About us & History
Meyer Optik 1896 - 2016
Made in Germany
- High-quality materials
- Extremely efficient
- Sustainable manufacture
- Rigorously inspected
Who we are: Modernity through tradition
Meyer-Optik-Görlitz can look back on an eventful history. Based in Görlitz, Saxony, the company has been producing innovative, high-quality lenses since its earliest years, something that continued as far as circumstances allowed even in divided Germany.
A legend returns
By reviving the Meyer-Optik-Görlitz brand, Globell Deutschland are not legally following in the footsteps of this venerable company, but nevertheless see themselves as committed to continuing a tradition of offering high-quality products manufactured in Germany and presented at an affordable price. Then as now, carefully selected materials, innovative product design, modern technology, light intensity and strength of character form a strong foundation for the success of these products.
Meyer-Optik-Görlitz: Lenses with a turbulent history
In 1896, Hugo Meyer & Co was founded by optician Hugo Meyer (May 21, 1863 - March 1, 1905) and businessman Heinrich Schätze. The company got off to a successful start with the development of the wide-angle Aristostigmat lens and the subsequent acquisition of Optical Institute Schulze and Billerbeck, the manufacturers of “Euryplan lenses”, as they were called at the time.
The golden years
A key business decision was made in 1920 when the company decided to work with former Zeiss developer Paul Rudolph, who was previously significantly involved in the success of the Protar, Planar and Tessar lenses. Rudolph also gave Meyer Optik access to his patent for the so-called Plasmat lenses, which at the time included one of the most powerful lenses in the world. In 1936, the company was renamed Optische und Feinmechanische Werke Hugo Meyer & Co and produced approximately 100,000 lenses a year. During World War II, civilian production discontinued and mainly optical components for telescopes were produced.
After the war, the company was expropriated from the Saxony armaments industry and management under the name VEB Optisch-Feinmechanische Werke Görlitz. In the post-war era, the company produced mainly Trioplan triplets, usually for viewfinder cameras produced by Dresden-based camera manufacturers Welta, Balda, Beier and Altissa. After being integrated into the VEB Pentacon and VEB Carl Zeiss collectives, the Meyer-Optik name was no longer inscribed on lenses after 1971. Many products were discontinued in favour of competing models produced by Carl Zeiss, while the equipment required to produce high-quality zoom lenses could not be procured.
In 1990, Feinoptische Werk Görlitz was spun off from VEB Carl Zeiss and converted into a private limited company and started to produce lenses with the Meyer-Optik logo. However, despite privatisation efforts, the company was unable to attract investors and liquidated shortly after.
In the year 2014, net SE made the decision to take on the Meyer-Optik brand...
- 1896 - Company founded in Görlitz by optician Hugo Meyer and businessman Heinrich Schätze
- 1900 - Early success with the patented Aristostigmat lens
- 1911 - Development of the wide-angle Aristostigmat and acquisition of Optische Anstalt Schulze und Billerbeck, manufacturers of what were then known as Euryplan lenses
- 1920 - Decision to collaborate with former Zeiss developer Paul Rudolph, who was previously significantly involved in the success of the Protar, Planar and Tessar lenses. Rudolph also gave Meyer-Optik access to his patent to the so-called Plasmat lenses, which at the time included one of the most powerful lenses in the world.
- 1923 - In what was a generally financially challenging year, the Görlitz-based company moved into a new factory and was subsequently able to position itself as an original equipment manufacturer to several camera manufacturers.
- 1930 - In the 1930s, Meyer-Optik-Görlitz already had a wide range of high-quality interchangeable lenses. Most of these lenses were offered at somewhat lower prices than those of then-competitor Zeiss.
- 1936 - Renamed “Optische und Feinmechanische Werke Hugo Meyer & Co.”. At this point, approximately 100,000 lenses were being produced each year.
- 1942 - Civilian production discontinued as a result of war. During wartimes, the company mainly produced optical components for telescopes.
- 1945 - After production facilities were moved to Grünhainichen in the Ore Mountains during the final years of the war, they were returned to Görlitz in 1945, where everyday products such as magnifying glasses and door fittings were being produced at that point.
- 1946 - Expropriation from the Saxony armaments industry and management under the name VEB Optisch-Feinmechanische Werke Görlitz. Factory equipment dismantled.
- 1948 - Expropriation legally confirmed by the Soviet military administration in Germany, with factory later renamed as VEB Feinoptisches Werk Görlitz, which was allocated to VVB Feinmechanik und Optik as part of the planned economy.
- 1949 - The pre-war double Anastigmat is developed into the Helioplan.
- 1952 - Introduction of the Antireflex coating with magnesium fluoride. At this time the company was mostly producing simple Trioplan triplets, usually for viewfinder cameras produced by Dresden-based camera manufacturers Welta, Balda, Beier and Altissa. At this point the range comprised just five interchangeable lenses.
- 1959 - German patent for a fast aperture adjustment for photographic lenses (No. 1089258)
- 1961 - Patent for a five-element telephoto lens (No. 1251971)
- 1964 - Patent application for a corrected lens comprised of four plastic lenses (No. 12524843)
- After being integrated into the VEB Pentacon and VEB Carl Zeiss collectives, the Meyer-Optik name was no longer inscribed on lenses after 1971. As a result of centralisation, Meyer-Optik’s expertise gradually dwindled. Many products were discontinued in favour of competing models produced by Carl Zeiss, while the equipment required to produce high-quality zoom lenses could not be procured.
- 1990-1991 - Feinoptische Werk Görlitz was spun off from VEB Carl Zeiss and converted into a GmbH (German private limited company). For a brief time it once again produced lenses with the Meyer-Optik logo. However, despite privatisation efforts, the company was unable to attract investors. Feinoptische Werk Görlitz was liquidated by the Treuhandanstalt (the agency responsible for privatising former East German enterprises) on 30 June 1991.
- 2014 - In September, Globell Deutschland exhibited new lenses under the Meyer-Optik-Görlitz name at the Photokina trade fair and began delivering the lenses in December of the same year.
What does it mean to produce lenses in the tradition of Meyer-Optik-Görlitz?
Quality Made in Germany
We procure the components for our lenses fairly, both in Germany and worldwide. This enables us to offer the best technology at reasonable prices. Meyer-Optik-Görlitz lenses are assembled in Germany, but above all they are tested, measured and finely adjusted in Germany. For this reason, every lens deserves the Made in Germany seal of approval and quality guarantee after undergoing tough testing. Each lens leaves our factory with an individual testing certificate and a five-year guarantee.
True craftsmanship since 1896 Image quality – Precision – Durability
Image gallery - History: