Pentax head office in Itabashi-
Pentax is a brand name used primarily by Ricoh Imaging Company for cameras, sport optics (including binoculars and rifle scopes), and CCTV optics. The brand is also used by Hoya Corporation for medical products & services, TI Asahi for surveying instruments, and Seiko Optical Products for certain optical lenses.
The company was founded as 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). In 1938 it changed its name to Asahi Optical Co., Ltd. (旭光学工業株式会社 Asahi Kōgaku Kōgyō Kabushiki-
Early 1950s to 2007
The period around 1950 marked the return of the Japanese photographic industry to the vigorous level of the late 1930s, and its emergence as a major exporter. The newly reborn industry had sold many of its cameras to the occupation forces (having had far more disposable income than the Japanese) and they were well received. The Korean War saw a huge influx of journalists and photographers to the Far East, where they were impressed by lenses from companies such as Nikon and Canon for their Leica rangefinder cameras, and also by bodies by these and other companies to supplement and replace the Leica and Contax cameras they were using.
In 1952 Asahi Optical introduced its first camera, the Asahiflex (the first Japanese SLR using 35mm film). The name "Pentax" was originally a registered trademark of the East German VEB Zeiss Ikon (from "Pentaprism" and "Contax") but, as all Germans patents were annulled with the country's defeat, the name "Pentax" was taken by the Asahi Optical company in 1957. Since then the company has been primarily known for its photographic products, distributed under the name "Asahi Pentax" (equipment was imported to the United States from the 1950s until the mid-
Merger with Hoya
In December 2006, Pentax started the process of merging with Hoya Corporation to form 'Hoya Pentax HD Corporation'. Hoya's primary goal was to strengthen its medical-
On August 6, 2007, Hoya completed a friendly public tender offer for Pentax and acquired 90.59% of the company. On August 14, 2007, the company became a consolidated subsidiary of Hoya. On October 29, 2007, Hoya and Pentax announced that Pentax would merge with and into Hoya effective on March 31, 2008. Hoya closed the Pentax-
Ricoh Imaging Company
Japanese optical glass-
The corporation is best known for its "Pentax" brand cameras, starting with the pivotal "Asahi Pentax" single-
Corporate cooperation and competition
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In 2005, Pentax Corporation partnered with Samsung Techwin to share work on camera technology and recapture market ground from Nikon and Canon. Pentax and Samsung subsequently released new DSLR siblings from this agreement. The Pentax *istDS2 and *istDL2 also appeared as the Samsung GX-
Hoya is focusing its main business on the following areas: information technology, eye care, life care, optics, imaging systems. Pentax’s main competitors include Canon, Nikon, Olympus, Panasonic, Sony (imaging/camera business), Fujifilm, Sangi, Kyocera (life care business).