'Nikon In Space' Commemorates Company's 100 Year Anniversary With Breathtaking Time-Lapse Video

First establishing a business relationship with NASA in January 1971, Nikon fulfilled a contract that put several modified Nikon Photomic FTN cameras aboard Apollo 15 which launched later that year. Since then, Nikon equipment has been on every manned space flight. In this time-lapse video by SmugMug Films, the connected history of Nikon and space exploration is observed as part of the company's 100 year anniversary celebration.

The special Nikon 100th anniversary website has all sorts of interesting information to read up on. In regards to the nine modified cameras made for NASA, Nikon needed to design them to withstand the extreme conditions of space and be able to capture the Earth's ozone layer and auroras. To do so, they added in special lubricating oil, high shock absorption, and made them a non-reflective matte black along with the 55mm f/1.2 lenses that were attached. Nikon had from January to June in 1971 to make the cameras and supply them to NASA for approval. The next month, on July 26, the three-man crew of Apollo 15 launched from Kennedy Space Center for a successful lunar landing.

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Oliver Kmia's picture

I downloaded all the timelapse sequences from the NASA website to make this video a few month ago. The photo are only available in JPEG and the astronauts love to shoot in AWB and set weird expo settings (i.e f/1.4 at ISO2000 and 1/4000...). I don't blame the guys, they have plenty of stuff to do and this is already great to get this resource from NASA. Fortunately LRTimelapse helped me to fix and clean the timelapse.
By the way, the EXIF from the pic reveals that these sequences were mostly shot with Nikon D3S (12mpx). A minority was done with Nikon D2x and D4. Apparently the D5 didn't make it to space yet (or the pic are not available on the website).

Phil Wright's picture

This is simply incredible! I can't believe there aren't more comments!?

Christos Dikos's picture