Most of the Deals Are Gone

Most of Nikon's rebate programs ended yesterday (June 17th). In their place are the following:

  • D3400 US$499, or US$50 off; US$300 off with two-lens kit 
  • D5600 list price; US$300 off with two-lens kit, US$200 off with 18-140mm lens
  • D7200 US$999, or US$100 off; US$300 off with 18-140mm lens
  • D7500 list price; US$200 off with 18-140mm lens
  • D500 US$1899, or US$100 off; US$600 off with 16-80mm lens
  • D610 US$1499, or US$100 off
  • D750 US$1899, or US$100 off; US$800 off with 24-120mm f/4 lens
  • D810 US$2799, or US$200 off; US$800 off with 24-120mm f/4 lens

Lenses with discounts:

  • 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5G DX US$799, or US$100 off
  • 16-35mm f/4G VR US$999, or US$100 off
  • 24mm f/1.4G US$1799, or US$200 off
  • 40mm f/2.8G DX US$249, or US$30 off
  • 50mm f/1.8G US$179, or US$40 off
  • 55-200mm f/4-5.6G VR II DX US$149, or US$200 off
  • 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G VR US$2099, or US$200 off
  • 35mm f/1.8G DX and 85mm f/3.5G VR DX US$499, or US$320 off

More so than usual, these are somewhat miserly offerings from Nikon on the bodies. I can't help but believe that NikonUSA now has very clear sales data that says that the D500, D750, and D810 sell decently at a lower price, but don't sell so well at the current or list prices. I can even see the pattern in my book sales: the body+grip and larger discounts clearly increased book sales every time Nikon has done it. 

Thus, I have to guess that those discounts will come back. One reason why much of the discounting is low at the moment is that we're now in the end-of-quarter inventory counting period. If NikonUSA made their numbers, we'll probably see continued light discounting for awhile. If they didn't or Nikon corporate needs more US sales, bigger discounts will be back. My guess is that Nikon can't sustain their volume without better discounting. The outstanding question is whether corporate is willing to give up their existing price points for volume. 

Meanwhile, because the lens discounts started when I was traveling, I never published my usual "which lens discounts make for good bargains" post. 

The best bargain of the bunch remains the two lens DX pack (35mm f/1.8 and 85mm f/3.5 macro). You get two really good, sharp lenses in that deal for a very non-Nikon price. The 35mm should be in every DX shooters bag, and don't discount that Micro-Nikkor. While it's a little slow in aperture, it's a really excellent performer, even as a general telephoto lens, and it's DX-small and DX-light. Exactly the kind of lenses we should be demanding from Nikon for DX, actually.

The other clear bargain is the 55-200mm f/4-5.6G DX. At US$150 it's a non-brainer if you don't have a small, light DX telephoto zoom in your kit. It seems clear that the older DX telephoto lenses are going away now that the 70-300mm DX has appeared. Yes, the 70-300mm is a better lens, but it's more expensive (though the non-VR version has been included in some kits for very low cost).

Pretty much all the other lenses still on sale are what I'd call conditional bargains: if you need the lens, then yes, those are good prices for them, and Nikon doesn't often do back-to-back discount programs with lenses, so grab them if you need them when they are on sale. 

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