Weekly Nikon news flash #358

Nikon Nikkor 6mm f:2.8 fisheye lens
→ Nikon 6mm f/2.8 fisheye lens listed on eBay for $55k.

Nikon F5 cut in half
→ Engadget interview with Nikon (Google translation) at the CP+ show: "We will introduce more amazing products".

Nikon D5 at the Formula One test run.

→ The latest Nikon deals:

Nikon will reduce the printed documentation provided with new products.

Nikon SnapBridge logo
→ Nikon filed a trademark for a new logo - most likely for the new SnapBridge photo transfer software.

Nikon the most shorted stock in Japan
→ Another report from Bloomberg on Nikon being the most shorted stock in Japan (previous report was from November 2015).

→ Joe McNally's "Garage Guys" video (Nikon D810).

Commlite ENF-E(1) Nikon F to Sony E electronic adapter test video (on a Sony A6300 camera). More test videos are available here.

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  • Spy Black

    Free F2 body as lens cap for the 6mm…

    • T.I.M

      Mounted on a DX camera you get a nice 9mm, so, any D500 owner ready to spend $55.000 for the nice manual focusing lens ?

      • Captain Megaton

        I was thinking of converting it to a ceiling light for the dining room.

        • T.I.M

          Good idea, the aperture ring will help to dim the light.

      • FountainHead

        As a proud soccer mom, I’m excited about getting my own feet in a picture with my kids playing. My D3100 will never be the same!

        • Spy Black

          Feet only available on full frame models…

  • whisky

    i still like my manuals printed on renewable (forest) resources which provide important jobs for silviculture … but that’s just me.

    • T.I.M

      I have all my cameras/lenses manuals downloaded on a Nook tablet, it’s easier to carry a tablet than 30 printed manuals !
      The tablet is also useful to show pictures samples to my customers.

    • ZoetMB

      Very few people actually read the documentation. On documentation that I used to write for software, the cover used to read, “WHEN ALL ELSE FAILS, READ THE INSTRUCTIONS”.

      And if one does read the documentation, Nikon’s manuals have never been very well written anyway. Although Thom doesn’t sell his guides in printed form anymore either, Nikon’s decision should make him happy as it might cause more people to buy from him.

  • Hogarth Ferguson

    Call me when the introduce a Full Frame digital Nikon S3/Sp

    • ZoetMB

      Oh, please. This business of wanting modern digital cameras to look like cameras designed 60 years ago for film and that disappeared when the superior Nikon F was introduced is ridiculous. Aside from many other issues, you wind up with bastardization of the controls that don’t make any sense – where electronic adjustment of the controls doesn’t match their physical positions. You might as well ask for a Full Frame digital that looks like a TLR Rollei. And to believe that you don’t need any controls aside from ISO, speed and aperture in a digital camera is absurd.

      Nikon discontinued the SP in mid-1964 and the S3 in early 1965. If that’s what you love, that’s fine, but they’re film cameras. Shoot film with them.

      • T.I.M

        I understand his point, I have a friend who is married to a now 63 years old woman, I asked me if by using photoshop I could make her look like she was 20 years old.

        • ZoetMB

          I shoot a lot of music gigs. At a particular club that was closing, the hostess asked me if I could take some headshots of her because she obviously had to find a new job and she thought that she might get some modeling work for “women of a certain age”.

          I explained that the lighting conditions in the club did not lend themselves to doing headshots, which were generally done in a studio, but she insisted I shoot, so I did, but my direct flash made her look much, much worse (I couldn’t bounce because the ceilings were so high and I didn’t have reflectors or dissolvers with me).

          So I Photoshopped the hell out of it and she did look great. She said to me, “that’s what I really look like, right?”

          “Yes…of course you do…in fact, the photos aren’t even that great because of the conditions – you look much better that that”

      • Lee

        I mean, you’re right about all of this, but people seem to really like the Df and if releasing such a camera and overpricing it that much (or “being Leica” as I call it) helps Nikon pay the R&D bills for its real products…

        • ZoetMB

          I don’t think we really know if the Df has been successful or not. The D4>D4s>D5 progression was two years each. The D800>D810 was two years. The D600>D610 was one year and the D610>D750 was two years. I think that if the Df had been successful for Nikon, we would have seen another model in 2015, but we didn’t. And it certainly wasn’t critically successful – were there any really positive pro reviews from reputable sources?

          On the other hand, the special edition of the 50mm that was designed to go aesthetically with the Df has frequently been out of stock (although it’s in stock now), but I don’t know whether that means that the Df is selling well or whether it was selling so little that they didn’t prioritize another manufacturing run on the lens. Maybe someone has some secret data on Df sales or can tell something by the serial numbers.

          If we see a replacement this year, then I would assume it was at least moderately successful. If we don’t, I would assume that it wasn’t, even though it could theoretically also mean that the current model sells so well that Nikon didn’t think they needed to replace it.

          Besides, even if it does sell well, it could mean that consumers like the idea of it more than the actual implementation. Even back in the day, there were people who bought Nikon rangefinders and later the Nikon F and barely used them. Every once in a while you see these come up for auction in the original box and they look brand new.

          I also miss the days when one had to set just ASA (ISO), aperture, speed and focused and if you only shot with normal and wide angle lenses, the systems could be physically quite small and easy to carry around (like the Olympus OM1). But do I ever take out my F3 and shoot with it? Very, very rarely – only once every few years.

          • jake337

            Just an opinion but I think the Df may be on a longer refresh cycle than the standard models. I could see then releasing a new model after each new a flagship model. D4-Df-D4s-D5-Df2-D5s. But since nothing has come to light and the rumors of a Df like body in 2017 I am probably wrong.

            • EnPassant

              I think you are right on the money and not wrong at all. As Df was released in 2013 a Df2 in 2017 would put it on the same four year schedule as Nikon’s FX flagship models.

          • Justtakethepicture

            There has been talk of a new Df model in their anniversary year. I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s true.

          • EnPassant

            The thing with Nikon Df is not only the retro controls but also the use of the same sensor as in D4. As the top pro camera is on a four year schedule with an interim model after two years it is safe to beleive Df is on the same schedule. But because of its niche nature an update à la D4s would not be economical. Still, with the price of the camera compared to the D600 Nikon propably made a good profit even if sales were not that high. At least enough to make a Df2 in 2017 right on schedule.

            A Df2 this year using the sensor in D5 make no sense as the D5 just has been announced. The Df camera can also be seen as a way for Nikon to make the D4 sensor production more economical by using the sensor for more than one camera.

      • There is a reason that the Fuji x100 is on its third generation and the Nikon A is being dumped, and it’s not the x-trans sensor. People like classic design.

        • nwcs

          Yes, for the older crowd for sure. I grew up with a Minolta X570 and a Kodak Disc camera so the nouveau-retro styling reminds me of those days and I like it. Thing is, the crowd that really likes that design style is getting older and younger people don’t care about it. So it’s a very temporary phenomenon.

          • JJ168

            I consider myself young and i do like the df and classic design cameras 🙂

          • Max

            Young people do like it. Everybody likes the styling of the Fujis. And knobs and dials for everything are still functional and practical.

            • nwcs

              Liking is one thing, buying is different. Judging from Fuji’s sales and market share people are doing more the former than latter.

        • PhilK

          It’s not that everyone just “likes old stuff”. What a lot of other people fail to see or admit is that there is often a REASON why camera designs after ~100 years or so of evolution eventually settled on certain common and practical control designs that WORK.

          When I’m out shooting I want to be able to quickly spin a knob to set a commonly-used setting, not diddle with 3-4 layers of menus every time. This is one of the reasons I tend to prefer Nikon to Canon. Canon digital cameras historically required more menu diddling, with cryptic menu names that didn’t make sense to me.

          When digital control systems started to become commonplace in audio equipment, a lot of companies got this idea in their head that “knobs are old fashioned” and switched to buttons for everything. That didn’t last long as customers started to complain that those “old fashioned” knobs are actually quicker to use, particularly for frequently-used settings like volume. So they put the knobs back, and just connected them internally to digital controls. Best of both worlds.

      • Hogarth Ferguson

        Ok, my apologies, call me when they make a modern full frame, with a viewfinder mirrorless camera, it does not have to be a specific s3/sp.

        Granted, I’ve used and loved the DF mure more than I have ever enjoyed using the other offerings from nikon in the full frame department. And I absolutely hate using my PS from them, or the J4 that I have. I want a full frame x100 or full frame xpro type camera. Not some aps-c camera.

  • T.I.M

    The 50mm AF-s 50mm f/1.8 is a great lens, the autofocus is much faster than the AF-s f/1.4 version.

    • TO-DOUG

      Good to hear that. I have just bought one new, with a five-year warranty, at $50 of the regular price.

    • nwcs

      A bit faster in my experience (yes, I owned both) but it is a good lens for the value. The AF-D version may be an even better value. Still my next ~50 will probably be the new 58 1.4.

      • T.I.M

        I also had the AF-s f/1.4G, the f/1.8G version is about 40% faster compared to the f/1.4G.
        The AF-D is also nice but you get more accurate focusing with the silent waves motors.
        The 58mm f/1.4 is fantastic, very different compared to the 50mm.
        Here is a sample with the 58mm f/1.4

        • nwcs

          Usually people say that the screwdrive AF is more accurate. I’ve had the AF-D as well and personally I found them comparable. But accurate AF is as much about proper AF placement and conditions as it is about the technology.

          • T.I.M

            I had all the 50mm AF versions, they are nice but I sold mine to get the AF-s f/1.8 on my F6.
            The F6 shutter’s noise is already creamy, but now with the AF-S motor I can ear the sound of silence….

        • Zoot

          Ah… The 1999 is reputedly a very fine vintage, although some believe that the 1998 has the edge.

          1999 Chateauneuf du Pape, Nikon 58f/1.4… I take it that you didn’t invest heavily in Enron?

          • Plug

            It may be past its best by now, it needs drinking. Yes, ’98 was a spectacular year.

  • usa

    Read the Mark Sutton “interview” on D5. I’m frustrated at how little critical analysis is out there on D5 or D500.

    • Thom Hogan

      To my knowledge, the cameras haven’t yet been in the hands of critics ;~). There are only two ways to actually shoot with one at the moment that I know of: (1) be part of Nikon’s marketing efforts; or (2) do so under strict NDA.

      Personally, I think that Nikon’s getting this somewhat wrong. You want to build interest to actual shipment. What’s happening instead is we got a big bang, then next to nothing afterwards. I think someone judged things wrong at Nikon product marketing. The dealer shows were likely there to try to drum up sales for the launch, but the launch was already oversubscribed for the D500.

      The marketing problem at the moment is this: there’s no performance expectation based in fact yet on the D500. The performance expectation being driven for the D5 is sky high. That leaves the potential for people being disappointed with a D500, even if it’s better than the D7200 in image quality.

      Opinion tends to flow in sine waves. Early on it’s higher than it should be, later it goes lower than it should. If you hype something too much early on and leave a vacuum behind that, you’re risking a very low point on the sine wave when the product actually is in users hands.

      Remember, noise is noise. You can’t avoid it with a perfect sensor, because quantum shot noise will become the noise factor you see. But casual customers don’t always understand that. Thus, if they hear the hype about ISO 1m and then go out and shoot and get noise, they’ll be disappointed ;~).

      • nwcs

        Is this the performance we should expect from Nikon’s new PR/Advertising agency?

        • Thom Hogan

          AFAIK, they aren’t on tap until the first of April.

          • nwcs

            Hopefully they were selected because they’ll execute better and not selected based on a lower bid.

      • Eric Calabros

        Casual customers buy D5? They don’t even go above ISO 3200, not because noise will be too much, but because there will be rare cases in their style of shooting that need to go above that. Heck we were talking with NR readers who ask whats the benefit at 12800 compared to D750?

        • silmasan

          Have you never seen mint D3’s/D4’s with four-digit SC for sale? Casual riches are plenty enough out there. When they’re at the store, they can be convinced to buy the shiniest shiz of the day. And then when the enthusiasm goes down, it will stay in their dry cabinet for weeks, months, and even years. Oh, but you probably have seen their posts on internet forums.

    • jimh

      Next door at Sony forums you’ll see similar frustration regarding the a6300. What we get are tedious 20 minute video “reviews” that are just guys walking the list of marketing bullet points and telling us yes, this feature is actually on the camera and it’s just super cool, a total game changer.

  • BPhoto

    The shorts aren’t always right!

    • Thom Hogan

      Quite true. And in Japan, they’re fighting an establishment that fights back.

    • ZoetMB

      I love it when they’re not. If you don’t like a company, sell the stock and buy something else. Shorting the stock is wanting the company to do badly, which basically means you want to get rich off the company failing and if you do it for enough companies, it means you really want the economy to fail, thereby ruining the lives of many people. And blind short-selling should be illegal. (But having said that, I really was rooting for the short sellers in the movie “The Big Short”).

      • BPhoto

        I disagree. Short selling is a healthy aspect of a free market economy. Saying it should be illegal is short-sighted. People sell short when they believe the price of the stock is going down. If short selling should be illegal then buying on margin should be as well. It does not indicate anyone wants the economy to decline or is attempting to ruin lives. From a contrarian standpoint a large short position can be quite bullish. If the stock moves north the short sellers will be scrambling to cover.

        • ZoetMB

          I didn’t say short selling should be illegal – I said blind short selling should be illegal.

  • ZoetMB

    Nikon talks about the future in their usual meaningless vague generalities. They sound like Donald Trump screaming that everything is going to be huge and great.

    • nwcs

      What politician says that hard times are coming and that austerity is required? Same with any company talking about its future. They won’t do it because it’s too hard to predict and people won’t come with pitchforks and torches when it doesn’t work out right.

      • ZoetMB

        That’s not the point. Nikon can be positive but they can also be more specific and provide a roadmap so that people can better plan purchases. Or they shouldn’t talk at all – Apple certainly doesn’t. Vague generalities just annoys their base, IMO. I used to work with executives like this – they’d “give good meeting” while actually saying absolutely nothing, but they never accomplished a damned thing and would always rationalize away producing something new or acquiring another company.

        I understand why Nikon doesn’t want to provide a roadmap – it signals to the competition what they’re doing (although I’m pretty sure that Nikon and Canon each have a pretty good understanding of what the other is doing and Sony knows what Nikon is doing because of the sensor deals) and it can cause consumers to defer purchases if they know a newer version is coming of a body or lens. But it also prevents pros from budgeting, etc. I think it hurts Nikon in the long run.

        (And for the record, my criticism of Trump is not that he’s positive (he’s actually quite negative – he claims the country is falling apart), it’s that there are absolutely no specifics about how he’s going to accomplish anything other than statements like, “we’re going to put our best people on that.”)

        • nwcs

          Personally I’d love it if Nikon would unveil a roadmap of some kind. Even if all it did was provide a generalized direction it would be helpful. I just don’t expect it. It goes against the culture and history of Nikon. But it does leave all the wonderful speculation opportunities, lol.

          As for the other, none of the candidates on both parties are anything but power hungry and self-centered. It’s a job pre-requisite. The people best able to lead would never run and if they did they’d be unelectable. I’ve read more of Tocqueville’s actual work lately (not just quotes) and it’s amazing the insight he had for where things would go. But it’s not just the US, it’s anywhere. The same story has been told many times in many countries.

          • ZoetMB

            In bringing up Trump, I really didn’t mean to start a political discussion – it was just an example of someone who speaks in vague generalities.

            We get the politicians we deserve. No one who is psychologically balanced would become a politician because the combination of an angry, dumbed-down electorate, the 24/7 news (as entertainment) cycle, the hostility between parties in Washington and people in Congress who refuse to compromise (even though the establishment of both a Senate and House was the “great compromise” that got this country started) has made it impossible to govern. And it’s not like the pay is great, although it is a ticket to success when one’s political career is over. Who in their right mind would want to be a politician when they can do so much better in industry? From the day one is elected, you have to spend most of your time raising money for the next election. And there’s gridlock in Congress, so nothing gets done.

            I could go on and on, but since this isn’t a political forum, I won’t. But in a society where most people don’t have a clue about the issues (37% of native-born Americans can’t pass the citizenship test given to immigrants; in 2011 almost half couldn’t name the VP), when we sometimes elect the better candidate (of the poor choices given), it’s really more by chance than because the electorate has logically analyzed the issues and the candidates’ positions on them. Most people vote on personality and their very limited knowledge of the issues, based largely on a headline or mantra, which is usually false anyway. If people really understood the issues, TV political advertising wouldn’t work.

            Surveys have shown that in general, Americans have far less knowledge of their country and issues than other people have of theirs. I really don’t understand how we got so dumb. It seems like the more schooling people receive, the less they know.

    • T.I.M

      And who is Donald Trump ?

      • Ben Bibikov

        Did you just crawl from under the rock?

        • Justtakethepicture

          Did you just totally miss the joke?

    • Patrick O’Connor

      I suppose you could argue their messages are generally similar but their delivery couldn’t be more different.
      The more I think about it, Nikon sounds a whole lot more like Ben Carson.
      T.I.M – Ben is the black guy. 😉

      • ZoetMB

        Nikon better not be Ben Carson. I don’t think it’s a good idea for a photography company to keep their eyes closed all the time and only work at slow speed.

        • Patrick O’Connor

          I was referring more to his low-key approach. Very Japanese!

      • ZZ

        Ehh, politics … it ain’t brain surgery …

        • Patrick O’Connor

          Not as currently performed anyway. There have been exceptions over the course of time, though.

  • jec6613

    The Coolpix A refurb deal you posted … it’s available cheaper, direct from Nikon: http://www.nikonusa.com/en/nikon-products/product/refurbished-compact-digital-cameras/a-refurbished.html

  • HotDuckZ

    More amazing products? Is they mean 2″ sensor mirrorless camera with leaf shutter and call it Nikon 2???

  • MacManX

    The Engadget link no longer works…

  • vousplaisentezouquoi

    Hey Amazon, EUR 49,990.00 are $55.75 ………

  • 247th

    I know the last photo is a really simple set up but … that D5, SB-5000, 24-70, 70-200 combo is beautiful still.

  • Zoot

    Not a lot of information in the D5 Formula One feature, but, keeping to the cars connection…

    The blonde at the end of Joe’s garage video… That was a mechanic, right?

  • MonkeySpanner

    Pretty exciting new products from Fuji and Panasonic, also Sony. Nikon – same old same old. Minor tweaks to existing platforms. I am sure the D5 and D500 are exciting to pro sports and wildlife photographers, but to the general public, even the general enthusiast, this is a snooze fest.

    • David Weinehall

      What exciting things are Fuji, Panasonic, and Sony bringing?

  • Ben Bibikov

    Honestly, what would one use the 6mm fish eye lens for, that merits a $55K price tag?

    • fiziks

      Putting it in your trophy case.

      Nikon made 527 of the Ai variant of the 6mm 2.8 (which they are selling on ebay). It is the most common (relatively speaking) of the 6mm lenses. I saw one at an estate auction in the late 1990s. It was in about the same condition. It was in a lot with some other much more common MF Nikon lenses and some Nikonos gear (which is why I was there… sadly, nothing I didn’t already have). The lot went for around $100, if I recall.

      If the lens on ebay were one of the 29 F models Nikon made from ’72-’77, then it might be worth that much.

    • nwcs

      I believe they were originally intended for industrial use.

  • Snuffles

    that 6mm 2.8 is the most obsolete lens ever.

    • mikeswitz

      I think that’s beside the point.

  • Jeffry De Meyer

    I would like to see that 6mm on a nikon 1 system

  • neversink

    So, the photo in the back of the garage of the racer with his helmet on….. No mention of what the ISO is. That’s a joke. Come on Nikon. Tell us what the ISO is.

    • Zoot

      Doesn’t it say “ISO 2800” under the picture?

      • neversink

        I missed that. Thanks….. My bad….
        2800, though, is not extreme ISO that Nikon is pushing. They are pushing ISOs in the millions. That is absurd.

        • neversink

          And to clarify… I’ll take a cleaner ISO at 2,800 and certainly 6400… I don’t expect much improvement above that. Above that I expect an increase in noise. Maybe my expectations will delightfully be proven wrong….

  • outkasted

    so do they elevate the suggested retail cost only to give a 10 percent discount to bring down the cost to what they had already knew what they planned to push as a suggested retail price.

  • Bradley Rose

    What is the concept camera with updated controls and new LED top screen at the Nikon museum: http://chinese.engadget.com/gallery/nikon-museum/#!slide=3809533

  • probably D4/D5 prototype

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