A company that was originally founded to manufacture spectacle lenses, Asahi Kogaku Goshi Kaisha, moved to manufacture camera lenses later in the 1930’s.
With the advent of war just like other leading brands in the world at that time the company was working on army contracts.
After a brief period when the company was disbanded, by occupying forces, the company returned to business and back to manufacturing photography equipment. Camera manufacturing boomed during this time and during the Korean War. Asahiflex was the first SLR camera that the company manufactured. The company bought the brand name Pentax and later came to be known as Pentax Corporation.
The company later changed hands to be owned by Hoya and then by Ricoh. Pentax Imaging Corporation currently manufacturers some of the most affordable weather-sealed camera bodies including the full frame K-1, and the APS-C sensor powered Pentax KP.