Nikon hits the 60 million mark

6 04 2011

After 52 years Nikon finally produced 60 million Nikkor lenses yesterday, just two months after Canon’s 60 millionth EF lens rolled off the line, according to a press release.

The road to 60 million lenses started in 1959 when Nikon, Nippon Kogaku K.K at the time, released their first SLR the Nikon F. Which at the same time, Nikon released the first Nikkor lens. Canon wouldn’t release their first EF lens until 1987.

Nikkor comes from adding an “R” to Nikko. At the time Nikko was the Romanized version of Nippon Kogaku K.K. and adding “R” was common practice when it came to branding photographic lenses, according to Nikon’s website. In 1933, Nikon released the Aero-Nikkor, a lens used for large-format aerial photography.

The current Nikkor selection has 60 lenses ranging from fish-eye to super-telephoto.

What’s your favorite Nikkor lens?

“Fast glass” makes the shot

14 02 2011

National Geographic photographer, Jim Richardson, recently spent 22 days flying around the globe to nine different countries to document what he described as an editorial narrative. His destinations included: Machu Picchu, Angkor Wat, the Taj Mahal and the Serengeti.

What does this have to do with “fast glass” and what does that even mean.

“Glass” is photographer jargon for lenses. “Fast glass” refers to lenses that have a very wide aperture such as f/2.8 or f/1.4. Wider aperture allows for more light to enter the camera allowing the photographer to use a faster shutter speed in low light situations without having to push the ISO up. ISO is how sensitive the sensor is to light. The higher the ISO the more sensitive the sensor is and the faster your shutter speed. However, using a high ISO will pump a lot of digital noise into your images, which can lower image quality.

Another benefit of using “fast glass” is that the wide aperture will allow for some pleasing shallow depth of field.

Back to Richardson now. Those 22 days had him shooting in a different style than he usually does. Instead of casing out a good location, then returning for the shot when the conditions are optimal he more or less raised his camera, clicked the shutter, and moved on.

From night shots of elephant polo to an Indian boatman. “Fast glass” helped Richardson make the most out of his 22 days by helping Richardson be ready no matter what the lighting conditions were.

Link to the photos

(via Nikon)