Jaca Corporation

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Jaca Corporation was a Japanese distributor of rebranded photographic gear with a business model similar to the US company, Vivitar. Their products were designed and made by other companies under contract, then sold under Jaca brand names. They are most famous for their Elicar and Panagor brand lenses, made by a variety of Japanese lens manufacturers which included Komine and Kino Precision. The 1985 Edition of the Camerart Photo Trade Directory lists the company president as Hiroto Sugita and Jaca Corporation's address as: No. 17-25, 4-chome Mita, Minato-ku, Tokyo 108 Japan.[1]

According to various trademark filings (see below), the Elicar and Panagor brands were used for a wide range of products including cameras, interchangeable camera lenses, automatic zoom lenses, telephoto lenses, wide-angle lenses, macro lenses, close-up lenses, video lenses, electronic flash units, camera adapters, microscope adapters, camera rails, filters, reverse adapters, bellows, extension tubes, exposure meters, slide duplicators and copiers, micro-focus adjusters, and tripods. However, according to their listing in the 1985 Camerart Photo Trade Directory, their product line included only "35mm interchangeable lenses and various accessories for macro photography".[1]


Elicar may have had a life before Jaca Corporation as they were marketed by Highate Dufay in the UK from 1974 [2]onwards. At the time the lenses were made by Wako in Japan. In 1983 Elicar lenses were being distributed in the UK by 'Luxphoto'.[3] A US trademark registration for the Elicar mark was filed on 21 September, 1979. The filing indicates the Elicar mark was first used in commerce on 22 August, 1978.[4]. This initial filing expired in 1981. A second US filing was made on 20 May, 1985 by Peter Gray Associates Corporation of Los Angeles, CA, believed to be the US importer for Jaca Corporation products.[5]. This filing was updated in 1992 and was still in force as of 2012.[6]

Despite the clear international trademark records stating the Jaca owned the Elicar trademark, there is another Japanese company that distributed and exported the Elicar lenses, Tapak International, Inc. The relationship is unclear. It's known that some Elicar lenses were manufactured by Kino Precision, and other were made by Komine. After Komine went out of business, Tapak designed and manufactured lenses themselves.[7]

Elicar Cameras

Elicar lenses

  • Elicar 23mm f/3.5
  • Elicar 28mm f/2.8
  • Elicar 35mm f/2.8
  • Elicar V-HQ Macro MC 55mm f/2.8, 62mm filter size
  • Elicar V-HQ Macro MC 90mm f/2.5, 62mm filter size
  • Elicar 135mm f/2.8
  • Elicar 200mm f/3.5
  • Elicar MC 300mm f/5.6, reflex lens, T mount, 67mm filter size
  • Elicar MC 500mm f/8.0, reflex lens, T mount, 72mm filter size
  • Elicar 800mm f/11, reflex lens
  • Elicar 75-205mm f/3.8 Zoom
  • Elicar 80-200mm f/4.5 Zoom
  • Elicar 80-205mm f/4.5 Macro Zoom

Elicar conversion lenses

  • Elicar 7E Auto Tele-Converter 2x 6 group, 7 element
  • Elicar Auto Tele-Converter 2x 3 element (single and multi-coated variants)
  • Elicar Auto Tele-Converter 2x 4 element (single and multi-coated variants)
  • Elicar Auto Tele-Converter 3x 4 element (single and multi-coated variants)
  • Elicar Automatic Extension Tube Set (Pentax S/K, Minolta, Nikon, Canon, Olympus, Konica, and C/Y mounts)
  • Elicar MACRONET-Telecon 3x tele-converter (1:5 to 1.5:1 magnification with 50mm lens)
  • Elicar Macro-Wide Converter 0.67x conversion lens, Series VII (converts 50mm to 33.5mm)
  • Elicar Reverse Adapter & Tube Set 55
  • Elicar Semi-Fisheye Converter 0.4x conversion lens, Series VII (converts 50mm to 21mm)
  • Elicar Super Wide 0.42x conversion lens, Series VII (converts 50mm to 21mm)

Elicar accessories

  • Elicar Auto Bellows
  • Elicar Auto Ring Flash
  • Elicar Micro Focus Adjust
  • Elicar Mirror Circle-Anglescope
  • Elicar Zoom Slide Duplicator
  • Elicar filters (various types and sizes)


The Panagor name was used mainly in the UK, Europe and Asia. Often the same/similar lenses were sold under both names, the only difference being the geographical region where the lens was to be sold. Some of the lenses made by Komine, such as the 90mm f/2.8 Macro were also sold through other marketing companies such as Vivitar, Soligor, Spiratone etc and vary only in the badging and the color scheme of the lens graphics. Adverts for Panagor lenses appear in US Photo magazines in the early 1980's. In Germany some lenses were sold with 'ADMIRAL/Panagor' branding possibly reflecting the local distributor.

The Canadian trademark registration for the Panagor mark was filed on 16 June 1971. The filing was renewed in 1973, 1988, and 2003. It has now expired.[8] The Panagor trademark was registered in Australia on 12 May, 1971[9] Panagor equipment was imported and sold in Kenya, Africa starting in 1971.[10] Panagor products were also imported and sold in the United Kingdom by AICO[11] (amongst others) but no related trademark filing has yet been documented.

Panagor lenses

  • Panagor 21mm f/4 Auto Wide Angle
  • Panagor PMC Auto Wide-Angle 24mm f/2.5
  • Panagor Auto Wide 28mm f/2.8
  • Panagor MC 28mm f/2.8
  • Panagor 28mm f/2.5
  • Panagor 35mm f/2
  • Panagor 55mm f/2.8 Macro
  • Panagor 55mm f/3 Macro (1976)
  • Panagor 90mm f/2.8 Macro
  • Panagor 135mm f/2.8 (PMC)
  • Panagor Auto Tele 135mm f/3.5
  • Panagor 200mm f/3.5
  • Panagor PMC Reflex 300mm f/5.6 (mirror)
  • Panagor PMC Reflex 500mm f/8 (mirror)
  • Panagor 75-205mm f/3.5 Zoom
  • Panagor 80-200mm f/3.8 PMC Auto Tele Zoom
  • Panagor 85-205mm f/3.8 Zoom (similar to Vivitar 85-205mm f/3.8 Zoom)
  • Panagor-E PMC Auto Zoom 85-205mm f/4.5

Panagor conversion lenses

  • Panagor Auto Tele Converter 2x
  • Panagor Auto Macro Converter (1:10 to 1:1 convertor for 50mm lens)
  • Panagor Extension Tube set
  • Panagor Tele-MACRONET 3x teleconverter (1:5 to 1.5:1 magnification with 50mm lens)
  • Panagor Telemacron Auto 6 element, 6 group, auto diaphragm (1:5 to 1.5:1)
  • Panagor Proxywide 0.6x 1:5.6 wide angle attachment lens

Panagor accessories

  • Panagor 3-Way ZS Duplicator and Bellows
  • Panagor Automatic Extension Bellows, T Mount
  • Panagor Auto Macro Professional (AMP) System
  • Panagor Auto Ring Flash 8000
  • Panagor Macro-Flash
  • Panagor Wing-Bracket
  • Panagor slide duplicator
  • Panagor zoom slide duplicator (1x to 2.5x)
  • Panagor filters (various types and sizes)


  1. 1.0 1.1 Camerart Photo Trade Directory, 1985 Edition, CameraArt, Inc.
  2. [Photography magazine October 1974]
  3. [Photography magazine August 1983]
  4. Elicar Trademark, 1st filing by Jaca Corporation
  5. Elicar Trademark, 2nd filing by Peter Gray Associates
  6. Elicar Trademark, 3rd filing by Peter Gray Associates
  7. Personal correspondance Peter D. Jin of Tapak Intl., Inc.
  8. Panagor Canada Trademark, 1st filing by Jaca Corporation
  9. Panagor Australia Trademark, 1st filing by Jaca Corporation
  10. Kenya Gazette, 6 Aug, 1971, Vol. LXXIII, No. 35, p. 779
  11. British Journal of Photography, vol. 126, p. 1003