PENTAX history timeline
PENTAX history timeline: Discover more about foundation and development of the PENTAX brand through the time.
PENTAX history timeline: Discover more about foundation and development of the PENTAX brand through the time.
Asahi Optical Joint Stock Co. is founded at a shop in the Toshima suburb of Tokyo, Japan. It quickly becomes one of the leading lens suppliers to Japanese camera and optical instrument manufacturers, thanks to its superb lens- polishing skills.
Asahi begins to manufacture AOCO lenses—the first lenses of their kind in Japan—for the movie industry.
Asahi pioneers single-lens reflex (SLR) camera development with the Asahiflex I camera, the first Japanese 35mm SLR camera. This camera features a cloth curtain focal plane shutter, shutter speeds of 1/20 to 1/500 sec. and bulb setting.
PENTAX introduces the Asahiflex IIB, featuring the world's first instant return mirror system. This exclusive PENTAX innovation solves the problem of mirror blackout—at the time, the principal drawback of SLR cameras, and thus paving the way for major progress in SLR development.
The Asahi PENTAX model stuns the world with its incredible advances in design. This camera marks the first time a pentaprism has been utilized in the viewfinder of a PENTAX single-lens reflex (SLR) camera, which in effect introduces the concept of eye-level viewing. It’s the first camera to be marketed under the name PENTAX, and is enthusiastically received for its upright and laterally correct viewfinder image
Asahi participates in the European Photokina trade show for the first time.
The PENTAX 6x7 medium-format professional camera is introduced. A medium format camera offering high quality results, it incorporates many of the conveniences and handling qualities of a 35mm SLR. It can take ten or twenty 6 x 7 cm format pictures.
PENTAX unveils its Super-Multi Coating (SMC) system for the Asahi Optical Takumar lens series, an important breakthrough in 35mm SLR camera optics. Asahi Optical's unique SMC system plays an innovative role in reducing lens flare and ghost images and producing bright, crisp photographs.
PENTAX releases the K1000 overseas. The camera features a horizontal-run cloth shutter and "center-the-needle" exposure control and goes on to become one of the most popular cameras for student photographers.
PENTAX releases the LX (the Roman numeral for 60) in commemoration of Asahi Optical's 60th anniversary. The 35mm professional camera attracts a great deal of attention for its interchangeable viewfinder, weather-resistance, direct metering automatic exposure control, and titanium horizontal-run shutter.
PENTAX introduces its first 35mm non-SLR camera, the PC35AF (Sport 235 in USA). Featuring Autofocus, automatic exposure, and a stylish design, the PC35AF quickly becomes a top-selling model in this fast-growing category.
PENTAX introduces the PENTAX Super A, the first in a series of programmed cameras with six modes or six ways to shoot: programmed, aperture priority, shutter priority, metered manual, programmed auto flash and TTL auto flash. The Super A serves as a bridge between conventional mechanical cameras and today's high-tech models. Later in the year, PENTAX designs a new motor drive system for the Super A called Motor Drive A. It features dual shutter releases for horizontal and vertical camera positions and single frame or continuous operation.
The 645 receives the "1984 'G' Mark Award for Good Design" from the Japanese Ministry of International Trade and Industry and is named "Professional Camera of the Year 1985" by Camera Weekly, a leading photographic magazine in the United Kingdom.
Experienced amateurs rave about the new Zoom 105 Super, a multi-functional camera with an LCD guide panel and high magnification zoom lens which provides about three times the magnification with a 38mm-105mm lens.
The Zoom 105 Super is named the "European Compact Camera of the Year 1990-91" by the European Imaging and Sound Association (EISA) and "Best Compact Camera in Europe 1990-91" by the Technical Image Press Association (TIPA).
The first Pentax waterproof camera Zoom 90 WR is nominated "Compact Camera of the year in 1992-1993" in Europe.
The Espio 115 is named the "European Compact Camera of the Year 1993-94" by the European Imaging and Sound Association (EISA), and "Best Compact Camera in Europe 1993-94" by the Technical Image Press Association (TIPA).
PENTAX celebrates the 75th anniversary of its parent company, Asahi Optical Co., Ltd., by introducing two special edition cameras, the Espio 115SE and the Z-1SE.
PENTAX ships its 10 millionth compact zoom camera.
The small and stylish PENTAX Espio 738 is released, featuring a 38mm-70mm power zoom lens that produces clear, sharp photographs.
The PENTAX Z-1P is introduced as an improved version of the Z-1, the flagship of the PENTAX SLR line.
The PENTAX MZ-5 is introduced as as the smallest AF SLR, with a classic and intuitive user interface.
The PENTAX Z-1P is selected "SLR Camera of the Year 1995-96" by Camera Weekly, a leading photographic magazine in the United Kingdom.
The Pentax Espio 115M is the worldwide smallest compact zoom camera.
The MZ-5 becomes a quadruple award winner: "European Camera of the Year 1996-97" from European Imaging and Sound Association (EISA); "Best SLR Camera of the Year 1996-97" from Technical Image Press Association (TIPA); "Australian SLR Camera of the Year 1996-97" from Australian Camera, one of Australia's most prestigious photographic and video magazines; and "South African Photo Camera of the Year 1996".
The Espio 115M is named the "Best Compact Camera of the Year 1996-97" by Technical Imae Press Association (TIPA).
PENTAX announces that it will release the PENTAX Espio 115M Gold to celebrate the original Espio 115M's winning "The Best Compact Camera of the Year 1996-97" from the Technical Image Press Association (TIPA). The attractive champagne-colored version of the popular Espio 115M retains all the attractive features and outstanding optical performance of the original Espio 115M, while offering a new, distinctive look.
PENTAX debuts the PENTAX EI-C90—a compact, lightweight digital still camera for the multimedia age. Designed primarily as an image input device for personal computers, it offers high-quality images, a highly portable body and compatibility with standard PC cards.
With an amazing 38mm-160mm zoom lens, the Espio 160 camera is introduced, offering an unparalleled 4.2x zoom ratio, making it the world's longest zoom lens on a compact camera.
PENTAX introduces the world's first autofocus medium format SLR camera, the PENTAX 645N. This camera (with interchangeable lenses) combines the proud tradition and technological excellence of the 645 with a host of new features, including a high-precision autofocus system, to make it even more maneuverable and responsive in the field.
PENTAX launches its first Advanced Photo System (APS) zoom compact camera, the PENTAX efina.
The PENTAX Espio 200 is introduced.
The PENTAX 645N is named "Best Professional Product in Europe 1998-99" by the Technical Image Press Association (TIPA) and "European Professional Camera of the Year 1998-99" by the European Imaging and Sound Association (EISA). It also wins the Camera Press Club of Japan's "Camera Grand Prix 1998," the first time a medium format camera has won this award.
The ZX-5N is selected as "1998 SLR Camera of the Year" and "1998 Camera of the Year" at the Amateur Photographer Awards for Amateur Photographer, a leading British photography magazine.
The PENTAX 67II, the proud successor of the legendary PENTAX 67 medium format SLR debuts. The design changes facilitate speed of operation and ease of handling and offer greatly improved performance, maneuverability, reliability and exposure automation, while retaining maximum compatibility with the current 67 system lenses and accessories.
The PENTAX Espio 200 is named by the Technical Image Press Association (TIPA) as "Best 35mm Compact Camera in Europe 1998-99."
The PENTAX 645N wins German Magazine's Marketing and Innovation Award, one of the oldest and best-known awards in Germany’s photo industry.
Steve Irwin, host of the Animal Planet series “The Crocodile Hunter,” becomes the spokesperson for PENTAX's Espio line of point-and-shoot cameras.
PENTAX Corporation introduces the fashionable efina T for the new millennium. The efina T is one of the smallest APS cameras equipped with a 3x zoom lens on the market.
Asahi Optical Co., Ltd., PENTAX Corporation's parent company, celebrates its 80th Anniversary.
The PENTAX Espio 120Mi is named the "Compact Camera of the Year 00-01" by Australian Camera, Australia's most prestigious photographic magazine. The Espio 120Mi is the seventh PENTAX camera to receive the magazine's Camera of the Year award, and the fourth to win it in the compact camera category.
The Espio 928M compact zoom is introduced as one of the few compact zoom cameras on the market offering a 28mm wide angle.
The Espio 120SW is selected as the "Best 35mm Compact Camera in Europe 2001-2002" by the Technical Image Press Association (TIPA).
The Espio 170SL is named the "Australian Compact Camera of the Year 2001-2002" by Australian Camera.
Seven PENTAX products receive the "2001 Good Design Award" sponsored by Japan Industrial Design Foundation: Optio330 (Digital Still Camera), MZ-S (35mm SLR Camera), Espio 120SW (35mm Zoom Compact Camera), Espio 170SL (35mm Zoom Compact Camera), SMCP-FA 31mm F1.8 AL Limited (35mm SLR Lens), FB-7 Lite and FB-9 Lite (Binocular).
PENTAX introduces the Optio 430 digital camera which, at the time, is the world's smallest, lightest compact digital camera in its class. The innovative and stylish Optio 330 also makes its debut, as the smallest and lightest digital camera on the market in the 3 megapixel CCD, 3X optical zoom lens category.
PENTAX introduces the long-awaited MZ-S professional 35mm autofocus SLR camera. Heralded as the new flagship model of the popular ZX/MZ SLR series lineup, the MZ-S features a wide range of innovative features for advanced photography, including a user-friendly "Hyper Operation" system, a six-point AF system and a top shutter speed of 1/6000 second.
PENTAX introduces the world's first digital camera binocular, the DigiBino DB. Ideal for birdwatchers, outdoorsman and sports fans, the DigiBino DB is equipped with an LCD monitor, allowing users to view distant /images/about-us/timeline clearly with 7X magnification and high-level digital precision.
PENTAX U.S.A., Inc. located in Englewood, Colorado and PENTAX Technologies located in Broomfield, Colorado merge and relocate to Golden, Colorado. The company is renamed PENTAX Imaging Company, a division of PENTAX of America, Inc.
The Optio33WR, a Class 7 water-resistant digital camera, is the first dunkable digital from PENTAX.
PENTAX introduces the long-anticipated, lens interchangeable, digital SLR—the *ist D digital SLR camera. With the clarity of 6.1 effective megapixels, a pentaprism viewfinder, and a 1.8 inch LCD monitor, the *ist D features one of the world's smallest, lightest camera bodies in the digital SLR category.
The *ist 35mm Auto Focus camera, one of the world's smallest in the Auto Focus SLR category, is introduced, and promptly wins a Professional Photographer Magazine Hot1 Award.
PENTAX introduces the Optio S, one of the world's smallest 3.2 megapixel digital cameras at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES). The camera is recognized as a BEST OF CES finalist for innovation and design. The Optio S goes on to win a host of prestigious awards, including a DigIt Magazine DigIt Award, an American Photo Magazine Editor's Choice, Shutterbug Best of Show, Stuff Magazine Top Ten Greatest, Presentation Magazine’s 2003 Standing Ovation, and LAPTOP Magazine 2003 Award.
PENTAX upgrades the popular Class 7 water-resistant digital camera with a 4 megapixel version, the PENTAX Optio43WR.
PENTAX receives a HOT1 Award from Professional Photographer Magazine for two DA digital lenses—the DA 16-45mm and the DA 14mm.
The OptioWP receives a DIGITAL MAN award from Esquire Magazine, while the *ist DS is acknowledged by PC Magazine as a LAST GADGET STANDING finalist.
The PENTAX K10D wins several prestigious international awards, including TIPA, American Photo Magazine Editor's Choice, Camera Grand Prix, Consumer Electronics Association Innovations, MacLife Editors' Choice and EISA Best Product (camera).
The entry-level K100D digital SLR is introduced, followed by the K10D with 10 megapixels, body-based Shake Reduction image stabilization, a PRIME engine processor, and a weather-resistant body.
Innovative technology from the K10D, such as Shake Reduction, dust removal, and lens compatibility, is incorporated into the affordable PENTAX K100D Super.
The Pentax K10D manages a Hattrick and wins not only the TIPA Award in the category "Best D-SLR Expert, the "Camera Grand Prix 2007" in Japan, but also gets the title "EISA European Camera of the Year 2007-2008".
OUTDOOR LIFE magazine awards the amazing PENTAX DCF LV 9x28 binoculars with both the 2008 EDITOR'S CHOICE and a 2008 GREAT BUY award.
PENTAXPhotoGallery.com wins a PEOPLE'S VOICE WEBBY AWARD for Best Use of Photography in a Web site.
With a substantive digital SLR line of bodies, lenses, and flash units, PENTAX introduces the PENTAX Pro Program with benefits including equipment loans and expedited repairs and the PENTAX Student Program with rebates on select products.
On March 31, 2008, PENTAX Corporation is officially renamed HOYA Corporation. In a letter to customers, tucked in every shipped product, the following message is provided: "We will continue to market a fine line of products under the familiar PENTAX brand to satisfy your demands and requirements. We thank you for your continued support and patronage to HOYA CORPORATION and our PENTAX-brand products."
PENTAX rolls out the latest K series digital SLR—the PENTAX K2000. The ideal entry-level SLR, the K2000 features numerous technological advancements and ships in a special kit with lens and flash that will grow with the expanding ranks of budding digital SLR users. The limited-edition, white PENTAX K2000 DSLR system with a double zoom kit is also announced. The new camera body and both lenses* feature a brilliant white color with black trim.
PENTAX unveils the K200D. With a dustproof and weather-resistant body, the K200D is an easy-to-operate, 10 megapixel DSLR with advanced features. PENTAX also introduces the K20D, a dustproof, weather-resistant, 14 megapixel DSLR with Shake Reduction.
The Optio W60, an adventure-friendly, 10 megapixel, waterproof compact, is released just in time for summer.
PENTAX releases the amazing K-7, our first DSLR with HD Movie Capture. Fast, durable and lightweight, the 14.6 megapixel K-7 is one of the smallest DSLRs in its class, and the most powerful PENTAX ever built.
PENTAX releases the X70 Megazoom digital camera, featuring a high magnification 24X optical zoom lens with wide-angle to super-telephoto coverage in a portable, compact and lightweight body. With 12 megapixels, SLR-like styling and flexible exposure modes, the X70 is a true bridge between compact digital cameras and digital SLRs.
PENTAX introduces two new waterproof compacts, the Optio W80 and Optio WS80. Palm-sized and built for adventure, both cameras can withstand rain, snow, sand and spills, and take extraordinary underwater photos and video.
PENTAX redefines the entry-level digital SLR category with the all-new K-x. The K-x offers high-end features like Live View, HD video and lightning-fast speed, and comes in black, white, and limited-edition red or navy.
PENTAX shakes up the waterproof digital category with the adventure proof Optio W90. Shockproof, coldproof, and dustproof to new extremes, this award winning compact features inventive LED lens lighting for macro photography and an eye-catching design and carabiner strap.
PENTAX Sport Optics enters the electronic age with the introduction of the world’s first electronic rifle scope – the PENTAX ULTIMATE ZOOM ™ Rifle Scope. This new member of the extensive line of PENTAX precision rifle scopes features a built-in battery-powered, low-noise zooming motor that is activated by the touch of a button.
This powerful DSLR with advanced features like 12.4 Megapixels, HD video, a 3-inch LCD display and a 6FPS framerate carries on the new tradition of DSLR color choices of basic black, classy white and PENTAX and competes with higher-end DSLRs but looks great doing it.
PENTAX speaks to advanced photo enthusiasts like never before with the compact, rugged K-5. This DSLR features an amazing 16.3 megapixel CMOS sensor, ISO from 80-51200, 7 FPS framerate and 1080p HD video at 25 FPS, all housed in a compact, weather-resistant body with shake reduction.
The Optio W90 wins OUTSIDE Magazine GEAR OF THE YEAR award.
Long anticipated yet ahead of its time, PENTAX finishes out the year by delivering our first 645D digital medium format with 40 megapixels and all of the features pros could hope for at a price that was well worth the wait.
PENTAX unveils the 12th generation Optio adventure cameras. The Optio WG-1 and the Optio WG-1 GPS take adventure photography to new heights (and depths) with a 14 megapixel sensor, waterproof to 33 feet, shockproof to 5 feet and crushproof construction. The Digital Microscope mode offers five LEDs for excellent macro lighting and a detachable macro stand for steadier capture. Now available with GPS functionality, the WG-1 GPS proves you really were there.
PENTAX introduces the world’s smallest and lightest interchangeable lens camera (ILC), the PENTAX Q. The Q offers the versatility and precision of an advanced DSLR in a body that is significantly smaller than every other digital ILC body available on the market today.
Hoya Corporation announces an agreement to transfer PENTAX Imaging Systems to RICOH
PENTAX 645D Medium-format Digital SLR Camera Wins "Camera of the Year" at Camera GP Japan 2011 Awards and is deemed Best DSLR Professional by TIPA 2011.
Ricoh Company, Ltd. announces the establishment of PENTAX RICOH IMAGING COMPANY, LTD. on October 1, 2011.
PENTAX RICOH IMAGING introduces the Marc Newson designed PENTAX K-01 interchangeable lens camera (ILC). The new PENTAX K-01 is another bold effort from the manufacturer that is known for pushing camera size, color, durability, and now, design, to the limit.
PENTAX RICOH IMAGING just pushed the PENTAX WG adventure camera series to the edge for the 13th time with the introduction of the PENTAX Optio WG-2 and PENTAX Optio WG-2 GPS digital compact cameras.
PENTAX RICOH IMAGING today announces the introduction of its new weather and dust resistant digital SLR camera – the PENTAX K-30.
PENTAX RICOH IMAGING announces the introduction of its PENTAX K-5 II and K-5 IIs flagship digital SLR cameras.
PENTAX RICOH IMAGING announces the HD PENTAX DA 560 mm F5.6 ED AW designed specifically for use with all K-mount camera bodies.
Leveraging its long-standing and comprehensive expertise in the waterproof category, PENTAX RICOH IMAGING (PENTAX) has introduced the 15th generation in its adventureproof line-up of point and shoot cameras, the WG-3.
PENTAX RICOH IMAGING today announced the RICOH GR, an ideal blend of image quality, camera size and price; setting a new benchmark for the advanced compact camera category.