Ricoh has announced the contract of distribution between itself and Kenko Professional Imaging, a noted Japanese maker of filters and other imaging products. This contract is in force from this month (October 2023), and the distribution covers the United States market. There is no word yet on any price differences or import fees that would be levied.
Kenko’s ZXII filters were released last year and have rave reviews, but usually Kenko uses a tagalong with Tokina for distribution. It is unknown as to why Ricoh and Kenko have formed this strategic partnership, but speculation is that both companies are aiming to diversify their channels of distribution. Another reason could be due to Ricoh’s better position for importing and distribution in America.
Ricoh Distributing the Kenko ZXII
The Kenko ZXII filter is widely available in Japan, as reported by Petapixel, but finding the filters in the American market has been more difficult. This strategic partnership should make the ZXII much more available for photographers. The ZXII ND filter is known to photographers for its flat size but also lack of aberration. The ZXII is contrary in design to many filters on the market, with Kenko explaining the design of commonly-available filters precludes the security of the glass of the filter from remaining steady. This design causes blurs during some usages, and the ZXII is designed to avoid those blurs. The demand for these filters in America explains the tie-up for distribution between the two companies.
List of Kenko Products Ricoh is Distributing
Below is a non-exhaustive list of products that will be distributed by Ricoh:
- ZXII PROTECTOR
- ZXII UVL41
- BLACK MIST No.05
- BLACK MIST No.1
- PRO1D SMART series
- PRO1D+ INSTANT ACTION PROTECTOR SET and related products
- PRO1D+ INSTANT ACTION VARIABLE NDX3-450+ C-PL SET
- PRO1D+ INSTANT ACTION CONVERSION RING
- PRO1D+ INSTANT ACTION C-UP LENS series
- INSTANT ACT C-UP No. 1&3 SET