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Tuesday, 08 October 2013


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In fact I don't think they did get the prize for theorising that it must be there: they got it for so theorizing and being shown to be be right, at least to a good degree of certainty. As far as I know (and I might be wrong) the Nobel prize in physics is not given for theories without good experimental evidence. That's a good thing, I think.

Ah yes, I still have one of those 35mm lenses (properly stored on its side in the dark) that doesn't have a problem. Fortunately, or unfortunately depending on how you look at it, I was never really taken with the lens before it developed its non-problem so it wasn't a huge loss emotionally or financially.

It's interesting to compare the Higgs Boson to Neptune, which was the first planet to be found by prediction instead of observation. They're 200 years apart in time, and about a zillion orders of magnitude apart in size.

Last night I saw upon the stair
A little man who wasn’t there
He wasn’t there again today
Oh, how I wish he’d go away
-- Hughes Mearns

I have the much older D700 and considered this and its sister D600 for a while back when the 600 was originally released. In the end I decided that carrying the D700 around was becoming too much of a hassle. For some reason it seems like these "full frame" digital bodies are twice as large and twice as heavy as the film cameras they replaced (N8000s, F100, etc) and I'm never quite sure why.

So I picked up a m4/3 instead, and haven't carried the D700 since.

For some reason I'm more interested in the Nikon D610 than the Higgs Boson particle.
Guess I'm not into science.

No offence, but pairing with the 35mm f2 is a terrible recommendation, unless you like soft corners.

While I love my little 35mm f2 on my APS sensor Nikon, the corners are soft for a few stops, and can only imagine what they would be like on full frame sensor.

Also shame on Nikon with this nonsense.

Camera manufacturers must hate the intertubz.

This doesn't bed the issue. Unless Nikon replaces all those D600s it sold with D610s or offers a shutter mechanism upgrade to D610 owners, they have lost all credibility in my book.

I'm a long time Nikon owner, and current D800 owner. My confidence was shaken when my camera required three trips to Melville and still never came back quite right. My D300's AF system ran circles around the D800.

Ha. I had that same oil on the aperture blades problem with a Nikon 85mm f/2. It took two cleanings before the excess lubricant was finally eliminated. Unfortunately, I had a bunch of badly overexposed frames from shots where the diaphragm was stuck mostly open.


[Right, and what was the problem buying a used AIS Nikkor? Smooth but raspy helical--dry--needed to be repacked with lubricant. That oil had to come from somewhere.... :-) --Mike]

I had a very well lubricated D600 which my dealer, in negotiation with Nikon, kindly offered to exchange for a new Dragoon.

But oil apart, the D600 was a superb camera for the money.

I do like the Dragoon though. From a usage POV it has:
1. Rubber hand grip.
2. Instant 100% playback magnification.
3. Less moire.
4. Built in VF blackout curtain.

But what clinched it for me was the fact that the Dragoon can turn a regular prime into a mini zoom. Take the 28 F1.8:

36MP @ 28mm
23MP @ 35mm
16MP @ 42mm (D7000 emulation mode)
12MP @ 49mm (D300 emulation mode)

I've started using primes a lot more since I got the D800 and it actually reduces the weight and cost of my typical setup.

I abandoned Nikon over the D600 oil issue. It's not the same company that built the F5. Hell, it's not even the same company that built the D40, which I am happily using this morning.

English not being my native language, I googled "schpritzing" without success. Did you mean spritzing ?
Oh, and you might like to know the co-discoverer of the Higgs Boson, François Englert, was (is still at age 81) a physicist from the Université Libre de Bruxelles in Belgium.

[Sorry, Andrew, sometimes I freelance at English. --Mike

P.S. "Schpritzing" is spritzing viss a Cherman accent.]

Smart camera manufacturers would know the intertubes exist and their customers read them.

Realy smart camera manufacturers base their policies not on failing to acknowledge problems but on acknowledging and fixing those problems. That's the real way to win customer loyalty not by lock-in.

The D600 "oil and debris on the sensor" is messing not only with customers and current owners of the D600 (what's the resale value like? What's the resalve value in the future?) but also messing with their dealers who now have a inventory of stock that they're probably going to have to let go at cost. And they're not going to restock with D610 (except for specific orders).

Thom Hogan wrote well on this today


P.S. Is that an ironic Tommy Flanaganesque (SNL) "Yeah, that's the ticket?" recommendation or a genuine, from the heart of the midWest, "Yeah, that's the ticket!".

P.P.S. It seems Pentax have released the anxiously awaited Nikon D400 in the form of the Pentax K3.

If your D800 is the Monster Truck of Nikon's DSLR line, then the D3 and D4 bodies must be the Komatsu 960E-1 or Terex Titan of the lineup.

Nikon really wants us wedding photographers to buy 5D Mark IIIs apparently. The not quite pro D610/600 leaves something to be desired, and the way more (75mb raw files) than we need D800 is just not quite right. The D4 is for those brides requiring 11fps, so none of them. As a D600 owner I miss my D700, but do enjoy the extra croppability in my 25mp files. Now Nikon doesn't expand the AF area, and still doesn't allow live view aperture changes. Whyyy should I stick around with Nikon?

As an owner of a D600, I can say that the sensor out of the box was incredibly dirty.

I am lucky enough to be able to identify the difference between dirt and oil, and a few wet cleanings later all was good with me. I can see how some people might have conflated dirt with oil, however.

And I am also sure that some had legitimate oil issues that did require service from Nikon.

I know "oil" is a convenient term to use for gunk on the sensor, but I can't believe Nikon actually uses it inside their cameras. Oil collects dust and other small particles. They must use a more sophisticated lubricant than that.

Wine Bar Theory tip no 26: Say Sorry

A retrieved customer becomes an advocate for your business to others. An aggrieved customer tells everyone not to deal with you.

"Wine Bar Theory businesses are polite. Because they know it makes a difference. They say 'thank you', good morning', 'please' and, whenever it's called for, they apologize. Whether it's with customers, suppliers or a member of the team, when smart businesses make a mistake they recognize it as a critical moment. You can either build a lifetime of loyalty or lose the relationship altogether. It just depends how you respond.

This is something that Nikon doesn't seem to get. The danger for Nikon is we are heading into a period of transition in the camera business. They need all the advocates they can get.

"Wine Bar Theory" is a new book by David Gilbertson that has great timing for this issue.


For some reason the name D610 just doesn't resonate with me. It just seems so "generic". D600-II, or even D650 feels like a better name to me.

[As long as it has that "D" in there, so I know it's DIGITAL. Otherwise I'd naturally think it's Nikon's latest film SLR. Pentax's "K" always confuses me--it makes me think of the protagonist of Kafka's "The Castle." Oh, wait...that fits, doesn't it? --Mike]

Seems like a good place for an Oil Depletion Allowance joke, but I am not a tax lawyer

I somehow accumulated a bunch of 55mm 2.8 micro-nikkors that would get oil on the aperture blades every time they got warm and were not facing straight up, for instance if you ever used them outdoors in the summer.

It turns out that it's really easy to just disassemble them, to the point where all optical bits have been removed and the helicoids are exposed, slosh everything around in a bucket of naphtha followed by some automotive brake cleaner to get rid of traces of naphtha, put a little silicone grease on the helicoids, and put them back together.

I had one of those 35s. It worked fine until one day when it just didn't. Of course, by then it was way out of warranty...

Kevin Purcell states "Realy smart camera manufacturers base their policies not on failing to acknowledge problems but on acknowledging and fixing those problems. That's the real way to win customer loyalty" and cites the "wine Bar Theory". Is there any camera manufacturer who follows that path?If so, I haven't seen it - and damn few manufacturers in any field.

In 1968 while in Japan with the Marines I purchased two Nikon Fs. One of them, after two rolls of film, the mirror fell apart. It looked like it was hanging on by one screw. I was lucky that it didn't damage anything else, including the shutter and the lens. I took it back the the camera store and a week later it was back and better than new. Included with the camera was a letter from Nikon management apologizing for the mirror failure. The owner of the store was VERY impressed with the letter. I, on the other hand, was just happy the camera now functioned. The letter was in Japanese so what did I know. A year later I traded that Nikon F for a much older Leica M3.

I'm a decades old Nikon (film) user, but I lost all respect for them a while ago; it had nothing to do with the quality of their equipment- and everything to do with how they treat people...


"But what clinched it for me was the fact that the Dragoon can turn a regular prime into a mini zoom."

As an owner of a Ye Big Dragoon, I can verify Mr. Jacob's statement above. I have gotten amazing photos with a 50mm 1.4G and an 85mm 1.8D, including this past March's Comet Panstarrs and a great heron in flight a football field away.

My only complaint about Ye Big Dragoon is that I am only 5 feet tall (154 cm) and have very small hands for an adult, thus the Monster Truck of cameras makes my hands cramp after 2 mins of use. The only camera in the Nikon line up that is small enough for my hands to reasonably hold is the D3100, but the image quality is not comparable to my beloved, huge D800.

I wish the D800 came with liitle hydrofoil-style jets and a remote control for me to maneuver it without using my hands.

John Krill's story reminds me of my first experience with Nikon. In 1975, I sold my Mamiya-Sekor 1000 DTL and bought my first Nikon; an F2s. About a month later I received a letter from EPOI (Ehrenreich Photo-Optical Industries, Nikon's US distributor) saying that they had unfortunately omitted some lubricant from the camera, and that it would need to come in for a service call.

I was living in Brooklyn at the time, and after calling EPOI, my father drove me out to their offices in Garden City with the camera. There was no wait - they did what they needed to do in about fifteen minutes. I've still got that camera, and it still works as well as the day I bought it. With the exception of having to replace the foam light seals, it's never needed to be serviced.

That's the old Nikon; the Nikon that inspired confidence; the Nikon that gained a satisfied customer for 37 years.

I don't recognize this new Nikon; the one that fails to admit to the existence of a manufacturing defect and introduces a "new" model to correct a problem with the previous one, rather than informing and satisfying their existing customers. Shame on you, Nikon.

Have to find someone to ... is that you!

"If you're a D600 owner, you probably know ten times as much as I do about this issue. ... The D610 is actually cheaper, too."

Smiley banging head against the wall

Anyway, that 35 f/2 you will get from ebay on your D610 might still have oil. And your D... should not say that. should not say that. Sigh!

So is it safe to say (or assume?) that Nikon has hit their own peak oil, with new finds decreasing by the day? (I'm sure they hope so, at least)

So what have you been doing with your D800, Mike? Any B&W happening?

If the D800 had better accuracy with manual focus lenses, and a non-line-skipping live view mode, I would consider it the perfect camera. Okay, the battery and card doors could be a bit more robust.

Mike, what's hurting Nikon more than the D600 nonsense is your very luke warm comments on the D800.. So please give us your feelings on the Dragoon sometime, I was all set to pick one up but then decided to await your impartial observations when you got one, but still waiting! Please, please....

Ach so! Now I unterstant, danke.

Mike, any reaction at all to the new Pentax K-3? Considering the D610 is really the D600, the Ricoh camera might be a more interesting story.

@ Dave in NM

That's the old Nikon; the Nikon that inspired confidence; the Nikon that gained a satisfied customer for 37 years.

For the record, I think Nikon does a consistently terrible job of handling public relations and customer service problems. But some food for thought:

That old Nikon you remember fondly could afford such great customer service because it enjoyed really fat gross profit margins. Without going too deep into it, the combination of the decade-long Japanese recession and, more importantly, the huge rise in the value of the yen since 1975, has narrowed those margins considerably (for nearly all Japanese exporters).

So, yes, the Nikon of 1975 often treated customers like kings -- but you were paying them a much bigger profit when you bought their products initially. Tradeoffs, as they say ...

p.s. When I was a Nikon rep, my sales sample 35mm f/2.0 had the oil-on-diaphragm problem. A tad embarrassing. I got it fixed long after I quit Nikon (and long after it was out of official warranty -- it was covered by a so-called "silent warranty", a semi-shady practice but one that many companies employ. I'm guessing the D600 is, too. Speaking way out of school here. Shutting up now. Internet? What's that. Mike, is it too late to use a fake name?

I'm shooting with a Sony A99 now in part because of the problems with the D600. They both came out about the time that I decided to go full frame. I was leaning at first to the D600. I liked its design and ergonomics, and I really wanted Nikon's flash system. But the A99's EVF and concomitant advantages like focus peaking and focus magnification pulled me towards Sony, so I had a dilemma.

And then I learned about the oil problem with the D600. It didn't sound like it was rare problem at all. When I started looking for them, I found reports of it everywhere. I really couldn't see myself cleaning my sensor routinely. Decided to go with the A99 and am quite happy, especially now that I've added an A850 as a second body. The D610 arrives a year too late for me. But if the Nikon D600 hadn't had that oil on the sensor problem, I think I'd probably have gone with Nikon.

Mirror, mirror on the wall? Well, that is a nice "upgrade"....just a few month short of my, I buy a new camera deadline....so see you in 2 years, 7 month and 21 days.....lenses don't rot do they?

Greets, Ed


I hypothesized what a "really smart camera manufacturer" might do but I didn't posit any actually exist. :-)

I rather doubt any of the Japanese companies can do this given their business culture. Nor the Korean companies like Samsung. Nor any large American companies (though small ones might -- RED in the video camera business, perhaps?). Even some European companies, like Leica, have a problem with admitting their mistakes (the M8 IR filter problem? flaky AR coatings on their sport optics).

The only one I can think of that already has high quality communication with their customers is Phase One. I'm not aware if they have screwed up and admitted it though but I get the feeling that they might.

Can anyone suggest a "really smart camera manufacturer"?

It might be a mythical beast but an opening in the marketplace as that market shrinks waits for company that wants to change their behavior.

Stan B. wrote:
> I lost all respect for Nikon a while ago; it had nothing to do with
> the quality of their equipment- and everything to do with how they
> treat people...

I find Nikon hard to fault here.

Nikon provided an expensive exhibition space in the middle of Tokyo to Ahn Seong.

Nikon also arranged for the necessary security measures at the exhibition premises in Tokyo, in cooperation with the local police, as they knew that the subject matter was controversial and that protesters might want to disrupt the exhibition.

The photographer, Ahn Seong, apparently:

1) doesn't understand that these security mesures are necessary, and complains that these measures are disruptive to the quiet appreciation of his pictures. Yet, Ahn Seong would probably be among the first to complain if the exhibition were to be disturbed by people estimating that showing pictures of victims is a "slanted", "partial" presentation of historical facts.

2) demands that Nikon, in addition to Tokyo, also makes exhibition space in Osaka available to him.

IMHO, as a for-profit company that doesn't depend on public funds, Nikon went over and above the call of duty to organize this exhibition in Tokyo and ensure its security.

In that sense, Nikon have been more courageous than, say, the Smithsonian Insititution who yielded to pressure and decided not to go forward with an exhibition of pictures of Hiroshima's victims in Washington, as veterans associations in the US vituperated that showing such pictures would be a "slanted", "partial" presentation of historical facts.

A very important part of Japanese culture to is to not admit that you did something wrong.

It is not like the lawsuit culture of the United States, where you don't admit something because you are afraid of being sued. It has to do with saving face, which is an East Asian concept about maintaining one's reputation. To admit that you did something wrong is shameful.

I state this not to criticize Japanese culture, only to enlighten your readers.

Paul Crouse
Kyoto, Japan

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