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The 75th Anniversary of the Launch of the NIKKOR

The role in the marketing division of the people responsible for lenses

What specifically does the Communications Strategy Section do?

Miyoshi:

In simple terms, we perceive our mission as being to continuously develop the NIKKOR legend. This not only requires product development but also communication with customers regarding Nikon proprietary technologies, such as glass mould aspherical lenses and nano-crystal coating. As we make the most of the legend and tradition of NIKKOR, we are developing advanced technology and are hoping to be able to broaden our appeal into new areas. Our responsibility is to let the customer know that, as well as being a long-established company, Nikon is also a pioneer that never ceases in its quest for ever more advanced technology.

Ms Mizuguchi, you were originally involved in designing lenses. How do you find working in the Marketing Division?

Keiko Mizuguchi describes her passion
for using her lens design experience
to convey the wonders of NIKKOR to
the entire world.

Mizuguchi:

When I worked on lens design, I was always working with the image of NIKKOR in mind. The work involved daily trial and error, in light of the high level of optical performance needed to fulfill Nikon's product quality requirements. Once the design was completed, trial and error commenced on the manufacturing front in an effort to get closer to the lens' intended optical performance. Since I was collaborating with many people in other workplaces to overcome all the difficulties and turn the design into a product, I developed a special feeling toward that product. However, once the development was completed, there was a sense that I could only watch to see how things unfolded, without being able to do anything to influence events. In my current division, the work involves conveying the wonders of our products to the customer. Since I have experienced the effort that goes into product development, I passionately want the customer to understand the merits of the product more deeply-not just its superficial appeal. In the future I want to convey the wonders of the NIKKOR to the world, with full regard for the feelings of those who took part in its development.

Do either of you have a favorite lens? If so, please tell us about it.

Mizuguchi:

The lens that I currently use all the time is the AF-S DX NIKKOR 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR. As this lens can cover an ultra-wide angle with its focal length of 16 mm, I find it invaluable when I want to shoot a group of friends at home. It's easy to use, and since it also copes with vibrations well, it delivers in-focus images without the use of a tripod. It takes beautifully clear pictures indoors, and it can also take fantastic scenic pictures, such as sunsets. It's just a reliable easy-to-use lens. Another lens that I often use is a fish-eye lens, the AF DX Fisheye-Nikkor 10.5mm f/2.8G ED. Since it can focus on objects as little as 3 cm away from the lens, you can get right up close to a subject-be it a plant or a person-and have fun shooting interesting distorted pictures.

Miyoshi:

My favorite is the AF Nikkor 85mm f/1.4D IF. It's an outstanding lens that produces fantastically sharp images of the focused object, yet can also produce very soft focus effects. There is also the AF-S Micro NIKKOR 60mm f/2.8G ED, which was released this year. With its internal focus feature, it focuses quickly and is thus very easy to use.
Although up until now the emphasis with micro-lenses has tended to be on their resolution, this lens can also produce excellent soft focus images, making it equally suited for day-to-day use. As well as using it as a micro-lens, you can also use it as a medium telephoto to take portrait shots. It also boasts nano crystal coating.

Various 75th-anniversary events and activities for spreading the word about the merits of the NIKKOR

What is behind the name and logo changes?

Hideyuki Miyoshi describing the new
package design.

Miyoshi:

As regards the name changes, since the release in 1959 of the very first F-mount lens, the NIKKOR Auto 5cm f/2, lens names had been growing longer as functionality has increased. As a result, lens names have become very long, leading to the inescapable feeling that the name of the brand was being obscured. Hence, starting in August 2007, we switched to a simple naming scheme that is easy to understand. At this time, the name "NIKKOR" (all upper case) was adopted, using the same letters that were registered as a trademark back in 1932, when the NIKKOR brand was established.

Mizuguchi:

Up until now the logos used on the product itself, on the packaging, and on the manuals have all been different, and there has been absolutely no sense of uniformity. Accordingly, we unified the logos to give a sense of integration to the NIKKOR product line. The company's own design section came up with several draft logos, but in the end it was decided that the typeface that appears on the lenses themselves would be used. We feel that standardizing the logo has enabled us to offer the customer peace of mind and to make him or her more familiar with our products.

The new packaging design

Miyoshi:

We have also transformed the packaging. First of all, we incorporated the focal length of the lens onto the packaging as a design element, so that it is immediately apparent-even when the box is seen from afar. This is written in large letters-for example "24-70"-so that in the store a customer can find the desired model at a glance. In addition, the gold-stripe markings that are used to distinguish ultra-high-performance NIKKOR lenses have also been adopted on the packaging for these lenses.

Please describe the specific activities and events to celebrate this 75th anniversary.

Mizuguchi:

Photo Imaging Expo 2008, which was held in March of this year, was the first of several planned events. At Photo Imaging Expo 2008 about 20 historic lenses-such as the Aero NIKKOR, the first NIKKOR lens to be released-were put on display and won critical acclaim. In addition, we are producing a NIKKOR 75th anniversary celebration logo, establishing a NIKKOR 75th anniversary prize at NPCI, Nikon's international photography contest, and having commemorative posters and novelty items manufactured. Various other projects are also scheduled, such as photographic exhibitions and a short animated movie about the NIKKOR brand. I hope that you'll enjoy them.

The NIKKOR 75th anniversary commemorative
badge.

Miyoshi:

A NIKKOR lens website has also been set up (http://www.nikkor.com/) on which world renowned photographers who frequently use NIKKOR lenses discuss what the NIKKOR means to them. The site is also planned to include some of the work of these photographers, as well as video interviews with them. Please visit this site.

Thank you very much for this interview.