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Nikon Owner Issue 12

Editor's Letter
By Gray Levett

Gray Levett

When I was growing up in England there was an American television series called Sea Hunt that ran from 1957 to 1961 starring Lloyd Bridges as Mike Nelson. Nelson was an ex-naval frogman who had become a freelance undersea investigator, crime solver and rescuer. Travelling around the world and operating aboard his vessel the Argonaut, he rescued a trapped flyer in a sunken plane, brought up stolen goods, located hidden clues, and was involved in an amazing number of adventures.

Nelson’s employers were insurance companies, salvage firms, a Hollywood moviemaker, and many times the U.S. Government. There was a great deal of action including underwater fights and occasional chases on sea scooters. For me, the attraction was the unknown world of the deep. When the series began about twenty five percent of the action took place underwater. As the star of Sea Hunt, one of America’s most successful syndicated television shows, Bridges introduced scuba diving to millions of viewers across the world.

I was completely hooked on this show and became fascinated by the undersea world. My family lived near the sea and I spent my school holidays and weekends on the beach and in the water. There was something wonderful about the sea and what lay in its mysterious depths drew me to it. I read books about scuba diving and watched television shows such as those featuring Hans and Lotte Hass. Then, in 1966, The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau appeared on our television screens. I watched the scientific expeditions of the renowned sea explorer, Jacques-Yves Cousteau, and the crew of his ship, the Calypso. They traveled around the globe exploring various regions of the underwater world and tried to unlock its secrets and get them onto film. Incidentally, apart from inventing the aqualung, it was Jacques Cousteau in collaboration with Jean de Wouters, a Belgian aeronautical engineer, who devised and created a 35mm camera that was capable of withstanding water pressure down to 50m (160 ft). The camera was completely sealed against the elements such as rain, snow, dirt and dust, and was called the Calypso Phot and was manufactured in France. Later Nikon acquired the rights and manufactured their own model in 1963 which they called the Nikonos.

Our dramatic cover image was taken by Linda Dunk who has been diving for over twenty years and gives us a glimpse of what lies beneath the waves.

She brings her considerable experience to the pages of this issue.

Concorde paid an emotional farewell to her birthplace as she made her last-ever supersonic flight home. An estimated 20,000 people flocked to Filton Airfield in Bristol to watch the last Concorde touchdown at its final resting place. A WWII Spitfire did victory rolls and buzzed the city three times in a final touching tribute to the ‘Big White Bird’. It was the last time the supersonic jet would ever be seen in flight anywhere in the world. British Airways Concorde 216 – the last of ten built at Filton in the 1970s – made a lap of honour around Bristol’s landmarks before coming in to land. After pulling up at the end of the runway at 1.05 p.m., pilot Les Brodie dipped the nose cone several times to ‘wave’ goodbye to the crowd.

Magazine subscriber Michael Eleftheriades gained exclusive access to the British Airways Concorde’s cockpit and his dramatic images appear in this issue.

Simon Stafford’s review of the second biggest selling product in Japan – the new Nikon D70 digital SLR – is covered within these pages with his usual expert attention to detail.

In December last year, member Robert Sanger returned to Aotearoa (New Zealand’s most common name in the indigenous Mâori language).

New Zealand has become known worldwide as Middle-earth for its Lord of the Rings trilogy and Robert Sanger describes his travels in this magnificent and remote part of the world.

We have just hosted the 8th Annual Heather Angel Wildlife and Natural History Workshop at Saint Hill Manor in West Sussex. Among the delights that awaited our attendees was the opportunity to try out the new AF-S VR Nikkor 200mm f/2G IF-ED. A revolutionary SLR photographic lens, it is the first* f/2 aperture lens to feature Vibration Reduction (VR) technology.

Gray
Gray Levett

* as of 1st June 2004

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