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Nikon Corporation (株式会社ニコン, Kabushiki-gaisha Nikon) (UK: /ˈnɪkɒn/ or US: /ˈnkɒn/; About this soundlisten [ɲikoɴ]), also known just as Nikon, is a Japanese multinational corporation headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, specializing in optics and imaging products. The companies held by Nikon form the Nikon Group.[3]

West Building of Nikon in Nishi-Ōi, Tokyo

Nikon's products include cameras, camera lenses, binoculars, microscopes, ophthalmic lenses, measurement instruments, rifle scopes, spotting scopes, and the steppers used in the photolithography steps of semiconductor fabrication, of which it is the world's second largest manufacturer.[4] The company is the eighth-largest chip equipment maker as reported in 2017.[5] Also, it has diversified into new areas like 3D printing and regenerative medicine to compensate for the negative impacts from shrinking digital camera market.[6][7][8][9]

Among Nikon's notable product lines are Nikkor imaging lenses (for F-mount cameras, large format photography, photographic enlargers, and other applications), the Nikon F-series of 35 mm film SLR cameras, the Nikon D-series of digital SLR cameras, the Coolpix series of compact digital cameras, and the Nikonos series of underwater film cameras. Nikon's main competitors in camera and lens manufacturing include Canon, Sony, Fujifilm, Panasonic, Pentax, and Olympus.

Founded on July 25, 1917 as Nippon Kōgaku Kōgyō Kabushikigaisha (日本光学工業株式会社 "Japan Optical Industries Co., Ltd."), the company was renamed to Nikon Corporation, after its cameras, in 1988. Nikon is a member of the Mitsubishi group of companies (keiretsu).[10]

History

Nikon Corporation was established on 25 July 1917 when three leading optical manufacturers merged to form a comprehensive, fully integrated optical company known as Nippon Kōgaku Tōkyō K.K. Over the next sixty years, this growing company became a manufacturer of optical lenses (including those for the first Canon cameras) and equipment used in cameras, binoculars, microscopes and inspection equipment. During World War II the company operated thirty factories with 2,000 employees, manufacturing binoculars, lenses, bomb sights, and periscopes for the Japanese military.

Reception outside Japan

After the war Nippon Kōgaku reverted to producing its civilian product range in a single factory. In 1948, the first Nikon-branded camera was released, the Nikon I.[11] Nikon lenses were popularised by the American photojournalist David Douglas Duncan. Duncan was working in Tokyo when the Korean War began. Duncan had met a young Japanese photographer, Jun Miki, who introduced Duncan to Nikon lenses. From July 1950 to January 1951, Duncan covered the Korean War.[12] Fitting Nikon optics (especially the NIKKOR-P.C 1:2 f=8,5 cm)[13] to his Leica rangefinder cameras produced high contrast negatives with very sharp resolution at the centre field.[14]

Names and brands

Nikon's products include cameras, camera lenses, binoculars, microscopes, ophthalmic lenses, measurement instruments, rifle scopes, spotting scopes, and the steppers used in the photolithography steps of semiconductor fabrication, of which it is the world's second largest manufacturer.[4] The company is the eighth-largest chip equipment maker as reported in 2017.[5] Also, it has diversified into new areas like 3D printing and regenerative medicine to compensate for the negative impacts from shrinking digital camera market.[6][7][8][9]

Among Nikon's notable product lines are Nikkor imaging lenses (for F-mount cameras, large format photography, photographic enlargers, and other applications), the Nikon F-series of 35 mm film SLR cameras, the Nikon D-series of digital SLR cameras, the Coolpix series of compact digital cameras, and the Nikonos series of underwater film cameras. Nikon's main Nikkor imaging lenses (for F-mount cameras, large format photography, photographic enlargers, and other applications), the Nikon F-series of 35 mm film SLR cameras, the Nikon D-series of digital SLR cameras, the Coolpix series of compact digital cameras, and the Nikonos series of underwater film cameras. Nikon's main competitors in camera and lens manufacturing include Canon, Sony, Fujifilm, Panasonic, Pentax, and Olympus.

Founded on July 25, 1917 as Nippon Kōgaku Kōgyō Kabushikigaisha (日本光学工業株式会社 "Japan Optical Industries Co., Ltd."), the company was renamed to Nikon Corporation, after its cameras, in 1988. Nikon is a member of the Mitsubishi group of companies (keiretsu).[10]

Nikon Corporation was established on 25 July 1917 when three leading optical manufacturers merged to form a comprehensive, fully integrated optical company known as Nippon Kōgaku Tōkyō K.K. Over the next sixty years, this growing company became a manufacturer of optical lenses (including those for the first Canon cameras) and equipment used in cameras, binoculars, microscopes and inspection equipment. During World War II the company operated thirty factories with 2,000 employees, manufacturing binoculars, lenses, bomb sights, and periscopes for the Japanese military.

Reception outside Japan

After the war Nippon Kōgaku reverted to producing its civilian product range in a single factory. In 1948, the first Nikon-branded camera was released, the Nikon I.[11] Nikon lenses were popularised by the American photojournalist David Douglas Duncan. Duncan was working in Tokyo when the Korean War began. Duncan had met a young Japanese photographer, Jun Miki, who introduced Duncan to Nikon lenses. From July 1950 to January 1951, Duncan covered the Korean War.[12] Fitting Nikon optics (especially the NIKKOR-P.C 1:2 f=8,5 cm)[13] to his Leica rangefinder cameras produced high contrast negatives with very sharp resolution at the centre field.[14]

Names and brands

Nikko parent company brand, from which the Nikkor brand evolved.

Founded in 1917 as Nippon Kōgaku Kōgyō Kabushikigaisha (日本光学工業株式会社 "Japan Optical Industries Corporation"), the company was renamed Nikon Corporation, after its cameras, in 1988. The name Nikon, which dates from 1946, was originally intended only for its small-camera line, spelled as "Nikkon", with an addition of the "n" to the "Nikko" brand name.[15] The similarity to the Carl Zeiss AG brand "ikon", would cause some early problems in Germany as Zeiss complained that Nikon violated its trademarked camera. From 1963 to 1968 the Nikon F in particular was therefore labeled 'Nikkor'.[16]

The Nikkor brand was introduced in 1932, a westernised rendering of an earlier version Nikkō (日光), an abbreviation of the company's original full name[17] (Nikkō coincidentally means "sunlight" and is the name of a Japanese town.). Nikkor is the Nikon brand name for its lenses.

Another early brand used on microscopes was Joico,[18] an abbreviation of "Japan Optical Industries Co"[citation needed]. Expeed is the brand Nikon uses for its image processors since 2007.

Rise of the Nikon F series

Nikon F FTN Camera

The Nikon SP and other 1950s and 1960s rangefinder cameras competed directly with models from Leica and Zeiss. However, the company quickly ceased developing its rangefinder line to focus its efforts on the Nikon F single-lens reflex line of cameras, which was successful[19] upon its introduction in 1959. For nearly 30 years, Nikon's F-series SLRs were the most widely used small-format cameras among professional photographers[citation needed], as well as by the U.S. space program.

Nikon popularized many features in professional SLR photography[citation needed], such as the modular camera system with interchangeable lenses, viewfinders, motor drives, and data backs; integrated light metering and lens indexing; electronic strobe flashguns instead of expendable flashbulbs; electronic shutter control; evaluative multi-zone "matrix" metering; and built-in motorized film advance. However, as auto focus SLRs became available from Minolta and others in the mid-1980s, Nikon's line of manual-focus cameras began to seem out of date[citation needed].

Despite introducing one of the first autofocus models, the slow and bulky F3AF, the company's determination to maintain lens compatibility with its F-mount prevented rapid advances in autofocus technology. Canon introduced a new type of lens-camera interface with its entirely electronic Canon EOS cameras and Canon EF lens mount in 1987. The much faster lens performance permitted by Canon's electronic focusing and aperture control prompted many professional photographers (especially in sports and news) to switch to the Canon system through the 1990s.[20]

[11] Nikon lenses were popularised by the American photojournalist David Douglas Duncan. Duncan was working in Tokyo when the Korean War began. Duncan had met a young Japanese photographer, Jun Miki, who introduced Duncan to Nikon lenses. From July 1950 to January 1951, Duncan covered the Korean War.[12] Fitting Nikon optics (especially the NIKKOR-P.C 1:2 f=8,5 cm)[13] to his Leica rangefinder cameras produced high contrast negatives with very sharp resolution at the centre field.[14]

Names and brands

日本光学工業株式会社 "Japan Optical Industries Corporation"), the company was renamed Nikon Corporation, after its cameras, in 1988. The name Nikon, which dates from 1946, was originally intended only for its small-camera line, spelled as "Nikkon", with an addition of the "n" to the "Nikko" brand name.[15] The similarity to the Carl Zeiss AG brand "ikon", would cause some early problems in Germany as Zeiss complained that Nikon violated its trademarked camera. From 1963 to 1968 the Nikon F in particular was therefore labeled 'Nikkor'.[16]

The Nikkor brand was introduced in 1932, a westernised rendering of an earlier version Nikkō (日光), an abbreviation of the company's original full name[17] (Nikkō coincidentally means "sunlight" and is the name of a Japanese town.). Nikkor is the Nikon brand name for its lenses.

Another early brand used on microscopes was Joico,[18] an abbreviation of "Japan Optical Industries Co"[brand was introduced in 1932, a westernised rendering of an earlier version Nikkō (日光), an abbreviation of the company's original full name[17] (Nikkō coincidentally means "sunlight" and is the name of a Japanese town.). Nikkor is the Nikon brand name for its lenses.

Another early brand used on microscopes was Joico,[18] an abbreviation of "Japan Optical Industries Co"[citation needed]. Expeed is the brand Nikon uses for its image processors since 2007.

The Nikon SP and other 1950s and 1960s rangefinder cameras competed directly with models from Leica and Zeiss. However, the company quickly ceased developing its rangefinder line to focus its efforts on the Nikon F single-lens reflex line of cameras, which was successful[19] upon its introduction in 1959. For nearly 30 years, Nikon's F-series SLRs were the most widely used small-format cameras among professional photographers[citation needed], as well as by the U.S. space program.

Nikon popularized many features in professional SLR photography[citation needed], such as the modular camera system with interchangeable lenses, viewfinders, motor drives, and data backs; integrated light metering and lens indexing; electronic strobe flashguns instead of expendable flashbulbs; electronic shutter control; evaluative multi-zone "matrix" metering; and built-in motorized film advance. However, as auto focus SLRs became available from Minolta and others in the mid-1980s, Nikon's line of manual-focus cameras began to seem out of date[citation needed].

Despite introducing one of the first autofocus models, the slow and bulky F3AF, the company's de

Nikon popularized many features in professional SLR photography[citation needed], such as the modular camera system with interchangeable lenses, viewfinders, motor drives, and data backs; integrated light metering and lens indexing; electronic strobe flashguns instead of expendable flashbulbs; electronic shutter control; evaluative multi-zone "matrix" metering; and built-in motorized film advance. However, as auto focus SLRs became available from Minolta and others in the mid-1980s, Nikon's line of manual-focus cameras began to seem out of date[citation needed].

Despite introducing one of the first autofocus models, the slow and bulky F3AF, the company's determination to maintain lens compatibility with its F-mount prevented rapid advances in autofocus technology. Canon introduced a new type of lens-camera interface with its entirely electronic Canon EOS cameras and Canon EF lens mount in 1987. The much faster lens performance permitted by Canon's electronic focusing and aperture control prompted many professional photographers (especially in sports and news) to switch to the Canon system through the 1990s.[20]

Nikon created some of the first digital SLRs (DSLRs, Nikon NASA F4) for NASA, used in the Space Shuttle since 1991.[21] After a 1990s partnership with Kodak to produce digital SLR cameras based on existing Nikon film bodies, Nikon released the Nikon D1 SLR under its own name in 1999. Although it used an APS-C-size light sensor only 2/3 the size of a 35 mm film frame (later called a "DX sensor"), the D1 was among the first digital cameras to have sufficient image quality and a low enough price for some professionals (particularly photojournalists and sports photographers) to use it as a replacement for a film SLR. The company also has a Coolpix line which grew as consumer digital photography became increasingly prevalent through the early 2000s. Nikon also never made any phones.

Through the mid-2000s, Nikon's line of professional and enthusiast DSLRs and lenses including their back compatible AF-S lens line remained in second place behind Canon in SLR camera sales, and Canon had several years' lead in producing professional DSLRs with light sensors as large as traditional 35 mm film frames.[22] All Nikon DSLRs from 1999 to 2007, by contrast, used the smaller DX size sensor.

Then, 2005 management changes at Nikon led to new camera designs such as the full-frame Nikon D3 in late 2007, the Nikon D700 a few months later, and mid-range SLRs. Nikon regained much of its reputation among professional and amateur enthusiast photographers as a leading innovator in the field, especially because of the speed, ergonomics, and low-light performance of its latest models.[23][unreliable source?] The mid-range Nikon D90, introduced in 2008, was also the first SLR camera to rec

Through the mid-2000s, Nikon's line of professional and enthusiast DSLRs and lenses including their back compatible AF-S lens line remained in second place behind Canon in SLR camera sales, and Canon had several years' lead in producing professional DSLRs with light sensors as large as traditional 35 mm film frames.[22] All Nikon DSLRs from 1999 to 2007, by contrast, used the smaller DX size sensor.

Then, 2005 management changes at Nikon led to new camera designs such as the full-frame Nikon D3 in late 2007, the Nikon D700 a few months later, and mid-range SLRs. Nikon regained much of its reputation among professional and amateur enthusiast photographers as a leading innovator in the field, especially because of the speed, ergonomics, and low-light performance of its latest models.[23][unreliable source?] The mid-range Nikon D90, introduced in 2008, was also the first SLR camera to record video.[24][25] Since then video mode has been introduced to many more of the Nikon DSLR cameras including the Nikon D3S, Nikon D7000, Nikon D5100, Nikon D3100, Nikon D3200 and Nikon D5100.[26][27][28][29][30] More recently, Nikon has released a photograph and video editing suite called ViewNX to browse, edit, merge and share images and videos.[31][32][33] Despite the market growth of Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Cameras, Nikon does not neglect their F-mount Single Lens Reflex cameras and have released some Professional DSLRs like the D780,[34] or the D6[35] recently (Q1 2020).

In reaction to the growing market for Mirrorless cameras, Nikon released their first Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Cameras and also a new lens mount in 2011. The lens mount was called Nikon 1, and the first bodies in it were the Nikon 1 J1 and the V1. The systuem was built around a 1 inch (or CX) format image sensor, with a 2.7x crop factor. This format was pretty small compared to their competitors. This resulted in a loss of image quality, dynamic range and also a wider depth of field range. Probably this is the reason why it never became really successful so in 2018 Nikon officially discontinued it, after three years without a new camera body.[36] (The last one was the Nikon 1 J5).

Also in 2018, Nikon introduced a whole new mirrorless system in their lineup. It was the Nikon Z system. The first cameras it used were the Z 6 and the Z 7, both with a Full Frame (FX) sensor format, In-Body Image Stabilization and a built-in electroinic viewfinder. The Z-mount is not only for FX cameras though, as in 2019 Nikon introduced the Z 50 with a DX format sensor, without IBIS but with the compatibility to every Z-mount lens. The handling, the ergonomics and the button layout are similar to the Nikon DSLR cameras, which is friendly for those who are switching from them. This shows that Nikon is putting their focus more on their MILC line.

Once Nikon introduced affordable consumer-level DSLRs such as the Nikon D70 in the mid-2000s, sales of its consumer and professional film cameras fell rapidly, following the general trend in the industry. In January 2006, Nikon announced it would stop making most of its film camera models and all of its large format lenses, and focus on digital models.[37]

Nevertheless, Nikon is the only[citation needed] major camera manufact

Nevertheless, Nikon is the only[citation needed] major camera manufacturer still making film SLRs. Both the high-end Nikon F6 and the entry-level FM10 (the sole remaining models following the 2006 discontinuations)[37] remain a part of Nikon's current lineup as of March 2019.[38]

Although few models were introduced, Nikon made movie cameras as well. The R10 and R8 SUPER ZOOM Super 8 models (introduced in 1973) were the top of the line and last attempt for the amateur movie field. The cameras had a special gate and claw system to improve image steadiness and overcome a major drawback of Super 8 cartridge design. The R10 model has a high speed 10X macro zoom lens.

Contrary to other brands, Nikon never attempted to offer projectors or their accessories.

Thai operations

[45] It continues to sell the fully manual FM10, and still offers the high-end fully automatic F6.[46][47] Nikon has also committed to service all the film cameras for a period of ten years after production ceases.[48]

Nikon F2SB SLR camera with DP-3 finder and GN Auto Nikkor 1:2,8 f=45mm lens
High-end (Professional – Intended for professional use, heavy duty and weather resistance)

  • Nikon F series (1959, known in Germany for legal reasons as the Nikkor F)
  • Nikon F2 series (1971)
  • Nikon F3 series (1980)

Midrange

Midrange with electronic features

Entry-level (Consumer)

Film APS SLR cameras

  • Nikon Pronea 600i / Pronea 6i (1996)[49]
  • Nikon Pronea S (1997)[50]

Film 35 mm SLR cameras with autofocus

Nikon AC-2E Data Link System (1993)

High-end (Professional – Intended for professional use, heavy duty and weather resistance)

  • Nikon F3AF (1983, modified F3 body with Autofocus Finder DX-1)
  • Nikon F4 (1988) – (World's first professional auto-focus SLR camera and world's first professional SLR camera with a built-in motor drive)
  • Nikonos RS (1992) (Professional when reviewed in underwater conditions) – (World's first underwater auto-focus SLR camera)[51]
  • Nikon F5 (1996)
  • Nikon F6 (2004)

High-end (Prosumer – Intended for pro-consumers who want the main mechanic/electronic features of the professional line but don't need the same heavy duty/weather resistance)

  • Nikon F-501 (1986, known in North America as the N2020)
  • Nikon F-801 (1988, known in the U.S. as the N8008)
  • Nikon F-801S (1991, known in the U.S. as the N8008S)
  • Nikon F90 (1992, known in the U.S. as the N90)
  • Nikon F90X (1994, known in the U.S. as the N90S)
  • Nikon F80 (2000, known in the U.S. as the N80)
  • Nikon F100 (1999)

Mid-range (Consumer)

Entry-level (Consumer)

  • Nikon F-401 (1987, known in the U.S. as the N4004)
  • Nikon F-401S (1989, known in the U.S. as the N4004S)
  • Nikon F-401X (1991, known in the U.S. as the N5005)
  • Nikon F50 (1994, known in the U.S. as the N50)
  • Nikon F60 (1999, known in the U.S. as the N60)
  • Nikon F65 (2000, known in the U.S. as the N65)
  • Nikon F55 (2002, known in the U.S. as the N55)

Professional Rangefinder cameras

High-end (Prosumer – Intended for pro-consumers who want the main mechanic/electronic features of the professional line but don't need the same heavy duty/weather resistance)

  • Nikon F-501 (1986, known in North America as the N2020)
  • Nikon F-801 (1988, known in the U.S. as the N8008)
  • Nikon F-801S (1991, known in the U.S. as the N8008S)
  • Nikon F-501 (1986, known in North America as the N2020)
  • Nikon F-801 (1988, known in the U.S. as the N8008)
  • Nikon F-801S (1991, known in the U.S. as the N8008S)
  • Nikon F90 (1992, known in the U.S. as the N90)
  • Nikon F90X (1994, known in the U.S. as the N90S)
  • Nikon F80 (2000, known in the U.S. as the N80)
  • Nikon F100 (1999)

Mid-range (Consumer) Mid-range (Consumer)

Entry-level (Consumer)