The Nikon Negative Narrative - Rebuttal

I recall a moment in The Clone Wars in which General Grievious says to to Knobe, "you are doomed", but of course we know the end result. What troubles me about the incessant callout regarding Nikon, is simply that the basis is fake news in part because those with the podium surely do not know how to read financial statements nor have a keen understanding of corporate accounting principals. Clearly these idiots who assert being future seers are ignorant and without any intelligence concerning the actual facts.

Nikon's last posted cash position is comparable to their position for H1 2019, their liquidity is similar, and their FCFs actually improved for H1 2020!! They had significant write downs of intangibles that were deemed impaired (there is a multi-tiered test for this determination). In this case, an impairment is a reduction in assets which were "marked up" at cost for purposes of amortizing (expensing) the asset over its life span. When an asset's life span is deemed to be viable over a lesser period than what was expected, a NON-CASH expenditure occurs. Yes it affects profit but has no impact on cash, and cash is king.

So they have the same liquidity/cash they had the year earlier and now have a long list of excellent products and corrections of others. Their JIT inventory is similar to Leica and others who determine demand with preorders and then produce in batches. Simply because we are impatient doesn't mean that Nikon's production methods are without merit.

They are taking all the normal actions to become "agile" in a field where demand continues to slide; yet they are clearly delivering and without a whimper.

I must say that the dark past haunts Nikon though, and these mouth pieces on the net who portray Nikon as a loser, have a host of events to point to: the remarkably poorly handled D600 debacle, the disappointing 58MM f1.4 (they did not market this properly; however, it should have been much sharper wide open), the horrible 80-400v1 and at best mediocre v2, the 70-200 v1 which could not be used with proper results with FF cameras, the incredibly poor decision to include only one one drive slot on the Z6 and Z7, and there are others. Those who allowed the products into the market with these limitations/issues, should have been replaced. In such a competitive marketplace, you CANNOT CUT CORNERS, and must at minimum meet demand/competition or, preferably exceed it (the Nikon D800 and D850 and E teles are great examples of the latter). Those that don't usually fail.

Yes Canon is brisk with their new and innovative offerings, and some of the best Sony lenses are unmatched, but Nikon has a place and most of us want them to succeed. Nikon has a solid Z product, and with the Mitsubishi keiritsu to bolster them perhaps, they should be fine assuming the market picks up.

There seems to be a human need "to win" I believe, but with that, many relish the end result of the loser, its destruction. I cannot speak to why many become obsessed/thrilled with the destruction of others, but we can point to a cultural current of stepping on and disrespecting perfectly good people/companies. Perhaps it is in our nature.

Having said that, the one thing that really troubles me is that Nikon purchased treasury shares of sizable Yen amounts in the last several years when facing a stressed situation in their market. Any board of trustees should have shut down those purchases as it requires cash going out of the company for these shares.

Too many poor decisions mean poor top management; however, recent trends suggest that younger, more aware, and aggressive leadership is in place and hopefully with it, an ultimate turnaround of the company's prospects.

Enough said.
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Comments

  • Capt_SpauldingCapt_Spaulding Posts: 571Member
    Thanks Flip. This is very well argued. I am one of those people who do not know their way around a balance sheet and are, to some extent, at the mercy of those who do for analysis of corporate finance.

    I don't know if it's a sign of the times, or my fading tolerance for human rubbish mongering, or what, but your point regarding the exalting of "winners" and the joy some seem to experience from the utter destruction of the "losers" creates a powerful resonance for me.

    Modern America (or at least my experience living in it), has become obsessed with this. I find it sickening preferring Theodore Roosevelt's admonition, "It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better."
  • Your quote resonates as I share a birthday with Teddy, along with a love for the outdoors, a strenuous life and a keen sense of preserving our natural sites.

    I think the concept of "anything goes" to win may be found elsewhere in our political history, but during my lifetime, it began with the Watergate breakin-in and its suppression. From there, trying to destroy others who seemed to be productive leaders began with Gingrich and continues with an ever increasing fervor to this day as we all can read.

    When I read about one on-line marksman pointing his "gun" at Steve McCurry (until 2019, a Nikon user) for a supposed breach of cultural protocol in taking his famous image of the Afghan orphan, it seemed to me that this person must have pent up rage to try to diminish the truly remarkable life and product of McCurry over a "presumed" understanding. Why, for what reason? Again, the thrill of bringing down a vested hero for a propogandized infraction? Clearly this individual does not have the emotional intelligence nor empathy to understand what McCurry has accomplished in his lifetime. Go to McCurry's website and I dare say few if any can show a portfolio of their own that is remotely of the same quality and breath.

    When I look at his Nat Geo work from 1983-85 including several covers, I remain in awe of the images he created, using in many instances, a manual focus Nikon FM2 and several Nikon prime lenses. Look at the risks he took in Afghanistan and Pakistan, how an Indian crowd tried to drown him for taking images of a religious event, etc.

    I understand people get pissed off because Nikon doesn't always answer the question, "so what did you do for me today Nikon to keep me interested". But this is narcissism at its finest.

    On the other hand, Nikon must not make any mistakes while maintaining 100% integrity in all of its offerings. I think it can make it notwithstanding the naysayers including Rockwell. They may have justification for recommending one product over another, but not trying deep six at this point a still viable company.
  • MrFotoFoolMrFotoFool Posts: 198Member
    I started to watch the video but lost interest about a minute in. However as a recent convert to Nikon F (after two decades with Canon EOS) I can assure you the Nikon SLR system is fantastic. As others have said (and I wholeheartedly agree), the D850 is the best DSLR ever made. Not that Canon or Sony or Pentax or Fuji are bad, they are all good. It is nearly impossible to buy a bad camera these days; we are spoiled for choice. Those who feel the need to bash other systems (or relish in their perceived demise) do so I think to make themselves feel better about their own system. I live in Tucson, a metro area of roughly one million, and the only camera shop (not counting big box stores) left in town that sells new gear only sells Nikon. So I can assure you that in my area at least Nikon is alive and well.
  • PB_PMPB_PM Posts: 4,355Member
    Of course Nikon is in trouble, with dramatically falling camera sales, an aging user base, and Intel highly likely to be bailing on buying Nikon semi-conductor tech in the future (Intel may be abandoning their own fabs), there is no doubt about it. It's not a matter of the quality of the product, they do a poor job at marketing. Now when I say trouble, I do not mean doomed! It just means Nikon is going to become a small player. That's not a bad thing, if they listen to the buyers, problem is Nikon has really struggled to pay any attention to any of their buyers other than the big pros in the past. Will that change? If they want to survive, they will have to. Thom Hogan covered this issue well in a post this week.
    If I take a good photo it's not my camera's fault.
  • DenverShooterDenverShooter Posts: 388Member
    The 80mm to 400mm F/4.5-5.6 V2 is a fine lens within its limitations. Its not the Nikon 400mm F/2.8 and it's not $11K USD either.

    Stopped down a couple of stops, mine makes great images. Unless I need low light capability (and then I take my 70mm to 200mm F/2.8) it resides in my "go bag".

    I just recently got the D850 to replace my D800E (which I sold to a nice semi-pro shooter in LA).

    I just spent 6 days with it shooting Black Dragon Canyon, Goblin Valley and various locations in and around Green River, Utah. Using everything from the Nikon 24mm F1.4 to the Nikon 14mm to 24mm F/2.8, Nikon 85mm F/1.4, Nikon 24mm to 70mm F/2.8 and (wait for it) the 80mm to 400mm F/4.5-5.6 V2. Once I got my brain wrapped around it, the images it made are absolutely stunning...

    Denver Shooter
  • Capt_SpauldingCapt_Spaulding Posts: 571Member
    @DenverShooter Damn! I am sooo pissed. That part of the country is my Shangri-La. Glad you're happy with the 850. I lust after one but, in truth, my D750 is a better camera than I am a photographer and opportunity cost closes the door.

    Upside? My D7200 and the 750 are very good cameras and offer lots of room to stretch my skill set. :)
  • "Stopped down a couple of stops, mine makes great images."

    Yes exactly! It's great for landscapes stopped down. For replacement of my aged 400MM f5.6 I tried it and at 400MM and wide open at closest minimum focus, it was relatively soft. It was not therefore usable reasonably for wildlife (though others use it for non-bird images).

    I opted for the 200-400 F4 which at its widest aperture is very useful in low light. Will potentially gravitate to the new 500MM F5.6 lens for BIF. Images on the web with this new lens are very appealing.
  • DenverShooterDenverShooter Posts: 388Member
    Shot Porsche’s at 135 MPH (198 foot per second) head on with it and it works just fine a couple of stops in.. And that was at F11 1/1250 and ISO 2200 and a polarizer.

    So it’s not just for landscape work..

    Denver Shooter
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,421Moderator


    My D7200 and the 750 are very good cameras and offer lots of room to stretch my skill set. :)

    The truth of the matter is, if you can't shoot a top quality shot with those bodies, chances are you won't shoot a good shot with any body.

    I have a D850 but I loved my D7100 and D750 - in some ways they were superior.
    Always learning.
  • mhedgesmhedges Posts: 1,976Member


    My D7200 and the 750 are very good cameras and offer lots of room to stretch my skill set. :)

    The truth of the matter is, if you can't shoot a top quality shot with those bodies, chances are you won't shoot a good shot with any body.

    I have a D850 but I loved my D7100 and D750 - in some ways they were superior.
    Yep. Heck, I go back and look at the pictures I got from my first outing with my D5500, and they are unreasonably good considering I really had no idea how to properly set up the camera - I thought it would be basically the same as my old film N60 (F60 in most countries).
  • Capt_SpauldingCapt_Spaulding Posts: 571Member
    edited November 2020
    I've heard all my life, "it's not the arrow, it's the Indian."

    Post edited by Capt_Spaulding on
  • "I have a D850 but I loved my D7100 and D750 - in some ways they were superior."

    Spray, just curious what makes you feel that the older cameras are "in some ways superior"? I ask because in my D850 test to my older cameras, I found the latter's color to be a bit more saturated (this has been the industry trend for many years now), slightly warmer color overall, and with less contrast. Being a bit overindulging in getting colors and contrast accurate, the D300 and D800 seemed to me more "natural" in standard output. Of course it's all relative and what you become accustomed to, and one can certainly adjust in post, but who wants to do that unless they have a once in a lifetime shot. Having used the Fuji GFX for a week, and in head to head with D800, the former was way too saturated with colors that a times seemed "plastic". It was annoying, and I say this coming from Velvia 50 during my film days. When I look at Sony images, but particularly of wildlife, I get the same sense of way oversaturation, which many like and I cannot get used to. I think Nikon has tried to maintain its traditional color without getting overly gaudy (Image-Resource tests color saturation from norm and color deviation coefficients, and trends have been oversaturation of up to 15%). Again one can desaturate (and I have with the Fuji) in post.

    Are you satisfied with this shift in the market (Leica SL2 has most natural saturation levels per Image-Resource)?
  • PB_PMPB_PM Posts: 4,355Member
    edited November 2020
    I don't disagree with Sprays comment that in some aspects the older cameras were better. I find the new cameras to meter hot more often than not, leading to overexposure often without using compensation. The only saving grace is highlight weighted metering, but even that doesn't always get the desired result. The character of noise of the D850 is worse than the D750. Even down sampled D850 to the same resolution the D750 did better in low light due to the character of the noise. Now if you use advanced de-noise software the D850 blows everything else away, no contest. It's almost a must to be honest. If you are using Lightroom for reducing or removing noise from images, you will be disappointed.

    There is no doubt that the D850 is better than most older Nikon bodies in terms of auto focus and resolution. Is it the perfect camera? No, there is no such thing.
    Post edited by PB_PM on
    If I take a good photo it's not my camera's fault.
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,421Moderator
    @flip - PB_PM mentioned a lot of my points, but I especially mean noise (the D750 was light years better than the D850 is) and of course the old C1 memory Vs D850 disaster.

    I actually disagree with other people about the ettl/ettr controversy because the noise jumps up too much when I bring up the exposure in post. even my D7100 was able to beat what my D850 can do in that regard.

    @PB_PM - what noise reduction software are you referring to? I have tried AI and found it doesn't do as well as I had hoped.
    Always learning.
  • PB_PMPB_PM Posts: 4,355Member
    edited November 2020
    Topaz DeNoise AI makes the D850 files look great, must have for anyone who is a pro. It isn't cheap, but it does a great job, try a free trial. Even Nikon Capture NX-D does a better job than Adobe.
    Post edited by PB_PM on
    If I take a good photo it's not my camera's fault.
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,421Moderator
    PB_PM said:

    Topaz DeNoise AI makes the D850 files look great, must have for anyone who is a pro. It isn't cheap, but it does a great job, try a free trial. Even Nikon Capture NX-D does a better job than Adobe.

    Will do, thanks.
    Always learning.
  • 36MP and +cameras I shoot below ISO 500 to avoid noise (GFX I can shoot even to ISO 800 without noise being a problem). Pro landscapers have mentioned noise in the D850 being an issue above 640. I try to shoot all landscapes at base ISO (and sometimes below) to avoid noise, rarely going beyond 320. I won'[t go beyond ISO1600 for wildlife, and as PB_PM says, NX-D handles noise reduction well. Actually I like NX-D for most of my work, but I tend not to do anything terribly fancy (straight no chaser). It has the added function of allowing me to set the SW to properly read Adobe RGB files.

    As to ETTL, ETTR, I have found that recovering shadows is much easier to trying to capture details in blown out highlights, at least with C1 and NX-D. If you have to set highlights recovery to 100% in post, you have pretty much screwed the pooch with the exposure, that is unless you don't mind the blowout. At least with NX-D, shadow recovery is very good, and I rarely set it to even 25%. You lose contrast by pulling the shadows, so add small amount of saturation to compensate. Think Neutral profile vs Standard.

    I have read that the Sony A7RIV has noise issues pretty early into ISO increase from base. There is a Leica forum for SL-2 etc, but I have not read anything that suggests it has noise issues at 47MPs. But the SL2 does not have high ISO brilliance either. BTW, Leica has introduced SW upgrade to include Pixel Shift which almost quadruples the MP output. It is said to include an algorithm to address small amounts of movement (i.e. very light leaf movement). Gross movements, it cannot handle (i.e. moving cars and people). I watched a video from a Leica pro and the details with Pixel Shift were very impressive. OTOH, I am unwilling to pay $11k+ for a camera and one lens unless it included a Nikon FL-E super tele.

    I suspect the reason Nikon did not increase D6 MPs is that it could not produce exceptional noiseless image quality at higher ISOs. Perhaps 24MPs is the max number of pixels and still get nice high ISO results. A technological barrier?
  • DenverShooterDenverShooter Posts: 388Member
    I suspect the D6 sensor limit is a data processing issue. It's running 14 frames a second and thats a lot of data to move, process and store. Come to think about it I haven't been able to overload its memory. I will have to try it the next time I have it out of the flight case..

    As for blowing out highlights... Once you clip the A to D converter(s) there is no going back to get that information. You might be able to "guess" what was supposed to be there but it's not going to be "real".

    My Dad taught me to set the EV to -0.3 which keeps me out of clipping trouble most all of the time.

    Exposure. It's important.

    Thats why there's metering in the viewfinder and Sekonic makes exposure meters.. I carry a Sekonic L-858.

    As for D850 noise. Just recently tried my hand at astrophotography in Goblin Valley (one of the darkest places in the US). It was a balmy 20 degrees F at 1:30 AM and I was out in it for 3 hours. I used the Nikon 24MM F/1.4 and Nikon 85mm F/1.4. Ran ISO of 800 with exposures of 6 to 30 seconds. I didn't think there was a noise issue in the resulting images..

    But next time I am bringing much warmer gloves, sandbag for tripod and will be working more diligently on using chromatic aberration for setting the focus in Live View. Stars should generally be white.. LOL.

    As for landscape shooting, I was running ISO from 64 to 400. If there was any noise it wasn't noticeable in post.

    I did shoot a 15 image panorama with the D850 which I processed using TIFF files and those were 272 MB each and the resultant pano TIFF was 1.29 GB (a fair amount of overlap). The max error was 41 pixels according to the pano software.. With pano's it's all about paying attention to the setup and getting the tripod perfectly level. The artificial horizon on the D850 is invaluable for proper leveling.

    Denver Shooter
  • photobunnyphotobunny Posts: 358Member
    PB_PM said:

    Topaz DeNoise AI makes the D850 files look great, must have for anyone who is a pro. It isn't cheap, but it does a great job, try a free trial. Even Nikon Capture NX-D does a better job than Adobe.

    It is a little disappointing to hear Topaz DeNoise AI is still so ahead. Not that I wish them I'll, just that I would hope Lightroom and co would be up to snuff by now. I process my Z6 images in Capture One and they always look great, even ISO 14,400. But it sounds like the high MP bodies still need DeNoise for that final step?
  • retreadretread Posts: 568Member
    I have no experience with DeNoise. Deep prime denoising in Photo lab 4 does good on my D7200 and D500 files. It has raised my ISO limit.
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,421Moderator
    @flip: I do always shoot lowest ISO and usually a bracketed set to give me options when I shoot landscapes. I also never shoot so far to the right that I lose highlights, I just don't like pulling up the exposure more than a stop or so to avoid the noise that I hate. That Leica sounds amazing, but like you I will never know.

    I am intrigued by your astro experience @DenverShooter as that is where I find the D850 to be at its most disappointing (or were you talking about the D6?). The only way that I would ever get a reasonable image from it is to track the stars and make a composite image. Otherwise I would have to jack the ISO up and find I have wasted my time when I get home. As for your experience at low temperatures, I suffer from Reynauds disease which is like hitting both my thumbs hard with a hammer and trying to operate camera buttons so I know discomfort!

    The D850 is strange I think - to have a sensor with such poor low light performance but the AF and speed of a sport camera is a bit unusual. I guess they tried to make it all things to all people.
    Always learning.
  • PB_PMPB_PM Posts: 4,355Member
    edited December 2020

    PB_PM said:

    Topaz DeNoise AI makes the D850 files look great, must have for anyone who is a pro. It isn't cheap, but it does a great job, try a free trial. Even Nikon Capture NX-D does a better job than Adobe.

    It is a little disappointing to hear Topaz DeNoise AI is still so ahead. Not that I wish them I'll, just that I would hope Lightroom and co would be up to snuff by now. I process my Z6 images in Capture One and they always look great, even ISO 14,400. But it sounds like the high MP bodies still need DeNoise for that final step?
    Yeah for the high MP bodies it really helps to use DeNoise. It can make ISO12800 shots look like ISO800 in my experience.
    Post edited by PB_PM on
    If I take a good photo it's not my camera's fault.
  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 3,517Member
    For me, if I am shooting above ISO 800 on my D850, it is because the presence of noise is a creative decision. Street, candid and event photography are genres where noise is usually part of the intent.

    If I care about noise I am likely shooting at base ISO and certainly less than ISO 400 and will use a tripod if I can’t achieve that handheld.

    I find that VR improves flexibility to the point where I am rarely fretting about noise.
  • mhedgesmhedges Posts: 1,976Member
    Interesting discussions. For me on Z6 I find I can go up to ISO 6400 in a lot of situations and be OK with the noise levels. Maybe I'm just not as picky!
  • DenverShooterDenverShooter Posts: 388Member
    I am just not seeing a noise issue with my D850. It does't look any worse (and possibly better) than images I shot on my D800E at the same ISO.

    Denver Shooter
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