Carson Optical was founded in 1990 by Richard Cameron. A former banker, disheartened with Wall Street, Cameron started in his mother’s Long Island basement importing and exporting a wide array of product between the US and Japan. The company’s first experience with optics came in 1991 when Cameron stumbled upon a unique Electronic Binocular that was manufactured by the now-defunct Copitar Japan. Cameron named his company “Copitar USA” and began cold-calling buyers at national retail chains and writers working for major media publications. Cameron quickly gained placement in mail order catalogs that included The Sharper Image and Orvis. His public-relations efforts gained the company much-needed exposure in media outlets that included the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Popular Science.
Renamed as “Carson Optical”, the company grew out of its basement home and leased warehouse space in Huntington, Long Island. As business flourished, Carson expanded its Binocular offerings and also branched out into related optical categories such as Magnifiers and Microscopes. Cameron realized early on that Carson needed to focus on products that really improved the overall customer experience. This overall philosophy is still what drives Carson today, and has allowed the company to thrive in an industry often dominated by larger marketing driven competitors.
With over 29 years experience in the optics industry, Carson has dedicated a team of engineers whose sole mission is to improve the customer experience. The company’s product line has grown exponentially to encompass a broader range of products and accessories that reflect the needs of its client base. Carson’s product line can be found in diverse outlets, including sporting goods stores, office supply retailers, mass merchants, pharmacies and even craft retailers.
Currently located in Ronkonkoma, Long Island, Carson’s cutting edge R&D Prototyping lab includes a full workshop featuring multiple CNC machines, 3D printing capabilities in various materials, and an Optics Metrology lab. This equipment provides the engineering and design team every resource to transform novel concepts into finely tuned market-ready products for our growing consumer base.
As a result, Carson has built a patent portfolio encompassing more than one-hundred patents ranging from magnifiers to complex optical testing procedures. This is a testament to the company’s dedication and ingenuity in the field of optics.
In addition to the 50,000+ square foot Ronkonkoma warehouse, Carson has opened two international distribution facilities to support their rapid overseas growth. Carson began warehousing product in the UK in 2015. To further support the overseas expansion and rise in sales, a distribution center was established in the Netherlands in 2017.
Carson’s commitment to excellence is the foundation of the company. As the number one manufacturer of US magnifiers and one of the leading suppliers of binoculars, Carson’s entire product line consistently boasts first-rate quality at affordable price points.
Publications such as, Outside Magazine, Popular Mechanics, Field & Stream and Wired Magazine have praised a number of Carson’s optical devices, granting the company top honors for ground-breaking innovation in the industry.