of OmegaBrandess starts all the way back in 1935 when three brothers, Fred,
Rudolph, and Alfred Simmon produced a domestic
enlarger for the 35mm camera format. In 1936, they chose the Greek letter 'Omega'
as their trademark and registered it with the US Patent Office. Over the years,
they adapted to the market and came out with several different enlargers.
War II, civilian use of enlargers was prohibited. The trio secured contracts
with the Army Signal Corps and the US Navy, and they were commissioned to make
enlargers and film pack cameras to meet the Navy requirements for combat
conditions. After the war ended, they resumed their production of consumer
enlargers. By the mid-1950s, the brothers had made the decision to become a division
of Berkey Photo so that their legacy may live on. With the introduction of
color head enlargers that allowed photographers to produce their own
enlargements, Omega introduced a number of new models in the 70s and 80s.
introduction of one hour photo labs, point-and-shoot 35 mm cameras and digital
cameras, the darkroom market began to plummet. In the late 1980s, Berkey Photo
went bankrupt. The assets of the Omega enlarger division of Berkey were
purchased in 1988 by the RT Color Corp., and was renamed Omega International.
Not long after, that company also entered bankruptcy. In May of 1990, the
assets of the now bankrupt Omega International were purchased by a small group
of Baltimore-based investors under the name Omega Acquisition Corporation.
1990 the new company made its first acquisition when they purchased the assets
of Arkay Corp. of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, including the King Concept operation in
Minneapolis, to become Omega/Arkay. Things move quickly from there and the company
relocated to Westminster, MD. in 1991.
In 1992, the
company acquired the assets of the Kostiner Photographic company, a well-known
manufacturer of easels and print washers.
In June of
1994, Omega Acquisition acquired the assets of GMI Photographic Inc. of
Farmingdale, NY, distributors of the well-known line of Bronica medium format
In 1995, they
purchased the assets of Satter, Inc. in Denver, Colorado. Satter distributed
and marketed major photographic lines such as Achiever electronic flashes,
Tiffen filters, Forte black & white paper and film, and its own TUNDRA
Brand bags, batteries, tripods, camera cases, and accessories. The result was
the new Satter/Omega company.
In 1996, the
Arkay product line was sold.
In 1998, the
company moved its headquarters back to Hampstead, MD. The move was followed in December of 1999
with the closing of the Denver, CO. warehouse, which had been acquired from Satter. The
Denver operations were then consolidated into the Hampstead, MD facility.
Omega Acquisition Corporation began doing business under the new name of
OmegaSatter, representing the combination of these companies into one and
providing their customers with a single source
for photographic and darkroom equipment, supplies and accessories. Also in 2001, the company acquired the assets
of Berg Color Tone Corp. in New York and moved the operation to its facility in
Omega Acquisition acquired the assets of Phoenix Corporation of America and
relocated the operation from Long Island, NY to its Hampstead facility. The Phoenix
line included SLR cameras and lenses, flashes, tripods and other
consumer-oriented products, thus transforming the company into one of the
leading distributors of photographic products.
Omega Acquisition acquired the assets of Novatron Electronics Corporation, manufacturers
of studio lighting equipment, and relocated the manufacturing and assembly of
the line from Dallas, TX to its Hampstead facility.
2010, Omega Acquisition acquired the assets of Brandess Kalt Aetna Group to
become an even more powerful presence in the Industry, know today as
OmegaBrandess Distribution. Like Satter,
“BKA” had a large catalog of photographic products that targeted the enthusiast
including popular brands like Kodak, Pelican, Kalt, and others. This acquisition more than doubled the size
of the company.
In late 2014,
OmegaBrandess purchased the hardware assets of Gigapan, LLC. GigaPan, a robotic
camera mount system that assists photographers in creating ultra-high
resolution panoramic images. The mounts are now manufactured by OmegaBrandess
in their Hampstead, MD facility.
recent acquisition took place in January 2015 when OmegaBrandess acquired
several lines from another established distributor, HP Marketing. Becoming part of the ever-growing catalog of
products were brands including Giottos, Rodenstock, Linhof, Gepe and more.
Distribution continues to expand by adding new, exclusive lines and seeking out
select opportunities that will fuel the company’s growth into the coming years.
Cindy Wesolowski, President
Dana Zacharias, Controller
Jeff Seidel, Director Of Sales and Service
Kim Hargett, Operations Manager