At this point I believe we're dealing with a confluence of issues.
First we have the tragic string of natural disasters - the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, and the flooding in Thailand, all of which affected Nikon plants.
Fresh from those issues, you have introduction of D800 & D800e, which has brought throngs of photographers, migrating from DX to FX, as well as from Canon and other brands. Since most DX shooters were already using FX telephotos, and many were using FX mid-range zooms, it follows that anybody on a migration path into Nikon FX is probably shopping for, first and foremost, an ultra-wide, and the 16-35 is probably the most marketable of the Nikon FX ultra-wides, having as it does VR, 77mm filter threads, and a significantly lower price than the 14-24.
hi, I think Larry might be on to something. I was planning to go to FX digital when the replacement for the D700 came. Based on that I purchased the 16-35 f4 last year. and it was no problem getting them. Now with the both D700 and D800 out and the positive reviews of the lens, no wonder there would be a shortage from time to time. It is a very good lens, I really like mine.
Nikon builds all of their Pro lenses in batches. Usually when a lens is out of stock, or on back order, it is on back order everywhere until the next batch gets to the distribution pipeline. Then the back orders get filled first and the remaining stock fill the shelves. Good Luck and Enjoy your Nikons!
I purchased this lens to couple with my D700 and now with my D800. This is a great lens that it is now in great demand because of its IQ, light and priced down to earth. I also shoot DX and I use the 12-24 mentioned by one of our colleagues. The 12-24 has been a great performer for me. I think that the 16-35 is available through several outlets such as Roberts, Cameta or perhaps Berger Brothers. Good luck!
I may answer your question, but want you to know one more thing - I did make a crime, to your eyes, at least. When I was in Japan, I used to speak with Nikon representatives, inside the Nikon STORE, Ginza, Tokyo, if I am not mistaken. You have promised never speak with me, for this reason, hah-hah! So I do want see your apology, first. THX. Dimitri.
Our friendly UPS truck driver reluctantly handed me the J&R package 3 hours ago. It's made in Japan and seem well-constructed. If I use D800 live view (either manual focus or AF-S, this lens produces sharp and beautiful images.
However, if I use the view finder + AF-S, no matter which focus point I used, all the pictures are front-focused!
I tested my D800 with 50 mm f/1.8G and 70-200 mm f/2.8G VRII before. I have not noticed this front-focus problem, at least not this obvious. Hmm, maybe my D800 has the focus problem after all. I will have more time for a more careful and thorough test this weekend.
To answer your comment, yes, there are shipments from Japan weekly. I called J & R from now and then while I was on their waiting list. The 16-35 mm is "trickling in". If you haven't scored one yet, it may be a good idea to just place your order now. It will come, eventually.
I had trouble finding one of these 16-35mm f4 VR lenses too until I came across one on the NikonUSA site as a "refurbished" lens for $1,200.00US. I ordered it right then and it arrived FOUR days later. It is a very good lens, a worthy replacement for my trusty AF18-35mm f3.5-4.5D lens!
Nikon paperwork notes that the lens is a Nikon "reconditioned product" but does not specify what was "reconditioned". The lens came with a 90 day limited warranty, an original owner's manual and a merchandise return form should I require it. To me, it's a brand new lens and it performs like it too! I would buy another Nikon reconditioned product with confidence.
"Great things are not done by impulse but by a series of small things brought together." Vincent Van Gogh