Nikon street photographers will be pleased to hear that the company is planning at least a dozen new lenses for the next 12 months, greatly expanding their lineup and filling in both some popular and premium options. Even Nikon has financially struggled over the past year due to a host of factors, according to the company’s CFO Muneaki Tokunari, it expects profitability by the next fiscal year.
In an interview on Nikkei, Tokunari reiterates what Nikon has revealed in its recent financial results — that the company is expecting to post a total loss of more than ¥42B ($387M) by the end of its 2021 fiscal year, which ends on March 31, due to “impairment loss on factory equipment in the imaging business, including cameras, and a loss on disposal and valuation of inventory assets, including semiconductor manufacturing equipment in the precision products business.”
However, the burden of depreciation will be reduced by the next fiscal year due to how it was recorded (as a lump sum this fiscal year).
“Of the four divisions, three divisions excluding the precision machinery business are expected to be in the operating deficit, but all of them are aiming for profitability in the next fiscal year,” Tokunari says.
“We are also promoting cost reforms in the video business,” He continues. The “video business” is a direct translation from Japanese, and refers to Nikon’s imaging division. “We have set a goal of reducing business operating costs by 63 billion yen. We will complete measures for 47 billion yen by this fiscal year. If the initiative is completed, it will be a system to earn stable profits even if the division’s sales are 150 billion yen or less (the same as the forecast for this term). ”
In addition to financial details, Tokunari also revealed Nikon will have 30 Z mount lenses released by March 2022. Considering only 27 lenses are visible on Nikon’s most recent roadmap (11 of which haven’t been fully revealed), that means we can expect three other lenses not currently known of to be released within a year.
“Advertising and research and development costs will be concentrated on professionals and hobbyists to maintain a level comparable to rivals,” he adds.
The company’s current lens lineup is waiting for a variety of different lenses, including high-end super-telephoto, consumer telephoto zooms, a premium wide-aperture 85mm portrait lens, and more.
Nikon has mostly taken the opposite approach from Canon. Whereas Canon led with some spectacular lenses that push the boundaries of optical design, Nikon mostly began with more modest lenses such as f/4 zooms that were more pragmatically oriented. With the addition of the silhouetted lenses seen in the roadmap above, the company is sure to grab the attention of wildlife and sports shooters, portraitists, wedding photographers, and macro shooters.
Based on the promise of 12 new lenses in 12 months, this is an extremely aggressive schedule and if Nikon is able to live up to that promise it will be a boon for Nikon mirrorless fans.