Nikon is Investing in Smart Telescope Company Unistellar


Nikon has announced that it has invested a financial stake in Unistellar SAS, a France-based smart telescope company. Nikon says that it hopes the investment will promote “the creation of business synergies” for both companies.

The investment comes through the Nikon-SBI Innovation Fund (a private fund jointly established by Nikon and SBI Investment Co., Ltd.) and the exact amount was not disclosed. The investment is a notable expansion of support for Unistellar which Nikon partnered with back in 2021.

That partnership, which Nikon describes as a “master joint development agreement” was to advance the development of Unistellar’s smart telescopes and combine its technology with Nikon’s optical expertise. Since then, the two say they have been advancing innovative solutions to be provided for the consumer astronomical observation field. The eVscope 2, Unistellar’s second-generation smart telescope, was the first product that bore the fruits of this partnership.

In a review, PetaPixel found the eVscope 2 to be a fun take on a modern telescope, but while the optics might have been good, the sensor powering it resulted in lackluster quality.

Running Man Nebula_Unistellar
Shot with the Unistellar eVscope 2 | By David Crewe for PetaPixel

“While I honestly had an absolute blast with my friends each time I had the opportunity to take the eVscope out to test, as an imaging professional I was more than underwhelmed, especially given the $4,200 asking price,” David Crewe said in his evaluation.

Unistellar leverages a series of patents that makes its telescope unique and allows it to more easily show better results for the average telescope consumer, so it is likely that image quality wasn’t necessarily the most important aspect of the entire product for the company.

“After speaking with the team at Unistellar, the company did confirm that it had no intention of competing with professional top-tier astrophotography telescopes, as its goal was to get the device in the hands of hobbyists and enthusiasts to share the experience of live celestial observation,” Crewe adds.

Clearly, enough is going right for Nikon to inject financial support into the partnership. Unistellar released the far more capable eQuinox 2 telescope earlier this year.

“Nikon is taking advantage of its extensive range of optical technologies and knowledge to contribute to the development of science by delivering the excitement of astronomical observation and raising people’s interest in the universe together with Unistellar, which is generating remarkable growth,” Nikon says.

Image credits: Header photo via Nikon, Unistellar