Meyer-Optik Exakta Lenses  

As was the case with the Carl Zeiss Jena lenses in the previous section and the Schneider lenses in the next section, the optical firm of Meyer-Optik and Ihagee worked closely together. Meyer was a major supplier of lenses for the Exakta cameras.

Despite the fact that Meyer's lenses were often the least expensive of the lenses available for the Exakta, the optical performance of some of them was above average.

The majority of the lenses that Meyer-Optik produced (with the exception of their normal focal length lenses), were non-automatic, so my discussion of them will be limited.

The Meyer Automatics

Meyer-Optik produced several different lenses in automatic mounts:

50mm f3.5 Auto Primotar E

Note the two different versions displayed on the right. The lens on the far right has dual cable release sockets.



50mm f2.0 Auto Domiron

50mm f2.8 Auto Domiplan (in both Exakta and M42 mount for the Exa Ib)

The 50/2 Domiron lens is one of the rarer automatic normal lenses in Exakta mount. It has a deeply recessed front element negating the need for a lens shade.

The Domiplans, on the other hand, are perhaps the most commonly enountered Exakta lenses. Produced in large quantities, they seem to have received a bad rap in recent years. Actually, when stopped down to around f8, they are quite capable of producing good results.


100mm f2.8 Auto Trioplan

Meyer-Optik produced two automatic version of this lens, one in polished aluminum and later, another in anodized black.

The barrels on the polished aluminum versions are very susceptible to scratches.




RARE 50mm f2.0 Black Auto Domiron

The most uncommon Meyer-Optik automatic lens produced was undoubtedly the 50mm f2.0 Auto Domiron in black finish. Rarely seen in the black finish, they are extremely rare in Europe and virtually impossible to find in the USA.  

Notable Meyer-Optik Non-Automatic Lenses

Several above-average non-automatic lenses were produced by Meyer that despite their low price, have exceptional resolution and contrast. One was the 30mm Lydith wide-angle and the others, the 100mm Orestor and the 200mm Orestegor telephoto. They are relatively easy to find today on the used market. They won't disappoint!!!

30mm f3.5 Lydith (preset)

200mm f4.0 Orestegor (preset)

It is unfortunate that neither of these lenses were ever produced with an automatic diaphragm.


100mm f2.8 Orestor


Notable Meyer-Optik High Speed Lenses

Meyer produced two lenses with a maximum aperture of f1.9, the 58mm f1.9 Primoplan in both manual and preset versions and the 75mm f1.9 Primoplan.

58mm f1.9 Primoplans (3 versions)

Displayed to the right are a pre-war and two post-war 58mm Primoplans. The pre-war lens, as furnished with the Kine-Exakta, is a chrome over brass affair while the post war models were made of aluminum. The pre-war lens (with focus scale in feet) is on the left, the earlier post-war lens (with focus scale in meters) is in the center with a late model post-war lens on the right.


75mm f1.9 Primoplan

Displayed in the second photo is the rather uncommon 75mm Primoplan, post war model that was re-introduced in 1952. It has five elements, f/stops down to f/22 and focuses as close as 1m. It is displayed with its proper leather front cap.



Popular Meyer-Optik Wide Angle Lens

35mm f4.5 Primagon

The Meyer-Optik 35mm f4.5 Primagon lens is the most frequently encountered wide angle lens in the Meyer line-up. Featuring a preset diaphragm with f-stops down to f22, it is displayed on the right with its proper lens caps. Meyer never produced an automatic wide angle lens for the Exakta Varex series. They did produce a wide angle in auto mount for the RTL series cameras, the 29mm f2.8 Orestegon shown further down on this web page.


Interesting Meyer-Optik Portrait Lenses

Two of the more unusual Meyer lenses in my collection are the 80mm f3.5 Primotar and the 90mm f3.5 Telefogar. Both lenses are displayed in the photo on the right with their proper lens caps.

80mm f3.5 Primotar

The 80 Primotar is very similar in external appearance to the late Carl Zeiss Jena 75mm f1.5 Biotar except that its' smaller front element is deeply recessed. It features a preset diaphragm, focuses as close as one meter and has f/stops down to f/22.



90mm f3.5 Telefogar

The 90mm f3.5 Telefogar lens is seldom encountered, particularly in this "tiger" version of which this is the only one I've ever encountered. It features a preset diaphragm with f/stops down to f/22 and focuses as close as 1.5 meters.



The Meyer-Optik Telemegors

When one speaks of Meyer telephoto lenses, the Telemegors are frequently discussed. Available in both pre-war and post war versions, from focal lengths starting at 180mm, both chrome finish and black finish lenses in this series were produced.

250mm f5.5 Telemegor

The 250mm Meyer-Optik Telemegor displayed on the right with its proper case and caps, features a preset diaphragm with f/stops from f5.5 to f22 and focuses as close as 3.3m. It has a rotating tripod mount, however, unlike its much heavier big brothers (the 300 and 400mm versions) the 250 is hand-holdable.


Meyer-Optik 500mm f5.6 Orestor

The largest lens in the Meyer-Optik arsenal is the 500mm f5.6 Orestor, shown with its proper hood, cap and leather carrying case.

Featuring a preset diaphragm with f-stops down to f22, this massive lens focuses down to just under 20 feet. Not a lightweight by any stretch of the imagination, this lens is 17 1/2 inches long from end to end with the lens hood installed!!!



Meyer-Optik Auto RTL Lenses

In the early 1970's, Meyer-Optik also produced a series of 3 matching automatic lenses in special Exakta RTL mounts. The focal lengths were 29mm, 50mm and 100mm.

29mm f2.8 Auto Orestegon

50mm f1.8 Auto Oreston

100mm f2.8 Auto Orestor



The Exakta RTL mount is different from the standard Exakta Varex mounts in that there is an aperture stopdown pin located at the bottom of the lens. See photo below.




Meyer-Optik Lens Brochures

Two of the Meyer-Optik Brochures are displayed. They include discussions on the Meyer lenses available for the Exakta and Exa cameras.



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