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Ludwig or Ernst Ludwig was a German optical company based at Lausa, a small town near Dresden.


Optisches Werk Ernst Ludwig (Optical Factory Ernst Ludwig) company was grounded in 1924 in Lausa near Dresden, after Ernst Ludwig had acquired an optical glass factory. The company was making affordable lenses for medium class amateur cameras, named Enoldar, Peronar and Victar. E.g. the Victar series included triplet lenses of focal lengths from 25 to 135 mm, intended as fixed lenses as well as interchangeable ones for reflex cameras. In 1936 Ludwig was employing more than 70 workers. The town of Lausa merged with the neighbour town of Weixdorf in 1938, some prewar lenses were thus marked Ludwig Lausa Dresden.
The company was still led by Ernst Ludwig after 1945 and Meritar family of lenses (45 mm and 50 mm) was developed in this period. 16 per cent of shares were acquired by the state in 1959, while Ludwig headed the company further, until 1968. The company, having already 130 employees, became the state owned VEB Optisches Werk Weixdorf in 1972 and was headed by Peter Heizler. In 1980 it was absorbed by the VEB Pentacon.


Ludwig made entry level lenses, often with three elements. After the war, they were offered as a low price alternative to the Carl Zeiss Jena or Meyer lenses. Some trademarks used for Ludwig lenses include:

  • Auxanar (simple triplet, enlarger lens)
  • Cosmar (five element triplet with cemented first and third groups)
  • Enoldar
  • Kosmar (four element triplet with cemented front group)
  • Meritar (simple triplet or a Tessar type)[1]
  • Peronar
  • Victar (simple triplet)
  • Vidar


Ludwig was not a camera maker, but rather a lens maker. Cameras equipped with a Ludwig lens include:

  • Altix - Meritar 2.9/50 mm

See their Exakta lenses, 42mm screw lenses and Praktiflex lenses.

Serial Numbers

The following serial number sequence was derived from information provided here [3] and validated/adjusted by own research. The numbers given should be only regarded a rough guideline:

Year Serial nº
1936 300,000
1938 400,000
1940 500,000
1947 505,000
1951 750,000
1953 900,000
1955 1,025,000
1957 1,150,000
1963 1,450,000
1972 1,650,000


  1. Both types were produced under one name
  2. Note that the use of 'cm' instead of mm indicates pre-World war II usage
  3. Ludwig lenses at Photobutmore (in German)


  • Fincke H.E.: Das Objektiv deiner Kamera; Fotokinoverlag Halle, Halle, 1959.
  • Jehmlich G.: Der VEB Pentacon Dresden; Sandstein Verlag, Dresden. 2009.
  • Naumann H.: Das Auge meiner Kamera; Verlag von Wilhelm Knapp, Halle (Saale), 1951.
  • Puskov V.V.: Poradnik fotograficzny; PWT, Warsaw, 1956.


In English:

In German: