Today, June 1st, marks the 70th anniversary of Sekonic, a Japanese brand known for its light meters, color meters and illuminometers that have become all but a staples in the cinema and photography industries.

70 years ago, Seiko Electronic Co. Ltd was established in Toshima, Tokyo, Japan by Mr. Ryuichi Mitani. That the same year, Seiko Electronic Co. Ltd would go on to release its first Sekonic-branded exposure meter, the Sekonic L-1. Seiko Electronic Co. Ltd quickly grew in popularity over the course of the next decade and built a new factory in Tokyo, Japan in 1959. The following year, 1960, Seiko Electronic Co. Ltd changed its name to Sekonic and three years later, in 1963, the company was listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

Seiko Electronic Co. Ltd's first light meter, the Sekonic L-1

Although Sekonic had become a well-established brand by the 1980s, it was in 1984 when Sekonic received a high-profile endorsement when it was announced NASA had chosen the Sekonic L-518 Digipro X-1 as the light meter of choice for the Space Shuttle missions.

In addition to other accolades and awards since its inception, Sekonic has released some of the ‘world’s firsts,’ including the first light meter made in Japan, the first all-weather light meter, the first combination spot and incident meter, the first flash meter with radio triggering functionality, the first flash meter to create and display the exposure profiling and the first handheld spectrometer to measure flash and Spectral Similarity Index (SSI).

‘For 70 years, we have designed and manufactured the most innovative and sophisticated light measuring instruments in the Photographic and Cine/Video industry,’ says Director and COO of Sekonic, Kenji Sawai. ‘Our commitment to meet and exceed the demands and expectations of our customers continues with more passion than ever. Sekonic is a company that never wants to forget where it comes from, while still focusing on innovative products for the future.’

Lasting 70 years is no small feat, especially in such a niche market. But Sekonic has done just that, even throughout the transition from film to digital, and its legacy lives on. To honor the feat, Sekonic says it will be announcing the details of a new, limited-edition light meter on July 1, 2021.

You can read more about Sekonic's history on its website.