A bolt from the blue - Nikon have announced that they are ending production of almost all of their film camera range, as digital cameras take over. The F6 (pictured), FM10 (outside Europe) and a small number of fixed-focus manual lenses will be the only surviving film products after September 2006. All large format cameras lenses and enlarging lenses will also be discontinued. This move is obviously one of the biggest indicators yet of the increasing digital dominance.
Nikon UK Press Release
Nikon prepares to strengthen digital line-up for 2006
Wednesday January 11, 2006 - Following the success of our digital line-up over the last seven years, which has resulted in more than 95% of Nikon’s UK business being within the digital area, Nikon Corporation has made the decision to focus management resources on digital cameras in place of film cameras. This decision will allow Nikon to continue to develop products that match the demands of an increasingly competitive market place.
Despite this growing competition Nikon Corporation has continued to outperform the market, and has recently reported positive financial results which saw group net profit climb by 20% in the fiscal first half which ended in September. Group sales also increased by 9.8% to 342.85 billion yen in the same period. Sales of high end digital SLR cameras and the success of products like the D70s and D50 have helped contribute to these positive figures.
As the film camera market shrinks and the popularity of compact digital cameras increases, demand for products that offer advanced features and extra value is continuing to grow. High performance digital SLR cameras are performing well as users shift from film-based SLR cameras or upgrade from compact digital cameras to digital SLR cameras.
As a result of the new strategy Nikon will discontinue production of all lenses for large format cameras and enlarging lenses with sales of these products ceasing as soon as they run out of stock. This also applies to most of our film camera bodies, interchangeable manual focus lenses and related accessories. Although Nikon anticipates that the products will still be in retail distribution up to Summer 2006.
In recognition of Nikon’s commitment to professional photographers we will continue to manufacturer and sell the F6, our flagship film model, as well as a number of manual interchangeable lenses. Sales of the manual FM10 will also continue outside Europe.
• As well as the F6 film body and the manual FM10 Nikon will continue to manufacturer and sell the following Interchangeable manual lenses:
Nikkor 20mm f/2.8
Nikkor 24mm f/2.8
Nikkor 28mm f/2.8
Nikkor 35mm f/1.4
Nikkor 50mm f/1.2
Nikkor 50mm f/1.4
Micro-Nikkor 55mm f/2.8
Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8
PC Micro-Nikkor 85mm f/2.8D
• After-sales service will continue to be provided as before, according to the policy for each product.