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Nikon Historical Society -- hosted by the founding member Bob Rotoloni and members of the society. The NHS, based the US, has a worldwide membership. Our "Nikon Journal," published four times a year, concentrates on the history of Japanese photo equipment from the perspective of the Nikon Camera Company. The Nikon Journal often includes Nikon information not published anywhere else in the world. This forum provides an opportunity for conversation between collectors and users of classic film Nikons. See forum “stickies” for more information about the Society. If you are a serious Nikon Collector, you MUST be a NHS member. Join at http://www.nikonhistoricalsociety.com/!

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Old 02-14-2017   #81
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I like the idea of a digital Nikon Rangefinder. They have the heritage to pull it off. The issue I see is with lens compatibility. They just can't compete with the variety of lenses that are available in LTM or M mount.

So... why not an M mount, SP or S3 retro styled digital rangefinder??? Priced lower than the latest Leica offerings, I think it would do well.

And if you still want to use your Nikon rangefinder lenses, there are adapters for that already. (Thanks Amedeo!)

I'd buy one.
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Old 02-14-2017   #82
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Originally Posted by fdarnell View Post
Interesting story. Here's the fundamental, unavoidable, irreversible facts:

1. The number of people that appreciate the performance of a high quality DSLR or mirrorless is declining and doing so rapidly.

2. The number of people that want one device to text, email, post to social media and keep them connected and make wonderful selfies and food pics to show their friends is growing at an exponential rate.

3. The population of #2 is not well suited to the rigors of detailed, thorough problem-solving skills need to compete successfully in modern manufacturing. Problem solving, data analysis, fact-finding and critical thought are ideas from another universe to them.

4. It's too late to enter the smartphone business, mirrorless business or any format of camera business of any kind in the digital realm.

Therefore:

Given #3 & #4, Nikon should dump the camera division ASAP as it is still profitable and move to building the automatic measuring systems business, since the population of #2 will not be able to provide the skills to keep their ever-increasing demand for instant social approval gratification technology satisfied for their astronomically growing masses. Nikon has a good marketing force for the industrial imaging division and adding this kind of product to its mix will give them a "full cart" to sell from.

This manufacturing should not take place in the United States.

#1 The number of new DSLR and Mirrorless cameras sold does not directly tie to "The number of people that appreciate" them. While that may be a part of the reason, I might suggest that perhaps the market is saturated with product that is not sufficiently different from the new products to generate any pull from the customer's side.

#2 While it's growing I would submit that the impact upon DSLR and Mirrorless is limited as the functionality overlap is minimal. While IQ of cellphones is catching up to entry-level interchangeable cameras, I would suggest the impact is immaterial.

#3 A bit too broad brush and abstracted for any meaningful observation. I would submit that Kodak sold thousands of instamatic cameras to folks who later proved they could load a roll of 135 in a P&S camera.

#4 The barriers to entry are not too high. There is at least one Chinese manufacturers coming to market now and I suspect at least two others will in the coming 18 months.

I'm actually writing up a test right now for about 250 students in my sections of Biz Mgt 370. The test is focused on when face with a decision to list the information you want to gather before you make decision and describe why it's important. Make a decision (no wrong answer here) and then list how you will monitor that decision to insure it doesn't go sideways (e.g. unintended consequences, just plain wrong) and why. I suspect about a dozen students will present information similar in nature to what you have. They will not be getting any credit for those answers.

Nikon has leveraged lens prowess across multiple lines of business and selling their foundation products as they have cut back R&D in many areas to maintain profitability over the past 20 years would be IMHO, bad for business and a time to go short on their stock.

B2 (;->
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Old 02-14-2017   #83
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I just checked and you are right. In that case I'll just continue to be happy with my FM3A and pick-up the refurbished F6 whenever it appears.
I bought a perfect, like new USA model F6 for $800. I wouldn't bother waiting for a refurb for $1400.
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Old 02-14-2017   #84
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I bought a perfect, like new USA model F6 for $800. I wouldn't bother waiting for a refurb for $1400.
Sounds like a great approach. Save the $600 for any CLA that might (though odds are won't) be needed. I know, it's a Nikon, they don't need CLA but once every three decades.

B2 (;->
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Old 02-14-2017   #85
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Sounds like a great approach. Save the $600 for any CLA that might (though odds are won't) be needed. I know, it's a Nikon, they don't need CLA but once every three decades.

B2 (;->

"Like New". And it was (still is akshully). If it needed a CLA, it wouldn't be "Like New"!

These are very very smooth shooting cameras. Makes my Nikon F feel like it was built in the 1960s...
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Old 02-15-2017   #86
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Originally Posted by mothertrucker View Post
I like the idea of a digital Nikon Rangefinder. They have the heritage to pull it off. The issue I see is with lens compatibility. They just can't compete with the variety of lenses that are available in LTM or M mount.

So... why not an M mount, SP or S3 retro styled digital rangefinder??? Priced lower than the latest Leica offerings, I think it would do well.
I'm not so sure this is the way to save the company... even if we'd love to see it.
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Old 02-15-2017   #87
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We can only hope for the best. I seems ironic that all of this is happening on their 100th birthday. I cannot believe that Mitsubishi (Nikon's actual owner) would allow such a landmark company to decline like this. With all their resources you would think they could do more. Keeping my fingers crossed.
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Old 02-15-2017   #88
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The IPhone is killing photography!
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Old 02-15-2017   #89
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The IPhone is killing photography!
It might be killing the box that photography exists in, for a select few but for the rest of the world, it has brought photography into their daily lives. Photography doesn't need to measured by the merit of the tools or the print/image alone. Everyday I am able to see into the world of folks from Helsinki to Tokyo via the smartphone. Some of them are friends from RFF, some are colleagues and others complete strangers. It chips away at the unknown and creates emotional response/connection. I'd argue the camera phone has given photography a boost we never thought possible a few decades ago.
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Old 02-15-2017   #90
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Originally Posted by mothertrucker View Post
So... why not an M mount, SP or S3 retro styled digital rangefinder??? Priced lower than the latest Leica offerings, I think it would do well.
Build it for 7000 EUR per unit and sell it for 6000 EUR per unit. Sounds like a clever business plan.
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Old 02-15-2017   #91
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Originally Posted by mothertrucker View Post
I like the idea of a digital Nikon Rangefinder. They have the heritage to pull it off. The issue I see is with lens compatibility. They just can't compete with the variety of lenses that are available in LTM or M mount.

So... why not an M mount, SP or S3 retro styled digital rangefinder??? Priced lower than the latest Leica offerings, I think it would do well.

And if you still want to use your Nikon rangefinder lenses, there are adapters for that already. (Thanks Amedeo!)

I'd buy one.
Basically all you need is the L mount, something very similar, without the Sony problems of narrowness.

Once you make the mount, you can design any number of bodies for it.

Perhaps that cannot accommodate a mechanical RF mechanism, though I'm not sure why. You certainly have a point about wanting M/TLM working on a Digital RF Nikon. Since Amedeo already adaptes in multiple ways, it does not seem an unsurmountable issue.

It's a shame they had to use Contax as the model, and even more that they did not get it right. Complicates everything
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Old 02-16-2017   #92
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Nikon has interesting APS-C DSLRs, but absolutely poor offer of high-quality APS-C prime lenses. Any wide for the D-500 ?
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Old 02-16-2017   #93
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It might be killing the box that photography exists in, for a select few but for the rest of the world, it has brought photography into their daily lives. Photography doesn't need to measured by the merit of the tools or the print/image alone. Everyday I am able to see into the world of folks from Helsinki to Tokyo via the smartphone. Some of them are friends from RFF, some are colleagues and others complete strangers. It chips away at the unknown and creates emotional response/connection. I'd argue the camera phone has given photography a boost we never thought possible a few decades ago.
Agreed. It was a disruptive technology for sure but I see *far* more people taking pictures and sharing pictures then I ever did in the days of film.

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Old 02-16-2017   #94
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Whenever I walk into any kind of tourist area and look at what people are carrying, phones aside it's all prosumer SLRs, nearly always Nikon or Canon. Generally there's not a Fuji or Olympus mirrorless in sight because brand recognition is so important in this market. If Nikon simply concentrated on the prosumer and pro I think they'd do OK, although at some point they need to come up with is a mirrorless that can take F mount lenses. Everything else they do photography-wise should be dumped.
I work in London just by Tower Bridge, which is prime tourist-trap territory; and while the overwhelming majority of cameras used are either dSLRs or cellphones, the SLRs are almost all entry-level models (mostly Canon and Nikon). Occasionally one will see the patriarch of the group carrying a tank with gold-band or white zoom lens; but most will be smaller models with just the kit zoom.
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Old 02-16-2017   #95
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Sooooo.... no F7?
There will be a new film F-mount SLR every year. Nikon will struggle to meet the demand.

Leica can barely keep up with the demand for the M-A (Typ 127).

By 2020 Canon's still-camera business will collapse because they didn't bother to take advantage of the global tidal wave of people switching from smart-phone photography to 35 mm film SLRs.
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Old 02-16-2017   #96
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The IPhone is killing photography!
I dunno. To some of us, at least, the idea of using a phone for photos makes about as much sense as making a phone call on a Pentax Spotmatic!
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Old 02-16-2017   #97
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I dunno. To some of us, at least, the idea of using a phone for photos makes about as much sense as making a phone call on a Pentax Spotmatic!
It is unfortunate that the iPhone exists, Steve Jobs would have rather it have been an internet device, more in the form of an iPad.

But the lack of a robust internet 10 years ago, forced it to be the clumsy marriage of a phone, and an internet device.
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Old 02-16-2017   #98
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The IPhone is killing photography!
More like its killing the camera industry (or maybe it already did ). Smartphones (not just iphone), on the other hand, are giving the everyday photography a huge boost.

I'm sad for the future and development of camera as we used to know them, but I kinda like how photography has evolved.


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Old 02-16-2017   #99
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We were better off when we all believed the world was flat!
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Old 02-16-2017   #100
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We were better off when we all believed the world was flat!
You mean the world before Nicolaus Copernicus?

Well, you in the U.S.A. are really glad that you never had to bother with any Roman Catholic cleric-scientists
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Old 02-16-2017   #101
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You mean the world before Nicolaus Copernicus?
Eratosthenes calculated the circumference of the Earth around 235BC. Some knew the world was round for a very long time.

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Old 02-16-2017   #102
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as a nikon news and doc shooter... when I sit with a bunch of other freelance PJs their cameras are almost always Canons. Canon has owned two crucial things in the PJ/documentary world: video, and compact pro-DSLRs. Nikon video has always lagged behind Canon. And when Nikon made the D800, they got rid of some of the features that made the 700 such a good all-arounder for news shooters. Canon, meanwhile, kept churning out new versions of the 5D. I get that this is a small slice of the market, but Nikon seemed to think that working news pros only wanted blazing fast autofocus a la D4s &5s -- Canon I think knows better.
I'm still waiting for a worthy successor to my trusty D700.
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Old 02-16-2017   #103
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as a nikon news and doc shooter... when I sit with a bunch of other freelance PJs their cameras are almost always Canons. Canon has owned two crucial things in the PJ/documentary world: video, and compact pro-DSLRs. Nikon video has always lagged behind Canon. And when Nikon made the D800, they got rid of some of the features that made the 700 such a good all-arounder for news shooters. Canon, meanwhile, kept churning out new versions of the 5D. I get that this is a small slice of the market, but Nikon seemed to think that working news pros only wanted blazing fast autofocus a la D4s &5s -- Canon I think knows better.
I'm still waiting for a worthy successor to my trusty D700.
What turned you off to the D750?
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Old 02-16-2017   #104
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Build it for 7000 EUR per unit and sell it for 6000 EUR per unit. Sounds like a clever business plan.
If Sony can figure out how to sell full frame A7's for ~1300 USD, I certainly hope it's not going to cost Nikon another 4-5000 USD per camera to tack on a rangefinder and put it in a fancy case.

Leica is making money selling cameras for the prices they sell at. There is certainly room in the market for other companies doing the same thing.
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Old 02-16-2017   #105
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Eratosthenes calculated the circumference of the Earth around 235BC. Some knew the world was round for a very long time.

Shawn
Hush-hush! … All this so called «knowledge» is totally un-American, it's either ancient humbug, or Roman Catholic wizardry, but it's certainly no good for good brave U.S. citizen!
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Old 02-16-2017   #106
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Hush-hush! … All this so called «knowledge» is totally un-American, it's either ancient humbug, or Roman Catholic wizardry, but it's certainly no good for good brave U.S. citizen!
Is this the point where this thread got de-railed?
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Old 02-16-2017   #107
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Is this the point where this thread got de-railed?
Severe crisis?!
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Old 02-16-2017   #108
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Is this the point where this thread got de-railed?
Don't worry, he just has an odd fixation/fascination with Americans for some reason.

I'm starting to think he is one.
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Old 02-16-2017   #109
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As much as 50%? Its been about 45% - 50% for some time, with the bulk of the remainder coming from photo-lithography equipment and a small percentage coming from instruments and medical.



Most of those are getting cut from photo-lithography equipment sector, not the imaging/camera sector.
Jon; Are these people from the "Stepper" sector? That's a big part of Nikon's income.
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Old 02-16-2017   #110
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Part of the problem is their attempts to enter different markets.
The key mission is, in my opinion, wasted time and money spent on an already shrinking market.
Just look at GoPro for how well that market is going.
And the DL is too little too late.
Sure the 18-50mm version would be nice, but the Sony RX100 series is readily available.

It seems Nikon should focus on what they do best.
Make great DSLRs and great lenses.
Or somehow create a mirrorless camera that could surpass Sony and Fuji in price and performance.
GoPro is local to me. They have big money and stock problems. Sales maybe hit saturation wall. They are "reinventing" themselves. New drone, etc. Think down size is likely. Really good local cam co is Black Magic camera. Think folks from Red Cam who didn't move to LA.


https://www.blackmagicdesign.com/products/cinemacameras

More expensive than GoPro but pro video files. Several models Inc. Full remote.
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Old 02-16-2017   #111
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Jon; Are these people from the "Stepper" sector? That's a big part of Nikon's income.
photo-lithography equipment = stepper sector = semiconductor/FPD lithography business

There's two parts to the photo-lithography equipment sector: the machines for manufacturing flat screen panels (FPD lithography business) and the machines for manufacturing circuits on silicon wafers (semiconductor lithography business). The FPD lithography business is doing ok, but Nikon is pulling out of the semiconductor lithography business because the technology has moved beyond Nikon's field of expertise and they can no longer compete. ASML has that market pretty much to itself now. Nikon's recently announced "extraordinary loss" was mostly incurred due to writing off the semiconductor lithography business.
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Old 02-16-2017   #112
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The IPhone is killing photography!
I guess Fuji didn't get that memo.

The notion of a quality mirrorless that can easily take Nikon F-mount lenses is very interesting.
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Old 02-16-2017   #113
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photo-lithography equipment = stepper sector = semiconductor/FPD lithography business

There's two parts to the photo-lithography equipment sector: the machines for manufacturing flat screen panels (FPD lithography business) and the machines for manufacturing circuits on silicon wafers (semiconductor lithography business). The FPD lithography business is doing ok, but Nikon is pulling out of the semiconductor lithography business because the technology has moved beyond Nikon's field of expertise and they can no longer compete. ASML has that market pretty much to itself now. Nikon's recently announced "extraordinary loss" was mostly incurred due to writing off the semiconductor lithography business.
Thanks Jon. I knew you would be up on this.

I have 2 friends, both division heads, at Nikon USA. One is way past retirement age. The other has a few years to go. I haven't brought the slowdown up in our email exchanges. I was waiting to hear something from him. He's in the pro camera group. I hope his job is secure.

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Old 02-16-2017   #114
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Originally Posted by jonmanjiro View Post
photo-lithography equipment = stepper sector = semiconductor/FPD lithography business

There's two parts to the photo-lithography equipment sector: the machines for manufacturing flat screen panels (FPD lithography business) and the machines for manufacturing circuits on silicon wafers (semiconductor lithography business). The FPD lithography business is doing ok, but Nikon is pulling out of the semiconductor lithography business because the technology has moved beyond Nikon's field of expertise and they can no longer compete. ASML has that market pretty much to itself now. Nikon's recently announced "extraordinary loss" was mostly incurred due to writing off the semiconductor lithography business.
I wonder why Nikon had let it happen this way. Is ASML such a large company with huge R&D that they could outperform Nikon in the semiconductor lithography business?
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Old 02-16-2017   #115
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I guess Fuji didn't get that memo.

The notion of a quality mirrorless that can easily take Nikon F-mount lenses is very interesting.
I do that all the time with my M240. It allows me to use lenses like the Nikkor AIS 105 1.8
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Old 02-16-2017   #116
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I wonder why Nikon had let it happen this way. Is ASML such a large company with huge R&D that they could outperform Nikon in the semiconductor lithography business?
I think there's multiple contributing factors, with a main one being that the technology has evolved to the point where the limits of optical systems must be exceeded to achieve the ever finer line widths required of leading edge semiconductor lithography systems. Nikon's field of expertise is optics, and the difficulty for them has been in developing other technologies for pushing beyond optical limits to achieve these finer line widths. Nikon's R&D program hasn't progressed as hoped, and ASML has only opened the gap further and further.

There's a good Japanese language article about the situation at the link below, which covers more detail (for those who don't read Japanese, Google Translate does an ok job in translating it).

http://www.excite.co.jp/News/economy...kai_23475.html

https://translate.google.com/transla...kai_23475.html
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Old 02-16-2017   #117
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I guess Fuji didn't get that memo.

The notion of a quality mirrorless that can easily take Nikon F-mount lenses is very interesting.
Just about all of the mirrorless cameras can take Nikon lenses and plenty of others too. I use my Nikons on Fuji mirrorless. About the only mirrorless camera that isn't as flexible is the Sigma SD Quattro as they reused the same mount from their DSLR cameras. That is a longer flange distance so there isn't room for adapters between the camera and lens.

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Old 02-16-2017   #118
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Thanks a lot! I will read it later.


Quote:
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I think there's multiple contributing factors, with a main one being that the technology has evolved to the point where the limits of optical systems mush be exceeded to achieve the ever finer line widths required of leading edge semiconductor lithography systems. Nikon's field of expertise is optics, and the difficulty for them has been in developing other technologies for pushing beyond optical limits to achieve these finer line widths. Nikon's R&D program hasn't progressed as hoped, and ASML has only opened the gap further and further.

There's a good Japanese language article about the situation at the link below, which covers more detail (for those who don't read Japanese, Google Translate does an ok job in translating it).

http://www.excite.co.jp/News/economy...kai_23475.html

https://translate.google.com/transla...kai_23475.html
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Old 02-16-2017   #119
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Originally Posted by maddoc View Post
I wonder why Nikon had let it happen this way. Is ASML such a large company with huge R&D that they could outperform Nikon in the semiconductor lithography business?
ASML is huge compared to Nikon, with a market cap of 51.35B USD. My point, perhaps never as clearly put as Jon, was that Nikon is really not in trouble compared to other camera manufacturers, they are just exiting the semiconductor lithography business, which has changed from optical.

The damage to the camera business was more clearly reflected in 2013 (could have the year wrong?) when their stock dropped something like 19% after a report.

Stock movements like that can mean the end of a company (look for the PanAm building on Park Ave, NYC) but my read is not nearly so clear on that front. Jon may have some more thoughts?

The interesting part of the Japanese article is the mention that Nikon was actually a munitions company, forced into civilian optical production by the US occupation. See attached a Nikon periscope I used to own.
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Old 02-16-2017   #120
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Age: 51
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I did not know that part about Nikon`s history, always thought they had their roots in optical parts business only.

Thanks for adding this!


Quote:
Originally Posted by nikonhswebmaster View Post
ASML is huge compared to Nikon, with a market cap of 51.35B USD. My point, perhaps never as clearly put as Jon, was that Nikon is really not in trouble compared to other camera manufacturers, they are just exiting the semiconductor lithography business, which has changed from optical.

The damage to the camera business was more clearly reflected in 2013 (could have the year wrong?) when their stock dropped something like 19% after a report.

Stock movements like that can mean the end of a company (look for the PanAm building on Park Ave, NYC) but my read is not nearly so clear on that front. Jon may have some more thoughts?

The interesting part of the Japanese article is the mention that Nikon was actually a munitions company, forced into civilian optical production by the US occupation. See attached a Nikon periscope I used to own.
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