Worldwide Recognition of Japanese Products
NIKKOR's Pivotal Encounter with David Douglas Duncan
Mr. Duncan immediately decided to purchase NIKKOR lenses at the Ohi Plant.
The following day, Mr. Miki visited the Ohi Plant of Nippon Kogaku K.K. (the current Nikon Corporation) along with Mr. Duncan and Horace Bristol from FORTUNE magazine. While there, they compared NIKKOR lenses with those made by Leitz, and Zeiss lenses, which were carried by Mr. Duncan and Mr. Bristol at that time, by using a projection inspection instrument. Directly after they realized the outstanding performance of NIKKOR lenses, they purchased them for their Leica cameras on the spot.
When the Korean War broke out on June 25, 1950, Mr. Duncan traveled to the battlefront carrying two Leica cameras equipped with Nikkor 50mm F1.5 and 135mm F4 lenses.
Looking at his magnificent photographs, TIME's LIFE magazine HQ was asking, "What kind of equipment do you use?" and "Which lenses do you use?" So Mr. Duncan informed them "It was a NIKKOR".
From that time, American photographers started purchasing NIKKOR lenses and Nikon cameras. Nippon Kogaku provided free 24-hour cleaning of the cameras belonging to photographers returning from the front lines to the Tokyo Press Club, regardless of the brand of camera.
"Made in Japan", became a synonym for world-class quality.
When shooting in the northern part of the Korean Peninsula in the midst of a severe winter, Nikon cameras continued to function reliably, even in cases when all other brands of cameras malfunctioned due to the extremely low temperatures. The images vividly showing various aspects of the brutal war were displayed for the whole world to see in the pages of LIFE magazine. The images captured by Mr. Duncan and others using NIKKOR lenses were awarded U.S. Camera Achievement Award in 1950.
On December 10, 1950, The New York Times reported Nikon's excellence with the headline "Japanese camera". This drew the world's attention to Nikon and NIKKOR, which completely changed the image of products that were made in Japan.
The photojournalist who captured the world with his unforgettable pictures taken with Nikon cameras and NIKKOR lenses.
David Douglas Duncan
A distinguished American photojournalist.
He extensively covered the Pacific War, Korean War and the Vietnam conflict as an American combat photographer. His works have been published in The New York Times, LIFE magazine, and numerous other publications. Outside war journalism, he is also known for his portraits of Pablo Picasso.
This movie was recorded in 2012 when Mr. Duncan was 97 years old, as a part of Nikon 100th anniversary projects.