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Nikon is a well-established optics brand which is known for its top-notch cameras. The cameras produced by Nikon are used worldwide. But this article is going to be about the Nikon binoculars and their origin.
So, where are Nikon binoculars made? Almost all the Nikon binoculars are manufactured in Japan, where the Nikon company has its own headquarters as well. The company has its manufacturing plants in China, Thailand, and Laos, but binoculars production takes place in Japan.
Among binoculars users, the Nikon brand is seen with great respect. Thanks to the quality, and affordability that this company offers in its products. There’s more to learn about this brand, so stay connected till the end.
Also Read: Where are Upland Binoculars Made?
Introduction of Nikon Optics Brand
Nikon was founded back in 1917 during the World War in Tokyo, Japan. At that start, this company used to manufacture the lenses for cameras. In the early 1910s, there were three main factories that were functioning independently to produce optical equipment.
But they were not very profitable – and expanding them was an issue. So the owner of all three companies agreed on merging all three factories into a single corporation known as ‘‘Nikon’’. This is how Nikon was founded in 1917.
Here are the names of those three factories that were merged together:
- Tokyo Keiki’s factory
- Lwaki Glass Factory
- Fuji Lens Factory
The merger of these three factories into one Nikon Corporation is something that pushes Nikon into a well-established brand.
History of Nikon Brand
Right after the foundation of Nikon in 1917, the company started to get traction due to World War I. The company made tools that were helpful for the military men. However, the company’s main focus was to produce optical tools for civilians that would give the company long-term success.
Interesting Information: Nikon’s first manufacturing factory was established in 1917 in Tokyo. This factory was known as the Oi plant (Oi Dai-ichi Plant) and is still operating under the Nikon brand.
In 1921, Nikon produced the first compact, and small prism binoculars that is still considered the first success of the Nikon brand. At that time, compact binoculars were not common – so the production of the first compact and smaller-sized binoculars helped the company win and trust of customers and market share.
In 1932, Nikon launched a new “Nikkor” lens which made their product more attractive and uplifted the optical performance of Nikon cameras to a whole new level. When World War II started, the company shifted all its focus towards producing tools for the Japanese soldiers who were taking part in World War II.
Those military tools included binoculars, periscopes, and bombsights which proved to be helpful for the Japanese soldiers. The company made a decent profit by selling the products to the military for war purposes.
American photojournalist David Douglas Duncan used the “Nikkor” lens for the first time in the 1950s when he was covering the Korean War. In fact, he used the Nikon lens with Leica rangefinders and he got the best results. He went back to the USA and told people about the Nikkor lens. In this way, the Nikkor lens started to get famous in the USA as well.
The admiration of the Nikon brand in North America gave this brand a boost, and the company started to sell more of its products in the USA which proved to be a very profitable step. Soon, the SLC cameras, and other optical tools became hot-selling items in the USA market as well
Nikon began to be known as a camera-producing company and everyone, especially those who had a passion for photography, got attached to this brand. In 1988, the company underwent a name change to ‘‘Nikon Corporation’’ which is used to date. Initially, the Nikon company was known as ‘‘Nippon Kogaku K.K’’.
Where Are Nikon Binoculars Made?
All the Nikon binoculars are being manufactured in Japan, where the company has its headquarters. Nikon has many manufacturing plants in Japan where all the premium and budget-friendly binoculars are made.
It is important to note that the company has manufacturing units in China, Laos, and Thailand. Many Nikon cameras, especially those which fall in the budget category are manufactured in these manufacturing plants.
But they don’t manufacture any binoculars in China, or Thailand. All the expensive, premium, and lower-priced binos are made in Japan, from where they are exported to the US market for sale. In fact, the company has its own research and development office in Japan where it conducts its own research to improve the quality of its binoculars.
Also Read: Where are Pentax Binoculars Made?
Nikon is one of those optics brands that always strive hard to be the best. So, it has launched many binocular series and lines to meet the expectations and needs of the customers. The good thing is that the binoculars series produced by Nikon belong to different pricing categories.
It means everyone can buy those binoculars – because the binoculars series include super cheap binoculars such as the Nikon Aculon series, Mid-range binoculars such as the Monarch series, and the top-notch premium series including rangefinding capable binoculars such as LaserForce Rangefinder binoculars.
Here is the table showing the different Nikon binoculars lines and series that are available for sale at different optics stores:
|Series Name||Binoculars Included|
|Monarch series||Monarch HG, Monarch 5, Monarch 7|
|Prostaff series||Prostaff 3S, Prostaff 7S|
|Trailblazer series||Trailblazer ATB, Trailblazer|
|Aculon series||Aculon A211 (35mm, 42mm, 50mm objective lenses, 8-18×42 and 10-22×50 zoom models), Aculon T01|
|LaserForce Rangefinder series||LaserForce Rangefinder binoculars (with built-in rangefinder for accurate distance measurement)|
Almost all the above-mentioned binocular lines are being manufactured in Japan. You should also keep in mind that these binoculars are used for a variety of different outdoor activities and their prices also vary.
Are All Nikon Binoculars Made in China?
No, Nikon binoculars are not made in China. As I said earlier the company has its manufacturing plants in Japan where the manufacturing and assembly of the binoculars is done. No Nikon binoculars are made in China.
It is interesting to note that Nikon used to manufacture a few entry-level binoculars in China. However, the production of binoculars in China has stopped. The reason is that Chinese-made binoculars do not meet the highest standard of quality.
In today’s era, offering quality has become vital for the sustainability of any brand. Nikon is also focusing more on quality. Therefore all the Nikon binoculars are now manufactured in Japan where they go through extensive testing, and quality control checks.
Are Nikon Binoculars Good?
To be honest YES, Nikon binoculars are excellent in offering top-notch optical performance and loyal customers around the globe. They are compared with the Vortex binoculars due to their performance in different conditions and affordability.
As you know, there are many optics brands that are competing with each other including Bushnell, Leupold, Vortex, and Athlon. However, the Nikon binoculars look more prominent due to their performance and durability.
The experience of Nikon in manufacturing lenses for cameras etc has given them an extra edge to produce better quality binoculars and have an edge over competitors. Being a Japanese brand, Nikon manufactures binoculars at lower prices which further gives them an advantage over the competitors.
I must say that the quality control system that Nikon has to ensure that each and every pair undergoes special testing is remarkable. You won’t see any faulty Nikon binoculars because the quality control team does not approve any mishandled or faulty binoculars and send them to the market.
This is why I consider Nikon to be one of the best optics brands – and when it comes to producing binoculars, they are just matchless. I have used many Nikon binoculars including Prostaff, and Monarch series, and never saw any issue at all. They are surely worth your attention.
Is Nikon Still Making Binoculars?
Yes, the Nikon brand is operating, and producing binoculars without any issue. In fact, the company is working, and manufacturing all of its binoculars series including Prostaff, Monarch, Aculon, and Trailblazer.
In 2019, the Nikon company announced that they would stop producing rifle scopes effective from January 1st, 2020. Later on, we saw that the company informed all the dealers to stop taking new orders from the clients and it was an official statement that the company wouldn’t be producing any riflescopes.
But at the same time, they announced that the company would continue producing binoculars, spotting scopes, microscopes, rangefinders, and other optical tools and sell those to the customers. To date, the company is working and producing all the optical tools except rifle scopes that they stopped themselves.
There is no doubt that Nikon is a well-established optics brand that is well known due to its cameras and lenses. Nikon Cameras are very common – and almost every photographer uses them. However, they produce some top-class binoculars as well which are loved by outdoor enthusiasts.
All of their binors are being manufactured in Japan where the company has its own headquarters. With the hope that this article will prove to be helpful for you, I am going to put a full stop. If you are considering buying binoculars, Nikon is certainly the best option that you should consider.
I’m a passionate outdoor activist who has got special love for optics. The school studies in optical mechanics and the travelling experience has made me an expert in optics like binoculars, scopes, and other devices. Stay connected with us for in-depth knowledge!