Nippon Kogaku, company born in Japan in Tokyo in 1917, began with the manufacture of optical lenses and optical instruments by themselves. In 1931 the firm built optical cameras to take that name "Nikkor" in 1932. These objectives will equip among others Hanza Canon 1935.
In 1948 Nippon Kogaku released his first camera "Nikon" Nippon Kogaku. This Nikon I, is a rangefinder camera for 35 mm film designed to compete Leitz-Leica and Zeiss Ikon-Contax, precursors in this type of cameras. Nikon released until 1960 a series of eight 35 mm rangefinder cameras sophisticated for its time and highly sought after today.
In 1959, the Nikon F 35mm SLR interchangeable single lens, is on the market with its F system including the optical mount bayonet, the series targets "Nikkor" (32 models in 1965) and an impressive series of accessories. Since then, Nikon has developed many other SLR cameras for professionals but also for demanding amateurs. Unlike other brands, Nikon has stayed true to its bayonet F in all its optical range despite the changing possibilities of communication between the optics and the case.
Between 1960 and 1967, the firm exits the series "Nikkorex", simpler design SLR cameras and fixed objective except the last in the series, the Nikkorex F bayonet and manufactured by Mamiya for Nikon. The general public has not been forgotten with the "compact" cameras for 35mm film and APS
Nikon has also distinguished himself in the underwater photographic equipment with the brand "Nikonos" since the acquisition of the patent "Calypso" in 1961.
"Nippon Kogaku" changed its name in 1988 to become "Nikon".