Meopta were formed in 1933 and produced cameras and
other precision lens equipment. They are still famous today producing
military and weapon optics.
The Meopta Meoskop viewers were produced in
Bratislava, Czechoslovakia in the 1960's. They will take normal
View-Master reels but were really designed to take Meopta manufactured
There is reputed to be a Meoskop I
model, but the author of this web site has never seen one and neither
have his contacts in the former Czechoslovakia. Until such time as
evidence can be found for its existence, it is to be assumed that the Meoskop II was the first production viewer from this company.
Meopta reels use Gottwaldov colour
film, as opposed to Kodachrome as used by
Sawyers and GAF, and tend to fade badly with age. The images are also
generally of a lower standard, however, many of the subjects of these
reels are unique, showing a glimpse of life within the Communist block
in the 1960's.
A Meopta Meoskop II
This 1962 bakelite viewer is quite rare
and can fetch reasonably high prices. In the right-hand view you can see
the wheel that is used to allow the lenses to be focused. The viewer
itself is quite heavy and together with its screw together design, give
the impression of being an item of quality.
A couple of pages from the Meopta
Meoskop II Instruction Leaflet
A Meopta Meoskop III
Based loosely on the Sawyers
View-Master Model E, this bakelite Meoskop was manufactured in 1968 and
can be seen with it's optional light
attachment in place. This viewer gives a clean bright image which rivals
any of the Sawyers viewers. The light unit is powered from 2 'C' size
It has a magnification of
x5.5, producing a larger image than most View-Masters (Except the Model
D). The lenses are optically very good and the viewer is well constructed.
By removing the four screws it can be taken apart for internal cleaning.
Viewer only (no light)
Another Meopta Meoskop III in
bakelite but this time in a rare and unusual maroon colour.
The Meopta Meoskop III (plastic)
The model shown below is a later
version Meoskop III . Whilst it looks identical to the viewer above it
is, in fact, made from plastic rather than bakelite.
The Meoskop IV
The design of the 1973 Meoskop 4 shows a
more updated, streamlined look. The box had 73945 stamped on it, which may
indicate a part number. It was manufactured in 1974 and like the Meoskop
III, has an image magnification of 5.5x
The Meoskop 5
The Meoskop 5 is grab-light viewer
It is comfortable to hold, feels robust and performs it's function well,
giving 6x magnification.
A Meoskop III optional Light
Attachment in bakelite
A Meopta Factory Lapel Pin
This lapel pin dates from the 60's.
In the centre is the familiar Meopta logo in two coloured halves, showing
water in the lower half (assumed to be the Becva) and the silhouette of a
town behind which is assumed to be Bratislava.