Why is 24-120mm VR lens pre-selling with D700 cost more than that lens alone?

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by dmitry_kiyatkin, Jul 16, 2008.

  1. The kit is advertised for $3600. Camera alone for $3000. Lens alone for sale now at around $510. Same lens, as far was I can tell. Why
    is the kit more expensive? Any ideas?
  2. My guess is that Nikon is hoping for a hot run on this lens, much like the 85mm f/1.4D that was always pictured with the D3.
  3. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    When you buy the kit, it comes in a large box with the individual boxes for the D700 body and 24-120 inside. Obviously there is the additional cost for the large box.

    Additionally, if you buy a high-end FX body but put a very consumer-grade 5x zoom in front of it, most likely you are a beginner and will call 1-800-Nikon-US (or whatever your local number is) many times with simple questions. Nikon has to factor in the additional cost for answering those beginner questions after the sale. That is why they are charging an extra $90.
  4. Sorry, I was too busy trying to come up with a wise-guy response to actually address your question.

    Yes, it is ridiculous that Nikon (or whoever is setting the $3,600 price) doesn't think that buyers will figure out that 3600 - 510 = 90.

    I haven't heard of anyone using the 24-120 VR on a D3 to know how well it does. With the D700's high ISOs Nikon may actually be counting on the 24-120 VR being "the lens to have" with that body.

    OK, Shun - your response was posted while I was typing this one - is yours a "wise guy" response, too?

    Maybe buyers will realize the price gap and spend the $90 on photo.net subscriptions and post all their questions here.
  5. If the IQ is OK, it would be a good lens to have actually. Heard not best things about it, but never used myself.
  6. The D700 and D700 kit are offered at MSRP for the introduction. The 24-120VR is being offered below MSRP by B&H, and that
    makes the kit look overpriced.
  7. Pretty good focal lenght match for D700. My reading tell me it is not Nikons best lens. Look around first.

    B&H is discounting them because they don`t sell. Nikon is doing the bundle for same reason.
  8. "tell me it is not Nikons best lens" - I guess those less favorite opinions could be from usage on a DX sensor
    camera? - or from people with very high quality perception threshold and deep pockets. On FX sensor camera, this
    lens could be just right ?
  9. Is there a SRP for this camera in the US? Nikon Japan is announcing it with an OPEN PRICE (no SRP) and they are
    selling it for 295,200 Yen body only. The lens alone for 71,800 Yen and the combo 365,400 Yen. it becomes 1,600 Yen
    cheaper to buy them separately. My estimate is the store's price is around 180,000 Yen (body), or less, and they mark it up according to
    demand. Here the stores compete with each other and I don't think Nikon got anything to do with it.
    I went to get NX2 at my local store and their price for a D3 at the moment is 540,000 Yen which is more than when it went
    on sale last year but if i get my wallet out i know I could take it home for around 450,000 Yen.

    At the moment, what ever the price is for a D200 or D300 the stores are no selling them for less that what they paid for. They are just
    making less profit. Nikon and other manufacturers don't go around giving money back to the stores so they can reduce the prices.Rene'
  10. My guess is that Nikon's market research didn't reveal anything conclusive about the demand for the D700. They're not sure who to cater to. If the remarks I've read online for years up 'til now clamoring for fool frame, and since the D700 was officially launched, are any indication, it's no wonder they're not sure how to package the camera.
  11. "...it's no wonder they're not sure how to package the camera."

    I just took my name off the list at the shop for the D700. At the moment I'm kitted with D300 and zooms covering
    everything. I'm happy. My original impulsive reaction to the D700 was an email to the dealer "put me on the
    list!". A few days later, I'm was wondering what I'd mount on it? At the moment, it'd be primes or long zooms. So
    another email went for the 24-70. This is getting expensive. Then it sunk in that I'm going to have a D300 with
    17-55 on one shoulder and a D700 with a 24-70 on the other. Hmm, kinda useless. So then I started thinking about
    selling the DX stuff. And then "hold your horses, Charlie Brown. All this for an extra stop of high iso
    performance?" So another email went yesterday with "thanks but no thanks." for a D700. Think I'll just buy more
    DX stuff. The used market might be good in a month, too.
  12. Shh..., Garrison, if everyone starts thinking that way who'll buy the D700?
  13. Lex, there will be plenty of people buying it. It's not about "one stop", but about compatibility with a full range of lenses,
    which never existed for DX. About lower spatial frequencies demanded from the lenses. And a viewfinder through which
    you can actually see your subject.
  14. that's funny, because while the D700 is being touted as the second-best digital camera nikon's ever made, the 24-120 made KR's list as one of the worst lenses nikon's ever made.

    quote:"The 24-120mm VR is a failed dream because it's too darn soft. At 24mm, the corners on film and FX are soft. It's softer than any other Nikon lens I've tried at the wide end."

    a failed dream? ouch.

    nikon probably would have been better off adding the 50/1.4 as the kit lens, which at least has sharpness and max aperture going for it, and could appeal to a purist aesthetic. any serious photiographer buying a D700 will want a better lens for it than the 24-120; if the 16-85 was FX it would have been perfect.

    this awkward pairing proves thom hogan was right when he said nikon hadn't solidified its current FX lens lineup prior to the D700's arrival. for their sake, let's hope there are a lot of soccer dads who can plunk down $3500 for a camera they'll use in P most of the time, while cursing under their breath about the lack of scene modes.
  15. "Yes, it is ridiculous that Nikon (or whoever is setting the $3,600 price) doesn't think that buyers will figure
    out that 3600 - 510 = 90."

    Anybody with that sort of math deserves to shoot the D700 with this "phantastic" zoom :p
    (Sorry Eric I know its cheap - I just could not resist^^)

    Serioulsy I think Nikon may have a large pile of this lens and had no better idea how to get rid of it. As soon
    as the pile gets smaller we will see the D700 sold as body only.

    Today I am certain you can work something out with your local dealer to get the D700 solo if you offer the dealer
    say 200US$ "compensation" - hrr.

    Here in Germany I see the D700 body advertised by my local dealer at 2599.00 EU or as a kit with the 24-70 at
    4098.00 EU.
    Delivery: "end of 07/2008".
  16. Only a guess... I suspect Nikon left its dealers room to discount the kit.

    I owned and regularly used the 24-120mm VR lens on my D70 and found I was able to get favorable results after
    post processing. I liked it and only sold it to upgrade to the 18-200mm. It is a perfect zoom range for a FX
    camera. Canon offers their low priced full frame digital camera with a similar 'kit' lens, although it is an L
    series lens.

    Before anyone discounts the abilities of this lens on the D700, perhaps someone should test it first. It may
    prove to be a good match. Perhaps Nikon has upgraded the lens as well... anything is possible.
  17. I tried that lens briefly on my D3. While shooting a few images is not a test I must say that the results did not
    impress me at all even though I saw that the current version is clearly better than the very old first version
    that was completely unacceptable for my needs. My D200 and the 17-55 mm f2.8 are a clearly superior class. So why
    go for a
    D700 with such a

    One can argue that with a D700 it is possible to shoot more often at f8 and so the mediocre lens will be as good
    as an excellent one under these conditions but once you enter the price class of the D700 compromise comes to an
    end at least for my needs. But I can see that there are cases where this is exactly what some people need. In the
    end the images counts and no one cares about the tool^^.

    I personally got my D3 (and that would be the same reason for me to get an D700 as a second body) to be
    able to use some excellent older glass that I own for a long time or got at ebay cheap and not to use a
    compromise zoom but that is only me.
  18. Eric, did KR really write that about the VR version of the 24-120? Yet another reason to either suspect sample variation or to regard his opinions with some skepticism.

    I had and used both the 24-120 VR and 18-70 for almost two years. They were virtually equal, with the 24-120 being slightly better. I suspect a few reasons why the kit zoom enjoys enormous popularity while the 24-120 does not:

    1. The 18-70 DX is an incredible bargain for a good performer. Low expectations are easily surpassed. Unless one needs the VR, the 24-120 may seem overpriced to some, increasing their expectations and likelihood of being disappointed.

    2. Endless repetition of credible opinion from a few people until the illusion of consensus is achieved; bolstered by piling on from those with questionable credibility.

    3. 24mm was perceived as "not wide enough" by a new generation of photographers suddenly addicted to wide angles. So the 24-120 VR began life with a strike against it on DX dSLRs.

    The latter seems particularly odd to me. Maybe I've been a photographer for too long. But years ago a midrange zoom in the 35-70mm or very slightly longer range was considered satisfactory. Now when you offer a comparable focal range to the dSLR crowd they react with, at best, a yawn and at worst with feverish indignation and screams for revenge, even if it means prosecuting Nikon in The Hague.

    Personally, I don't care. Garrison's sensible response pretty much sums up my attitude.
  19. I shot with the D700 and 24-120 VR a couple days ago. I happened by the pro shop during the two hours the nikon
    rep was there with this pair. I found the lens slower to acquire focus lock than my Eos L f2.8 lenses on 5D. The rep
    said it would be available with and without this lens. I'd guess they are packaging it with this lens to clear out excess
    inventory. If I weren't happily invested in eos system I certainly would consider D700 without the bundled lens. And I'll
    say it, I
    like the super tall built in flash. I can't see why people would cash out of their dx lenses when they're compatible with
    second nikon fx body. Theres no 8x10 crop mode in the D700 like there is in D3. Canon made a design mistake not
    allowing for aps-c crop glass to be mountable on full frame dslr.

  20. Lex ...
    Still shooting my 35-70 and 80-200 from film days on my DX body... Still happy... Next upgrade will be the body,
    not the lenses...

  21. Lex sample variation seems a bigger problem with these "prosumer" zooms (and some cheap primes like the 28mm AFD
    and the 24mm AFD) than with pro grade zooms and primes. This by itself is not a surprise. At the cost of these
    lenses testing of the final product is left to the consumer.

    You mentioned the 18-70mm "kit" lens. For some strange reason I had the opportunity to test three samples of this
    lens. All three varied slightly and showed differing IQ at various focal length. One of these was clearly better
    than the other two and gave acceptable results that looked pretty close to the 17-55 mm zoom after some post
    processing (yes of course less post processing with the pro lens). Unless you compared the same scene taken with
    both lenses the results looked very much the same.

    This was not restricted to zooms as I compared several 24mm f2.8 AFD lenses and 1 out of 4 was obviously pretty
    bad while there were slight differences among the rest. Two out of 4 were almost as good as my AIS version.

    Occasionally I talk to some people at Zeiss and Leica (on microscopy optics) and in their view quality control is
    a big fraction of the high price of their products as well as in photography lenses - again not a secret and not
    unexpectedly. If
    I pay more than the cost of a D3 for a Zeiss lens I do not have to test the lens to be certain that it will keep
    the specs. In photography my time is less valuable since this is "only" a hobby and I can take the time for
  22. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    The D700 + 24-120 AF-S VR is simply a very stupid pairing.

    I can tell you what is going to happen in the next month or two after the release of the D700: a lot of stores will be out of stock with the D700 (body only) but will have the kit because few would buy it.
    You either wait or go with the kit and the trouble to sell the 24-120 afterwards. And of course a number of other people will be dumping their kit 24-120 at the same time on eBay, Craig's List and photo.net classifieds ....

    BTW, the first time I saw the 24-120 AF-S VR was back in 2003 on an F5 body. The serious barrel distortion at 24mm was more than obvious.
  23. Combos in general are not a good idea. There are no economies of scale.

    On the other hand, I saw a pretty nice photography book published once by photo-journalist who covered events like political marches. When I met the author, he had an N80 and a 24-120 (non-VR). I asked if that was his regular kit, and he confirmed that it was. Most of the photos in the book were shot with that combo. So if you capture a great photo, no one will complain about the technicalities.
  24. "It's not about "one stop", but about compatibility with a full range of lenses, which never existed for DX."

    Thats news to me. Illka. My D300's mount an array of both new FF and DX glass as well as 40 years of old MF
    lenses. What
    doesn't range of lenses doesn't exisit for my DX bodies? The only technical advantages, results wise, that I feel
    a D700 has over a D300 is one stop of high iso performance. The rest is bells and whistles. I'm sure I'm not the
    only in the "oh dear, new format, lets re-tool...again" quagmire.
  25. "The kit is advertised for $3600. Camera alone for $3000. Lens alone for sale now at around $510. Same lens, as far was I can tell. Why is the kit more expensive? Any ideas?"

    Hum...that does not make sense to me. Usually, the kit should be less expensive. Well, that's Nikon. Like they did put the price on their new released copies of 16-85 at $ 650 :-((((((((((
  26. I agree that it's not a great lens choice for a kit. By comparison, a D700 paired with a 50/ f1.4 prime would
    offer customers a much higher level of image quality right out of the box. And maybe drop the price some too.
  27. Question: Why is 24-120mm VR lens pre-selling with D700?

    Answer: Because the Canon 5D Kit comes with the 24-105 L IS USM.
  28. i'll be the first to admit the 24-120 VR lens is in my kit mostly for convenience. bought it used cheap, and it's definitely not on my favorites list. but i'll pack it when i'm not sure what else to bring. it does have it's uses.

    as for being included with the D700 in a kit, i can't imagine any serious photographer choosing that combo. so i have to assume that it's nikons idea of the perfect lens for the D700 owner who doesn't own any other lenses.
  29. I'm worn out from trying to interject common sense about the 24-120 VR based on direct experience. See for yourself:


    Those are all straight from my D2H, no editing. See the EXIF data.

    Judge for yourself whether it's suitable for your purposes. It was for mine (I sold it only to pay for truck repairs and would buy another, altho' I'd probably consider the 18-200 VR instead).
  30. I have had 3 24 - 129 lenses. Two were the non-VR type and I still have one of them which is quite good. I gave the other to a man with a camera but no lens and no money. I also bought the VR version and my experiences match those of Lex. I will keep it and continue to use it when I get the D700. I've used all of them on my F5, F6, D200 and D300. Nice working lens and the only time I have to do a round of sharpening is when I rushed too much before I fired.

    BTW, Lex, the photo of the Old Boys was taken with this lens as was the B&W of my brother.

  31. Shun...please tell us you are joking about why Nikon is charging $90 more for the kit. .50 cent of extra cardboard and packing (maybe a $1.00) doesn't add up to $90. I don't think Nikon will be hiring extra people to answer the phone for the d700...anymore than they did for the d300...so they are paying these people already.

    I think Nikon, like other companies with a hot product, charge more because they can and people will pay it. Pretty simple supply and demand. Nikon knows a cash cow when they have one and will take advantage of it. No different than what Apple did with the first iphone. $500-$600 at first and then 1/2 that within 3-4 months. These compaines count on those who just can not wait to own the newest thing on the block.
  32. "Eric, did KR really write that about the VR version of the 24-120? Yet another reason to either suspect sample
    variation or to regard his opinions with some skepticism."

    why, lex, yes, KR did. in fact you can read the whole thing here: http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/10-worst.htm

    now let me say that i do regard him with skepticism, but at the same time, the fact he's willing to go out on a limb
    and be so opinionated is why he's a good read. entertaining at least, which is more than i can say for bjorn, who can
    be a bit dry, though technically much more thorough.

    however, there are plenty of threads here and on nikonians basically confirming the softness issues with the 24-120,
    although few have put it so succinctly as a "failed dream." if KR was the only one saying this, i'd be less inclined to
    weigh his opinion as possibly being valid.

    that said, i haven't shot with this lens, and you have. your shots look OK, but no better than what i get on my cheap
    but solidly-built tokina 24-200, which isn't the contrastiest out there but delivers acceptable sharpness if you shoot at
    f/8. general consensus seems to be that the 24-120 needs a lot of PP massaging. i prefer sharpness right out of the
    camera myself.

    sure, KR could be wrong (wouldnt be the first time--i'd hardly call the 18-200 one of nikon's 10 best, although i do
    agree the 50/1.8 belongs there) but it's just as possible you have the only semi-sharp copy of this lens in existance.

    more to the point, it's also possible that cameras with higher resolution than your D2H show the 24-120's flaws more
    plainly, another reason why this pairing seems wacky for a D3.

    if nikon has a bunch of old stock sitting around, it's not because KR wrote something yesterday about it, it's because
    word has gotten out that the 24-120 is as sharp as a butter knife.
  33. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Mike, I can't see you over the internet, but I assume you have a head on your shoulders and therefore can figure out jokes. :)

    I am sure that the D700 will be a hot product for a month or two, but I would rather see Nikon raise the initial price to say $3200 and gradually move it down. Forcing people to buy a 24-120 when they only need a D700 is plain dumb. The same thing happend a few months ago when the D300 was only available in some situations with a 18-200 in a kit. Clearly the 24-120 is not exactly the top-of-the-line lens to match a D700. Moreover, some people already have a 24-120 or something similar so that they don't need one. Introducing these packages merely creates some artificial supply problems. Unfortunately, some of those who cannot wait will be forced to buy the kit and then sell off the 24-120 at a loss.
  34. at least the 18-200/D300 kit had a rebate attached to it. lots of folks bought that and sold the 18-200 and came out ahead. this way, you're not coming out ahead with the 24-120. even if you sell it LNIB for what you paid, you're taking a $90 hit over the current retail price.
  35. Seems odd to me to buy a $3000 FF camera with a $600 lens that is noted for poor IQ from 24-50mm. There will undoubtedly be as many posts regarding unsatisfactory IQ with this lens and the D700 as there have been from people buying the D300 along with the 18-200mm VR lens.

    Most unfortunate that Nikon has not produced a "L" grade lens like the Canon 24-105mm f4 IS. It would be a sweet lens to have available for Nikon cameras.
  36. Garrison wrote: My D300's mount an array of both new FF and DX glass as well as 40 years of old MF lenses. What doesn't range of lenses doesn't exisit for my DX bodies?
    There are no fast wide angles for DX. A 28/2 might mount and meter on a D300 camera but it's reduced to a (very expensive) normal lens. What's worse, because the MTF of such lenses are not so great wide open (at the spatial frequencies required by DX), the image quality is not as good on DX as it is on FX. Simple physics. The 17-55 DX is a nice lens ... at f/5.6. Stop it down more, or open up from f/5.6 - and image quality loss is evident. I get nice results with my (short) primes wide open - on 35mm/FX. Teles work fine even on DX wide open - other than the focusing difficulties. Things are fine as long as you have an AF-S lens on a DX camera - but many AF-D telephoto lenses aren't so easy to focus correcty. Since e.g. a 180mm lens becomes a 270mm [35mm equivalent] but its manual focusing is geared for the depth of field on a 35mm/FX camera. It's too fast for DX use at wide apertures.I was in pain about this for several years - voila, the D3 restored my confidence in both manual and automatic focusing.
    Where are the lenses optimized for portraits in the studio for DX? The 85/1.4 might be good for outdoor shots but it's a bit soft on DX at wide apertures (not so on the D3, again physics at play), and too long for many indoor spaces. And the 50mm lenses are not the same thing, although very crisp.
    Where are the PC wide angle lenses for DX? 36mm equivalent isn't short enough for most images where I would want to use correction. And the 24mm PC-E is a very expensive lens to be used with the angle of view of 36mm [in 35mm terms]. And the "extra" field of view of FX lenses when used on DX which is not imaged - it accepts light in the lens and creates unnecessary reflections - this light is not used to make an image, so why let it in to create confusion?
    The rest is bells and whistles.
    As you like. For me the improved high ISO performance is the cherry on the cake, while the compatibility with lenses is the real reason I bought the D3. DX is fabulous for telephoto shooting with AF-S lenses but I want to do other things, as well. And f/2.8 isn't even approaching a fast lens in my world.
  37. "In studio" => I meant rather: "indoors".
  38. "The only technical advantages (of a D700), results wise, that I feel a D700 has over a D300 is one stop of high iso performance."...well sure, if you only want to print 16x20s or just enjoy them on a monitor/forum, and you don't need the lowlight focusing and iso advantages.
    Commercially, the crappy focusing of my D200 is drivin me nuts. In my art work, I am frequently using the 30sec max timed exposure at iso 100 and f8, f16 and beyond. I would love to get the same (or better?) image quality at iso 200/400 and be able to print at 36inches without interpolation issues. And I think the improvement over the D300 will be more than one stop. And I am moving from a D200. I think it makes more sense for me, perhaps, than your jump from D300 to D700.
    Plus, what this camera (D700) does in black and white at high iso will open a whole new approach to the world for me, especially in portraiture. I'll let you know how it goes... t
  39. >> "Question: Why is 24-120mm VR lens pre-selling with D700?

    Answer: Because the Canon 5D Kit comes with the 24-105 L IS USM."

    The 24-105 f/4L IS is almost certainly a much better lens. It's a sealed, metal, pro-level lens.

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