The Pentax brand is 104 years old

The Pentax brand is 104 years old:

“The original company was founded as Asahi Optical Co Asahi Kogaku Goshi Kaisha in November 1919 by Kumao Kajiwara, at a shop in the Toshima suburb of Tokyo, and began producing spectacle lenses (which it still manufactures).[1]

In 1938 it changed its name to Asahi Optical Co., Ltd. (旭光学工業株式会社, Asahi Kōgaku Kōgyō Kabushiki-gaisha), and by this time it was also manufacturing camera/cine lenses. In the lead-up to World War II, Asahi Optical devoted much of its time to fulfilling military contracts for optical instruments. At the end of the war, Asahi Optical was disbanded by the occupying powers, being allowed to re-form in 1948. The company resumed its pre-war activities, manufacturing binoculars and consumer camera lenses for Konishiroku and Chiyoda Kōgaku Seikō (later Konica and Minolta respectively).” (Wikipedia)

Here’s an overview of the history of Pentax:

  1. Foundation of Asahi Optical Joint Stock Co. Ltd.: The history of Pentax begins with the foundation of Asahi Optical Joint Stock Co. Ltd. in Japan in 1919. The company initially produced eyeglass lenses, but it eventually expanded into the production of other optical instruments.
  2. Introduction of the Asahiflex I: In 1952, Asahi Optical introduced its first 35mm single-lens reflex (SLR) camera, the Asahiflex I. This marked Pentax’s entry into the camera market, and the Asahiflex series continued to evolve over the years.
  3. Pentax Branding: The name “Pentax” was first used on a 35mm SLR camera introduced in 1957, the Asahi Pentax. The name “Pentax” is derived from the combination of “Pentaprism” and “Contax,” indicating the inclusion of a pentaprism viewfinder and the influence of the Contax camera.
  4. Spotmatic Series: In 1964, Pentax introduced the Spotmatic series, which became highly popular. The Spotmatic cameras featured a built-in light meter and an M42 screw mount, making them compatible with a wide range of lenses.
  5. K-mount System: In 1975, Pentax introduced the K-mount system, a bayonet lens mount that replaced the M42 screw mount. This new system allowed for faster and more convenient lens changes. The first camera to feature the K-mount was the Pentax K2.
  6. ME Series and Compact Cameras: Pentax expanded its product line with the introduction of the compact ME series in the late 1970s. The Pentax ME became one of the smallest and lightest SLR cameras at that time, making it popular among amateur photographers.
  7. Medium Format Cameras: Pentax has also been known for its medium format cameras. The Pentax 6×7, introduced in the late 1960s, was a well-regarded medium format SLR camera.
  8. Digital Era: Pentax transitioned to the digital era with the introduction of digital SLR cameras. The Pentax *ist D, launched in 2003, was the company’s first digital SLR camera.
  9. Merger and Acquisition: In 2008, Hoya Corporation, a Japanese medical technology company, acquired Pentax Corporation. The combined entity was known as Hoya Pentax HD Corporation.
  10. Ricoh Acquisition: In 2011, Ricoh Company, Ltd., another Japanese imaging and electronics company, acquired Pentax Imaging Systems. The brand continued to operate as Pentax Ricoh Imaging.
  11. Recent Developments: Pentax has continued to release digital SLR cameras and lenses, catering to both enthusiasts and professionals. The brand is known for its rugged, weather-resistant designs and innovative features.

Two new Pentax history posters released

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