Sociedad Ibero-Americana de la Historia de la Fotografia Museo Fotográfico y Archivo Historico "Adolfo Alexander"
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Opema 


 Model I no rangefinder

 

Model II rangefinder coupled

Both cameras are from first series.

 

The Opema was a Meopta atempt to make an affordable high quality 35mm miniature camera with a competing and favorable scope with the much more known Leica cameras. It  gathered  several ideas born in the immediate pre-war and  was days. It came in the new 24x32mm format as the newly introduced Janua, Iso, Duflex, Kinga, Nikon, Minolta  and others of the era. Unhappily this much more rational format did not catch because Kodak opposed himself to the new format and forced the US government not to permit imports of cameras in this new format, although some surfaced.  These cameras were made by the Czech company Meopta in the 1950s. They had a focal-plane shutter with speeds B, 25–500 and interchangeable lenses, and were made in two versions.

The Opema I is a viewfinder type only, and the Opema II is a coupled rangefinder combined with the viewfinder version.

The lens mount is a 38mm diameter screw mount, this differs from the very similar 39mm mount known as the Leica screw mount and although both have a 28.8 register (Lens flange to film plane) lenses are not directly interchangeable, making the unique Opema closed in its own system.

Would Meopta attempting to make a 39mm screw lens for Opemas, they would sell in much more quantities, would be much more know abroad, and would have a much more long life.

 The lenses designed for the Opema include:

·         30/6.8 Largor (not rangefinder-coupled)

·         45/2 Openar collapsible

·         45/2.8 Belar collapsible

·         45/3.5 Belar collapsible

·         90/4.5 Tele-Mirar

·         135/4.5 Tele-Mirar

·         180/6 Telex (not rangefinder-coupled)

·         210/4.5 Belar (for reflex housing)

·         60/1.5 Sonnar (from Zeiss in original Meopta mounting)

All the bodies and lenses were in chrome finish. All the lenses other than the 45mm were sold with a dedicated accessory finder. Except the Zeiss 60mm 1.5 that came with the camera. (not rangefinder coupled)

 

This interesting compact and solid built rangefinder influenced the Soviet rangefinder industry, on future models of FED and Zorki cameras . Several features will be found in these models. The central main rangefinder window will be seen on later Drug models.


Opema I with Zeiss Sonnar 1,5/6cm

Very similar wit the "Leica Sonnar" 1,5/6cm and “Contax Spezial” these cameras used the surplus Zeiss Lenses left after the WWII was over. Meopta produced their own mounts to fit Opema I.

Those lenses from Carl Zeiss had originally two basic functions: as a low light and higher size picture taker,  or as “X-ray” fluorescent screen picture taker in small size film.

A very interesting Opema set

 

Belar 45mm 2,8
Tele-Mirar
90mm 4,5
Belar
45mm 3,5
Tele-Mirar
135mm 4,5
Telex
180mm f6
Openar
45mm f2
Largor
30mm 6,8

 

Model I has Leica style lock Model II hás a Contax style locks

 

 

 

 

 

 

Opemar 45mm f2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Models I & II comparison


 

 

 

Model I

 

 

Model II

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At left –second Series

At right –first Series

 

 

 

 

Range finder details

 

 

 

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Opema II Largor 30mm and finder.

 

 

 

Largor 30mm and finder Details.

 

 

 

Belar 45mm 2.8.

 

 

 

Tele-Mirar 135mm.

 

 

Tele-Mirar 90mm and finder.

 

 

Tele-Mirar 135mm.

 

 

Telex 180mm and finder

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Opema I + Openar 2/45

 

 

Opema II + Largor 6.8/30

 

 

Opema II + Telemirar 4.5/90

 

 

Opema II + Telemirar 4.5/135

 

 

Opema II + Telex 6/180

 

 

Belar 4.5/210

 

Filters

 

 

Special devices

 

Microscope couplers

 

 

 

Special outfit with no finder camera and matte screen focusing

 

 

 

Special adapter in series type cameras with focusing ocular.

 

Reproduction rod holder for quick set

 

Reproduction set in operation wit installed rods and low voltage lights with transformer.

 

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