Author Topic: Nikon Negativity  (Read 4057 times)

Bear Dale

  • NG Member
  • *
  • Posts: 392
  • Big kid in the guise of an adult
Nikon Negativity
« on: November 23, 2019, 23:52:25 »
I'm reading so much Nikon negativity across the internet with rumblings even that Nikon as a company might go under and disappear.

Thom Hogan's thoughts on what Nikon should do -

http://www.dslrbodies.com/newsviews/nikon-2019-news/november-2019-nikon-canon/my-proposal-for-nikons.html

I've only recently (2 years) come over to Nikon from Canon and all this doom and gloom I read!

I'm 57, I have a very nice collection of late model F glass and a D850, I can see myself riding out my photography life using 'flappy mirror' cameras and F glass.

Bill De Jager

  • NG Supporter
  • **
  • Posts: 412
Re: Nikon Negativity
« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2019, 04:11:25 »
Thom was making the point a few years ago that Nikon (and Canon) needed to change their strategy at that time, not down the road when the camera market was much smaller and there would be less freedom of action.  He was right, and now Nikon is in trouble for not moving into full-frame mirrorless in a serious way when they were profitable and had more breathing room in the market. 

Nikon now needs to consistently execute very well in both market strategy and product engineering if they want to make this transition successfully.  I don't think they're in immediate danger of going under, but I think the situation is worrysome due to the inherent difficulty of selling a new mount with few native lenses.  Why should a buyer new to Nikon buy into a rather limited system, or alternately buy F-mount lenses that can only be used on an adapter? Of course Canon has the same problem.  For the time being, that relegates both firms to just trying to get some of their existing customer base to make an initial investment in mirrorless until there is a much larger selection of Z/RF-mount lenses.

At the same time I'm pleased Nikon has decent mirrorless bodies out now and excellent lenses to go with them.  They just need to make the mirrorless bodies fully competitive with the corresponding DSLRs while they continue to flesh out their new lens system. My biggest beef with my Z6 is having fewer controls at my fingertips.  Nikon's biggest problem over the years has been their reluctance to cannibalize their own sales, and this definitely showed up in their Z6 and Z7 models which have fewer features than the corresponding D750 and D850 models.

I'm older than you are and I also could manage well if I had to go the rest of my photographing years just using Nikon DSLRs.  At the same time the potential of the Z mount is exciting.  However, I'm not willing to rely upon it as a primary system until the bodies are better and the PDAF line issue is resolved, if it can be.  Even then, I expect to still use some F-mount gear as long as I'm still doing serious photography.

Ethan

  • NG Supporter
  • **
  • Posts: 144
  • You ARE NikonGear
Re: Nikon Negativity
« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2019, 08:28:43 »
Thom is the new camera Messiah.

He is also the Oracle.

We all hail Thom, the Ohh so knowledgeable to make few bucks out of click and bait articles.

The Oracles: Northrump - the guy with the afro hair - Steve Master Perry - Thein - The Village idiot vlogger with the glasses and balloon face - the three wise men and their elephant - and the moron who left Nikon for Sony -  the Zeiss guy and few others.

A new religion is born and it is the Social Media Money Machine= SMMM

Everybody knows more that the Nikon Designers - Technicians - Maktg - Sales and Management.
Even the hotel doorman has solid advise to the Nikon people.

Similar to the TV football fans slouched on their couches with their slippers off. They know better than the Coach and Players.

Welcome to Social Media.


Hermann

  • NG Member
  • *
  • Posts: 74
  • You ARE NikonGear
Re: Nikon Negativity
« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2019, 17:04:29 »
The Oracles: Northrump - the guy with the afro hair - Steve Master Perry - Thein - The Village idiot vlogger with the glasses and balloon face - the three wise men and their elephant - and the moron who left Nikon for Sony -  the Zeiss guy and few others.

That's a bit unfair, especially to Steve Perry. I find his videos mostly very useful, in some cases a lot more useful than e.g. Nikon's manuals. He keeps his videos to giving factual advice, in contrast to, for instance, the Northrups and the "idiot vlogger".

Hermann

beryllium10

  • NG Member
  • *
  • Posts: 186
Re: Nikon Negativity
« Reply #4 on: November 24, 2019, 18:10:12 »
Bear, Don't believe everything you read on the internet.  Especially don't lose sleep over it. Since finding nikongear a few years ago, the amount of blogger noise about new gear that I look at is now approaching zero. 
Keep taking those excellent bird photos  -  John

Bear Dale

  • NG Member
  • *
  • Posts: 392
  • Big kid in the guise of an adult
Re: Nikon Negativity
« Reply #5 on: November 25, 2019, 01:07:20 »
Thanks for the replies, much appreciated.

I will say up front that I do like Steve Perry and have purchased all his Nikon books. To me Steve isn't like those other talking heads that just want views to pump up their
social media numbers, Steve is a photographer and his knowledge of Nikon and they way he is able to impart that knowledge has helped me,


I do think that Nikon will keep making DSLR's for a long time and will have at least one or two top shelf models available to people who don't want to go mirrorless.
There's over 100+ million F mount lenses out there, that's a lot of customers to cut off.

They made a film body only up to a little while ago, even when the used market was flooded with literally millions of Nikon film bodies.

Bill De Jager

  • NG Supporter
  • **
  • Posts: 412
Re: Nikon Negativity
« Reply #6 on: November 25, 2019, 01:45:45 »
Thom is the new camera Messiah.

He is also the Oracle.

We all hail Thom, the Ohh so knowledgeable to make few bucks out of click and bait articles.

The Oracles: Northrump - the guy with the afro hair - Steve Master Perry - Thein - The Village idiot vlogger with the glasses and balloon face - the three wise men and their elephant - and the moron who left Nikon for Sony -  the Zeiss guy and few others.

A new religion is born and it is the Social Media Money Machine= SMMM

Everybody knows more that the Nikon Designers - Technicians - Maktg - Sales and Management.
Even the hotel doorman has solid advise to the Nikon people.

Similar to the TV football fans slouched on their couches with their slippers off. They know better than the Coach and Players.

Welcome to Social Media.

Yes, there are plenty of half-baked ideas presented and championed on the web, and a lot of 'advice' to camera companies consists largely of wish lists and wishful thinking to satisfy personal desires.  There are plenty of emotion-driven fanboys out there, and also those who denigrate one or another particular company or product type obsessively.  Still, I think we all have the ability to winnow through ideas and evaluate them on the merits or lack thereof, if we want to make that effort.  Blanket dismissals aren't useful or informative.

Few if any are questioning the skill and excellence of Nikon's engineers and technicians.  On the other hand, various poor decisions by upper management have long been obvious.  The Nikon 1 fiasco is just one example.

The bottom line is that over the decades many companies have gone bust or at least lost their former glory due to short-sighted leadership.  How did wealthy American auto companies go bankrupt in the last decade, or then-giant IBM lose the personal computer market they once owned?  Daimler-Benz's acquisition of Chrysler was a complete fiasco.  There are many other examples.  Top management in any company never consists of infallible oracles that are not to be questioned.

Here is another thought-provoking piece, not to be taken as gospel but rather worth perusing and thinking about: Diglloyd on Nikon's future.  Is the person he quotes right?  Maybe; I don't know. But the points he raise have implications not just for the camera industry but also for how we do photography and how we even conceive of it, as computational photography begins to extend from its current habitat in cell phones out to dedicated cameras.




pluton

  • NG Supporter
  • **
  • Posts: 2169
  • You ARE NikonGear
Re: Nikon Negativity
« Reply #7 on: November 25, 2019, 01:55:10 »
My view:
 Business conditions in photo equipment industry is a subject of, at best, peripheral interest.  Nikon isn't going to install an orientable 100º vertically rotating EVF in a camera, so they're not listening to me.
On a positive note, Hogan's rewrites/expansions of the Nikon camera user manuals have been helpful to me in the past. 
Keith B., Santa Monica, CA, USA

RobOK

  • NG Supporter
  • **
  • Posts: 224
  • You ARE NikonGear
    • My gallery
Re: Nikon Negativity
« Reply #8 on: November 25, 2019, 03:42:40 »
I like Thom, I take him with a grain of salt. I think he combines understanding of the camera business, including data, and what different levels of photographers want.

I don’t read that article as negative, he put a lot of effort into it, he wants Nikon to succeed.

Nikon is in a tough spot, the were way too slow to FF mirrorless.

Of course the clear path for Nikon success is a mirrorless Df, amiright??!

Ethan

  • NG Supporter
  • **
  • Posts: 144
  • You ARE NikonGear
Re: Nikon Negativity
« Reply #9 on: November 25, 2019, 06:49:27 »
That's a bit unfair, especially to Steve Perry. I find his videos mostly very useful, in some cases a lot more useful than e.g. Nikon's manuals. He keeps his videos to giving factual advice, in contrast to, for instance, the Northrups and the "idiot vlogger".

Hermann

Yes, you are correct. He should be on the top of the list.

You do realize that he published a review on the launch of the Z 7 trouncing the camera and recommending that the Z7 is not suitable for Nature photography. The problem is that his review was NOT based on testing the camera but on a published Nikon Pdf. A review based on a Pdf for crying out loud!!!!!

So, you have to  grant it to the guy breaking new ground by publishing gear reviews based on a Pdf of a camera not yet launched.
And he was trounced on the web for uttering pure rubbish.

In case you don't know about this, then now you know. And if you feel comfortable with such unprofessional behavior then good on you.

Steve Perry is a 100% commercial person. Nothing wrong with that until you start peddling wrong information the same way as his cohorts.
Some rely on youtube traffic to make money and his business plan is two folds. One is Nature photography trips and the other supporting the first by selling How To videos supported by offering free mini videos as click and bait.

All is not glitter in the land of Pdf Perry.


chambeshi

  • Woody
  • NG Member
  • *
  • Posts: 587
  • Woody
    • Chambeshi Photography FCotterill Photographic Explorations
Re: Nikon Negativity
« Reply #10 on: November 25, 2019, 08:35:08 »
Thom Hogan cut his teeth in IT venture capital in Silicon Valley, and the late Galen Rowell helped him break into photography (and Nikon et al). I appreciate his comparisons of systems, and the massive effort he invests in his manuals. His reviews of lenses are usually accurate IME, and concur with the few others that are reliable. On his "buzzing" of Nikon, well his criticism does seem constructive for the ILC industry. For one, he identified the threats from smart phones over a decade back.

Designing and manufacturing excellent cameras and optics is all good and great, as long as it's matched by the company's service and support. Nikon has been irregular in this dept, and emerging clients expect more dialogue and this has to proritize firmware and "roadmaps" that give some guidance as to What and When (even if sketchy). Their service varies greatly over time and across regions. The resistance to licence repairs to reliable 3rd parties a common cause of many problems and delays etc Their website(s) are shambolic compared to Leica's or Sigma's. Recent experiences with decline of Nikon support S of the equator is underscoring the seriousness of these failures. The frustrations drive loyal clients elsewhere. (Thus some of us are watching the L-Alliance with interest; waiting on smart adapters is keep key telephotos is the main factor.)

To return to reviewers.... As with so many pros, it appears Steve Perry relies on tours and workshops and his e-books, which are excellent. The guy knows his stuff. He admitted his Z7 commentary was prompted by seeking a simpler answers to a deluge of emails asking for advice of the Z system wrt wildlife.

Steve's using a Z7, which he rates as excellent for macro and landscape but the AFC lets it down too often. This is also my experience for wildlife 14 months on. I'm not as enthusiastic as Thom Hogan in his report on his recent 'Mirrorless Safari', and in pvt discussion.... For closer subjects without clutter, mammals especially fine, but for birds against clutter, my D850 excels. Yet the DSLRs don't do silent shooting and lack all the positives features one takes for granted with the EVF.

The most prominent sources on utube are a waste of time and bandwidth....  and very few are worth watching. Written reviews stand apart and are far more open to critical peer review.

D850, Z7, 20 f4 AI 28 f2.8AIS 45 f2.8AIP 55mm 2.8AIS+60 f2.8G Micro 58 f1.4G, 85 f1.4D, 105 f2.5AIS, 400 f2.8E VRII 300 f4E PF 500 f5.6E P, 18-35 G, 24-70 f4S, 70-180 Micro f4-5.6D 70-200 f2.8E FL, Zeiss Distagons -15 f2.8, 21 f2.8

Erik Lund

  • Global Moderator
  • **
  • Posts: 5213
  • Copenhagen
    • ErikLund.com
Re: Nikon Negativity
« Reply #11 on: November 25, 2019, 08:45:22 »
I more or less have to agree, most of the above are similar to Ken Rockwell in their own way,,, I guess this is a sign of the future; Fake News  :o
What I find the worst is the endless repetition, like they try to preach their opinion to no end.
NikonGear.Net is more or less a byproduct of the Nikon shaming that was going on years ago also, this relentless Nikon Negativity brought us together even stronger here  ;)
What is most interesting to me is the absolutely positive that Z6 has gotten from a lot of die hard video and movie shooters, that is truly remarkable with a first FF mirrorless camera from Nikon. Z7 has also been very well received among the photography forerunners.
I say well done Nikon  8)
PS Smart phones is the reason for the overall demise of the point and shoot cameras for good,,,,
Erik Lund

chambeshi

  • Woody
  • NG Member
  • *
  • Posts: 587
  • Woody
    • Chambeshi Photography FCotterill Photographic Explorations
Re: Nikon Negativity
« Reply #12 on: November 25, 2019, 12:22:38 »
Yes, there are plenty of half-baked ideas presented and championed on the web, and a lot of 'advice' to camera companies consists largely of wish lists and wishful thinking to satisfy personal desires.  There are plenty of emotion-driven fanboys out there, and also those who denigrate one or another particular company or product type obsessively.  Still, I think we all have the ability to winnow through ideas and evaluate them on the merits or lack thereof, if we want to make that effort.  Blanket dismissals aren't useful or informative.

Few if any are questioning the skill and excellence of Nikon's engineers and technicians.  On the other hand, various poor decisions by upper management have long been obvious.  The Nikon 1 fiasco is just one example.

The bottom line is that over the decades many companies have gone bust or at least lost their former glory due to short-sighted leadership.  How did wealthy American auto companies go bankrupt in the last decade, or then-giant IBM lose the personal computer market they once owned?  Daimler-Benz's acquisition of Chrysler was a complete fiasco.  There are many other examples.  Top management in any company never consists of infallible oracles that are not to be questioned.

Here is another thought-provoking piece, not to be taken as gospel but rather worth perusing and thinking about: Diglloyd on Nikon's future.  Is the person he quotes right?  Maybe; I don't know. But the points he raise have implications not just for the camera industry but also for how we do photography and how we even conceive of it, as computational photography begins to extend from its current habitat in cell phones out to dedicated cameras.

Thanks for the link. It cannot be a coincidence that so many Nikon-bashing opinion "pieces", wear boots resplendent in the Sony logo (although Thom Hogan's recent essay is more balanced).

It is strange how the author, Roy P,  quoted as an authority "on the semiconductor industry etc.." overlooks the well known fact that Nikon designs its own sensors (which is why the IQ, colours etc are so excellent). Nikon cannot be ignorant of the direction(s) in which its future MILC sensors have to evolve!

Relevant facts derail his diagnosis and solutions. Nikon already has state of the art MILC optics (AFP with stepping motors etc). Stand to be corrected, but Linear AF motors appeared first in the AFP zooms (2017). Since August 2018, Nikon has the most strategic MILC lens mount, which can only be the inaugural release of a carefully planned strategy that's rolling out in the Z system.  Nikon's release of 9 Z-Nikkors - all excellent - in 14 months is impressive by any standard.

https://photographylife.com/nikon-z-lens-roadmap

After all, it is founded on 2+ decades of Nikon's own R&D in mirrorless : besides Coolpix etc, the N1 system (it was not the utter failure of popular internet wisdom). The time was not then ripe for FX Mirrorless.  A cynic might note Nikon may well have left Leica but above all Sony to pioneer FX MILC (which Leica are quietly refining....).... and a string of releases onward, Sony still have much unfinished work on haptics and menus ;-) ;-)

The two Z Nikkor roadmaps and Firmware updates released since August 2018 are refreshing improvements. These give investors in the Z-System a modicum of optimistic direction. But it's still frustrating to some of us that Nikon have not prioritized fixes to key features, missing / irksome in the Z6 and Z7. Some are standard Custom options in the D850, so it's a matter of time, hopefully.
D850, Z7, 20 f4 AI 28 f2.8AIS 45 f2.8AIP 55mm 2.8AIS+60 f2.8G Micro 58 f1.4G, 85 f1.4D, 105 f2.5AIS, 400 f2.8E VRII 300 f4E PF 500 f5.6E P, 18-35 G, 24-70 f4S, 70-180 Micro f4-5.6D 70-200 f2.8E FL, Zeiss Distagons -15 f2.8, 21 f2.8

Ilkka Nissilä

  • NG Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1170
  • You ARE NikonGear
Re: Nikon Negativity
« Reply #13 on: November 25, 2019, 14:40:01 »
What I find the worst is the endless repetition, like they try to preach their opinion to no end.

Many have opinions about what Nikon should do (usually grounded on their personal needs, which may or may not be photographic but for example understanding what to say to get a lot of viewers, which often involves some kind of provocative claims which may be true or false), but just because one has a blog or youtube followers doesn't mean they have the knowledge to suggest a course of action for Nikon as a whole that would lead to success.  A lot of these commenters make errors in their arguments showing that they don't care to do their research about the products they speak of. It seems that many people who present themselves as experts do not care about staying truthful or at least making an efforts to that end; they assume people don't care or assume that the truth is a matter of which tribe you associate with. This is quite sad, and I can see it happening in scientific publishing as well, though not as much as in social media.

I do think that the Z product line is an excellent start. I like the shape of the Z6/Z7 bodies and the design of the controls, and the viewfinder is less distracting than other EVFs, and very sharp in the outer areas of the frame (compared to many other viewfinders I've tried). I know some don't like the controls, for example, they would like more buttons or a different placement of the image zoom buttons (+/-). I think a lot of mirrorless cameras have crammed too many small buttons in too small an area, making it harder to hold the cameras. The Z6/Z7 don't have this issue. The +/- are perhaps not in a good place if you want to use the EVF zoomed-in hand-held, but the EVF is kind of jumpy in that kind of use and Nikon probably designed it with the intention that it would not be zoomed-in when using the camera hand-held. For tripod-based photography of static subjects, I think it would work fine as it is, including button placement. For me, if I shoot hand-held, most commonly, the subject is a moving one or at least a living being capable of movement and I need to follow the overall composition and framing when I'm shooting, so I wouldn't be zooming-in to focus anyway, as it would lose the oversight of the frame edges, which are really important. Thus I think the most detailed and the most stable viewfinder without zooming is what I prefer, and Nikon did well in those areas.

The lens line and roadmap are (in my opinion) really well-thought-out and the Z Nikkors I've tried have been excellent. I haven't bought into the system yet, but with the rebates currently in effect, this could change quite soon. Interestingly some people complain that Canon have f/1.2 primes and an f/2 zoom and Nikon is "far behind." But Canon don't have a line-up of f/1.8 primes and I truly believe they form a more solid and viable base for the development of the lens system than a couple of exotic primes (which I am sure Nikon are developing as well, the 50/1.2 is in the roadmap and 58/0.95 is out). I love the image output from the Canon 50/1.2 - that's not the issue - but realistically how many people can afford those lenses and how many are happy with the large lenses used with relatively small camera bodies, and for how many people such lenses would be the best choice? There are those people but I think most people want a compact, high-quality base system that isn't based on exotic apertures. While there are other advantages (eye AF etc.) to mirrorless, I think most people want the cameras and lenses to stay small (not tiny, but smaller and lighter than DSLR lenses) and Nikon are producing a set of lenses which are for the most part compatible with this customer request. The 58/0.95 obviously is not, but again that's not a lens that most people will be buying. So the thing is that if they made a lot of exotics in the beginning, Nikon would be receiving complaints that they're out-of-touch with the buyers and their financial predicaments and need to go lighter, and now that they don't and are making intermediate-aperture but high-quality lenses, they're "behind". This is really weird. I personally would never have bought the f/1.4 Nikkors I currently have if the f/1.8's had come out first and by far think the f/1.8's are the more sensible option (because of overall bag weight and budget) for most users. Some claim that the f/1.8's are not "professional" lenses, which I think is just ridiculous. They certainly produce good results, and a lot of professional photographers have knee, ankle, back and neck problems after a lifetime of lugging gear around. As for the f/1.4's, f/1.2's, and f/0.7's (or whatever they decide to make), I am sure they will come out over time. I am delighted that I don't have to spend f/1.2 or f/0.95 amount of money to set up a bag of primes to get started. Yes, I do a lot of low-light photography, but in my view (having shot with a friend's Z7 and 50/1.8 indoors) sharp and well-designed f/1.8's do quite well in such applications, especially given the in-camera VR built into the Z6 and Z7 cameras. There is a certain elegance to the f/1.8 S line IMO; the lenses are unassuming and form a compact kit while not sacrificing image quality in any way.

I will probably go with a 20/35/85 f/1.8 setup (with the 20mm coming via adapter and the two other lenses native) as my interest for this type of camera is for portraits and event photography mostly indoors with quietness as a priority (over DSLRs). Because of the comparatively low price and very high quality, the 50/1.8 is going to be hard to resist, though. Although high ISO image quality has improved over the years, I still don't think f/2.8 is "quite there" for indoor event photos without flash; if there is daytime/afternoon window light, then yes, but after the window light is gone, I need larger apertures than f/2.8. f/1.8 is what I would consider adequate and the in-camera VR does give some leeway in portraits. What is slowing me down is that the focus isn't quite reliable in this kind of very low indoor light (tried only Z7 not Z6 so far). I can get good results most of the time but sometimes the focus goes on a road trip. I think this can probably be fixed via algorithm development. I don't need subject tracking as such as I'm quite comfortable moving the focus point manually around, but of course it is nice to see the more fancy stuff developed further, as for someone entering photography it may be that they don't want to deal with manual focus points at first, and if some other camera gives better results out of the box on all-auto settings then they will probably purchase that camera. So Nikon do need to put their attention to this area, even if it won't stop me from choosing their camera. However, I have no doubt they are working on it and capable of solving it.

I disagree completely with the idea that Nikon should stop F mount system development - I love the optical viewfinders and want to continue using them, including new products. I don't see Z replacing F for me in the time span of my remaining life, even though I am likely to add it (for the quietness advantages). I think Nikon actually are on the right balanced track in pursuing to develop both systems, even though the internet commentators hate them for it. I am cynical and don't believe most of the youtuber and camera review/blog sites have the photographers' best interest at heart. Rather, they want people to be (almost) forced to buy all new gear by clicking on the advertisements to their affiliates' sites. And they want this to happen now so that they can continue "influencing" rather than getting a proper job.

Erik Lund

  • Global Moderator
  • **
  • Posts: 5213
  • Copenhagen
    • ErikLund.com
Re: Nikon Negativity
« Reply #14 on: November 25, 2019, 15:03:39 »
Ilka, I agree on all point you state - Thank you for a well formulated/founded post!
I never had knee or back pain but yes, if the f/1.8 series in F mount had been launched first I would have picked those instead of lugging around the f/1.4 versions. All of them,,,
They are by far good enough compared to f/1.4 although they also are slowish in AF at least for action they are too slow, but a sacrifice for slim dof and hitting the right  sharpness for those high mega pixel cameras.
Z line is not for me except a [IR] modified Z7 or Z6 would make for a nice substitute for my D200  [IR]
I don't see Nikon stopping the F-mount!
Erik Lund