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The Nikon Shook Up.

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by camerapapi, Jul 24, 2008.

  1. It is not very often that I write or make comments about what is new with Nikon. I am not either a Canon vs Nikon kind of guy. I read some interesting observations by Mr. Reichman in his "Luminous Landscape" and I thought that perhaps they could be of interest to some of you.
    Mr. Reichman had a production D700 in his hands along with the 24-120 VR lens early this month. He emphasizes that he was not testing the D700.
    I did not know, although it was not a surprise to me, that Nikon in 2005 decided to shake up its Board of Directors. The shake up came to the "most conservative" members according to Mr. Reichman. I said it was not a surprise to me because I know very well what Nikon became when Mr. Ehrenreich was the CEO of the company here in the US in the late 60's and 70's although I am not sure if he was still there in the early 80's. We all remember that professional film cameras used to stay in the market for 5 years or more before they were replaced,
    To me, those were the Nikon golden years. There was a group of professionals working for Mr. Ehrenreich whose main job was to test equipment and report back personally to him. Then, with the acquired information and experience of these professionals in using the camera and lenses, he will fly to Japan to meet with top engineers there to work on modifying existing products to make them better for photographers. The majority of the time it was impossible to identify, except by overhauling camera or lens, what changes have been made.
    Service and advertisements were first class and his "Ehrenreich Optical Industries" set a standard for quality. Indeed, those were the golden years for Nikon.
    After his death, things changed dramatically. Advertisement was poor at best while customer service also suffered the impact under the new Administration. I remained loyal to Nikon but in more than one occasion I had to confront them and go to the highest executives to make sure that as a customer I was being heard. It was very frustrating indeed.
    Nikon users never understood, I was one of them, why Nikon took so long to challenge Canon with the full frame and noise. In the meantime, professionals were being lost to Canon especially sports and wedding photographers. In the amateur or entry arena, the Coolpix line was not demonstrating that they could do better than Canon Powershots. Another lost cause!
    Young engineers and designers were hired beginning in 2005, to improve quality and develop new products. Full frame became a priority.
    Then, as long expected, Nikon debut the D3 and D300 in 2007 turning the tide 360 degrees and most probably getting Canon by surprise. The announcement of the D700, although in my humble opinion premature, revealed to me that Nikon was planning to keep ahead before Canon release the successor of the popular D5.
    Now we have rumors of a possible D90 and a D3X. Indeed, digital is going a little faster than many of us wish. I do not know the impact that the D700 will have on the D3 but surely sales of the D300 should suffer although I perfectly understand we are talking about two different formats.
    Nikon is also due for a revision of some zooms and introduction of new primes.
    For more information please refer to the article by Mr. Reichman in "The Luminous Landscape."
    It is an exciting time to be a photographer.
    William Rodriguez
    Miami, Florida.
  2. interesting post
    nice of you to bring this thread to us
    thank you
  3. Interesting

    Interesting and informative.

    I am not knowledgeable enough to comment on most of the content of your post.

    I just read the hands on preview of the D700 and will comment on one product vs. two other products as well as a disappearance of another product all tied in to marketing and customer loyalty.

    I was sadden to no longer see the D2Xs in the Nikon current line-up - possibly the best Nikon Digital SLR IQ wise for studio work. Gone... So yes, there must be something in the air...

    About the life cycle of a camera body - a pro body - 5 years is still the norm but who would keep a tool when a newer one makes things easier and enables you to get images where it was not possible to dream about getting images before - just think high iso, fantastic metering system, etc., etc., ...

    Will the D300 sales suffer because of the D700? I don't think they will suffer more than the Canon 5D replacement sales will suffer and at least the money will go towards Nikon as opposed to a competitor.

    The technology now a days bring new product offering to the market place faster - the pace of introduction is quite fast - however when one company stands to lose 5%, 10% or even 3% of a specific market share just over a few 1000 iso or faster auto-focus - the end result is getting the better image faster - news co photographers are the F1 drivers, a team to win need to have the best car - so it is for photographer and their needs and demands drive the innovations pros and hobbyist alike benefit from.

    When a company stands to lose millions in sales - and a co. like Nikon take their time to bring the best possible product to the market as opposed to any product until they get it right well... Things may have changed however it looks like they are back where they were.

    I looked and read the D700 review, I still want one however the D3 will be my primary camera for a long time for a few good reasons - metering selector which locks - iso I can see at a glance. The D700 is great but those two things alone makes it a pro-sumer camera body not a pro-body in my eyes...

    The D3 is still the better camera - between the D300 and D700 there are worlds of difference but how many cameras can I use at one time?

    Love that there is a camera bridging the gap between the D300 and D3 - had I bought a D700 before a D3 - I would most likely have spent the difference on lenses not a D3... But I purchased a D300 instead - so now I will find a buyer for that D300 and buy a D700 come October. Nikon has to be profitable to keep bringing and servicing our cameras... They do this in many ways, the timing of new products - the reliability and usability of their products.

    How and when they introduce new products. I bet the D700 was on the drawing board at the same time the D300 was... The timing of their release was on the same drawing board as well. People who purchased D300 will most likely eventually buy a D700... I am not sure as many people who would have bought a D700 would have eventually purchased a D300...

    It is called marketing and customer retention as well as "poaching" in your own customer pond... You have a customer base and said customer have developed brand loyalty over time - as well as a lens line up when talking about a camera co. - your first priority is to keep those customers buying your brand by giving them slightly better products over time and as a secondary objective you must gain new customer (a more expensive proposition which will in turn increase customer loyalty) gain new customers by bringing a breakthrough product to the market place, making loyal customer feel good about their loyalty - reinforcing it... It is all about the psychological profile of the customer base...

    Nikon does it - Canon does it so does Sony and etc., ... I hope this makes a bit of sense...
  4. Thank you for your interesting comments about my thread.
    I agree with you that the D3 is the camera to have if you do professional work. The D700 will simply compliment the D3 for those that need a second FX body.
    The D300, from all reports I have seen appears to be also a great camera. I was not so sure about the timing of the D700 and I thought Nikon moved in that direction expecting an announcement from Canon by Photokina or before. We are talking about a camera with the body of the D300 but with a full frame. Like you, I am not so sure if photographers that had the D700 when the D300 was announced would have bought the D300. At least to me, it makes a lot of sense.
    As I said in my original thread, Nikon had rough times since 2002 because even when the professional bodies were excellent the absence of the full frame and poor noise performance made many Nikonians switch to Canon, especially sports and wedding photographers. Nikon users saw excellent cameras coming from Nikon but none with the capabilities of low noise and full frame, something that until the debut of the D3 and D300 was dominated by Canon.
    I said I have been loyal to Nikon over the years. My son gave me a Canon D30 years ago, my first digital camera. I was never comfortable with that camera and when I bought a used D100 I immediately felt at home. In my opinion, the D100 was a far better camera and it served me very well till I sold it to buy the D1X.
    I have my views and they are different from yours but that is understandable since we are human beings and we all are different. I understand that modern technology makes photography easier but I am not convinced it makes it far better. The D2H, an ancient camera, has one of the best AF in the Nikon line up while the D70, in my opinion, has one of the most accurate exposure meters. On regard to the D1X, the other camera I have, I believe that when it comes to reproducing colors it shines and I dare to say that the files from my D1X are the most colorful of the other cameras I own. They are all old cameras but they perform for me at their best.
    Although I could use the D3 and the D300 I know that for my style of photography they will not make a big difference in my photography. If I was a professional photographer I would own the D3 simply because besides the high quality of the camera it will make me comfortable among my clients and other professionals. The D700 would be its ideal back up.
    Digital is still too young so many more excellent products with even better technologies will continue to debut in the market.
    It will be interesting to know what Canon has in mind for Photokina.
    Once again, thank you for your comments.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 24, 2008
  5. Taylor


    May 21, 2007
    Toronto, ON
    I held a D700 in my hands at the camera store, and although I sometimes wanted a small body FF camera, it just didn't feel as good. The non-rubberized areas felt plasticky compared to the D3, and the grip wasn't as deep as I would've liked. It's not as small and comfortable to hold as an F100, being a bit thicker in depth.

    I'd much rather spend the $3k on another MF film body, maybe the Mamiya 7II :) 
  6. William, your comment is right on the money. Modern technology makes things easier - while I do not have to worry about focusing and metering too much as well as iso when set on auto - I can spend more time on my composition.

    I think I should try film - and all manual - in order to see what I can coax out of it. I really like the results Taylor gets from his film cameras... Maybe it is time to go back to basic for a little while (still sleeping on this one)
  7. You have not tried film? I cannot believe that such an outstanding photographer like you is not using film!
    Well, if you have a hand held exposure meter and you find a cool day, by all means give film a try. It is a marvelous experience, believe me. Using the meter, thinking about the exposure and composition and using apertures in the lens and shutter speeds in camera is kind of exhilarating.
    It is a great exercise in concentration and you will come out wishing to shoot again because in my humble opinion it shows you discipline. I do it often with my hanheld Minolta Autometer IV and my 1963 Nikon F.
    You ought it to yourself, use film and remember that once scanned you have in your hands negatives and full frame files.
    The best of both worlds.
  8. I used to shoot film... Before going digital - alas the last time I shot using a single lens reflex camera was back when I was 11 or 12 with the family Canon AT-1 - which I still have... I shot film until 2001 then I switched to digital and my love for photography which I had before my teenage years was rekindled.

    I am not sure I need to go back to film - but I have a desire to do so - before I do give it another try I will learn more about composition and mainly exposure.
  9. Composition and exposure are among those disciplines that will benefit by using film. I know that photography is photography but exposure for film is not the same as exposure for digital. Digital has the tendency to blow out highlights much faster than film.
    One of the greatest benefits of using digital is the fact that you have immediate access to what you photographed. That access is denied to the film user till the negatives are printed. I find that I get tonalities with negative film that I cannot get with digital but when it comes to enlargements those enlargements look "cleaner" with digital.
    There is controversy on regard to b&w conversion with digital and the controversy extends to printing. In my experience, I have not seen better prints than those from a b&w negative printed on fiber base paper. That will change though.
    I like film and medium format. I have not used enough large format cameras to tell about them except that the quality is superb.
    I was trained in b&w photography several years ago and my passion for the art persists.
    By the way, you could use color negative film and scan it for beautiful b&w work that I prefer to digital conversion of files.
    This is an example of using Kodak UC 100 with my F-100 and 28-105 AF Nikkor, an excellent combo for film. It is a sunrise at a public park near my home. I saw its simplicity and it was not difficult to position the tripod and shoot it.
    I love film!

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    There is an Australian photographer by the name of Peter Lik who does beautiful roll film panoramic photography across the world and has several galleries throughout the US, one of them here in Miami.
    Excellent photography!
    William Rodriguez
    Miami, Florida.
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