CP+ 2018: Nikon’s space cameras
Nikon has a long history of making cameras for use in outer space. A small exhibition at this year’s CP+ show in Yokohama showcases some of the company’s most famous models.
First up is a Nikon Photomic FTN, adapted for use on the Apollo 15 mission to the moon. Although it looks much like a conventional FTN, this modified version features a thicker body shell, NASA-standard insulation in the battery chamber (electrical fires in space are no joke) and larger, easier to grip controls.
The ‘horns’ on the lens enable the main controls to be manipulated easily when wearing thick gloves. Notice also the lack of a leatherette covering on the camera body. The modified FTN also featured internal changes to accommodate the thinner, polyester-based films used for specialist missions.