Eamon Hickey

Lives in United States NY, United States
Joined on Mar 22, 2001

Comments

Total: 133, showing: 1 – 20
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Many nice shots in the gallery, Barney. Any thoughts on the Nikkor 5cm f/1.4 lens that a few were taken with, especially for portraits? It's a Sonnar formula, as I'm sure you know, and I've been toying with the idea of looking for one (or the f/2), just to try something different (although in my case it would be on a Sony body).

Link | Posted on Nov 10, 2017 at 19:26 UTC as 109th comment | 3 replies
In reply to:

IdM photography: Nikon are stopping DIRECT sales in Brazil... not stopping sales... Does Nikon have direct sales in the USA or in Europe? No...

No, gray market is a much more complicated phenomenon than what you describe. It arises out of dozens of factors related to the way international trade is conducted, and thousands of companies in scores of industries are affected by it. It is not unique to Nikon or anything that Nikon does. Here, for example, is one company's dire warning against buying gray market tractors. Yeah, there's a tractor gray market.

https://www.kubotausa.com/gray-market-tractors

Link | Posted on Nov 7, 2017 at 20:03 UTC
In reply to:

leoberaldo: As mentioned, only a very small part of the market was served by the brand's official channel. The majority of users buy their equipment through sellers who offer better prices (often because there is tax evasion in these operations).

Sony and Canon operations were cited as similar, but this is false. Canon, in Brazil since 1974, sells a much larger product portfolio (projectors, cameras, printers). It also has a factory in Manaus, which allows it to offer better prices for their products. Sony is the same case.

Nikon for years was represented by a company called T Tanaka. That changed when in 2011 the brand set up this operation, in order to expand its market share and also serve as the basis for the Olympic Games in Rio, which were sponsored by them.

So, there is some speculation in the comments below. Other elements need to be taken into account. Associating the closure of a small operation (in a tough environment) with the end of a brand seems to me an exaggeration.

Yes, this seems to be about the particular situation for Nikon in Brazil. You would know better than me, but I'm guessing that most Nikon cameras sold in Brazil come from the Udenio organization (i.e. cross the border from Argentina, Uruguay, or Chile) or they come from Miami, all without paying Brazilian import duties and therefore are much cheaper at retail. Nikon appears to have decided to let that be the case and fund Nikon support in Brazil in some other way (perhaps by shifting a little money from Udenio, or from Nikon USA, or both).

Interesting if you care about Nikon's sales structure in Latin America (the first Nikon sales manager for Latin America was my best friend, so I have a weird connection to it), but I'm not sure it tells any larger story.

Link | Posted on Nov 7, 2017 at 17:02 UTC
In reply to:

IdM photography: Nikon are stopping DIRECT sales in Brazil... not stopping sales... Does Nikon have direct sales in the USA or in Europe? No...

Nikon USA (formally Nikon Inc.) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Nikon Japan (formally Nikon Corp), and its financial results are reported on (i.e. 'consolidated' with) the parent company's books; this has been true since the mid-1970s. Same as the UK.

Link | Posted on Nov 7, 2017 at 16:47 UTC
In reply to:

Patrick Dodds: Can you hire these?

In some places, yes. I can rent (i.e. hire) colorimeters and spectrophotometers locally in New York City, and there is a national outfit in the U.S. called LensRentals that rents the ColorMunki Photo, which appears to be the similar to this 'new' X-Rite.

They say you should re-calibrate monitors relatively frequently, and you need a specific calibration for each paper that you print on, so I can easily foresee scenarios where rental fees could add up to more than the cost of purchasing one.

Link | Posted on Nov 1, 2017 at 12:56 UTC
In reply to:

Eric Ouellet: I think that one of the major reason of bad reception was due to DPReview and all other reviewers. Most of you (reviewers) have taken so much time to come out with a review that it killed a lot of potential buyers enthusiasms. I was mystifyed by how long you took to review a so wonderful camera. It was remarkably long considering all the new features it was bringing. It look likes you were paid by Nikon or Canon to delay its review. Also, you made a big point against H.265 either if it is the best format ever created for video. H.265 is the format that everybody should be looking for. For today and the future. DPreview and other reviewers are big part of the death of that wonderful camera. Shame on you DPReview!

There's nothing quite so admirable as accusing another person of criminal or immoral behavior without any evidence whatsoever. So, in that spirit:

Eric Ouellet, you are obviously being paid by a competitor of DPReview to spread lies and slander about DPReview. How do I know?

Number of Ouellet posts criticizing DPreview: 2
Number of Ouellet posts praising DPreview: 0

You could be very bad in math, but that is 2 more critical posts than posts with praise. Stop bullshiting (sic) us! There is a reason behind that. You know it, but it can't be told. Case closed.

Link | Posted on Oct 20, 2017 at 15:07 UTC
On article Nikon D850 Review (2116 comments in total)
In reply to:

CCD FTW: And still no mention of the A99 II when comparing to 'the competition'.

Mirrorless cameras can have precision issues, too—their tolerances are not perfect. In fact, every mirrorless camera I've tested closely has small repeatability and precision errors in its AF system. Shoot 10 identical shots, refocusing each time, and they are not all focused in the same place, or focused perfectly.

It is true, however, that these issues are much less important with mirrorless cameras.

I should add that wet biological focusing systems are not perfectly precise or repeatable either. Manual focus 10 identical shots, refocusing each time, and they will not all be focused perfectly, or in the same place. Even if you use high-magnification live view focusing aids.

Link | Posted on Oct 11, 2017 at 16:42 UTC

I won't be surprised if we see some official clarifying remarks from Nikon Japan, as in an official, professionally translated press release, at some point soon. I'm guessing subsidiaries like Nikon USA are already asking them, "So, what do we say in response to questions about this?"

Link | Posted on Sep 18, 2017 at 15:07 UTC as 67th comment
In reply to:

Scottelly: "So far there is no professional using their products." REALLY Mr. Tetsuro? So you're saying that no professional shoots with Sony mirrorless cameras? What a bunch of balderdash! I know of one very successful professional photographer who bought ten Sony mirrorless cameras for herself and her crew about a year ago. No, she doesn't shoot exclusively Sony, but from what I hear she's shooting with Sony equipment now. The rest of the time she probably shoots with Hasselblad, not Nikon or Canon. But she's not a sports shooter. When Sony finally makes a good, image-stabilized, 800mm f5.6 lens in FE mount, Nikon and Canon better watch out. Sony will make an improved A9 sooner rather than later, and it might have their 42 MP sensor in it. If they do, Sony will be offering a camera that roasts the professional cameras from Nikon and Canon. Nikon's new D850 won't save Nikon from Sony, it will help save them from Canon though. Could a 45 MP mirrorless save Nikon from Sony? Maybe.

Uncertain translations. He said something, but exactly what the nuances and meanings really were are hard for us to know with machine and amateur translations.

Link | Posted on Sep 18, 2017 at 15:03 UTC
In reply to:

LessMirrored19: Meanwhile...
Sony hard at work for the next A7 family , and Nikon CEO continue doing doing interviews with nonsense statements

Not CEO. Not even close.

Link | Posted on Sep 18, 2017 at 15:01 UTC

Weird interview (judging by the NikonRumors translation). One amazing thing is that he showed his personal Df with third-party modifications attached to it. Never seen that before. And he spoke about competitors much more directly than is normal.

Part of his agenda clearly was to publicly re-argue disputes he's had within Nikon with other executives. Looks like some were disputes that he lost, and he feels like saying "told you so" about them (especially around the Df).

Feels to me like a guy who no longer gives a f#$k and wants to say his piece. If the translator is correct that his position at Nikon is now a research honorific — i.e. he's already officially retired — rather than an active executive position, that would help make more sense of it. Still, I wonder why Nikon would put him forward as an interview subject, if he's not really taking part in active policy decision-making for the company. Strange.

Link | Posted on Sep 18, 2017 at 12:39 UTC as 79th comment | 1 reply
In reply to:

Duckie: If they produce a Nikon Coolpix B with 65mm equivalent view and uses the same battery type as the Coolpix A, it will do for me. Getting tired of carrying so much weight. Who wants to swap lenses anymore. Just swap cameras with fixed focal lengths. Two covers a lot!

Of course they have to make the AF work this time!

I think I'd love this solution, too. In the film days, in certain formats, there were approximations of this idea.

Alas, I'm about 99% sure it will never happen, and if it does, it won't be Nikon that does it.

Link | Posted on Sep 18, 2017 at 12:32 UTC
In reply to:

Fujica: In short Fujifilm said 'NO' to Nikon when Nikon asked for money in order to survive.

I can't care less that Nikon calls me an amateur as long as I earn a good income with my photography even if my equipment consists of an APS-C camera. Then I am glad to be an amateur photographer with a great income that is large enough to have a good living out of my 'hobby' - Hahaha good 'joke' Nikon.

I'll remember it if I need to reconsider my choice of equipment in the future. I'll now know Nikon will be off the shortlist for a long time to come.

@Fujica

The Fuji/Nikon thing was never confirmed by the Japanese government. Where do people get this stuff?

It was a rumor started by one Japanese political magazine, and, so far, no confirmation of any kind has appeared, including no Japanese business magazine has reported anything about it, even though it would be a huge story, if true.

And justmeNM is right about the financials; all it takes is a quick look at Nikon's balance sheet to see that. Finally, Nikon's forecasts are usually reasonably reliable, as is true for most companies. Unexpected, large economic shocks, like recessions or natural disasters or the decision to take a large write-off, can cause forecasts to be significantly wrong, but otherwise most companies have a fairly good idea of how much business they are going to do over short-ish time horizons like 6 months or even a year.

Link | Posted on Sep 18, 2017 at 12:07 UTC
On article Nikon D850 Review (2116 comments in total)
In reply to:

Noogy: Nikon's quality issues started when they migrated manufacturing to Thailand. If they are able to address that, the D850 will no doubt finally bring the brand back to the game in a big way.

@Noogy

Do you have any idea how long Nikon has been manufacturing SLR cameras in Thailand? 25 years. They built that factory in 1990-91, and it began cranking out entry and mid-range SLR cameras, as well as lenses, shortly thereafter. The huge majority — probably somehwere in the vicinity of 75% — of Nikon SLR cameras made in the last 25 years were made there; dozens of different models, film and digital.

So, to prove your thesis you'd have to show us a lot of reliability data over a 25-year time span and across 20 or 25 camera models. I'll be waiting.

Link | Posted on Sep 12, 2017 at 13:45 UTC
In reply to:

FuhTeng: That renter with the Canon 600 f/4. Ow. It's neglect so they're responsible, but I bet replacing just that part is only a fraction of the price of the lens, but when the price of the lens is over $12,000, a fraction can still be a lot of money.

Yeah, pretty "brave" with a $12,000 lens.

I'm sure the diaphragm mechanism can be replaced; my guess would be several hundred dollars but not more than $1,000.

I once saw a Nikon 300/2.8 that had literally been broken in half. Two separate, equal-sized pieces, like a broom stick that somebody had cracked over their knee. We couldn't figure out quite how that was done, and the photographer would not say.

Link | Posted on Sep 1, 2017 at 20:16 UTC
In reply to:

ThatCamFan: To be honest? Charge the customers for the entire gears cost.

What would be the moral or legal justification for charging someone for more damage than they caused? If the damaged part can be replaced, that's what they should pay for, nothing more, nothing less. If you break the window in your neighbor's house, you pay to have the window replaced; you don't pay for the whole house.

It's even a terrible business idea. I can think of no better way to lose customers than to try to charge them for costs they aren't responsible for.

Link | Posted on Sep 1, 2017 at 20:14 UTC
In reply to:

rkodama1: Nikon's recent operating profits have been dismal and unless they are able to shore it up, they could be in serious financial trouble in the near future. I assume that they sunk a ton of R&D dollars into the D850 and are selling it at relatively thin margins with the hope that volume will make up the dollars. If they run into any kind of design/quality hiccups this could be the beginning of the end. Here's to hoping they have a successful launch and future.

As justmeMN pointed out, Nikon's overall profit picture is not bad at all, and its fiscal condition is quite solid (low debt, plenty of assets).

Nikon recorded a small loss last fiscal year because of a huge one-time charge to restructure (in effect, dismantle) one of its non-camera businesses (semiconductor lithography). Cameras were profitable even last year.

Nikon overall has recorded solid profits year after year for 15 years or so (with rare exceptions), and Nikon's camera unit just recorded its 20th consecutive annual operating profit — literally billions of dollars in net profits over that time. Nobody else in the camera business is remotely close to that record, except for Canon, of course, which has done much better even than Nikon.

Nikon has a big future growth problem — i.e. it's not clear where they will get it. But they do not have a current profitability or cash flow problem, and they are quite solvent, with plenty of money to invest in new businesses.

Link | Posted on Aug 26, 2017 at 15:10 UTC
In reply to:

AbrasiveReducer: It's the government, so they probably negotiated a quantity discount of 10% above list.

I know you guys are expressing some mordant humor here, but in case anyone is wondering:

Nikon USA, like many manufacturers, provides special GSA pricing to U.S. federal government agencies, and the prices are significantly lower than regular retail. The government agency places the order through a regular Nikon retail dealer (or designates them as the dealer of record), and the retailer gets a commission on the sale from Nikon. At least, this is how it worked back when I was a Nikon sales rep many moons ago.

"GSA" refers to the Government Services Administration, which negotiates these discounted prices with thousands of suppliers.

So actually, in this case, the government is using its clout to save some taxpayer money. Obviously, in many other cases, it doesn't work like that, to say the least.

Link | Posted on Aug 25, 2017 at 21:47 UTC
In reply to:

RubberDials: Good article Richard, but silence in the woodshed doesn't indicate toil in the fields.

You can't pull a camera like the A9 or A7rII out of a hat. There is a great tendency to underestimate the technical achievements of Sony and imagine it's trivial for either Nikon or Canon to emulate them.

The absence of IBIS and on-sensor PDAF as well as pixel-binned 4K on the D850 suggests that a FF Nikon mirrorless is more than some way away. The camera would almost certainly require a new mount. What better time to introduce that, if they were going to, than with the D850? A new Nikon mount for a new century...

I think what's far more likely is that the DSLR market will contract over the next ten years and their will be room for only one player. That will probably be Canon. Not the best, but the best known.

"The absence of IBIS and on-sensor PDAF as well as pixel-binned 4K on the D850 suggests that a FF Nikon mirrorless is more than some way away."

As Richard pointed out, Nikon has had a mirrorless ILC camera with on-sensor PDAF that can autofocus very well at 20fps with no EVF blackout for several years already. It was the A9 that finally caught up with it. Nikon's system has not been a sales success, but it has been a mirrorless ILC system with many class-leading technologies. More than anything else, it shows, yet again, that technology is only part of the equation for success.

Sony has been doing great things lately, and getting rewarded by the market for it. All to the good. But there are many other extremely formidable engineering firms in the camera business, and they will compete aggressively.

Link | Posted on Aug 25, 2017 at 15:42 UTC
In reply to:

PWPhotography: Go Nikon! A better and healthy Nikon will push Canon, Sony and others forward faster. We will all benefit from competitions.

Let's wait and see Nikon FF mirrorless.

It's not an either/or. There is a large market for both FF and APS-C mirrorless, which means Nikon will do both, ultimately.

Same for F-mount vs. new mount mirrorless. Both could sell well, so both will be done, ultimately.

Link | Posted on Aug 25, 2017 at 14:14 UTC
Total: 133, showing: 1 – 20
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