Check out all these Nikon cameras being used in the International Space Station


posted Monday, April 8, 2013 at 12:35 PM EST


We've previously written about astronaut photographers -- including Canadian Chris Hadfield and American Thomas H. Marshburn  -- capturing and tweeting awesome space photos of the Earth from the International Space Station (ISS). And we've also told you a bit about the gear they've been using. (Sorry Canon folks, the astronauts seem to be Nikon shooters.)

Now, Nikon Rumors has a cool blog post showing photos of much of that gear in action on the ISS. It's an impressive collection of equipment including Nikon D2, D3, and D3S digital SLRs, along with Nikkor telephoto zoom lenses, wide-angles, and fisheyes. (Maybe a shipment of D4 and D800/e cameras is coming in the next rocket ship.) Check out those gear photos, courtesy of NASA, below and see some of the spectacular recent images they've captured from the ISS in this gallery from Spiegel Online.

An interesting side note to these photos: several of the images include portraits and self-portraits of astronaut and NASA scientist Don Pettit. Two years ago, Dr. Pettit contacted Imaging Resource founder Dave Etchells, trying to find detailed spectral transmission characteristics of the RGB filters in the Nikon D3S for NASA. Nikon considers that info proprietary so Dave connected Pettit with an engineer he'd met in Tokyo during the launch of the original D3 several years back. The Nikon engineer then helped coordinate with the right people inside Nikon so NASA could get the detailed info they needed under non-disclosure terms. Small world, indeed.


Astronaut Chris Hadfield



Astronaut and NASA scientist Don Pettit

Astronaut Thomas H. Marshburn with a special camera to monitor the Earth for disaster relief support and environmental impact changes. (No, we don't think this one is a Nikon.)

Astronaut Don Pettit

Captured with an 8mm Nikkor fisheye lens.

Self-portrait of astronaut Don Pettit.