The Automatic Level Nikon AE-7 is a surveying instrument that was released by Nikon in 1993. An indispensable tool on construction and civil engineering work sites, it is a long-selling product that is still being manufactured and sold to this day—20 years after its release. This article describes the AE-7 and is interspersed with comments by Haruhiko Imura, who was in charge of its development and design.
The main specifications of the AE-7
Effective diameter of objective lens: 40 mm,
Minimum focusing distance: 20 cm,
Auto-compensation range: about 0.5 degrees (±about 0.25 degrees),
Standard deviation per 1-km double-run leveling: ±1.5 mm,
Dimensions: 220 mm x 136 mm x 142 mm,
Weight: 1.7 kg
The photograph shows an AE-7C with a horizontal scale.
* Standard deviation per 1-km double-run leveling: instrument error when outward and return measurements of the difference in elevation between two points with 1 kilometer distance are conducted.