The Pictorial History of Nikon Starts from here...

1917, July 25

Three of Japan's leading optical manufacturers merged to form a fully integrated optical company known as Nippon Kogaku K.K. with its head office located in Tokyo, Japan.


the name "Nikkor" was first used to identify its lenses.


The first Nikkor for civil use came with a bayonet mount. The camera, Hansa-Canon, has a special bayonet mount (similar to Nikon-S). Nikon designed lenses were used by Canon, that included the Finder-optics ( Rangefinder) and lens mount of Hansa-Canon also made by Nippon Kogaku.

Nikon 1 link to Enlarged view Nikon 1, 1948

Nikon 1, 1948

Nikon 1 top control panel view

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The first Nikon camera featured a focal plane shutter with rangefinder focusing and a smaller picture format of 24mm x 32mm. The first Nikkor for Nikon was a collapsible 50mm/F3.5 designed for this Nikon I. Shutter speed offered only from 1 second to 1/20 sec. & 1/30 sec. to 1/500 sec. with Time and Bulb modes. No flash synchronization. A highly collectible model as the quantity produced were limited (less than a thousand). All were chrome-silver finished except probably a few were made in black-paint. Some protoypes prior to actual production surfaced as well. It has a cloth shutter and most were printed with "Made in Occupied Japan" (MIOJ) at the base section. According to some references, there are ONLY 738 Nikon 1 being produced (early prodcution bear serial numbers in 4 digits (6091-6095); those after first quarter bear 5 digits numbers 60912-60983); the last quarter from six digits serial numbers from 609158 to 609758 in 1949. Reference: Robert Rotoloni

NEW:- MIR's Nikon (Nippon Kogaku KK) Rangefinder Nikkor lens Resources

Nikon M, 1950

Nikon M rangefinder camera  top control panel view

Nikon M, 1950

The second rangefinder focusing camera, while the format has shifted to a slightly larger format of 24mm x 34mm. Has a short run on production. Some Nikon historian stated production was probably began in 1949 but ended in December, 1950. Similar to the Nikon I in appearance (Similar Shutter speed range as well) except the Serial number began with "M XXXXXXX". Early version has no flash synchronization but later version has it and some termed them as Nikon M Synchro. Virtually all standard production units were produced in silver-chrome. Some rare black versions were custom-made made for war photographers. A total of 1,643 cameras have been produced. The first from 08.1949 with serial number from 609759-609991 and changed number to 7 digits that begin from 6091098 in 1950; it ended with 6092401 in 12.1950. Reference: Robert Rotoloni. The rare numbers of both the Nikon 1 and Nikon M make both of these Nikon rangefinder models a difficult to source and incredibly expensive.

Nikon M Tokyo Red Sync Model

Link to Nikon M red Sync Tokyo

Early Nikon M unSync Model
Link to Nikon M un Sync Tokyo

Nikon S, 1951

Nikon S, 1951

Still deployed with an old format of 24mm x 34mm but the the Nikon S was the first to incorporate a built-in flash sync contact via accessory shoe at the top panel. Some features were redesigned to improve handling. The 5cm f/1.4 Nikkor was the standard lense - it was also the world's fastest standard lens with f/1.4 during that period. Launched with the camera were addition of new RF-Nikkor optic, the Nikkor-S.C 8.5cm f/1.5 and W.Nikkor.C 25cm f/4. Early versions were still engraved with "MIOJ" but removed/replaced with "Made in Japan" at later stage (engraved at the film chamber release lever at the base). Popularity of Nikon began to take off as reflected by good sales of the Nikon S. A few variations were produced in black for photo-journalists. The Nikon S has picked up in production numbers, a total of 36,746 Nikon S were being produced.

Manual CoverManual Cover

Instruction Manual for Nikon S |










Nikon S 8 digits Model - identical to normal production model except for its 8-digits serial numbers
Link to Nikon M un Sync Tokyo

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NIkon S with  BCB front view Link   NIkon S with  BCB Rear view Link

| Instruction Manual for Nikon BC-B Flash Unit |
| Nikon BC-5 | Nikon BC-7 | Nikon SB-1 |

* From the Nikon M, the advance step of the film has been modified to adapt with auto film cutter (which cut film every 8 perforation hole).
The format is modified to 34 x 24 simultaneously, but no space was remained to enhance to standard 36 x 24 -
although Nikon claimed the S was the first to adapt to the standard 36 x 24mm format.
While the subsequent model, the
Nikon S2 was a redesigned camera with a true 36 x 24mm format.
* Source:
Nikomat Club, Japan.

Nippon Kogaku / Nikon RF- Nikkor lens Resources:- Main Index Page
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Nikon RF lens group (MAIN INDEX PAGE):-
2.1cm f/4.0 (21mm) | 2.5cm f/4.0 (25mm) | 2.8cm f/3.5 (28mm) | 3.5cm (35mm) lens group | 5cm (50mm) lens group
Micro-Nikkor 50mm f/3.5 | 8.5cm (85mm) lens group | 10.5cm (105mm) lens group | 13.5cm (135mm) lens group
18cm f/2.5 (180mm) | 25cm f/4.0 (250mm) | 35cm f/4.5 (350mm) | 50cm f/5.0 (500mm) | 100cm f/6.3 (external Link)

Fixed Focal length Finders | Variframe / Varifocal / Sports Finders | Reflex Housing | Motor Drive | Close-ups | Nikon RF Flash System
Accessories: Lens caps, Hoods/shades, Cases/Compartments, Filters, Packing/boxes, & Others | Instruction Manuals | Original Price Lists

The Rangefinder || The Nikonos || Compact Cameras
SLRs -
1959/1979 | 1980/1990 | 1991/1999 | y2k/2003 | 2004 ~

Nikkor lenses Link to pages.jpg

The Eyes of Nikon:-
Rangefinder RF-Nikkor lenses:- Main Index Page | Nikon Auto Focus Nikkor lenses:- Main Index Page

Nikon Manual Focus Nikkor lenses:-
Fisheye-Nikkor Lenses - Circular | Full Frame | Ultrawides Lenses - 13mm15mm18mm20mm | Wideangle Lenses - 24mm28mm35mm |
Lenses -
45mm 50mm 58mm | Telephoto Lenses - 85mm105mm135mm180mm & 200mm |
Lenses - 300mm 400mm 500mm 600mm 800mm 1200mm |

Special Application lenses:
Micro-Nikkor Lenses - 50mm~55mm -60mm 85mm -105mm 200mm Micro-Zoom 70-180mm
Perspective Control (PC) - 28mm 35mm PC-Micro 85mm
Dedicated Lenses for Nikon F3AF: AF 80mm f/2.8 | AF 200mm f/3.5 EDIF
Depth of Field Control (DC): 105mm 135mm
Medical Nikkor: 120mm 200mm
Reflex-Nikkor Lenses - 500mm 1000mm 2000mm
Others: Noct Nikkor | OP-Nikkor | UV Nikkor 55mm 105mm | Focusing Units | Bellows-Nikkor 105mm 135mm
Nikon Series E Lenses: 28mm35mm50mm100mm135mm | E-Series Zoom lenses: 36~72mm75~150mm70~210mm

MF Zoom-Nikkor Lenses: 25~50mm | 28~45mm | 28~50mm | 28~85mm | 35~70mm | 36~72mm E | 35~85mm | 35~105mm | 35~135mm |
35~200mm | 43~86mm | 50~135mm | 50~300mm | 70~210mm E | 75~150mm E | 80~200mm | 85~250mm |
100~300mm | 180~600mm | 200~400mm | 200~600mm | 360~1200mm | 1200~1700mm

Tele-Converters: TC-1 | TC-2 | TC-200 | TC-201 | TC-300 | TC-301 | TC-14 | TC-14A | TC-14B | TC-14C | TC-14E | TC-16 | TC-16A | TC-20E


Nikon F
| Nikon F2 | Nikon F3 | Nikon F4 | Nikon F5 | Nikon F6 | Nikkormat / Nikomat |
Nikon FM
| Nikon FE/ FA | Nikon EM/FG/FG20 | Nikon Digital SLRs | Nikon - Other models

MIR Supports for Photographic Community: Various Message Boards/Community Forums
Nikon F-series| Nikon F2-series| Nikon F3-series| Nikon F4-series| Nikon F5-series|Nikkormat/Nikomat-series
Nikon FM-series
|Nikon FE-series|Nikon FA|Nikon Digital SLR series|Various Nikon Models|Nikkor Optic -shared

Others:- Free Trade Zone - Photography| Free Trade Zone - Business Community |Free To Zouk - Photographic Community
Mac Public Community Message Board | Windows based PC & Apple/Mac Public Community Trade Exchange Centre

Recommended links to understand more technical details related to the Nikkor F-mount and production Serial Number: by: my friend, Rick Oleson by: Hansen, Lars Holst

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