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Asanuma logo (older)

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Asanuma logo (modern)

Asanuma Shōkai Co., Ltd is a Japanese distributor of photographic equipment


Asanuma Shōkai is a Japanese distributor of photographic equipment. The company's name is usually rendered in English as Asanuma & Co, Ltd.. It manufactured its own large-format studio or field cameras, and also some amateur cameras in the 1910s and 1920s. Today it is best known for its range of accessories sold under the brand King (キング).

The shop was founded by Asanuma Tōkichi (浅沼藤吉) in 1867 or 1871, depending on the sources. The company's modern website cites 1871 as the officially recognized date of founding. By 1901, the company was called Asanuma Shōten (浅沼商店), and the address was Nihonbashi-ku Honchō 2-chōme in Tokyo (東京日本橋区本町二丁目).  Some years later, its name was changed to Asanuma Shōkai (浅沼商会, i.e. Asanuma trading company). It sold the Eagle plate folders around 1915 and the Focal Happy at some later date. It was certainly the owner of the Happy (ハッピー) brand, later used on the Happy plate folder made by Molta. In the mid-1920s, the catalogue of the company contained imported cameras only, except for a few field cameras.

The brand name King (キング) was already in use in the mid-1930s for various accessories, such as an exposure table, an accessory rangefinder or tripods.

From c.1933, Asanuma distributed the Happy and the various Minolta models of the Molta company, later Chiyoda Kōgaku Seikō. It apparently had the exclusive right to sell these cameras until the end of the second world war. After the war it still appears as an authorized dealer of the Minolta cameras, until at least as late as 1952, often together with Misuzu Shōkai.

Asanuma also distributed the Congo lenses of Yamasaki, whose founder was a former employee of the company. The Congo lenses appear in wartime Asanuma catalogues, and the company was still an authorized dealer of Yamasaki in 1959–60. At the same era, it was also advertising Taron products; its main address was Chūō-ku Nihonbashi Takarachō 3–3 (中央区日本橋宝町3–3) in central Tokyo.

Today (2008), the company sells many accessories under its own King brand. The headquarters is in the Nihonbashi Building.

King Lenses[]

Asanuma Auto-Tele 1:2.8 135mm Lens

image by Hans Kerensky (Image rights)

Fixed-mount lenses for 35mm cameras. These were available in Canon, Nikon, Minolta, Olympus, Konica, Pentax, Contax/Yashica, and Fujica X mounts.

  • King 24mm f/2.8, filter size 52mm
  • King 28mm f/2.8, filter size 52mm
  • King 135mm f/2.8, filter size 55mm
  • King 200mm f/3.3, filter size 62mm
  • King 300mm f/5.6
  • King 28-50mm f/3.5-4.5 zoom, filter size 55mm
  • King 28-80mm f/3.5-4.5 zoom, filter size 62mm
  • King 35-100mm f/3.5-4.3 zoom, filter size 55mm
  • King 55-225mm f/3.5-4.5 zoom, filter size 55mm
  • King 70-210mm f/3.8 zoom, filter size 58mm
  • King 75-200mm f/4.5 zoom, filter size 52mm
  • King 80-200mm f/4.5 zoom, filter size 52mm
  • King 100-300mm f/5.6 zoom, filter size 55mm

References/External Links[]

All credit goes back to Wikipedia for i do not own any of these information nor the pictures provided in this page