Weekly Nikon news flash #438

→ The latest deals on refurbished Nikon cameras (check also AmazonB&HAdoramaeBayCameta CameraBuyDig):

→ First real pictures of the Really Right Stuff plates for the Nikon D850 DSLR camera.

→ Nikon MB-D18 battery grip for the D850 is listed to start shipping in 2-4 weeks on Amazon.

Nikon released firmware update version 1.5 for the Coolpix W100 camera.

→ Tamron SP 24-70mm f/2.8 Di VC USD G2 lens for Nikon F-mount is back in stock.

Nikon Company Profile 2017 has been published.

Nikon to focus on smartphone users to capture DSLR market.

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  • $400 for a box to hold some batteries. That’s got to be some rare and exotic plastic.

    • JXVo

      It has to be made from unobtanium or it doesn’t work…didn’t you know?

    • Aldo

      Well.. a little less insulting than the d800 grip when it came out at 500 dollars!

      • fanboy fagz

        ill wait for the aftermarket grips that will sell at 1/4 the price.

    • Andrew

      They could have priced the D850 higher and offered that “battery box” at a lower price. But at some point, these companies have to make money. Think about printers, they are practically given away for free and they make their money in the back-end on the ink. So, as long as the price of the D850 is kept low, I’m happy.

      • Those ink cartridges are indispensible and much more purchased commodity. At least compared to the grips. So customer spends too much more if he wants to buy original every time. That’s why one goes 3rd party inks as they save more than enough to buy another printer if something goes wrong. If companies understand this mindset, then they would keep cartridge prices reasonable to earn much more. Adobe did it. See how much they are earning. Of course about D8500 prices, I agree.

        • Andrew

          “Epson’s revolutionary DURABrite Ultra Ink produces smudge, fade and water resistant prints that look brilliant on both plain and glossy photo paper.” Good luck with that 3rd party ink 😉

          • Are those specialized inks for photo printers or regular inks?

            • Andrew

              These are indeed specialized inks for both photo printers and medium cost home-business and corporate printers. Epson WF-R4640 EcoTank printer takes the DURABrite pigment-based ink. It prints Blank/Color at 20/10 pages per minute. It’s ink cost less than traditional 3rd party ink because of a revolutionary design with extremely large ink cartridges.

              Here is the nice part, though the initial investment will set you back at $1,199, it comes with enough free ink for 20,000 color pages. That is 0.06 per page. The ink literally pays for the printer.

              The WF-R4640 Printer: https://www.bestbuy.com/site/epson-workforce-pro-wf-r4640-ecotank-wireless-all-in-one-printer-black/4212801.p?skuId=4212801

              I saw an interesting PDF on Epson’s Official Support site on the DURABrite pigment-based ink including description and specifications such as water-resistant, fade-resistant, plain-paper printing, etc.: https://files.support.epson.com/pdf/sc88__/sc88__du.pdf

      • Thom Hogan

        At some point, these companies have to have customers ;~).

        Charging US$929 to get 2 fps increase with a buffer decrease seems like somebody at Nikon has no idea what a customer is and how to treat them.

        • Andrew

          Look at Apple, charging $1,000 for a smartphone, its called draining the swamp. If you look at Nikon’s overall pricing, it is quite reasonable and competitive. Now, how about Canon, their product strategy nickel and dime their customers by distributing features in an incoherent fashion among their different camera models.

          I remember Nikon selling professional flagship cameras at around $5,000 and now Nikon’s customers are getting the caliber of a D850 flagship quality camera at only $3,299. Look at companies like Mercedes Benz and BMW, that beautiful car they are selling at $36,500 can easily rise up close to $50,000 with options. Maybe the issue is that we do not understand the cost of running these businesses and how competition impacts a company’s pricing strategy.

          I would say that Nikon does know how to treat their customers, but you cannot please 100% of the people 100% of the time. That amount Nikon is charging for their battery grip is because a lot of their revenue on accessories have been undercut by generic brands. Thank you China, thank you!

          • Thom Hogan

            Look at that. The Nikon #1 Fan calling out Canon for doing the same thing Nikon does. D7500? Have two slots? Nope. Buy a D500. Nikon moves the features across products just as carefully as Canon in order to create artificial product points. It’s Japanese CES 101.

            The problem I have is your logic is never logical. First, you start with a non-sequitur response. Then you obfuscate with something about another company doing something (that Nikon absolutely does). Then you go onto another non-sequitor.

            Then you really never totally respond to my point. You sort of try to—Nikon is being undercut by generics—but fail to realize that the ONLY way that a product can truly be undercut by generics is if you overprice and under feature your accessories in the first place and don’t innovate. The same thing Nikon charges US$929 for runs less than US$100 generically. So you’re basically saying that a Nikon logo is worth US$829. Not a chance in the world. Not a defensible position.

            • Andrew

              Thom, you are never sure of yourself, are you? You try to label people so as to mask your weak arguments. You consider me the #1 Nikon Fan because in truth you are the #1 self-serving Nikon skeptic profiting from your views and you resent the fact that I do not let your actions slip under the rug unchallenged. You are typical of journalists who profit from criticizing others (in your case Nikon) in order to get a following. Way to profit! At the same time you act like politicians who attack their opponents personally in order to win a debate in which they/you are not persuasive. Tactics like call an opponent a communist or socialist to discredit them while they underhandedly support big businesses in outsourcing jobs overseas. Typical!

              How often have we heard statements about Nikon’s poor management from you in order to elevate yourself as the guy that understands management and more importantly, all things Nikon? You pride yourself as having all of the answers while having no tolerance for dissent.

              Now let me respond to your statement that I “fail to realize that the ONLY way that a product can truly be undercut by generics is if you overprice and under feature your accessories in the first place and don’t innovate.” This is absolute bogus! Yes Thom, you got all worked up in responding to me, calling me names and them make a statement that makes no business sense! You FAIL to understand how business works. Let me address your “ONLY” way below.

              Some products are functional and don’t require much innovation like battery grips. But the pricing (which you call “over-priced”) will depend on the company’s cost of production and related costs. In marketing there is the concept of a “loss leader” pricing strategy where companies sell a product at a loss in order to get customers. There is also the concept of dumping which is a big issue in international trade where products are under-priced weaken the competition. And also you have the issue of Chinese “sweatshops” where manual workers work for long hours under very poor working conditions at extremely low wages. If you want, Nikon can innovate by simply incorporating sensors that prevents certain unauthorized generic accessories from working with their products where the camera simply shuts down! The fact is that Nikon is an innovative company that does not need to resort to such draconian measures.

              But I feel that I am wasting my time replying to you seeing that you are willing to take the unethical stance of labeling me with terms like #1 Nikon Fan, Nikon Employee, or other such demeaning words for your self-serving purpose. You really are not a nice guy, are you?

            • Thom Hogan

              Touched a nerve with you finally, did I? ;~)

              You’ve been defending Nikon forever on this site, mostly with nonsense. You are a master of non-sequitur responses, including this one. You seem to not understand what is happening in the camera business (which makes me again wonder if you work for Nikon ;~).

              I take strong positions and defend them. So let me defend the statement I made you (incorrectly) said is bogus.

              When a company makes products that are so easily undercut—e.g. a US$929 option to get 2 fps—they are going to be undercut. Rapidly. By multiple companies. By Nikon’s own suppliers in some cases. It doesn’t help any that the product in question wasn’t available to almost anyone in the first month of the camera availability. That’s a logistical mistake by Nikon—one that they keep repeating with accessories—that will cost Nikon even more sales of that grip, as it gives the other companies more time to engineer their own solution.

              Nikon’s problem is that they are contracting. Mistakes like overpricing and not delivering in a timely manner will just continue that trend for them. Couple that with missing products, lukewarm updates, bad customer support that’s getting worse, and more, and Nikon is just making things worse for themselves.

            • El Aura

              The non-availability of grips from Nikon at the launch of the camera looks like sequential engineering (inc. testing, production setup, etc.). They put ‘all’ resources behind the camera being launched with people only being ‘allowed’ to work on the grip after they’ve done their job on the camera itself. Even if this is not explicitly decided and communicated, it seems to what’s happening effectively.

            • Tony Beach

              You think being the #1 Nikon Fan or a Nikon Employee would be demeaning? Sounds to me like you are repudiating Nikon fans and employees.

              As for that extra 2 fps for the D850, that’s just plain price-gouging by Nikon, which strikes me as a bit odd considering the price of the D850 itself seems rather reasonable here in the United States.

    • Just don’t buy it if you can’t afford it or if you feel the price is unjustified.
      And you can wait for knock offs.

      • It wasn’t a complaint, just an observation. When something as simple as a battery grip is 12% the cost of the camera itself, it’s kind of a head scratcher. The knock-offs seem fine, but I always prefer to just suck it up and buy the Nikon product.

    • saywhatuwill

      Hey now, there are little buttons and wheels on it so if you hold your camera a certain way you can spin the wheel and click the button. That has to count for something too.

  • Randolf Sack

    I’m sure there will be more economical options in time. As for $180 for an L Plate, I’m curious what one made out of aluminium instead of 24K gold would cost?

    • Wildness

      Well made custom L-Plates usually cost around $120-$145. This one seems to have a cool sliding feature. For that to be well made, I’d pay $180 to mount my $3300 camera on my $700 tripod.

      • Proto

        … with your $9000 telephoto, driving in $80,000 wilderness landrover : )

        • Wildness

          Those I do not have. I was making the point that you do not skimp on the cameras support accessories.

          • TurtleCat

            They’re just waiting for someone to copy the design and sell it for $35 on Amazon. All those clone makers don’t have to spend any money actually coming up with ideas. They just profit on it with sometimes questionable quality. I tend to reward the people who actually come up with the ideas rather than the people who ride the coattails.

            • PhilK

              And it’s pretty impressive that they can start selling such accessories within a couple of weeks of the first samples of the designed-for camera reaching purchaser’s hands.

              I am also not in the camp that thinks that a power grip is just a “plastic box that holds batteries” as if you could make this in your garage for $5.

              There are all sorts of details that go into producing such things, including a significant amount of electronics as well as environmental testing and electrical and other sorts of certifications obtained from various regulatory agencies all over the world. Non-trivial.

              Of course the cheapo knockoff grips don’t bother with those latter ‘details’.

            • MB

              Clone makers have to spend a bit to buy at least one original RRS L plate to be able to copy it , and they are becoming really good at it …
              It seems to me they actually the only people, or at least the wast majority, who actually buys the original these days 🙂

            • TurtleCat

              Perhaps but once the people coming up with the real solutions go out of business what will the cloners do then?

            • MB

              I too have that dilemma sometimes … so I go and buy the original out of the pure wish to support people that r4eally design the stuff …
              But sometimes the price difference is just … well … too much … and frankly some clones are incredibly good and for 1/10 the price … so even if they wear out after a couple of years I could always buy 5 of them for half the price of the original … and the question is would I even need it after 10 or so years …
              Hopefully they will come up with their original design by then … it should not be that difficult to shape a peace of aluminum …

            • Price their products reasonably so that people wouldn’t be tempted to buy the duplicates?
              But really, no one wants to buy knock offs as a first choice. And I think the higher pricing of originals is also contributed by the high making costs in america.
              P.S. Oops you were talking about cloners. That situation wouldn’t arise as yesterdays cloners become tomorrow’s reputed company. And there is always somebody to take their place as copycats.

            • TurtleCat

              How are we determining what is reasonable? What’s reasonable to you might not be to me or someone else. That’s the problem with the concept of too high or low. It ends up being a race to the bottom where quality goes out the window for the sake of price.

      • Randolf Sack

        All secured with a 20c screw… just because something is used on really expensive camera gear doesn’t justify rediculous prices. I have the RRS D800 L plate and I have a Chinese collar/lens plate for the 300f4, quality wise I can’t tell the difference, the $15 plate is least 10x as good as the crap Nikon supply – my Nikon 70-200f2.8 plate is a joke. I ordered a generic Chinese L plate as an interim until something specific comes into the market for the D850 at a good price.

        • Wildness

          I refuse to support the Chinese knockoffs relying on the R&D of American companies. You should too.

          • Randolf Sack

            RRS just uses the Arca-Swiss quick release, it’s hardly their own brilliant engineering. I’m more than willing to support great innovation, I have a lot of RRS gear – a great macro slider setup etc, but paying a 300-400% premium is over the top.

            • Wildness

              If that is all you think that goes into custom camera plates, then by all means go with the Chinese knockoffs. Because it is companies like RRS and Kirk Photo that are doing the engineering that ensures the plates fit properly and snuggly on your camera.

      • RRS is designing a $140 ‘ultralight’ version without fancy features – seems the cost is pretty normal for RRS.


    • Allen_Wentz

      Over decades I have had lots of tripod/monopod attachments. A few years back I evolved to all RRS plates and heads. The only regret I have is not having done it much sooner.

      RRS is worth every penny, and anyone dissing their products over cost is simply ignorant, or perhaps has all day to screw around to get the pic, no worries about changing light or moving subjects. When I buy a new camera body I order an RRS L-plate the same day I order the body.

      Just my 0.02.

  • PhilK

    Replacement parts are always priced at a high margin due to the cost of maintaining a parts inventory and fulfillment system. If you had to build a D850 from component parts purchased from Nikon it would probably cost $12,000. 😉

  • It’s that “phew” that makes us indignant!

  • Thom Hogan

    Technically, they have to inventory parts for seven years after discontinuation of production. So that the parts are available indicates that Toyota felt that building and inventorying parts for so long was worth it. And yes, there’s a cost of business to do that.

    • Yes, Toyota is pretty amazing when it comes to inventorying old parts. A friend has a 1989 pick-up and still gets parts through his local dealer.

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