What has happened to Nikon?

Started Feb 14, 2013 | Discussions thread
olindacat Regular Member • Posts: 275
Re: What has happened to Nikon?

shigzeo ? wrote:

I'm quite drunk. My wife passed two bottles of Sambuca to me thanks to Valentine's Day (in Japan, girls give presents to boys on Vanlentine's Day. March 14 is the day when boys give girls things; that is called White Day).

I, too, have a D800, which I use professionally and for hobby work.

I have only this to say of the D800 vs. the D200 and the FE/FM which I also use. Nikon used to compete with Zeiss/Ikon. In the 1980's there was no one left from abroad. They competed with only Canon. That is the problem. Japanese companies make good things when there is competition from abroad. Left to their own devices, they cheapen everything completely. Our house is basically made of plastic and if someone upstairs stubs a toe, we hear it. If they cough, we hear it.

Japan is a country that originally wanted to rip off stuff. Then, when they had the money to make money, they wanted only to cheapen stuff in order to make more money, or take a larger market share. The illusion is that Japan is a society that makes high quality stuff. They make precise stuff, not quality stuff.

Come live here. It is full of kitsch more than any other nation I've lived in, including Korea, which is more technologically advanced in the cities than Japan is. Korea still looks abroad to design, to innovate. Japan is as insular as any country in modern history ever has been.

If/when they can bypass said insularity, they will return to making great things. Now, every company that makes: computers, cars, cameras, is only a copy of another. Nikon is to Canon as Canon is to Nikon. (Add 'are' for English speakers. Remember, I'm drunk. My arguments return to base sentiments as my blood flows black (the Sambuca is black).)

There are chief differences in Nikon's roots compared to Canon's. Canon, primarily are engaged in their own production. Nikon are an imaging company who outsource parts to other companies. But at base, their cameras are the same as Canon's. The cheapening of manufacturing has led to this situation. The two are equal.

However, today, Canon seem to make cameras with a bit more follow through than Nikon do. I use Nikon gear exclusively for digital. For film, I use a Canon P rangefinder plus a Yashica Electro. Nikon's early film SLR stuff was great. So, too, were their rangefinders. Enter the 1980's, when AF, plastic, and the cheapening of parts became rampant, and quality quickly deteriorated. Guess who was at the helm? Not the Germans. No. The Japanese.

Japan simply loves plastic. The pipes in every one of the rooms in our house are made of PVC. They clog on a weekly basis. The windows are single paned at best. There is NO insulation anywhere. Japanese combat these design inequalities by building more efficient electronics, not by equipping original equipment (houses, cars, cameras) with better, more efficient design.


Because Japan is a society more dominated by corporation than any other rich nation. Corporations dictate every aspect of life here. That means: above all, profit is king. Not safety. Not longevity. Not thoroughness. Now, before you say the USA and Germany are the same, let me remind you, that in the USA you still have government wings in the postal system, the train system, etc. Japan has done away with these things. The last bastion of public anything is health, in which the government guaratnees (thankfully) that an individual will never have to pay more than 1000$ per month on any health/hospitalised related issue.

That is still far more expensive than what an individual will pay in Canada or Germany.

Because the consumer isn't important in Japan and because the corporation dictates the laws in this country, things will only cheapen. Unless there is 2nd coming quality and leadership from abroad, things will only get worse.

Japan was never a leader in quality. They were a leader in automation, in cheapening, in mass production. We are past those milestones in industrialisation. Forget it. Today, the majority of flats are built at factory then shipped to site. If things go wrong, they go up wrong. Earthquakes are common, and other natural disasters. Those are the only things against which Japanese companies plan. Everything else is this: cheap, quick, and many.

Nikon will become nothing more than a plastic fantastic in a few years no matter that they started as a feisty optical company.

I lived in Korea for two years. It pains me to say that Korea will surpass Japan. Korea is run even more so by corporate oligarchy. Samsung and Hyundai dominate the country in a two party hydra head. You can't buy anything in the country that hasn't been touched by one or the other. But they will surpass Japan, whose leadership in cheapening of products and services, will be their downfall - will be the downfall of the free market driven political base abroad.

Things are cheap. Things are not researched. Things are made only to make money, not to leave a mark. That is how they are. That is how they will remain. Welcome to a Japan/Korea/China dominated economy.

You should drink more often. What a brave, refreshing and honest little essay. One lone liberal fed-up voice speaking up against the conservative imperial rulers. That's nerve, and it takes a few tips of the glass to sometimes rustle up that kind of courage. It's like when someone here bitches about Nikon QC or service: it always brings out the nastiest bunch on these forums. I don't know about anyone else, but I don't always relish posting here because it's an open invitation to bring on a onslaught of truly creative sniping and relentless belligerence. Still, this is a forum and as such we all just have to take the good with the rotten apples. I, for one, believe in a collective voice -- good or bad. I think Nikon's QC is as bad as anyone's, and I went out of my way to buy coverage so I could avoid even dealing with their CSRs entirely (that's another story). I think my D800E blows my D2X out of the water, as a tool -- to make pictures with incredible amounts of latitude in the 'darkroom'. Do I have sympathy for the OP's qualms about using his warranty? Absolutely. I will say it without hesitation that the ikon people will totally deny anything is wrong with their cameras until MacArthur is exhumed. Then, only with a gun to their heads, will they come clean and waive the white flag. Still, I use the D800E and even in a pinch, when I had to endure the crappy oil-spotted files I got out of an emergency D600 back-up, I get'er done. My D2X was a far 'better' build than my D800E or the D600 I was thrilled to return, but if I had to chose between build or image quality, focus issues or not, I'd take the files of even the greasy, dirty, yet according to most here flawlessly perfect D600. Yep: I just cloned out that little spot in the upper left of every shot I needed to use. No biggie. These are just tools you know. We don't make babies with our gear, just shoot them, right? I hope people bitch, rant, rave if there is even a tiny bit of truth to it. And, while I know this is never going to happen, I wish those who most enjoy passing judgement on others would just quit being so hostile and personal every time someone wants to rant a little. What's the big deal if they do? It's only their opinion. Attacking someone for voicing their opinion is, quite frankly, rather Nazi-like.

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