Nikon is a Japanese manufacturer of cameras and lenses.

The company
Founded in 1917, at the request of the Japanese government concerned about the superiority demonstrated by the German army during the war, the company is called First Nippon Kogaku Kogyo (in French "Japanese Optical SA"). It was renamed Nikon Corporation in 1988. Its founder is Yataro Iwasaki, head of Mitsubishi, which today remains bound.

Nikon is dedicated primarily to the manufacture of military equipment and took off in 1930, the Washington Treaty that limited the size of the navy of Japan, the Department of the Navy decides an intensive scientific program to provide each naval unit the ultimate in optical technology, and thus compensate for the lead taken by the British and Americans in electronics.

Nikon is also launching in 1930 in the photographic industry, but this activity is marginal until 1945, when Nikon is forced to find outlets civilian first telescope lenses in 1946, then the first device Nikon photo, released in 1948. In 1935, Seiki Kogaku (later Canon) Nippon Kogaku asks him to deliver goals for its rangefinder camera, this will last until 1947.

These are the international reporters based in Tokyo during the Korean War who are building the legend of the Nikon brand, and, later, the collaboration of the mark in the Apollo lunar program.

Currently, Nikon products cover the full range of optical technologies, the microscope to the telescope. The main product group is the IC stepper, high precision machine used in the manufacture of microprocessors. Then come the photographic cameras and lenses, with the range of Nikkor optics, the SLR range F, the digital SLR range D (Digital) and compact Coolpix range. The third activity is the optical lenses, frames, and diagnostic unit (Remote Vision refractor, auto-refractometer ... Speedy-K).

January 2006 marks a milestone in the history of photography and Nikon, the Nikon Corporation announced the end of commercialization of its film cameras, with the exception of two models, to devote himself almost exclusively to digital.

The outstanding models
*SP Nikon: Camera shooting multiple field viewfinder and rangefinder with interchangeable lenses (28 mm to 135 mm). It is powered (3 fps). It will exceed a quarter of a century later by the Leica M6. It was produced from 1957 to 1964.

*Nikon F: The first professional SLR, established on the basis of MS, it offers interchangeable viewfinders (with or without cell or non-TTL) providing 100% coverage of the recorded image and the operator. He will sit the "myth Nikon" in the public mind with the help of the film Blow-up. It will be produced from 1959 to 1974. Indeed all F-series is remarkable: the Nikon F2 (1971 to 1980) is a masterpiece of mechanical engineering, the Nikon F3 (1980 to 2005) introducing the automatic exposure among professionals, which will propose an alternative In 1983, an autofocus (AF-F3), the Nikon F4 (1988-1997) introducing the autofocus from these same professionals, the Nikon F5 (1996-2005) revolutionary cell system (it "sees" in color) and the last born, the Nikon F6 does not seem to fail in the same tradition it seems it is probably the last of this lineage.

*Nikon FA: scion of a successful family (Nikon FE, Nikon FM, Nikon FE2 Nikon FM2 Nikon FM3A and whose production has recently stopped) he invented in 1983 (stopped in 1988), the multizone metering and a shutter priority mode very well designed, but unfortunately not offered on the following devices. The light measurement is performed in five separate areas and the "intelligence" of the device compares what he has read the 25 000 cases he has in mind. This system surprised by its results and is widely copied in subsequent years. It will continue to be refined over time. With this device out the goals AI-S, consistent with the speed mode, as distinct from AI lenses by a pin that indicates the maximum aperture. The shutter is the FE2, titanium, which provides for the first time a sync speed of 1/250th and 1 / 4 000th.

*Nikon F801 and Nikon F801: equipment for amateur. It provided a level viewfinder that Nikon had done this better (F3HP) with autofocus performance, a measurement matrix after the Nikon FA but improved to handle off-center subjects, an automatic flash control in broad daylight (fill- in) and automatic modes developed. Produced from 1988 to 1994 at the dawn of 2007, the latest Nikon products are always measured in terms of this model has also become legendary.

*Nikon F90 and Nikon F90x: Successor to the 801, the F90 has a faster autofocus and exposure control integrating the subject distance for flash photo taken (with AF-D). The F90x is a version or the autofocus has been improved. Produced from 1992 to 1994 for the F90 and from 1994 to 2000 for the F90x.

*Nikon F100 released in 1999, a housing semi professional Nikon F5-derived

*Nikon D1, Nikon D1H and D1x Nikon: that in 1999 the first professional digital SLR industry. Previously, digital SLRs were imperfect assembly of housings (Nikon often) and electronics (eg Kodak). The D1 has a resolution of 2.7 and 5.3 million pixels, a sensitivity up to ISO 1600 (which may be increased to the equivalent of 3200 or 6400 ISO) and shutter speeds up 1 / 16, 000th of a second. It has everything that Nikon is better at the time (for example cell F5).

*Nikon D2H: housing pro super fast for its time (2003), sensor 4 million pixels, very popular for the press and sports.

*Nikon D2x: it has a sensor of 12.4 million pixels. This device has a mode called "crop" using a less extensive part of the sensor (6.8 megapixels) for a rate higher shooting at 8 frames per second and providing a focal length multiplier of 2 (instead 1.5).

*Nikon D70, D70s and D50: This series of devices marked the popularization of digital SLR and the sharp fall of 24 x 36 reflex silver. Six million pixels and features previously reserved for equipment experts, less than 1 000 euros (2005-2006).

*Nikon D200: device expert high-end 10 megapixel, single-piece metal frame, tropicalization and compatibility with older goals without CPU (AI and AIS).

*Nikon D80: released at the end of 2006 it is intended to replace the D70s with a Sony CCD 10.2 million pixels.

*Nikon D90: released at the end of 2008 it is intended to replace the D80 with a Sony CMOS sensor 12.3 million effective pixels, and adding the ability to record video in 720p format.

*Nikon D40: released at the end of 2006, is equipped with a CCD image sensor High Definition Nikon DX format 6.1-effective megapixels. For the first time in Nikon SLR autofocus, it is devoid of engine: the autofocus is therefore possible with the objectives to internal motor (AF-S and AF-I Nikon, HSM Sigma Corporation). Other goals are still functioning perfectly, but their focus is manual on this unit. An improved version, the D40X, Sony CCD sensor with 10.2 megapixels (the same as the D80 and D200) was released in April 2007.

*Nikon D60: released in February 2008 to replace the D40 series

*Nikon D3: released in November 2007. CMOS sensor with 12.3 megapixels, 51 points including 15 cross. This is the first Nikon digital cameras to have a 24 x 36 mm sensor (Nikon FX sensor, 1x) and sensitivity (record) of ISO 25600.

*Nikon D3X: Nikon was presented in February 2009. This is the high definition version (24.5 megapixel instead of 12) the "ultra" professional D3.

*Nikon D300: same as the D3 (Nikon DX format sensor (23.6 x 15.8 mm, 1.5 x). It is intended to replace the D200.

*Nikon D700: On sale since early July 2008, resumed the FX sensor Nikon D3 in a housing expert typed near the D300 in size.

*Nikon D3s: First case digital surpass the 100 000 ISO (102 ISO 400).

*Nikon D5000: Released in 2009, incorporates the features of the D90, with HD video.

*Nikon D3100: Released in September 2010, replacing the D3000 with a 14.2 megapixel sensor and a video recording Full HD autofocus.

*Nikon D7000: Announced September 15, 2010, replacing the D90, there is provided an image sensor 16.2 megapixels, a 2016-pixel RGB sensor photosites as well as a 39-point autofocus.

The remarkable goals
Some goals that marked their time:

* Zoom from 4 to 4.5 / 85-250 mm zoom camera is the first marketed (1959) which will serve well in standard competition
* 3,5 / 55 mm Micro-Nikkor: a macro lens that excels in quality, so everything that exists [ref. needed] and remain a very long baseline (1961)
* Medical 200 mm lens with ring flash incorporated. Medical-Nikkor
* 7.5 mm fish-eye Nikon released in 1963, the first fisheye

And a plethora of outstanding tele-lenses, such as Ai 600mm f / 4 IF-ED (1977) and the Ai-S 300 mm f / 2 IF-ED (1983), Ai-S 400mm f / 2.8 IF-ED (1985), Ai-S 800 mm f/5.6 IF-ED (1986). The most extreme part of the Fisheye 6 mm f/2.8 covering 220 ° (23.6 cm diameter, 5.2 kg), the other the most powerful TV: 2 000 mm f / 11 (59.8 cm, 17.5 kg), the latter being the type reflex (= mirror, such as telescopes), or zoom Ai-P 1 200-1 700 mm f / 5.6 to 8 IF-ED (1988) (88.0 cm, 16.0 kg).

Since launching the brand, setting goals has not changed physically. Developments have taken place: the most important was the upgrade to "AI" (1977) which transmits directly to the cell value of the maximum aperture of the lens. The old targets could be changed. The Nikon F4 (1988-1997) is the latest Nikon SLRs that can operate completely automatically and older lenses (non Ai-type), causing frustration and criticism from customers ...

Nikon has proposed this amendment workshop objectives F (also called "non-Ai") to make them standard Ai proceeding to replace the aperture ring. This change is no longer offered by Nikon today for lack of available parts. It may still turn a goal "modified Ai" by filing, but this operation had lost all value "collection" (marketable in large part) to copy changed this way. At the time of its release, the F5 could be fitted (on special order only) of a lens mount equipped with the same pin lift than was present on the F4, to be consistent with the objectives F not modified.

Note: Since the release of the F401, the cell housings amateur range is more consistent with the objectives not have a chip (that is to say transformed Ai, Ai Ais). They are mechanically compatible but are usable only in manual mode without metering or no automation. No problem however with the models pro and semi-pros (F90, F100, F5, F6 ...). In silver, only the F4 and FA allowed the measurement multizone with Ai / Ais, the F801/F90/F100/F5 having to settle for spot metering center weighted. The housings of the D1 series were subjected to the same restriction. Then in 2003 the extent to multizone the Ai / Ais made his comeback on the D2h: it will resume on the F6 and then released shortly after on D200/D2x/D3/D300/D700. The D200 was the first digital SLR available to use goals Ai / Ais taking advantage of automation (PSAM modes with metering and TTL flash).

Scanners film / slide scanners
In addition to his activities in the market for digital cameras, Nikon film scanners produce and high quality slide, marketed under the name Coolscan. Nikon introduced in 1988 the first scanner (Coolscan LS-3500) with a maximum resolution of 4096 x 6144 pixels. It was even equipped with a halogen lamp that was later replaced by LEDs. The following resolution of the first models was not increased, while the scan quality, speed and depth of color have been improved. With the Coolscan LS-5000 ED, Nikon has made a dedicated device for archiving large volumes of slides. Using special adapters, it was possible to scan automatically and successively mounted 50 slides or 40 frames on film. One scan only lasted less than 20 seconds at maximum resolution. In 2004 was introduced last film scanner to date, the Coolscan 9000 ED, which offers a special feature. It remains the only scanner on the market that eliminates effectively without additional software, dust and scratches on Kodachrome film using a special variant of the ICE technology. SilverFast scanning software from LaserSoft Imaging offers since 2008 a similar method (SRI) which allows to free all Kodachrome slide film scanner Nikon dust and scratches. In late 2007, Nikon announced the closure of the care of his Nikon Scan software for Macintosh, this software scan is more compatible with Mac OS 10.5. SilverFast this from an alternative version 6.6 that supports all models of scanner in question. Between 1994 and 1996, Nikon launched under the name Scantouch three models of flatbed scanners that have not succeeded in establishing itself vis-a-vis the competition.

See also Portable Digital