Nikon Accessory Buyers – Caveat Emptor

Summary – 3rd-party lens, batteries & battery grips have compatibility  problems with the latest Nikon cameras.


Recent Nikon camera firmware updates for

D3100, D3200, D5100, and D5200 cameras

Disrupts compatibility  with some 3rd party accessories


For example, for some Sigma lenses

Auto focus & image stabilization may not work properly

Also, some batteries no longer function and

You can forget about your 3rd-party battery grip

Apparently the same applies to

The new Nikon Df camera straight from the factory, as well

I’d expect this to be the case for all new Nikon cameras

Nikon’s motivations aside

Keep all of the above in mind with future purchases

I’m not saying “Don’t buy Nikon gear”

Just be sure you know that what you’re buying works

It’s the holiday season; many are looking for gifts

Be sure those 3rd-party items are returnable

A “cynic” computed that this is a 20% Nikon tax on buyers 😦

I have no idea whether the same “firmware update trick”

Could be applied to older Nikon cameras, however

I will think twice before applying updates to my D800E or D300

Once updated, it’s difficult (impossible?) to undo

Sigma is issuing a firmware update for their lenses

Not all of their lenses can be fixed

Firmware isn’t ready yet for all that can

Requires a Sigma USB Dock ($59)

Batteries – the only option is to toss them

(Obey appropriate disposal regulations, please)

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9 thoughts on “Nikon Accessory Buyers – Caveat Emptor

  1. Hello Ed

    Thanks for this hints.
    They reinforce my decision I made a week ago.
    After 30 years of Nikonographie I changed to Olympus.

    • I think since Nikon’s largely a one-trick-pony (very little revenue other than photo) that may explain their attitude toward consumers as compared to Canon who has a larger product base.

    • I assume that you mean installing new firmware. Given the problems Nikon is introducing, I can’t imagine why one would update. What “problem” is being cured?? My understanding is that a recent update firmware’s goal was to improve battery performance. 😦

  2. First experiences und results with the Olympus E-M1:

    Even the “cheap” 75-300mm delivers brillant edge-to-edge sharpness.
    I made what nobody should do – pointing into a extremly bright sun at sunset. No lensflares. The EFV showed a pleasant image – no dazzling. Try this (NO – don´t if you want to keep your retina sound) with a prism viewfinder.
    There is a tower block 3 miles away with antennas on it. Dull evening light, upcoming fog. The RAW file shows the details of the antennas components.

    On my first walk with the E-M1 a rabbit flashed straight in my direction, I jerked up the camera, pointed and released.
    Sharp. Even the whiskers of the rabbit. The lens was the Macro 60mm.

    I was in doubt about the bokeh.

    • I have one reservation – I am a huge fan of selective focus and employ shallow DOF often. I’ll have to get my hands on on an E-M1 and test that aspect of it.

      In the meantime thanks for reporting your experiences. Sounds like a winner. Be sure to tell Santa thanks. 😉

      • Concerning DOF – that´s exactly what I was in doubt about using a Micro Four Thirds. It was the reason why I absolutely wanted a camera with full size sensor.
        I don´t know how the engineers from Olympus achieve this but it is MY EXPERIENCE that DOF and bokeh of these lenses are excellent:
        12 – 40mm
        60mm Macro
        Maybe your demands are much more delicate then mine. But looking at the images you published here I think we want the same.

        By the way: together with the Novoflex adapter my “old” Nikon lenses do a good job on the E-M1 – if one is capable to focus manually 😉 Everything else, including vibration control, the E-M1 does pretty good.

        I inveted Santa for a nice dinner at the “LA BRINCA”, Chiavari, Italy. I think he will love the rural italian cooking they serve there. And for his reindeers there is a big bunch of hay with delicious mountain herbals.

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