Lens roadmaps are very popular among photographers because they provide helpful information about their favorite camera company’s plans. This can ensure that photographers know if they should buy a new lens now or save their money for an unreleased optic. Lens roadmaps also generate a lot of buzz and excitement.
Some companies, like Canon and Sony, have never offered lens roadmaps. While others, including Fujifilm, Panasonic, and Nikon, have regularly published detailed lens roadmaps. Per Mark Cruz, Senior Marketing Manager at Nikon USA, Nikon will no longer release lens roadmaps for its future lenses.
At just shy of the 30-minute mark, Cruz responded to a viewer question about the status of the next Nikon lens roadmap. “I did want to address a question, there was somebody that asked something about the roadmap after the 35, are we going to release a new roadmap? You know what, the purpose of the roadmap has met its life. It’s served its purpose, is what I meant,” Cruz said. “After that 35 is released, it’s just going to be surprises from here on in. Pleasant surprises. No new roadmap.”
Cruz mentions the idea of surprising users as part of the motivation for this new direction for Nikon. This echoes what Canon said during a recent panel at the Photo and Imaging 2023 show in China.
“Canon currently has no plans to announce future lens roadmaps. The reason is that we always want to be able to surprise our consumers,” a Canon executive said, according to Asobinet.
Canon also explained that while it understands the value of lens roadmaps to customers, it thinks the ability to surprise people is more valuable. Canon claims that not providing a roadmap allows the company additional flexibility while developing products.
Of course, a roadmap has not stopped companies like Fujifilm and even Nikon from going “off script,” so to speak, and revealing surprise lenses that were not featured on public lens roadmaps, so flexibility does not seem to be significantly constrained by sharing roadmaps.
Another aspect of the roadmap debate to consider is that a customer waiting to spend money next year on a lens they know is coming could be much less likely to open up the purse strings for a different lens this year. Looking forward is great, but it may have a noticeable impact on current spending behavior.
In any event, as soon as the Nikon Z 35mm S-Line lens featured on the most recent roadmap is released, it will mark the end of Nikon roadmaps.
Image credits: Nikon