If you've ever pondered what was going on in that famously enigmatic portrait of Che Guevara staring into the middle distance, we like to think he was gauging the light conditions for a quick snap documenting some uplifting proletariat endeavour, using his Nikon S2.
Apart from enjoying its status as the favoured snapper of socialist revolutionaries, ever since the appearance of the Nikon F in 1959, Nikons have been the go-to 35mm SLR cameras for professionals. Formed in 1917 as Nippon Kogaku KK in Tokyo, the maker of optical lenses evolved into one of the world's leading camera brands. In the late 1940s, Nikon was adopted as a brand name for small cameras, the first of which was the Nikon I.
In 1988 it became Nikon Corporation -- part of the Mitsubishi Group. From 2006 it took the strategic decision to focus almost entirely on digital technology. Seven years earlier, Nikon's 2.7-megapixel D1 was among the first digital SLRs to be made by a mainstream camera manufacturer, costing a princely £3,000. The company has battled it out with Canon ever since to convince pro snappers to choose its dSLRs, recently launching the highly impressive D800 to great acclaim.