Nikon E2i (1996)

The Nikon/Fujix DSLR collaboration spawned about a dozen DSLRs with major and minor differences. Half a dozen marketed by Fujix and the other half by Nikon. One model however stands completely apart and that is the very rare Nikon E2i (or E2I). This model was marketed in Japan only and was apparantly an altered E2 for medical purposes. Limited information is publicly available like a report from Sapporo National Hospital from 1997 where an E2i was used to capture images from a microscope and then sending the images to an FTP server instead of mailing glass slides. The author claimed in his report that "the systems were inexpensive and simple and their components could easily be updated".  

Further investigations have revealed that the E2I was part of the Nikon Eclipse E800 Microscope system. Therefore the E2i might have been nothing else than an E2 with an extension tube for the microscope. This puzzles me however because when you compare the body of the E2 and the E2i then you may notice that they are completely identical. It's hard to believe that it's only the lens that stands apart? Why would Nikon relable the E2 like that? Why not use the E2 and attach it to the E800? The E800 system was introduced in 1996 so I take it that the E2i may have appeared the same year.
On a sidenote I found out that the Nikon E2i was not per se a part of the E800 microscope system. It could have been used for it but this system could also be operated with a variety of other cameras that were more suitable for the job like the Photometrics CoolSNAP HQ, the Spot Diagnostics 3CCD camera or the ProgRes C3 5MP camera. So the origins of the E2i remain a mystery. Nikon E2I rarely appear on the market and always with low serial numbers.
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  • Brand: Nikon
  • Model: E2i
  • First mentioned: 1996
  • Marketed: yes
  • MSRP: -
  • Imager Type: 1.28MP 2/3" CCD
  • Resolution: 1280x1000
  • Internal Storage: -
  • External Storage: PC Card Type I/II
  • Lens: Nikon F-mount lenses
  • Shutter: 1/8s - 1/2,000s (manual) / 1/2s - 1/2,000s (auto)
  • Aperture Range: F6.7 ~ 38
  • LCD screen size: -
  • Size: 164 x 160 x 120mm
  • Weight: 1,850 gr.
  • Remarks: -

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