Technology & Philosophy

vol.5

The middlemen who help to
ensure the ultimate in NIKKOR quality

A designer who places priority on performance vs. an engineer who places priority on work

Q. One optical designer has said that Mr. Nishida was very helpful last time, encouraging everyone concerned to work hard to find ways to release the lens on time right up to the last minute, even when it looked like it would not be possible.

Production SupportTomohiro Ishibashi

I also had quite a hard time with the older 24-70mm lens. As that product was returned for adjustment processing many times, I consulted with technology and the factory, all of us working very hard to optimize the order of processes and figure out what should be done with the production line in accordance with this optimization, and we even spent our lunch breaks modifying the production line. As we worked very hard, we learned a lot from this experience.

Quality AssuranceHitoshi Imanari

That's right. We worried about whether or not mass production of the older lens would actually be possible right up to the very end. Thankfully, however, it was better received than we ever would have hoped for.

Product EngineeringHiroshi Ikeda

Meeting design demands requires assembly with a level of precision measured in microns. That is really difficult. Mass production is not possible until all elements, including optical and mechanical adjustment, and the ordering of processes, have been skillfully combined.

Absolute requirements for achieving the ultimate NIKKOR quality
(complete optical adjustment, inspection, sensory evaluation)

Quality AssuranceHitoshi Imanari

At Nikon, we adjust and inspect all optical components, and then perform a sensory evaluation of all products. This has been realized with our technical know-how accumulated over the years, and streamlining and automation. I think that this has been made possible with the high-speed, high-precision measurement devices that utilize Nikon's exclusive optical technologies. We perform MTF tests for every lens to evaluate performance with flat planes. Other than that, we try to find where the best peripheral focal plane is, and measure aberrations for every lens as necessary, for example.

Quality AssuranceHitoshi Imanari

In addition, we always share complaints and requests received from our customers. We have a system that allows us to immediately perform a detailed check of product quality and provide feedback to the factory when a problem is found.
It is also very important that those responsible for assuring product quality be skilled at their job. As there are many aspects, including sensory aspects, to be evaluated, a great deal of hard work and perseverance is required to become well versed in evaluation. It truly takes many years to become an expert.

Thoughts on the AF-S NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8E ED VR and other NIKKOR lenses

Quality AssuranceHitoshi Imanari

When the older 24-70mm lens was released, it was released as a professional model. As such, we received a lot of complaints that it was not equipped with a VR mechanism. We added it this time! This made the new 24-70mm VR lens Nikon's standard normal lens. I think that this lens is especially influential in the fashion and wedding industries.

Optical TechnologyYasuhiko Nishida

I think this lens offers the best performance of any normal zoom lens currently available. This impressive zoom lens reproduces the particular demands and preferences of the designer with the latest production technologies.

Production SupportTomohiro Ishibashi

Our factories are working hard every day to produce this lens. I really want people to use this lens, which can be called Nikon's best normal zoom lens to date.

Product EngineeringHiroshi Ikeda

We fully incorporate ideas from production engineers so that we may create even higher quality products. As all of Nikon's lens production technologies have been concentrated in this product, I really want everyone to try it and experience that quality for themselves.