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  • Nikon | Imaging Products | Best of the Rest / Nikon Family Cousins, Part 10 : "Nikon FE"
    faster response and good characteristics but the output current is much smaller A slight imperfection in the circuit insulation and the current can leak away preventing accurate light metering Very special care had to be taken therefore in assembling the circuit to make sure that the connection between the photo sensor and the control chip s input terminals was properly insulated and protected from influence of external noise To prevent leakage currents and protect from influence of noise we wanted to make the connection from the photo sensor to the control chip as short as possible and seal it within the circuit board Well we thought In that case why not put the photo sensor inside the control chip package Meanwhile there had always been two 2 photo sensors one on each side of the viewfinder eyepiece but we had a plan to replace these by one element above the eyepiece The integrated circuit package mentioned above was an experimental result of this plan The boomerang shaped package was arranged on the eyepiece side of the viewfinder pentaprism extending to the side from over the eyepiece lens The leads from the photo sensor entered two 2 holes arranged vertically on the top of the package and were soldered The integrated circuit chip was enclosed in the hollow underneath with a metal covering seal The package had a multilayer construction with internal interconnects between the photodetector and integrated circuit chip and then the terminals of the chip were connected from the back of the package to the flexible printed circuit FPC If implemented this would have been a revolutionary design Back to top Ambushed the two 2 photo sensors were soldered to extensions of the FPC Unfortunately an unexpected trap brought this plan to an abrupt halt For various other reasons the plan to have a single photo sensor on the eyepiece was abandoned and the design suddenly reverted to the original arrangement with two sensors So the boomerang plan was dropped Now the two 2 photo sensors were soldered to extensions of the flexible printed circuit extending over the eyepiece lens and the signals taken to a chip mounted on the pentaprism Of course great care was taken to prevent current leakage and the interconnects were shielded by a protective covering Nikon F3 FPC in the F3 The boomerang plan was abandoned but the idea of attaching a photo sensor directly to the integrated circuit package was carried forward with great success to the Nikon F3 See photo which went on sale in 1980 The SPD photodetector element in the bottom of the body is directly attached to the integrated circuit package which includes the light metering circuit With the latest advances the SPD photodetector chip now usually includes a preamplifier for light metering Back to top Remove the leads from the electronic components The FE was an adventurous model in terms of its electric mounting It introduced the electronic shutter to the single lens reflex design and with TTL

    Original URL path: http://chsvimg.nikon.com/history/chronicle/cousins10-e/index.htm (2016-02-17)
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  • Nikon | Imaging Products | Best of the Rest / Nikon Family Cousins, Part 11 : "Nikon EM"
    winding spool and the sprocket See fig on the left This however provided insufficient space for the winding lever reserve joint so a special mid folding winding lever was devised A unique feature of this winding mechanism is that it can wind bit by bit even though it is a square type focal plane shutter camera With conventional square type shutters a big lever on the camera bottom moves sideways and the shutter and mirror mechanism are charged by repetitive sideways movement This lever is directly connected to the winding axle with a crank so the winding lever axle also needs to be moved repetitively making fractional winding impossible However in the EM the rotation of film winding axle is done by the cam and roller s repetitive straight movement making winding fractional About the reason why the EM incorporated this mechanism at great risk of making the entire mechanism complicated which even the upper class Nikon FM and FE 1978 see part 10 models did not feature the designer in charge of this mechanism at that time flatly said I don t like cameras that cannot wind fractionally Evidently those were good old days when designer s personal liking might be reflected upon the product in a good way Back to top Making good use of plastics Developing the EM greatly improved the company s production capabilities including better use of plastics for exterior parts The Nikon FM and FE had used engineering plastics on the apron and name plate With the EM the top and bottom cover were also made of plastic thereby reducing the cost and complication of making these parts However the use of plastic should not cause a reduction in quality Therefore an EP Technology Dept was formed to develop plastic usage by studying the characteristics of the material up to final product stage a concern that continues in developing Nikon cameras Back to top Mystery at the time of release in Japan Nippon Nikon EM at first was targeted at overseas markets especially the United States Thus the camera was first announced at Chicago s PMA exposition in March 1979 not at Japan Nippon Camera Show held right before the Chicago expo Competitors including Canon and Olympus had also released AE general use cameras like the Canon AV 1 and Olympus OM10 at around the same time first overseas then in Japan immediately afterwards However the EM was not released in Japan until March 1980 Editors of the Asahi Camera magazine feature New Face Diagnostics the quintessential camera magazine testing reference couldn t wait They purchased the camera in the U S and wrote it up starting on page 315 of the October 1979 issue The article Will the mysterious EM be sold or not sold in Japan asked Will it ever be sold in Japan The camera that s keeping all camera fans in suspense Nikon EM a real tempting 35mm 135 format EE SLR camera Obviously the editors were anxious But the

    Original URL path: http://chsvimg.nikon.com/history/chronicle/cousins11-e/index.htm (2016-02-17)
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  • Nikon | Imaging Products | Best of the Rest / Nikon Family Cousins, Part 12 : "Nikon FG / FG20"
    lens was it This naming is used only in Japan Nippon By the way in Japan among AI Nikkor lenses AI S type lenses are distinguished from others in that the smallest stop i e the largest numeral both in the aperture ring and the view finder indication is colored orange Back to top AI S Nikkor lens and Nikon Series E lens Mount of AI S lens This naming is used only in Japan In the AI S lens a lot of new functions are included along with the movement of the coupling lever modified to proportionate approximately to the number of steps of stop down they are the full open aperture value of the lens the information on focal length and the discriminating information from conventional lenses It was early spring of 1980 when AI S Nikkor lenses were put on the market but the fact is that the same mechanism was incorporated in another lens series Nikon FG 1981 and Nikon Series E lenses which were release in overseas markets in 1979 Yes Nikon Series E lenses see photograph were they which were put on sale at the same time as the Nikon EM See part 11 As soon as they were announced at the PMA convention in the spring of 1979 quick sighted people noticed the difference between them and the AI lenses and it was talked about here and there What is this boss on the protection ring of the rear of the lens What is this cave in the mount As Nippon Kogaku K K didn t give any particular comments and kept silent many guesses appeared in articles of camera magazines Looking them back now most guesses were right but there seemed to be no one who investigated the relation between the aperture stop and the movement of the automatic aperture coupling lever Anyway the preparation for the automatic aperture stop control had already been stepped silently three years before the release of the Nikon FG Back to top Instant stop down metering On the other hand the development of the mechanism of aperture stop control was set about at the same period As for the method of stop control so called instant stop down metering was adopted It was due to 1 this method was suitable for the purpose of controlling the stop with high accuracy even in a small stroke of the automatic aperture stop coupling lever and 2 the intention for controlling non AI S type lenses to a certain extent As a matter of fact it has an advantage of getting an accurate exposure since it is made to control the shutter speed based on the metered value by metering again after controlling the aperture stop At the beginning the development of the aperture stop control started based on the mechanism of the Nikon EM see part 11 that was in 1978 Later the project to incorporate the stop control into the Nikon FE type mechanism and both developments

    Original URL path: http://chsvimg.nikon.com/history/chronicle/cousins12-e/index.htm (2016-02-17)
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  • Nikon | Imaging Products | Best of the Rest / Nikon Family Cousins, Part 13 : "Nikon FM2"
    It is a chemical etching method to etch a certain part of a thin titanium plate thinner in a honeycomb pattern Shutter Unit The circumstances of that affair was covered in detail in the 35mm Single Lens Reflex Camera Series No 11 All about newest Nikons a separate volume of Modern Camera Series issued by Asahi Sonorama in November 1984 in Japanese only By the way honeycomb pattern is a hexagonal shape which brings up the image of beehive honeycomb It is considered to have an advantage of extra strength A sequel to the story COPAL CO LTD present NIDEK COPAL CORPORATION which cooperated with us in that project has kept studying the caulking of the aluminum alloy which was given up at the early stage of the development and succeeded to develop a special caulking technology Therefore in later days 1 4000 sec shutter speed was attained even with the aluminum alloy shutter blade Back to top The first prototype was an electronically controlled shutter In this high speed shutter project the object to which model the shutter is to be incorporated was not fixed It was agreed that the model would be discussed when the development would have been completed In order to attain 1 250 sec sync speed the vertical length of the frame might be cut to for instance 20mm instead of the regular 24mm then the product might not be for general users In that case it was obliged to be a special product for the limited users such as press photographers The first lot prototypes were incorporated in the Nikon FE bodies Namely the shutter was an electronically controlled unit As the aim originally was to speed up X sync speed than to advance the maximum speed itself the maximum speed of the first lot prototypes was 1 1000 sec same as that of the FE photo left First lot prototype carrying the high speed shutter Second lot prototype Having acquired an outlook to some extent by this experience about 30 pieces of the second lot prototype were made They were also electronically controlled shutter units and again incorporated into the FE bodies However the top speed was advanced to 1 2000 sec photo right Back to top Nikon FM2 This ready light inside the viewfinder to indicate that the Nikon Speedlight is fully charged It was just by chance that the FM2 was destined to be the model into which the high speed shutter which became realistic backed by the production technology was incorporated Around that time the renewal plan for the FM released in 1977 to incorporate new functions adopted in the Nikon FE which was released in 1978 was on the way They were to make finder screens be interchanged through the lens mount opening to put a ready light inside the viewfinder to indicate that the dedicated speedlight unit is fully charged to simplify the complicated power switch as a timer switch by pressing the shutter release button half way

    Original URL path: http://chsvimg.nikon.com/history/chronicle/cousins13-e/index.htm (2016-02-17)
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  • Nikon | Imaging Products | Best of the Rest / Nikon Family Cousins, Part 14 : "Nikon FA" and "Nikon FE2"
    which more optimum exposure can be got with comparing the frames considered as optimum exposure selected from thousands of rolls of film taken that way with the graphic output from the 24 SPD s Having repeated the test and study of the result they learned that 1 it would be good to use the level of the brightness of the subject for parameters of exposure calculation 2 segments of the frame into five areas would be satisfactory for practical use As a next step they actually made SPD prototypes capable of metering with 5 segmented image plane and tested them which were incorporated into the FE body Further they took pictures of variety of scenes as far as they can imagine and repeated the brush up of the algorithm by analyzing the results of them As a matter of course staff members went to many spots of the world to collect the data of other than Japan that is located in the mild temperate zone Before the world first Matrix metering was completed and incorporated into Nikon FA which was released in September 1983 six years and the efforts of many people involved in the project were required Back to top Nikon FA was to be Nikon FE2 at the beginning Nikon FA was planned to incorporate Matrix metering and Multi mode AE into the FE body Regarding Multi mode AE Programmed AE P mode with instant stop down metering which was already carried out with Nikon FG 1982 refer to Part 12 was adopted and further Shutter priority AE mode S was added And the high speed shutter with the top speed of 1 4 000 sec realized in Nikon FM2 1982 refer to Part 13 was incorporated with a modification to the electronic control type with faster flash synch speed of 1 250 sec However in order to add these new functions some other things were obliged to compromise Especially AE lock seemed to be a complicated one due to the adoption of the instant stop down metering so they decided to omit it as Matrix metering was introduced Further with the stop down metering due to the limit of metering capacity the speed control of the slow shutter was restricted In relation to this manual shutter speeds exceeding 1 sec were omitted Six months before the release of Nikon FA Nikon FE2 was released The succeeding model of the FE turned out to be the FE2 but the original plan was that the later FA was to be FE2 the succeeding model of the FE The succeeding model of the FE was naturally to be equipped with 1 4 000 sec shutter and TTL flash control of the dedicated Speedlight but as it was further piled up with new functions like Multi mode AE its cost went up and became not paying with the former price range of the FE In addition above mentioned compromises of specifications were obliged to make its characteristics deviated from the succeeding

    Original URL path: http://chsvimg.nikon.com/history/chronicle/cousins14-e/index.htm (2016-02-17)
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  • Nikon | Imaging Products | Best of the Rest / Nikon Family Cousins, Part 15 : "Nikon F-501" and "Nikon F-301"
    of the market was also going to that direction The question was if the auto focus was also to be built into or not Nippon Kogaku turned out to release Nikon F3AF in 1983 which was an auto focus SLR model practically serviceable anyhow but as mentioned before the value of an auto focus for SLR was in question and the feasibility for actual business was unforeseen around that time After all the development was proceeded in the following dual ways 1 a manual focus model with built in auto winding and 2 an auto focus model with built in auto winding It was in 1982 when MINOLTA Alpha 7000 which was destined to decide the direction of later AF SLR was not yet announced Back to top Road to auto focus For developing auto focus SLR camera it was a major question which method is to be chosen Regarding the focus detection method the TTL phase difference shift detecting method was chosen since it was clearly better than the contrast detection method Remaining question was which of the following two would have a motor for driving the lens 1 interchangeable lens or 2 camera body At the beginning it was studied to adopt the system of Nikon F3AF with AI AF Nikkor 80mm f 2 8 and AI AF Nikkor 200mm f 3 5 IF ED which equipped the motor inside the lens barrel but it was abandoned because it would make the size of the interchangeable lens larger and cause the cost increase And the method with which the motor was equipped in the camera body and the driving force being conveyed to the lens via the coupling AF coupling coupling means a connecting device was adopted Later the motor in the lens system was released by a few makers and an advantage of optimum driving device can be incorporated into each lens was exaggerated but it would depend on the type of the lens With the super telephoto lens the motor in the lens system is certainly better for its efficiency but with the wideangle lens and the normal zoom lens the motor in the body system is favorable due to its size and cost price from customers side The AF system of the present Nikon though depending on the model is able to cope with the both of them and it proves the goodness of the choice at that time If the motor in the lens system were chosen at that time it would have never been possible to take in the advantage of the motor in the body system as well Back to top Exchange of information by CPU communication Realization of AF naturally accompanies the change of interchangeable lens system It is natural to equip the AF coupling to convey the rotation of the driving axle of focusing to the lens since it is driven by the camera body other information items regarding AF as well must be communicated between the camera body and

    Original URL path: http://chsvimg.nikon.com/history/chronicle/cousins15-e/index.htm (2016-02-17)
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  • Nikon | Imaging Products | Best of the Rest / Nikon Family Cousins, Part 16 : "Nikon QV-1000C"
    and transmits the reversed image The development of the negative film alone can be made with a simple dark bag and a tank Easier developing kit can also be used A large scale dark room is not required and the labor and time can be saved This method is later succeeded by Nikon 35 mm Color Film Scanner Direct Transmitter NT 2000 released in 1988 which coped with the color image and Nikon 35 mm Film Direct Transmitter NT 3000 released in 1992 which realized the down sizing and the light weight by introducing digital technology And these various technologies developed were to be succeeded in the series of Nikon Film Scanner LS 3500 LS 3510AF and Nikon COOLSCAN series the embodiment of the concept of film scanner for personal use which never existed before but it is another story To speed up the photo image transmission further film development will hopefully be omitted what appeared then was a still video camera an analog electronic camera Back to top Still Video Camera and the news photo In 1981 the MAVICA was released by Sony Corporation and later when this system was standardized for still video camera it attracted the attention of the press As what the electronic camera records is the electric signal if it can be transmitted via a telephone line the labor and time for film development can be saved The time between taking a photo and sending it to the headquarters can be drastically shorten Immediately at the Los Angeles Olympics in 1984 scenes of the games were taken by digital still cameras and they were transmitted But there was a big problem poor image quality As the still video camera records a frame of the TV image which is the motion picture as a still image the image quality is originally not quite satisfactory for a still image The dot density number of dots per inch of the print of photos on the newspaper page is rather coarse compared with the photo print of ordinary magazines and books but when the picture was printed the image quality was too poor to be practically used Nippon Kogaku has long been aware of this problem and due to that reason it has been hesitating to develop a still video camera But newspapers and press agencies which have close contact with Nippon Kogaku urged it develop a still video camera as quickly as possible Can a still video camera practically usable somehow be developed at any means The solution to this problem was an electronic camera exclusively for monochrome use after studying in various ways Back to top Still Video Camera exclusively for monochrome The standard for the still video camera is originally for recording color image but the color problem is an important factor regarding the image quality Poor quality in color rendition badly affects the entire image quality In other words if out of limited signals those for R Red G Green B Blue color signals would

    Original URL path: http://chsvimg.nikon.com/history/chronicle/cousins16-e/index.htm (2016-02-17)
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  • Nikon | Imaging Products | Best of the Rest / Nikon Family Cousins, Part 17 :"NIKONOS (I) / -II / III"
    business expansion it may have been attractive to go into the field of underwater photography Moreover I think that the unique mechanism of this camera Calypso has captivated the mind of technical staff of Nippon Kogaku Surely Calypso has many surprisingly excellent ideas in everywhere of its mechanism which would never occur to an ordinary camera designer One of them was the shutter for example It was a vertical travel metal focal plane shutter and this Calypso adopted plain and clean cut method which guides two metal blades of the front curtain and the rear curtain by two lods and drives them by compression coil springs at the time when the Copal Web Magazine see Part 3 divided the blades into 2 of front curtain and 3 of rear curtain in order to keep the height of the camera low and was puzzling about the driving method of blade which used the link mechanism And another example the mechanism that a single lever works for shutter charge film advance and shutter release was also a unique one which would never be thought of from an orthodox camera designing technique though it had the intention of using as few moving parts as possible in order to prevent the water from entering Back to top Mr WOUTERS When these unique mechanism of Calypso are described a man who always makes an appearance is a Monsieur WOUTERS When I joined Nippon Kogaku and was attached to Camera Designing Dept I had often heard of this Mr WOUTERS but at first I thought this Mr UTA WOUTERS sounds like this to the ear of a Japanese might be a nickname of a Mr UTADA or a Mr UTAGAWA But he was the man who designed the Calypso at LA SPIROTECHNIQUE and originated a number of unique mechanisms He is of course neither UTADA nor UTAGAWA but Jean de WOUTERS a French born in Belgium and as a matter of course was involved in the production from the beginning when Nippon Kogaku manufactured NIKONOS and was stationed in Japan from March 1964 that was the next year of the release of NIKONOS I to May 1965 and was engaged in the development of the next model of NIKONOS in collaboration with the design staff of Nippon Kogaku I ve heard that he seemed to be a person of noble birth and his official name was very long Jean Guy Marie Joseph de WOUTERS d Oplinter He was proud but at the same time amiable one and left a number of episodes Nippon Kogaku consigned a room to his use on the 4th floor of the old building at Ohi Plant That had been a long and narrow building called The Leaning Tower of Pisa but was broken down and does not exist now In July 1964 there was a big earthquake in Niigata About 300 km to the north from Tokyo and quite a shock was felt even in remote Tokyo It is said that

    Original URL path: http://chsvimg.nikon.com/history/chronicle/cousins17-e/index.htm (2016-02-17)
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