At the Nikon museum

This post about the new Nikon museum in Japan is by Richard Haw:

The museum can be accessed easily from Shinagawa station in Tokyo. It is around 600 meters from the station itself. A detailed map can be found in the Nikon Museum’s website…

The entrance is decorated with important milestones in Nikon’s timeline.

haw_0284At the other side of the entrance you will find this humongous glass ingot. This is what Nikon uses to create the glass elements for the Nikkors.

haw_0309More information on Nikon’s optical glass manufacturing techniques…

haw_0288The museum itself is not big but it does showcase a lot of what Nikon has achieved in it’s almost 100 years of history. Apart from the optics, there are numerous educational exhibits in the museum such as how ED glass and Nano Crystal coating work. Taking pictures is prohibited in these exhibits.

Here is a showcase of Nikon’s press related achievement through the years…

haw_0292The 1000mm f/6.3 is a lens that was engineered specifically for the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. It is a mirror lens.

haw_0290This photo shows some of the press-related cameras that Nikon has produced throughout the years as well as a description for each.

haw_0291That white box is for “telephotography”. You can send images of your negatives to your editor using this machine via the telephone line. I know it sounds silly but this is actually pretty clever. I imagine that this might have been used in Live Aid (for those old enough to remember how technical that was to broadcast and cover).

On the same shelf, you can see some wireless solutions that Nikon has incorporated into the system like WIFI and wireless transmission.

This display case shows Nikon’s technical achievements and contains more interesting stuff for photography geeks to wet dream about.

This is Nikon’s original prototype for their first camera simply called the “Model I”. Notice that this is simply a modified Contax clone. Yes, everybody has to start from somewhere. What the Chinese are doing now, the Japanese and until recently the Koreans were doing as well. Even the Germans and the English as well in the case of porcelain manufacturing.

haw_0300The real holy grail for Nikon collectors. The original working prototype for the now legendary Nikon F. Notice that it has a rangefinder. Originally the idea was for it to have a rangefinder as well so that it can accept the lenses from rangefinder cameras by locking the mirror in the up position so that the rear end of the lens will not hit the mirror. This was a great idea and I wish that we have that in our Nikon cameras.

haw_0302This one shows the worlds first auto focusing system for cameras. Jebus, just take a look at that monster of a lens! How they managed to make it auto focus is also quite interesting. Check and read the illustration.

This is the world’s first ultra wide zoom lens. The technology of that time prevented this from entering into full production. Read the write up for an interesting story about this lens.

haw_0295Here are some cameras and lenses that were all arranged in chronological order. Notice the Nikonos and that 13mm f/5.6…

haw_0297At the centre is a camera that Francisco Scaramanga might have ordered for himself.

haw_0304Check that camera in the middle. It is a collaboration between Fujifilm and Nikon to produce a digital camera using the “Fujix” system…

haw_0296That big round thing in the middle needs no introduction, it’s the Death Star…

haw_0294The Nikonos, Nikkorex and some other oddball Nikons…

haw_0305 haw_0307 haw_0308

This post was originally published here. All pictures are used with permission. If you have an interesting idea for a guest post, you can contact me here.

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