When the Nikon Z 58mm f/0.95 S Noct was first announced, a lot of photographers weren't really sure what to make of it. It's a lens that weighs 2,000g, costs over £8,000 / $8,000, and doesn't even have autofocus. Many bemused commenters wondered whether Nikon would struggle to sell this unusual lens, but it turns out that they needn't have worried.
Nikon Japan recently announced that it's temporarily suspending pre-orders for the Nikon Z 58mm f/0.95 S Noct, because "it will take a considerable amount of time to deliver the product because we received many orders exceeding expectations". The Nikon Z 58mm f/0.95 S Noct only became available for pre-order on 10 October, so it's only taken 21 short days for Nikon's Noct stock to be depleted.
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The full Google translation of Nikon's Japan statement (found on (opens in new tab) Nikon Rumors) states:
Apology for temporary suspension of orders for large diameter standard single focus manual focus lens "NIKKOR Z 58mm f / 0.95 S Noct"
October 31, 2019 Product Info
Thank you for your continued patronage of Nikon products.
"NIKKOR Z 58mm f / 0.95 S Noct" started accepting orders on October 12, but it is expected that it will take a considerable amount of time to deliver the product because we received many orders exceeding expectations. Therefore, we decided to suspend the order. We apologize for any inconvenience caused to customers who are considering purchasing.
Currently, we are working to resume orders, but the number of production of these products is limited due to the need for advanced manufacturing technology, and it may take time to resume orders.
We will inform you again when it is time to resume orders.
We will do our best to deliver it as soon as possible. Thank you for your understanding. (Nikon (opens in new tab))
Of course, this isn't a problem unique to the Nikon Z 58mm f/0.95 S Noct (opens in new tab). When the Nikon D850 came out Nikon had trouble fulfilling US orders. Additionally, despite the fact that it's been out for over a year, photographers are still struggling to get their hands on the Nikon 500mm f/5.6 PF ED VR lens (opens in new tab), which has sold like hotcakes ever since its release.
So why can't Nikon get it right? Considering the financial woes (opens in new tab) that Nikon has experienced recently, you would assume that when it's got a highly sought-after product, it would be its priority to shift production into high gear to meet the demand.
However, unfortunately it's not that simple. It's not as if Nikon is producing t-shirts here! Cameras and lenses are highly specialized pieces of equipment - and luxury pieces of glass like the Nikon Z 58mm f/0.95 S Noct will likely require both human construction and very niche and expensive machines. There will only be so many people with the technical experience to help build such a lens - and it's not particularly likely that there are loads of highly-trained temps just waiting around to be asked to help with Nikon's workload. Plus, if it takes a long time to build a Nikon Z 58mm f/0.95 S Noct, just think how long it must take to construct the machine that builds it!
All in all, it's a tricky situation for Nikon and its customers. Hopefully, by temporarily suspending pre-orders, Nikon will be able to catch up on its backlog. For those lucky individuals who have already ordered the Nikon Z 58mm f/0.95 S Noct, you can start expecting to receive your shiny new lens from 26 November, which is when shipping begins.
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