Nikon - the end of an Era

As Nikon announced a few days ago, they cease producing the whole line of large format lenses, the enlarger lences as well as most of their 35mm SLRs and their lenses. Only two models will survive - but for how long? - the high end F6 and the FM10 - a replica of the mythical FM of the 70s! Here's the press release, from the Nikon web site:

Reshaping Nikon's Film Camera Assortment

As the film camera market shrinks and the popularity of compact digital cameras increases, demand for products that offer advanced features and extra value is growing rapidly. Additionally, the demand for high performance digital SLR cameras is also steadily increasing as customers shift from film SLRs or upgrade from compact digital cameras.

With film cameras accounting for an ever smaller percentage of Nikon's total sales volume, the company has decided to concentrate its vast resources toward those business categories that continue to demonstrate the strongest growth. Consequently, as Nikon focuses more on the digital camera business, the company must adopt appropriate measures to ensure its continued success. With that, the Nikon film camera lineup will be reshaped, allowing more of Nikon's planning, engineering and manufacturing resources to be focused on the digital products that now drive our thriving industry. The measures that Nikon will adopt include discontinuing production of all large format Nikkor lenses and enlarging lenses, as well as several of our film camera bodies, manual focus Nikkor interchangeable lenses and related accessories. Sales of these products will cease as supplies are depleted.

Importantly, Nikon's film camera business will continue with our flagship model F6(TM) and with the FM10(TM), allowing the Nikon brand to continue serving the two strongest segments of the 35mm film camera market. Both professionals and dedicated amateurs who continue to view film as their preferred format along with students in need of an economical camera to learn the fundamentals of photography will have ideal Nikon products from which to choose. Additionally, Nikon will continue to produce the manual focus 85mm f/2.8D PC Micro-Nikkor(R).

With the interests of its customers in mind, Nikon will offer continued post-sale service for products whose production has ceased for a period of 10 (ten) years from Nikon Inc.'s last date of sale.

This shift in business strategy and in the utilization of resources will allow Nikon to further its storied history and reputation as a leader in the ever-growing digital market and continue to offer groundbreaking new products and technology for photographers of all skill levels.

Most of all, I regret the disappearing of the large format and the enlarger lenses. Not that I find an urging usefulness for them, but I consider both of these high quality products to be for Nikon the Prestige, the firms store window!

If you get into nostalgia, about this awesome system and it's legendary era, I propose you this book, an overview of the entire Nikon system from the renowned Nikonist Peter Brackzo.

As for me, I'll live up with my trusty 1979 FM, and it's unique zero distortion 105/2.5! The absolute 35mm SLR ever built! As long as I can still find film on the market.

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