Dear Nikon, We’re Giving You Another Chance!

I began photographic life, a Pentax guy.  I tried Olympus, Yashica, Agfa, Voigtlander and Leica.  I stuck with Leica.  I also occasionally still shoot those brands, and others.  But the brand I use about equally to Leica for paid work is Nikon.

What I like about Nikon bodies is that, unlike Canon, they committed to the same lens mount for their SLR’s from 1959 until today.  And I love that, also unlike Canon, they have also from 1959 until the discontinuation of the Nikon FM10 last year, kept at least one all manual 35mm film SLR in their stable.

But that’s not even touching upon lenses.  Nikon never stopped making all manual, nearly all metal lenses which were designed for 35mm film.  In 2019, you can still buy a Nikkor 35mm 1.4 or 55mm 2.8 Micro lens, brand new that is no different than these lenses were in the 1970’s and 80’s.  A few of their current DSLR’s even have a film scanning feature.

Nikon FM | Nikkor 50mm 1.8 AI | Fuji Superia 400

It goes without saying that Nikon, in terms of products offered, has, through the digital revolution, continuously supported not only all manual photographers but FILM photographers.

So it was with some shock that in 2012, they banned film photography from their famous annual photography contest.

This year is the 50th anniversary of Nikon’s contest.  So for, probably over 30 years, all or the majority of the photos in this contest, and certainly the winners of this contest were what?  They were shot on 35mm film.

Now, before we get all bent out of shape about this, let’s put things into context.  After all, it was looking very gloom and doom for film in 2012.  Kodak filed for bankruptcy and nearly all non-professional photo labs across the United States had closed or were closing their doors to film.  So hey, I’m willing to give an old friend, the benefit of the doubt.  Maybe film was dead in 2012.

Nikon F2sb | Nikkor 85mm 1.8 AI’D | Kodak Tri-X 400

But if film really did die in 2012, it was resurrected in 2018 with the return of Kodak TMAX P3200, Ektrachrome, Polaroid instant film and numerous other reintroductions, introductions and fantastic film photography in the headlines.

So Nikon, can you give us film photographers a second chance?  We love you and I’m pretty sure that, regardless of why your contest rules were changed in 2012, you love us!

Nikon, on behalf of the film community, if I can so humbly speak, WE are willing to give YOU a second chance!  How about it?

Nikon F3HP | Nikkor 105mm 1.8 AIS | Kodak Portra 400


Upon posting, a reader pointed out that in the FAQ of the contest this year, it is stated:

“Q. Is entry limited to works taken with Nikon photography equipment?

A. You may use any photography or film equipment.”


“Q. It is possible to submit a scan of a photograph taken with a film camera?

A. Yes, you can submit it.”

So I apologize for leading you astray.  My “information” came from the following exchange with Nikon via their Facebook page:


This is rather confusing but I’d defer to the posted FAQ.  The contest is closed for the year but I will be submitting for the next one.  How about you?

Follow, Favorite, Like, Add, Contact Johnny Martyr 


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