100 Years of Nikon - Everything that You Should Know
100 Years of Nikon - Everything that You Should Know

100 Years of Nikon – Everything that You Should Know

Last Updated on January 14, 2017 by PixelPluck

100 Years of Nikon – Everything that You Should Know

Nikon is celebrating it’s 100th anniversary in the year 2017. In last 100 years it has seen great innovations and advancements in the field of photography. On this July 25th Nikon will be celebrating it’s centennial anniversary. For 100 years, Nikon has pursued the possibilities of light. Since its foundation in 1917, Nikon has harnessed the power of lenses to contribute to the advancement of imaging culture and sciences, as well as the development of industry, creating breakthrough technologies and products in the process. 100 Years of Nikon – Everything that You Should Know.

According to Nikon, the challenge for next 100 years is already in motion and it will create new values for a brighter future. Nikon has produced a fantastic movie to celebrate its 100 years existence. Experience Nikon’s 100-year journey through light, moving forward to future innovations that come to life in this powerful video presentation. Nikon is calling it the century of light.

Nikon also launched The Nikon 100th Anniversary logo which was designed by their own design department.

nikon 100th anniversary logo

Here is the timeline of Major achievements by Nikon.

  • 1917: Two of Japan’s leading optical manufacturers – the Optical Instruments Department of Tokyo Keiki Seisakusho and Reflecting Mirror Department of Iwaki Glass Manufacturing – merged with capital investment from Koyata Iwasaki, the President of Mitsubishi, to form a comprehensive, fully integrated optical company known as Nippon Kogaku K.K. (Merged with Fujii Lens Manufacturing immediately after establishment). Nikon headquarters at the time was within the Tokyo Keiki company at 120 Haramachi, Koishikawa-ku, Tokyo (present-day Hakusan 4-chome, Bunkyo-ku).
  • 1918: Oi Dai-ichi Plant (now Oi Plant) completed. The beginnings of optical glass production.
  • 1921: MIKRON 4x and 6x ultra-small-prism binoculars are marketed. One of the first binocular models developed, designed and manufactured by Nikon. It was reproduced in 1997. Inviting German engineers and developing the Anytar Lens.
  • 1925: JOICO Microscope is marketed. The first microscope designed by Nikon. The trademark JOICO was from the initials of Japan Optical Industry Co., a translation of Nippon Kogaku K. K., the company’s name at the time.
  • 1927: Established the mass production of optical glass.
  • 1931: Nikon’s first equatorial telescope had the largest diameter of any such telescope in Japan at the time. It remained in use until 2005.
  • 1932: NIKKOR is adopted as brand name for camera lenses. Publication of the NIKKOR trademark application. It was filed in July 1931, published in April 1932 and registered in December 1932.
  • 1933: Delivery of Aero-NIKKOR, a NIKKOR lens designed for aerial photography.
  • 1946: Nikon brand name is adopted for small-sized cameras.
  • 1948: The first Nikon camera and the first product to bear the “Nikon” name. It was first sold as “Nikon”, but “Model I” was added to the product name to distinguish it from subsequent cameras.
  • 1950: The New York Times introduces the superior features of Nikon cameras and NIKKOR lenses to the world.
  • 1952: Nikkor Club was established with the help of Ihei Kimura, Ken Domon, Jun Miki, Yusaku Kamekura, Kenji Mizoguchi and Hideko Takamine.
  • 1957: Nikon SP rangefinder camera is marketed.
  • 1959: Nikon’s first lens-interchangeable SLR camera. It incorporated a number of world-first features, such as an exposure meter fully coupled with aperture and the practical application of a motor drive. It established a strong presence as a high-end SLR camera.
  • 1969: Call for entry for the 1st Nikon Photo Contest International (now Nikon Photo Contest).
  • 1971: Nikon Photomic FTN is mounted on Apollo 15. Some modifications were made based on special requests from NASA. Nikon F2 was also marketed in this year which aimed for easier operation, faster shooting and more automation while maintaining “F” compatibility with interchangeable lenses and accessories. The camera featured improved functionality and refined details such as a reliable 1/2000 second high-speed shutter for the professional photographer use, a 2-10 second slow shutter utilizing a self-timer mechanism, a large-size mirror, hinged rear-lid and a more convenient shutter button position.
  • 1980: Nikon F3 SLR camera is marketed. It came with electronically controlled aperture-priority AE. The design by Italian designer Giorgetto Giugiaro created a major impact on subsequent cameras.
  • 1983: Nikon’s first compact camera Nikon L35AF autofocus was marketed. It was nicknamed the “one-touch” in the United States.
  • 1992: Nikonos RS underwater AF SLR camera is marketed. The Nikonos RS enabled autofocus shooting underwater.
  • 1997: Nikon’s first compact digital camera. The COOLPIX 100 could be inserted into a PC card slot to transfer data directly to the computer. Pen-touch operation was possible with the COOLPIX 300.
  • 1999: D1 digital SLR camera is marketed. SLR-type digital camera with interchangeable lens that combines high-speed performance and overall picture quality. Priced with general users in mind, it contributed to the popularity of digital SLR cameras.
  • 2003: New Brand Symbol displaying the light motif for Nikon Group is introduced.
  • 2004: Nikon F6 SLR camera is marketed. Introduced as the preeminent film SLR camera, it combined Nikon F series tradition with advanced features.
  • 2007: Nikon D3 is marketed. The D3 boasts a number of innovative features, such as a high sensitivity of ISO6400 at normal settings and a 51-point autofocus system.
  • 2010: D3S and D3X digital SLR cameras, and NIKKOR lenses are used in the International Space Station (ISS).
  • 2011: Nikon 1 J1 and V1 advanced cameras with interchangeable lenses are marketed.
  • 2012: D4 digital SLR camera is marketed. Reflecting the real needs of photographers in the field, operability and reliability have been pushed to the limits.
  • 2013: Nikon 1 AW1 advanced camera with interchangeable lenses is marketed. The world’s first digital camera with interchangeable lenses that is both waterproof and shockproof.
  • 2015:  Compact Digital Camera COOLPIX P900 is marketed. 83x optical zoom lens offering coverage from 24mm wide-angle to 2000mm telephoto (35mm equivalent). The fast maximum aperture lens, equipped with Super ED (Extra-low Dispersion) lens element offering superior compensation for chromatic aberrations, delivers superior results with vivid images, even when zoomed to extreme levels.
    Nikon Museum is opened which is established for the 100th anniversary of Nikon’s foundation in 2017.
  • 2016: Nikon D5 introduced.
    Achieved a total production of 100 million NIKKOR lenses for interchangeable lens cameras.
    Nikon’s first action cameras KeyMission 360, KeyMission 170, and KeyMission 80 are announced.
  • 2017: Nikon is celebrating it’s 100th Anniversary.


Commemorating Nikon 100th Anniversary, the Nikon Museum opened just a step ahead on October 17, 2015. In addition to showing the milestones of Nikon, the venue will allow visitors to experience Nikon’s legacy and innovation.
Read more about it here: Nikon Museum [Shinagawa Intercity Tower C, 2-15-3, Konan, Minato-ku, Tokyo 108-6290, Japan.] [Google Street View Link]


Nikon organizes two photo contests, the Nikon Photo Contest and Small World.
Commemorating the 100th Anniversary, the Nikon Photo Contest added the “Nikon 100th Anniversary Award” and prepared special prizes for the Small World photo contest. You can find more details here.

Introduction of New Cameras and Photography Gear

Nikon is expected to introduce new cameras and lenses to celebrate its 100th year. We have already covered it here.
Looking to upgrade your lens? Read here : Best lenses to upgrade.

Happy 100th Nikon. Thank You for Everything.

Nikon has also launched a separate webpage located here to commemorate its 100 years of existence.

Check Also

Product Photography Services: 3 Factors Influencing the Provider Service Fee

Last Updated on June 4, 2024 by PixelPluck Product photography services are provided by firms …

One comment

  1. prof premraj pushpakaran

    prof premraj pushpakaran writes — 2017 marks the centennial year of Nikon!!!

Leave a Comment