11 August 2006

The Hottest Lens. Ever.

When Nikon introduced their 18-200mm/3.5-5.6 G IF ED AF-S DX VR lens to the world, I, like many other people, thought that it was too good to be true. How could an 11x zoom be any good? Something like 5 months later, I had read enough reviews of this lens and saw enough great pictures from this lens that I decided it is actually a nice lens, and a technnological marvel. Normally when I go out to take pictures, I take two lenses with me, a wide angle zoom and a medium telephoto zoom. With this lens, I could have more zoom range than both of these two combined with less weight than the lightest of the original two. So I started to look for one. At the time, they were scarce in both the US and Germany. However, when we were in the States in January, I found a camera shop with one in stock. I thought about it, but the price was quite a bit higher than I thought it should be. These suckers were in demand, and the shops invoked the laws of supply & demand directly from the textbooks.

I searched around here in Germany for a while, and eventually stumbled upon an online shop that had excellent customer reviews, a low price, and seemed more believable that the others when they said that they would have it soon.

So, on March 5th, 2006, I placed the order. They quoted two weeks. A day or so before the original date, I got an email that apologized profusely and told me that Nikon just wasn't giving them stock. Based on what I was reading in the varous forums I frequent, this was nothing unusual. So I waited it out. For the first couple months I would get an email - from a real person even, not some form letter - telling me that they still didn't have it in stock. After the 2nd full month, they offered to cancel my order if I wanted. The supply wasn't better in the US or Germany or the couple places I checked in France or the UK. Nikon just couldn't crank these babies out fast enough for the demand. So I kept waiting.

In fact, I stopped worrying about it. Every once in a while I would pine for it, or make some comment to Jeannette about how if I had that new lens, everything would be different on these glorious sunny summer days.

Out of the blue, on July 31st, I got an email telling me that my order could no longer be cancelled because it would ship soon. Woo hoo!

A few days later, almost 5 months to the day after ordering it, I picked it up from the post office. And the weather has been absolute crap ever since. So instead of castles and jousting knights and stuff, I had to take pictures of the box.

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