Greta Got My Nikon D800…

A little more than a week ago, I realized why I had not received my Nikon D800. Through sources that cannot be named, I was informed that Greta Van Susteren, the well-known commentator at the Fox News Network, received the camera originally assigned to my order. I was further surprised to find this unique note (below) from the delivery service. Today’s GretaWire confirmed that my D800 was already being used!

D800 Delivery Notice

Am I upset? Absolutely not. I have no issue with Greta “jumping line” at B&H to get my camera. “Why not?”, you ask? The injustice of it all! Someone must pay for having my D800 rerouted to Greta! Surely someone must be “guilty” of… well… uh… something! Or so the popular thinking goes…

Greta Having My D800 Is Good For All Of Us

In the interest of full disclosure, I must admit that I am a Greta fan. As such, she is entitled to get away with some things that I might not otherwise so easily dismiss. Admittedly, seeing my D800 in her hands stretches the boundaries a bit. Greta’s endorsement of the D800, however, is a far better advertisement for the camera and the Nikon brand than you or I could ever muster. We may secretly believe we are the second coming of Ansel Adams, and our cats may not be able to get enough of our photos showcasing their cute antics, but star endorsements and their marketing appeal are far more significant than whatever accolades the rest of us could shower upon Nikon’s products. Sorry folks, but it’s true.

And if analytical technical experts were what sold products, we would see Nikon television commercials with some nerdy, monotone engineers reciting numbers from colorless spreadsheets containing highly complex, unintelligible (and boring!) facts depicting why the new D800 is superior to every other camera ever made. But unless you totally misunderstand the concept of advertising, you probably realize that much of it appeals to our emotions – not our rational side. Advertising often revolves around popular celebrities (or attractive models), most of whom have absolutely nothing to do with the product being advertised. Greta’s D800 use will help generate Nikon sales, market share, revenue, and profits. And a financially strong Nikon is better positioned to invest in new technologies that will eventually make their way into future product offerings. That is good for all of us.

Greta Will Take Photos of Real Stuff

I can’t admit to knowing much about Greta’s photography expertise, but based on watching her show and reading her blog, I am well aware that she travels to some fascinating places and interviews interesting people. As such, we can reasonably expect her to put the D800 to good use taking photos of something besides brick walls, test charts, cats lounging on the living room couch, and family snapshots with the popup flash. There is little doubt that there will be more than enough people to produce petabytes of D800 test patterns, 600X crops, and other “insightful” information that will put us to sleep for years to come. When Greta carries her D800 and takes some photos of her guests and nearby scenery, however, we will at least get a sense of what the camera can do in the real world. And who can argue with that?

Greta Getting the D800 Irks Some People

This is reason alone to be pleased that B&H shipped my D800 to Greta – it has everyone in a tizzy. The web is abuzz with all manner of whiny, snarky comments regarding Greta getting a D800, some of them downright nasty. Why people feel compelled to complain about this situations is beyond my reasoning capabilities. I don’t know what the Fox News Network spends on camera and video gear per year, but I suspect it makes the price of a D800 seem like a rounding error. Why shouldn’t B&H (or any client-oriented company) give its best clients some preferential treatment when it comes to ensuring they get top priority when new gear arrives?

It is hard to objectively argue with B&H‘s decision to reroute my D800 to a popular television host, such as Greta Van Susteren. So while I am a bit disappointed that I won’t see a D800 for a while, I can at least be comforted that my camera has found a good home. I have no doubt that Greta will take my D800 on some fascinating journeys, showcase some stunning photos, and be a great spokesperson for the Nikon brand. And that is nothing to complain about. Well… not for some of us!


  1. 1) abu hayat khan
    April 20, 2012 at 10:13 pm

    This is extremely unprofessional B&H!!!

    • April 20, 2012 at 10:27 pm

      Not considering that it is indeed up to Nikon and its distributors to determine how to best seed the professional photographers and other high-profile individuals that can help their marketing campaigns. People often complain about the price of a product – no matter what that price is. One aspect of lowering prices is through increased sales volume.
      One camera sent to Greta is not going to put a meaningful dent is the huge backlog for the D800, but it may prove to be an effective advertising message that can help drive additional demand.

      • 1.1.1) Richard
        May 9, 2012 at 12:36 am

        Bob, interesting site. Just found it tonight.

        I’m not a pro but am considering the D800. I seriously doubt Greta is going to cause anyone to buy one. I agree with Robert that a recommendation from the likes of a pro like Joe McNally or Moose would possibly push sales….after all, who’s going to buy this camera other than pros or someone like me who is serious about photography and relies on people who really know about it?

        I also disagree that huge sales volumes of the D800 will drive down price. Don’t think I’ge seen that happen with high end Nikons.

        Oh, well. Don’t mean to be argumentative! I frankly don’t care if Greta got your D800!

        • Profile photo of Bob Vishneski Bob Vishneski
          May 9, 2012 at 6:43 am

          And Ashton Kutcher is seen on national Nikon ads because he is an amazing photographer? And a thousands of other celebrities that have absolutely nothing to do with the products they advertise are paid for their knowledge of… nothing. Celebrities pitch all manner of products and always have. I agree with you regarding the opinions of some of the more notable pros being far more important to me than celebrities, but clearly that is not the way everyone thinks…
          Thanks for “not caring”.

          • Richard
            May 9, 2012 at 6:42 pm


            My point about Greta is that I don’t think the type of people who purchase high end cameras rely on celebrities who are non-professional photographers for recommendations. People who purchase point-and-shoot and less expensive DSLRs probably are influenced by the likes of Ashton Kutcher. Maybe I’m wrong. I’m not even a pro, and I could care less what Ashton Kutcher or Greta van Susteren push. But my photographic skills and knowledge and love of photography are such that I’ve travelled to New York City to not only visit my brother who used to live there, but also to spend time at the Photo Expo, where I’ve met people like Steve McCurry and Eric Meola. In my hometown of St. Louis, I go every year to the Creve Coeur Camera photo expo, where I’ve seen presentations by Joe McNally as well as the official photographer of the St. Louis Cardinals, Scott Rovak. I value very much what people like this have to say and, again, could care less what Ashton or Greta think about a particular camera.

            Last night, after I sent my first email, I read some more posts here as well as posts on Greta’s site and on the DPReview Forum. While I still don’t really care that Greta got your D800, I now can understand why some people are upset. I didn’t realize people actually had to put down money when they pre-ordered. I’ve ordered a number of things from B&H but never have “pre-ordered.” I’ve also ordered things from Amazon, and Amazon does not charge you until the product is shipped……although not sure about pre-ordering.

            Anyway, I do understand why some are upset. If it were me, I wouldn’t be as bothered.

            Have a good one.

          • Richard
            May 9, 2012 at 7:06 pm

            One other thing, Bob.

            I just read some more….it appears that you’re saying that Greta did not get your D800. If this was just a made up story, good for you. Someone like me, who just stumbled across this site for the first time last night, thought it was a true story!

            I know you’ve got to be careful what you read on the internet…..I read on a YouTube posting last night that Bono died yesterday…..didn’t believe it, so I checked elsewhere and saw it was not true.

            You ought to write a fictional novel!


            • Profile photo of Bob Vishneski Bob Vishneski
              May 9, 2012 at 7:46 pm


              Just having some fun with all those “outraged” over Greta getting a D800. If you read some other posts, you also realize that B&H didn’t divert any orders to Greta, rather she received her D800 from Nikon. B&H is a classy organization and doesn’t play such games.
              Of course, that didn’t stop many from unfairly blaming them for Greta getting a D800.
              The great thing about the internet is the access to information. The bad news is that human nature is still human nature, and inaccurate stories can spread like wildfire to many that simply believe what they read without questioning it.

              And I will start on that fiction novel! ;) Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts.


          • Richard
            May 9, 2012 at 9:39 pm

            Yep, Bob. I like B&H a lot. My current camera is an old D200, and I’ve been looking to upgrade it after all of these years since I bought it from B&H for a very good price at the Photo Expo. I’ve also actually been to the B&H store in NYC a couple of times….quite impressive place!

            I want a new camera for a number of reasons… is that I typically buy a new one every 3 or 4 years, and it’s way past that time. I also want one with better low light capabilities as well as one with better dynamic range. I’m also pretty convinced that I want a full frame sensor.

            I do like shooting HDR, and I wish the D800 shot 5 frames a second (although I think it can do 6 at half rate)…..I typically do shoot 5 fps with the D200. Not really a big deal, but only thing so far I’ve seen which I like less than my D200.

            The D700 is still an option for me….much less expensive….but while I said I’m not a “pro,” I actually have done a few paid jobs, and I’d like to do more. Some ads out there are asking for photographers to have a certain level of camera. So, why not get what’s being described as Nikon’s best camera out there (and, one of the best period!) Then, again, costs will go up purchasing some FX lenses! (Could just rent these as well, though).


            • Profile photo of Bob Vishneski Bob Vishneski
              May 10, 2012 at 4:38 am

              The costs are a bit higher for some of the better FX glass, but not terribly so, particularly if you have been buying good f/2.8 lenses for your DX cameras already. Quite a few of the 24-70mm 2.8 owners are DX DSLR enthusiasts. The same is likely true for 70-200mm 2.8 owners. It is the long end where you may miss the DX crop factor, as it costs quite a bit to make up for this diminished reach. The D800 negates a bit of this concern by providing a usable crop factor that yields a 15.2MP image, nearly the equivalent of a D4 or D7000.

          • Richard
            May 10, 2012 at 11:15 am

            Hey, Bob.

            Thanks for the input.

            You’re right about the crop factor and the reach of the lens’ long end. But I also do like shooting wide angle. I have a Nikon 12 – 24 mm f/4 which I sometimes wish I could actually use the 12 mm end as a 12 mm. I like shooting pictures of skyscrapers, having lived in Chicago for awhile as well as making many trips to NYC.

            Then, again, I also like to go on workshops for landscape photography, and I often do use the longer zoom.

            And, as you mention, it’s nice to have the ability to crop the image on the D800 and still get a 15.2 MP image…..that’s plenty for me. I have blown up some of my 10 MP images with the D200 to 20×30″, and I think they look fine.

            The other cost consideration is also my computer’s processing capability and hard drive space! I shoot a lot of RAW, and I think I read somewhere that the D800’s RAW files are as large as 75 Mb! I’ve been looking at a Buffalo 4 TB in a Raid 1 configuration, regardless of my next camera, because my single terabyte drive (and its backup) will be 80 percent full in a few months.


  2. 2) Beyti
    April 20, 2012 at 10:23 pm

    Really ?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

  3. 3) Sean Hannity
    April 20, 2012 at 10:25 pm

    How in the world did Greta get one before me?
    Scuttlebut is… O’Reilly’s been seen sporting a black strap with D4 in gold lettering.
    But it’s hard to tell as everyone knows what happens to people who ‘talk’ around FOX these days.
    Maybe I should go down to B&H with a box of KIeenex and cry my eyes out like Beck did?

    Clearly, this is some sort of liberal plot and it’s got Obama written all over it.
    Under a President Palin something like this would ever happen.

    • April 20, 2012 at 10:43 pm

      Cut the BS, we know you had your hands on the D800, D800E, and D4 – long before they were shipped! :) Now get back to throwing that football!

    • 3.2) Anders
      April 21, 2012 at 1:55 am

      I think I would prefer Anders Bering Breivik as president if Palin was the alternative.

  4. 4) Tom
    April 20, 2012 at 10:26 pm

    Greta Who? I’m sure this website has more to offer than some yakking TV drone.

    • April 20, 2012 at 10:32 pm

      Indeed it does. But the controversy over Greta’s D800 didn’t start here. It sure is getting quite a bit of attention on other sites, however.

  5. 5) abu hayat khan
    April 20, 2012 at 10:28 pm

    Now i am really worrying about my order of D800e on B&H. I ordered within first few hour of announcement. I received notice from B&H on day before yesterday saying that they don’t know when i will receive mine :-(

  6. 6) Robert
    April 20, 2012 at 10:35 pm

    I read about this earlier and have seen Henry Posner’s very brief acknowledgment of it.
    As one who pre-ordered within hours of them being announced – and still waiting like many, many others – I’d be lying if I said it didn’t bother me.

    However, I’ve no doubt that Nikon does this as a matter of business and would tend to think they’ve got product set aside for VIP/Celebrity desires. I have no doubts there are others with greater celebrity than Van Susteren who’ve received one (or a D4) with the only difference that they didn’t feel the need to show it off to everyone like she has.

    That doesn’t mean I think it’s right – I don’t – but I understand.

    • April 20, 2012 at 10:40 pm

      If it were your company, would you allocate scarce product to high profile pros and VIPs that could influence popular opinion and who also likely contribute significant money to your business, or would you provide the product to whoever happened to be be up past midnight on announcement day and happened to be in line? You are sitting in the CEO’s seat and responsible for profit/loss and client satisfaction? What’s your call?

      • 6.1.1) Robert
        April 21, 2012 at 1:15 am

        I’ve no doubt Nikon (and other companies) allocate product for marketing and promotional purposes. Though, I think a case could be made for this being called NPS (which I have no problem with)? I think most photographers could probably care less what Van Susteren shoots with. Now, when I see and hear what Joe McNally, Moose Peterson…Nasim, Thom Hogan and others shoot, my ears do perk up.

        I guess the altruistic answer would be that I’d take care of my loyal customers, many of whom have ponied up hard earned cash, not just for this but other equipment as well and have been waiting (somewhat patiently).
        But, as you correctly point out, it is a business and sales/profit are the bottom line.

        Perhaps I’m not being entirely objective as my political views don’t exactly mesh with those of Ms Van Susteren, and I just don’t see her as a ‘big’ celebrity that has broad appeal, particularly with those pondering a $3000+ dslr.

        Also, Bob, from the marketing standpoint I can see getting it into a celeb’s hands and the publicity generated from that. But I’d rather do this at launch rather than a month later when the company has already admitted worldwide demand far greater than they are able to produce.

        Like I said, it does bother me, but I do understand it from Nikon’s side.

        • Profile photo of Bob Vishneski Bob Vishneski
          April 21, 2012 at 9:48 am


          Is Nikon’s spokesperson, Ashton Kutcher, some leading photography authority? :) BTW, I would bet that Fox News spends a significant sum on camera/video gear at B&H – probably more than many of the top pros combined. As such, B&H’s sending a camera to one of Fox’s employees is simply an acknowledgement that Fox is a major customer and Greta can provide a great advertisement for the camera and Nikon brand.

          Some non-business types apparently don’t get this, but anyone involved in the business side of the world understands why B&H (or in combination with Nikon) may have made this call. I would have made the same call. And whether you agree with her political views or not, Greta receives very high ratings and is extremely popular. And I would probably want to see her photos more so than those taken by Ashton Kutcher! :)


          • Robert
            April 21, 2012 at 11:22 am

            Touche, Bob!

            But then again, Kutcher does only the entry level stuff and I can see where that makes sense. Several years ago I was out and about with my D90 and had an elderly lady ask me (I wish I was making this up)…”Nice camera! Is that one of those Ashton Kutcher’s”? Now, I had no clue who the guy was (don’t watch a lot of TV and didn’t get into That 70’s Show until later). I’d give them high marks on Kutchers name recognition but low for getting the message across if this is how it played to most people.

            As for what FOX spends on gear…I saw a post that summed this up pretty well along the lines of what her camera cost is like a rounding error on FOX’s equipment budget. I don’t doubt they spend a lot. But, couldn’t we make the case – when put in persepective – with all of us? As it happened, I received a package from B&H yesterday with a new Gitzo tripod, Lee filter adapter and Galen Rowell GND 4×6 filter…over $1000. That’s a lot to me. And that doesn’t count the thousands already spent this year. And the year before. And the year before…

            All that said, we’re in agreement as both of us would have done the same thing if the decision were in our hands.

            Henry Posner, via his post on dpreview, lays the decision solely on Nikon. Of course, that doesn’t explain the B&H coffee mugs.

            • Profile photo of Bob Vishneski Bob Vishneski
              April 21, 2012 at 11:28 am

              Let’s cut to the chase – you really don’t care about Greta getting a D800 before you; you are outraged over the fact that she got a few B&H mugs! :)
              Between us (and everyone else following this post!), I cringe every time I see Kutcher promoting Nikon’s products. I think they can get a much more credible figure to promote their products and brand!

            • Robert
              April 21, 2012 at 12:07 pm

              It shows?
              Guess you figured me out…. :-)

              But then, that raises an interesting question about spokesperson’s…We both agree on our dislike of Kutcher as spokesperson, but, can’t deny the name recognition he carries. In fact, when I see him pushing P&S models it does make sense, in terms of the audience he mainly appeals to. It’s also obvious that while someone like Joe McNally is at God status in our world, outside of it his name recognition is probably close to zilch, certainly nowhere near Kutchers’.

              The other issue I’d see with Van Susteren is that she doesn’t carry broad appeal. No doubt, she appeals to one certain brand of political ideology in the United States. (For the record, I dislike all cable political commentators regardless of network or view). And, one could make the argument, as polarizing as politics is today – and FOX – that while Van Susteren appeals to FOX viewers, her effect with those that dislike FOX may not be what Nikon seeks. In my state, Arizona, Van Susteren is commonly referred to as “our Governors’ BFF”. Obviously, not a term of endearment.

              I guess an interesting topic might be….who would you like to see as Nikon’s spokesperson?

              Based on what’s been going on the last couple years, I’ll run with Charlie Sheen.

            • Profile photo of Bob Vishneski Bob Vishneski
              April 21, 2012 at 12:20 pm

              The perfect spokesperson for a high tech company? One good dose of high tech deserves… another!

            • Adam Allegro
              April 27, 2012 at 5:06 pm

              I hope my 2 mugs come in red and green when I get my D800 from B&H… in October. Oh yea, I ordered early morning on the first day as well. When I saw this, and read her blog, and saw her photos, I started laughing pretty hard. I could live for the next 5 years with just my D7000 and a couple lenses, but I reallllllllllllly want my D800. Awesome write up. This made my day :)

    • April 23, 2012 at 6:56 am

      I’m in the same boat — very early same-day-of-release order, no camera. What bothers me about the Greta business is that B&H SWORE to me it was first-come first served. They also would not tell me my place in line.

      So if your policy is first-in, first-out, then you should stick to it — and stick it to Greta and her ilk. If you’re an NPS member (and I’m not, though I will become one ASAP), you can get your gear straight from Nikon. But for B&H to line jump seems more than a tad unfair.

      And I promise not to photograph my cat, not even once.

      • 6.2.1) eric hatch
        April 23, 2012 at 7:22 pm

        Henry Posner of B&H assures me that Greta did not get her camera from B&H, but from NPS. Now whether she’s making a living by taking photographs, the criterion for joining NPS, I’m not equipped to say.

  7. 7) John Richardson
    April 20, 2012 at 10:35 pm

    Great post Bob! Maybe she has a kitten, I wonder what color it is? Or will she process it to B&W!

    It seems petty that people are upset about this, there are far more important things to cry about than who gets their camera on what day of the week. Like why can’t I have a monkey in my town in Ukraine?

    • April 20, 2012 at 10:41 pm

      Thanks, John. I expect few to side with me on this issue, however. Far too many somehow believe that Greta getting a D800 is somehow, “unfair”.

  8. 8) Ben
    April 20, 2012 at 10:45 pm

    It probably matches her shoes

    • April 20, 2012 at 10:46 pm

      I suspect every bit as much as yours or mine.

    • 8.2) John Richardson
      April 20, 2012 at 10:56 pm

      Of course it matches her shoes, Greta is a hardcore lawyer, it’s black shoes ONLY.

  9. 9) You are so full of yourself
    April 20, 2012 at 11:29 pm

    Actually the problem here is you don’t get to say who is important and who is not? I have seen the pictures she took with the D800. A monkey can take better pictures. If that is too much for you to handle please don’t bother responding.

    Since you didn’t technically pay for the camera it was never yours and I don’t think there is an option to trade queues ;) I spoke to Nikon USA today and have opened a case. Maybe they can continue to favor so called VIP/CEO’s and reduce the price for the common man who stayed up at midnight to order one when they were available for preorder. Just shows what kind of a person you are. It is not about one Person (Greta); It is about one person we found out about, there could be more for all we know :)

    Good luck trying to justify this. You and me both know what is right and what is wrong.

    • April 20, 2012 at 11:59 pm

      Actually, I am not full of myself. If I was, I would be complaining to the high heavens and feeling wronged like many others due to B&H’s providing a D800 to Greta. Nor do I believe you are correct. If I thought Greta getting a D800 was wrong, I would never have written this piece.

      What makes you think either Nikon or B&H should not be able to provide cameras to those in positions to test/advertise/promote their equipment? Based on… what? That is their call. Do you also believe Nikon & B&H shouldn’t have provided them to those in the Nikon Professional Services program? How about those such as Nasim or other reviewers that got early copies? How about beta partners? Should Nikon not team up with leading pros in the design and development of cameras? I am amazed at how many people believe they know better how to run either Nikon or a camera retailer such as B&H.

      It is rather sad to hear some of the criticism of Greta’s photos as well as other snarky comments many on the net are making about her. Everyone complains that the prices of equipment should be lower. And when companies try to promote their equipment/brand, some people then complain as if those demonstration or early shipments provided to pros and other prominent people somehow belonged to them. If Nikon doesn’t generate sufficient demand to help bring down their production costs, of course, those same complainers will complain about that as well.

      I doubt if one of the keyboard warriors making such comments about Greta would last two minutes saying them directly to her face while on TV. I am glad Greta got her D800. She will make a much better spokesperson than all her critics combined. And based on the comments many have made about her, it is fair to say that Greta has a lot more class as well.

      • 9.1.1) Maybe You are Not so full of yourself
        April 21, 2012 at 1:55 am

        Thanks for your response. I actually like the content of your site and other crew/members of the site such as Nasim so I will refrain from arguing or dragging them to this conversation. The review by Nasim about the D800 is actually helpful. Can you say the same about Greta’s photography skills?
        Sure the class is flying to Sudan and taking pictures of others misery and talk about how well it is captured with the “great great great great D800”. Maybe she doesn’t know of the Nikon D4, else she would have asked for one of those and it would have included some B&H China along with the order*sarcasm*

        Nikon should have sent her a promotional unit (- the B&H coffee mugs) if she was that important as a brand ambassador. You and me are both keyboard warriors at this point so the point again is lets not argue if you don’t want to acknowledge the problem.

        Again in the best interest of my sanity I will refrain from arguing over this. I am sorry if you have a soft corner for her and we hurt your feelings.

        • Maybe You are Not so full of yourself
          April 21, 2012 at 1:58 am

          Forgot to mention that I am thankful to B&H & yourself for believing in the theory that doing special favors for pros (??) such as Greta will drive down the R&D/Manufacturing costs of this particular model and future models. Can’t wait to see the revised pricing ;) (Maybe like it was lowered for the European market?)

          • Profile photo of Bob Vishneski Bob Vishneski
            April 21, 2012 at 10:05 am

            I don’t know that Greta’s photography skills are any better/worse than anyone else’s photography skills. But if B&H (and Nikon) believe they should get ship early models (pre/post first customer ship) to people that can advertise the brand, why complain? It is rather silly.

            The only feelings I have are amusement over the the level of inanity this issue has garnered, as well as a bit of disappointment regarding the level and spirit of commentary associated with it. Some people have made some pretty insulting comments toward Greta. I doubt that one of these people would have the courage to make such comments to her face. But alas, in the internet age, everyone can make snarky comments from the comfort and anonymity of their living room and feel brave. Pretty sad…

            B&H and Nikon know what is best for their businesses. There are a too many armchair quarterbacks on this issue, all believing that they not only know photography, but are qualified to weigh in the soundness of the promotional efforts of both firms.

            This is B&H’s and Nikon’s call – period. And if you believe this is such a nonsensical decision, try this little test: Turn on your TV, and simply watch the ads for a few hours. Each time you see a celebrity, jot down your explanation for what that celebrity has to do with that particular product. Most of the time, you will find the answer is “absolutely nothing”. At least Greta will take her D800 to interesting places and post real world photos. That is more than most celebrities do with the products they endorse.

            Everyone needs to chill out on this issue. And in the meantime? Take some great photos with the gear you have! The D800 is indeed a great camera, but it will not make any of us great photographers.


      • 9.1.2) Mona
        April 21, 2012 at 3:00 am

        Excuse my ignorance, but googling her I see that she is a TV host. How will a TV host be a better spokesperson for a D800 than photographers? I’m a little surprised if photographers look at what TV hosts are using when picking gear. Or is she a pro photographer also? I got the impression she is originally a lawyer who turned TV host.

        Regarding your comment about confronting her on TV. I have no TV-training so I would never go on the telly to say this, unless I got to say “Hi, Mom!” at the same time.

        • Profile photo of Bob Vishneski Bob Vishneski
          April 21, 2012 at 10:27 am


          She is a news reporter and talk show host, who has quite a bit of following. As such, her comments about the D800 will likely reach more people than the rest of our comments combined. I suspect her network likely spends more money at B&H than many of the popular professional photographers combined. As such, it is not unreasonable to see why B&H and Nikon wanted to get a D800 to her.

          I am sure Greta would enjoy having you on. I would enjoy seeing a show were Greta did a “Mike Wallace” on some of the people making snarky comments about her, and she had the opportunity to put them on camera to explain those comments. I suspect most would hide under their bed… ;)


      • 9.1.3) G
        April 21, 2012 at 3:07 am

        “What makes you think either Nikon or B&H should not be able to provide cameras to those in positions to test/advertise/promote their equipment? Based on… what? That is their call.”
        No offense, but B&H claim to serve pre-order queues on a first in – first out basis. When you publicly claim to do that, you lose your right much around with orders at the expense of damaging your reputation.

        • Profile photo of Bob Vishneski Bob Vishneski
          April 21, 2012 at 12:59 pm

          It is not unreasonable to believe that Nikon had made some special arrangements with B&H to provide cameras to people in the media such as Greta. And why shouldn’t they?
          It is amazing how many people are so bent out of shape over this issue. Sure, you can cancel your order with B&H and order one from someone else, but I guarantee you that B&H’s policies in this regard are not an aberration.
          I have dealt with many businesses over the years – professionally and personally – and B&H is as good as it gets. The fact that they have grown and prospered despite the seismic changes in the industry tells you all you need to know about their ability to serve their customers and be a profitable business.
          Maybe you can place an order with one of these companies…


          • Es
            April 22, 2012 at 12:04 am

            Nikon should be providing their own promotional cameras to whoever they want to via their reps and PR agencies, and, separately, B&H the retailer should be honoring the orders made.

            B&H is not Nikon’s PR or Word Of Mouth Marketing agency. Nikon is already paying several agencies to do this type of promotion, if B&H has to step in the gap then Nikon f’ed up during a very critical release cycle and needs to switch up PR/marketing agencies.

            This erodes both Nikon and B&H’s reputations with customers. Period. Full Stop.

  10. 10) David
    April 21, 2012 at 12:18 am

    This would be fine if Greta were not the worst kind of person.

    • April 21, 2012 at 10:31 am

      Really? She seems to get quite a mix of people on her show from the full spectrum of political ideology as well as other people in the news. I have listened to her enough to believe she is a pretty decent person, a tough, but fair, interviewer, and always very well prepared.

  11. 11) Karl R.
    April 21, 2012 at 12:21 am

    Bob it’s time to hit back;
    next tim a Truck with D800 leaves B&H we should …


    • April 21, 2012 at 10:33 am

      If I had found out that Jane Fonda, Alec Baldwin, or Jane Fonda (or perhaps a few other talk show hosts that will remain nameless) got my camera, I would indeed be pretty hot under the collar! :)

  12. 12) Jam
    April 21, 2012 at 12:39 am

    Well… She is famous… Nothing new…

    • 12.1) Jam
      April 21, 2012 at 12:44 am

      B&H should give You something free, which cost 10-15% of d800. :)

  13. 13) Bill
    April 21, 2012 at 1:24 am

    I found your post to be a bit patronizing. It appears that you have taken the same tactic that current day media has regarding facts. It is not enough to simply present the facts and let reasonably intelligent people decide what they should think about the event. You felt to need to tell us what we should think about what happened. This has turned news into propaganda machines for whatever the purpose du jour is. It is really sad.

    There are photographers that have spent tens of thousands of more dollars on Nikon equipment than Greta has or ever will (this is just a guess). Are these people less valuable to Nikon? If Nikon or B&H wants a spokes person they should secure a contract and provide fees (or a camera) for the service. That is the way business is conducted. it seems that you fail to make the distinction here between consumers which we all are including Greta and a company spokes person (which Greta is not paid to be as far as I know), marketing person, or professional photographer testing equipment for Nikon.

    If you would like to give up your place in line then feel free. However, if anyone (and I don’t know that they did) unknowing and without consent gave up their spot on the waiting list for Greta to move ahead then it is wrong. This is true regardless of how many times you say it is ok and we should all feel good about it.

    Ethics in business appears to have died on the alter of profits.

    • 13.1) Maybe You are full of yourself ( A lowly consumer who preordered)
      April 21, 2012 at 2:01 am

      Well said !!! Couldn’t have explained it better. B&H is on my blacklist now and I will inform my coworkers and friends to do the same. Maybe it wont impact B&H much but I will try.

      • Profile photo of Bob Vishneski 13.1.1) Bob Vishneski
        April 21, 2012 at 9:32 am

        I am not sure why anyone on this post (or elsewhere) believes that they “first in line” theory is the right way to handle product shipments. Greta is part of the Fox News Network. I don’t know the level of business Fox does with B&H, but given the range of products B&H sells and the nature of Fox’s business, it might be a substantial number. As such, they probably are responsible for quite a bit more revenue/profits to B&H and Nikon than most of us combined. I doubt if any single photographer spends even a fraction of what a new organization might spend annually on gear.

        Far too many are using this situation to claim some moral high ground and flame out over trivial nonsense.This has absolutely nothing to do with ethics. A decision to provide a camera to a person that is part of a company that spends good money with you, and perhaps can garner quite a bit of attention for your product is a reasonable decision to make. What’s next, going through Nikon’s financial statement and weighing in on whether they should have taken the money spent on landscaping and claiming that they could have instead used it to manufacture 10 extra D800s?

        B&H provides excellent customer support, great product selection, and fair prices. They (and the rest of us) will survive one camera going to someone in the news media who will do more to draw attention to the product/brand that the rest of us.

        • Bill
          April 21, 2012 at 10:54 am

          You are a bit all over the place on justifying this event.

          Makes no difference to me personally, as I cancelled my orders a while back.

          None of us know if Fox even purchases Nikon Equipment from B and H. Therefore, that premiss is pretty flimsy for justification.

          Regarding ethics; if the company (any company) does not follow a stated policy (in this case first come first serve on a waiting list) for customers then the behavior is unethical regardless of how much money they may stand to earn. Confusing acceptable behavior with potential profits leads to business practices with no moral compass. I personally don’t know if this happened but I don’t do business with organizations that I have determined operate along those lines.

          Again you can state that it is acceptable as long as the potential for profits is high but that is a hollow argument.

          Those that give up their ethics for profits, in the end, give up their profits due to their ethics.

          The mindset that any behavior is acceptable in pursuit of profits seems to be your defense of this possible event. This mindset has been the undoing of large segments of our economy already (see housing collapse late 2000s).

          Of course, with your argument … the 1% is more important than the 99%. Hehehehe… that ought to stir things up.

          Just so we all understand. Bob is loving this attention. The more controversy he can stir up the more people comment and visit the site .. the more likely one could sell advertising to make money on the blog. Not sure if that B&H link is paid advertising or not. So even I am most likely contributing to the ridiculous idea of profiting from this blatant troll oriented blog post designed to just stir people up.


          • Profile photo of Bob Vishneski Bob Vishneski
            April 21, 2012 at 11:21 am


            Let me summarize it for you – it is up to B&H and Nikon to determine how they can best promote their business and products. Period. If you think you know better, you are certainly free to apply for a job at either firm and pitch your ideas for improving customer satisfaction and growing the business. I am sure someone will listen.

            And if you think it is so immoral for either company to give some thoughts to such notions as market share, revenue, or that “dastardly” concept of profit, you should take a good hard look at those that don’t pay attention to them.

            Have you bought a Konica lately? How about a Minolta? Thinking of a new Kodak camera, perhaps? Maybe your next DSLR will be a Polaroid? Maybe you fancy a new Contax? Were these firms more “ethical” by not paying enough attention to growing their businesses? Think the thousands of employees that used to work for them think that their going out of business was “ethical”? Give me a call after you have conducted your survey on this one…

            Care to venture a guess as to how many camera shops are no longer around? Let me help you with that one:

            The real questions that people should be asking themselves?

            1. Why does the notion of one person, such as Greta Van Susteren, getting a D800 cause me to waste so much of my time, energy and emotion?

            2. What makes me think I know better how B&H or Nikon should promote their products and businesses?

            3. What makes me think that any other rational thinking business operates any differently – or should?

            BTW, there would be no article such as this one, if it was not so blatantly obvious that far too many people were outraged (and simply jealous) at the notion of Greta getting a D800.


            • Bill
              April 21, 2012 at 6:09 pm


              This is my last comment to your blog as you have aptly pointed out it is a waste of our time and effort. We should be out shooting!

              I had no idea about any of this Greta camera thing until I stumbled across your blog so it was definitely not taking up my time until last evening.

              I decided to comment based on your snarky (in my opinion) responses to those that chose to read and comment on your blog. Yes, some of the responses have been snarky… just rise about it.

              I do not believe nor do I think I stated that I knew better how to promote Nikon and B&H. You just made that one up. More snarky stuff. I do find you a bit entertaining.

              I actually don’t need you to summarize considering you have missed the boat completely on the point being made. This is my opinion, yours may differ.

              There is nothing immoral about a company having a strategy or giving thought to how to promote themselves. However, if prior commitments to a customer have been made those commitments should be fulfilled regardless of the strategy. Just my opinion but I think that is the ethical thing to do. I know, I know … profits darnit.. to heck with those pre-orders *S*

              I think your questions are the ones that may be important to you but again, in my opinion, you have missed the point of this blog post that you started. Interesting.

              Makes no difference to me who got a camera. If it was at the expense of someone that in good faith preordered a body from the vendor based on that vendor’s policies then it is wrong if someone was jumped to the front of the line. I know that really upsets you … sorry.

              It is not about whether I know better about promotions for the companies. The company by accepting my preorder made an obligation to me based on their own policies. Just as I made an obligation to them to pay for the camera when they ship to me.

              This is about taking an order and fulfilling the vendor’s side of the bargain. Nothing more and nothing less. It is not about a bunch of photogs on the net trying to take over marketing strategy for the companies.

              We all have opinions, they are like certain parts of our anatomy. Everyone has one. Your opinion is just as valid to you and mine is to me. While I may disagree with your opinion I don’t really feel the need to spend time changing yours. It appears that you do not really want a discussion on this blog post as much as you feel the need to tell everyone one how wrong, and stupid, and ignorant, and dumb they are. I find that a bit offensive.

              Maybe this is your management style or marketing strategy. It doesn’t really work for me.

              The last point that I will make is for the people posting here. I voice my protest about vendors in the best way I know how – I spend my money elsewhere. Choose a different one if you are not satisfied with the service you received. It really does not matter what I or Bob think about the service. It is what you think and your satisfaction or dis-satisfaction. Bitching about it on some blog site will serve no purpose.

              Bob – I wish you well.

            • Profile photo of Bob Vishneski Bob Vishneski
              April 21, 2012 at 6:58 pm


              I find much of the phony outrage over B&H shipping a camera to Greta rather ironic and a bit disingenuous . Consider that anyone complaining on this post, could cancel their D800 order with B&H in a heartbeat if they found out that they might get the camera a day earlier or for $5 less by ordering it from someone else – no questions asked.

              And they would likely feel no moral ambiguity about this whatsoever. Why? Everyone sees it as their “right” to cancel orders anytime they want, for any reason, without any penalty. So placing an order with B&H (or other vendor) obligates you to…. absolutely nothing. But B&H takes the risk of ordering and eventually paying for the inventory associated with your order – regardless of whether you take shipment of the item or cancel it.

              If B&H provides a camera to some high profile individual in the media before you they are somehow unethical? When you cancel your order with B&H, however – for any reason you choose – that is just… well… that’s different, huh?

              Funny how no one pointed this out…

  14. 14) hater
    April 21, 2012 at 2:00 am

    Bob , i am glad that you are not pissed off somebody got YOUR camera. you are a good guy. i am PISSED off somebody can just jump the line ! in the end of the day, this world is not created equal. Just because she is famous so that she can get somebody else camera? you have to remember she cut the line , we all moved down by one shipment , which means we all are being effected. its good you are speaking for yourself that you are ok with it, however, i am not ok with it. I think many people are ok with it, and many people are not OK with it. Yes, me and my friends are on the NOT SO OK side. thanks for share you pattern of thoughts and i just shared mine. btw, i ordered from amazon. it didnt effect me, or id sue them.

    • April 21, 2012 at 10:41 am

      Sorry Hater, but Amazon shipped your D800 to Jeff Bezos. ;) I think some people should look into the mirror and ask why they are so bent out of shape over this issue. It is simply good business to provide cameras to companies that spend good money with you and to prominent people – professionals, celebrities, etc. that can promote your brand.

      You should also check your understanding of the law. There is nothing “illegal” about B&H or Nikon providing equipment to the people listed above. You can always start your own retail camera business and implement your own policies if you believe they will attract more customers than those of B&H, BTW. Who knows – you could be wildly successful and someday be reading others comment about your own company policies? Just a thought…

    • 14.2) Americo
      April 21, 2012 at 10:48 am

      You are a hater, I am a hater, the whole would is merely a hater, and I, do not stand alone, undear friend xD

  15. 15) Anders
    April 21, 2012 at 2:08 am

    Ha..ha..that was really a funny post. But not sure I’ll ever order anything from B&H in the future.

  16. April 21, 2012 at 3:15 am

    I thought this was a post similar to the ones in April 1st. Is this for real??

  17. 17) David K
    April 21, 2012 at 3:17 am

    Its all a bit ho-hum anyhow – not that many (meaning me) can afford (or justify) a D800 – so hey what does it matter who the heck it goes too!!!

  18. 18) Doug
    April 21, 2012 at 3:26 am
  19. 19) Alison
    April 21, 2012 at 4:50 am

    Never heard of her. But I’d be furious if it happened to me.

    In general though I don’t have interest personally in high profile people endorsing products in any way. And I doubt anyone I know would be interested or impressed with a FOX employee doing anything.

  20. 20) Leer
    April 21, 2012 at 6:09 am

    Just cancelled my order from B&H, and placed one with Amazon, no none sense

    • April 21, 2012 at 9:34 am

      What makes you believe every firm doesn’t have a similar policy? Do you think that Jeff Bezos couldn’t have gotten his hands on a D800. Com’on…

      • 20.1.1) Gary Bullard
        May 19, 2012 at 4:58 am

        I love reading these posts so much, that when I recieved my D800 this morning, I idd not even open the box, I just forwarded it to Paris Hilton. I cannot wait to get back iin the waiting line for my next D800.
        Bob, I love this site, have a wonderful day

        • Gary Bullard
          May 19, 2012 at 5:01 am

          Sorry about the typing errors in the earlier post. I was so excited about reordering my D800 that I just could not keep my fingers working correctly.
          Have a nice day

  21. April 21, 2012 at 7:25 am

    I don’t understand why we all get so upset over things like this happening. It is not like the camera you have been using all of a sudden won’t still take wonderful photos since 90% of it is in the lenses you choose and the person behind that lens. Yes we will all get our d800 at some point but maybe for now we should all just relax and enjoy the camera we were so satisfied with before the announcement of the d800

    • April 21, 2012 at 10:11 am

      You and me both. One wonders why some of the people wasting so much time and energy on this issue aren’t out taking photos and improving their skills. I would bet a D800 that every single one of them already has a DSLR!
      But then again, I suspect we both guilty of that worst possible sin…. “Rational Thinking”! :)

  22. April 21, 2012 at 7:48 am

    Loved the APS ticket! Starting my day with a laugh is always good.
    I ordered my D-800 through our local camera store and it is supposed to be here Monday!!!

    By the way, I recently discovered this blog and I love it. Thank you for so many good articles.

    • April 21, 2012 at 10:08 am

      Thank you, Stephanie! As you can see, not everyone is so enamored with my perspective or sense of humor regarding this issue! :)
      Hope you get your D800 soon. Send us some links to your photos. I am sure it will serve you well for years to come.

      • April 25, 2012 at 9:52 pm

        I did receive my D-800 on Monday! I love it!
        Also, in Florida, we have to pay sales tax anyway, so why not support the local businesses. However, I’m slightly peeved that I can’t seem to find an extra camera battery! Importing RAW files, another issue. I’ll deal with it. Now excuse me while I go drool over my images. :)

        • Stephanie Dubsky
          May 3, 2012 at 7:12 am

          I would love to share some images. I’m not sure of the best way to size them for the web, though.
          Though I LOVE this camera, I’m experiencing some growing pains. First, I had trouble with the raw files as I was still using CS4. A friend told me to try Lightroom and convert the NEF’s into DNG’s. I’ve never used Lightroom so having to learn a new program is a setback. Still, CS4 wasn’t able to handle the DNG’s! So now I have a trial version of CS5, which I will have to buy. I wish I had known ahead of time that I would have to upgrade my software and spend a bunch more money. Also, I about fell over backwards when I saw the price of the CF and Sd cards that are needed. I’m using Hoodman’s 675x 32g and they work great. I paid way more at the camera store for the cards than if I had bought them directly from Hoodman. I’m not happy about the fact that I am unable to purchase an extra battery, so I am careful to keep the one battery charged, and of course, I have my faithful little D-200’s as backups! (Yes, I was way overdue for a camera upgrade!)
          All that said, I’m still in love.

          • Profile photo of Bob Vishneski Bob Vishneski
            May 3, 2012 at 7:09 pm

            I could have helped with the “demands” of your D800 – :)
            Send us a link to Flickr or other site when you have a chance to process some pics.

            • Stephanie Dubsky
              May 4, 2012 at 7:27 am

              Thanks, I enjoyed that article! I did purchase a Gitzo tripod yesterday (like the one I had for years but was stolen last year). But that’s it! I’m not buying anything else!
              At least I’m not the only one who thought my camera was talking to me. :)

            • Stephanie Dubsky
              May 7, 2012 at 11:04 am

              I took my new D-800 for a test drive! I went to an inspiring little gem called The Sea Hag in Cortez, Florida.
              I’m thrilled at the quality of this camera! I love the way it handled all the mixed lighting inside the store.
              I opened a Smugmug account so I could have a gallery outside of my website.
              I don’t know how to make this a hyperlink, though.
              Nikon D-800 Test:

  23. 23) Hakki Ocal
    April 21, 2012 at 8:57 am

    Great story. Good journalism. I didn’t know Greta was a photographer! Well than again, when you are “celeb” you may be anything you want!

  24. 24) Hakki Ocal
    April 21, 2012 at 9:10 am

    BTW what are those URLs at the end of the UPS-like label?

    There are no sites like that!

    Is whole thing some sort of “advertisement”?

    • April 21, 2012 at 9:39 am

      Thanks. Just having some fun at the expense of the hundreds (if not thousands) of people who were bent out of shape and claiming moral outrage because a popular talk show host, and part of a major network, received a camera before they did.
      I would chalk it up to simple jealousy and a complete lack of understanding regarding how business works. Most of these very people are the same ones that will take pictures of brick walls, test charts, and family photos, and spend their weekend in debates over nonsensical minutia. They are envious because Greta will actually take the camera out on the road with her and photograph something real! :)

      • 24.1.1) Americo
        April 21, 2012 at 10:03 am

        Bob, I have found a new kind of respect for! It takes real courage for a person to attempt this sort of separation of theories to actual practice!
        Thank you very much, for everything you have done for the DSLR community, and for this insanely brave post! By the way, I am a Nikon D700, Nikkor 28mm f/2,8, and Nikkor 50mm f/1.4D, old 5D MK II Zeiss 21mm f/2.8 ZE, Zeiss 35mm f/1.4 ZE, with no regret at all!
        Yes, I have, and in some ways still do, point and shoot, but I can say that because of the many sites, like this one, that devout their time teaching those of us willing to spend countless hours disregarding our chores, and with much spousal resentment( just kidding xD ) to continue, I am proud that I have crossed the line, and I have actually made beautiful photo’s through all this support!

        Yours gratefully, and forever your student, -Americo.

        • Profile photo of Bob Vishneski Bob Vishneski
          April 21, 2012 at 10:56 am

          Thanks for the response, Americo. I figured that this post would attract the ire of those that feel that B&H’s decision was something illegal, immoral, or unethical.
          It sounds like you have plenty of great gear you can use until you someday acquire a D800. Keep checking back; we have plenty of ideas for additional product and educational content. And perhaps a bit of humor from time-to-time as well! :)

          • Jay Stebbins
            April 21, 2012 at 2:11 pm

            Great insight to the lunacy surrounding the D800.

            A post on building camera profiles for Lightroom would be a great fit for the educational content. As well as an up-to-date 24-120 f/4 vs. 24-70mm f/2.8 on the D800; when Greta is done using your camera.

            Thanks again,


            • Profile photo of Bob Vishneski Bob Vishneski
              April 21, 2012 at 2:35 pm

              Thanks, Jay. Nasim will likely be updating some of his lens reviews in light the D800’s high resolution sensor. Camera profiles for Lightroom? I usually settle on one of the 6 camera calibration settings that come with Lightroom 4. Camera Standard seems to work best with my D7000. Should Greta ever fork over my D800, I will determine which setting works best with it! :)

  25. 25) hater
    April 21, 2012 at 11:49 am

    I have to accept the fact some people are just more important than others. I cant change the world and i can only change myself. i guess id have to change myself into a celebrity soon.

    • April 21, 2012 at 11:52 am

      I look forward to seeing your own hit show – “Photographing With The Stars”! Then someday, I will likely find out that you got my new D900! :)

  26. 26) Adnan Khan
    April 21, 2012 at 12:05 pm

    So, like fox news, ” we decide and report” , BnH did “we decide and ship” :))

  27. 27) ActionJunky
    April 21, 2012 at 2:54 pm

    I have to disagree with Bob Vishneski. Greta jumped ahead of his place in line for this camera. He is happy to lose his place to someone successful in the media, I suspect she wrote this article simply to justify her leverage to B&H or Nikon. Either way, it is not ethical. I don’t doubt she has the means to become a Nikon NPS member. As an NPS member, she would have received priority status over amateurs and non-NPS professionals.

    If I was ever a fan of Greta’s work, that has ended today. I have been a long-time fan and supporter of B&H Photo as well. Amazon and Adorama will be seeing more of purchases from this day forward.

    This is sad, sad, sad, sad.

    • April 21, 2012 at 4:09 pm

      I responded to you on Greta’s site. Just in case you missed it:


      Actually, I wrote that piece to poke a bit of fun at the legions of people who seem to be so obsessed with making this an issue. The really “sad” story is not that Greta received a D800, but that so many people choose to make such petty, snarky, and mean-spirited comments from the safety and anonymity of their home offices.

      Without knowing any of the details, everyone seems to be blathering on with whiny commentary, as if they have been “wronged” by Nikon, B&H, and Greta. That is simply absurd. B&H and Nikon likely set some cameras aside for those in the media. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that, despite all the ethical gibberish people are spouting. That is their right in being responsible for running their businesses. And if you don’t believe that Amazon or Adorama have the same type of practices, you are pretty naive.

      Chances are that if Greta pointed her network camera at any of these keyboard warriors and gave them the opportunity to express their gripes on the air, they would barely utter a word.

      As far as I know, no one’s camera stopped working with the announcement or shipment of the D800. My suspicion is that anyone worth his/her salt on the photography front isn’t losing sleep over not getting a D800 yet, and making good use of the equipment they have.


      • 27.1.1) ActionJunky
        April 21, 2012 at 10:10 pm

        It’s not gibberish to vote with your dollars. I wish more people would and not just in this case. I continue to learn more about photography and continue to take photographs, even without the D800. I do not want to wait, but I can. However, that is not the point. We have a difference of opinion and I will consider my purchasing choices in the future. To say that I am naive about the policies of Amazon or Adorama is moot. They have both treated me well so far and I should do the same in return.

        I wonder if Fox news will have to make a large purchase from B&H to smooth things over now.

      • 27.1.2) Leer
        April 22, 2012 at 8:19 am

        Even they all are having the same practice, that doesnt mean they are right. That’s not naive, that’s not the point.

        • Profile photo of Bob Vishneski Bob Vishneski
          April 22, 2012 at 9:59 am

          Given that quite a few people placed orders at multiple retailers and then cancelled them once one of their sources informed them that their D800 was available, I have no issue with B&H giving an cancelled order to Greta or anyone else (or having a few put aside for news media).

          Only one person on any of these posts even acknowledged the level of game playing that customers engage in and the impact to the retailers. Having worked in retail during my college years, I have a sense for just how difficult it is to turn a profit on high volume, thin margin items. The level of returns along with the litany of flimsy reasons for them would spin your head if you took some time to read them.

          I suspect many people expressing their outrage over the Greta situation have no issues with customers placing orders across multiple retailers and then cancelling any of them in a spit second if they can find the camera one dollar cheaper or receive the camera one day sooner somewhere else. Few people will ever consider the impact to B&H or other retailers. On some forums, people are advocating and quite proud of themselves for engaging in such practices. Not many expressions of moral outrage over this issue of course…

          Considering the thousands of camera retailers that have bitten the dust in the last 10 years, I will trust B&H to run its businesses as it sees fit, and leave the armchair quarterbacking to others. It seems to know what it is doing, successfully navigating through many tumultuous twists and turns of the industry. And its customer service is second to none. B&H will be around after the silliness and hype over the Greta D800 situation has long been forgotten.

          BTW, there is nothing stopping you or anyone from starting a competing camera retail business. Why not give it a shot? With thousands of camera retailers out of business, and quite a few other major players such as Ritz, Wolf, & Best Buy, facing some serious challenges, maybe this is a good opportunity people complaining about B&H to jump in and show us all how it is done. If anyone believes they can better manage the daunting challenges of marketing, distribution, inventory management, warehousing, customer support, computer systems, shipping, taxes, regulations, returns, etc., I don’t believe anyone will stand in their way.

  28. 28) Sam
    April 21, 2012 at 4:27 pm

    hey bob,
    what is actually your gear ?

    • April 21, 2012 at 4:32 pm

      I shoot with a D7000 and an infrared-converted D90. Previously I had a D300 and infrared-converted D40X. I have a variety of Nikon’s better lenses and a few Sigmas. I believe that quality lenses are more important than camera models.

      • 28.1.1) Sam
        April 21, 2012 at 4:45 pm

        you are professional, you must be right…
        but, the first: as a new bee, it must be my fault, i tried to shoot with same lenses and different models, and visually compare the results, i am not convinced :D

        second but: i never had very expensive lenses, so my comparison relays on lenses under 600€ :S

        your pictures are so great …
        if you sometimes don’t know what to write next time (that happens sometime), just tell something about editing a picture.
        i don’t know how the others feel, but sometimes i am sitting here and looking at my picture, it looks great, but the small editing is my problem :D

        sorry for my bad english, i hope its understandable

  29. 29) Robert
    April 21, 2012 at 9:04 pm

    I’m curious….For all those that are upset with B&H over this (and I do get it) and do have a pre-order with them…how many other retailers have you put in a pre-order with? How many of you had a pre-0rder and went to Best Buy when they became available?

    I put my one and only in with Amazon about an hour after it went live, but I am constantly reading of people with multiple pre-orders.

    If retailers – like B&H – are placing orders with Nikon based on the pre-order’s they’ve received, they’re all going to end up with a lot of $3k bodies sitting around.

    • April 21, 2012 at 9:37 pm


      Thanks for chiming in. See 77) above, where I described something similar. When someone puts a camera on order with a retailer, they essentially commit to nothing. The retailer takes all the risk. The potential buyer is free to cancel at anytime without any questions asked. Zero…

      All the cries of “ethics violations” on B&H’s part for getting a single D800 into Greta’s hands are pretty silly considering all the games people are playing on the order front, and the fact that consumers expect the flexibility of cancelling anytime they please, but in the process, stick the retailers with the business risk of tying up their capital by carrying excess inventory. Few people on this and other such posts besides you seem to recognize the incongruity of this…

      If people were committed to buying a D800 when they placed an order, and either could not back out of the contract or had to pay a hefty fee if they cancelled, I might understand why they are so upset. But the simple fact is that everyone ordering a D800 from B&H has committed to nothing and can get out of the arrangement despite the fact that it may be too late for B&H to stop the cameras from being shipped to them. Of course, many simply choose to ignore this reality and focus on Greta having a D800. For all we know, Greta may have received her camera as a result of someone cancelling an order.


  30. 30) IndyGeoff
    April 22, 2012 at 12:26 pm

    It is only marginally better than the dealer reportedly selling them on ebay instead of to pre-order customers.

    I fully understand both merchants desire to either maximize profits or get points with a big customer. I don’t have to like either one however I understand AND would probably consider the same deal if I owned a camera store. /shrugs

    • April 22, 2012 at 1:37 pm

      Considering that so many camera retailers are gone and others are in trouble, why fault one that seems to have a winning formula for great prices, excellent product selection, phenomenal customer support, and found a way to be profitable? Cut B&H (and Greta!) a break! ;)

  31. 31) Rohan
    April 22, 2012 at 12:36 pm

    Personally, I have problem with her ‘attitude’ more than she stealing your priority in the D800 queue.
    Nikon graciously provided D800s to all NPS members.
    If she were a professional, and not a member of NPS, is she truly a professional ?
    She could have at least left you a box of chocolates, instead of a ridiculous note – even a graceful ‘Thank You’.

    Practically, she is a shameless show-off.

    • April 22, 2012 at 1:50 pm


      I have watched enough of Greta to know that she is not an arrogant person and wouldn’t purposely attempt to “stick it in my face” (or anyone else’s) regarding her getting a D800. She is likely just as excited as getting a D800 as you or I would be.

      Is she a professional? Absolutely – at least on the interviewing front. Will the pictures she takes be any better/worse than “real” professionals? Remains to be seen. I will say that the snarky, mean-spirited criticism of her and the few photos she posted is rather pathetic. If you think her photos taken with the D800 leave something to be desired, you need only look at many others on the net, many of which look like they could have been taken with a cheap point-and-shoot. Many of the D800 photos I have seen are hardly a ringing endorsement of what this remarkable camera is capable of.

      But who cares if she is a professional photographer? I have heard a number of “pros” reviewing the D800 and they know far less about the camera or technology than many amateurs. They are more artists than technologists. Some of these people actually leave it on “P” mode. Go figure…

      I can’t say what Greta will do with her camera. I do know she goes to interesting places and meets interesting characters. I look forward to seeing her pictures as much as I do anyone else’s.
      BTW, I hope you know that I am only joking about her getting my camera. For all I know, she got one of those orders which someone (who likely placed 5 orders from different retailers) cancelled.


      • 31.1.1) Rohan
        April 22, 2012 at 2:12 pm

        :)… Indeed I do. Its still April ;-)

        Yes, I agree it makes more sense to carry D800 for her just on the virtue of interesting places she goes out to.

        She doesn’t have to show off and bounce it all around the net.

        Let her pictures do the talking, not the D800.

  32. 32) Srini
    April 22, 2012 at 2:11 pm

    An order by a customer must be respected; no body has got a right over that order..Period.

    • April 22, 2012 at 2:27 pm


      But you can cancel that order anytime you feel like it? Just what have you obligated yourself to when you place an order? In most cases, the answer is “nothing”. If you cancel your order and stick the retailer with the item, should he/she have any say regarding where it goes? Or is there some written law that says he/she must give it to the next person in line? I don’t know the specific circumstances regarding the D800 that Greta received – whether it was from inventory set aside for high value customers or it was from an order that someone cancelled. Regardless, it is up to B&H to determine how to best run its business. You have the freedom to do or not do business with them.

      How about this one – if you order a camera – you take it. Period. No order cancellations. Under such circumstances, you might have a leg to stand on relative to complaining. Or perhaps pay a 15% penalty if you cancel it. Seem reasonable? I am curious as to why people believe it is “ethical” to order 5 cameras from 5 different retailers, and stick all but one of them with purchasing the inventory after they cancel their orders? Few seem to find any ethical concerns about such behavior…


  33. 33) Srini
    April 22, 2012 at 4:11 pm

    Bob – this is not about why you did not get the camera. It was your order. You have no problems with it. Our (myself inclusive) views/opinions do not matter. End of story :-)

    It is their business and it is up to them to decide the way it should be run….why should we have a problem with it. I agree with your view on this.

    However, if the order is cancelled, it is a different story. If I ordered a product, did not cancel it and yet did not receive, I may have a problem. Professionally or Ethically, my humble opinion is this: a cancelled order means that some one in the queue get it in that order. I may be wrong. On a same vein, it is also morally and ethically wrong to place multiple orders to get an unfair advantage.

    Hope you get your camera soon (if you have not received it so far!).

    • April 22, 2012 at 4:30 pm


      I hope you realize that I am joking about Greta getting “my” camera. I would have no way of telling if she did or did not. I was just using the “uproar” over this issue to have a bit of fun as well as make a few points regarding this issue.

      It is indeed up to B&H to determine how they handle cancelled orders. I appreciate the fact that you recognize that it is not quite on the up & up to place multiple orders. I don’t know that it is technically “unethical”, but I do think that given it goes on, people shouldn’t be so righteously indignant that B&H may have their own cameras to be given out for promotion, to high value clients (those that spend quite a bit of money with them), or in the case of cancellations.

      I am not counting on seeing my D800 anytime soon. I am not heartbroken, however. My D7000 still seems to work fine. I will need to sell off my DX lenses to swap them for their FX equivalents. And I don’t mind having Nikon resolve issues associated with the early D800s.

      B&H and other camera retailers have their hands full. They face extremely challenging issues considering the rapidly changing digital photography landscape. And since B&H does such a great job of customer service, I am inclined to cut them a bit of slack – even if they do get a camera to Greta before they get one to me! But I better see some eye-popping shots from Ms. Van Susteren, or I may be writing to her! :)


      • 33.1.1) Srini
        April 24, 2012 at 8:35 am


        I know you are pulling a fast one, while your article did raise a few valid points regarding customer-client relations. But your article did invite comments of all sorts from all directions :-)

        Hope you get your camera soon. Please keep up the good work with humour inclusive….!

        • Profile photo of Bob Vishneski Bob Vishneski
          April 24, 2012 at 4:42 pm

          That’s an understatement. “Fire and brimstone” are more like what I attracted! :)

          • Srini
            April 24, 2012 at 11:09 pm

            Ahhahahaha…… :lol:

            loved the article though!

  34. 34) FrankieB
    April 22, 2012 at 8:42 pm

    Thank You Bob for making me laugh so hard. I always wondered what kind of people fight over an item, which seems to be a common occurrence, especially during Christmas. I have never seen so many people act like spoiled children over a camera. Life must be pretty bad if that’s all we have to complain about. Thanks for helping put it all in a wonderfully laughable perspective.

    I am blessed to be able to afford a D800 and have the good health to be able to enjoy it when it finally arrives. Many people in the world cannot afford this luxury and I am grateful.

    You are a wonderful addition to this site, which has become one of my favorites for honest, fair, and detailed reviews of Nikon gear, and now, for good Nikon satire as well.

    Take Care,

    • April 22, 2012 at 9:07 pm

      Thanks for taking the time to put a positive spin on this one. As you can see, the audience is heavily skewed toward stringing both Greta and B&H up (and me too!), feeling that those who have not yet gotten their D800s have been terribly wronged! :)
      I have a good time poking fun at some of the oddities of the serious amateur market, even if they don’t always appreciate my sense of humor. I doubt if any pros are agonizing over the D800; looking forward to it I’m sure, but they likely don’t have their nose bent out of joint over a few weeks difference in delivery times.
      Hope you enjoy your D800 when it arrives. Please share some photos with the rest of the D800-wannabe club! :)

  35. 35) JACK_R
    April 22, 2012 at 9:02 pm

    Hi, Bob:

    I have a very early pre-order into B and H for a 800. I am willing to swap my place in line with yours because I enjoyed this article so much.

    Let me know how to arrange it with B and H.


    • April 22, 2012 at 9:08 pm

      I wouldn’t dream of asking such a thing! Hope you get your D800 soon and share some of your thoughts and photos. Thanks for commenting. “Positive” comments on this article are in short supply! :)

  36. April 23, 2012 at 7:33 am

    I enjoyed Bob’s comments and his breezy writing style. I freely confess I have not read every other comment posted here but I want to clarify a couple of things: Greta’s D800 came to her from Nikon USA’s NPS queue, not from our existing customer base and no one who’s placed an order with us has lost his or her place in the queue. We said we’d fulfill all D800 orders in the order we received them and we shall continue to do so. Second, Greta’s B&H Studio mugs were shipped to her by B&H separately from the camera, which was shipped to her from Nikon USA, so people who’ve incorrectly made assumptions about how this was handled may want to take a deep breath. Finally, we’re as frustrated with Nikon USA’s apparent inability to supply these (and their silence) as you are with the unexpected delay. – Henry Posner / B&H Photo-Video

    • April 23, 2012 at 6:21 pm

      Thanks again for helping to clarify and diffuse this issue. As you can tell, I was attempting to have some fun with the situation – much of which was obviously lost or not well-appreciated by a number of readers!
      And after reading your explanation, we realize that much of the anger toward B&H was unwarranted based on the facts.

      • 36.1.1) Robert
        April 23, 2012 at 6:31 pm


        Perhaps a blog on NPS would be in order?

        Something that explains the program and how NPS members receive product they order as an NPS member? I know there’s a lot of confusion out there and I’m certainly among that group. When you see posts by NPS members who post up screen shots of their D800 shipping confirmation they ordered as NPS and it’s got a B&H letterhead on it, it can be confusing….

        I’ve a feeling there’s a lot of bad information floating around…

        • Profile photo of Bob Vishneski Bob Vishneski
          April 23, 2012 at 6:40 pm

          Thanks for the idea. I have to admit a bit of ignorance on the NPS program as well. I understand the very high level goal and how it aids both the professionals, Nikon, and ultimately, the serious amateur and hobby markets, but I am not familiar with the detailed operations of the program. I will kick it around with Nasim, Roman, and Tom.

          • Robert
            April 23, 2012 at 6:50 pm

            Perhaps Henry would be able to assist and provide insight as to how it flows through the retailer side? If anything, he could just cut and paste the link instead of answering all the posts on every forum….

  37. 37) vie303
    April 23, 2012 at 11:59 am

    Forget B&H and Amazon! I have pre-ordered mine on Feb 7th and watched the delivery date changing from Mar 23 , to unavailable , to April 13 – April 30. It’s unlikely I’ve get mine soon from Amazon since I’m not an NPS. However, I lucked out and getting it TODAY from a local dealer in Centennial.
    I’m happy to let it go to a real photographer or can better master the D800.

    Check this out:

    • April 23, 2012 at 6:24 pm

      Not sure about this one. $801 over retail seems like a very expensive pill to swallow just to get my hands on a D800. If it were a concert ticket, one might call this scalping! I think I will wait patiently until mine arrives.

      • 37.1.1) vie303
        April 23, 2012 at 6:46 pm

        I don’t disagree on the scalping. However, the pricing is actually just $582.51 over what I’d paid ($2999.99 + $217.50 local tax = $3,217.49). I figure if there are some buyers out there in eBay land willing to pay over $4000 for it, I’ll test out the local market. Besides if one was interested in renting one for the weekend, it would cost well above $250. $582.51 is just little more than two weekend rates. If interested, I’m sure we can figure out a happy medium. In addition, I’ll throw in a special gold delivery service :) Otherwise, happy waiting…..

        • Robert
          April 23, 2012 at 6:52 pm

          Might want to check on those rental prices vie….Out of curiousity I started looking around last night….found a 10 day rental @ $270…

          • Profile photo of Bob Vishneski Bob Vishneski
            April 23, 2012 at 6:55 pm

            I hear you. I have no doubt that you will get someone to buy it. After all, it is in high demand and the waiting lines, as we have seen, are long!

          • Vie303
            April 23, 2012 at 7:28 pm

            Thanks. $270 + Protection plan = $287 is not bad for a 10 day rental. My data of $250 is based on with these info:
            $180 4-day rental
            $29.25 Damage Waiver Fee
            $43.50 Roundtrip next day shipping to 80112. = $252.75.

            The reason why I was looking as well was my trip to NYC last week. I did not end up renting since I figure I would use that money towards the tax or the 85/1.8 (which I would buy from the link on Nasim’s site.)

            • Robert
              April 23, 2012 at 7:39 pm

              Yeah, they’re all over the board. To be fair, most other rental houses are close to what you first listed.
              I’ve got a 2 week Grand Teton/Yellowstone trip coming the first of June and I was really, really looking forward to having the D800, but every day that passes only makes me think it’s not going to happen…I need to rent a couple lenses but can’t put in the reservation until I know for sure if I’ll have the D800 or just my D7000. While I’ll be ok with the D7k, thoughts of putting a 500mm on a grizzly, wolves or Eagles with the D800 were tantalizing…as were sunrise at Oxbow Bend and Mormon Row with the D800 and the 16-35 or the Zeiss 21/2.8…. (I’d wanted to rent a few UWA’s on this trip to help my buying decision as I don’t have one for full frame).

              I briefly entertained renting one but don’t really want to spend the extra $’s…and, with my luck, the camera will arrive the day after I leave.

            • Vie303
              April 24, 2012 at 6:19 pm

              Sounds like an exciting agenda with the D800. I would offer you my camera, but I have just sold it today. I’m sure you’ll get yours before June. I’m waiting for my “real” one from Amazon with estimated delivery date from April 30th at the latest (I hope).
              The Zeiss you’ve mentioned must be an amazing lens; do you have pictures with EXIF data to share??

  38. 38) I shoot anything that moves
    April 23, 2012 at 10:06 pm

    Why so defensive about B&H? I know B&h is one of the sites that generates revenue for this site but isnt this a little excessive?

    Instead, how about spending the same energy and time on some photography articles, you know the ones that brought most of the folks to his site to begin with?

    • 38.1) It's called satire
      April 23, 2012 at 11:31 pm

      It’s called satire. A little excessive would all the people crying that Greta, through her NPS affiliation, had her order filled by B and H and some how cut in line on the wait list and kept everyone’s order from being filled. Some people have some world class problems.

      I saw a man today as I was driving to get some auto parts for a repair job, and this man was in an electric wheel chair going down the street. He looked healthy and in good shape, and perhaps in his mid thirties as I looked at his face. As I looked lower to see why he was in a wheel chair, I noticed his legs have been amputated. I’m not talking below the knees amputated, but both legs gone at crotch level. If anyone has a right to complain, it sure isn’t all the people whining about a silly camera.

      • Profile photo of Bob Vishneski 38.1.1) Bob Vishneski
        April 24, 2012 at 5:01 am


        As it turns out, B&H simply shipped Greta some mugs – not a D800 as many have been complaining about incessantly. I never would have even thought of this piece if it were not for the mass hysteria on the various photography sites droning on about ethics violations, people being wronged, criticisms of Nikon & B&H, etc. I merely picked up on, and attempted to have some fun with, the current topic of the day.

        If you walk through this thread, you will see that only a small percentage of people pointed out how absolutely over the top, off-base, and in some cases, mean-spirited many of the posts were. Some actually thought that my D800 really did go to Greta. Others didn’t quite share my sense of humor regarding the issue. If you read Greta’s blog, you will see much of the same, if not worse criticism of her, her photography, her employer, and even her religion.

        The internet can be a great source for communicating, learning, and saving time. It can often be used to spread false information at lighting speed, and foster “feeding frenzies” by those with passive/aggressive tendencies. I wonder how many “Gee, we were wrong” type emails B&H and Greta will receive now that everyone understands that her D800 came from the Nikon NPS pool? I suspect the answer is “not many”…

        We will continue to focus on product reviews and tutorials. We will also cover business and current events associated with photography – including topics such as the outrage over Greta receiving a D800, and the obvious false claims that she jumped ahead of people in the B&H D800 queue. And if we believe some people and companies are getting a bum rap, we will say so.


  39. 39) Mohannad Al Sayed
    April 24, 2012 at 12:58 pm

    B&H just confirmed to me that they will have volume shipments of the D800/E by next month. However, I disagree to give my unit to anyone else unless I agree.

    B&H made two mistakes with me so far and third on the way. I just asked them to check if the additional EN-EL15 batteries I ordered for D800E are included in the Nikon recall announcement but they said they can’t check with the warehouse and I have to wait until I get them and check and return them back if they are faulty (Link to the recall

    long stories can be posted and hope B&H read them to enhance their services and have better customer satisfaction. I still like their web site and customer service (to some limit).

    • April 24, 2012 at 5:19 pm

      Sorry to inform you, but I had your D800 rerouted to my house, since Greta got mine. I just opened it and it is good shape. Will send you some pictures soon! Not to worry – you will get yours within the next 6 months! ;)

  40. 40) lilantha
    April 25, 2012 at 10:04 am

    Dear Bob
    First I am not a expert in english. I read your post and most of the comments. What you feel over this matter may be correct according to you and many of the readers are not.
    But my point is what will happend if something happens to Nikkon factories like last tsunami hit? Can not predict anything and I do not want to happend it again. But I know that you also do not want to delay your sweet D800 for a months and months. If you feel delay is ok then you would not have pre-ordered and you can buy it from a retail shop later. This is only a my point of view.
    By the way I enjoyed your(Nasim and new team) posts and I respect you.
    Lilantha from Sri Lanka

    • April 26, 2012 at 9:13 pm

      Thanks you very much. Glad you like the site. I hope no more catastrophes strike Japan and its people. They have had more than their share. Although I am looking forward to the D800, there are other Nikon models in the works apparently. I looked over some of my photos and realized that my D7000 is still able to take some good pictures, so I am not bothered with the D800 delays as much as others.

  41. 41) Jack Hench
    April 26, 2012 at 12:51 pm

    I would have no problem with Greta getting her SLR if B&H had a the policy of “First come, first served”*
    on their web site with an astrex.
    * preference will be given to media celebrities (especially a Faux News celebrity) or if you are in top 1 % of US earners (send your IRS return as proof) …..

    • April 26, 2012 at 9:10 pm

      If you have been reading this, you should know that Greta did NOT get her camera from B&H’s pool, but from Nikon’s NPS pool. With respect to her program and income, she has a very broad following and earns her money.

  42. April 27, 2012 at 5:26 pm

    I was pretty pissed about it when i first read the thread on dpreview. Then 5 minutes went by and I started laughing when I saw how much angrier some other folks were. If she didn’t “jump the line” or utilize her NPS status, do people really think they would get their camera any earlier?? I understand it is the principle, but Bob is 100% correct as he states over and over and over again – It is up to B&H and Nikon how they decide to distribute their product, and I would have done the same type of thing (although I’m not a huge Greta fan so I would have picked someone like Geraldo Rivera or Connie Chung… :P) Honestly, if it REALLLLY pisses you off and gets under your skin, start ordering your Cannon gear through Amazon. I am really just tremendously jealous of Greta. Nice post buddy.

    • April 27, 2012 at 5:36 pm

      Thanks for taking the time to comment. It seems people need an event to blow off some steam – real or imaginary. And this one was as good as excuse as any apparently…
      One would get the impression that everyone’s D700, D3, D3s, D3X, D7000, D300s, etc. suddenly stopped taking pictures with the introduction of the D800, or everyone complaining had mastered everything about lighting, Photoshop, or general photography concepts.
      There is always something to learn, experiment with, study, etc. For all the time people spent carping about Greta’s D800, they could mastered some new skill.

  43. 43) Roger Gilbert
    April 30, 2012 at 4:19 pm

    Of course everyone want a NIKON D800.
    Canon 5Dmk3 is a stinky black hole, sucking all the money without offering anything really new to the buyers. The 5Dmk3 is the same old 5Dmk2 from the year 2008, with just a better auto focus.

  44. 44) Eddy
    May 2, 2012 at 12:01 am

    Hello Bob

    It’s funny to read other people behave just as silly as I can be and a lovely illustration that we are just being human, warts and all. I ordered a D800 too… not a heart transplant.

    I ordered a D800 on the day it was announced to accompany me on a rather expensive once in a lifetime photography trip this month. Like many others, I too won’t be receiving the order in time and I resorted to purchasing a D7000 for the trip (my iphone just wouldn’t do the trick).

    At the end of the day, the D800 will have no effect on my creativity levels and I’m not going to waste time worrying about it not arriving in time nor who got one before me.

    Love your work Bob. Thank you for sharing your wisdom.

    • May 2, 2012 at 6:50 am

      Absolutely not true. Once you get a D800, your photography and creativity levels will soar to new heights! And while not on par with a heart transplant, medical research indicates that the D800 trails it by only a few points relative to importance. :)
      It was humorous to watch this situation unfold. Some of the people didn’t quite appreciate my sense of humor about it, however, and taking some good natured jabs at their silliness. If you took out the various photography references and reread many of the posts, one might think that Greta had denied food to a starving child! ;)

  45. 45) Vie Farmboy Darano
    May 2, 2012 at 6:36 pm

    Nikon D800 Arrived today: it seems that I’m getting a CF Err with my Lexar Professional 400X UDMA. Has anyone experience this? This happens during insertion as well as during format.

    • May 2, 2012 at 7:07 pm

      I wouldn’t know… Greta has my D800!

      • 45.1.1) Vie Farmboy
        May 2, 2012 at 8:43 pm

        Once again, sorry that you have not received yours yet; wonder how long. This is my second one (the one I’m keeping). I wish I did the same test on my initial D800.

        • Profile photo of Bob Vishneski Bob Vishneski
          May 2, 2012 at 8:45 pm

          I am just pulling your leg. I did read something about compatibility issues with the D800 and cards, but I can’t recall where. I am sure you can find it on the net.
          Enjoy your D800 (second!). Send some photos along when you have a chance.

  46. 46) Mike
    May 6, 2012 at 7:12 pm

    I “shutter” (pun intended) to think about what Greta will do with that camera.

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