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Hanimex 35SL
France Version française
Photos by Sylvain Halgand text by Sylvain Halgand. From the collection of Sylvain Halgand. Last update 2022-12-21 par Sylvain Halgand.

Manufactured or assembled in Japan from (Before) 1976 to (After) 1978.
Index of rarity in France: Infrequent (among non-specialized garage sales)
Inventory number: 1733

See the complete technical specifications

Chronology of cameras Hanimex 

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Hanimex 35SL


Hanimex is the abbreviation of Hannes Import and EXport, an Australian import/export company founded in 1947 by Jack Hannes. The company initially distributed European and later Asian cameras, as well as photographic accessories. It also manufactured and exported slide projectors and operated photo processing labs. Hanimex was acquired during the 1980s, leading to the eventual disappearance of the Hanimex brand.

An article (excerpts) from the Australian press (The Bulletin, November 1972) allows us to gauge the significance of Hanimex in the 1970s and learn a bit more about the company's history:

Strong gains in anniversary year

A quarter of a century after Jack Hannes launched the company as a sole import business, operating from a small rented room above a newsagent near the Sydney docks, Hanimex Corporation Ltd, for the first time, increased its consolidated net profit to over one million dollars (AUD). Sales for the 1971-1972 fiscal year grew from 21,660,516 dollars to 26,819,292 dollars, and consolidated net profit nearly doubled, rising from 652,881 dollars to 1,188,832 dollars. This was a fitting outcome for Hanimex Corporation's 25th anniversary and, in many ways, a personal triumph for Mr. J. D. Hannes, the founder and CEO of the group.
A well-known name in Australia and many foreign countries, Hanimex has become one of the leading producers, importers, and exporters of photographic equipment. It is also one of the world's largest manufacturers of slide projectors, exporting them to over 60 countries. There are subsidiaries in the United Kingdom, Canada, the United States, West Germany, New Zealand, Hong Kong, and Japan.
The anniversary year was not without its challenges. The international monetary crisis created several unusual issues due to fluctuating exchange rates. There were difficulties in obtaining certain supplies, and profit margins were generally lower.
Another factor affecting last year's results, especially in the industrial division of the company, which distributes specialized equipment to manufacturers, universities, and research organizations, was a decline in demand from government institutions and the industry in general in the domestic market. However, towards the end of the 1971-72 fiscal year, demand picked up, and the directors expect the upward trend to continue.
Conditions in foreign markets have been dynamic, and new increases in production to meet growing demand are anticipated in 1972-73. Sales in the British market increased by 34% last year, with the photographic and electrical divisions performing well. A manufacturing plant is to be built in Swindon (70 miles west of London).
A substantial increase in sales in the British market is hoped for in 1974 when the company's manufacturing facilities reach full capacity. Expansion in the UK should also help Hanimex benefit from the UK's entry into the European Economic Community.
In the United States, Hanimex increased its sales by 18%, while strong revenue growth from the Canadian subsidiary resulted in a slight profit. Competition from American manufacturers is a significant factor in the Canadian market, especially following the devaluation of the US dollar.
In West Germany, sales increased by 17% in 1971-72, and there was a "reasonable" increase in profits despite higher operating costs. Operations in Japan also appear to have been satisfactory, and export activities from Japan are expected to generate increasing profits.
In Hong Kong (where a Hanimex division manufactures optical equipment and condenser lenses for other Hanimex companies and external manufacturers, and another division distributes slide projectors), 1971-72 was a mixed year. Production increased, and manufacturers' profits improved, but the business conditions were challenging. However, improvement was observed towards the end of the fiscal year.
Overall, the revenue of the amateur photo division increased by 13%. Sales of electrical products (including tape recorders, cassette players, car radios, and blank and pre-recorded magnetic tapes) increased by 21%, and sports items by 40%. Production at the Brookvale manufacturing plant (Sydney) increased by 21.8%. The revenue and profits of the photo finishing division increased, but the cash value of office equipment sales decreased by approximately 10%.
Can Hanimex replicate last year's impressive performance in 1972-73? The group's profit track record has not been without its ups and downs, with consolidated net profit falling in both 1968-69 and 1969-70 (after a strong improvement in 1967-68). It may be too early to predict this quarter's results, although more information on current market trends is expected to be provided to shareholders at the annual meeting on November 30.

In the meantime, the annual report signed by the chairman, Mr. A. W. Uther, and the CEO, Mr. J. D. Hannes, and included in the 1971-72 accounts, appears reasonably encouraging.

Jack Hannes est décédé en mars 2005. Le Sydney Morning Herald publia la nécrologie suivante :

by Paul Curtis

The Australian photographic industry pioneer and founder of Hanimex, Jack Hannes, has died suddenly while on holiday with his family in Zurich. He suffered a heart attack during dinner at a restaurant with his wife, Margaret, and his sons, Stephen and David. He was 81.

Hannes made an outstanding contribution to the business of photography in Australia and around the world. He was the recipient of the highest awards the world industry had to offer, including the Queen's Medal for services to Australian industry and a lifetime achievement award from the Japanese Photo Industry Association, being one of the few non-Japanese recipients. He was a man of extraordinary energy and vision and led a vigorous life.

Jack Dieter Hannes was born in Berlin. In 1934 he was sent to Buxton College in Derbyshire, England, where he played cricket and became a King's Scout. In 1939, however, the family fled Germany and came to Australia.

At 16, Hannes enrolled at the University of Sydney to study engineering. After graduating with degrees in mechanical and electrical engineering, he worked for Standard Telephones, then spent two years at Email before returning to Sydney University. He studied economics while lecturing in physics, and waged a long, unsuccessful campaign to be enlisted for active service; he was rejected because of his place of birth.

While completing his economics degree, Hannes produced telephone note pads and began importing propelling pencils, pearl necklaces and trouser braces via airmail parcels from England. These he distributed from his parents' home in Bellevue Hill. Said Hannes, "In those early days after the war, the trick was not in selling, but having something to sell."

He had also developed an interest in photography and researched the background of many European manufacturers which were in the process of re-establishing themselves after the war. He began importing arrangements with an Italian company to sell Safilo sunglasses, Durst Duca cameras and Durst enlargers. This was the beginning of his involvement in the photographic industry.

The Duca was the first 35mm camera to be imported into Australia after the war. It used the Agfa Karat system and strong demand was created by using a popular radio personality, Bob Dyer, to promote it on the top rating Pick-a-Box radio show (both personality and show later achieving television fame).

Hannes saw the potential for photographics and liked the industry, so in 1947, at the age of 24, he set up a company with a staff of three. He named it Hanimex from the first three letters of his name and the words import and export.

In the first year the company turnover reached £25,000 and in 1948 Hanimex set up office above a newsagency in the centre of Sydney, having use of two rooms up a rickety flight of stairs and an earthen-floored cellar that acted as the storeroom.

The biggest hurdle for the company was that there were few independent retailers. Kodak owned many of the photographic stores and had contracts with chemists that prohibited them from buying supplies from anyone other than Kodak. So much of Hannes's early efforts went into encouraging new retailers and department stores to enter the business.

Needing more capital to finance expansion, in 1950 Hannes persuaded a university friend, John Howie, to invest £20,000 of his father's money into the company and to become a partner. Hannes then took the long voyage by sea from Australia to West Germany and secured the Finetta, Iloca and Futura camera agencies and the Practika from East Germany.

He opened his first overseas branch in New Zealand in 1952 in a joint venture with Kerridge Odeon. The following year he entered the consumables market with such products as Osram and Wotan flash bulbs and projector lamps.

In 1954 he was the first Australian to go to Japan looking for agencies. Other importers in Australia were shy of the emerging Japanese manufacturers and were reluctant to upset their traditional German suppliers.

In Japan, he secured every known photographic agency with only one exception. Nikon and Canon would not agree to joint representation, so he chose Nikon and brought back 100 Nikon cameras in his luggage. He also secured the Fuji agency and began importing Fuji colour negative film and slide viewers. This began one of the longest trading associations in Australian photographic history.

By 1955, Hanimex had opened branches in all capital cities in Australia and its catalogue had become the industry bible.

The government introduced import restrictions in 1956 and importers were unable to bring in all the stock they needed to meet demand. Hannes's solution was to begin local manufacturing of slide projectors under licence to the US company Argus.

The next year he decided to sell his own projectors overseas and listed Hanimex Corporation on the Sydney and Melbourne stock exchanges. He convinced the dominant English pharmacy chain, Boots, to order 10,000 slide projectors in 1958 and in 1960, Dixons, a photographic chain, placed its first order. Within three years they had bought 400,000 projectors.

During the 1960s Hanimex established its own organisations around the world and began to set up offices and factories in Britain, Ireland, France, Germany, Switzerland, Canada, the US, Hong Kong and Japan. The company received two export awards and was listed on the London stock exchange.

Hanimex began optical manufacturing in Hong Kong and slide projector manufacture in Ireland and the US. By the beginning of the 1970s it was the second largest manufacturer of slide projectors in the world. The company also developed large-scale photofinishing activities and opened laboratories in Australia and New Zealand.

By 1978 the company had more than 2000 employees and Hanimex projectors, slide viewers, electronic flashguns, camera lenses and hosts of other accessories were being sold in more than 70 countries.

Throughout all this rapid expansion, Hannes was a tireless worker who kept in close contact with industry trends and consumer needs. He also developed close relationships with his industry colleagues around the world and earned considerable respect from his staff. He was a keen member of his own design team and his energy and enthusiasm were an inspiration to all the company.

Even with all this activity he was able to devote considerable time to the industry as a whole. In the 1950s he was instrumental in mounting the first consumer exhibition of photographic equipment in Australia and in the 1970s he was active in bringing wholesalers and retailers together for the first time in the first of two South Pacific photographic conventions.

The huge success of Hanimex attracted considerable interest from the stock market and the company was the constant target for takeover bids. With Hannes's work commitments in so many countries it is small wonder that eventually there was a substantial change in share ownership.

In 1982 Hannes resigned from the company. In the 35 years of his management, Hanimex grew at an average annual cumulative rate of 20 per cent. He developed it from a small Australian distributor to a brand name recognised throughout the world.

After Hanimex he broadened his range of activities and held positions in many organisations. He was a director of the Chamber of Commerce and held directorships with various other companies.

Many start-up companies and their executives benefited from his advice. He was a foundation fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and an active director of Merino Pty Ltd, a manufacturer of paper and plastics products jointly founded by his father. Other business interests ranged from property development to luxury boat imports.

He had a wide-ranging interest in politics and economics and would vigorously debate any subject. Because of his Jewish heritage his views were strongly influenced by his experiences in Germany before World War II. He believed the power of a demagogue to stir up nationalistic, xenophobic or racist attitudes should never be underestimated, and he disliked nationalistic or jingoistic attitudes in politics.

Hannes had a natural ear for music and played a number of instruments. He was a patron of Opera Australia and a lover of the arts.

Along with his family he maintained his passion for holiday travel. It was on his most recent trip, which included skiing, tennis, hiking, diving and water skiing in six countries, that he died.

Hannes is survived by Margaret, his children Stephen, David, Martin, Vicki and Tony and four grandchildren.

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