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Why doesn't Nikon make refractors for Astronomy?

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#1 jmccown

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Posted 02 June 2020 - 06:55 PM

I have a Nikon prostaff 40 mm riflescope on my Ruger 10/22. I am thrilled with the scope and find it more useful than scopes that cost much more. It has excellent optics and is of very solid construction.

 

I wish Nikon would apply their optical expertise at making refractors for amatuer astronomers. If they did they would  likely give us some reasonably priced  scopes of excellent quality.


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#2 Spikey131

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Posted 02 June 2020 - 07:16 PM

Because the CN refractor group would inevitably point out how inferior their optics were next to the incredible Takahashi refractors and their amazing Canon fluorite doublets. This would cause unimaginable pain for the Nikon designers who have been losing out to Canon in the photographic world for the past 20+ years😁

Edited by Spikey131, 02 June 2020 - 07:17 PM.

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#3 RalphMeisterTigerMan

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Posted 02 June 2020 - 07:27 PM

They do build large water-proof binoculars for the U.S. Navy, 120mm objectives I believe.

 

Clear skies!

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#4 stevew

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Posted 02 June 2020 - 07:27 PM

They used to make refractors.

https://www.cloudyni...kon-telescopes/

https://astromart.co...japanese-legend

https://www.cloudyni...ting-telescope/

 

However there is a much bigger market in camera lenses, rather than the relatively small astronomy market.


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#5 Codbear

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Posted 02 June 2020 - 07:32 PM

Because they enjoy making a profit. grin.gif


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#6 Echolight

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Posted 02 June 2020 - 07:37 PM

They don't even make rifle scopes anymore.



#7 John Carlini

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Posted 02 June 2020 - 07:45 PM

In 1931, they made an 8-inch refractor on an equatorial mount that sat in the Tokyo Science Museum. Later in the 80s and 90s, they made a couple of models of amateur refractors. Now, it looks like they just make sporting optics and camera equipment. Probably the most lucrative market for their products.



#8 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 02 June 2020 - 08:04 PM

Amateur astronomy is a tiny market. Nikon does about 6.5 billion dollars in sales.

 

Jon


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#9 sanbai

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Posted 02 June 2020 - 08:08 PM

Maybe asking to much.

My hope actually is that they stay in the camera business. Just saying.

Disclaimer: I use Canon and Fujifilm cameras, but competition is always good.

#10 sydney

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Posted 02 June 2020 - 11:15 PM

It may be a small market, but they still make eyepieces and have this on their website:

 

https://imaging.niko...enge/index.html


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#11 db2005

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Posted 03 June 2020 - 12:23 AM

Nikon certainly is capable of making quality optics. Their microscopes are just as highly regarded as those of Zeiss, Olympus and Leica. And their long-discontinued 100mm F/12 ED refractor seemingly has a near-legendary status; Ed Ting of scopereviews reviewed a sample of the Nikon 100mm F/12 some years ago and found to to be better corrected than a Tak FS102, which is high praise indeed.

 

But, as mentioned above, the amateur astronomy market is small, and making a profit on it seems unlikely in the face of the competition. Tak already occupies a big portion of the high-end market and when thinking about it I don't even think Tak are excessively expensive for what you get.



#12 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 03 June 2020 - 04:55 AM

It may be a small market, but they still make eyepieces and have this on their website:

 

https://imaging.niko...enge/index.html

 

I would think the eyepieces were originally meant for their spotting scopes. The Astro photos were done with DSLRs..

 

Jon



#13 Tenor Viol

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Posted 03 June 2020 - 05:38 AM

Nikon have in the past made all kinds of highly specialised optical equipment and still do in e.g. medical imaging. Sadly, I suspect it's an economic decision of entry cost vs profit from a niche segment of a small market...



#14 BillP

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Posted 03 June 2020 - 09:30 AM

They used to make refractors...many much sought after and considered akin to Zeiss.

 

https://astromart.co...19/666037-2.jpg



#15 CharlieB

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Posted 03 June 2020 - 11:00 AM

They are indeed wonderful scopes.  1956 50/750mm

Attached Thumbnails

  • NK50.jpg
  • DSC_0895 - Edited (2).jpg

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#16 turtle86

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Posted 03 June 2020 - 11:10 AM

It may be a small market, but they still make eyepieces and have this on their website:

 

https://imaging.niko...enge/index.html

One of the pics has a Tak...



#17 turtle86

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Posted 03 June 2020 - 11:16 AM

I would think the eyepieces were originally meant for their spotting scopes. The Astro photos were done with DSLRs..

 

Jon

That might be true for some of their eyepieces, but the 12.5 and 17mm Nikon HW eyepieces are astronomical eyepieces. 


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#18 payner

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Posted 03 June 2020 - 11:39 AM

All of Nikon's current eyepieces, the 72-deg and 102-deg, were introduced by Nikon as astronomical eyepieces. They announced the two lines as a celebration of the 2009 International Year of Astronomy. They made some fanfare about these relative to that event; I can't believe that has been 11 years ago. Time flies when one is having fun.


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#19 Bomber Bob

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Posted 03 June 2020 - 11:57 AM

All of Nikon's current eyepieces, the 72-deg and 102-deg, were introduced by Nikon as astronomical eyepieces. They announced the two lines as a celebration of the 2009 International Year of Astronomy. They made some fanfare about these relative to that event; I can't believe that has been 11 years ago. Time flies when one is having fun.

Supposedly, Goto sourced its eyepiece glass directly from Nikon, or NK's suppliers:

 

GHS452 - Eyepiece Set S01.jpg

 

These came as a bundle with my 1958 GHS 452, and are the best .965" examples I have from a kit.



#20 turtle86

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Posted 03 June 2020 - 12:00 PM

All of Nikon's current eyepieces, the 72-deg and 102-deg, were introduced by Nikon as astronomical eyepieces. They announced the two lines as a celebration of the 2009 International Year of Astronomy. They made some fanfare about these relative to that event; I can't believe that has been 11 years ago. Time flies when one is having fun.

 

I have the 12.5 and 17mm 102 degree HW’s, and they might well be the finest eyepieces I own.


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#21 payner

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Posted 03 June 2020 - 12:57 PM

Me too, and couldn't agree more, with one caveat, the TMB Supermoncentric eyepieces. Those two line examples are definitely at two extreme points of the eyepiece spectrum.


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#22 Jeff Morgan

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Posted 03 June 2020 - 02:49 PM

Nikon have in the past made all kinds of highly specialised optical equipment and still do in e.g. medical imaging. Sadly, I suspect it's an economic decision of entry cost vs profit from a niche segment of a small market...

 

Without a doubt.

 

It would be wonderful if an amateur astronomer rose to the executive ranks of Nikon and used his clout to make a serious entry in this market.

 

With those resources and experience think of the options we could have in telescopes and eyepieces ...

 

Of course after seeing the returns this market can provide, the shareholders would remove such an executive. Accountability is a meinu.


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#23 Don Taylor

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Posted 03 June 2020 - 07:11 PM

I have been a user of Nikon photographic equipment since 1985 and own lenses spanning 18 to 800mm but i've never had the pleasure of even seeing a Nikon or Nippon Kogaku astronomical telescope. From photographs on line and atticles here on CN they look to be fantastic instruments, albeit prior to today's market emphasis on astrophotography.

My understanding is the photo division has not been doing well financially and Nikon is carried by its photolithography equipment used to manufacture microchips.
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#24 Nippon

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Posted 04 June 2020 - 02:58 PM

Smart phones are taking a toll on camera companies. The point and shoot cameras have all but disappeared. And I believe DSLR sales are struggling. I have been using Nikon cameras and lenses since the 60s. I would love to own a Nikon 10cm f/12 ED I believe it would be a real gem of a scope. Both Nikon, Pentax and a host of other Japanese companies produced wonderful telescopes in the past. But seems only Takahashi and Vixen carry on. And from my understanding the Star Base 80 is not actually built by Takahashi so there must be some small Japanese companies still doing business.



#25 junomike

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Posted 04 June 2020 - 05:25 PM

Post #16 & #17 tell all.....




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