Nikonos of underwater fame resurfaces. But for what purposes?
Amid all the excitement surrounding the Zeds (as I shall continue to call them), Nikon’s resurrection of the historic Nikonos brand name has gone almost unnoticed. According to Nikon Rumors, the trademark expired ten years ago but the registration has just been re-approved for a wide variety of uses:
"Cameras; optical apparatus and instruments; photographic apparatus and instruments; digital cameras; camera lenses; digital camera lenses; lens filters; rechargeable batteries for cameras and digital cameras; battery chargers for cameras and digital cameras; straps for cameras and digital cameras; caps for camera bodies; computer software; lens caps; camera cases; USB cables; audio video cables; LCD monitor covers; instruction manuals in electronic format; electronic publications."
The Nikonos range of underwater 35mm cameras was launched 55 years ago in 1963 based on an original design by the underwater maestro and television star, Jacques-Yves Cousteau and Belgian engineer Jean de Wouters. In its day, the Nikonos was very popular among underwater photographers right until 2001 when production ceased. There is still a demand for used examples and the camera in the top image was snapped by me at the Bièvres Photo Fair a couple of years ago.
With Nikon’s new interest in mirrorless, could we soon see a new Nikonos? It seems highly likely.
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