Nikon Small World (Nikon's Small World) is a photographic contest run by Nikon Instruments and a forum for showcasing the beauty and complexity of life as seen through the light microscope. It serves as a window into a world that can only be seen through the lens of an optical microscope. The contest comprises two separate competitions:
All competition entries (in 2021, almost 1,900 images from 88 countries and over 350 movies from 43 countries) are judged each year by an independent panel of four to five experts who are chosen by Nikon as recognized authorities in the area of photomicrography and photography as well as in imaging, science and scientific communications. The entries are assessed based on the originality, informational content, technical proficiency, and visual impact. The judges are not given any brand information.
Winners have included both professionals and amateurs. The prize-winners of each year (top winners and memorable mentions) are exhibited at museums and science centers throughout the United States and Canada. Many winning images are also featured in newspapers and on the covers of scientific and other journals. Nikon does not own the copyright and only requests an image or video release from those who have won for unrestricted permission with relation to the competition.
In 2023, the winning image was of the back of a rat’s eye and of its immune cells. Composed of multiple snapshots captured with a confocal microscope, the photo was taken by neuroscientist Hassanain Qambari of the Lions Eye Institute’s Centre for Ophthalmology and Visual Science in Perth, Australia.