Nikon commemorates a century with cameras, lenses and crystal
Nikon has (almost) been around for 100 years, and it's pulling out all the stops to celebrate. Along with a set of commemorative trinkets, like neck straps and crystal cameras, the imaging and optics multinational has designed limited edition versions of its flagship cameras, lenses and binoculars.
The two special-edition cameras are based on Nikon's flagship models: the D5 and D500. Neither has been treated to any performance upgrades, instead the design crew at Nikon has worked to link its modern DSLRs to the legendary F, launched back in 1959.
The magnesium body of the D5 is finished in a special shade of metallic gray, with a special stamp on the base of the camera to celebrate the fact Nikon cameras have been used by astronauts dating back to the 1970s. There's also a special logo emblazoned on the side of the pentaprism, and the standard canvas neck strap has been replaced with a full leather unit.
Like the more expensive D5, the D500 has been finished in a shade of metallic gray, with a unique commemorative logo on the side of the viewfinder. Both cameras come in special metal cases, complete with a plate engraved with the 100th anniversary logo and camera serial number.
The first special-edition lens coming from Nikon is a 70-200E. Like the cameras, the lens is finished in a shade of metallic gray, and emblazoned with a 100th anniversary logo on its side. The lens, which runs with a constant maximum aperture of f/2.8, is accompanied by an exploded view of the 13 glass elements usually hidden within the casing.
Along with the 70-200mm zoom, Nikon will be offering a set of three f/2.8 zoom lenses. Inside the special metal carrying case, which wouldn't look out of place in a movie cash exchange, the 70-200 will be accompanied by a 14-24mm f/2.8 and a 24-70mm f/2.8.
All three lenses will come with the same serial number, but the package doesn't include an exploded glass-element view like the 70-200 alone.
It might be best known for cameras, but Nikon is also no slouch when it comes binoculars. To celebrate its centenary, the company will be selling 100 examples of its WX 10x50 IF and 7x50 IF in the same gray as the camera and lenses.
Both models are engraved with the 100th anniversary logo you'll find on the rest of the commemorative merchandise, and both are accompanied by genuine leather straps in place of the canvas ones usually included.
Along with the WX-model binoculars, Nikon will be releasing a limited-edition version of the 8x30 II. Just 400 examples of the popular wide-angle binocular will be sold, finished in (you guessed it) metallic gray and stamped with the 100th anniversary logo.
Crystal knick-knacks and scale models
Perhaps the coolest commemorative piece Nikon has commissioned is this replica of the 1948 Model I. Made of Swarovski Crystal, the replica isn't quite to scale, but that's unlikely to matter when you start drinking in the details. Imprinted with a special serial number, the crystal camera has even been made darker where the old camera would have been outfitted in leather for that period look.
For those with more subtle tastes, there's also a half-scale model of the original Nikon F with a Nikkor-S Auto 50mm f/1.4 lens attached. Some parts on the model are movable, and the model comes in a replica of the original Nikon F packaging, complete with a cover of the original user manual. If you're not into models or the budget doesn't stretch to Swarovski levels, you could celebrate the centenary with a brown or black leather camera strap, or collect the 25 lapel pins being sold as part of the centenary.
Pricing hasn't been announced for any of the 100th anniversary Nikon merchandise, but the company will be making another announcement closer to its June 25 birthday.