Nikon D700 is made in Japan and other stuff

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by g-man|1, Jul 28, 2008.

  1. Got my D700 today. I was surprised to see it's made in Japan, and not Thailand.

    Also, the top LCD is a lot smaller than the D300 and very similar to the D50's; it has no focus information. The D200
    had the best top LCD, I think.

    The viewfinder is very nice, but a tad smaller than my F6.

    The grip is still not as nice as the F6's -- too bad.

    The CF card cover is easier to get at than the switch of the D200/300 -- a good thing for now; and it didn't bother me
    in shooting today. I wish they covered it with the grippy rubber of the rest of the body.

    The focussing spots cover a significantly smaller area now and there's going to be more focus and reframe going on
    as compared to the D300.

    It has auto D-lighting so you don't have to decide between low, normal, high, or off.

    Oh yeah, image quality on screen is superb and ISO 6400 jpegs on screen seems printable without any extra post-

    The rest of the stuff (vignette corrector, level indicator, etc.) I've seen on-line before, but again, the made in Japan
    label was a surprise. (spare me the Japan/Thai/whatever jingoism -- just an observation).
  2. I haven't kept on Nikon's manufacturing locations but since you make a point to bring it up why is it a surprise to be made in Japan? Is it a good thing or bad thing?

    I haven't used the D700 yet but the F6 grip was pretty nice. F6 and 17-35mm just seemed to be very well-balanced.
  3. John,

    I'm actually also surprised to see the D700 is made in Japan, since the D200 & D300 are made in Thailand. I would think that's a good thing.... But it would seem they've been very good with the D300s

    This would actually be a reason for me to consider it - just to see the build difference. But since I just ordered the 14-24 I don't see how I'm going to get together the money for the D700. Granted I could try to get Best Buy to price match B&H & finally sell my 17-55 I so refuse to sell......

    HUmmmm, don't think I ready to yet. ;) The way I'm going I'll not ever sell my D200 nor my 17-55.....

    I suffer from sever separation anxiety when it comes to my camera equipment.

  4. I was led to believe (on-line readings) that it was made in Thailand, like the D40,D50,D200,D300, etc, were and thought Japan (Sendai plant?) was only for the F6 and the D3 -- hence the surprise. I'm not sure if it's a good or a bad thing, just a thing -- but I'll be honest and say it was a pleasant surprise for me. Maybe not for someone else.
  5. Also, the shutter sounds crisper and the mirror black out seems shorter -- but the latter may be an effect of the larger viewfinder.
  6. Some would argue that Nikon manufacturing in Japan is preferable to manufacturing in Thailand or China. I would strongly postulate that some of Nikon's quality control problems, politely called sample variation, are due to the quality and sophistication of the labor force in China and Thailand. It only takes one failure along the production line to produce a flawed product. The fact that many of these defective products make it past QC and out the Nikon factory door is very disturbing to me. I understand all about the pressures of production quotas, but Nikon needs to make a much more concerted effort to improve quality control. It is posts like Cassandra's that make me wonder if her frustration at not being able to producing a sharp image is due entirely to her having a defective lens sample rather than having anything to do with her photographic technique. It makes me wonder how many people are put off photography all together by blaming themselves for poor image results when the problem is entirely attributable to Nikon quality control?
  7. Robert - Do you have *any* data, other than anecdotal remarks on, to back your assertion that Nikon has QC problems? Even the link you provide doesn't provide any information on the root cause of Cassandra's problem.
  8. Ah! I'll try not to say too much! Uhmm! It should be a good thing but after living 16 years in Japan, I just don't know. What I
    can say is in Thailand, to work for a company like Nikon is a privilege, much better living standards and anyone who works
    there HAS TO work hard and really do the best he/she can to keep his/her job. In Japan on the other hand, people has
    everything already and a job is just a job. Young people are not tolerant anymore. Some people quit their jobs on the first,
    second or third day of work in a company. According to the older generations that never happened 30 years ago but I
    supposed that Nikon must have very high standards when choosing employees so it could be a good thing! Rene'

    PS. Its not my intention to offend anybody. I'm just giving my opinion based on my own experiences here.
  9. Robert Budding,

    My postulaion is strictly based upon anecdotal evidence gathered from Nikon Internet forums, former professional colleagues, photographer friends, and 40 years of purchasing Nikon camera products as a professional photographer.

    My last several nikon lens purchases have had a remarkable and serious manufacturing fault rate. I can tell the difference. How many unfortunate others can't? That is my extreme concern, Robert.

    I agree that Casandra's case is nebulous, and probably not the best example, but her situtation and other more provocative posts, in their entirety, support my hypothesis as far as I am concerned.
  10. bmm


    I find it interesting that this debate has raise itself up again. My guess is that if you scratch even a tiny bit deeper than the surface, any complex equipment is made the world over.

    D700 would be the same, and at the component level I'd put a small wager that more than 5, and possibly 10 countries of origin are in play.

    I am also wary of countries being stereotyped as having greater or lesser levels of quality control. Nikon has to manage this issue as a brand, because it is the brand that will be tarnished by lowering quality standards. It is forever making 'balancing' calls between cost and quality, both within established production lines in established countries and in new places it is investigating for production.

    In conclusion, in a globalised world, it is the Nikon brand along with the equipment specifications that govern my expectations of quality. I don't think I would give a second thought to country of manufacture for such a leading brand - as per my comment earlier in this post, to me it is a next-to-meaningless label.
  11. Rene',

    I don't dispute your observations about the apparent recent decline of the traditional work ethic among some of the youth in Japan today. My nephew's wife is a Japanese national and talks about the decline of the Japanese work ethic among some of the youth in Japan today. However, very many like herself, are still prideful of their work and have the extreme desire to excel in their careers, and in the work place, with great devotion to the company. She works for Microsoft in Japan and her observation is that her American and European associate workers do not share her Japanese work ethic. An observation we Americans really need to be heedful of!

    Still, I truly believe that basic education, knowledge of product, worldliness, and other forms of sophistication contribute to making a better employee than one who is trained directly from a rural village life or similar unsophisticated upbringing.

    Unfortunately, however motivated the labor force may be in a developing country, there is much to be said about the education, sophistication, and the cosmopolitan qualities of a particular work force.

    China and Thailand are well on their way to becoming an economic superpower and industrial force to be reckoned with respectively, but they are not quite there yet, in all aspects.
  12. My D700 arrived on July 24th and although I noticed the "Japan", I didn't think it worth noting here.

    Quality is designed in. This includes raw materials/components and HR selection and training. If HR has set good standards for hiring, and training is rigorous, problems with personnel are negligible.

    I've spent the last 18 years shuttling into/living in Japan and it's like everywhere else. Those who are older complain bitterly about the work ethic of younger people. I also think that, as a generalization, they're right. But now, it's up to companies to set and maintain work standards and ethics rather than expecting that workers will arrive all set up. So the reputation of the particular company and their emphasis on maintaining that reputation become very important in sustaining a reputation for fine quality.

    I have appreciated the fine quality of all my higher end film cameras but I have had the D70s, D200 and D300 all of which worked perfectly. They weren't all made in Japan but the quality for the price I paid was there. If you want to pay for high salaried workers, perhaps a Leica? I don't, because my Nikons do quite nicely in the quality area.

  13. Obviously "Made in Japan" is better. That is why Nikon chooses to manufacture it's flagship professional bodies there.
  14. It's difficult to draw reasonable conclusions from anecdotal evidence. People whohave problems with gear are far more vocal than are satisfied users. I've used Nikon SLRs for 30 years - and I have confidence that Nikon tracks problems and will stay on top of QC.
  15. Robert...

    "She works for Microsoft in Japan and her observation is that her American and European associate workers do not
    share her Japanese work ethic"

    I know about that! My wife is Japanese and she lived 10 years with me in CA. For 10 years I heard how sloppy we are at
    work. After I came to Japan, live and work here, all that stopped. Now she has to listen to me. I guess
    everywhere is the same but I still think that if you need you are more motivated to do a better job. For sure I wouldn't buy
    any product that my son has worked on! :)

    I think this topic is a bit dangerous because all our different nationalities. Let's just hope that Nikon keeps very high
    standards no matter where they make their products. Rene'
  16. Thanks for the informative post. When I purchase products I consider the origin of manufacture. Based on some perceived thoughts on quality of production, human rights, and environmental concerns and political thoughts in general such as genocide and who participates. I am not going to reference to any particular country but one of the first things I look at is "made in ????" located on the item.
  17. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Moderator

    When the Japanese auto companies started building factories in the US back in the 1980's, people used to say the US made Japanese cars were inferior. That is clearly not the case in my experience. I have had four different Honda Accords; the 1st one was made in Japan while the last 3 in the US. All 4 have the same high quality. The newest one is now 8 years old and all 4 cars rarely have any problems during my ownership.

    My D200 and D300 were both made in Thailand and they are both much better built than my D100, which was made in Japan but based on the very consumer-grade F80/N80. If you buy the higher-end Nikon products, quality control is as good as it has ever been. However, Nikon is now making a lot of inexpensive products such as those lenses that have plastic mounts and use tapes to hold the elements in place inside the lens. If those lenses suffer any significant impact, the elements are clearly going to get out of alignment. Take the very popular 18-200 AF-S VR as an example, when you zoom out to 200mm, its front end extends outward in two sections. It is clearly a lot more vulnerable than a solid all-metal fixed 200mm from the 1970's, but the big selling point for the 18-200 is its convenience and light weight.
  18. As far as my perception goes, the lower the costs, the lower the quality. It doesn't work the other way around necessarily. Please note I'm about talking quality here. Quality of the materials, design, fit and finish, assembly, packaging. I'm not talking about the quantity of features. I make the note because whenever this issue comes up, most people come to me arguing about how 30 years ago car's didn't have airbags, ABS brakes, crush zones. Sure, and 30 years ago a Mercedes Benz could outlast you. I'm not saying I don't want airbags or ABS brakes on my car. But why do I have to trade quality for safety? Because of the cost.

    The same applies to most mass-produced, globally available consumer devices. Manufacturers prefer to put more features instead of better quality. And it's alright, people nowadays just don't seem to care. The more the bells and whistles, the better.

    To me, the fact that the D700 is made in Japan, is good, refreshing news. It means they care enough about this particular camera to build it at home, and probably by the same people that put together the single-digit F-series, the single-digit D-series and the NIkkors that became legends.
  19. The thing that really surprised me was turning my Canon G9 over and seeing "Made in Japan" on its underside.
  20. "I have had four different Honda Accords; the 1st one was made in Japan while the last 3 in the US. All 4 have the same high quality."

    My Ohio made Acura is wonderful at 130,000 miles, but I would not buy a US-made Chrysler. The US company vehicles, while better made than many European parented cars (especially Volkswagon), are still not up to Japanese parent company vehicles -- regardless of where they are assembled. MIT released a study a while ago presaging the decline in European car quality... My neighbor returned a new 7-series BMW via the lemon law... Just poorly assembled.

    Personally, while the Made in Japan label makes me feel "quality", things do change. Even so, regardless of where a camera was assembled (or a car for that matter), where was the processor made? Where was the shutter assembly made? Where was the on-board circuitry sourced from? Where did the CMOS originate from? ALL FROM JAPAN? Perhaps. But with many other products, the individual components come from all around the globe.
  21. This is what I'm talking about

    Certainly, the factory might make a difference? Whether staffed by whoever this or that (I said let's avoid jingoism).
  22. If there are quality issues, for any reason; it's a problem with management. End of story.
  23. "It's difficult to draw reasonable conclusions from anecdotal evidence."

    I submit that cognitive thinking and anecdotal evidence have been largely responsible for insuring mankind's survival as a
    species throughout the millennia of our existence.
  24. Rebecca Berry: "... Anybody else old enough to remember when Made in Japan = junk. Just as Made in China = junk today. ..."
    Rebecca, You're a bit behind the times. Chinese goods have better quality, fit and finish than equivalent American goods. I'd rather buy a Chinese product than from any other country.
    If you go through your home and discard all the Made in China products, you'll be left with toilet paper and the food in your fridge. In fact, your computer would not function without Chinese components. Be thankful that China exists, to provide the world with value that is beyond compare. Most economies would cease to function without Chinese products.
  25. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Moderator

    Every time we discuss whether Nikon equipment is made in Japan, Thailand, China or where ever, the discussion typically goes off topic. Therefore, I am going to close it.

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