If you were to map the technology preference of photographers round the world, you would most likely come up with one that is dominated by just two names – Nikon and Canon. Olympus fell by the wayside after digital took centrestage, Pentax has been struggling and Sony is too new to the game although it has been quietly trying to chip away at the digital SLR market.
India is a land of vibrant colour, culture, natural and architectural heritage, great vistas, a diverse people and limitless photographic opportunities. Although they have been the poor cousins of their peers elsewhere in the world, there are Indian photographers with a global reputation. Of course, photography in India must always make an allowance for cameraphobic officialdom, prohibitive customs duties, a less than reliable grey market and almost nil professional service facilities.
Now, Nikon has decided to settle that question right here in India. The camera maker announced the launch of a fully owned subsidiary, Nikon India, today, September 26. Raghu Rai was there and we take that as a representation of the dedicated tribe of Indian shutterbugs. There was a former Miss India, Neha Kapur, too.
From the viewpoint of the photographers, the task is cut out for Nikon India. Set the house in order in this great land. Open more fully owned service centres in the leading cities and towns; tie-up with the best courier companies to ship camers for service in the case of the smaller towns; honour warranties generously to build reputation; conduct classes for Indians on how to care for their high technology cameras; and, finally, price the product right for the market, although duties do play spoilsport even in the era of liberalisation.
To all photographers, web publishers and image banks, Nikon’s official arrival is a moment to celebrate, in the hope that this is a defining moment for photography in India and for all budding talent in this exciting field.
So here’s a big welcome to Nikon India. I have the following loyally acquired kit that needs the impeccable and understanding care of the trained Nikon engineer – D50 with kit lens 18-55 DX, FM3A SLR bodies, Nikkors 300 mm 4.5, 28-85 mm AF, 55 mm 2.8, 135 mm 3.5 AI.
What’s all this description worth without a Nikon image? So here goes…D50, London, 2006.
Update: I find that Nikon’s pricing in India gives you a poor impression about the company. Read about that here.