Nikon Lenses - A History

Nikon Lenses - A History


Over 80 years Nikon has proven a commitment to integrity, reliability, outstanding craftsmanship and their pursuit for optical perfection. Be it for events, nature, sports, travelling, landscapes, and a lot more. With over 90 lenses and each optimised to deliver stunning results over a variety of applications, it employs the world’s most advanced optical technologies to push the potential of lenses to unprecedented heights. Nikon lenses made sure that the highest attention to detail is paid to every aspect of every lens that bears the name and has gained the trust of the world’s most renowned photographers for their superior performance and reliability.




Nippon Kogaku K.K. the origin of Nikon, was established on July 25, 1917, at 120 Haramachi, Koishikawa-ku in Tokyo. Nippon Kogaku K.K. started with domestic production of optical instruments such as rangefinders and microscopes. This was the first of several steps of Nikon which now cover over a hundred years. During that era, the production of advanced optical instruments was a matter of national urgency in Japan, so plans were made to establish an optics company by combining the optical instruments division of the Tokyo Keiki company and the mirror division of Iwaki Glass with Fujii Lens Manufacturing. Entrusted with this objective was Koyata Iwasaki, the president of the Mitsubishi and nephew of Mitsubishi founder Yataro Iwasaki. This plan greatly improved Nippon Kogaku K.K. and, subsequently, the Nikon of today.


1917 - Nikon headquarters at the time was within the Tokyo

Keiki company at 120 Haramachi, Koishikawa-ku, Tokyo


1918 - The company began researching optical glass but eventually suspended its operations when it could not fully address several technical difficulties. However, in 1922, when self-sufficiency of optical glass to supply domestic production of optical instruments became a necessity, research was then resumed in earnest. Thus, in March 1923 the company built glass research facilities in three sections including the No. 1 melting wing in its Oi Dai-ni plant, and installed facilities including a 500kg melting furnace, four cooling kilns and two test furnaces with 20kg and 7kg capacities. Around May of the same year the company then began test-melting optical glass, and performed its first kilning using a 350kg crucible in June.


The Oi Dai-ichi Plant in 1921
and the five-story building
in the background is an observatory.



500kg furnace


1921 – The MIKRON 4x and 6x ultra-small-prism binoculars were marketed. It is one of the first binocular models developed, designed and manufactured by Nikon. They have been acclaimed for their compactness and great functionality, and remained a popular model after being reproduced for sale in 1948 and 1997.

One of the first binocular models developed, designed, and manufactured by Nikon and reproduced in 1948 and 1997.




With advances in optical technologies the company invited 8 engineers from Germany. These specialists included Professor Max Lange who was a world authority on lens design, Heinrich Acht, who had high expertise in microscope design, Ernst Bernick, a leader in precision instrument technology, and Hermann Dillmann, a specialist in lens design and computation. The guidance and intelligence of these engineers truly had a dramatic effect upon improving the company’s technologies They also initiated design for development of Nikon's photographic lenses. With the help of these engineers, they were able to catch up with the level of optical technologies by developed countries. The company started out by imitating, and named its series of lenses "Anytar," which were designed following the example of the Tessar lens that was the main lens type during that time. It is said that Acht had a hand in almost all the Anytar lens designs. After Acht returned to Germany, Japanese designers added improvements on the lens. The Anytar 12cm F4.5 prototype was initially completed in 1929. It was then further modified, and by 1931 it attained a level where it was no longer in the shadow of the original Tessar. It is recognized that there have been seven types of the Anytar lens, with focal lengths of 7.5cm, 10.5cm, 10.7cm, 12cm, 15cm, 18cm and 36cm.


The Company

As Nikon’s manufacturing grew on an international scale it continues to provide products that achieve "Nikon quality" regardless of where they are produced around the world. However, Nikon realizes that introducing and strengthening a common quality management system and production technology meets the same quality worldwide. Therefore, it must maintain its extremely high qualities whichever Nikon facility it is produced.


Reinforcing the quality management system


Guided by its corporate philosophy of “Trustworthiness and Creativity” the company established a Basic Quality Policy for the quality management system and developed a quality control directive, in order to effectively carry out the policy and implement it within the Nikon Group. Moreover, in order to achieve an optimised manufacturing, Nikon makes continuous efforts to strengthen the quality management system and prevent quality problems.


The Representative Director and President, Toshikazu Umatate strives to strengthen the delivery of solutions and sustain their main businesses: Imaging Products and Precision Equipment, while also creating new valuethrough their strategic businesses: Healthcare, Components, and Digital Manufacturing. With “Trust and Creativity," they will contribute to the realization of a sustainable society through their businesses and meet the expectations of all their stakeholders by enhancing their corporate value



Nikon Lensewear


Nikon has a long and proud history of high-precision optics, from photography to optical lenses. Nikon offers unrivaled quality of vision and product durability by combining Japanese craftsmanship with over a century of innovation.

Best Materials

Purity and homogeneity are critical factors for lenses to have a high level of transmittance and allow enough light through. Nikon has been involved in the development of materials for a wide variety of optical products to meet a wide range of requirements. Nikon is known for producing some of the thinnest and clearest ophthalmic lenses thanks to this expertise.

The best optic design

The function of a lens is determined by its design. technologies are an essential part of ophthalmic lens design to provide you with clearer, sharper, and distortion-free vision.

Best Coatings

One of the functions of coatings is to control light and reduce reflections. Coatings are also applied to the outer layer of lenses to repel water and oil, prevent static electricity, and improve scratch resistance. Nikon's coating technologies provide cleaner, clearer, sharper, and more durable lenses in the case of eyeglasses.

The Best Lenses

Nikon ophthalmic lenses provide outstanding vision quality by combining clear and thin materials with sharp designs and high performance coatings.

Lens Types

High Precision                  Light Mastery


High Precision Lenses

Nikon has consistently been introducing pioneering solutions over the course of its 100-year history. Now with Nikon's High Precision lenses, you can now see every single detail, pique your curiosity and imagination, and imagine a new world.

  • Progressive lenses - Progressive lenses are the best option for addressing presbyopia, which is a natural result of the aging of the eye. Nikon provides a wide range of options that provide superior optical performance, improved aesthetics, and optimal comfort all in a single lens.
  1. Seemax Ultimate 
  2. Presio Master 
  3. SeeMax Master 
  4. Presio W

Seemax Ultimate, The most advanced progressive lens Nikon has manufactured.

The Seemax Ultimate is truly a revolutionary and ground-breaking innovation from Nikon, For it allows the wearer to get the best viewing experience since each lens is co-designed with the wearer based on his needs, preferences, and viewing habits. It benefits the wearer by enabling quick and easy focusing at all distances, Natural vision with minimal visual distractions and grants Instant adaptation regardless of what wearer wore before. 

The design of each Ultimate lens is very unique, for it is personalized to its wearer’s needs, preferences and viewing habits. Not only that it grants Sharper Vision Over The Entire Lens since the lens design takes into account the frames shape and how the frames fits on the wearer’s face. That way  the viewing area is optimised where you need it most.

The distinction between conventionally designed lenses and the 428,793,740 design possibilities available to everyone




Presio Master, premium progressive lens

Presio Master lens is designed in such a way that eliminates visual stress and provide minimal distortion all around, giving the most comfortable and natural vision possible. Best for wearers seeking maximum visual comfort and sharp vision.




SeeMax Master is digitally enhanced for stress free vision. Best for wearers looking for a high visual performance in all demanding situations, taking into account your frame shape to optimize your visual comfort.

SeeMax Master minimizes the deformation caused by your lens and eliminates any residual blurriness. It also allows you to seamlessly blend what your left and right eyes see. The vision is comfortable at all times, including while driving or reading, keeping your brain free of eye strain.

  • Clear vision twice as wide

  • Aberrations are pushed out of the frame using Nikon's frame shape technology, increasing the usable area of the lenses and keeping them as sharp as possible.

    Presio Power, provides wider and sharper vision optimised to your own parameters. It is digitally processed and optimised progressive design adapted to each wearer’s parameters for a wider intermediate vision with fast adaptation and sharper vision, and with that it has wider intermediate vision for faster adaptation and instantaneous comfort, best for Progressive lenses wearers with high addition seeking maximised visual comfort.

    • Sharper vision customized to your unique parameters



    Presio W is a  dynamic progressive lens with a large viewing area from far to near, pushing the boundaries of vision. It is made with Excellent aesthetics (thin and flat) Wider, sharper and clearer vision, easy to adapt and has the ability to filter aberrations.

  • Wider and clearer vision across the entire lens

  • The Presio W advanced widening filter reduces unwanted aberration on the periphery and improves lens optimization for clear, sharp vision with wider intermediate vision.

  • Single Vision Lenses - Single vision lenses have the same focal power throughout the lens and are suitable for correcting myopia, hyperopia, and/or astigmatism. Nikon has a wide selection of single vision lenses that will not only meet your needs but will also not compromise your appearance. Both ways are pleasing to the eyes.

    1.  As Viewfit
    2. Nikon Lite As
    3. SeeMax Infinite
    4. RelaxSee NEO
    5. Myopsee
    6. Soltes Wide NEO


    As Viewfit is a brand-new aspheric vision technology. The Nikon Optical Design Engine is used in AS Viewfit's 2-axis optimization on the back surface, which improves the lens's performance for superior clarity, comfort, and fit. With AS Viewfit, wearers with astigmatism seeking a premium vision solution can see with less distraction, get the best fit by taking into account their unique wearing parameters, and match with the frame of their choice.

  • See with lesser distraction
  • The Nikon Optical Design Engine and 2-axis optimisation significantly reduce oblique astigmatism in the lens, resulting in clear vision with less visual distortion.

  • Get the best fit
  • Tailor lens optimisation to fit your unique wearing parameters for enhanced comfort and looks with the Viewfit Technology.

  • Match with the frame of your choice
  • You can choose from a variety of base curves to ensure that the lens and frame are always the ideal fit. 



    Nikon Lite AS, A cutting-edge single vision lens which is thinner, lighter and flatter with minimal peripheral distortion and excellent aesthetics for sharp, clear vision.

    Unique Aspheric Design


    One of Nikon's greatest accomplishments is the unique Aspheric design of its lenses, which it inherited from its camera lenses.


    Seemax Infinite,
    The most optimised lens optimizing every aspect of the design for the sharpest, clearest vision possible and extraordinary visual precision with unsurpassed comfort.

    SeeMax Infinite Vs. Conventional lenses

    A special lens designed for eyestrain and eye fatigue relief to relax your eyes when concentrating on the near vision, which makes it best fir Wearers whose eyes feel tired after prolonged use of eyeglasses.

    If you experience eye fatigue after using electronic devices or computers for an extended period of time, blurred or double vision when reading, or ache while working on the computer, Relaxsee NEO is the product for you.
  • Twin Technology

  • The lens is divided into two zones: the clear zone for far vision and the relax zone for near vision, which has a slightly lower power. This combination helps to reduce eye strain from daily tasks like reading and computer work.

    Myopsee is a brand of double aspheric single vision lenses. A lens designed specifically for myopes, it is the thinnest in the line, lightweight, and optically superior.

    Myopsee preserves your natural appearance by limiting lens distortion and reducing the "small eyes" effect, which is especially noticeable in high myopes.

    Conventional Lenses                       Vs.                                  Myopsee


    Myopsee eliminates the distortion towards the periphery of the lens, for natural and clear vision.

    Soltes Wide NEO is a near vision lens that is specifically designed for extended near vision. It is ideal for tasks such as computer work, reading, cooking, and so on. Soltes Wide NEO, unlike standard single vision lenses, allows you to see close-up objects clearly and as far as 3 meters away. It is the ideal extended near vision lens for desk and near distance work for wider desk vision and comfortable posture. Ideal for long hours of close-up work and provides ultimate comfort and performance for a wide range of desk distance vision. Best for wearers who want to upgrade from reading glasses or use as a backup pair.

  • Lens distance comparison – Soltes Wide NEO for your comfort in near to desk distance vision

  • E-Life Lenses - Our visual field is constrained because we spend more time indoors than ever. In order to live and work comfortably inside, intermediate and close vision are more crucial than far vision. Home and office lenses are created specifically to provide you with easy indoor vision.

    1. E-Life Pro Series
    2. Home&Office NEO
    3. DigiLife

    E-LIFE PRO SERIES - For your key vision distance, Nikon takes into account the important daily activities that are most important to you in order to maximize your vision and comfort. The series consists of three products, E-Life Pro Active, E-Life Pro Home & Office, and E-Life Pro Read, each of which has been enhanced to provide intuitive and wide vision for various tasks at various ranges. Find the option that best fits your way of life. Recommended for Presbyopes who experience increasing difficulty to see clearly at close to intermediate distances.

    • Curated selection of solutions, adapted to modern lifestyles.
    • Specifically created for your preferred vision distance (or key activities).
    • Wider, clearer, and more comfortable vision for superior performance.

    You are frequently on the move and must see at various distances. E-Life Pro Active provides a worry-free vision for your active lifestyle.


  • You move through various spaces for both work and play. E-Life Pro Home & Office improves your vision at key distances.

    Tailor-made for different spaces and activities


    Maximizing your key vision distance while maintaining intuitive vision at all distances


  • You work at close range for long periods of time and require clear and comfortable vision. E-Life Pro Read improves your near vision for unrivaled focus.

    E-Life Pro Read VS Conventional Reading Glasses

    Find a solution that is appropriate for your lifestyle and activities.



    Home&Office NEO, The ideal enhanced intermediate vision lens for ultra-wide vision at home or at work because, unlike reading glasses, you don't have to take your eyeglasses on and off. It also allows you to see several meters. Perfect for Wearers multitasking in indoor situations whether at home or at work.

  • Reading

  • stress-free close vision for activities like reading and cooking, as well as more relaxed and natural close vision for all types of desk work.

  • Viewing & Moving

  • Natural and comfortable vision for everything, from watching TV to chatting with family. All at ease, from your laptop to the whiteboard, back to your laptop with one pair of glasses. You only need one pair of glasses to get around at home and at work.

    DIGILIFE - An improved intermediate lens designed for our increasingly digital lifestyles, allowing easier access to mobile devices. Suitable for progressive lens wearers who frequently use digital devices and are very easy to adapt to, whether first-time or current progressive lens wearers. Recommended for Progressive lens wearers who use digital devices most of the day.

  • The Key Features

  • Smooth access to mobile devices. Better vision at a computer. Seamless far to near vision all day long. Easy adaptation


    • Twice as wide as a conventional lens


    An improved intermediate vision area for improved visibility and easier access to your digital devices.

    Light Mastery

    Light protection solutions that keep up with the fast pace of our modern, digital lives are used in the development of light mastery lenses. Nikon ophthalmic lenses remove distractions and allow you to see the world clearly by blocking unwanted and harmful light.

    • Blue light lenses - Because of the widespread use of digital devices and artificial lighting, blue light is becoming increasingly omnipresent in our environment.

    Nikon creates blue light protection solutions that are as fast as the pace of our modern, digital lives. Work hard and play hard without worry.

    1. Pure Blue UV Pro
    2. Pure Blue UV
    3. SeeCoat Next Blue
    4. SeeCoat Blue UV

    Pure Blue UV Pro, is  a lens that offers the best UV and blue light1 protection, as well as superior clarity and durability for everyday use. Making it the Ultimate shield for UV and blue light protection.

    Pure Blue UV technology combined with SeeCoat Next Blue

    Nikon's best solution against harmful light, providing everyday protection without compromising your appearance and providing optimal blue light protection.

    By reducing reflection and glare, the ultimate blue light protection coating of SeeCoat Next Blue offers superior clarity and durability for daily use, relieving eyestrain.

  • Best combination of clarity and durability for everyday use

  • Blue light emitted by the digital screens may cause eyestrain.

    SeeCoat Next Blue enables a 35% reduction in blue light transmittance, blocking more harmful light and offering natural colors for wearers to enjoy their time on screens


    • An ultimate blue light absorber


    SeeCoat Next Blue reduces Blue light more effectively while maintaining high transmittance of other wavelengths, thanks to the Blue light Absorber, which absorbs more Blue light and allows for lower reflection levels. As a result, it provides more effective eye protection while also providing a more natural color.

    SeeCoat Blue UV, has improved contrast when viewing digital screens, as well as a solution for blue light control and full UV protection, which is required when viewing digital screens that emit a powerful light source. 


  • SeeCoat Blue UV enhances the contrast by reducing unwanted blue light.

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