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Behind the scenes

In this section, we take you behind the scenes to learn more about the development of Nikon imaging products (e.g. cameras, lenses and Speedlights) and a number of advanced features.

Outstanding reproduction capability of point light sources located at infinity even at the maximum aperture. Exquisitely created bokeh characteristics that depict people and still objects attractively with natural depth. These two contradictory advantages are achieved by the superior rendering capability of the AF-S NIKKOR 58mm f/1.4G, resulting in more creative photographic expression. We talked with the person in charge of its design about the attractive points of this lens that enhance the user’s enjoyment of an interchangeable lens, the basic concept behind its development, as well as his profound empathy for the lens.

With its overwhelming pixel count of 36.3 megapixels, the D800/D800E realize high resolution, fine description of texture and smooth color gradation that are almost equivalent to those of studio-use cameras, including medium-format cameras. Realizing outstandingly high picture quality without sacrificing the mobility and durability that Nikon FX-format digital SLR cameras offer, the D800/D800E will surely develop the future of image expression for both stills and movies. We talked with the technicians in charge of the camera's development about the inside stories and attractive features of the product.

Since the birth of the first COOLPIX camera in 1997, the COOLPIX series has continued to introduce innovative new designs including the swivel design and the wave surface design. We will provide an insight into some of the secrets behind COOLPIX development.

85mm f/3.5G ED VR lens, however, it is possible to capture only the dish of food. Micro lenses enable creative photography that reflects individual intent. Photographs that exceed the imagination are possible. This lens will revolutionize the way in which your photographs communicate your individual creativity.

The COOLPIX S8000 and S6000 will completely satisfy users with their ability to capture the moment with beautiful, sharp images. With a new image processing engine and four advanced image stabilization features that prevent or reduce blur in photos-lens-shift vibration reduction, support for high sensitivities with low noise levels, refined motion detection, a new flash control system-blur and noise are reduced, enabling users to capture the images they intended under circumstances that frequently result in blurred images, such as with super-telephoto shooting, indoor scenes captured under dim lighting, and difficult backlit scenes.

The D5000 is Nikon's first digital SLR camera to use the Vari-angle monitor. Freedom and fun in taking photos has been vastly enhanced with the ability to alter the shooting angle. We talked with personnel in charge of product development and marketing about the qualities of the D5000, which offers the same high resolution and performance of a mid-range digital SLR while being simple to use.

A new Nikon COOLPIX compact digital camera is the first digital camera in the world to feature a built-in miniature projector. This innovative camera represents the advent of a new type of video tool for viewing and sharing photo images via a compact, lightweight camera body. From their individual viewpoints, the project manager and personnel in charge of engineering and the GUI talk about the development of this particular product.

The D700 inherits the overwhelming picture quality performance of Nikon's flagship FX-format D3. With its high sensitivity of ISO 6400, high-density 51-point AF, and scene recognition system as well as a host of other D3 features, the D700 offers top class performance at a more affordable price and easier-to-handle size, and thus heralds a new age in the evolution of digital cameras. We met with the people in charge of the D700's development and talked about the concepts and inside stories behind the advent of this remarkable new camera.

The aspherical lens has a curved surface that is not spherical and has the ability to correct aberrations. One type of aspherical lens that is particularly superior from the aspect of practical use and performance is the molded-glass aspherical lens, or the Precision Glass Mold (PGM) aspherical lens, as it is known at Nikon. In this Behind the Scenes story we talk with three engineers from the viewpoints of design, development, and manufacturing about the Nikon technologies that have made it possible to produce high-precision wide-aperture aspherical lenses.

In a digital camera, the light from the subject that comes in through the lens is captured using an image sensor and converted into electronic signals, which are recorded on a memory card.
Nikon's originally developed large image sensor, the FX-format CMOS sensor, as used by the D3 digital single-lens reflex camera, yields a hitherto unseen level of image quality in the form of rich gradation expressions and high-definition images. The man responsible for its development introduces the appeal of this new technology and some unknown facts behind its creation.

Nikon Photo Contest International (NPCI), which is designed to provide an arena for interchange among photography enthusiasts from all over the world (professional and amateur alike) and to contribute to the culture of photography, is about to start. We talked with two people from the marketing division who are in charge of this international contest—now being held for the 32nd time—about its history and appeal, and about Nikon's ambitions in organizing it.

The lens—indispensable to the camera. This year sees the 75th anniversary of NIKKOR, the world class Japanese brand of lenses. We talked with two members of the marketing division about how the NIKKOR lens has miraculously kept pace with Nikon cameras, the secret of how these lenses have survived for so long, the celebratory events that are taking place, and their passion for the NIKKOR.

The flagship model in Nikon's DX format range, the D300 digital single lens reflex camera, was launched in November of 2007. The Multi-Power Battery Pack MB-D10 is a device that unobtrusively facilitates this camera's outstanding portability. This revolutionary battery pack combines sleek design, functionality, and usability. We discussed its appeal with the people in charge of its design, mechanics and electronics.

Ghost and flare: Phenomena that occur due to reflection inside a lens barrel or camera. In the past it had been thought that it was impossible to eliminate the type of ghosts and flare that are caused by strong light entering the lens diagonally—even using various types of lens coating. Here we mark the arrival of the Nano Crystal Coat (as used on the AF-S NIKKOR 14–24mm f/2.8G ED, the first ever ultra wideangle lens)—a truly revolutionary technology that has greatly alleviated these problems—and focus on the men who developed it.

Before shooting a scene, a professional photographer adjusts focus, exposure and white balance based on his or her experience. Nikon’s Scene Recognition System represents a completely new concept whereby the camera makes this series of judgments as if it were the photographer’s brain. We would like to share with you some of the views of the developer of the Scene Recognition System, which has been introduced in the Nikon D3 and D300 digital SLR cameras.

Nikon Close-up Speedlight Commander Kit R1C1 consists of the Wireless Speedlight Commander SU-800, two Wireless Remote Speedlight SB-R200s, and a variety of accessories to help users enjoy professional quality close-up flash photography. We spoke with two people involved with the development of these products.

Judging from its favorable reception in the marketplace, the COOLPIX S-Series is the shape of sophisticated style to come in compact digital cameras. We invited an industrial designer who has been instrumental to the development of the COOLPIX S-Series to provide insight into the visual and market appeal of these slim cameras including the Wave Surface Design.

As the performance of digital cameras advances, vibration reduction (VR) is becoming an increasingly key technology. Nikon has been gaining a high reputation in the market over many years since the company was the first to release a 35mm compact camera incorporating unique VR technology in 1994. Nikon's secret of high performance and reliability is examined in an interview with an engineer who has been involved with developing VR technology.

Taking a proud legacy of photo editing software to a higher level, Nikon has launched “Capture NX” as a successor to its earlier, universally acclaimed “Nikon Capture 4.” Here, the designer who developed “Capture NX” with an eye toward functional innovations and powerful enhancements reveals the inside story of the new software and how it takes state-of-the-art digital photo editing a quantum leap ahead.

Control of light is critical to heightening photography's expressive power. Nikon's light metering technologies are valued for their superior precision throughout the spectrum of lighting conditions. An engineer who has been developing these innovations for years offers insight into these technologies.

Established in 1939, PMDA is an American organization comprised of camera manufacturers and distributors that plays a central role in promoting imaging and charting the future of the photographic industry. PMDA annually awards outstanding individuals and services in the photographic industry.  We spoke with Mr. Naoki Tomino, Vice President, Imaging Company, Nikon Corporation, and recipient of the 2006 Technical Achievement Award.

As digital cameras continue to evolve rapidly a key player in the development of digital imaging technology, since the beginning of the digital imaging age and the launch of the Nikon D1 digital-SLR camera, discusses the enormous advances achieved from a developer's standpoint.

The Wireless Transmitter WT-2 makes it possible to transmit at high speed image data taken by a digital SLR camera through wireless LAN. The man in charge of marketing it has a unique perspective of the product as a new kind of accessory to expand the possibilities of digital photography.

The new Nikon digital camera flagship model on the market delivers superior high-resolution images, thanks to a newly-developed image processing engine with unprecedented capability for reproducing color. Here, the designer who helped create this processing engine proudly assesses the final result.

2004 marks the arrival of the long-awaited Nikon F6 - a new flagship model embodying all of the qualities that photography enthusiasts could desire in the ultimate film SLR camera. Here is the inside story behind the development of the F6.

The D1H made its debut in 2001. The D2H digital SLR for professional use was launched last November. We spoke to a designer who devoted his career at Nikon to developing this camera's innovative AF system.

In July 2003, Nikon introduced LBCAST- a completely new type of image sensor, different from CCD and CMOS, that is a high-speed, power-efficient, low-noise device to be installed in Nikon's flagship camera, the D2H. Here is the inside story behind the creation of this innovation, from those who conceived and developed it.

Mr. Katsuyuki Inomata is an engineer at Sendai Nikon Corporation, a major producer of Nikon flagship SLR cameras including the F5 and D1-series. He spoke to us about what it takes to manufacture such highly advanced cameras.

Among lenses of the new DX Nikkor series specially designed for Nikon digital SLR cameras, the first is small and light, with ultra-wideangle zoom capability. Here, the optical designer behind its development reveals the inside story.

Almost immediately following the release of the cameras, we spoke with YAMADA, Yukako, the marketing staff for the two new digital compact cameras. She explained the key features of the cameras, and also shared some behind-the-scenes stories about their development.

A brand new telephoto zoom lens featuring an internal Silent Wave Motor (SWM), extremely fast and extremely quiet autofocus operation, and the VR (Vibration Reduction) function to compensate for camera shake. We spoke with a member of the development team about this new lens.

The Nikon SB-80DX Speedlight, released in Feb., 2002, is a high-performance, highly functional flash unit designed for use with Nikon's advanced film-type SLRs as well as D1-series and D100 digital SLRs. In this issue, we take you behind the scenes to learn more about the development of the SB-80DX and some of its more advanced features.

The D100 digital SLR camera, released in Jun., 2002, offers a compact, lightweight body with ergonomic operability and high image quality. Here, the people who developed the D100 talk about its origins and other behind-the-scenes stories.