Founded in 1934, C.R. Kennedy is Australia’s largest independent importer and distributor of photographic equipment.


Initially the company’s activities were solely photographic and optical, importing a variety of products from Germany and Italy. Shortly after the Second World War, C.R. Kennedy became the sole Australian agents for the Rectaflex camera which gave way in 1948 to the Exakta agency from Zeiss Jena.

In 1954, C.R. Kennedy became the distributor for Asahi Pentax - the beginning of a very close and longlasting relationship with Pentax Corporation. To this day, C.R. Kennedy is the world’s first and longestestablished Pentax distributor. In the same period, C.R. Kennedy also became the distributor for Elmo and LPL of Japan.

With many of our Japanese suppliers C.R. Kennedy has had more than sixty years of unbroken trading relationship. Once C.R. Kennedy enters into a solid agreement, it is committed to go through both good times and bad, and to build a lasting and enduring relationship.

In 1968, the company became the distributor of surveying instruments for the Fuji agency (later to become Pentax). The Survey Division has steadily grown to dominate the survey market in Australia. In 1975, following the death of our founder Clement Kennedy, his son Malcolm Kennedy became Chairman and Managing Director.

In 1979, C.R. Kennedy was appointed to distribute the leading German photographic lines of JOBO, whose excellent darkroom equipment was a significant addition to our photographic range.

In 1980, C.R. Kennedy became distributors for Hasselblad of Sweden, the world’s most prestigious photographic line. In the first year of distribution, we doubled the sales of the previous distributor. In 1986, C.R. Kennedy (NZ) Ltd was established to service the rapidly expanding New Zealand consumer and industrial markets. With the combined purchasing power of the Australian operation, substantial inroads have been made into the New Zealand market offering excellent value and service to amateur and professional photographers, and the surveying, medical and surveillance industries.

1989 saw C.R. Kennedy appointed as the sole Australian distributor for Bowens Studio Flash from the UK. In the first six months of distribution, we achieved the highest ever Australian turnover for Bowens.

In 1991, Sigma, the world’s largest manufacturer of interchangeable lenses, appointed C.R. Kennedy as their Australian distributor. This appointment followed our excellent sales record as Sigma’s New Zealand distributor - and the fact that, as an OEM buyer under C.R. Kennedy’s own Astron brand, C.R. Kennedy purchased far more than the previous Sigma distributor had under the Sigma brand itself.

In April 2005, C.R. Kennedy was appointed sole and exclusive distributor for iRiver MP3 players, manufactured in Korea. iRiver saw the great strengths of CRK being well represented in both the Australian & New Zealand photo & CE channels. iRiver was built into one of Australia’s top selling MP3 brands with an annual sale turnover reaching over 155,000 units.

In 2006, C.R. Kennedy took over the Australian and New Zealand distributorship of Ilford from Ilford’s own subsidiary company. By using C.R. Kennedy’s existing photographic and CE distribution channels, we achieved excellent business for the Ilford desktop paper range, while maintaining Ilford’s traditional mono business.

In November 2011, Ricoh announced C.R. Kennedy as its new Australian distributor of digital cameras, effective 1 February 2012. The new appointment brings both camera brands [RICOH & PENTAX] under the one distributor in Australia.

In 2013, together with our partner Chugai Photo Chemicals of Japan, we acquired the assets of ILFORD Switzerland, including all trade-marks and established ILFORD IMAGING EUROPE, located in Bergisch Gladbach Germany, and responsible for the world-wide manufacture and distribution of ILFORD INKJET PRODUCTS.