Corporate History

  1. 1917–
  2. 1980–
  3. 2000–
  4. 2010–

1980–

1980
Nikon F3 SLR camera is marketed

Introduced as the preeminent SLR camera with electronically controlled aperture-priority AE. The design by Italian designer Giugiaro had a major impact on subsequent cameras.

1980
Kurobane Kogaku K.K. (corporate name changed to Kurobane Nikon Co., Ltd. in 1988, merged with Tochigi Nikon Corporation in 2017) is acquired

1980
NSR-1010G Step-and-Repeat System (stepper) for manufacturing VLSIs is marketed

The first domestically manufactured commercial stepper. As a next-generation ultra-LSI production device, it achieved a high level of integration, throughput and yield.

1981
Nikon Americas Inc. is established in the U.S.

1981
TITEX titanium ophthalmic frame is marketed

The world's first titanium frames. Stronger than conventional nickel alloy frames and some 50% lighter.

1981
Acquires Ehrenreich Photo-Optical Industries, Inc. and renames it Nikon Inc.

Nikon's U.S. distributor EPOI was made a wholly owned subsidiary in order to fortify sales in the U.S. market.

1981
Nikon Fieldscope is marketed

1981
Zao Nikon Co., Ltd. (now Miyagi Nikon Precision Co., Ltd.) is established

1982
OPTISTATION IC wafer inspection system is marketed

Used for visual inspection in the etch and lithography process of semiconductor manufacturing. It contributed to the stabilization of the production line and improved yields.

1982
Nikon Precision Inc. is established in the U.S.

Established as a sales subsidiary in San Bruno, California to expand sales and services. Exports of IC steppers and scanners to the United States started the same year.

1983
Nikon L35AF autofocus compact camera is marketed

Nikon's first compact camera. It was nicknamed the "one-touch" in the United States.

1984
NT-1000 35mm film direct telephoto transmitter is marketed

The world's first 35mm film direct transmitter. It was co-developed with Kyodo News.

1984
Kumagaya Plant is built

Technologies for optics, precision processing, electronics and materials were combined to create a core production plant for advanced technology products in order to meet growing demand for IC steppers and scanners.

1985
Total Station DTM-1 surveying instrument is marketed

The first Nikon Total Station and the first fully digitized Nikon surveying instruments.

1986
Nikon Hong Kong Ltd. is established in Hong Kong

Representative offices for camera sales in Hong Kong and Singapore were combined to create a base for Nikon's photographic products sales strategy in Southeast Asia. The photo shows Admiralty Centre Tower 2, where the office is located.

1986
Nikon Systems Inc. is established

1986
TRISTATION 600 and 600M three-dimensional coordinate measuring machines are marketed

The first three-dimensional coordinate measuring machine designed by Nikon and the first such machine in Japan to achieve spatial measurement accuracy within five micrometers.

1986
Nikon F-501 autofocus SLR camera is marketed

The first Nikon SLR camera with autofocus operated from the camera body.

1986
Nikon France S.A. (now Nikon France S.A.S.) is established in France

At the time, France had restrictions on foreign capital investment. The move laid the foundations for a sales organization in France.

1986
NSR-L7501G large substrate exposure system is marketed

Nikon's first LCD steppers and scanners. The launch was quick to meet the increasing demand for liquid crystal display products.

1987
Nikon Tec Corporation is established

1988
NSR-1505EX excimer stepper is marketed

1988
Nikon Photo Products Inc. (now Nikon Imaging Japan Inc.) is established

1988
Corporate name is changed to Nikon Corporation

 

Both the Nikon logotype and logo design format were established at the same time.

1988
Nikon Precision Europe GmbH is established in West Germany (now Germany)

Nikon GmbH's semiconductor equipment division was established to fortify sales activities associated with semiconductor market expansion.

1990
Nikon Precision Korea Ltd. is established in Korea

Established in Seoul to fortify stepper customer support in Korea. The photo shows Daesan building, where the office is located.

1990
Nikon (Thailand) Co., Ltd. is established in Thailand

Established as Nikon's first full-scale overseas production base for camera-related products.

1991
Mito Plant is built

Established as a base for production and technology development, mainly for high-precision machining businesses.

1991
Nikon Kft. is established in Hungary

1992
Nikon Instech Co., Ltd. is established

1992
Nikon Geotecs Co., Ltd. (dissolved in 2003, business transferred to Nikon-Trimble Co., Ltd.) starts operations

1992
Nikon Optical Co., Ltd. (dissolved in 2000, business transferred to Nikon Eyewear Co., Ltd. and Nikon-Essilor Co., Ltd.) starts operations

1993
Nikon Life Co., Ltd., Nikon Logistics Corporation and Nikon Technologies, Inc., (merged to form Nikon Business Service Co., Ltd. in 2007) are established

1993
Nikon Instruments S.p.A. is established in Italy

1993
Presio FX and DX progressive addition lenses are marketed

1994
Nikon s.r.o. is established in the Czech Rep.

1995
NEXIV series CNC video measuring system is marketed

Non-contact high-precision measurement was made possible by image processing technology. The confocal-type microscope enabled measurement of two-dimensional field and height in the same field of view.

1995
E2 and E2s digital still cameras are marketed

Developed with Fuji Photo Film Co., Ltd. (now FUJIFILM Corp.), these SLR-type digital cameras are equipped with the unique Reduction Optics System and are compatible with major F-mount lenses.

1995
NSR-S201A lens-scanning KrF excimer stepper is marketed

The world's first lens scanning type KrF excimer stepper (KrF scanner) corresponding to design rules of less than 0.25 micrometers.

1995
Nikon Singapore Pte Ltd is established in Singapore

1995
Nikon Precision Taiwan Ltd. is established in Taiwan

1995
Nikon Svenska AB (now Nikon Nordic AB) is established in Sweden

1996
Nikon Research Corporation of America is established in the U.S.

1996
Nikon Fieldmicroscope is marketed

A portable stereoscopic microscope that allows "as is" observation.

1996
ECLIPSE E800 biological microscope for research is marketed

The optical system of the infinity optics (CFI60) system was revamped to make the parfocal distance of the objective lens 60 mm.

1997
Guang Dong Nikon Camera Co., Ltd. is established in China

1997
COOLPIX 100 and 300 digital cameras are marketed

Nikon's first compact digital camera.
"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".

COOLPIX 100 compact digital camera

1999
Total Station GF-212 and 215C surveying instruments are marketed

Features a non-prism measuring function that enables measurement without a reflective prism by using a laser beam.

1999
Nanjing Nikon Jiangnan Optical Instrument Co., Ltd. is established in China

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.

1999
Hang Zhou Nikon Camera Co., Ltd. is established in China

1999
In-house company system is inaugurated

1999
Surveying instruments operations are reorganized into an independent company