Historic GOKO Products

Monopolized global market shares twice in different fields
  • 8 mm film editors


    G-2002: Representative model of our 8 mm film editors that captured more than 85% of global market sharesIn the late 1960s

    We were the first company to develop an 8 mm film editor, which was compatible with both the former standard 8 mm film-Double 8-and the newer standard that was released at that time-Super 8 or Single 8. Our 8 mm film editor series, including the representative model G-2002, monopolized the global market capturing more than 85% of global market shares and won great affection and popularity with those who wanted to edit films of both standards.

    In the mid-1970s, our products monopolized the podium in Consumer Reports, a renowned American product evaluation magazine, in their issue featuring 8 mm film editors.

    RM-8008: Top-of-the-line model of our 8 mm film editors that monopolized 100% of the global market sharesIn the late 1970s


    In their early stages, 8 mm film cameras did not provide a recording function and the films were silent. In those days, 8 mm film editors were basically hand-cranked, but this was not inconvenient for editing because the speed at which a film was fed could be manually increased by the operator in order to quickly reach the segment that needs to be edited. Also rapid turning of the crank by hand reduced strong flickers although the editor that used a normal 4-facet prism causes strong flickers at normal speed. After that, however, the "sound camera," a movie camera that provided the feature of recording sounds in synchrony with the visual images, was released and became popular. This required the film to be fed at a constant velocity, 18 segments per second, to ensure synchronization with the correct sounds in the editing process. However, the strong flickers in the editors of those days, due to the 4-facet prism, made the visual images of these constant-velocity films very difficult to view. To obtain smooth visual images at constant velocity, a 16-facet prism, at least, was necessary. However, 16-facet prisms were very difficult to manufacture and despite their expensive price, around 5,000-6,000 yen, their precision was not satisfactory, even on outsourcing to specialty subcontractors.

    After many struggles, we succeeded in developing an exclusive polishing machine for a 16-facet prism. This achievement made it possible for us to mass-produce 16-facet prisms that had precise arc minutes, for only about 300 yen. Because no other competitor could accomplish in-house manufacturing of the 16-facet prism, our achievement meant that we were the sole manufacturer to be able to make editors that did not cause flickers. We became the peerless and largest manufacturer of 8 mm film editors in the world, not only by selling our own brand of editors but also by increasingly fulfilling OEM requests from well-known domestic and foreign manufacturers.

    Moreover, we developed RM-8008 as the top-of-the-line model, which enabled not only the editing of visual images but also the editing and recording of sound effects or narrations. This "world-first" and "one-and-only" feature was possible because of the development of our unique 24-facet prism, which was also manufactured by our abovementioned polishing machine. RM-8008 widened our reputation among 8 mm global users (this reputation was so favorable that we still receive requests for this model, both domestically and internationally). Our 8 mm film editor series then monopolized 100% of the global market shares.

    We were honorably listed as one of the "top 72 Japanese companies that monopolized global market shares" in the 1980 New Year issue of Weekly Diamond, along with many other major companies.

    We are proud that we receive requests for repair of our editors globally even now-tens of years after their discontinuance. Although many of the parts are no longer replaceable, we cherish our customers' long patronage and are glad to provide them free repair unless the repair is impossible.

  • Compact Cameras

    UF (Universal Focus)-2: Valued and called an "excellent tool" by the development manager of a famous Japanese camera manufacturerIn the mid-1980s


    "Japanese cameras are high-end and thus very expensive, and the market is focused on developed countries, which comprise only 13% of the global population. That is to say, nobody produces cameras for the other 87%, despite considering Japan to be a camera-making powerhouse. Now, let's produce cameras for the other 87%."

    This passion of Tadashi Goto - the founder, former President, and current CEO of GOKO Group - led to the establishment of our compact camera business. We dared to venture into the compact camera business, which was considered a mature industry in those days.

    The abovementioned concept of Tadashi Goto was quoted, along with prominent managers such as Konosuke Matsushita and Soichiro Honda, in A Collection of the Sayings of Great Managers, published by Nikkei BP.

    In developing compact cameras, we thoroughly pursued three concepts: The camera should (i) take fine pictures that are sufficient for general appreciation, (ii) be inexpensive, and (iii) have good durability. We succeeded in developing "Universal Focus" (Granted Patent), a technique that made it possible to focus both near and far, despite having a fixed-focus lens. To dispel the inferiority complexes of users of popular-type cameras, we also adopted the motor drive which had, until then, been included only in high-end or middle-type cameras.

    Although UF-2 was originally sold as a product under our own brand, the development team of a major Japanese camera manufacturer gave us an OEM request, valuing it as an "excellent tool." Our reputation immediately became wide spread in the camera industry because it was the very first time that this major manufacturer had requested an OEM of a product sold under their own brand from another company. The model also become their best seller.

    After that, we received OEM requests from almost all major Japanese camera manufacturers, being praised for our advanced technology and thorough rationalization that made low-cost production possible. We consequently became the global leader in the production of compact cameras: 450,000 units per month and 4,200,000 units per year, as published in the August 5 and 12, 1991 issues of Nikkei Business.

    During this period, we launched parallel production in eight developing countries. We were the first to develop a joint-venture partnership with the Chinese government to transfer the technology of producing finished compact cameras to China just after the Cultural Revolution-this was much earlier than when a large number of manufacturers increasingly shifted their production bases into China. Highly respected for his assistance in producing finished compact cameras in these eight countries, Tadashi Goto - the founder, former President, and current CEO of GOKO Group - was awarded the "Distinguished Manager-International Contributor Award" sponsored by Nikkan Kogyo shinbun newspaper.

    MacromaX FR-2200, FR350In the late 1990s

    We developed and manufactured the world's first film compact camera series, MacromaX, which made it possible to focus from infinity down to super close-up of 10 cm (4 in). MacromaX compact cameras drastically overthrew the stereotype of those days that close-up shooting was limited to 50-60 cm at closest, even when using special close-up lenses. These epoch-making MacromaX compact cameras had a special feature, equivalent to providing an ultra-high shutter speed of approximately one-thousandth of a second. This made it possible for anyone to easily take clear 10-cm close-up shots and take pictures as if the object had stopped moving even if object was moving quite fast.

    We are proud that the MacromaX compact camera series has become one of our best-sellers and has a wide-ranging reputation, for example, from users who want to take pictures of flowers swaying in the wind or jumping fish, to police investigators who need to take super close-up pictures by film camera of evidence.

    The Japanese Camera Industry Institute (JCII) selected our FR-2200 as one of their "Historical Japanese Cameras" of 1997.


    MacromaX Z3000 and Z3200In the late 1990s


    We developed a film compact camera series that provided automatic 3x zoom as well as MacromaX technology, which made it possible to focus from infinity down to super close-up shooting of 10 cm and take pictures of fast-moving objects as if they were stationary.

    These were the world-first and only camera series that provided "10-cm close-up shooting" and "3x zoom" in a single machine without attachments, which had not then been achieved by any SLR or compact camera.

    The Z3200 has a very good reputation in Tsuhan Seikatsu, one of the well-known Japanese mail-order service magazines, published by CATALOGHOUSE, and was selected as "Pikaichi (Brilliant No. 1) in compact cameras."

    The Japanese Camera Industry Institute (JCII) selected our Z3000 as one of their "Historical Japanese Cameras" of 2000.

    Sample photos