Lens roadmaps are a great way for photographers, filmmakers and other camera users. It helps them find out what’s coming for their particular system. When lenses are added, it may be a couple of years before they’re real, but they’re coming.
Mark Cruz, a Senior Marketing Manager at Nikon USA, has said that the company won’t be publishing any more, though. The statement comes as part of an Adorama Q&A session for the recently released Nikkor Z 135mm f/1.8 Z Plena lens (buy here).
Lens Roadmaps – A great concept for customers
I find the concept of lens and other roadmaps from gear manufacturers to generally be quite beneficial. But they are also frustrating. They can help to guide your future purchases. But lenses added to roadmaps may not actually become available for 2-3 years sometimes.
But, at least if you know it’s coming eventually you can make a more informed buying decision today. You can just wait for the eventual announcement. Or you can decide whether it’s worth the cost of investing in a different lens now.
Roadmaps are a common entity from camera and lens manufacturers. We’ve covered a number of them here from companies like Panasonic, OM-Digital, Pentax and others, as well as Nikon. But it looks like they might be disappearing.
They’re not sp great for companies, though
Nikon’s decision follows a Ricoh/Pentax statement in August. Pentax provided a new lens roadmap and then said there would be no more. With Nikon, that makes at least two companies that have decided to call it quits.
Honestly, I don’t really blame them. Roadmaps can be great for consumers but they’re not so great for the companies that produce them – especially with as much competition as there is out there now. And some companies, such as Sony and Canon, have never published official lens roadmaps.
If lenses are going to sit on the list for a year or more before being released, it gives other lens manufacturers the opportunity to release their own 3rd party alternatives before the camera manufacturer gets their OEM lenses out.
We’ve also seen the occasional fake roadmap out there, which potentially leads customers to make buying decisions that they otherwise wouldn’t. This can lead to people just not buying gear because they’re waiting for the next big thing. This, too, isn’t great for manufacturers.
There was a time, when competition wasn’t so fierce and release cycles weren’t so rapidly paced where the roadmaps make sense. But these days, not so much. It’ll be strange to see them disappear when they’ve been around for so long.
Hopefully, we’ll start to see development announces disappear, soon, too.
[via Nikon Rumors]