Nikon dropped “master” and “slave” before it was cool, about twenty years ago

Jul 8, 2020

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

Nikon dropped “master” and “slave” before it was cool, about twenty years ago

Jul 8, 2020

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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During the recent Black Lives Matter protests, the terms “master” and “slave” seem to have suddenly become problematic. After Canon, we now find out that Nikon has changed the terminology in its products as well. Only it was actually long before Canon did it – way back in the early 2000s.

“Master” and “slave” are the terms normally used when two different flash units are used simultaneously. The master unit controls the trigger of the slave unit, which is kinda self-explanatory. Anyways, after reaching out to Canon about the terminology, Jason Parnell-Brookes of FStoppers found out that Canon had dropped these terms back in 2017. The company was apparently ahead of the curve, but it looks like Nikon has won the renaming game.

“These terms were removed from Nikon products in the early 2000s — in the context of the negativity around their connotations,” a Nikon spokesperson told FStoppers. “We no longer feature these terms in/on products.”

Still, according to FStoppers, some relatively recent manuals still seem to feature the terms. This is how Nikon explains it:

“For the flashlight like SB-5000, it is true that there is [the] term ‘slave’ [is] in the manual because it mentions the end-of-life product called ‘Wireless Slave Controller SU-4.’ Nikon Corporation believes this is the only part where Nikon mentions the term slave… It is already an end-of-life product and we are not using the term ‘slave’ in the current products. Nikon removed the conventional electronics and technological terminology of ‘slave’ from our products in the early 2000s in consideration to the term’s negative context. All current products refer to the function as ‘Remote.’”

As I said earlier, I never paid attention to the alternative meanings of “master” and “slave” because I always observed them through photography. I’m pretty much against Orwellian treatment of the language, but I discussed that before and I don’t think I have the energy to do it again. I just hope I won’t have to destroy my Master’s degree someday. Or that Depeche Mode’s song Master and Servant or Bryan Ferry’s Slave to Love won’t be banned or renamed. That would be a shame.

[via FStoppers]

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Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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9 responses to “Nikon dropped “master” and “slave” before it was cool, about twenty years ago”

  1. Franco Kailsan Avatar
    Franco Kailsan

    Nikon is the master of predicting future trends after all….

  2. J Kenrick Bernard Avatar
    J Kenrick Bernard

    Lol

  3. Chainsaw Charlie Avatar
    Chainsaw Charlie

    But most of their cameras are still black, and that’s insulting for me. Are they racist? I demand that they make black, white, yellow, red, etc., cameras equally available.

  4. Michael Stevens Avatar
    Michael Stevens

    YAWN… Let everyone know when you have something useful or informative to share…

  5. Mike Avatar
    Mike

    The computer industry stopped around the same time. Hard drives became primary and secondary.

  6. Life's Beautiful Avatar
    Life’s Beautiful

    Dunja, your articles are always terrific. I don’t know where you find it in you to write as much as and as amazingly as you do. But mentioning, “Master and Servant” to a Depeche Mode fan…well that’s the top! They will finally make it into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this year!
    As for Canon and Nikon, I shoot Canon, although my first film camera was a Nikon FM. I can’t wait for the R5, but for financial reasons I’ll stick with my EOS R which I LOVE!!”

  7. Adrian J Nyaoi Avatar
    Adrian J Nyaoi

    All camera are racist, cos most are of a wrong colour. Lol
    Now change the colour to make it cool.

  8. Mike Essery Avatar
    Mike Essery

    Who cates

  9. Mike Essery Avatar
    Mike Essery

    Cares..lol