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Canon, Nikon announce production milestones  
Tuesday, October 18, 2011 | by Rob Galbraith
Nikon has announced that earlier this month, the total number of Nikkor interchangeable lenses produced has reached 65 million, only about seven months after hitting the 60-million mark in March 2011. Canon projects that later this month, total production of Canon EF lenses will surpass 70 million, while the company has built 50 million EOS film and digital cameras as of September 2011. For both companies, the pace of production has accelerated dramatically in the digital era.

More information is in the press releases below.

Press Release

Total Production of NIKKOR Lenses for Nikon SLR Cameras Reaches Sixty-Five Million
October 17, 2011

TOKYO – Nikon Corporation is pleased to announce that total production of NIKKOR interchangeable lenses for Nikon SLR cameras reached sixty-five million at the beginning of October 2011.

In 1959, Nikon (then Nippon Kogaku K.K.) released its first SLR camera, the Nikon F. At the same time, Nikon also released its first NIKKOR interchangeable lenses for Nikon SLR cameras, among them the Nikkor-S Auto 5cm f/2. In the half century since, NIKKOR lenses have become the favorite lenses of a wide variety of users, and have been extremely well received by a great number of photo enthusiasts and professional photographers.

In March 2011, total production of NIKKOR lenses reached sixty million. Since then, Nikon has continued to expand the product lineup by releasing two new NIKKOR lenses for FX- and DX-format SLR cameras. The fact that NIKKOR continues to satisfy a wide variety of photographers is evidenced by production of an additional five million lenses in just half a year, bringing total production to sixty-five million.

NIKKOR lenses released since March 2011
  • AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G (released June 2011)
    A fast, standard fixed focal length (prime) lens that produces bright images and offers beautiful blur characteristics and superior rendering performance with a focal length of 50 mm and fast maximum aperture of f/1.8. This lens is compatible with the FX format.
  • AF-S DX Micro NIKKOR 40mm f/2.8G (released August 2011)
    A standard Micro-NIKKOR lens with a focal length of 40 mm and a maximum aperture of f/2.8. This lens enables extremely close-up shooting with a minimum focus distance of just 0.163 m and offers beautiful blur characteristics. It also offers a unique style when shooting portraits, landscapes and more. This lens is compatible with the DX format.
Announced worldwide on September 21, the Nikon 1 J1 and the Nikon 1 V1 are the first and second cameras in the Nikon 1, Advanced Camera with Interchangeable Lenses, that utilize the new Nikon 1 lens mount system. The F-Mount NIKKOR lenses, with over half a century of history, can also be attached to the Nikon 1 J1 and the Nikon 1 V1 using the dedicated Mount Adapter FT1*. This enables users to enjoy tremendous variety in their imaging expression with the ability to select a lens best suited to the scene, subject, or their own creative intent from a broad lineup of standard and special-purpose NIKKOR lenses. Nikon will continue to expand its lineup of NIKKOR lenses utilizing optical technologies accumulated over its long history to offer increased convenience to users of Nikon cameras.

*Autofocus may not perform as expected in some situations or with some lenses. Restrictions apply to mounting and functionality with some lenses.

The NIKKOR brand
As the brand name for Nikon lenses, NIKKOR has become synonymous with high-performance, high-quality SLR lenses. The NIKKOR name comes from adding "R"—a common practice in the naming of photographic lenses at the time the name was established—to "Nikko", the Romanized abbreviation for Nippon Kogaku K.K. In 1933, the large-format lens for aerial photography was released with the name Aero-Nikkor.

NIKKOR has always been ahead of the times. The OP Fisheye-Nikkor 10mm f/5.6 fisheye lens for SLR cameras, released in 1968, was the world's first lens to incorporate aspherical lens elements. What's more, NIKKOR lenses for the latest SLR cameras utilize a number of Nikon's own cutting-edge technologies, including Nano Crystal Coat, which virtually eliminates internal lens element reflections across a wide range of wavelengths.
The current lineup of more than sixty NIKKOR lenses for Nikon SLR cameras offers a rich variety of lenses, including fisheye lenses, super wide-angle to super telephoto lenses, micro lenses and PC-E lenses.

Press Release

Canon celebrates production of 50 million EOS SLR cameras, 70 million EF interchangeable lenses

TOKYO, October 18, 2011—Canon Inc. and Canon Marketing Japan Inc. announced today the achievement of two major manufacturing milestones: combined production of film and digital EOS-series single-lens reflex (SLR) cameras surpassed the 50-million mark in September this year, and the EF series of interchangeable lenses is expected to reach the 70-million-unit milestone later this month.

50 million EOS digital SLR cameras

Production of Canon EOS SLR cameras first started in 1987 at Canon Inc.'s Fukushima Plant (now Fukushima Canon Inc.), and later moved to Oita Canon Inc. and Canon Inc., Taiwan; and most recently Nagasaki Canon Inc. in 2010. In 1997, the EOS series celebrated its 10-year anniversary in addition to the 10-millionth unit produced, and in 2003 passed the 20-million mark. Following the rapid spread of digital SLR cameras, Canon went on to reach 30-million units produced during the series' 20-year anniversary in 2007, followed by the 40-million mark in May 2010. After a short one year and four months, the EOS series has now come to celebrate its 50-millionth camera produced.

The EOS series, which stands for "Electro Optical System" and also carries the name of the Greek goddess of the dawn, was first introduced in March 1987 as a new generation of AF SLR cameras that incorporate the world's first electronic mount system, achieving complete electronic control not only between the lens and body but throughout the entire camera system.

With the key concepts of high speed and ease of use, EOS-series cameras, including the top-of-the-line EOS-1 professional model released in 1989 and the popular compact, lightweight EOS Kiss (EOS Rebel XS or EOS 500 in other regions) introduced in 1993, actively incorporate innovative technologies and have gained acceptance from a wide range of users. Following the introduction of the EOS D30 in 2000, when the spread of digital SLR cameras was in full swing, Canon developed such advanced technologies as its proprietary CMOS sensors and high-performance DIGIC digital image processors, as well as an extensive lineup of EF lenses in an effort to fulfill the company's new key concepts of high speed, ease-of-use, and high image quality.

Currently, the company offers a broad product lineup that serves the needs of all levels of users, from entry-level enthusiasts to advanced amateurs and professionals. This lineup has further expanded with the addition of the new high-performance EOS-1D X, Canon's new flagship digital SLR camera, scheduled to go on sale in late March 2012.

70 million EF lenses

Production of interchangeable EF lenses for Canon EOS-series AF (autofocus) film cameras first began in 1987 at the company's Utsunomiya Plant, and has since expanded to a total of four manufacturing centers, including Canon Inc., Taiwan; Canon Opto (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd.; and Oita Canon Inc. in southern Japan. Production of EF lenses surpassed the 10-million mark in 1995, doubling to 20-million units in 2001. After reaching the 30-million-unit milestone in 2006, Canon celebrated the production of its 40-millionth lens in April 2008. Owing to the rapid spread of the EOS Digital series of digital SLR cameras, production for Canon's EF lenses then gained momentum to reach the 50-million-unit milestone in 2009, followed by the 60-million mark in January this year. And just nine months later, the EF series is expected to reach the 70-million mark in late October.

Canon's EF lens series was first introduced together with the EOS SLR camera system in March 1987, and has over the years led the industry through the incorporation of a number of innovative technologies, including such world's firsts*1 as the Ultrasonic Motor (USM) for use in lenses, Image Stabilizer (IS), Subwavelength Structure Coating (SWC) anti-reflection technology, and a multi-layered diffractive optical (DO) element.

Canon's current EF-lens lineup, comprising 66 models,*2 ranges from super-wide-angle lenses to super-telephoto zoom lenses. The diverse lens selection includes an array of zoom lenses, Image Stabilizer-equipped lenses, large-diameter lenses, macro-lenses and TS-E lenses incorporating a special tilt-shift mechanism allowing manipulation of image perspective and distortion. This year, Canon released such EF lenses as the EF8-15mm f/4L Fisheye USM—the world's first*1 full fisheye zoom lens with angle-of-view coverage from 180-degree circular fisheye to 180-degree diagonal fisheye—and the EF300mm f/2.8L IS II USM and EF400mm f/2.8L IS II USM telephoto lenses.

Canon will continue to refine its diverse imaging technologies based on its core optical technologies, striving to produce exceptional and reliable lenses and cameras that cater to the varying needs of photographers—from first-time users to advanced amateurs and professionals—while contributing to expanding the culture of photographic and video imaging.

*1 Among interchangeable lenses for SLR cameras
*2 Including two EF lens extenders and models available outside of Japan

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