out of the blue

Nikon S ad May, 1951 – when Nikon was first imported into USA

Toronto. Journalists reporting battles in the Korean War came across a very high quality, professional camera made in Japan. A well known maker of microscopes in Japan, Nippon Kogaku, expanded into cameras post war and were selling them under the Nikon name.

The journalists were so pleased that in 1951, the Nikon S was imported by the USA as shown in the ad (click the camera icon at left).  A few years later, the iconic Nikon F SLR was manufactured in Japan and imported into North America.

You can learn more about Nikon rangefinder cameras in the Hove Foto Book (1981), “Nikon Rangefinder Camera”, by Robert Rotoloni. You can also go to his web site, “Nikon Historical Society“,  or his new Facebook page for the NHS.

My thanks to good friend George Dunbar for sharing this pivotal ad on the first Nikon rangefinder model to be imported to North America. The ad is from the May, 1951 issue of Popular Photography.

Today, both Nikon and Canon digital SLR cameras are mainstays of the professional. Some of our members who are also practicing professionals use some models of these famous cameras. Leica has become a very expensive niche camera while both Zeiss and Leitz continue to design and market lenses. Some German marques like Voigtlander are still around but made in the orient. The Leica M-mount and lens style seem to be used by many companies.

This entry was posted in history and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.