Short report about the current Nikon F6 production in Sendai

Discussion in 'Industry News' started by Henning Serger, Sep 11, 2012.

  1. Henning Serger

    Henning Serger Member

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    Hello,

    here is a short report about the current production of the Nikon F6 in Nikon's plant in Sendai:

    http://asia.cnet.com/crave/what-goes-on-inside-nikons-sendai-factory-62213402.htm

    In autumn 2007 there has been a quite long report about Nikon's Sendai plant in the french photo magazine 'Chasseur d'Image'.
    At that time about 200 F6 has been built monthly.
    The Sendai plant is capable of producing very small batches. And it is very flexible.
    That's necessary because the production numbers of some the digital high-end models has been very low (e.g. from the D2H only 7000 units have been built).
    These low production numbers have been caused by the very high prices (only very few photographers could afford a 7000€ D3x for example), and the short production periods of these models.Therefore the production systems have to be extremely flexible.
    And luckily that is the basis that the F6 still can be produced as a fine niche product.

    By the way, I can highly recommend this camera: It's a dream machine, the finest engineering you can imagine. In my opinion the best 35mm SLR ever made.
    For years I have dreamt of that camera, and 3 1/2 years ago have fulfilled my dream. And bought a brand new one with MB-40 vertical grip and MV-1 data reader, and additional split image screen.
    One of the best decisions I've ever made :smile:.
    Now I lust for another one: One body for color, the other for BW :whistling:

    Best regards,
    Henning

    P.S: So far since the introduction in 2004 about 34,130 F6 has been made.The 34,130 serial number is the latest one I heard of from a friend who bought a new one some weeks ago.
     
  2. Henning Serger

    Henning Serger Member

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  3. RidingWaves

    RidingWaves Member

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    Whaat?? I find it very hard to believe that 34,000 F6's have been made. The serial number's don't start at 000000, Nikon's usually go xx0000 and maybe another 0.
     
  4. RidingWaves

    RidingWaves Member

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    As per the article, 50 a month, but that's probably not Every Single month.
     
  5. dreamingartemis

    dreamingartemis Member

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    I can vouch for Nikon F6, it's a jewel of a machine. Fine-tuned to perfection! But I also have fm3a when I want to go back to being a total newbie and not be spoiled by all the bells and whistle of the Nikon F6
     
  6. Henning Serger

    Henning Serger Member

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    There have been indeed more than 34,000 F6 made so far.
    I've have contacts to several F6 users, and we have compared our serial numbers.
    So far we've seen / got reports of F6s with the following serial numbers:

    0000099
    0000153
    0000794
    0008926
    0027401
    0028548
    0031467
    0033800
    0034102
    0034130

    If you look at both the first and the last number left and right (besides the zeros), they are all different, therefore no coding here. That are the real production numbers.
    Most of the cameras have been produced in 2004 - 2007. We've seen brand new F6 in the 27 - 28 thousand serial number range in 2007.
    That accorded with the report in "Chasseur d'Image", that in second half of 2007 the monthly production has been 200 units.
    And the last serial numbers we've seen in the last two years accord very well with the latest report I've mentioned in my first post, reporting that the current production is 50 units every month.
    After the introduction in 2004 and in 2005/06 quite a lot professionals have bought the F6. Mostly portrait / wedding and travel, nature / wildlife photographers (got that info independantly from two distributers and a Nikon rep.).

    Best regards,
    Henning
     
  7. RidingWaves

    RidingWaves Member

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    I still call it wrong. 8 years x 12 months = 96 x 200 per month = 19,200. I'm very deep into nikon and live in an area where I get lots of tourist traffic and it still took Years to actually even see one and the local pro store selling consignment has only had 2 F6's in 5 years, and I've seen just about everything go thru that shop (Nikonos RS complete kit in case!).
    No way its 34,000...
     
  8. Henning Serger

    Henning Serger Member

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    O.k., so you are claiming that Nikon is printing misleading fake serial numbers on the cameras.
    It would be the first time in Nikon's history......why should they do that??

    I have my F6 here, with a + 30 thousand serial number on it.
    If I delete the '3', assuming it could be a code number, then only about 1,500 units would have been made until 2009.
    If I delete the last number, then only about 3,500 units would have been made until 2009.
    If that would have been the case, Nikon would have stopped production years ago because such extremely small numbers are not economical and the production would have been a big loss for them.

    As I've explained above, during the first years much more than 200 units have been produced per month.
    Sales volumes of such items are not a linear thing.
    It is a normal product lifecycle that after the introduction you have the highest demand and best sales volumes, and then, with increasing market saturation, sales volumes are decreasing and after some years levelling out.
    At the F6 introduction there have been a background report about the F6 published in a German photo magazine, explaining the maximum capacity of F6 production which can be run (if the demand is so high) is about 5,000 units monthly. The demand has never been in this region, so Nikon has never exploited this maximum monthly capacity.

    Anecdotic observations are no evidence. In my area there is also lots of tourist traffic, especially from other European countries and Asia.
    More than 750,000 Nikon F3 has been produced.
    More than 240,000 F4.
    More than 828,000 Nikon F80/N80.
    More than 1 million Rolleiflex TLRs.

    Nevertheless I've never seen either a F3, F4 or F80/N80 at our tourist hotspots. And only one time a Rolleiflex (and that one was not from a tourist, but a native student).
    But I would never derive assumptions on production numbers from my observations.

    Best regards,
    Henning
     
  9. MFstooges

    MFstooges Member

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    And not to mention portion of that F6 numbers stay nicely in the glass cabinet :D
     
  10. RidingWaves

    RidingWaves Member

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    750,000 F3's make sense, at the height of the 35mm film era. I have 5 of those. 240,000 F4s makes sense as well, I have 4 of those. What's the F5 numbers like? Probably more than the F4. Lots of pros I know and myself still have and shoot that. Out of the at least 65 pro's I know in my area (PJ's, editorial and wedding shooters) the only one who had one F6 was trying to sell it to me. One. How many do you Know of being used? Yours and your friend and ...?

    From my understanding about the F6 is that the shutter unit and body casting was designed alongside the D2/D3 era cameras, making it quite easy for nikon to keep producing F6's in small amounts. As in 50 per month...

    Even if the production was over 200 per month for the first few years 34,000 still seems very high. A top tier high performance 35mm still camera produced in the digital era at high prices to a dwindling market. Hey I'm glad they still make them, love to get me a couple, but serial numbers aside, not many are out there. Just aren't. I'd be stoked if there were that many around, it increases the chances I can find one! :smile: Best regards
     
  11. Henning Serger

    Henning Serger Member

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    AFAIK also in the 250,000 region.

    Personally I know about 10 using an F6. Lots of F6 shooters in the German Nikon forum, and at least nine have reported about shooting with one in the German aphog forum.
    I wouldn't be surprised if the F6 is more popular in Germany and in Japan, compared to the US.

    Well, the shutter and the AF system of F6 and the D2 series were designed alongside, the bodies show some significant differences.

    Now in September, Photokina time, exactly eight years ago the F6 was introduced. About 34,000 F6 in eight years compared to about 250,000 F5 sold in eight years, that are not exceptionally high numbers I think, even considering the digital revolution in that time.

    You should do, the camera is outstanding :smile:!

    Best regards,
    Henning
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 20, 2012
  12. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    I had at one time about four years ago considered buying a new F6, but the more I looked at the specification the more I felt it was overkill for my personal type of photography, although it is indeed a wonderful technical achievement.
     
  13. RidingWaves

    RidingWaves Member

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    Alright! I'll take your word for it. In comparison to the F5 and F4 34,000 does seem a realistic number and low in comparison.
    I did manage to shoot a roll with the F6, rattled off a roll in record time, Kodachrome 200 I seem to recall! He offered me the body with the MB-40 for 1200.00 US which was a great price, and the other one I saw was with the MB-40 as well for 1600 so deals abound (at least at that time).

    I do think the F6 is more in use in other areas like Germany. At least here in Hawaii most shooters are too taken with the digital.
    Best Regards,
     
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  15. Henning Serger

    Henning Serger Member

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    Before I decided to buy the F6, I've also often thought about whether this camera may be indeed overkill.

    But quite fast after my purchase and the first films shot with it I knew no, not an overkill at all.
    Because it is never an overkill if
    - the camera has perfect ergonomics and fits like if it was made specifically for your hands
    - the mirror and shutter are both so well dampened that you can shoot at rather long exposure times, getting very sharp images; the mirror and shutter dampening of my other slr's is much worse
    - the camera is operating much more silent
    - the camera has a perfect viewfinder
    - the focusing is much more precise compared to other models, both with AF and MF
    - the camera is such a joy to use that you are happy with it, and if you are happy your pictures will be better :cool:

    Best regards,
    Henning
     
  16. k.hendrik

    k.hendrik Subscriber

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    In February 2015 got a 'new' F6 thru Amazon.de; s/n 34815. Still kicking myself for sending it back :sad:(
     
  17. Theo Sulphate

    Theo Sulphate Member

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    Is the F6 still being manufactured or has production stopped and what we see is unsold stock?

    My taste in Nikons ends with the F4s and FM3a, but it would be a bit romantic of Nikon to keep the F6 in production (I hope they can).
     
  18. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    In stock at B H photo
     
  19. Mackinaw

    Mackinaw Member

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    You can find a F6 serial number thread at RFF.

    General feeling is that the camera is still being made, but in small batches a few times a year. The latest serial number on their list is 35XXX.

    Jim B.
     
  20. Henning Serger

    Henning Serger Member

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    Hello Jim,

    I can confirm this. The F6 is still in production, made on order.
    I've been so satiesfied with my F6 which I've bought brand new seven years ago, that I decided last autumn to add another brand new F6 with MB-40 vertical grip.
    After ordering I had to wait about four weeks for my F6 being produced and shipped from the Sendai factory in Japan.
    The serial number was a bit above 003501x. So far a bit more than 35,000 F6 has been produced.

    For me a second F6 make much sense because at my photo projects I often use colour and BW film parallel, or reversal and negative film parallel. Having two F6 is just like being in heaven :wink:.

    I can highly recommend the F6. The best 35mm SLR ever built (both AF and MF).
    Production has now entered the 13th year! That is longer than all other Nikon F professional models except the F3 (which has been produced for about 20 years).
    For all who want one, you shouldn't wait any longer. Go for it now!
    You will not regret it!
    It is a once in a lifetime purchase. The camera for the rest of your life.

    Best regards,
    Henning
     
  21. AgX

    AgX Member

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    From another thread today:


    Maybe someone mixed up models. Otherwise a lot of questions arise.
     
  22. Pioneer

    Pioneer Subscriber

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    I suspect a mixup.

    I had something similar happen three years ago when I tried to have my Fuji GF670 serviced. The first couple of service centers I contacted insisted that Fuji did not even make a film camera.

    Finally found the correct number for Fuji USA in New Jersey and everything was taken care of immediately. :smile:

    I think that there are people today, even working within the industry, that are not even aware that film cameras are being manufactured.
     
  23. BradleyK

    BradleyK Subscriber

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    Indeed, Nikon Canada no longer is offering repairs to the F6 (verified via email and telephone to Nikon Canada, this am). Instead, camera has to be (will be first thing tomorrow am)sent to the Nikon USA facility in Los Angeles.

    BLK
     
  24. cmacd123

    cmacd123 Subscriber

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    Are they selling it still here in Canada?
     
  25. film_man

    film_man Member

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    Regarding the serial numbers, unless you have the info from the company you cannot really rely on them.

    For example, they may start at 0 and go up to 2000 for a particular production batch, then they make some internal revision (this does not have to alter any functionality, it could be something as simple as changing an electrical/electronic component due to parts/reliability/efficiency redesign) and they up the serial number to 10000 and start again. This way they know when they get a camera back which revision of the design it is.

    So with the above example the serial number can go up to 10001 but that means that 2001 were actually made.

    This is common practice in manufacturing, the serial number jumps to denote product revisions or production batches.
     
  26. Paul Howell

    Paul Howell Member

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