikon 1 serioes thin and now they can get rid of the branches that are inferior to the others.

          • Spy Black

            No, just look at every competitor’s camera at every price range it’s been in, even now. Which product would you rather have? Nikon’s own P330 is a much better investment.

  • sorting

    I use P-wizard TT5. Did i overpay compared to functional value of yongnu?

    • The Yongnuo’s aren’t weather sealed. Are the pocket wizards?

      So far, I’ve had 100% reliability with the YN622n’s, but I’ve only ever used them inside; I wouldn’t trust ’em in wet conditions.

      • Joseph Li

        I have 3 pairs of 622n, fell several times from ‘9’ light stands with flash everything is cracked and still works flawless. $60 for a pair best bang for the buck. Use them indoors outdoors pretty reliable, but the output can be inconsistent sometimes. This tx power controller might help manage that, it’s can be a pain to control 622n in different groups with different power settings

        • jr456

          Despite the difficulties of controlling remotely, nothing is worse than having to keep tearing open your softboxes though as you keep adjusting settings.

          From my viewpoint PocketWizards are vastly overpriced. For the price of one PlusX(their manual dummy trigger) I could buy between 4 and 6 603’s from Yongnuo and have many as backups.

        • Aldo

          I had a 622 fall from about 15 feet as well ( with a sb 910 mounted, they landed on carpeted floor)… A screw came from within but still works fine. I was surprised.

      • David

        Most flashes aren’t weather-sealed either, so the triggers don’t need to be weather-sealed if their flashes aren’t.

    • Aldo

      if you bought them long time ago… NO you didn’t overpay… if you bought them recently… YES.

    • Mansgame

      And your pocketwizards get support, backwards compatibility with older models, hold their value, and always work.

      • Aldo

        but you also pay almost three times more (and they are outdated)… the yongnuos haven’t failed me yet.

        • Mansgame

          Let’s assume that they work great now. What if you want to add two more in say 3 years? By then Yongnuos have a new model out that’s not going to work with the ones you’ve already spent money on and you have to buy a whole new set. Your savings go down the tubes then.

          I really really don’t like how expensive Pocketwizards are, but I wish there was a real competitor in the US for them.

          • Naval Gunfire

            They are great if you are an amateur shooter on a tight budget. They might not suit you but they are perfect for a lot of people.

            I could buy a set of Yongnuo triggers for all my flashes for the price of a single Pocketwizard trigger and still have money to spare for a pint or two.

            Pocketwizard were one of the only real players when I was starting out so I’ve always used them but I can certainly see that the Yongnuo products have their place in the market.

            • Aldo

              Pocketwizards had almost no competition before… that’s why I said that if you bought them long time ago… then you didn’t overpay. They need to upscale their devices and bring the price down a bit.

          • Aldo

            We would have to see if what you say happens with the 622’s . But even if it does… there is always market for older stuff… your can sell them and get some money back (It wouldn’t be a total loss like you presume). Naval Gunfire makes a good point. Cheap triggers aren’t for everyone, yet paying more than 200 dollars for one transceiver seems ridiculous today. Even if I wanted better quality triggers I would personally avoid pws until they renew their triggers. I would buy something like phottix instead.

          • Spy Black

            “What if you want to add two more in say 3 years?”
            You can buy 5 new ones for equal or less than PWs, and have all the latest features that you won’t have in PWs, so you don’t have to worry about those two older units, because you already got you’re money’s worth and then some.

      • rt-photography

        yes as far as support, yongnuo suck ass. horrible and slow. I write them a long message explaining in detail. post a video to youtube showing the problem and they reply with a dumb one sentence reply that doesnt help wtih anything. then I have to start over. and the delay is huge. 4-6 days on average for a reply.

        • jr456

          That’s where the catch is apparently….awful support. The product itself though seems to work quite well though. I’ve been using 603s for a while now and never had them fail me.

          • rt-photography

            wow, the 603 are just garbage slaves..how many times did it slip off your hotshoe? mine slipped 3 and out of those 3, once the flash kissed the floor and the plastics broke on the POS 568. the head doestn rotate as tight as it once did.

            • jr456

              Zero. Never had a single problem on my D700 or D90 then again I never put a flash on top of the trigger that was on top of the camera. The new ones, however, do have a better clamp on mechanism.

            • rt-photography

              if they made a number II, it means they knew they fucked up.

              if you dont put a flash on top, problem solved. doing weddings, I use the off camera flashes for fill or backlight or even rim light. I used my friends sets a few weddings, ordered mine, received it and returned it right back.

              I got commlite G430. $24 for a pair shipped. has ttl pass through hot shoe, locking pin, locking wheel can sync to 250 and can use hypersyn to 1/8000 with the 550 trx. just garbage slaves in every way those 603.

              you ever use the 622?

            • jr456

              Haven’t tried the 622 yet but I really have no complaints for the 603s considering how cheap they are. And just to be clear, I do put flashes on top of them but only if they are stationary…not a trigger on the camera with a flash on top of that to use on-camera mixed with off.

              Look for $30 a pair I really don’t have any issues. The cost of entry these days to do good off-camera flash work is so low that I do appreciate it even if I’m gambling with reliability a bit. So far the gamble has paid off though and I guess I’ll gamble again with the 622s since I’d really like to be able to remotely control flash groups without having to tear open softboxes for every little adjustment.

        • Marc W.

          And also, PWs came out with this technology years before, so those who needed them, got them way before it was reverse engineered with the YN.

          • rt-photography

            also as far as I can tell the 568 underexposes about a stop. it isnt accurate at all.

            btw spoke to them and they said a master capable flash is in testing phases but Im staying with nikon and will probably go with pixel king, unless something similar to the 622n show up.

            there is the VILTROX FC-210C that looks interesting but no nikon yet.

            not happy with my 5x622n slaves.

  • Aldo

    sold my pocketwizards and bought the yongnuos instead… they work great… love the AF assist lasers.

    • rt-photography

      do your slaves on the off camera flashes turn green? mine are always red no matter what. I reset the slave (5 second button hold on both side ) then I placed the flash in and then pressed the GP button to change it to green and then it flashes back to red. D600 SB700 on camera, no matter if I use the SB900 or even their own 568. the on camera flash doesnt have to be in master mode, am I right? it can just be in TTL or TTL/BL and the off camera flash in TTL. they just dont turn green. they are always on red. I just run them in manual mode. 1/16 or less power for dance floor fill

      I think its a shame they made the new TX transmitter with no option for flash on the camera. very limiting. Im considering selling all 5 of my 622 and going pixel king pros

      • David

        There is already a flash-on-camera option. You can use any of the Nikon Commander flashes on top of a YN-622N, and it controls the other remote flashes on YN-622s. I suspect that Canon has a similar function available.

        • rt-photography

          yes, I know. I just said I have 5. didnt you see my post above? I like the fact that pixel pro are able to have an lcd and still keep a flash shoe.

      • Aldo

        You mean yours slaves go to manual mode from TTL mode automatically? I don’t have this issue.

        • rt-photography

          yes. to make sure I wasnt doing anything wrong, I turn on the off camera slave. reset the slave by pressing both side buttons and holding for 5 seconds it sequences a flash of the groups and then continues to the left and it stops. then slide the flash in, turn on the flash pu it into ttl, and since the light is red, I then press the GP and hold it for 3 seconds till it flashes green then flashes back to red. doesnt stay green.

    • Eric Duminil

      Yeah. Shooting a cheap chinese laser to the eyes of your client and loved ones.
      What could possibly go wrong?

      • Aldo

        the laser out of the 910 is more dense… A little laser won’t kill anybody.. but if it does… at least they will look sharp.

        • Naval Gunfire

          There are no lasers in any of these products. Red =/= laser…

  • Mansgame

    What’s the point of Yongnuo’s when they’re never backwards compatible with the previous generations? I wouldn’t mind buying a couple now and then a couple next year but if I can never have a chance to build up my system, I may as well pay more to go with PWs.

    • Aldo

      I don’t have anything against pw’s .. but the current model is outdated…. I would wait for their next model to get the most for my money.

    • Andrew

      you can’t purchase the older models anymore?

      • Mansgame

        I’m sure you can find them on ebay from other people but that just means another obsolete product that you’re spending money on. Sooner or later you’re going to have to replace everything.

        With Pocket Wizards, even if you bought a pair 10 years ago, you can still use them in conjunction with the new ones today and the money you spent 10 years ago is not wasted. It gives one a lot of confidence in building a system.

        Imagine if a Nikon Knock-off company came out with a brilliant new camera system. They called it the C4000 that did most of the stuff the D4 does and sold everything at half the price – C4000- $3000 – 24-70 lens, $1000, etc. You go and buy it and save a ton of money over Nikon and it does what the Nikon did.

        Then they come out with the C5000 next year with a whole new lens mount. and the year after that C6000 with yet another lens mount. Is it really that big of a savings then?

        • Andrew

          I see your point, if you’re wanting to upgrade all the time, that would kinda stink… then again not.

          However, once you reach your needs, perhaps you can settle for what you purchased and buy a few more? avoid that need to always have the best, just use what you have.
          …or sell it in order to upgrade? Lots of people do that, even with the cheap components if you care for them.

          How much more is a comparable pocket wizard? Looks like the transciever with a nice display (i’m guessing similar functions) is about $300.

          Now I’d love to have a PW setup, but $600 for TWO? Holy shizznit. I’d rather have a nice new lens and that’s a hefty chunk into a new f/2.8 zoom.
          I could get two, maybe three of these units (TX and RX) AND a cheap yongnuo flash to go with it, possibly two! Then I’d have a VERY capable flash setup for the price of just two triggers….which I couldn’t use without spending more.

          Anyway, the “point” of these, to me, is to provide a more affordable option to the highly priced pocket wizards and radio poppers that are also available. You can afford more flash triggers for the money, and if these pan out well…you won’t need an upgrade for some time. Lots of features and some you might not even use… lots of photogs are happy with full manual, running around to bump a 1/3 stop or using a light meter.

          Also, if you can’t afford these, it will be a lot longer until you can buy a pocket wizard, and by then you could have done a lot of photography with the cheap ones. That’s another point of these. Get what you can afford, make your art, sell your art, buy new gear. 😉 Save for your Pocket wizards by using these until you can splurge on “top of the line” stuff.

          The same arguments can be made for/against Sigma, Tamron, Promaster…etc. Why buy those when their quality is often sub-par (or was!) and the failure and compatibility rate questionable? It’s because not everyone can drop $2500 on a lens, and these companies make options for those with less of a budget.

          Finally, I feel like I’d probably want to upgrade all my trigger gear if I was buying newer, more complicated/awesome units. That way they’re all identical and not missing features and you don’t have to compromise any corner of your setup.

          Anyway, I hope that helps, that’s how I think. My buddy uses cheap triggers just fine on a regular basis, in a pro atmosphere. Sure he probably has a backup unit or three but he’s fond of yongnuo because the prices are so damn good. Plus, if one breaks, not as big a deal…there will probably be a new model by then anyway. 😉

  • KrisinCT

    Buydig via Ebay just blew out 3500! J1 “refurbs” with the 10-30 and the 30-110 with a bag for $199 US.. That should help deplete the stock a bit..

  • silmasan

    That 35/1.8 ED review has some good image samples at the end. Funny that the 1.8 gives negligible flare compared to the 1.4 (N!) and also produces better looking 14-pointed sunstar.

    • I’m really looking forward to this lens in the quest of the lightest FX loadout that I can find*.

      *with a proper mirror

  • NoMeJodas

    Nice timeline. IMO the F3 is one of the most beautiful cameras Nikon has ever made. The SP black limited edition from 2005 was also very sexy.

    Just take that F3 as it is, put a sensor in it without changing the dimensions (like how Leica transitioned the M7 to M8), release it with a 24mm, 35mm, 50mm and 85mm revamped Ai-S lenses with proper MF and aperture rings, put in the package 2-3 exchangeable focus screens for the customer to choose from and take my money. No PASM, no fusion, no BS please.

    • guest

      The M gained 3mm depth. Can’t recall about the M8, don’t own one. Or an M for that matter.

      • NoMeJodas

        The M is 5 mm thicker than the M9. But in practice you wouldn’t notice.
        As for the transition from film to digital, Leica needed only 1 mm extra in depth to make a digital M8 out of the film M7, and later used the exact dimensions as they moved from the 1.3x crop M8 to a FF M9. One can love or hate Leica, but one have to admire the excellent engineering efforts they put into their products.

        Here are the exact dimensions (WxHxD):
        M7 138 x 79.5 x 38 mm
        M8/ M9 139 x 80 x 37 mm
        M240 139 x 80 x 42 mm

        F3 142 x 89.5 x 60 mm
        FM/ FE 142×89.5×57.5 mm
        Df 143.5 x 110 x 66.5 mm

        Those were from http://imaging.nikon.com/history/chronicle/history-f3/ and http://en.leica-camera.com/photography/m_system/

        • NoMeJodas

          1 extra mm in width, not depth. But they made the M8 1 mm thinner to compensate for that 😉

        • stoooopid

          I am not expert, but did the fact that the previous Liecas were rangefinder perhaps make the transition to digital a little easier? That they did not have to work around a flippy mirror? Just wondering.

          • NoMeJodas

            I’m definitely not an expert in this area so I have absolutely no idea. Nevertheless the space needed for the mount physics and the mirror box should be more or less the same in both the Df and the F3. So it will come down to what you can do with the space left when you remove the film specific parts out of the F3 body.
            If you look at the teardown of a D600 which is the closest to the Df IMO (http://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/Nikon+D600+Teardown/10708 ), and also watch the video about making a Leica M9 (http://www.luminous-landscape.com/videos/m9-video.shtml ), you’ll immediately notice how much space Nikon is leaving empty or wasting for cables instead of using integrated boards. Leica OTOH seems to use every inch available for something useful. Now look at how Apple is putting every single millimeter in good use in their MBA which fits into a regular envelope (http://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/MacBook+Air+11-Inch+Mid+2013+Teardown/15078 ) and you’ll probably get the same impression like me about what is possible with today’s technology.

  • groucher

    Amazon had the V1 at similar prices last year. It was without doubt the best digital camera purchase I’ve ever made. Brilliant video – far better and easier to use than D800 video – and excellent for any sort of action photography. With the 300mm f4, you get 800mm equiv. f4 and up to 60 fps as full resolution. The J1 lacks the V1’s viewfinder but is an absolute steal at these prices.

    Nikon’s marketing and pricing of the 1 Series has been a disaster though. It’s obvious from the comments on here that even now, at these low prices, the strengths of these cameras aren’t appreciated.

    • stoooopid

      Agreed – I think the 1 series is under appreciated. However, I have a V1 and a D7000. For some reason, I when I have both available, I almost always reach for the D7000. I have f/1.8 lenses on both, but somehow just like the ergs of the D7000 more. V1 is a no brainer when out and about, or on the odd occasion that I want to grab some video.

  • Bruno

    I bought a V1, 10-30, with less than 1000 clicks, second hand for 150euro and the FT-1 for another 150euro. Best photo purchase I’ve ever made.
    The original owner bought it to take pictures of her family and found it too complicated to use. Wrong positioning of Nikon and wrong pricing indeed?

  • Clubber lang

    The 35mm lens looks like a great addition for my hamburger photography! These samples just made my purchase decision easier.

  • zoetmb

    For $249, the J1 with the 10mm and 10-30mm lenses is a great deal. Cheaper than any decent (if there is such a thing) Coolpix. Yet for some strange reason, the J1 with just the 10-30mm is still listed at $499 and was out of stock on 1/22 and somehow came back.

    As for Nikon historical camera listings, check out the poster I’ve attached. Hopefully, it’s large enough to be visible.

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