View Full Version : O.P.I. Gand

Struan Gray
12-Jan-2006, 02:31
I recently bought a 440 mm 'Labor' studio portrait lens made by O.P.I. in Gand, Belgium. I have turned up he name O.P.I. in connection with binoculars and microscopes in a few eBay listings and some historica sites, and learned that was the trade name of the "Société Belge d'Optique et d'Instruments de Précision". I have only found a couple of camera-related links, and those only for ten-a-penny early C20th camera types, nothing this specialised.

Does anyone know anything about O.P.I.? Any clue as to whether my lens is a derivative of other portrait types, or an oddball Belgian invention?

Struan Gray
12-Jan-2006, 03:37
Oh woe. The name is O.I.P., not O.P.I.

That should open the floodgates...

Dan Fromm
12-Jan-2006, 05:14
Try asking on http://www.galerie-photo.info/ , go to the forum. There are Belgian participants.

Struan Gray
12-Jan-2006, 05:26
Thanks Dan. I was going to try there from home, with my French dictionary on my knee.

On APUG Ole Tjugen posted what Vade Mecum has to say - which is not much, but supposedly only 40° coverage. We'll see.

Jay DeFehr
12-Jan-2006, 06:46
Hi Struan.

According to R. Kingslake, the Labor portrait lenses of OIP are of the Cooke-type ( a negative element mounted between two positive elements). They were made in FL ranging from 45mm-440mm, with max apertures from 3.5-4.5, and are described as "variable soft focus". I hope this helps.


Emmanuel BIGLER
12-Jan-2006, 06:52
Eh, Struan. Don't be shy and do post a question to galerie-photo.info. Recently we had a question about Hermagis lenses risen by a honourable Northern American correspondent. And Dan F. who is tring to push you is one of our regular contributors and has been awarded the Golden Boyer Medal by the galerie-photo Official Board.

And you can post in English as well.

Struan Gray
13-Jan-2006, 00:35
Jay, thanks for the Kingslake info. My lens is indeed a triplet with a moving, negative central element. Never having examined a real Cooke portrait anastigmat I wasn't sure if the O.I.P. was truly a "Cooke" or some other softy anastigmat. The negative element moves on a helicoid by a whopping 35 mm or so. Wide open I can see the diffusion kick in when simply projecting the image onto the wall.

The lens has an interesting construction. The cell mounts are aluminium but the barrel is brass. Marked stops are 6,10,16,20,28, with wide open and fully closed unmarked. The exterior has a crackle-finish black paint like that once popular on microscopes and optical scaffolding. I'd guess it dates from the 1920s-1930s.

Emmanual, I will post on Galerie-Photo just as soon as I can find my beret.

Jay DeFehr
13-Jan-2006, 08:24
Sounds like a winner, Struan. Use it in good health.