Asahi Camera
1955 Asahiflex IIA Camera

1957-59 Sears Tower 22 Camera

1955 Asahiflex IIA 1957-59 Sears Tower 22
Asahi Kogaku began in 1919 by making projector lenses and later, in 1931, camera lenses.  During World War II the company made strictly military optical ordinance. As with all Japanese optical companies during the US occupation of Japan, Asahi was reconfigured for strictly civilian output.  The company's first camera, the Asahiflex of 1951 was Japan's first SLR. The Asahiflex camera line became Asahi Pentax (named for the eye-level pentaprism that was incorporated onto their Asahi Pentax model AP camera of 1957)  and then just Pentax. The Pentax name continues on to this day