Why and what is Nikon ?

April 20, 2017

Nikon - ニコン, originated as Nippon Kogaku K. K - 日本の光学機 which started in 1917, with the purpose of domestic production of optical weapons and it's name back then literally translated as Japan Optical Industries Corporation.

Nippon - which mean Japan in Japanese, is where the Nikon brand name originated from. So Nikon does means a lot, especially to a series of Single Lens Reflex (SLR) 35mm cameras that they pioneered since the late 50s, named Nikon F. Nikon F SLR cameras were first introduced in 1959. For nearly 30 years, Nikon's F-series SLRs were the most widely used small-format cameras among professional photographers. It was so well received that even the U.S. space program used them way back then.

The 'F' in the F series simply refer to their F bayonet mount for their Nikkor lenses, but F originated from the mount designer, Mr Fuketa thus the Nikon F series was born where they built a series of legendary Nikon branded 'Nikkor' lenses from. Mr Fuketa was so fundamental with the F series camera, that in the future SLR 35mm body (film or digital) the camera body has a backward compatibility for old lenses and vice versa (to a certain extent).

This extremely loyalty to a mount design is definitely unprecedented, and I believe it’s one of the reason that propel Nikon to where they are today. They have an extremely loyal customer and fan base, cultivated an almost cult following on their Nikon F series camera. This is obvious because other similar period cameras from Japanese manufacturers such as Canon, Pentax, Minolta and Konica often fetch lower prices compared to Nikon in used gear today.

The stand out camera for their F series was the Nikon's F2 and the Nikkormats. Both Nikon's F2 and the Nikkormats were prized for their toughness and reliability, with full metal build and full manual exposure control and a wide selection of lenses, it doesn’t get any better for a film shooter.

Below are some brief specs of the Nikon F cameras we carry at the moment.

High-end models

Nikon F (1959)


holds superiority over the rest of the of the Japanese camera manufacturers mainly before its revolutionise the SLR 35mm system where it combined a series of features that were lacking in other cameras

* Nikon first introduction of the three-claw F-mount bayonet lens mount system, which is still current in a more modified form today.
* The focal plane shutter had titanium foil blinds and was rated for 100,000 shutter releases.
* All-metal, mechanically-controlled (springs, gears, levers), manual focus SLR with manual exposure control.
* All Nikon professional F-series SLRs are full system cameras. This means that each camera body serves as only a modular hub.

Nikon F2 series (1971)



* A newly improved system with horizontal-travel focal plane shutter with titanium shutter curtains and a speed range of 1 to 1/2000 second (up to 10 seconds using the self-timer

Midrange models

Nikkormat F series (1965)

* Produced from 1965 until 1978, were simpler and more affordable than Nikon-branded cameras, but accepted the same lenses as the Nikon F series cameras.

Nikon FM (1977)


* Lower price-point they continued Nikon's reputation for high-quality construction, impressive durability and measured technical innovation.
* Use copper-aluminium-silicon (copper-silumin) alloy for it's camera body.

Nikon FM2 series (1982)

* Improved version of the Nikon FM
* Advanced semi-professional
* Film transport consists of high-strength hardened metal gears and moving parts, mounted on clusters of ball bearings

Many professional photographers continue to use the FM2 as a backup camera

Entry-level

Nikon EM (1979)


* Uses Seiko MFC-E focal plane shutter with a speed range of 1 to 1/1000 second plus Bulb and flash X-sync of 1/90 second.
* It is 86 mm (3.4 in) high, 135 mm (5.3 in) wide, 54 mm (2.1 in) deep and weighed 460 grams (16 oz).
* Unlike most Nikons of the time, it was available only in black.
* The EM has no full manual exposure mode capability, but instead was intended to be used by inexperienced photographers who could not easily master the intricacies of shutter speeds and f-stops.
* It was the smallest and cheapest SLR ever made by Nikon - featured a lightweight and compact hybrid copper aluminum alloy body and fibreglass reinforced polycarbonate plastic top and bottom covers.
* It was a battery-powered (two S76 or A76, or one 1/3N) electromechanically controlled manual focus SLR


Nikon FG (1982)


* Improved and newer version compared to the EM.
* The FG was the successor to the Nikon EM camera of 1979 and the predecessor of the Nikon FG-20 of 1984. These three cameras comprised Nikon's first family of ultra compact 35mm SLR camera bodies.

Below are some photos of their legendary Nikkor lenses starting with a 24mm f2.8 then a 85mm f1.8.

You can get your hands on our widest range of used Nikon gears in the southern atmosphere, check them out in the link below:

https://filmneverdie.com/collections/nikon

 

Sakura (Cherry Blossom) trees are in full bloom now and to celebrate that FilmNeverDie is running a FilmNeverDie's Nikon Hanami promotion, read more about it here:

 https://filmneverdie.com/blogs/news/filmneverdies-nikon-hanami-promotion

 

References:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/




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