Nikon production line for long teles

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by arthuryeo, Oct 11, 2008.

  1. It has almost been a year since the 600mm and 500mm VR were announced and the possibility of one picking up one
    of these from a major store here in the US is still very remote. In this economic meltdown, are these super large
    ticket items still being snatched off the shelf or Nikon is not producing them? The Olympics have come and gone,
    so what's the excuse this time? Anyone know what's the story this time?
  2. Just call B+H and ask, I would suggest .... And you would know your answer from the retail trade.
  3. I can only guess that generally lenses north of $5000 are pretty much exclusively bought by pros. Pros can
    join NPS... and NPS members get priority. Once that demand is satisfied, the lenses might be available -- if
    you can find a retailer willing to stock them. I suggest you sign up for the email list at B&H -- so they will
    notify you when one is in stock.
  4. Hi Arthur,

    Well here in the UK the 400mm & 500mm VR's are available "from stock" from at least one independent dealer ( ) , but
    it would seem that the 600mm is "to order". This I know doesn't help you greatly as you're on the other side of the pond but at least it
    shows that some places have them in stock.

  5. Bascially if your dealer of choice doesn't stock it (it is an expensive lens to have in a store's inventory) they can order it for you but you might need to either pay for it up front or put down a deposit on it.
  6. Low prodcution lenses are not made on "production lines". They are made in batches several times a year; once a year; or every few years. Its ALL settup; almost all testing. Its easier to make a batch of lenses at once; than drag out a few a week over a year. The grindign; polishing; lapping; coating process is done with batches. The Joe six packs common "kit zoom lens" and camera body; and P&S digitals are made with a production line ; exotic lenses are typically not. A "batch" of Ubercron Fisheyes; or 600mm teles; or Nocts is made as a batch; then its worked off by marketing; with a reorder for the batch made hopefully before the inventory drops to zero.
  7. Yes the batch hypothesis seems most reasonable - girlfriend has a 500mm on order since April 2008 from Calumet
    (purchased for about $7100). We just called them the other day to find out situation - they have no idea. They
    are not accepting pre-order cash (we tried that route) - just have to wait. Two other people have 500mm's on
    order at Calumet (they informed us)...and one 600mm.

    Seems the Olympic's hypothesis was just that - a hypothesis. As for when these lenses will arrive in the USA -
    who knows. If you do a search over at DP Review, this topic gets discussed every 4-5 weeks.

    Jim Fenton ( a wonderful bird photographer) has been using one for the last several months and his comments about
    the lens (used in conjunction with a D300) are quite insightful. Jim posts over at

    not infrequently.
  8. I am the person waiting on the 600mm from Calumet. I ordered it in May, and the last time I spoke with Calumet the Nikon rep was visiting. He indicated that it would be 6-8 weeks after the Olympics. Well, it is now 8 weeks after the Olympics and I am still waiting, so who really knows?
  9. As a cheap alternative, ever think of the old AF-I lenses?
  10. Hi Nate,

    Yes but the 5 year Nikon repair warranty is important - especially for a lens that has VR and AF. That would be costly to repair by a third party (such as Nippon Photo Clinic here in NYC). Nikon charges high prices for parts (unlike Canon). Also, how long will the parts for the Version 1 and Version II be available for the 500mm?

    Regards from NYC,

  11. "Nikon charges high prices for parts (unlike Canon). "

    And that may explain why I had to wait six months for a part , the AF/manual switch for a lowly Canon EF 35mm f/2, earlier this year.
  12. Update!

    Girlfiend received a call this morning (13 October - Columbus Day here in USA) from Calumet that they had her 500mm lens in the store. Wow I have never seen her dress and leave house so fast.

    She now has lens here at is heavy/big. Lens comes with two feet....

    As for Nikon parts vs. Canon parts; I had a long talk with the folks at Nippon Photo Clinic here in Manhattan. (They repair many Nikon/Canon cameras/lenses usually in 2-3 well as MF and LF equipment. They are good, reliable, fast and expensive...but get it done fast and right.) They told me that Nikon does not always sell them the parts they need to do repairs, and when Nikon does sell the parts, they are very expensive...On the other hand, Canon sells their parts to third part repair places at a reasonable they can do canon repairs less expensively.

    Regards from NYC - hope all ordered Nikon 500mm and 600mm lenses are in hands soon,


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