Last time we gave you a sneak peek into our favourite Nikon firsts, from the first NIKKOR lens, to Nikon in space, and with our 100th Anniversary just a day away, we’d like to continue sharing some of our favourite stories from over the past century.
As well as pioneering the world of imaging, we have also helped photographers and fans over the years capture incredible photographs and tell amazing stories. We feel privileged and honoured to have played a part in their journey.
Here you’ll see just a few of these, and we’ll be continuing to showcase more of these throughout the summer.
- Chip Maury, The skill in capturing ‘The Falling Kiss’
Firstly, we kick off with diver and sky diving specialist, Chip Maury. It’s some achievement that he was able to capture this image at all. Free falling through the sky, at a time when skydiving was perilous enough and autofocus capabilities weren’t available, Chip had to manually focus on the subject and capture the frame while falling very, very quickly. This was also a time without motor drives, meaning film had to be manually wound after each shot. The image was awarded first place in the Black/White Photograph section of the first Nikon Photo Contest (in 1969).
- J. C. F. Fuertes, The Flying Tennis Player
Next, is this image shot in 1/4000 second that won first place in the Special Section of the 1983-1984 Nikon Photo Contest.
Over the years, we’ve gradually seen camera technology overtake the human eye in its ability to capture and freeze moments in time. The fast moving tennis ball, likely travelling over 100km per hour, appears static and centrally aligned with the sportsman – himself suspended in the air. Achievable enough in today’s digital world, this is a remarkable photo considering the year it was taken.
- Nick Stern’s passion for photography on his arm, Nikon Tattoo
From martial artists to Nikon fans is where we meet Nick Stern. With over 20 years’ experience using Nikon equipment and, in particular, the AF-S NIKKOR 300mm f/2.8G ED lens, Nick took his passion to the next level by having the 300mm lens setting tattooed across his left arm. Nick comments, “I always wanted a tattoo to say something about my passion for photography and this is what I settled on. My only regret is that I didn’t get the updated version of this lens with the Vibration Reduction feature tattooed. My left arm has always felt a little shaken without it!”
- Fabrizio Belardetti’s impressive collection of Nikon Pins and Tie Clasps
Fabrizio Belardetti is another Nikon enthusiast and probably has the largest collection of Nikon pins and tie clasps in the world. He has accumulated an impressive 236 unique items; comprising 184 pins and 52 clasps over the years, some of which are extremely rare. Notable pins include a ‘Nikon salutes WHNPA’ (White House News Photographers Association) directly from the White House and a complete set of five pins from the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.
- As lightning strikes, Olivier Morin captures Usain Bolt as he finished the 100m Final in Moscow
Finally, we look at this famous photograph of Usain Bolt which was taken by photojournalist Olivier Morin from AFP, the second largest worldwide news agency, at the World Athletics Championship 100 metre final in Moscow. Five cameras were placed in a line at the side of the track and each had a specific lens with a pre-setting of the focus point on the different track lanes. This one managed to capture the lightning strike as Usain in his favourite position: in the lead.
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Finding the best stories spanning through 100 years of Nikon’s history has been quite a task, not to mention an eye-opening journey. We’ve come across so many amazing, inspiring and moving stories and moments, it is hard to say with certainty that we’ve picking the best ones. Nonetheless, we hope you like what we will share in the coming weeks. To uncover more stories from Nikon’s history, click here.