Most disappointing Nikon accessories

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by diana, Dec 19, 2003.

  1. Have you ever purchased a Nikon (or related) item for your Nikon camera and found it failed to meet your expectations?
    Share your stories here.
    BTW, I'm not "anti-Nikon", actually I'm a Nikon fanatic. But I do realize that not every product is a winner and I'd like to help everyone else out there avoid those lemons.
    Related thread:
    Most disliked Nikon lenses ??? discussion thread here.
  2. The Nikon 52mm and 62mm circular polarizers are oversized so they can work with wide angle lenses. But they are oversized to a non-standard size and thread pitch. Thus you are limited to using the expensive little shades that come with the polarizers, and the shades are just not long enough for a lot of lenses. In my experience, using standard step-up rings with Hoya or B&W circular polarizers and standard shades works better and costs less.
  3. This little devil scratched my glasses. It’s a DG-2, 2x magnifier. It magnifies the center of the finder for more precise focus and flips out of the way offering sharp metal to your eye glasses. I shoot through my glasses as this eliminates the need for an eye piece diopter.
  4. Funny that David beat me to mentioning the DG-2 piece of misery 2x eyepiece magnifier. It has horrible distortion and chromatic abberation. Placed on the finder, the sharp threads will wear the paint off your finder socket faster than a nail file. When you flip the miserable bugger up, the sharp metal edges will scrape up your eyeglasses. Well, at least it's your eyeglasses and not your eyes! Placed on an F3 finder, you can't see any meter indications with the magnifier in place. To top it all all, 2x is just not enough magnification to make this pain worth it. Do yourself a favor, and sell it on ebay as I did, and make some other poor fool suffer. In case you guys REALLY have to have this thing, Samigon made an identical eyepiece magnifier which my brother picked up for about $5. But do yourself a favor and get a real 6x magnifying finder instead.<p>A non-Nikon item but equally useless is the microscope adapter for the Gossen Luna Pro meter. It is just an adapter to mount the meter onto your microscope eyepiece tube. To use it, you have to run a set of test exposures until you find the correct exposure. Then you note what the correct "number" is that the meter has to read for your setup to give the correct exposure. Guess what, after you've done all those test exposures, just write down the correct exposures for each level of magnification, and you DON'T NEED the Gossen meter at all.<p>OK, one last piece of Nikon uselessness: The AH-2 / AH-3 tripod plate. Nikon motor drives have their tripod screw way off in the left corner of the bottom plate (as you hold the camera in shooting position). To prevent wrenching the bottom off your drive, this plate attempts to recenter the tripod hole. It even has little upward arms to hold your camera body so that the device won't twist off in use. The drawbacks:<p>Rather thick to accomodate the tripod screw. Makes the camera even taller than it needs to be.<p>It's pretty much a solid piece of metal, so along with the thickness mentioned above, it has lots of "road hugging" weight. It feels as if it were solid lead.<p>Rubbery surface coating allows your camera and long lens to bob up and down. <p>Get yourself a good Kirk or RRS Arca Swiss type plate instead. They are long enough to allow recentering of the camera under the balance point. They have an anti-twist flange which is very discreet. They are light, extremely strong, and of low profile. Plus, they save you the misery of having to screw/unscrew to get on or off the tripod.<p>I'm sure I'll think of more after I've made this post.
  5. One of the most important accessories for my N90 is a cable/remote release. I could use the self-timer but find it easier to be sure that the camera is really steady if I have the remote trigger.
    Last year I foolishly allowed myself to be talked into using a ladder to get a slighly better angle in shooting a church window. It was really not necessary and I should have just said "no" but...
    Anyway, while mounting this ladder with camera and long lens in hand the cable-release which was trailing behind got snagged under my foot and the wires got ripped out of the little metal plug thereby ending the day's shooting.
    This device has a 10-pin cable but only 3 pins are used because it is just a simple on/off switch - I imagine that they use the 10-pin cable so that it can also be used for the souped up version which has timer functions. Anyway I knew it was going to be expensive to replace but not exactly how expensive and was staggered to find that a new one was going to cost around $90!!, this at a time when you could get a brand new all-singing, all-dancing N80 for not much more than $350. Fortunately I was able to find one on Ebay being sold by someone quite local and he agreed to sell it to me for $45 which is about the going rate for S/H ones. Needless to say I did not have particularly good feelings towards Nikon for what I still see as a huge rip-off in terms of design and pricing.
  6. As much as I like Nikon, I cannot justify the Nikon AA batteries, and charging systems
    for them. Way too expensive, considering what's available from other sources.
  7. Oh yeah, the DG-2 2x magnifier is also a near useless pain in the ass.
  8. Not accessories per se, but two more items that bug me:<p>The useless finder illumination light for the F3. Whoever thought of that microscopic little red button is a first class idiot!<p>The exposure compensation lock release button - why are they always placed at the front of the camera top deck? (At least they are on the F3 and FG). It's really awkward trying to push this button down and trying to dial in the exposure compensation. It is far easier to just switch to manual exposure mode instead in most instances. Why did no one think of putting this thing towards the back of the camera where the left thumb could push it? How about some indication in the finder that exposure compensation is off the "0" mark? That way, I wouldn't have shot a whole roll of Astia at Velvia speed. This last issue I think was fixed with the FM3a, which has finder indications if exposure compensation is being used.
  9. I bought the SU-4 wireless TTL slave, and found it unsuitable for my purposes (lighting the backgound in macro). I'm certain a lot of people must be using it very effectively, but I'm not one of them.

    But then, my naiveté with flash is probably well-known by this time
  10. I always forget the eyepiece cap DK-8 for the F100. Really, it’s so useless I left it in the box. I can’t tolerate anything stuck on the neck strap and if I took it anywhere it would get lost quickly. I see it as an admission that the F100 should have had a built in eyepiece shutter like the F2As, F3HP, F4/F4s and F5.

    The tiny black screw-on caps for motor drive fittings. They get stuck if screwed on too tight and fall off if left loose.
  11. The rubber eyecup on the F80. I've given up replacing it and now rely on my quiffy hair to block sunlight.
  12. Second vote for the electronic cable releases. First, I had an N8008s that I bought used only to find out I had to pay over $50 for a cable release. Later, I got an F100 and ended up spending twice that on it's release (can't use the old one of course, have to buy the new style!). However now I mostly use an S2 and wish I could use the electronic cable release with it instead of a standard mechanical type.

    I forgot about the useless eyepiece cover that came with my F100 two years ago until I read about it above. Never used it.
  13. I like the electronic releases but they need to be reworked a little. I add a limiting screw inside to they can’t go past the point where they fire and add tiny washers to adjust the "set position" so it's about 1mm from the fire position. The price of course is ridiculous. They are all different electronically and the MC-30 uses a different connector. Once modified I find them very useful. The price and crude adjustment is most disappointing. Given that an AR-9 lists for $7.75 and sells for $7.50 I figure a small empty box bearing the name Nikon would sell for about $6.50. Regards, Dave.
  14. Probably any of the Photo Secretary backs.
  15. The MC-EU1 electronic release for the 900/995/4500 Coolpix cameras. It will work fine and then suddenly decide to freeze up just when you want to snap an important photo. All owners of this unit are familiar with the quirks of the MC-EU1. Nikon's attitude toward the complaints was just to shrug.
  16. Dave, you forgot to mention the biggest drawback of the AR-9 - they are doomed to fall off and disappear! Its simple deduction, that if you have a tapered thread, eventually it will work loose. The AR-9 is great, I've used it on an FM2 and an M2 Leica. Makes for a far smoother release. The usual advice is to stick it in w/ a bit of loctite., which I won't do, so I go without...

    Another item that seems like it should be totally useless is the MF-14 data back for an F3. I definitely don't want numbers printed on my pics! However I ended up keeping the one I got because it adds a nice serrated thumb grip that combines well with the MD4, plus it gives you an easier to read digital readout of the frame # you are on including neg numbers until you reach the first frame.
  17. I bought a N80 (does this count as an accesssory) to back up my F100. The N80 failed after light use and cost $224 to repair by Nikon.
  18. I’ll add the Nikon HN-26 lens hood for the 62mm circular polarizing filter. It’s very poorly designed. It’s made of two pieces, the first attaches to the filter and is designed for lenses of 35mm and longer. The second is an unreinforced ring that is added to the first for lenses with a focal length of 70mm or longer. The problem is the two pieces deform under even light finger pressure and bind tight. By pressing the front and rear face of the hood hard in the palm of the hands and twisting they will usually loosen. The threads at the rear are sharp so I figured sooner or later I’d cut my hand. I just gave up and bought a second HN-26 Hood.

    Nikon should be ashamed of this product and replace it. The HN-12 Hood for the 52mm linear and circular polarizing filters is well reinforced, has a serrated edge on the first piece. I have never had an HN-12 hood bind, absolutely never. All they had to do was copy the design of the HN-12 but enlarge it to fit the larger filter. I expected that the HN-26 would be as trouble free in use as the HN-12.

    I’m very sure the reason for the poor design of the HN-26 is to save machining and finishing cost. Function Follows Cost, a very poor design ethic.
  19. After years of using TLR Rolleis, I purchased a flip-up waist level finder for my Nikon F3. To be sure, it was built to a high standard, and was very precise in fit and finish. It had a nice magnifying lens to aid focus and was in many ways the equal of what I was use to with my Rolleis.

    My disappointment came when I realized how many of my images are composed in a vertical format. This way of viewing works great with a square format like the 6 X 6 Rollei, where formating to the standard 5 X 7, 8 X 10, etc... is done after the shooting. With 35mm, there is not enough film to waste, so you need to shoot verticals with the camera oriented vertically, and the waist level finder is all but un-usable vertically. Off came the finder and back on went the high-eye point finder. I sure didn't think that purchase through before pulling out the plastic.
  20. DR-4 right angle finder. It seemed like a good idea at the time...uh yeah. I had become a macro freak and thought it would be handy for low level shooting. I wear eyeglasses and couldn't see the entire frame through the DR-4. I used it a half dozen times and finally sold it.

    As to the MC-30, it hasn't dissapointed me, just p*ssed me off when I had to spend $80 for it. Must be the "Nikon special formula plastic". What really got my goat was when I wanted an extension for the MC-30 and realized the 10' MC-21 cable to do that was $65. I bought an MC-22 cord instead (has 3 banana plugs and costs the same as the MC-21) and made an adapter to go from the banana plugs to a 1/8" stereo headphone jack. Bought 20' headphone cords from Radio Shack and made a switch box to stick at the end of it. Total cost about $90 for 60' of remote cable. To do that using Nikon accessory cables (wire inside plastic insulation) would have cost $360.
  21. "Dave, you forgot to mention the biggest drawback of the AR-9 - they are doomed to fall off and disappear!" --Neil Parker

    True but if they cost a dime each who would care? Seriously someone must make knockoffs for a $1.99. Even that price would be steep for what they are.
  22. "What really got my goat was when I wanted an extension for the MC-30 and realized the 10' MC-21 cable to do that was $65." --Chuck Greene
  23. "What really got my goat was when I wanted an extension for the MC-30 and realized the 10' MC-21 cable to do that was $65." --Chuck Greene

    Oops! take two...
  24. The Bad News: the RCA Jacks and Plugs will work for the MC-12B but the MC-30 has three wires in the cord so you’ll need a different set of fittings. The beauty of the RCA connection is you can add or remove the extension with motor drive and camera turned on and it won’t short and fire.

    OK, keep the damned MC-30 on the list. I’ve had a look inside and it’s definitely cheap, cheaper than the MC-12B. I’ve always open these things up and added a screw to adjust the backlash and adjusted the "half" position with washers so there is a millimeter or less until the button hits bottom giving a nice "set trigger" feel. The MC-30 is a mushy pig and it’s going to be very hard to improve. I may sell my MC-30 soon. Yuck!

    I can’t believe Nikon would sell such a cheap device for use with the F5.

    Sorry Nikon lovers, Yuck Tweeie! I don’t like the MC-30.

  25. David,
    Like I said, the MC-22 "Motor Remote Cord" has 3 banana plugs on one end: blue, yellow, and black. I walked into my lab at work and got the same color banana jacks out of the parts bin. I went to Radio Shack and bought an 1/8" stereo plug and jack (these have 3 conductors), 3 20'stereo headphone cords for $8 each, a little black plastic project box, and 2 switches. I made an adapter cable with the 3 color coded banana jacks on one end and a 1/8" stereo plug on the other end. In the box I put the 1/8" jack and wired up the 2 switches. I connect the stereo headphone cords in between the box and the adapter cable to have from 20' to 60' of cable. Total cost around $90 including $65 for the MC-22 cord.

    The original reason I wanted a long remote cord was so I could photograph birds in the backyard by remoting the camera near birdfeeders in the backyard while I was inside the house. This was before I bought a long lens. It has come in quite handy for making the family Christmass picture each year, I don't have to fool with waiting on a self timer while my wife is holding a squirming toddler. It was also cheaper than buying the Nikon ML-3 IR remote.
  26. Screw caps for the motor drive terminals (already mentioned) - I have none left on four Nikons, and seem to need to order them from Japan to replace them.

    The PocketWizard "Pre-Release" cable for the Nikon F5 (not made by Nikon, but rather for Nikon) - these puppies cost more than $150 each! We're talking about one meter worth of cable with a little box attached that keeps the camera "awake" (as if you were lightly depressing the shutter release). Naturally the price did not ultimately prevent me from acquiring two of these beasts, but it also bought me the right to complain about it.

    The data backs are OK, but the Photo Secretary software was primitive. As perhaps a preview of things to come (think Nikon View and a D1), you could somehow link thumbnails (which you presumably had to scan in) of the photos you shot to the F5 shooting data...
  27. Ditto everything Robert Lai said about the AH-2. Useless danged thing.

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