Komine Company, Ltd was a manufacturer and exporter of lenses and photography products.
|Komine tripod head|
image by amazingcreation9 (Image rights)
Little is known of their history or orign. The earliest product yet identified is an all-metal tripod head stamped Komine and Made in Occupied Japan, which would have to date to between 1947 and 1951. In late 1970s they used the Minec tradename for some of their products. The 1982 edition of the Camerart Photo Trade Directory provides this entry for Komine:
Komine Company, Ltd. Manufacturers and Exporters 4-2,2-chome,Hatanodai, Shinagawa, Tokyo 142 Cable Address: KOMINEMORO TOKYO Tel: 03-781-4414 Business Office: Suzufusa bldg., 16-12, 1-chome, kami-meguro, Meguro, Tokyo 153 Tel: 03-792-2421 President: Manjiro Komine Product Lines: 35mm interchangeable lenses
The 1985 edition of the Camerart Photo Trade Directory lists a similar address but indicates a change of management:
Komine Company, Ltd. A Member of the JPEA 4-2, Hatanodai 2-chome, Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo 142 Tel: Tokyo (03) 781-4414 Fax: 03-463-2494 Cable Address: KOMINEMORO TOKYO Business Office: 13-6, Aobadai 1-chome, Meguro-ku, Tokyo 153 Tel: Tokyo (03) 463-2491 President: Katsumi Moro Product Lines: 35mm interchangeable lenses.
The 1993 edition of the Camerart Photo Trade Directory does not list Komine Co., Ltd. at all and it is generally believed they went out business due to bankruptcy by that time.
A company named "Komine" is known to have manufactured lenses for Ponder & Best (later Vivitar). Most researchers believe that Vivitar lenses with serial numbers starting 28x were Komine-made. According to Vivitar employees of the time, Komine-made products were first seen internally at Ponder & Best in the year 1971. Little is known about the Komine that manufactured Vivitar lenses except that they were located in Japan and there has been some disagreement among Vivitar researchers as to whether the Vivitar Komine was Komine Co., Ltd or an unintentional corruption of Kominar, a similar sounding brand name of lens manufacturer Nittō Kōgaku. The most conclusive evidence to date confirms Komine Co., Ltd was the manufacturer of 28x Vivitar lenses. For more on this topic, see the Vivitar Serial Number and manufacturer information article.
Komine may have used the product brand name Minec after the late 1970s. The company filed trademarks for this name in several countries including Japan, Australia, Canada, and Germany. No actual products using this market are currently documented, however.
Komine filed a trademark for Minec in Australia on 28 November, 1978 for "photographic instruments, especially lenses for photographic instruments, and parts and accessories thereof". The filing has since expired. On 9 March, 1979 Komine filed a trademark for Minec in Canada to cover photographic apparatus and instruments, lenses for photographic apparatus and instruments, extension tubes, and converters. The trademark was expunged on 4 October, 1996 after the company failed to renew it. The filing claims that Komine was using the Minec trade name in Japan since 6 June, 1977 (under registration number 1274692). The filing lists Riches, McKenzie & Herbert LLP of Toronto, Ontario as their Canadian law firm. The address listed on this filing was: KOMINE CO., LTD., 4-2, HATANODAI 2-CHOME, SHINAGAWA-KU, TOKYO, JAPAN. Komine filed a trademark for Minec in Germany on 10 September, 1984 to cover photographic, cienmatographic, and optical equipment. The trademark filing was cancelled on 28 November, 2000 at the company's request. The company listed their address only as Tokyo, Japan in this filing.
- Camerart Photo Trade Directory, 1982, ISBN 9780800230319
- Photo.net forum: Tell me about Komine
- Camerart Photo Trade Directory, 1985, ISBN 9789995596378
- Personal correspondence from Peter D. Jin of Tapak Intl, Inc., one of Komine's customers
- personal correspondence between Bill Swinyard and Steve Rainwater, 21 Feb, 2012
- Good grief! Three Series 1 70-210 Vivitar zooms???, Modern Photography, Aug 1984, p35
- Komine's Australian trademark filing for Minec
- Komine's Canadian trademark filing for Minec
- Komine's German trademark filing for Minec