About the Magazine

Magazine Of The Nikon World

Nikon Owner Issue 13


Gray Levett

The announcement of a new Nikon flagship film camera is always a special event.

I can still recall the excitement of the news of the successor to the legendary Nikon F (released in 1959): the Nikon F2 in 1971. That in turn led us to the F3 in 1980, followed by the F4 in 1988 and then the mighty F5 in 1996. Each successive model improved upon its distinguished predecessor to create a camera worthy of the title of being a Nikon flagship camera. Many people, and I include myself, thought that that was it. That there would never be another flagship Nikon film camera. We were wrong and I could not be more delighted. On 16th September I travelled along with our editor-at-large Richard Young, the society photographer, and the technical editor and author of Nikon Compendium Simon Stafford to a special launch presentation given by Nikon U.K. Limited at The City Inn, London. Well, what is it like? To answer this, Simon Stafford has written an overview which appears on page 50 of this issue.

Nikon at the same time released details of the D2X, the long-awaited successor to its D1X professional digital SLR, which will arrive in the U.K. in January 2005.

Robert Sanger of Blue Planet Images has suggested a visit to Japan in 2006 for Nikon Owner subscribers. At the time of writing this, I am going to see if we can arrange a special visit to one or more of the Nikon factories there. The suggestion is that if we make our journey between late March and early April we would additionally be able to enjoy the Cherry Blossom season.

The Japanese are passionate about their cherry blossom festivals, called sakura matsuri (sakura=cherry blossom), and the accompanying o-hanami, or cherry blossom viewing.

During spring, cherry blossom viewing parties and cherry blossom festivals are held all over Japan. Cherry blossom viewing has been a Japanese custom since the seventh century when the Japanese aristocratic class enjoyed the cherry blossom season and wrote poetry in its celebration.

We could also, perhaps, arrange to visit the famous JCII Museum. With the cooperation of Japanese camera manufacturers, the Japan (Nippon) Camera and optical instruments Inspection and testing Institute (JCII) was founded in 1954. It was formed to inspect all cameras exported from Japan in order to maintain quality standards. In addition to this inspection function, JCII in 1969 started to designate some cameras as “Historical Japanese Cameras” and began efforts to preserve these important items. In 1999 the Japan Camera and Optical Instruments Inspection and Testing Institute changed their name to “Japan Camera Industry Institute (JCII)”.

Several thousand cameras are housed at the museum. JCII has also preserved important information pertaining to the cameras. The JCII Camera Museum was established to expose as many people as possible to cameras and the history of photography, and to educate people about the discipline.

If this idea recommends itself to you, and you would like to travel to Japan in 2006, please note your interest on the subscribers’ message board under the topic heading: Japan & Nikon visit in Spring 2006.

If you like images of vintage aircraft then we have a rare treat in store for you. Philip Makanna has been photographing restored World War II airplanes around the world since he first saw a Confederate Air Force display in 1974. A resident of San Francisco, he is the author of four extraordinary books:

GHOSTS: A Time Remembered, GHOSTS: Vintage Aircraft of World War II, GHOSTS of the Skies, GHOSTS II.

Makanna’s third book, GHOSTS of the Skies: Aviation in the Second World War, was released in commemoration of the end of the Second World War and is a remarkable tribute to the unforgettable planes that won the war and the courageous men who flew them.

His fourth book, GHOSTS II, presents 64 brilliant photographs in memory of the courage and spirit of those who created the original Confederate Air Force. Philip Makanna is also the creator of the world’s most popular aviation calendar.

In closing I would like to offer my congratulations to Amateur Photographer magazine (or AP as it is affectionately known) in reaching their 120th year of publication. The magazine began on Friday 10th October 1884 and to have reached 120 years of publication is something to be applauded. The current editor of Amateur Photographer is my good friend Garry Coward-Williams who is also, incidentally, a subscriber of Nikon Owner. To you and your entire team Garry, very many congratulations. You must be very proud. +

Gray Levett