Nikon's story begins in 1917 when two of the leading companies in the optical industry decided to join forces to create ‘Japan Optical Industries Co., Ltd.’ The word ‘Nikon’ came from the mixture of Nippon Kogaku (which means Japanese Optical) and Ikon, reference to the Zeiss Ikon cameras, produced by a sub-company of the German giant Karl Zeiss. Since the beginning, this company has manufactured lenses, binoculars, microscopes, measuring instruments, precision cameras, and other devices as well.
One of the most important events in the history of this Japanese company is probably the role they had as the main supplier to the Japanese army in everything related to optical instruments such as binoculars and periscopes, during World War II. During this time, Nikon boomed in great measure. It came to have 19 manufacturing centers with 23,000 employees (a great amount for that period, considering that today it only has 16,750 workers).
After the war, these figures were reduced to 1,400 employees working in just one factory. Nikon returned to devote exclusively to production for civilians. Among the most famous products of the company Nikon are the Nikkor lenses, Nikon's underwater cameras, SLR F-Series cameras, and recently, the D series digital DSLR or SLR. The models Nikon D90, Nikon D300, and Nikon D40, together with the Coolpix series, have contributed significantly to the popularity of digital photography for beginners and those individuals who already have a bit of experience in the field of photography.
This company has been growing slowly, focusing on professional and semi-professional models to be at the forefront of the photographic industry with its main competitor, Canon. Both of these companies are increasingly being followed closely by other giants, like Pentax, Sony, and Panasonic. Nikon camera price ranges varies depending on the product line. The small Nikon compact camera is relatively affordable. The professional grade Nikon DLSR price and Nikkor lens price is mid-range to upper-range, depending on the specifications.
It is worth emphasizing the importance that Nikon has always had in the evolution of technology, which includes the evolution of photography including cameras, lenses, and camera accessories.