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Chinon Industries Inc. was established by Chino Hiroshi in September 1948 and was originally known as Sanshin Seisakusho. Its name changed in 1962 to Sanshin Optics Industrial Co. Ltd, finally becoming Chinon Industries Inc in 1973. It is now owned by Kodak Japan Limited, the Japanese daughter company of Eastman Kodak Co. It sells digital cameras to Kodak and provides assistance to Kodak Electronic Products (Shanghai), the manufacturer of its cameras. The takeover by Kodak took place in January and February 2004. Before that time Chinon had been an independent manufacturer of optics and cameras since 1948.

Currently (as of 2010) Chinon produce digital cameras such as the Superheadz/Digital hedgehog retro 110 style toy camera and the Tachyon helmet camera. They also produce film scanners and various other non camera related devices.

Company Timeline

  • 1948 - Sanshin Seisakusho established as a maker of camera lens frames and lens barrels in the city of Chino, Nagano Prefecture.
  • 1953 - Sanshin Seisakusho reorganized into a stock-holding company.
  • 1954 - Head office transferred to the city of Suwa, Nagano Prefecture.
  • 1956 - Manufacturing 8mm movie camera lenses begins.
  • 1959 - Develops and manufactures world's first 8mm zoom lens.
  • 1962 - Manufactures and exports own-brand 8mm movie cameras to Europe and America. Company name changed to Sanshin Optics Industrial Co. Ltd.
  • 1971 - Manufacturing of 35mm cameras begins.
  • 1973 - Company name changed to Chinon Industries, Inc. Stock listed on second section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange.
  • 1974 - First in Japan to develop and manufacture a simultaneous sound recording 8mm movie camera.
  • 1979 - Manufacturing video camera lenses begins.
  • 1981 - First in Japan to develop a near-infrared auto focus system.
  • 1982 - Enters the emerging information device field with the development and production of information storage devices.
  • 1983 - Develops and markets world's first twin programmed SLR camera.
  • 1985 - Begins producing 35mm cameras for Eastman Kodak Company on an OEM basis.
  • 1993 - Begins supplying Kodak with digital cameras on an OEM basis.
  • 1997 - Kodak becomes majority shareholder (50.1%). Chinon strengthens digital camera design and production operations.
  • 1998 - Digital camera production surpasses 1 million units.
  • 2000 - Digital camera production surpasses 3 million units.
  • 2002 - Digital camera production surpasses 5 million units.

35mm SLR

The CP range was notable for models that could offer programmed autoexposure (with some limitations) using vanilla K-mount lenses. This is in contrast to Pentax and Ricoh who introduced proprietary KA & KR additions to the original mount to enable that feature.

35mm Power Winders

  • Chinon PW 510
  • Chinon PW 534/545
  • Chinon PW 540
  • Chinon PW 600/610

Chinon info back

  • Chinon info back 2 (data back)
  • Chinon info back 3 (Interval timer)

Point & Shoot


Super 8 Film Cameras

  • 133 PXL Silent Camera
  • 60 RXL Sound Camera

8mm Movie Projectors

  • 3000GL Silent Projector
  • SP-330 Sound Projector

35mm Camera Lenses

Chinon branded camera lenses in M42 and K-mount were sold as part of their offerings. These lenses were made by some makers such as Tomioka, Cimko, Tamron and Tokina. Initially the lenses had white lettering and stated the maker (Style I), this was later replaced by colored lettering and more modern look (Style II). These lenses were also sold under a long brand names such as : REVUENON, AGFA, Argus, Chinar, Avanar, Auto-Cintar, etc.

Known lenses list compiled by "pancolart" [1]:

M42 lenses (Style I) M42 and K-mount lenses (Style II)
3.5/21mm (Tomioka) 3.5/17mm (Tokina)
2.8/35mm 2.8/28mm
2.8/28mm 2.5/24mm
2.8/35mm 2.8/35mm
1.9/50mm 2.8/45mm
1.7/55mm coated & MC version (Tomioka) 1.9/50mm
1.4/55mm coated & MC version (Tomioka) 1.7/50mm
1.2/55mm (Tomioka) 1.4/50mm
2.8/100mm (Tomioka) 2.8/135mm
2.8/135mm 3.3./200mm
3.5/200mm 3.5/200mm
5.6/300mm (Tokina)
8/500mm Mirror (Tokina)