View Full Version : O.P.I. Gand

Struan Gray
01-12-2006, 03:38 AM
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?

Please excuse the double post here and at LF.info, but I wanted to catch the more European and historically-minded folk here as well as the LF-ers there.

01-12-2006, 03:54 AM
OIP, France.
O.I.P.= Societe Belge d'Optique et d'Instruments de Precision, Ghent, Belgium.
It seems that this is a Francophone maker, but there just may be two separate firms with the same initials. The Ghent works was active about 1939, the following being listed in H&D, and two examples have been reported.
Labor f3.5 50mm This was fitted on a Cinescopie 35mm (1929), also as 45-440mm lenses for portrait work with variable softness for 40°.
Labor f4.5 This was for the same range as the f3.5 for 40°.
Major f4.5 135, 150mm; Triplets for 60°
Major f6.3 90-150mm. Triplets, for 58°
Miror f4.5 50-210mm Q15 type for 58°.
FBB note an O.I.P. wide angle RR f8.0/300mm on a Bertillon Identity camera from 1895.

The Vade Mecum is great on UK lenses, good on US, fair on German, and poor on everything else - including geography, it seems. ;)

Struan Gray
01-12-2006, 04:24 AM
Thanks Ole. I suppose that now I have the fully-developed irreversible form of Gluggsjukan I should buy my own Vade Mecum CD.

Interesting that the coverage should only be given as 40°: I'd love to know the criterion for that figure. At portrait distances it should work on my 12x15: it certainly illuminates the whole ground glass even at infinity, and I can live with a bit of swirl at the edges.

I suspect the real challenge will be to find a big mounting flange for less than I paid for the lens.

Struan Gray
01-12-2006, 04:35 AM
Oh, and it is O.I.P., not O.P.I. Don't know how I did that...

01-12-2006, 04:37 AM
I suspect the real challenge will be to find a big mounting flange for less than I paid for the lens.

You need one of these (http://www.bruraholo.no/Cameras/Reisekamera/DSCN0422.JPG), perhaps. This iris flange is the smallest of the three I have, it takes anything up to 95mm diameter. The largest one takes 16cm...

Struan Gray
01-12-2006, 04:50 AM
I have one that goes up to 98mm, but that's not big enough for this lens. I think we both bought from the same seller on Tradera, roger.g?

How thick are the iris leaves on your 16 cm model? I would be worried about a 4.2 kg lens hanging off the front. They usually sell for about the same price as a custom flange so the idea is attractive.

01-12-2006, 05:00 AM
They feel a little thicker, but I can't say how much.

It was the middle one (10cm) I bought from roger.g, a slightly different model with nice brass trimmings. So I've put that one on the folding mahogany 18x24cm plate camera. The 16cm one is going on the 30x40cm camera as soon as I figure out a good way to mount it.

My 500mm f:5.5 Schneider Aerotar weighs 3.5 kg, it sits solidly. The front standard of the camera has more problems (not the camera in the link, the other one on http://www.bruraholo.no/Cameras/Reisekamera.html. The one which now has a nice brass iris ring on it).

Struan Gray
01-12-2006, 05:21 AM
Thanks for the info. If I can find a similar large one at a reasonable price I will go for it.

This lens will just fit on a Sinar 4x5 lensboard. I suspect my best move will be to have made a square flange of the right size with a Sinar light trap on the back: i.e. a monolithic flange-and-lensboard combined. Here in Sweden the cost will sting, but I may be able to get it done more cheaply elsewhere.

Struan Gray
01-13-2006, 03:35 AM
In response to Jay DeFehr's post on LF.info I pulled the lens apart last night to check whether I was being fooled by the reflections (the front-to-back distance is so great you can't see all of them). It's a triplet, agreeing with Jay's reference from Kingslake that the O.I.P. Labor anastigmats were Cooke-type soft focus lenses. The central negative element moves by a whopping 35 mm as the soft focus ring is turned from sharp to soft.

Incidentally, Gand *is* Ghent/Gent, so the Vade Mecum isn't too much of a dunce in that respect. Flemings, Walloons and Englishmen all call the town by different names.