Seven “Nikon Firsts”


1. The first NIKKOR lens: Aero NIKKOR 18cm f/4.5 (first appearance of NIKKOR trademark, an abbreviation of NIPPON Kogaku, as it appeared in 1932).


2. The Original Nikon - the first "Nikon" camera released in Japan, in March 1948.


3. Introducing the F-Mount - the first professional single-lens reflex camera in 1959.


4. The first Nikon in space - Nikon Photomic FTN, a modified Nikon F camera that was used aboard the Apollo 15 (the picture above is from the ISS).


5. Nikon’s first digital compact camera: the COOLPIX 100 was introduced in 1997.


6. The first underwater auto-focus SLR camera - in 1992, Nikon entered a new market by introducing the NIKONOS RS, the world’s first underwater auto-focus SLR camera.


7. Introducing the world’s first practical DSLR - launched in 1999, the D1 rightly earned its title as ‘the world’s first practical DSLR’ and disrupted the professional camera market.

Source: Nikon Europe, the full article can be found here.

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  • Rick Murray

    The space photo you used is of a Nikon DSLR used onboard the International Space Station, not Apollo 15.

    • this was the photo published by Nikon in their original article – I did not select it

      • Rick Murray

        I understand. I am a lifelong space fan and I have followed all of the missions since the original Mercury days. Apollo 15 was one of my favorites and I knew instantly that this was an ISS photo and not an Apollo CSM/Lunar Module shot. The old Apollo astronauts would not have know what do do with as much room as is available on the ISS.. 🙂

        • br0xibear

          This is the modified Photomic FTN that was used aboard the Apollo 15…

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/da521aa4dc45ee6bb56d91c0970d38a85bbe79b4882396faa306ed59da4e3259.jpg

        • Allan

          I continue to be amazed at the new science coming out of NASA.

          NASA is underfunded. Shame on us (Americans).

          • Fly Moon

            Agreed. And lots of people don’t seem to appreciate that and take things for granted!

            • ZoetMB

              It’s not that they take things for granted. It’s that they don’t believe in science and don’t think science has much to offer. 57% of a particular group of Americans that comprise half the country (not mentioning the group because I don’t want to get political) believes that higher education is bad for the country, as described in a recent survey. And a fair percentage of people both in and outside of that group don’t believe we ever went to the moon anyway.

            • Jebagi Erol Paker

              it is amazing!It is same belief in Turkey.This is the reaction to digital age.At the beginning of industrisl revolution facrory workers destroyed eguipment.Since they can not destroy cyber world they employ Trump for this.
              one islamic clerk surmoned that learning englush is futile since rhe angels only know arabic.

        • makes sense, I will update my post

        • cBBp

          I should be obvious that’s not apollo 15

      • Allan

        Is this an example of a “fake” or “alternative” picture?

        (Seriously, did Nikon use the wrong picture?)

        • yes, see the link at the bottom of my post

          • Allan

            I don’t think so.

            “Nikon’s history in Space began with the Nikon Photomic FTN, a modified Nikon F camera that was used aboard the Apollo 15 in 1971, and Nikon
            cameras have been aboard every manned space flight since. In the image below, Thomas Pesquet, a European Space Agency astronaut from France,
            uses a Nikon camera during his six-month mission at the International Space Station.”

    • Perhaps because back then they only had one camera on board? And perhaps this is the camera in the photo nonetheless? One would hope.

  • Eric Calabros

    It would be epic if they manage to be the first one bringing hybrid EVF+OVF solution to the world of DSLR, or first full frame with global shutter, or first organic sensor with 16+ stop DR.. but none of these is big enough to disrupt the market.

    • nwcs

      If they did that I would be back in a heartbeat (TTL ovf/evf). I like fuji but I really like the Nikon ergonomics better. I prefer evf but I still like what Nikon can offer. But if Nikon can pull off the hybrid they will get a lot of people to return and take the wind out of the sails of other companies.

  • Keith Canisius Baerken

    Big legacy. Lets hope it will continue that way.

    • geofflivingston

      Seem to be revving up for Tuesday’s announcement(s). Fingers crossed.

      • Davidvictormeldrew Idontbeliev

        True looking forward in what a D820/D850 brings – but not so keen on the price.. possibly on same level as the Canon 5D MK 4

        • C-M

          Nikon goal is products with higher margins
          Prepare for an expensive camera

          • Davidvictormeldrew Idontbeliev

            true on that C-M probably min on par with Canon 5D MK 4 £3499 but likely to be at £3999.99

          • Fabbui

            That would be questionable… They could profit on volume, and in my opinion they are losing market share and that is probably worst because long term they might lose on lens and other camera products and even camera sales..
            if they keep losing market share then those people moving to other companies would no longer buy Nikon lenses and more people would also move .. nobody wants to buy from a shrinking company…
            Of course who knows what their plan is…

      • ToastyFlake

        If there were going to be an announcement on Tuesday, wouldn’t have Nikon already announced that they were making an announcement?

        • peter w

          getting nervous? 😉
          (I speak for myself I guess)

          • ToastyFlake

            It’s like Christmas Eve and I’m wondering if I’ve been too naughty to get this camera 🙂

            • peter w

              It’s going to be Christmas indeed. You have a great prediction gift.

      • FountainHead

        I think if they had something huge, they would have mailed out invitations to VIPs etc.

  • animalsbybarry

    The Nikon anniversary is just a couple of days away
    So Peter
    What can you tell us about what we will see ?

  • Carmine

    Nikon seems to be very quiet right now, not to much chatter with the announcement coming soon. Possibly it could be something HUGE.

    • Ushanas Trivedi

      Calm before storm..!!! Well…hopefully

  • Jeffry De Meyer

    First to announce an entire series of cameras and never release them.

    • I’m still bitter about that 18-50 cancellation. Would have made one heck of an adventure vlogging camera…

      • I feel they might release it with an aps-c sensor and bypass the 1″ market.

        • …an APS-C compact with an 18-50mm equivalent f/2-2.8 lens would be absolutely fantastic.

  • CaMeRa QuEsT

    What about the first practical matrix metering system (FA)?

    • MB

      How about:
      First lens with floating point element (CRC) Nikkor Auto 24mm f/2.8
      First lens with aspherical element OP Fisheye-NIKKOR 10mm f/5.6
      First mid telephoto zoom lens Nikkor-Zoom 85-250mm f/4.0~4.5 Auto (and second zoom ever produced)
      First super telephoto zoom SLR lens Nikkor-Zoom 200-600mm
      First super zoom SLR lens Nikkor-Zoom 50-300 f/4.5
      First use of computers in lens design …
      First wide angle zoom SLR lens Zoom-Nikkor 28-45mm f/4.5
      First SLR lens to use ED glass Nikkor 300mm f/2.8
      Matrix metering and FA in general was one of the most ground breaking products in photographic equipment history …
      The thing is it all happened very long time ago and although important it is all a bit too nerdy … not something general public would now or rave about …
      F3AF was a great concept (although not original because Pentax ME-F was the first SLR to use it), it was introduced 5 years before Canon EOS and Nikon should have really pursued it instead of dinky screw driven AF … maybe today we would have AF-S and E type lenses introduced 10 years earlier and transition to mirrorless would have been much smoother …

  • Fly Moon

    I probably don’t need a tripod if I had my Nikon in space 🙂

    • Harold1966

      There would be a ‘problem’ shooting in the mirrorslap affected zone 1/60th-ish I guess.

  • Mark Heseltine

    Eighth first lucky?

    Hopefully Nikon surprises us on her 100th. A positive surprise would suggest Nikon still has it.

    I Believe. And my doctor said it would not make me go blind.

  • My first real camera at 20 was the Nikon F FTn Apollo

  • My P900 goes to an effective 2,000 mm equivalent focal length (4,000 with digital cropping) and is really quite sharp up to about 1,800 mm when used with proper technique. You bird watchers that claim to have seen some rare birds on bird counts no longer have an excuse for no real documentation. (meant to be humorous) There are times when you can capture an image of a bird in a tree that you simply aren’t going to get with any other camera and lens combo.

    • Bob Thane

      Any other camera and lens, eh? Have you tried the Nikon 1200-1700? 😉

      • No,,, but I used an ED 1200 F11 AI for a number of years until someone on the internet saw my lens and bought it from me for a really substantial price a couple years ago. The problem with the older Nikon lenses is flare (although quite sharp) , especially at the beach. Unless the sun is directly behind you, there is too much flare. It is also manual focus so really hard to nail the focus on moving subjects. The P900 is just awesome but you will have a difficult time capturing moving subjects much like my old 1200. I was happy with 5% hit rate on moving subjects. My icon is the Sigma 300-800 I bought in 2003 and still use it today. It’s unbelievable on the D810 and D500 but doesn’t have the reach of the P900.

  • Ric of The LBC

    First camera company to also sell candy

    • Allan

      Too funny!

  • MB

    Yeah I know, it was first Nikon AF prototype …

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