Nikon apologizes for the delay of the new Nikkor 300mm f/4E PF ED VR lens, forgets to mention their “silent recall”

Nikon-AF-S-NIKKOR-300mm-f4E-PF-ED-VR-lens
Nikon Japan issued an apology for the delay of the Nikkor 300mm f/4E PF ED VR lens - because of the high demand, sale exceeded factory production output and the lens will be out of stock for a while. Of course Nikon forgot to mentioned their "silent recall" caused by VR issues that was the main reason for the delay.

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  • peter w

    Making mistakes is human, striving for the best and admitting being human is a difficult combination of qualities :).
    (please excuse my possibly human / non native expression.)

    • fanboy fagz

      Id rather nikon not have to play the media. ignore/deny/admit/apologize.

      defects are bound to happen. not with nikons stats.

      thats just bad manufacturing practices they are not fixing.

  • Neopulse

    Oh well, once they get back it will come off the shelves again. It’s a great lens.

  • Scott

    Have my eyes on this one. I figure by the time I’m ready to buy, things will be sorted out.

    • Fly Moon

      Same

      • Helio de Mello Filho

        Me 2

        • Photobug

          Yup, Me 2.

          • jstevez

            Same here,

    • Aldo

      This is the new nikon buying practice…. the consumer version of QC

  • So here’s the question: is it better PR to ignore the issue or to actually state “there were delays to fix a firmware issue, which we are resolving for existing users with a patch”? I’d argue that showing you care about issues enough to address them proactively and make early adopters whole would seem to me to be both the right thing to do AND better PR, so this isn’t a question of character, but competence.

    • Patrick O’Connor

      If you want a camera company with great PR, buy a Fuji. If you want a great camera, buy a Nikon.

      • Give Fuji some time and they will turn.

        • Patrick O’Connor

          You think their PR will get worse or their cameras will get better?

        • Thom Hogan

          Somehow, I think not. Fujifilm isn’t profitable in cameras yet isn’t succumbing to that. Nikon is profitable in cameras, but is succumbing to pressure to stay profitable. Very different trajectories. Different trajectories generally bring different outcomes.

          • My point is that Fuji is squeezed like any other photo gear company and it is just a matter of time before they start introducing cost cutting measures.

            • Thom Hogan

              I think that’s not likely given past history. Beyond that, Fujifilm and Pentax, in particular, are such small camera operations in such large companies, the “squeeze” just isn’t felt at a corporate level.

              Nikon is so totally vulnerable and exposed it’s pitiful. If their camera sales/profits go down 50%, the company drops in size by 35%.

              In the history of tech, cost cutting has never worked for more than a short period of time for a company. If you ride cost cutting down to the point where customers believe you’re the lowest quality, you just spiral downward faster.

            • mikeswitz

              Fuji Rumors comment section is now a mirror image of Nikon Rumors. They are essentially dumping the whole Kaizan thing for paid upgrades. Many are recognizing the whole thing was just a plan to fix problems that should have been taken care of before release. The X-t1 had to be recalled due to flimsy mechanics on the the back. There have been numerous delayed releases and the problems with the X-trans sensor have not been addressed.
              That being said I enjoy taking pictures with both cameras.

          • Patrick O’Connor

            Sounds to me like you’re saying profitability and good customer relations are mutually exclusive. Apple might disagree.

            • Thom Hogan

              Didn’t mean to say that at all, and I believe close to what Apple believes.

              What I meant is that Fujifilm is managing to be reasonably more transparent and accessible to customers DESPITE losing money. I don’t see them changing that, as they’ve also discovered that when they talked to the pros about their new cameras, the pros pointed out all the flaws and needs very quickly. When Fujifilm responded by addressing those things, they saw an uptick in customer satisfaction, and I think, sales.

              Nikon, meanwhile, is taking a very different position. Instead of embracing and getting closer to its customers, they’re doing things to antagonize them. Then they wonder why sales are getting more tough to obtain. Nikon seems to think that all the answers are in Tokyo. I’d point out: so are all the problems.

            • mikeswitz

              Thom,
              I really do hate to disagree. I’ve been an X-Pro1 owner from the beginning and have had an X-T1 since shortly after its introduction. The XT-1 is the only enthusiasts camera the has been profitable despite the fact that the files are better coming from the X-Pro1, even though they ave the same sensor. Only one of their “pros” has acknowledged that. Actually, its too bad you are not a Fuji pro. They might actually listen to you.
              Fuji’s Kaizan and “we listen to our customers” has been a brilliant PR campaign, but as a camera company they have many of the same problems as Nikon. They just have better PR people.

            • Thom Hogan

              Not sure I’m completely following you. Fujifilm is losing money on cameras. Whether an individual model is profitable or not is not necessarily meaningful, though I suspect what you’re trying to say is that Fujifilm is only going to update firmware for the profitable camera (X-T1).

              You and others seem to be mixing and matching logic in arguments. The drop of firmware updates was for the X100S, a camera that is no longer current. I’m not aware of Fujifilm dropping updates for any current camera. We could argue about how far back firmware updates should be done for, but no matter where we set the line, ultimately the company wants people to buy the new stuff, not just upgrade the old stuff for free.

              I’m not aware of any meaningful change in Fujifilm’s attitude towards its customers or towards Kaizan.

              That said, you may remember that I wrote an article quite some time ago when Fujifilm did the first big “feature firmware update” that some people were over-enthusing over that. In essence, the original X-Pro1 shipped with the firmware not fully developed. I actually have no problems with that. What I objected to at the time were people believing that Fujifilm was going to infinitely add features to X cameras forever. It was catch-up, pure and simple. But good on them for doing it for the current customers.

              FWIW, I’ve found Fujifilm much more open to outside thoughts than Nikon. In general, Canon, Fujifilm, Panasonic, and Sony do seem to listen a bit more to the external world in my experience. Nikon, Olympus, and Pentax seem to be walled in their offices in Tokyo listening only to themselves most of the time.

            • mikeswitz

              I don’t understand what is so hard to follow. I used the XT-1 as an example of a camera that makes money being the same as one that doesn’t (X-Pro1)

              You said “What I meant is that Fujifilm is managing to be reasonably more transparent and accessible to customers DESPITE losing money. I don’t see them changing that, as they’ve also discovered that when they talked to the pros about their new cameras, the pros pointed out all the flaws and needs very quickly. When Fujifilm responded by addressing those things, they saw an uptick in customer satisfaction, and I think, sales.”

              My point is that Fuji is no more or less transparent than any other camera company. They just have better PR. Sales didn’t go up withthe XT-1 because more transparency or Kaizen, they went up because it was a more relateable camera for their custor base. Mostly better balanced for their big heavy zooms and fast primes and a better EVF. gthere will be very few if any “firmware upgrades” in the future unless people are willing to pay for them.
              I see no more “listening to customers” than anyone else. The same goes for Sony.

            • Andrew

              Well, Sony has done an exceptional job listening to their customers with their PlayStation division. Their PlayStation Network was greatly enhanced with industry leading features with the release of the PlayStation 4. And the memory design and capability of the PS4 was greatly enhanced for developers in order to address some of the complexity and limitations in the PS3.

              In the camera department, Sony has admitted that they need more lenses for their cameras. And they have been aggressive with mirrorless camera development. They are trying to innovate at an aggressive pace which strains their resources.

              But when you have spoilers like Samsung and other Chinese manufacturers selling competing products at ridiculous prices with claimed features that do not deliver, it affects the resources of all these Japanese companies.

              Japanese companies like to think and plan long term. They do not mind transferring money from one division to another as Sony did for years to support the PlayStation, TV, and PC divisions. Now it is paying off for them with their PlayStation division. But in order to do that, they need the resources and with cheap Chinese manufacturing, the resources have been hard to come by. Right now the two companies I am upbeat about are Nikon and Sony, and both have become more customer focused in the past year.

            • mikeswitz

              But the fact is neither Nikon or Sony is supporting DX with new lenses. The update to the NEX-7 is long over due. Their (Sony) service centers are horrible. Customer service, product reliability and “listening to their loyal customers” is not the magic bullet for any company I’m aware of.
              There is a pr guy on every rumor site who protests a little too strenuously. I wonder who that is here?

            • Andrew

              I think the alleged PR guy likes to balance things out. He sees too many short sighted protesters who would rather follow the crowd than think for themselves. He sees people buying third party items and wanting Nikon to provide exceptional support while taking their dollars somewhere else. He sees too many people who cheat when arguing a point by trying to discredit their opponent’s credibility to cover their inability to argue a point competently. Yeah, I know one such person!

            • mikeswitz

              If you are talking about me, you’ve got the wrong guy. I rarely complain about Nikon. I defy you to find any anti Nikon quote posted by me. I ridicule the whiners and the over the top defenders. I constantly accuse Thom Hogan about being myopic as far as Nikon goes. If you bothered to read all I’ve posted in this thread I have said that Nikon is no better or worse than than any multi-national company today. Talking about Sony and Playstation is far not the point of this thread I had to call you on it. C’mon, even admin thinks you’re a P.R. Nikon guy.

            • Andrew

              Admin was joking because he liked my post which he cited. Let me point you to where he made his comment. But I have to give it to you, you have a good memory 😉

              See below:

              https://nikonrumors.com/2015/02/04/more-details-on-the-new-nikon-d810-version-designed-for-astrophotography.aspx/

            • Thom Hogan

              I’m still not following your profit logic. If Fujifilm dropped all the cameras except the X-T1, the X-T1 wouldn’t be profitable ;~). Thing is, parts reuse, especially at the sensor, is important if you’re going to make a profit overall.

              I’ll stick by what I wrote. I talk with camera company executives fairly regularly. Fujifilm is approachable, and when they talk with you, they are not obtuse, they tend to tell you what they’re doing and why.

              So let’s get back to the X-T1. I agree that it’s a better camera than the XPro1. Where we disagree is in whether or not the X-T1 got designed the way it was because of customer feedback or pure Japanese engineering. You say the latter, I say that the former was a big part of it.

            • ITN

              XT1 uses a sensor with embedded phase-detect AF sensors whereas the X-Pro1 uses a plain sensor which only has normal imaging photosites, no PDAF. Thus they are different sensors and it is expected that the XT1 PDAF sensors cause an image quality compromise. The same thing is with the PDAF enabled Sony A7 and A7II which have worse SNR characteristics than competing 24MP FX models from Nikon, while their A7R and A7S have outstanding SNR but no embedded PDAF sensors.

            • I think you’re ascribing Sony’s inferior performance to the addition of a few PDAF pixels to a sensor (and for all you know they’re on the sensors of cameras that don’t use them — if it saves a fab line it’s worth it). The fact is Sony gets inferior performance out of its sensors relative to Nikon, PDAF or not.

            • ITN

              A7R is only a hair behind the D800E in dxomark (one point difference which is within the standard error of their test, so not significant). Neither have EFCS nor PDAF on the sensor (overall score 95-96). A7II gets an overall score of 90 and D750 gets 93, this difference is larger (though might still not be significant to a human observer). The A7II has EFCS and PDAF, D750 has neither. It seems that Sony can get similar performance if they use the same sensor, but often they don’t (likely because the sensors used by Nikon use Nikon IP which they haven’t licensed to Sony, and vice versa). If Nikon could activate EFCS on the D750 sensor, they would, but it’s obviously not designed in that sensor. Similarly the A7R would greatly benefit from EFCS (since it has a compact high speed shutter that causes a lot of vibration, see e.g. Lloyd Chamber’s demonstration with the 135mm Apo Sonnar) but that sensor doesn’t have it. Nikon’s D810 sensor uses a different 36MP sensor that does have EFCS, but none of the Sony’s use that. They’re different sensors, as simple as that. And the embedded PDAF sensors can’t be that small since if they’re small they receive too few photons to give a useful phase signal for AF.

            • PDAF on sensor is pretty darn tiny. They basically swap out some of the sensels that are used for green pixels (if you recall, the typical RGB bayer mosaics have a ratio of two green for each red and blue) so you’d expect the effect to be minuscule.

              Note that there’s no evidence Sony makes a 36MP sensor with PDAF on-board, so that would explain the lack of it in the A7R. IIRC the D750 uses a sensor fabbed by Toshiba, so there’s no economy of scale reason why it would necessarily be identical to the 24MP Sony sensors. My guess is Sony’s current generation of 24MP FX sensors have PDAF on board whether or not the camera body makes use of it is another thing. I’d love someone who looks at sensors with a microscope to confirm or deny it 🙂

            • mikeswitz

              Thanks, I didn’t know the reason for the differences, although I should have guessed. But my point was/is I haven’t seen Fuji admit there is a difference nor I have seen any of their “pros” mention it either. What I’m trying to say is that Fuji’s marketing department just has better PR than most camera companies and the reality is pretty much the same for all camera manufacturers.

            • Patrick O’Connor

              I was just in Tokyo a couple weeks ago. Didn’t see any answers or problems.
              All companies, like all organisms, go through cycles of expansion and contraction. During the former (Fuji), they’re active and proactive. In the case of the latter (Nikon right now), they lay low, tighten their belts, and try to survive. You can’t really fault anyone for reacting to their current position in the cycle.

          • Aldo

            This is the nature of all things…. Take sigma for example… started as a ‘knock off’ brand now they are making quality products… and with quality price goes up….as does everything else.

            • fanboy fagz

              the 50 ART is overpriced. the 24/35 are well less than the nikon/canon offerings. and significantly performs better. even the 24-105 ART is a jewel of a lens.

              wheres that 85 ART?

        • mikeswitz

          They already have.

    • I agree, especially when many people know about it.

    • Yes, I would strongly argue that customers appreciate it more, and are even more loyal to a brand, when they feel that the company is being 100% honest, listening to their feedback, and doing what they can to fix problems.

      • Thom Hogan

        My cynical side today says something quite different. Let’s see, “we cut sales of parts to independent repair stations, we’re cutting back support hours and in some cases Nikon repair stations, we’re now farming out some repairs that we used to do ourselves, plus we keep having quality control issues that leave people without their Nikon gear while we fix those, but we’re sorry.”

        Yeah, no, doesn’t cut it any more. As I pointed out a while back, it’s the repetitive nature of the issues with no clear statement of how they’ll stop and control them that’s now attracted their prime customers’ attention.

        Moreover, I’d point out that they’re only apologizing when they think they have to. 10 months waiting for a tripod collar for the 70-300mm CX lens? Didn’t get an apology for that ;~).

        • Yeah, that level of honesty would indeed be disastrous, lol. Well spoken as usual…

        • DSLRUser

          Aside from saving shipping costs the Montreal office was useless. Even the smallest of repairs had to be sent to Toronto. The result was at least an added week for the products return. I guess the shipping cost savings was a very good thing given they rarely fix a problem the 1st time around.

        • whisky

          it’s regrettable RRS or Kirk didn’t step in to fill the void. but i guess they didn’t believe there was enough of a market for that tripod mount either. 🙁

        • Andrew

          I think we are all pretty well educated about quality control issues. The new social reality and media reporting is now making us feel as if there is an unusual quality control problem. I really do not think that is the case. When we read headlines of silent recall, it reinforces that belief.

          But if we look at the quality control issues reported in relation to Nikon, we are essentially talking about newly launched products. The professionals know that they are taking a risk if they replace an existing gear with a newly launched camera or lens. Pros should always have a backup plan.

          The fact that Nikon makes quality products is what is really important. It is a miracle if a new product launch is problem free! So my expectations are different. I have had problems with so many newly launched products from so many different companies that it is a none issue for me. Neither Sony, Olympus, Panasonic, or Nikon can give us an assurance about problem free product launch. You many have missed an interview with a senior management executive when he said that Nikon takes quality control very seriously but cannot guarantee a problem free product launch. I completely agree with him.

          • fanboy fagz

            so youre saying as a pro I should pay $2300 for a camera knowing it will be defective, ruin images that I must deliver. ruin my reputation because the camera most likely will be defective and I should have a plan B? yes all pros have(should) backup cameras. but to buy a piece of equipment and to shoot once in a lifetime event and to deliver images that might or might not come out well is ok?

            you are talking nonsense. a bit chutzpah as well to tell people to pay so much but (byt the stats)know the gear will have some problems that will arise. hopefully not in your stressed time when you depend on the camera when you shoot a wedding.

            nikon is not making a quality product if expensive gear they are releasing as of late are defective and dont work properly. stop trying to downplay it andy. look around the net and youll see how people recognize nikon as a company who has lost its respect for their loyal customers and for themselves. their rep is tarnished in many peoples eyes. I hope they make the changes.

            D800 AF sensor issue
            D600 oil issue
            SB900 overheat issue
            24-70 AFS zoom stiffness issue
            D750 light leak issue
            300 PF VR issue

            there are very expensive pieces of gear. were not talking about nikons recalled EN-EL15 battery. this is gear pros rely on for their reputation. this is not a 24-85G that someone uses to shoot some outdoor images.

            • Andrew

              My comment would not be nonsense to you if you understood my point, so let me help you. A “newly launched” product comes with a risk because 100% quality test cannot be done until after large scale production starts and until customers start using the product. That is why customers have 30-day return guarantee and manufacturers offer product warranty. You can reduce that risk by delaying your purchase. It is common sense!

              If you decide to take the risk, then have a backup plan. Don’t blame Nikon or any other manufacturer for problems you can avoid. I have experienced my share of new product launch problems from many manufacturers. I would defend Sony, Canon, Panasonic, and Olympus in this regard. So I am not downplaying anything, I just know that your expectations are unrealistic. You have every right to voice your opinion, but I just think that you are wrong!

            • fanboy fagz

              and yet the majority of the comments here are not favorable to nikon. again, youre talking nonsense. you dont know the pro world. dont comment on it.

              @mikeswitz:disqus absolutely we test gear before. we dont rely on it completely. we shoot with 3 cameras (usually 2) and use the new one for shooting when images arent as critical. then the next wedding we up its responsibility. shooting it a bit more. 4 full 12 hour weddings. then its part of the gear. I shoot 3000-4000 images( I shoot a lot in continuous mode) total a wedding (before filtering)

              this though is not a button not working, or the rubber cap falling off of the little button on the back with my D4s. a light leak is a big problem that would show up by accident.a lot werent able to reproduce it but it will kick in at the worst time. like it did to the wedding pros when it first came up.

            • Thom Hogan

              Hey, I’m with you on the fact that a customer has to make sure their product works before putting it into use. I’ve been advising that for 20+ years. That’s not the issue.

              The issue is what happens when the 10th consecutive Nikon product I’ve received new has yet another problem for which I have to send it back to Nikon for repair, and now at my expense.

              If you can’t see the degradation that’s happening, I think you need to step away from your Nikon-sponsored pinnacle and take a long, hard look at what’s happening in the customer base. My surveys of customer satisfaction amongst Nikon users are going down, down, down. And it’s not because of the problems, it’s because of how they HANDLE the problems.

            • To be fair, if they didn’t have problems then they wouldn’t mishandle them 😉

            • ITN

              How do you account for the following sources of experimental bias:

              1. Are the surveys conducted in a manner that the people answering do not know whose survey they’re answering to? If you’re not doing it in such a way, chances are that you’re simply getting a lot of responses from like minded people who agree with your blog.

              2. How do you make sure that your people practicing own field of photography (nature photography mostly) is not represented more than other fields in your surveys?

              3. You speak of Nikon; does this mean that you’re making sure every region that Nikon has customers in, is sampled according to quantity of customers instead of mostly a Nikon USA centered query. It seems indeed that Nikon USA does have real customer service issues (they don’t let you talk directly to whoever is actually doing the repair of your item for example) judging from many reports but I’ve totally different experiences in my region and have always received the highest quality service from Nikon in my country.

              These are of course basic considerations that a survey designer consider if they want an unbiased, representative sampling instead of merely wanting reassurance from followers.

            • Thom Hogan

              I don’t. But interestingly, after talking to Nikon marketing executives about how they collected data, neither do they ;~). They also not only wanted my data (which I give them it without asking for anything back), but indicated that they actually thought it useful to them.

              I generally do n sampling from book purchasers, though sometimes I supplement that with other approaches. As such, concerning #3, there’s an English bias, but not necessarily a US bias. Indeed, I don’t think there’s a US bias given the numbers I see.

              I will say that I’ve been doing this now for 20+ years. Getting questions to align over that time is impossible, though. I’ve had to change some of the product specific ones, obviously.

              All that said, I’ve had the opportunity to compare my results on a couple of questions with someone who just does n sample all consumer surveys across a huge base (e.g. not even camera users, but any type of consumer). There’s good correlation in the data. The trend for awhile was customer satisfaction with Nikon going up. Now it’s going down.

              For one set of the questions where I could find a third set of data, I did a three-set analysis. Again, large correlation.

              I should also note that two of the recent surveys I used very small n’s and ended up with very large data sets. I’m comfortable that those are reasonably predictable to the English-speaking Nikon serious shooter population. Which is generally what I’m writing about and advocating for. We’re not really talking about D3300 users here.

              Since I have a PhD minor in statistics, I know exactly what you’re getting at and how surveys can distort all kinds of things. Indeed, I’m not convinced that there really is a way to get totally unbiased results in consumer satisfaction data. When I was at Rodale, we had one of the largest consumer data sets in the US, covering virtually every household in the country. And yes, we did n samples out of it all the time. There’s not even good agreement on simple things like how many steps of satisfaction can actually be determined accurately in statistics. So do you use Slightly Agree, Somewhat Agree, Mostly Agree, etc., or just Agree/Disagree? ;~)

              So, simply put, when I write about surveys or statistics, I consider them advisory, not conclusive. So, if you want to go all Dr. Statistics on me, I’ll just say this: all of the data I’ve seen on this, including my own, advises that there may be a slide in Nikon’s customer satisfaction levels. Certainly amongst my book readers there is. The exact folk who are trying to find out more about their cameras so they can get more out of them. I’d still call that a danger signal.

            • Andrew

              Sure Nikon has not been perfect, but a lot of your customers have been biased by your constant attacks on Nikon. But also a lot of them buy gray market Nikon cameras for which Nikon provides no support. I mean NO support, so that will make your survey of Nikon’s customer support worse that it would have normally been. It is like going to staunch Republican voters and giving them a survey on a Democratic candidate. But ha, you are a journalist, you need to cater to your customer base.

            • Thom Hogan

              I specifically check for gray. It hasn’t been a big factor in most of the past surveys. It might be soon given how much gray market Nikon has generated recently by dumping excess inventory into the market that way.

              I have to laugh at your last line. Yes, I cater to my customer base. But you seem to miss the point again: Nikon isn’t ;~). I would argue that this is part of its problem, especially here in the US. I started receiving emails today that people receiving the second batch of 300mm f/4E’s are getting serial numbers that need the firmware update. That’s just wrong.

            • mikeswitz

              All the pros I know throughly test their gear before using them on a “once in a lifetime shoot.” It’s your job. If you don’t, you can’t blame the manufacturer.

            • Thom Hogan

              Tell that to the pros who did that and found that at some point their D2h stopped metering, or the amateur who took their D70 on a trip of a lifetime and got BGLOD. Or the person that started an assignment with a D600 that seemed to be working, only to find by their 1000th image of the session, it was marred by splatter and debris. Or the wedding photographer that couldn’t see the backlight banding issue on their D750 through the viewfinder and finally hit the just right angle to trigger it.

              Still, I’m in agreement with the “test your gear” statements. What I’m in disagreement with are the statements that Nikon is doing the right thing by the customer. Progressively, they’re doing the wrong thing more and more. Again, I’ll point to this latest example: NikonUSA won’t pay to ship my 300mm f/4E back to fix their problem.

              I can tolerate problems in new gear. What becomes problematic is a company that makes those problems even more my problem than they should be.

            • EnglishPaul

              Apart from the D600 oil problem all the issues you mentioned were overblown non-issues fro most users. Nikon like a lot of companies are caught by the internet being full of people who test a product to the nth degree looking for flaws rather than just using it for the purpose it was intended. There are people putting Apple watches through blenders for goodness sake! How many photographers would’ve actually experienced any of these ‘issues’ in a lifetime of normal use?

            • fanboy fagz

              leave idiots who blend things for the hell of entertainment.

              id take oil on a sensor anyday before a light leak or overheating flash or AF points not working (D800) oil can be cleaned before a wedding shoot. the others affect me getting the shot. my rep is on the line.

            • HF

              I usually test every gear before using it, especially for once in a life-time event. If you rely on new gear for such an event without knowing it it is your problem. Your list over-exaggerates problems from Nikon, too, since most issues are minor (except the D600 or D800 Af issue). Nowadays it is rare to get things problem free (look at Apple, which is usually highly regarded (wifi problems, Iphone 4, IOS 8), Sony light leak, shutter shock, Fuji light leak, car manufacturers,… and many, many others). Today I read about Canon’s newest issue: http://www.canonwatch.com/some-canon-rebel-t6i-and-rebel-t6s-sensors-have-a-serious-issue/). Perfect products would be nice, but there is always the possibility some issue surfaces. For that I use warranty. So far, all my Nikon products were perfect. I only had issues with Fuji XT1 light leak.

          • Thom Hogan

            You’re completely missing the point. It’s not that you have to ship products 100% problem free. No one can do that. It’s how you deal with the problems you create. I have a 300mm f/4E lens that needs the firmware fix. It’s up to me to pay the shipping and insurance to get it to NikonUSA to be fixed. That’s NOT how you deal with your initial production problems if you want future customers.

            It’s the total sequence of things I outlined that’s important. Nikon has very little concern for their customers, and it’s becoming apparent that when push (profits) come to shove, they’ll adopt less concern for customers.

            • whisky

              your information may be out of date. sometimes it may just take a little longer for the left hand to know what the right hand was in the process of doing.

              see post above by “gpelpel”.

            • Thom Hogan

              As of this moment, NikonUSA’s site (which has been updated once since the original post) says about the firmware update: “When sending your AF-S Nikkor 300mm f/4 E PF ED VR lens to a Nikon
              authorized service center, the user must pay the cost of shipping to the
              service center, and Nikon will pay for return shipping.”

              Squeaky wheels may be getting postage paid by NikonUSA. But why do you have to be a squeaky wheel? That just takes the customer more time and energy.

            • whisky

              agreed. NikonUSA might be the real problem here.

  • ZoetMB

    Nikon has been lousy at managing inventory for years, especially the high-end lenses. When I last checked on April 8th, they were doing better (the 400, 500, 600 and 800mm lenses were all in stock, which is highly unusual), but among the lenses priced $1000+, the 70-200 2.8, 35 1.4, 85 1.4, and 300 4.0 were out-of-stock. As always, it’s hard to tell whether they’re doing better because they’re managing inventory better or because people aren’t buying so it’s easier to find the lenses in stock.

    So I’m surprised they apologized in this particular case. There must be very high demand for this lens.

    On any given day, at least 10% of the entire line and 15% of the lenses priced $1000+ are generally out-of-stock.

    • Thom Hogan

      What I don’t get is how the executive/management team can think that they don’t have systemic problems. You’re correct, they’re terrible at inventory management outside the manufacturing plants, they keep getting caught with problems that solid QA testing should catch, and more.

      I’ll repeat something I’ve written before: one reason why Nikon has inventory problems is their stubborn insistence on keeping the subsidiaries separate as far as serial numbers go. They simply CAN’T move excess inventory from place one to place two to balance demand as economies ebb and flow. If they miscalculate demand in an area–which they do all the time–they end up with excess here and none there, but then can’t do anything about.

      This tells us that the dumping into the gray market is more profitable than individual customer sales to them. Which just blows my mind.

      • Their problem starts with their idiotic product range. The reason they have an idiotic product range is that all their competitors have an idiotic product range.

        You know you have an idiotic product range when it’s impossible to tell if product A is better than product B for any A and B in the range. D750 or Df? It depends. D4S or D810? It depends. D750 or D810? It depends. And the consumer range is completely bonkers.

        Remember when Jobs came back to Apple and cut down Apple’s DELL-like incomprehensible product range (“Performa” “Quadra” blah blah blah) to the “four quadrant” model — pro vs. consumer, small vs. big, with “good, better, best” options in each quadrant? It solved so many problems it wasn’t funny. Apple went from having close to the worst inventory management in the industry to outdoing DELL (then the best) within a year, and has only improved since (all Tim Cook’s work, I believe).

        • Thom Hogan

          This is also the classic “what user problem are you solving” thing, too. I’m not sure what user problem Nikon is solving with a lot of their products, as they just overlap willy nilly and seem a bit random at times. I know that it took even me a bit of time to figure out that the D8xx was the camera that solved most of my problems (not all, but that’s fine, I can supplement my main camera with something else that covers the other needs).

          I’d argue that this stems from the fact that it isn’t photographers directing decisions, it’s engineering management that is. In Silicon Valley speak, there’s very little product management going on. Lot’s of good engineering. Okay sales/marketing/distribution (though that needs work, too). But the connection from customer to creator isn’t there.

          • I don’t know that it’s even good engineering. If Nikon’s DSLRs were clearly built on the same assembly line (or say one pro and one consumer) with a few differences rather than each a unique snowflake I’d agree, but no sane engineer would create such a ridiculous product range. Their parts are all non-standard. They can’t switch production based on demand. It’s just stupid. It’s not like logitech mice, say, which have the same electronics in a bewildering array of plastic hulls — these cameras are all bizarrely different.

            None of this is really unique to Nikon of course.

            Compare this to, say, Black Magic, or Red, who actually seem to get it. They’re going after high value, high margin customers, they have standardized bodies with small central modules and interchangeable add-ons (and sometimes upgradeable sensors, etc.), multiple mount support, etc. etc. etc. It’s lucky they don’t care about the stills market.

    • ITN

      If you place an order, it’ll eventually be shipped to you. Why is it a problem to wait a litte while? Having products “in stock” is a waste of resources since storage space has to be allocated to it and that costs money. What’s more, if dealers stock too many products there will some that are never sold. Immediate availability costs extra money somewhere along the chain and in the end the customer has to pay (extra) for it. Also there is the matter that it’s impossible to predict accurately what the public takes a liking to. Sometimes a lens just goes viral and everyone has to have it, even if it isn’t useful to them. It is better to manufacture a lens using a conservative estimate and sell them all, instead of manufacturing hundreds of thousands of lenses which might never be sold. The PF lens has unique advantages and disadvantages, and it is good to start manufacturing slowly and see what they customer feedback is rather than put all their manufacturing resources into what might become a flop if the customers don’t like it that much, for whatever reason. Once the initial rush is over, there will be many years of easy availability of the lens and the price typically is reduced also, for the more patient customers.

      • ZoetMB

        I agree that it doesn’t make sense for a manufacturer to set up extra manufacturing lines just so everyone who wants a lens (or anything) on the first day can get one if they can’t use those lines for the long run.

        But I disagree with you on everything else:
        – when has Nikon ever modified a lens after customer feedback? Never.
        – there’s a difference between a manufacturer not having inventory and a retailer. This isn’t just about new lenses. Some lenses haven’t shown up in U.S. retail a year after they were supposedly released.
        – when a lens is out-of-stock, it means Nikon is leaving money on the table. If some old MF or AF lens goes out of stock, that’s understandable. It’s quite another issue when current line lenses go out of stock for months at a time. And it’s especially unacceptable when dealing with pros. If Nikon wants to give up the pro market, then it’s less of an issue, although it still means they leave money on the table.
        – we’re not talking about “just in time” manufacturing. Nikon doesn’t do that. They manufacture in large batches.

        • ITN

          The 300/4D tripod collar has several iterations with physically different dimensions. No mention was made of this publically (I guess it is a typical case falling under “specifications may change without notice”). The II iteration of the 200/2 also has more rigid tripod foot that doesn’t stay ringing like the foot/collar of the Mk I of the lens. But it’s a different model of the lens of course in that case. There are also iterations of the 24-70 with physically incompatible parts. Likely the component was changed in response to some issue that was found, either by customers or in service. The 24 PC-E initially had a shift lock that was totally incapable of reliably holding the shift position and this was also somehow fixed quietly in the following lenses. They see what responses they get and what feedback their users give, and fix issue that they can. Also of course they monitor their service parts requests and feedback from service centers and try to fix problematic parts that have given in. This is why it makes sense to not manufacture a huge number of lenses when it’s a new design. Make first some lenses and see what kind of a response they get. Nikon seems to be very happy that there is very little negative feedback on the PF lens’s optical aspects.

          I think it is normal that a lens is sometimes out of stock (e.g. scientific optics often have long lead times, e.g. 4 months). If I have the money and if I need the lens, I place an order, that way I get the lens typically sooner than if I had waited for supply to exceed demand and the lens to sit idle at some store waiting for some possible buyer. I think lack of supply can actually stimulate demand as people realize it is hard to find (= in good demand). In any case quite a lot of us are customers for life so some minor delay has little effect on what we eventually buy. Of course it is an inconvenience but really nothing more than that. From what I’ve read, a few years ago when Canon brought out the light weight II generation of fast IS superteles, they also had issues making enough of them for customers; some had to wait for half a year or even a year. If it takes 12 months to grow the fluorite crystals then there is nothing they can do to speed up production. You just have to sit and wait.

  • Infinite Vortex

    Maybe the Nikon executive team simply felt they needed more practice at apologising hence the “forgetting” to mention the recall. Practice makes perfect. 🙂

    It’s way better than the “if we ignore it for long enough it’ll go away on its own” attitude though.

  • fanboy fagz

    slowly theyll learn. its not about the apology.

    ITS ABOUT RELEASING NEW PRODUCTS WITHOUT PROBLEMS!

    • Adam Brown

      On the one hand, I agree the pattern is a bit disturbing.

      On the other hand, with the internet causing quick identification of even small problems, and then creating united protests… It’s a different world than a few years ago. Few products are perfect, and even small things are getting magnified. If the D750 banding issue had occurred in a camera 10 years ago, there would have been no stink or press about it. There would just be an urban legend that some shooters had supposedly seen weird bands. Most people, upon coming across the bands would stare at the pic for a second, be like, “hmm… wonder what that is.. oh well.”

      I give Nikon credit for actively addressing these types of concerns, after learning from the D600 problems. Apple never offered any real fix for antenna-gate (ok, they gave away free bands).. the Sony A7r suffers from bad shutter shock at some shutter speeds, they never acknowledged the problem or offered a fix.

      So on the other hand, I agree they seem to have a QC issue — Not fully and effectively testing their products before release.
      On the other hand, many of these problems are blown out of proportion and Nikon deserves credit for addressing the issues.

      • Andrew

        I have worked on mission critical systems where one QC issue cost our company over $200 million. Then another issue cost over $300 million or so. One way to minimize QC is to increase the testing scope and phase, delay the product launch, and consequently increase the cost of the product. Or consumers who have a low tolerance for problems could just wait to see what is reported by the early adopters.

  • It seems to be getting clearer and clearer which corporate philosophies / decisions are becoming consistent issues for both Nikon and Canon.

    (Nikon’s being some form or another of corner-cutting in the engineering, manufacturing, or QC process; Canon’s being their long-standing history of tactfully omitting features or gimping performance from almost all lower-end and mid-range cameras / lenses, to entice people to upgrade as they get more serious.)

    Neither is excusable, but it’s getting even less acceptable now with DSLRs from the likes of Pentax, and mirrorless cameras from the likes of Sony, Fuji, and Olympus etc, out there…

    • mikeswitz

      Go on over to the Fuji or Sony Rumors to hear all the whining about those products. Have you purchased an appliance lately? How about a car? Ever had one recalled? I don’t remember getting an apology from GM for killing 13 people. Did you get a “oh we’re so sorry” from Toyota for their millions of recalls. I didn’t. Canon and Nikon are no different than the vast majority of todays manufacturers. That’s not a defense of anyone, it’s just where multi-national corporations are today. :+(

      • That’s why I drive a Subaru, and try not to buy anything until it’s at least 1-2 years old. 😉

        • mikeswitz

          Unfortunately buying anything 1-2 years old does not preclude recalls or defects because the sad state of manufacturing QA nowadays. I’m not defending Nikon, its just that everyone else in some degree is the same. There was, at some point years ago when you bought a washing machine or camera or car it would last a very long time with out recalls or constant repairs. Maybe Subaru is an exception though.

          • Lukasz

            I heard once engineers are even tought in schools how to artificially age materials so it would only last the ‘right amount of time’ and boost sales of course…

            • Andrew

              I am an electrical engineer, and I was not taught any such things. I have worked at two locations at IBM and I have not heard such rumors. But it is true that products are functionally degraded to differentiate different models based upon price. But these are marketing decision.

            • mikeswitz

              Never heard the words “planned obsolescence”? Ever? Really?

            • Andrew

              Yes. From a marketing standpoint, anything is permissible so long as it is legal. But I believe companies have an ethical obligation to their customers to act in a conscientious manner. But sometimes these decisions are hard to make if a company needs the repeat business for their survival.

            • mikeswitz

              And what manufacturing companies don’t need repeat business from their “loyal customers”. The headline for this thread is “Nikon apologizes for the delay of the new Nikkor 300mm f/4E PF ED VR lens, forgets to mention their “silent recall”.”
              Click bait for the ditto heads. “Silent recalls” is really a non-sequitor which Thom Hogan promptly pointed out, yet went on to list all the bonehead things Nikon does anyway and then lists the companies who don’t do such things. I point out that indeed they do and are not much different than Nikon then you chime in for Sony and how they do a wonderful job with Playstation and never, ever heard the word the words planned obsolescence in electrical engineering. Sorry, bullshit is bullshit regardless if you work for Nikon or not.

            • Andrew

              Let me educate you about something some people do not understand. In America, it is against the law for a person to make false claims to mislead the public. So I will tell you again, I do not work for Nikon nor for “anyone” doing work for them! Actually I am quite different from you; I believe people implicitly and would never accuse a person about things I know absolutely nothing about. That does not mean I trust them since trust is something that has to be earned.

              I hold certain consistent views about Nikon and as I have said before, I bought my first Nikon camera the N2020 in the 1980s and I love the quality of Nikon products. And I would not take any points away from them for issues relating to the first production run of a newly launched product. So when I see people attacking Nikon in a manner I do not agree with, I would always speak up. Some people like to attack, I love to defend and it is a role I enjoy playing.

  • Thom Hogan

    To be fair, I don’t think that the recall delayed ANY shipments. The initial batch they built sold out. They fixed the problem just prior to shipping the second batch. I don’t think the second batch was delayed.

    Demand outstrips supply, simple as that. I could have told them that would happen. They should have known it would happen. Surveys repeatedly showed that lens being high on the pent-up demand list (along with a camera body that will go unnamed ;~). Technically, the apology should have come with the launch of the lens. As in “We apologize that we may not have enough product to fulfill all demand in our initial shipments. We’ll work diligently to clear any backlog that occurs as fast as we can.”

    • whisky

      “They should have known it would happen. Surveys repeatedly showed that lens being high on the pent-up demand list …”

      the cherry on top was the under $2,000 price point. if Nikon raised the price somewhere closer to the 80-400mm G, they’d not have such a backlog and an apology would most likely NOT be required. JMO.

    • I am imagining them doing it for J and V cameras !

    • Adam Brown

      Question is whether this second batch is fixed, or whether it consists of pre-fix units. Mine is being delivered tomorrow, but I just saw a report of someone who got a “second batch” unit yesterday, and it had an older serial number and VR problems.

      • Thom Hogan

        Right. I don’t think the second batch was delayed. The question is whether or not they got the fix or not. If they were shipped via water, I’d guess not. But that just calls up a different problem. Why would NikonUSA accept units they know they are going to have to repair into inventory without applying the fix at the inventory station? Likely answer: someone decided it was less costly to pay shipping back to the customer than to do in-warehouse fixes.

        What we’re seeing is more of the same: Nikon’s priority is on cost cutting, not on customer experience.

        • Adam Brown

          I really don’t want to go through the trouble of shipping my lens off for updating the moment I receive it…. But if that’s the case, then I dare suggest something even more nefarious is at play:

          Nikon figured those buyers who don’t use the D800 series won’t be affected, plus even some D800 users may not notice or may not bother with the updating.
          So they figured it is cheaper to repair a percentage of the units after sale, then to fix them all before sale.

          Honestly, I can forgive poor QC from the outset, releasing a product with a flaw that isn’t realized until later, but the flaw is repaired. This isn’t ideal — they should still fix the QC process, but it isn’t malicious.

          But if they are KNOWINGLY selling the flawed products… It is possibly criminal.

          Foolish me…. I assumed they would advise retailers and distributors to return any remaining older models for firmware fixes. I assumed the entire second batch was “205101” or later, and the earlier serial numbers were all the first batch.

          If they are still selling pre-205101, that is problematic. I’ll see what serial number I receive tomorrow, and I wonder if anybody else has gotten a unit in the last few days.

          • Thom Hogan

            That’s an interesting point. If NikonUSA shipped a lens they know was affected into the sales channel, they clearly are doing the wrong thing. Doesn’t matter whether it’s criminal or civil or breach of merchantability or whatever. It would mean that they value booking revenue over anything else. I’m reminded of what happened in Silicon Valley when a few companies got into this mindset: eventually they’d ship bricks, literally, to make their quarterly numbers.

            This far into April, I don’t see why NikonUSA wouldn’t just do firmware updates on any lenses they have in inventory or that come into inventory that have the issue. It can’t really impact quarterly sales numbers. Indeed, having to do post repair would effect quarterly numbers at some point.

            But to be fair, at this point we don’t know for sure that second batch units haven’t had the firmware patch applied. We have only an anecdotal report. Let’s come back to this in a couple of weeks when more data would be available.

            • Adam Brown

              As I said, I’m receiving a unit tomorrow, so I’ll report back on personal experience.

              I have to also believe that they didn’t come up with the fix on April 15th and announce it on April 16th. It would make sense to me that first they would start applying the fix to existing inventory, before announcing it to the general public. The issue had been known for some time, the “silent recall” was several weeks. Did it really take weeks to figure out how to repair the problem? (I doubt that very much).
              Not to mention, do they really want the bad publicity of continuing to ship “bad units” after already having admitted knowing about the issue?

              So hopefully, we find that the bulk of this second batch consists of the updated lenses.

            • Adam Brown

              Okay.. received my lens. 205235… So it’s a new “fixed” batch. (Though I get the honor of getting one of the first 200 “new lenses”).

              I won’t have a chance to really put it through its paces till tomorrow. But I did a couple test shots with VR on and off. I’m shooting with the D750, and there are mixed reports on whether the VR issue ever affected the D750.
              I did a bunch of VR on/VR off around 1/125 and 1/160. The good news — Images are definitely better with VR on, than off.

              The bad news — the 1/125-1/160 range still seems to be a weaker spot for the VR system. At 1/200, all my test images with VR on were tack sharp. At 1/80, I still got a bunch of tack sharp images. But at 1/125-1/160 I am getting very slight vibration. Still better than when VR is entirely off, so I am getting benefit. I’ll do more testing. But it looks like I’d still want to avoid the 1/125-1/160 range.

            • Thom Hogan

              I’ve received one email from someone who got a non-fixed one today. However, given the way some dealers will take back a product and then quietly put it back for sale, I can’t say for sure whether that’s an indication that there were non-fixed lenses shipped by NikonUSA in the second batch.

              Frankly, a smart dealer would be on top of this and if they received a non-fixed version they’d immediately ask to return it for a fixed one.

            • Adam Brown

              Then have heard of at least 2 examples of non-fixed, and at least 2 examples of fixed.

              Truthfully, with what I’m seeing, I’m going to avoid the 1/100-1/160 range, even though it’s theoretically fixed. I’m definitely getting a tiny bit of shake-blur pretty consistently in that range.. nothing like having the VR off.

          • ITN

            I agree that after the problem was detected, they should not have shipped any more lenses until fixed. But the lenses did continue to trickle in at dealers even just until a week before the issue of the firmware update. One reason that may explain why lenses without the firmware fix were arriving at dealers so late is the possibility they were shipped by sea instead of air. I know that sometimes service parts can take over a month to arrive at local Nikon service centers simply because they put them on ships rather than airplanes. In addition to the intercontinental transport, there may be regional transport that takes a while as again it’s not by air.

  • animalsbybarry

    Once agian Nikon releases a new innovative and defective product.
    Buying a newly realeased Nikon product has become a rather high risk endeavor.

    • Paco Ignacio

      That’s why you have to wait 2 or 3 months before buying any new release on the market. Unless you don’t mind being their guinea pig.

      • fanboy fagz

        its not the relevancy of his comment. your comment pertains to buyer mindset. his is specific to nikons relentless pursuit of releasing defective products time and time again

        with being in a bad financial situation it would be in their best interest to build buyer confidence. their rep is tarnished in a lot of peoples minds.

        • Paco Ignacio

          I know.

          Nikon has had a terrible QC since 3 years ago and a hideous customer service since god knows when. Nobody knows when this is gonna change.

          Unfortunately the early buyers of new releases from Nikon are the ones affected. You have to wait 2 or 3 months to see what kind of issues will arise.

          • fanboy fagz

            “You have to wait 2 or 3 months to see what kind of issues will arise.”

            yes, I think many who were early buyers will now implement that as a rule now with nikon gear.

  • Michael_Foley

    Nikon listed this lens in stock as of last Friday, I called them and a representative told me the lens was in stock as of that point and would arrive in 3-5 business days. I ordered the lens, was charged for it and since then my order has been perpetually sitting in the “processing” phase when I check the order status. I really hope they send me the lens…

  • Adam Brown

    It was available “in stock” on the Nikon USA website last week… back out of stock now. I pre-ordered mine about a week ago, and I think it was shipped out today. Saw a couple retailers had it briefly in stock yesterday. So it seems a “batch” made it out but sold pretty quickly. Now I wonder whether demand is really outpacing production, or is it a matter of a backlog of lenses having the VR fix applied.

  • RJ

    I already own this lens for a while. Did not notice any issues, but had it upgraded by Nikon anyway. Amazing light, fast sharp lens.

  • decisivemoment

    Nikon failing to provide prepaid repair shipping for first-batch customers on this lens — incredible stupidity.

    There’s really a basic recipe for Nikon at least in the US:

    1) Make sure all your phone support people are competent and courteous and understand basic instructions and photographic concepts. I’ve noticed huge variation in this regard, with the worst cases being subnormal to the point of having to speak slowly and repeat everything. I’ve had calls on comparable issues take anywhere from seven to eight minutes for the best reps to over 30 for the worst.

    2) Bring back some after-hours support. Going from M-F to 16 hours a day, seven day a week support a few years back was great — chopping it back again last year was dumb, dumb, dumb. At least 9-5 on Saturday and Sunday . . . and back to 8-midnight every day when conditions permit.

    3) Empower your authorized providers. Let them do more warranty work, set them up to service more different products. That way you build a service network with minimal corporate investment.

    4) Above all, get the repairs done right the first time. The majority of the time I have to send back a second or third time. That’s wasting your money and my time, Nikon.

    5) In obvious recall situations, the shipping payment policy in the US is hostile to customers, and taken by people as being rather insulting. Probably, the policy should be changed entirely. In particular, why should someone taking the chance on early-production product then have to be without that product due to an entirely avoidable fault and on top of that, have to pay shipping for the privilege?

    • gpelpel

      Nikon paid for mine. They emailed me a label within 24 hours. I even didn’t have to ask.

    • PhotoJoe55

      I think they didn’t want it to seem like they were at fault …again, but once it was obvious, they had no choice. I hate to say it, but these little blunders seem to be adding up (lately) at Nikon.

    • ITN

      The problem is that a lot of service requests by users, similar to doctor’s visits are just the owner’s paranoia and imagination of the worst. There has to be a minimum threshold of trouble/cost that the user has to pay in order to get service to reduce the number of items that are perfectly fine yet are sent to warranty service. Now, in the case of the fw upgrade of a known fault, it would have been a good idea to offer free shipping but again there is a practical problem with that: they would likely be sent all in at once thus delaying all other service operations. By having the user responsible of getting the lens to service, in practice what happens is those who have experienced the problem will send it in first, while others may in many cases just not bother to send it in until there is another reason. Thus the rush at the service is alleviated. If Nikon promises all-inclusive free shipping for any warranty service, they will probably get a huge number of products which are not in need of service shipped in just because the user thinks there might be a problem and what they really need is reassurances that it’s fine.

      Sometimes what people ask for is just a practical impossibility rather than manufacturer arrogance.

  • tjholowaychuk

    You’d think they would learn the first few times, this has to cost a lot of money to recover from each time, let alone pissed off customers.

  • Jlx

    Arrogancy has no cure…

  • Nikos Skartsilas

    They have adapted a narcissistic behavior.

  • ITN

    There was no “silent recall.” The lens was manufactured and supplied to dealers at a slower rate than initial demand, which is common for popular products. There is a firmware update to fix the VR issue, but it is not “silent” since there was an announcement of it. Lenses delivered to dealers just before the annoucement were still without the firmware update which suggests the manufacturing was not ceased due to the VR issue.

  • nukunukoo

    They should recall their premium stainless-steel hotshoe cover as mine gets easily scratched. I asked if they will offer either a replacement or firmware update but I have gotten no response. My Nikon selfie stick is also acting up as I get oil spots which I believe should be replaced.

  • Mistral75

    Read on Chassimages (transation from French is mine):

    Latest news: all 300/4 VR sent to Nikon Australia customer service have systematically received a new PCB to replace the original one.

    http://www.chassimages.com/forum/index.php/topic,231968.msg5342501.html#msg5342501

    After my first test of the 300/4 VR in February, I made my comments to the head of customer service at Nikon Australia. He replied that there had been no negative feedbacks on this lens, so no need to do anything yet.

    Two weeks ago, the same lens was dropped off at the customer service with a camera for a micro-adjustment. And yesterday when retrieving the lens, I was informed that the lens’s PCB had been replaced under warranty. This, systematically with all 300/4 VR sent to customer service.

    Apparently, the problems are real and have been corrected by Nikon, hence the new PCB.

    http://www.chassimages.com/forum/index.php/topic,231968.msg5342922.html#msg5342922

    4mpix, the author of these posts, is totally reliable (and a very talented photographer).

  • ZoetMB

    I think what it comes down to is arrogance. My bet is that the executives at Nikon completely resent comments on the internet and largely choose to ignore them. Because of all the hyperbole on the web and the need of many to turn molehills into mountains, I don’t blame them to a certain extent. But I do blame them because it seems that they really don’t care about their customers anymore. Denying parts to third party repair shops at the same time that Nikon is either closing their own or supplying lousy repair support is proof of that even if they weren’t producing new products with defects. (Luckily I have found a NYC repair shop that does seem able to get parts. Hopefully they’re not used parts.)

    Apple is also arrogant at times. Apple makes mistakes because they’re so paranoid about secrecy, they don’t do enough testing before they release a new product. However in their case, most problems can be fixed via software updates. That’s not the case with Nikon, but I’ve come to believe that they don’t do enough field testing either.

    Personally, I no longer buy any product when first released (and I also don’t download software updates when they’re first released, except for iOS applications, which I have loading automatically). If Nikon trains enough people to adopt this practice because of their record of issues, it might not affect overall revenues (although some people will eventually give up and switch brands), but it will affect cash flow. And it will be harder to obtain the fixed versions as old serial numbers sit in inventory because people have waited.

    It’s one thing when it’s a $300 lens (although still aggravating) and it’s quite another when it’s a $2000 lens or a $2500 body. It engenders a tremendous amount of resentment. Denon screwed me on a high-end product something like 20 years ago and I’ve never forgiven them and won’t buy their products.

    These issues also affect Nikon as a brand. People want to feel good about the products they buy, especially expensive ones. They want to feel that the company they purchase products from is operating at the top of their game. Nikon is slowly destroying its reputation, IMO. I’ve been using Nikon since the 1970s (with a break for Olympus for a time), but even I have thought about switching brands and might to do so at some point. While there are still negatives in their line, a future model of a Sony A7 is definitely a possibility.

    • Andrew

      I agree with a lot of what you said. But I really cannot see an alternative to Nikon. Not Canon because they have had their problems; not Sony because they too have had their problems. If you buy a D610, D750, Df, D810, or D4s, these are quality products. Even the D7200 which is being field tested will eventually be a solid product.

      I think the way a company handles a problem determines to a large extent how consumers view them. If as you said correctly people perceive that a new product launch might come with early manufacturing issues, I would agree that they might delay their purchase. But that is not the same as a company that makes inferior products or a consumer that gets burnt by a company because they are not standing behind their product. Nikon’s apologies should be taken as that. I would not fault anyone that apologizes. But more importantly, actions speak louder than words. And the fact that they are now taking quicker actions in addressing issues is something I would applaud.

      Now as far as their policies towards third party repair places are concerned, that is their decision, I would not fault them on that. I personally do not use such things to evaluate a company. At some point, we cannot have everything our way. And yes, some may criticize Nikon on certain issues, but that is to be expected. Nikon is such a large camera company, it is expected that they will always get some criticism. I have seen Sony take a lot of criticism over the years, but it really does not matter, they are still creating excellent engineering products.

      With regards to your point about consumer behavior, I have decided to buy the Nikon P900 83x (2000mm) optical super-zoom camera. It is back-ordered practically everywhere. But I have decided to wait a couple of months not wanting to be an early adopter since it is not a minor adaptation of a previous model. I will eventually buy it knowing that I will have another 30 days in case there is a problem. So though I like Nikon products and I highly regard the brand, when it comes to making the purchase, I too act like any consumer out there. And this Nikon camera will replace my Panasonic 60x super-zoom camera.

      Though you have had a bad experience with Denon (I am an avid Yamaha fan), I am certain that they have changed quite a bit in the last 20 years. I believe in forgiving people. And I am quick in making friends with people, even those who insult me in this blog 😉

  • D800

    I would be interested if anybody on the list has sent a faulty 300E PF to Nikon Service and whether the VR problems have been solved afterwards… My lens still has significant problems when using a shutter speed of 1/125 and VR ON in combination with my D800… thnx!

  • gpelpel

    I have an earlier unit (second batch, serial 203xxx). Called Nikon Repair line on Monday of last week, had a shipping label emailed to me the following day and shipped the lens the same day. The lens was delivered to Nikon Los Angeles Center on Thursday, Nikon shipped it back this Wednesday, and I received the lens less than an hour ago. So the lens was out of my hands for a total of 8 working days . Not bad… thanks Nikon!
    I am not of those who thinks all products must be perfect when they ship although I expect the manufacturer provides the fixes on a timely manner, and handles the ordeal in acknowledging its responsibilities. I am glad Nikon did so with aplomb!
    I briefly tested the lens VR at 1/100s with a TC-20eiii and without. In both cases the VR shots are excellent while the non VR shots are fuzzy especially at 600mm.

  • D810-D5200_user

    Any more news on this lens? Delays are pretty bad now.

    • no, have not seen it in stock for a while

      • D810-D5200_user

        Looks like it will take forever, to resolve the VR issues with the D8x0 family… (hopefully not)

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