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Nikon D700 is made in Japan and other stuff

Jordan G. , Jul 29, 2008; 02:15 a.m.

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- processing.

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).


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John White , Jul 29, 2008; 02:27 a.m.

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.

Lil Judd , Jul 29, 2008; 03:03 a.m.


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.


Jordan G. , Jul 29, 2008; 03:04 a.m.

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.

Jordan G. , Jul 29, 2008; 03:06 a.m.

Also, the shutter sounds crisper and the mirror black out seems shorter -- but the latter may be an effect of the larger viewfinder.

Robert Hooper , Jul 29, 2008; 03:19 a.m.

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?

Robert Budding , Jul 29, 2008; 03:35 a.m.

Robert - Do you have *any* data, other than anecdotal remarks on photo.net, 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.

Rene' Villela , Jul 29, 2008; 03:56 a.m.

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.

Robert Hooper , Jul 29, 2008; 04:30 a.m.

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. .

B M Mills , Jul 29, 2008; 05:04 a.m.

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.

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