I managed to move things along a bit on the D200 front. Sort of.
Last thursday, I just queried Adorama about my order for a D200 and got this response:
Please be advised that you are at the top of our waiting list, however to this point we have only received one shipment from Nikon for very few cameras & have not gotten any since.
Unfortunately it is not in our hands we are relying on Nikon to supply us & so far they have not come through they way we were expecting.
We apologize for any delays & inconveniences & thank you for your patronage.
Sigh. I’ve never had trouble with Adorama before, and really, I’m not having trouble now. The problem is that Nikon production can’t keep up with the spike in demand for D200 bodies. Worse, Nikon isn’t committing to a delivery schedule with its dealers.
What was weird is that the major online camera stores like Adorama aren’t receiving new shipments from Nikon, but I keep hearing about people buying them from the Best Buy and Circuit City online stores. They’ll just keep checking the websites until they see D200 bodies in stock, then they’ll quickly order one. Here I was trying to buying one from a dedicated camera store, and Nikon keeps shipping new ones to the big electronics chains.
I decided that with Adorama’s honest but unsatisfying response, I might as well try to snag one from one of the big stores.
I had no luck at Circuit City, but I snared one Thursday morning at Best Buy. I ordered it with overnight delivery so that I’d get it on Friday and be able to play with my new toy all weekend. They sent me 3 emails confirming my order, and I started obsessively checking the order status on the web site to see when it would ship.
Meanwhile, I dealt with another problem. My order at Adorama included Nikon’s new 18-200mm VR lens. That wasn’t shipping either because it was also backordered. Best Buy and Circuit City don’t even sell DSLR lenses, so I had no way to get an 18-200 VR lens for the D200 body, and without a lens, it’s useless.
What I had to do was order a lens that Adorama had in stock, so that I’d have something to take photos with until the 18-200 came.
My first thought was to order one of the cheap kit lenses that Nikon ships with some of their cameras, such as their 18-55mm lens for $160. But that would be a bit of a waste, because once the 18-200 came, it would completely subsume the 18-55 and I’d never need it again.
My second thought was to order one of the other specialty lenses I’d been thinking of ordering at a later date. But which one? I could order the 12-24mm wide-angle zoom lense for $920, but that’s a lot of money to spend right now, and do I really want to do nothing but take wide-angle photos for the next few weeks? The 10.5mm fish-eye lens was cheaper at $570, but that’s a trick lens that should be used sparingly.
At the opposite end of the focal range is Nikon’s 70-200mm telephoto lens. Seeing just the numbers for the focal length, you might think this lens would also be subsumed by the 18-200 lens, but if you look at the specifications and reviews, it’s actually a professional quality lens. It also has a professional quality price of $1650 which is way too expensive for me.
My third thought was to order Nikon’s 17-55mm lens. Again, don’t let the focal length fool you. Unlike the 18-55mm kit lens, this is a piece of high-quality professional glass. It can take magnificent, sharp, beautiful pictures. As it should for $1200. It would be nice to have, but that’s a steep price.
I finally settled on a lens I hadn’t given much thought to until now: A 35mm f/2 lens for $305. That’s a prime lens, meaning it only has one focal length and cannot zoom in and out. However, because of the simplicity of the non-zoom design, it produces a high-quality image. What it lacks in flexibility, it makes up for in image quality.
Also, at 35mm, it’s what’s known as a “normal” lens: Its field of view is considered close to the field of view of the human eye. Years ago, before zoom lenses of today’s high quality were available, many beginning photographers would start out with a normal lens. I figure that working with a non-zooming normal lens will help me practice thinking about how to compose pictures.
So that’s what I ordered from Adorama, requesting overnight delivery to arrive with the camera.
Thursday evening, however, I noticed that there was a message I had missed on the answering machine. It must have come in while I was out. It was a call from Best Buy because they needed to confirm the shipping address for security purposes.
Understand, they had my email address if they wanted to reach me, and they had the Order Status page on the web site to let me know to contact them. Instead of using either of those, they left phone messages for me. By the time I returned the call, it was too late for Friday delivery.
As I sit here, UPS tracking shows that my camera left the warehouse in Ohio and is now, for some reason, in Rockford, Illinois, before its trip to Chicago tomorrow.
The lens, on the other hand, was shipped on time by Adorama and arrived on Friday. Ain’t she a beaut’?
An object suitable for aesthetic contemplation. And not much else.