The company was founded in 1938 as Ponder and Best by Max Ponder and John Best. Max Ponder headed the sales department, while John Best ran the operations side of the company. Ponder and Best first imported German-made photo equipment. After World War II, the partnership began to import cameras and photographic equipment from Japan. They were instrumental in the introduction of many brands into the US marketplace, includingMamiya/Sekor 35mm cameras, Kobena 8mm movie cameras, Sankyo/Komura wide/tele adapter lenses and a full line of photographic darkroom equipment imported from many manufacturers throughout Japan and later Taiwan. Ponder and Best were the first to gain acceptance for lenses with interchangeable mounts allowing customers to use the same lens on different manufacturers' camera bodies.