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Author Topic: Nikon in trouble?  (Read 23598 times)

BernardLanguillier

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Re: Nikon in trouble?
« Reply #20 on: May 29, 2016, 08:00:10 pm »

Bythom.com is clearly the reference about everything that's wrong at Nikon:
- Great (probably best in many regards) technologies but worst product planning (which means great engineers but poor higher mgt), with the 1 series AF tech implemented in FF sensors they could have killed the Sony a7 before it was even born...
- Numerous quality issues with recent releases,
- Brain dead marketing (they apparently still haven't understood that Canon's success is largely due to just giving a name "L" to their high end lenses),
- Poor understanding of the market needs (too Japan centric,...) and of how people use their cameras,
- ...

Yet, their cameras and lenses enable many photographers to execute on their vision so not everything is black, but things could be much better with me as their CEO! ;)



Cheers,
Bernard

John Koerner

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Re: Nikon in trouble?
« Reply #21 on: May 29, 2016, 09:13:07 pm »

Yeah, all true. BUT now go to the bottom of the table of zoom lenses and see who's the "champion" there.

Among 10 worst zooms: 3 Nikkors, 2 Canons, 2 Sonys, 2 Tamrons, and 1 Sigma. They fail miserably at what's important for the mass market.

You forgot to mention Nikon owns 4 out of the top 10 Zooms, a split with Canon.

Top Primes: Nikon 4, Canon 2, Sony 0
Top Zooms: Nikon 4, Canon 4, Sony 0
Top DSLRs: Nikon 3, Canon 0, Sony 1

TOTAL TOP PRODUCTS: Nikon 11, Canon 6, Sony 1



They still pretty much own high-end DSLR and primes segments (quality-wise), but what is the volume of those? And BTW whatever is the volume, these are exactly the segments that probably shrink faster than anything else (with the exception of low-end compacts, or course).

I am not interested in whether they sell more cameras than Canon, only that their cameras are better than Canon's when I buy.
(Same as if I could afford a Porsche, I wouldn't care that Toyota sells more Corollas ...)



Their mirrorless offering is the absolute worst among big players. Yes, Canon's line of EOS-M cameras is as boring as it gets, but at least they have a future-proof mount already, and some lenses with surprisingly good performance/cost ratio for it.

As I said, I think their new DL line of Point-n-Shoots is a good direction for them ...


Since early DSRL days, Nikon failed in pretty much every really new venue they tried. Their DL line of fixed-lens compacts is quite promising, but so was Coolpix-A that they eventually had to kill.

The "retro" segment? When I first saw Nikon Df, I couldn't stop laughing -- it instantly reminded me of heavy tanks of the 1930th, with half a dozen battlements... (see attached images) That's not "retro", that's "antique!" They couldn't even capitalize on their great past properly.

So, the way things are going, Nikon looks like almost set to become a niche player, unfortunately. Do hope that history will prove me wrong, though.

Which, again, is why I think they should stop with the gadgetry and stick to what they do best: make the best DSLRs, and accompanying lenses, on the planet.

Not every company has to be Microsoft, Sony, etc.

It really is okay to be a super-good, mid-sized company that makes impeccable products.

Porsche will never be Toyota, in size, but yet driving a Toyota will never feel the same as driving a Porsche :)

Jack
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Theodoros

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Re: Nikon in trouble?
« Reply #22 on: May 29, 2016, 09:42:17 pm »

DSLRs are here to stay, IMO.


Of course they are... but this is totally irrelevant, with tech advancement being almost dead... People don't care anymore to "upgrade" their older DSLRs... Why one should change his D4 (not D4S) for a D5 or other? It (and the DF) still has the best Image quality out of all FF cameras ever made... doesn't it?
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Zorki5

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Re: Nikon in trouble?
« Reply #23 on: May 29, 2016, 11:02:11 pm »

You forgot to mention...

No, I didn't forget. I only mentioned what was relevant to the topic of this discussion.

I am not interested in whether they sell more cameras than Canon, only that their cameras are better than Canon's when I buy.
(Same as if I could afford a Porsche, I wouldn't care that Toyota sells more Corollas ...)

Well, you will be, as soon as Nikon's ability to produce top-notch gear will suffer as the result of them failing in various categories in which you're "not interested".

As Bernard correctly pointed out, bythom.com is THE source for Nikon related information. And Thom keeps pointing out that Nikon's service dept is getting hit after hit. This already affects NPS! That is, their woes already affect their top-of-the-line cameras.

Speaking of which, with all due respect to Nikon, they are not Porsche of photography world; Leica is. So same rules that apply to Canon apply to them as well. Granted, they do have a bit of a cult following; to the best of my knowledge, there is no counterpart of nikonians.org in the Canon land but, ultimately, market trumps it all. Nikonians won't have any say at Nikon's board meetings.
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Paulo Bizarro

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Re: Nikon in trouble?
« Reply #24 on: May 30, 2016, 04:36:12 am »

Nikon makes fine lenses, as many other makers. But their latest 24-70 f2.8 zoom is worse than other competitors. And this is a bread and butter lens. High quality lenses are expensive, and thus are bought only by pros (for whom the DSLR still offers the best tool set) or by amateurs that can afford them. These latter ones are the ones that migrated in great numbers to mirrorless systems, including the Sony Alpha 7.

Why carry a larger DSLR when you can carry a smaller camera? With even better video?Amateurs do not need blazingly fast AF, and so on. And you can actually mount hundreds of lenses in the A7...

Actually, regarding lenses, I think Sony are doing a great job, with finally high quality f2.8 zooms, and f1.4 primes. With Zeiss also in the picture, with Batis and Loxia, makes for a very compelling case. Why carry say a D810 (or equivalent Canon) with a big and heavy Zeiss Milvus, when you can carry a A7 with Loxia 21, 35, 50, or Batis 18, 25, 85? Much lighter to carry around...

prairiewing

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Re: Nikon in trouble?
« Reply #25 on: May 30, 2016, 07:00:12 am »

Speaking only for myself, I was sorely tempted to switch to Nikon when they launched the D800 series but felt I'd be stepping down by trading Canon's latest 24-70 and 70-200 f2.8s plus the 100-400 and 200-400 for Nikons equivalent offerings and I had no interesting in replacing any of those zooms with a bag full of primes.  Nikon often seems to catch up with their zooms but Canon usually seems to offer them first.  I'm sure there are lots of exceptions to this but not in the focal lengths that interest me the most.

I don't base my decisions on charts or graphs and I can't imagine buying on the basis of who makes the worst of anything--all lens-makers seem to come up with some dogs.  Then there's service--CPS has been great for me, my Nikon-shooting counterparts are often not thrilled with their service.  I still covet the D810 sensor but now carry a cute little Sony A7r II and Metabones for when I absolutely need higher dynamic range.

They all make great tools.  If all my gear was stolen today and my insurance company said here's a bag with everything you need I could be happy with whatever brand was in the bag.  My gear has to pay for itself.  I can afford to buy whatever brand I want but I can't afford to switch back and forth.  It would be a terrible shame if Nikon stumbles, competition benefits us all.  As to the theory that digital cameras were good enough 10 years ago and that technology since then is basically without benefit:  Not if you make your living selling prints.

YMMV
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Paul2660

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Re: Nikon in trouble?
« Reply #26 on: May 30, 2016, 08:30:31 am »

If you have the investment in Canon, the A7 series only makes sense.  The adapters out on the market are much more advanced than those available for Nikon.  Even the Novoflex which is very well made has no way of indicating the aperture as it has no clicks only a smooth turn.  The metabones I tried, 1 was broken and the 2nd locked on one of my lenses, requiring the lens to be shipped to SK Grimes to cut off the Metabones adapter.  As mentioned the Novoflex adapter is much superior in construction, but I prefer to have at least a guesstimate as to where my aperture is.

As for glass, I have used both, find both to be excellent and really can't see much differentiation between the two any more.  It's always been a step up process for both companies.  Examples, the Canon new 100-400 which is an excellent lens, but so is the Nikon 200-500, and for the price probably the best tele zoom I have used between either company.  Both also still off the stellar telephoto primes if the user can afford them.

My issues with Nikon are that they seem to have overlook QA at least in the D600, (oil issues) D750 Shutter issues, and D810 White dot issues all of which required the cameras being returned to Nikon for either replacement or parts.  Sure it was all covered by warranty, but it's not a good track record.  I am still wondering if the D500 will have a similar issue, and need a recall.

As for the Video, most of the reviews I have read all state that the D500 due to the crop factor does not really fit that well as the resulting video crop is even tighter, around 2.5.  The snap bridge connection is also a bit questionable but that may see firmware updates to improve over time.   The D500 seems like a well thought out camera as does the D5 and hopefully they will do well for Nikon.

Paul C
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John Koerner

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Re: Nikon in trouble?
« Reply #27 on: May 30, 2016, 09:21:44 am »

Nikon makes fine lenses, as many other makers. But their latest 24-70 f2.8 zoom is worse than other competitors. And this is a bread and butter lens. High quality lenses are expensive, and thus are bought only by pros (for whom the DSLR still offers the best tool set) or by amateurs that can afford them. These latter ones are the ones that migrated in great numbers to mirrorless systems, including the Sony Alpha 7.

In the quest for quality I have dumped zooms altogether.

Do I really need a 24-70 f/2.8, when I can have a 50mm f/1.2 and take a few paces forward, or backward, and take better photos each time?



Why carry a larger DSLR when you can carry a smaller camera? With even better video?Amateurs do not need blazingly fast AF, and so on. And you can actually mount hundreds of lenses in the A7...

Because the larger camera can do more ...

Why buy "a mount" for a Sony, when Nikon make class-leading primes that I can mount them directly to my camera, also class-leading, as well as much more customizable than the A7?



Actually, regarding lenses, I think Sony are doing a great job, with finally high quality f2.8 zooms, and f1.4 primes. With Zeiss also in the picture, with Batis and Loxia, makes for a very compelling case. Why carry say a D810 (or equivalent Canon) with a big and heavy Zeiss Milvus, when you can carry a A7 with Loxia 21, 35, 50, or Batis 18, 25, 85? Much lighter to carry around...

Not so. Sony's lenses are more expensive, and rate very low as to quality. Not a single Sony lens can make it to the top 20.

For example, the Sony 300mm F/2.8G II is $7,498, while the Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 300mm f/2.8G ED VR II is $5,496, and yet the Nikon blows the Sony out of the water, quality-wise. The Sony 300 barely has the resolution figures of a decent zoom, at 920 (according to LenScore), whereas the Nikon has true Prime Quality resolution of 1320. Why would anyone want to spend $7500 on a Sony lens that can't keep its head above mere zoom level, qualitatively?

Jack
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John Koerner

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Re: Nikon in trouble?
« Reply #28 on: May 30, 2016, 09:29:33 am »

No, I didn't forget. I only mentioned what was relevant to the topic of this discussion.

Wrong, you selectively-omitted the other end of the spectrum.



Well, you will be, as soon as Nikon's ability to produce top-notch gear will suffer as the result of them failing in various categories in which you're "not interested".

How is Nikon going to suddenly lose their ability to produce high-end cameras by their dumping the low-end P&S market? ::)

If they're not making revenue from the low-end gear (which, in the cell phone age, no one will be), why wouldn't they dump this aspect and focus on what they do best?



As Bernard correctly pointed out, bythom.com is THE source for Nikon related information. And Thom keeps pointing out that Nikon's service dept is getting hit after hit. This already affects NPS! That is, their woes already affect their top-of-the-line cameras.

No comment.



Speaking of which, with all due respect to Nikon, they are not Porsche of photography world; Leica is.

Mmm, I don't know.

Leica only makes 2 top 10 primes, while Nikon makes 4.

Even Leica's ultra-expensive lenses don't rate any higher than Nikon's very best, stats-wise.

I would say that Leica is more like the Rolls of cameras expense-wise, super-expensive :o



So same rules that apply to Canon apply to them as well. Granted, they do have a bit of a cult following; to the best of my knowledge, there is no counterpart of nikonians.org in the Canon land but, ultimately, market trumps it all. Nikonians won't have any say at Nikon's board meetings.

The Nikonian cult following is there for a reason I suppose, i.e., a satisfied, loyal customer base.

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Rob C

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Re: Nikon in trouble?
« Reply #29 on: May 30, 2016, 09:38:34 am »


1.   Rob, I like you a lot but don't miss my point.

2    I'd be quite happy if it was only a still shoot, or a motion picture (covers a lot of territory) . . . but the world has changed and no offense but in the commercial side, your not busting ass to pick up business.

My brain runs at 100 mph, thinking of what's good for me, my client's the time and money I want or should invest and where I should do it.  But I'm made for commerce especially if the creative brief is exciting.

Look at how a still camera and most products are introduced, through a video.  Not my rules, but that's the way it's done, because everybody has a little tv in their pocket.

Personally I don't believe in limitations.  To me great image makers, can make great images, period, if they apply themselves and are willing to invest and the budget allows.

But two cameras, one brain, one set of hands.  It's difficult, but so often requested.   

Personally learning to edit, made my still photography better, or the ability to piece together a story even a simple one, so unless you get bogged down, knowledge is always a plus.

A few years ago I had a camera maker ask me what I would like to see in a camera.  I said don't ask me, ask my clients.   They might not know technique, but they know what they want to present.

What's different today is not the creative briefs, they're still pretty much the same as they were in the film days.  It's the compression of time, money, expectations and options.

It's also a matter of familiarity and speed and traveling with two cases of cameras instead of 5 or 6. 

In regards to Nikon obviously they have a sales issue and obviously they need to find a solution.   The low end doesn't work because that's a race to the bottom.   The option is to be better at everything, from capture, to useability, or giving the customers more than they could anticipate.

I think Sony is doing that, though they throw a lot of stuff out there to see what sticks, usually not fully cooked.

But camera sales holds little interest to me.   I just use them. 

In the film days I used Nikons, in digital I've used them all, but my favorite is the Canons because they cover a lot of territory and the REDs because they shoot the best motion file I want to invest in.   

10 years ago who would have thought that a sunglass guy would build a camera company?  So if Nikon makes it good, but my brand loyalty is based on my needs, not my wants.

IMO

BC

1. Thank you for that, and it's reciprocated for many reasons, not least the work that you do and the way you do it, but also how you treat people.

2. You're absolutely right - I wouldn't have the energy anymore, however much I might wish that I did. But it's not just that: my main interest in becoming a photographer was to pass my days shooting pictures of beautiful women. It took a long time to get there, but I did, and enjoyed it very much. I had flirted with the idea of movies before I got my first reasonable stills camera, but I lived over 400 miles from London, was a boy, and had not a snowball's chance of supporting myself away from home. I wrote to David Lean asking for advice on how to get into the business, and he was kind enough to write back and suggest the tea-boy route, but obviously that didn't do anything to solve the money problem I faced! BUT, it was damned nice of him to bother answering some kid in Scotland!

Yeah, probably unrealistically obsessed with one kind of photography, but that's the mindset I came with, I'm afraid. I sometimes thought of getting myself a 4x5 kit and going after the whisky trade - of which, locally, there was lots - but I never could convince myself I wanted to do that kind of work. Financially blind of me, but as I said, the mindset.

However, I do realise there's the demand for motion with stills, even fashion shoots seem to be covered by 'making of' videos, but I don't know if they are made on still/motion hybrids or on normal video cameras.

Basically, it's become too complicated a world for me now, and I would probably have lacked the ability and patience to cope with/learn so much additional stuff had it been the same in my day. No regrets really, just wish I'd been tougher!

Rob

Rob C

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Re: Nikon in trouble?
« Reply #30 on: May 30, 2016, 09:50:32 am »

In the quest for quality I have dumped zooms altogether.

Do I really need a 24-70 f/2.8, when I can have a 50mm f/1.2 and take a few paces forward, or backward, and take better photos each time?

Jack


Wish you hadn't said that! I had more or less got over the one (my only zoom) I'd bought, sight-unseen (nobody stocked anything like that in these parts), and quite apart from its size, my tests with it were a huge disappointment. I think it must have been the quality variations that now seem to haunt manufacturers - lack of final pre-dispatch tests - because I've seen images from the same (theoretically!) lens that look very good (Russ Lewis) ... Perhaps it's these now regular problems of quality control that are coming back to haunt the camera business. If something finally works, do you really want all the hassle again with something new?

Rob C

Paulo Bizarro

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Re: Nikon in trouble?
« Reply #31 on: May 30, 2016, 09:54:56 am »

In the quest for quality I have dumped zooms altogether.

Do I really need a 24-70 f/2.8, when I can have a 50mm f/1.2 and take a few paces forward, or backward, and take better photos each time?

Zooms exist for a reason, flexibility, when you don't have the time to move forward or backward to adjust your position and framing. If you have the time, fine.



Because the larger camera can do more ...

It depends. I fail to see what a Sony A7RMKII is really missing compared to other amateur FF DLSRs. I am not comparing to pro DSLRs like the 1DX or D5. Actually, the eye tracking AF of the Sony is really good for portraits.

Why buy "a mount" for a Sony, when Nikon make class-leading primes that I can mount them directly to my camera, also class-leading, as well as much more customizable than the A7?

I was talking about Sony E mount lenses, not A mount. As for primes, the current ones from Nikon are not that good, compared to Zeiss Batis, Zeiss Loxia, or Sony G and Sony GM lenses. Again, E mount, not A mount.



Not so. Sony's lenses are more expensive, and rate very low as to quality. Not a single Sony lens can make it to the top 20.

Maybe that will change, have they tested the new E mount Sony 85 f1.4 GM? Or Sony E mount 90 Macro G lens?

For example, the Sony 300mm F/2.8G II is $7,498, while the Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 300mm f/2.8G ED VR II is $5,496, and yet the Nikon blows the Sony out of the water, quality-wise. The Sony 300 barely has the resolution figures of a decent zoom, at 920 (according to LenScore), whereas the Nikon has true Prime Quality resolution of 1320. Why would anyone want to spend $7500 on a Sony lens that can't keep its head above mere zoom level, qualitatively?

Jack

Again, I was talking about lenses for Sony E-mount. Plus, one can adapt a lot of top quality Leica M mount glass from Leica, Zeiss, and Voigtlander...

Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: Nikon in trouble?
« Reply #32 on: May 30, 2016, 10:00:01 am »

I am now officially fed up with that Porshe analogy. Even a 2CV beats it:

Zorki5

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Re: Nikon in trouble?
« Reply #33 on: May 30, 2016, 10:11:35 am »

Wrong, you selectively-omitted the other end of the spectrum.

John, just listen to yourself...

You take this wa-a-a-ay too seriously and personally. Take a deep breath and relax.

Look, no-one argued that Nikon does great high-end stuff. Those top zooms you mentioned are still high-end stuff costing many thousand of bucks (with probable exception of 80-400; don't know which version is on table though; if it's old screw-drive one, it's cheap... but it wouldn't be there at the top... just thinking out loud here).

My point was that not all was that great at Nikon at the low end, so I drew my example to illustrate that. That's all.

If you feel so strong about all that Nikon stuff, let's talk about something else then...

I'm here to have fun and learn a thing or two in the process. Not to pick silly fights. Cheers.
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Rob C

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Re: Nikon in trouble?
« Reply #34 on: May 30, 2016, 10:12:29 am »

I love the divine logic of the advertising!

Rob

John Koerner

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Re: Nikon in trouble?
« Reply #35 on: May 30, 2016, 10:16:03 am »

John, just listen to yourself...

You take this wa-a-a-ay too seriously and personally. Take a deep breath and relax.

Look, no-one argued that Nikon does great high-end stuff. Those top zooms you mentioned are still high-end stuff costing many thousand of bucks (with probable exception of 80-400; don't know which version is on table though; if it's old screw-drive one, it's cheap... but it wouldn't be there at the top... just thinking out loud here).

My point was that not all was that great at Nikon at the low end, so I drew my example to illustrate that. That's all.

If you feel so strong about all that Nikon stuff, let's talk about something else then...

I'm here to have fun and learn a thing or two in the process. Not to pick silly fights. Cheers.

Huh?

I wrote what I wrote sipping my first morning's cup of coffee.

The visions people get in their heads ... that have nothing to do with reality  ;D
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John Koerner

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Re: Nikon in trouble?
« Reply #36 on: May 30, 2016, 10:16:37 am »

I am now officially fed up with that Porshe analogy. Even a 2CV beats it:

 ;D
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Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: Nikon in trouble?
« Reply #37 on: May 30, 2016, 10:17:34 am »

They say no one is zealous more than converts. John was a Canon warrior until he saw the light. That light apparently had a greater dynamic range ;)

John Koerner

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Re: Nikon in trouble?
« Reply #38 on: May 30, 2016, 10:21:11 am »

Wish you hadn't said that! I had more or less got over the one (my only zoom) I'd bought, sight-unseen (nobody stocked anything like that in these parts), and quite apart from its size, my tests with it were a huge disappointment. I think it must have been the quality variations that now seem to haunt manufacturers - lack of final pre-dispatch tests - because I've seen images from the same (theoretically!) lens that look very good (Russ Lewis) ... Perhaps it's these now regular problems of quality control that are coming back to haunt the camera business. If something finally works, do you really want all the hassle again with something new?
Rob C

I think the very nature of zooms makes their quality insufficient, Rob.

It is hard enough to make high-end primes, at one focal length, let alone to have that quality span the transition of several focal lengths.

I much prefer shooting primes now, for this reason.

I have also found that "24-70" is a negligible difference in positioning oneself, as far as framing goes.

There is no reason I need a zoom in this range, when walking a bit forward will suffice :)
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Zorki5

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Re: Nikon in trouble?
« Reply #39 on: May 30, 2016, 10:31:01 am »

I wrote what I wrote sipping my first morning's cup of coffee.

Did I say you weren't sipping your first morning cup of coffee and being generally serene? I don't remember that  :D That said, I do remember reading that Göring ordered Luftwaffe attack on Poland while relaxing in his golden bath...  ;)

Anyway, coffee and Göring might not be good subjects either...

Lets talk about Porsche vs <something>. At least, it'll keep Slobodan entertained!
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