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5 Interesting Facts About Imaging Leader Konica

Like Fuji, Konica has a long history in Japan and is most well known for their film and camera accessories. Konica even predates Kodak in the photography business, as Konica began in 1873 in Tokyo. Today, the company focuses on imaging for business solutions and production print systems, optical products, planetarium technology, OLED lighting, healthcare, and more; the latter of which focused on digital radiography, and ultrasound. At Amber, we have Konica Computed Radiography machines. Take a look below for more trivia about Konica.

Rokusaburo Sugiura
Rokusaburo Sugiura

1.) Konica started out in 1873 when pharmacist Rokusaburo Sugiura began selling photographic materials in Konishiya Rokube, which was the biggest pharmacy leader in Tokyo at the time. Sugiura launched a new shop, Konishi Honten in 1878.

2.) Konishi produced the first ever Japanese end user oriented camera in 1902, called the “Cherry Portable Camera.” They also released the first made in Japan color film “Sakura Natural Color Film in 1940, and were also the first camera company to use auto-exposure with their Konica Autoreflex of 1965. Since then, other camera makers adopted the auto-exposure technique.

"Konica I" photographic camera
“Konica I” photographic camera

3.) Konica finally received its current name in 1987, after the Konishi released “Konica I” type camera from 1948. In 2003, Konica merged with Minolta to form Konica Minolta.

Konica Minolta Planetarium "Manten" in Sunshine City"
“Manten” Planetarium in Sunshine City

4.) Konica currently manages two planetarium theaters; Konica Minolta Planetarium ‘Manten,’ in Sunshine City, Tokyo, and ‘Tenku,’ located in Skytree Town, Tokyo.

Konica Minolta Digital Imagine Square
Konica Minolta Digital Imagine Square

5.) In 2005 Konica released the world’s first mammography machine to use phase contrast technology. But it wasn’t until 2006 that Konica ventured completely outside of the camera/photography business. They closed down their photo imaging division, and also opened the first “Digital Imaging Square,” which is a production printing showroom.

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