Today Nikon is a world-renowned brand, firmly established as a market leader in optical instrumentation and the only microscope company to manufacture its own glass, ensuring the very finest quality assurance throughout production.
With over 90 years expertise in the field, Nikon has always been at the forefront of optical and technological innovation, promoting creativity and trustworthiness as part of the company's global mission statement. The Nikon story began back in 1917 when three Japanese optical manufacturers merged to form a company known as Nippon Kogaku KK ('Japan Optics'), producing precision optical glass. In 1925 the brand expanded to produce the first microscope with a revolving nosepiece and interchangeable objectives - the Joico microscope.
The next few decades brought considerable growth to the microscopy division, ground-breaking polarising and stereo microscopes were introduced in addition to products for the increasing measuring and inspection market.
In the 1970s the CF Optical system was established and Nikon unveiled the Optiphot and Labophot microscopes. In the 1980s Nikon launched more than 80 new products and the first test tube baby in the US (1981) was conceived with the assistance of a Nikon inverted Diaphot microscope. The 1990s brought yet more innovation with the introduction of the Eclipse range of infinity optics. With science advancing at a record pace, Dolly the sheep was the first mammal to be cloned from an adult cell using a Nikon Diaphot microscope in the process. The new Millennium saw the birth of digital imaging solutions for microscopy and Nikon once again led the market in providing superior and practical cameras for these applications. The introduction of the DS camera series and the Coolscope heralded further advances in the transfer of images across the globe. The future as always is unclear but what is obvious is the pace at which changes happen.
Applications and disciplines which were once totally separated are now becoming closer in fields such as Lab-on-a-Chip and Biophysics, and these have led to the development of unique interdisciplinary products including the AZ100, super resolution systems N-SIM and N-STORM plus the confocal range of microscope systems allowing the use of ground breaking techniques such as Nano-crystal and GaAsP technology. Cell studies are now demanding the ability to study live, in situ cellular interactions and movements for which Nikon has responded with the very latest technology – the BioStation IM and CT series. Nikon has risen to the challenges every step of the way and with innovative solutions have assisted research to introduce some truly memorable achievements.