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Nikon Historical Society -- hosted by the founding member Bob Rotoloni and members of the society. The NHS, based the US, has a worldwide membership. Our "Nikon Journal," published four times a year, concentrates on the history of Japanese photo equipment from the perspective of the Nikon Camera Company. The Nikon Journal often includes Nikon information not published anywhere else in the world. This forum provides an opportunity for conversation between collectors and users of classic film Nikons. See forum “stickies” for more information about the Society. If you are a serious Nikon Collector, you MUST be a NHS member. Join at http://www.nikonhistoricalsociety.com/!

View Poll Results: Who will Rescue Nikon?
Government Loan 11 7.01%
Sony 9 5.73%
Panasonic 4 2.55%
Fuji 4 2.55%
Canon 2 1.27%
Olympus 0 0%
Ricoh 4 2.55%
Blackstone (they invested in Leica) or Leica 2 1.27%
Zeiss 0 0%
Chinese camera or lens maker 19 12.10%
Investment Bank 10 6.37%
Other Investors - please explain 8 5.10%
Nikon will pull out of this on its own 84 53.50%
Voters: 157. You may not vote on this poll

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Who will rescue Nikon?
Old 02-14-2017   #1
CameraQuest
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Who will rescue Nikon?

What is your best guess for Nikon's rescue?

by investment?
by buy out?
by take over?

or dissolution?

or will Nikon be able to pull this out on their own?

No jokes -- folks losing their jobs is not a joking matter

With Nikon's rich history and many fans,
I can't personally imagine Nikon will not continue in some form.

Guess Choices are in no particular order
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Old 02-14-2017   #2
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Probably a buy-out. The company may be tanking, but the name alone is worth a lot. Somebody will want that, if anything.

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Old 02-14-2017   #3
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Toshiba is in much more trouble after they took over Westinghouse Nuclear Technology: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/14/b...lear-loss.html

So Nikon's fate might be off the radar to some extent here in Japan.
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Old 02-14-2017   #4
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General Motors was bailed out in 2009 by the US government because too many jobs were at stake in a failing economy. But there were causalities within GM. Oldsmobile, Pontiac and Saturn were lost. An established name really means nothing anymore.

Camera sales have been tanking for several years with no chance of a rebound. A shrinking market means a shrinking number of participants in said market.
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Old 02-15-2017   #5
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General Motors was bailed out in 2009 by the US government because too many jobs were at stake in a failing economy. But there were causalities within GM. Oldsmobile, Pontiac and Saturn were lost. An established name really means nothing anymore.

I don't pretend to know anything about the Japanese economy or the Japanese govenment, but the only way Nikon survives is a propping up by the Japanese government. No for profit business or investor will want Nikon, as camera sales have been tanking for several years with no chance of a rebound. A shrinking market means a shrinking number of participants in said market.

Furthermore, within a few years there will be not more than four major players in the 35mm/Medium format camera game: Canon, Sony, Fuji and Panasonic/Leica. All of these makers will have diversified interests besides cameras. Zeiss will continue but of course does not make cameras. Olympus, Pentax, Sigma, Ricoh and all of the other volume camera makers will be gone. Smartphone cameras will continue to proliferate and dominate the market. If I'm wrong about this, it will be that fewer than four major players survive.

It's possible a nimble, niche company like a Konost could make a speciality product and survive. But most of the volume makers will be gone.
Oldsmobile, Pontiac, Saturn, Hummer, and Saab.
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Old 02-14-2017   #6
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Why does Nikon need a rescue?
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Old 02-14-2017   #7
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Why does Nikon need a rescue?
Exactly. Although their recent announcements are shocking, in the world of finance, corporations layoff folks all the time. And besides companies go under all the time. Laws of nature. Yes it would be a titanic loss to us. But that's life, that is, unless some one comes along.
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Old 02-26-2017   #8
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Why does Nikon need a rescue?
The corporation generated over 100 billion yen in operating cash flow, so the company itself is not in financial jeopardy.

http://www.marketwatch.com/investing...ials/cash-flow
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Old 02-14-2017   #9
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I can't see any of the other camera mfgs rescuing them, as none, I repeat none of them are making money selling digital cameras *. They are all propped up by other divisions. Sony's imaging division is doing the best out of them, but that is from sensor and CCTV sales.

*Fuji's camera division is being bailed out by the Instax film and cameras. It is a huge seller for them.

Nikon already makes a lot of its stuff in China, so perhaps a Chinese buy out? But they are smart business people too, and unless they can see a way to turn around a dieing industry..

It seems that Leica is the only one that has this figured out, with their instant camera, the SL and the M10. But once the feeding frenzy of the M10 has settled, what then?
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Old 02-14-2017   #10
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My guess they rescue themselves. No doubt it will be hard but doable. Looks that cameras are evolving to types that produce images which smartphones cannot imitate. Only then there is motivation to buy them. Smaller markets and and less potential customers, but still there nevertheless.
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Old 02-14-2017   #11
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Nikon will become the optics/imaging/photo arm of a multi-product, multi-platform electronics conglomerate like.... wait for it....

SAMSUNG
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Old 02-14-2017   #12
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They may well join other former camera makers, such as Konica, Minolta, Yashica, Nicca, Leotax, etc. Creative destruction is part of the business cycle. Look at the mass extinction that occurred to the German camera industry in the 60s and 70s - Voigtlander (the original one, not Cosina), Zeiss, Exakta, etc. Leica themselves barely survived the 1990 and early 2000s.

I have my Nikon F, F2 and F3. There are lots of cameras around to cannibalize parts from if repairs are needed.
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Old 02-15-2017   #13
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Quote:
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Nikon will become the optics/imaging/photo arm of a multi-product, multi-platform electronics conglomerate like.... wait for it....

SAMSUNG
My wife tells me SamSung is in trouble for a variety of reasons. They have suffered from manufacturing defects in other product lines besides cell phones. They apparently have been linked to the current Korean President's problems, but they aren't the only one on that. Product problems will do more to hurt their image and business.

One never knows, but I don't know they would want to buy a business that may be, or at least is perceived to be, in trouble. They would probably want to clean their own house first.
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Old 02-14-2017   #14
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They will probably be a (much?) smaller company after this, but I haven't yet seen that a bailout is necessary unless they continue to make poor product (APS-C lens line gaps) and pricing (Nikon 1) decisions, and get their marketing and service support (Nikon USA) wrong. That's according to the best outsider ongoing analysis I've seen, by Thom Hogan.

They still have some of the best cameras around IMO (D810, D500, D7200).
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Old 02-14-2017   #15
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To understand the financial situation of Nikon, please read these articles of Thom Hogan:
http://www.dslrbodies.com/newsviews/...mean-dead.html

http://www.dslrbodies.com/newsviews/...inancials.html
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Old 02-15-2017   #16
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To understand the financial situation of Nikon, please read these articles of Thom Hogan:
If I had to read his articles, I would prefer to just be surprised.
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Old 02-15-2017   #17
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If I had to read his articles, I would prefer to just be surprised.
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Old 02-15-2017   #18
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Clicked "other investment" as it is the closest to NOT needing an outsider buyer or investor. They have plenty of scope to manage things themselves.

That dreaded word "rightsizing" and internal restructuring of the company plus steps like cancel the DL line shows they are beginning to cop on.

I agree with earlier posts about the Japanese board making same mistakes as other Japanese large companies - that culture needs to change and adapt.

But they are a large company, well resourced and well placed to survive on their own.
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Old 02-14-2017   #19
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I agree with those who think they should manage their own downsizing. They should develop a clear philosophy and focus on being a producer of professional-grade optical equipment. phase out the consumer and "prosumer" product lines. Many amateurs will still buy pro gear.
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Old 02-15-2017   #20
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Olympus, Toshiba and others seem to illustrate some sort of cultural failure within these companies at board level.

Close your eyes and you could imagine that they have the same ailments as some of the long gone British motorcycle industry...

Maybe.

I'm not even going to mention M5, CL, *****flex etc etc, ever.
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Old 02-15-2017   #21
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I don't think they need bailing or saving, but they will if they don't consolidate their product lines and start bringing out cameras with a clear, brave, unified ethos. Right now their lineup is literally all over the place, and they STILL don't have anything of a mirrorless lineup. If you're worried about cannibalising your DSLRs with a pro level mirrorless camera, don't worry Nikon - Sony and Fujifilm will do it for you.

Basically - lose the low end of the market. Compacts and small sensor mirrorless. Focus on the high end prosumer and pro market.
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Old 02-15-2017   #22
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There is nothing in their financials that would require any immediate rescue action or bailout. Making loss (in one of their business lines) or losing sales is not equivalent of being insolvent or having liquidity problems. In the long term - yes, they need to think what's their survival strategy or strategy to re-establish themselves as a market leader, but this is "business as usual" for any company. Nikon is not going out of business in the immediate future and I don't see why they would need an investor? They have stable positive free cash flows and stable debt equity ratio.
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Old 02-26-2017   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by valdas View Post
There is nothing in their financials that would require any immediate rescue action or bailout. Making loss (in one of their business lines) or losing sales is not equivalent of being insolvent or having liquidity problems. In the long term - yes, they need to think what's their survival strategy or strategy to re-establish themselves as a market leader, but this is "business as usual" for any company. Nikon is not going out of business in the immediate future and I don't see why they would need an investor? They have stable positive free cash flows and stable debt equity ratio.
+1 .

They have problems and have to do their "homework", that is obvoius. But the same is valid for almost all other digital camera manufacturers, too. Almost all have big problems because of the significantly declining demand for digital cameras.
I am convinced Nikon is strong enough to resolve their problems by themselves.

What do they have to do:
1. "Mainstream" strategy:
a) Better R&D work: Finish the test procedures before a camera is introduced to the market, to avoid those bugs we've seen with the early D800, D600 and D750 units.
Trust in the brand is a huge capital. Nikon must not risk that by bad work in the design and testing process.

b) Strong focus on the DSLR market. It is the biggest market by far, the most profitable and the least competitive with only one real competitor: Canon (Sony and Pentax together have less than 10% market share). The DSLM market is much much smaller and has nine competitors. Very brutal competition.

c) Make two record-small DSLRs: One for beginners, one for advanced photographers. Like the former Canon SL-1, but with better quality. Make them an attractive alternative for DSLM users.

d) Introduce more DX prime lenses for APS-C. Add a very compact "pancake" design series of lenses to the current lens line-up (like the former Nikorr 2,8/45 P).

e) In the past Nikon was very successful with the parallelity of two (similar) bodies with two different sensors for different applications: One lower resolving sensor with better dynamic range, higher ISO and higher speed (fps), and one "slower" sensor optimised for high resolution.
Make that again:
A 24 MP high-dynamic range, high ISO + high speed sensor (fps)
in both "D810" like and a "D5 like" camera.
And
a 50 MP high resolution sensor in both a "D810" like and a "D5 like" camera.
So a "S" and "X" line.

f) Introduce a mirrorless APS-C camera line (like the Canon EF-M, that is the right path). Position it (and advertize it) also for upgraders from smartphones. This system will replace the Nikon 1 system in the long run.
Higher-end smartphones will probably have 1" sensors in the future. To get "smartphoners" interested in upgrading to real cameras these cameras have to be significantly better than smartphones. The difference must be clearly visible. Therefore APS-C.

2. Thinking "out of the box":
The whole digital camera market will continue to decline for some further years.
But the film demand is increasing. Nikon should prepare for that development:
a) Nikon's legendary scanners Coolscan V, 5000 and 9000 are on very high demand on the used market. For units in good condition often more (!) than the former new price is given. A clear indication for a very strong demand.
Also scanner manufacturers like Pacific Image / Reflecta and Epson are reporting increasing demand for years.
It would be a smart move from Nikon to introduce an improved line of scanners (with real 5000ppi resolution).

b) The most successful photo product on the market is currently Fuji Instax: Last year alone 6.5 million Instax cameras were sold. That is more than double (!!) the volume of the whole DSLM market.
The Instax film is very good, the Instax cameras not so.
Why not a (very) good camera with a good lens for Instax mini and Instax wide film? I would buy them at once. I need it for my professional work at weddings.

c) It has been clever to keep the FM-10 and F6 in production. Nikon should prepare for extended film camera production in 3-5 years from now:
F7, F200, FM4A.
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Old 02-26-2017   #24
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Quote:
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.....The most successful photo product on the market is currently Fuji Instax: Last year alone 6.5 million Instax cameras were sold. That is more than double (!!) the volume of the whole DSLM market. The Instax film is very good, the Instax cameras not so. Why not a (very) good camera with a good lens for Instax mini and Instax wide film? I would buy them at once. I need it for my professional work at weddings..........
I’d love to see this. I too, shoot weddings, and my SX-70 is always a bit hit. But IP film is pricey and quality, while good, is not in the Instax league. A more full-featured Instax camera (by any manufacturer) with a good lens would be very nice indeed.

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Old 02-27-2017   #25
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+1 .

It would be a smart move from Nikon to introduce an improved line of scanners (with real 5000ppi resolution).
It doesn't even need to be improved. A reintroduction of the 5000 with software that works with current operating systems would be a popular product.
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Old 02-27-2017   #26
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If Nikon wants more niche products how about new plain prism finders for the Nikon F? I would also love to see a modern meter for a Nikon F and I would pay a crazy price if Nikon could stuff the meter from an N90s into a Nikon F Photomic prism. I know, I'm dreaming. Joe
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Old 02-28-2017   #27
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It doesn't even need to be improved. A reintroduction of the 5000 with software that works with current operating systems would be a popular product.
People have been asking the new people behind the Kodak films for just a new software that works with modern OS for the Pakon. I'd love to see Nikon release new versions of their old scanners.
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Old 03-01-2017   #28
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Originally Posted by brennanphotoguy View Post
I'd love to see Nikon release new versions of their old scanners.
You are not alone. Lots of photographers would buy a new Nikon film scanner. The extremely high prices for used Nikon scanners are a very clear indicator.

The best what all these photographers wanting a new Nikon scanner can do is:
Get in direct contact with Nikon! Tell them what you want and need.
Nikon is not looking in threads like this.
But they are realising what emails and phone calls they get.

Cheers, Jan
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Old 06-21-2017   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skiff View Post
+1 .

They have problems and have to do their "homework", that is obvoius. But the same is valid for almost all other digital camera manufacturers, too. Almost all have big problems because of the significantly declining demand for digital cameras.
I am convinced Nikon is strong enough to resolve their problems by themselves.

What do they have to do:
1. "Mainstream" strategy:
a) Better R&D work: Finish the test procedures before a camera is introduced to the market, to avoid those bugs we've seen with the early D800, D600 and D750 units.
Trust in the brand is a huge capital. Nikon must not risk that by bad work in the design and testing process.

b) Strong focus on the DSLR market. It is the biggest market by far, the most profitable and the least competitive with only one real competitor: Canon (Sony and Pentax together have less than 10% market share). The DSLM market is much much smaller and has nine competitors. Very brutal competition.

c) Make two record-small DSLRs: One for beginners, one for advanced photographers. Like the former Canon SL-1, but with better quality. Make them an attractive alternative for DSLM users.

d) Introduce more DX prime lenses for APS-C. Add a very compact "pancake" design series of lenses to the current lens line-up (like the former Nikorr 2,8/45 P).

e) In the past Nikon was very successful with the parallelity of two (similar) bodies with two different sensors for different applications: One lower resolving sensor with better dynamic range, higher ISO and higher speed (fps), and one "slower" sensor optimised for high resolution.
Make that again:
A 24 MP high-dynamic range, high ISO + high speed sensor (fps)
in both "D810" like and a "D5 like" camera.
And
a 50 MP high resolution sensor in both a "D810" like and a "D5 like" camera.
So a "S" and "X" line.

f) Introduce a mirrorless APS-C camera line (like the Canon EF-M, that is the right path). Position it (and advertize it) also for upgraders from smartphones. This system will replace the Nikon 1 system in the long run.
Higher-end smartphones will probably have 1" sensors in the future. To get "smartphoners" interested in upgrading to real cameras these cameras have to be significantly better than smartphones. The difference must be clearly visible. Therefore APS-C.

2. Thinking "out of the box":
The whole digital camera market will continue to decline for some further years.
But the film demand is increasing. Nikon should prepare for that development:
a) Nikon's legendary scanners Coolscan V, 5000 and 9000 are on very high demand on the used market. For units in good condition often more (!) than the former new price is given. A clear indication for a very strong demand.
Also scanner manufacturers like Pacific Image / Reflecta and Epson are reporting increasing demand for years.
It would be a smart move from Nikon to introduce an improved line of scanners (with real 5000ppi resolution).

b) The most successful photo product on the market is currently Fuji Instax: Last year alone 6.5 million Instax cameras were sold. That is more than double (!!) the volume of the whole DSLM market.
The Instax film is very good, the Instax cameras not so.
Why not a (very) good camera with a good lens for Instax mini and Instax wide film? I would buy them at once. I need it for my professional work at weddings.

c) It has been clever to keep the FM-10 and F6 in production. Nikon should prepare for extended film camera production in 3-5 years from now:
F7, F200, FM4A.

Bang on. Couldn't agree more. The film scanner bit is genius. Their is a definite market for small boutique photo labs and also for home users. Best would be to release a commercial grade machine that's sturdy, efficient and fast, and an affordable home unit that's affordable and outputs good quality scans.
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Old 02-15-2017   #30
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Apple should buy Nikon and water the name down in their iphone use, Nikkor lenses on iphones etc as a primo option. Cameras and optics on cell phones/ mobile phones will get even more deluxe and optic choice will be astounding in the future.
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Old 02-15-2017   #31
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I think they will save themselves and figure this all out.
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Old 02-15-2017   #32
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I'm also in the camp of, "they don't need saving/won't get bought out." I think they'll just restructure their photo products and streamline their offerings more. I think they should do what other have suggested and dump everything below the D5XXX. So get rid of their Coolpix cameras and the D3XXX cameras. There's too much overlap in their lineup. I think they should cancel the Nikon 1 line or change it up to something better. They need to focus more on the prosumer/professional end of the market spectrum.
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Old 02-15-2017   #33
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I dunno. Bring back the F2 and the old heavy duty AI primes from 20 to 200mm? Hey, if Leica can still sell three different film bodies then Nikon should be able to also.
Seriously, I really have no idea.
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Old 02-15-2017   #34
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From what I've read so far, Nikon needs ideas, not capital.
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Old 02-15-2017   #35
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From what I've read so far, Nikon needs ideas, not capital.
Nah, give them new money and they will have a reason to come out with a Nikon 2 system (same as Nikon 1 just a smaller sensor size).

I think Nikon will be better for us consumers when they are not doing so great financially.
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Old 02-15-2017   #36
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Bringing out a true monochrome camera should do it for them. :~)
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Old 02-15-2017   #37
BillBingham2
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If Nikon stops focusing on useless features demanded by marketing, improve the integration/basic functionality of their products (e.g. master flash control), stop doing zoom after zoom after zoom and focus on prime glass that rocks, Nikon will save Nikon.

Get back to basics, focus on user control not having the camera think for you.

B2 (;->
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Old 02-15-2017   #38
Lavertezzo
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Dr. Kaufmann will buy Nikon.
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Old 02-15-2017   #39
Ko.Fe.
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Quote:
folks losing their jobs is not a joking matter
Where I'm people are losing jobs because they are too old and it is not profitable to pay for their benefits. Where I'm even young people are losing jobs because it is outsourced.
Where I'm people are losing jobs because of automation and robotization.
And where I'm people are losing jobs because management is shortsighted at one side and world is quickly changing outside, which is case with Nikon as well.
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Old 02-15-2017   #40
Spanik
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I don't think you can compare cars with cameras in this case. All those brands were nothing more than brands, selling the same thing with some cosmetic changes and different marketing. So far in camera land this isn't happening. (Ok, if you leave out the rebranded sony/hasselblads) Nikon doesn't sell the same camera under different brands.
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