Astro-Gesellschaft Bielicke & Co History Timeline(1945-1991)

Last updated May 26th, 2024

This is a work in progress historical timeline on various milestones and important events in the history of Astro-Berlin from 1922 to 1991. I have tried to dig up as many sources and magazine clippings as possible, trying to piece together bits and pieces of information. I’ve tried to find new information not already documented, I would recommend you checking out the Astro-Berlin page of Klaus Rademaker from exaklaus.de for more information and pictures of various Astro-Berlin lenses. Most of the images are not owned by me, this is purely for research purposes.

This is an interactive page, so you can click on the images and image carrousels to make them bigger and easier to read. The timeline is separated by decade, if you want to read about one decade, click on the headline and the content will expand out like an accordion.

If you have information about this company that isn’t on this list, or information here you might believe is incorrect please send me a mail or comment at the end of the page.

Check out my vintage lens calculator based on serial numbers to determine the approximate age of your Astro-lens:

Vintage Lens Year Calculator
Lens nameFoLf-stop
Apo-Telastan200011
Ardenne-Astro501
Astan202.8
Astan752.8
Astan333
Astan1703
Astan503.5
Astan1353.5
Astan2003.5
Astan3003.5
Astan1004
Astan10006.5
Astrar252.7
Astrar302.7
Astrar402.7
Astrar502.7
Astrar522.7
Astrar832.7
Astrar832.7
Astrar1102.7
Astrar1502.7
Astro R.K.251.25
Astro R.K.401.25
Astro R.K.501.25
Astro R.K.751.25
Astro-Berlin551
Astro-Berlin1203
Astro-Berlin (Tachar)351.9
Astro-Berlin (Tachar)501.9
Astro-Berlin Transfocar17-281.2
Astro-Kino IV120
Astro-Kino Tacharett1001.8
Astro-Kino V (PT)852
Astro-Kino V (PT)902
Astro-Kino V (PT)952
Astro-Kino V (PT)1002
Astro-Kino V (PT)1052
Astro-Kino V (PT)1102
Astro-Kino V (PT)1152
Astro-Kino V (PT)1202.7
Astro-Kino V (PT)1252.7
Astro-Kino V (PT)1302.7
Astro-Kino V (PT)1352.7
Astro-Kino V (PT)1402.7
Astro-Kino V (PT)1452.7
Astro-Kino V (PT)1502.7
Astro-Kino VI252
Astro-Kino VI (GT)402
Astro-Kino VI (GT)452
Astro-Kino VI (GT)502
Astro-Kino VI (GT)552
Astro-Kino VI (GT)602
Astro-Kino VI (GT)652
Astro-Kino VI (GT)702
Astro-Kino VI (GT)752
Astro-Kino VI (GT)802
Astro-Kino VII351.4
Astro-Kino VII501.4
Astro-Kino VII651.4
Astro-Kino VII851.4
Astro-Kino VII1001.4
Astro-Kino VII1201.4
Astro-Kino-Color 251.2
Astro-Kino-Color 501.2
Astro-Kino-Color 351.4
Astro-Kino-Color 501.4
Astro-Kino-Color 851.4
Astro-Kino-Color IV351.4
Astro-Kino-Color IV501.4
Astro-Kino-Color IV501.4
Astro-Kino-Color IV221.5
Astro-Kino-Color IV651.5
Astro-Kino-Color IV351.6
Astro-Kino-Color IV501.6
Astro-Kino-Color IV651.6
Astro-Kino-Color IV751.6
Astro-Kino-Color IV851.6
Astro-Kino-Color IV1001.8
Astro-Kino-Color V181.2
Astro-Kino-Color V251.2
Astro-Kino-Color V501.5
Astro-Kino-Color VII501.2
Astro-Noctron-Tachar1501.8
Astro-Ostar1252.3
Astro-Ostar1352.3
Astro-Tachar1002.5
Color-Astrar1002
Color-Astrar1502
Contrast-Tachar352.3
Farbtachar351.9
Farbtachar401.9
Farbtachar501.9
Fernbildlinse755
Fernbildlinse1005
Fernbildlinse1505
Fernbildlinse2005
Fernbildlinse2505
Fernbildlinse3005
Fernbildlinse4005
Fernbildlinse5005
Fernbildlinse6405
Fernbildlinse8005
Fernbildlinse10005
Fernbildlinse4006.3
Fernbildlinse10006.3
Fernbildlinse AKA1752.7
Flugbild-Tachar3005.6
Flugbild-Tachar4505.6
Gauss-Tachar152
Gauss-Tachar202
Gauss-Tachar252
Gauss-Tachar322
Gauss-Tachar402
Gauss-Tachar452
Gauss-Tachar502
Gauss-Tachar552
Gauss-Tachar602
Gauss-Tachar652
Gauss-Tachar702
Gauss-Tachar752
Gauss-Tachar802
Gauss-Tachar852
Gauss-Tachar1002
Gauss-Tachar2502
Identoskop-Astro-Astan1254.5
Identoskop-Astro-Astan5004.5
Identoskop-Astro-Astrax2104.5
Identoskop-Astro-Astrax5004.5
Identoskop-Astro-Fernbild4005
Identoskop-Astro-Fernbild5005
Identoskop-Astro-Fernbild6405
Identoskop-Astro-Fernbild8005
Identoskop-Astro-Fernbild4006.3
Identoskop-Astro-Pantachar2002.3
Identoskop-Astro-Pantachar2552.3
Identoskop-Astro-Portrait1502.3
Identoskop-Astro-Portrait2002.3
Kopier-Tachar503
Kopier-Tachar603
Kopier-Tachar1003
Makro Gauss Tachar402
Makro Gauss Tachar752
Ostar1502.3
Ostar1253.5
Ostar1353.5
Pan Widar73.662.7
Pan-Tachar251.8
Pan-Tachar281.8
Pan-Tachar351.8
Pan-Tachar401.8
Pan-Tachar501.8
Pan-Tachar751.8
Pan-Tachar1001.8
Pan-Tachar1501.8
Pan-Tachar1551.9
Pan-Tachar352.3
Pan-Tachar402.3
Pan-Tachar502.3
Pan-Tachar752.3
Pan-Tachar1002.3
Pan-Tachar1252.3
Pan-Tachar1502.3
Pan-Tachar2002.3
Pan-Tachar903.4
Pan-Tachar502.7
Pan-Tachar (Fernbildlinse)2502.3
Pan-Tachar (Fernbildlinse)3502.3
Pantachar3004.5
Pictorial-Tachar351.8
Pictorial-Tachar751.8
Polyphot Tachar502.3
Proj. Tachar301.8
Projektions-Tachar6.51.9
Quarz-Anastigmat1355.4
Quarz-Tachar442.5
Rosher-Kino-Portrait752.3
Rosher-Kino-Portrait1002.3
Sinegran-Tachar752.3
Soft-Focus252.3
Soft-Focus502.3
Soft-Focus752.3
Soft-Focus1002.3
Tachar351.5
Tachar401.5
Tachar501.5
Tachar751.5
Tachar401.8
Tachar1501.8
Tachar251.8
Tachar352.3
Tachar502.3
Tachar1252.3
Tachar1502.3
Tacharett201.5
Tacharett251.5
Tacharett501.5
Tacharett151.8
Tacharett201.8
Tacharett251.8
Tacharett501.8
Tacharett152.3
Tachon650.75
Tachon250.95
Tachon350.95
Tachon520.95
Tachon750.95
Tachon751
Tachon351.2
Tachon1201.2
Tachon1801.2
Tachonar251
Tachonar351
Tachonar501
Tachonar751
Tasman1801.4
Tasman2401.4
Tasman501.5
Tasman1401.5
Tasman1581.5
Telastan, Achromat2003.5
Telastan, Achromat3003.5
Telastan, Achromat5004.5
Telastan, Achromat200010
TV-Tachar251.5
TV-Tachar351.5
TV-Tachar401.5
TV-Tachar501.5
TV-Tachar751.5
TV-Tachar1001.8
TV-Tachar281.9
TV-Tachar621.9
TV-Tachar751.9
TV-Tachar901.9
TV-Tachar1001.9
TV-Tachar1101.9
TV-Tachar1401.9
TV-Tachar1601.9
TV-Tachar152
TV-Tachar155
Ultrascope4004
Ultrascope6004

Tachar f/2.3

1924

Willy F. Bielicke

Tachar f/1.8

1924

Willy F. Bielicke

Rosher Kino Portrait f/2.3

1928

Soft focus lens

Astro R.K. f/1.25

1931

Hugh Ivan Gramatzki

Fernbildlinse f/5

1931

Simple doublet lens.

Tacharett f/1.5

1932

Willy F. Bielicke. Tachar patent markings on the lens.

Astrar f/2.7

1932

Simple Cooke triplet.

Tachar f/1.5

1932

Willy F. Bielicke

Tachon f/0.95

1933

Willy F. Bielicke

Astan f/3.5

1934

Willy F. Bielicke

Astro-Kino VII f/1.4

1934

Hugh Ivan Gramatzki. The VII series vary between two lens designs.

Astro-Kino VII f/1.4

1935

Hugh Ivan Gramatzki. The VII series vary between two lens designs.

Transfokator

1935

Hugh Ivan Gramatzki. An innovative zoom attachment to ordinary lenses. Also called “rubber lens” in German.

Tasman f/1.5

1935

Willy F. Bielicke, I haven’t seen a D.R.P. number associated to any Tasman lens, from estimations I think this is the optical design.

Gauss-Tachar f/2

1940

Classic double gauss design.

Tachonar f/1

1942

I haven’t seen a patent related to this lens, it states it was developed before the war in 1942, but the lens wasn’t released until 1949.

Astro-Kino-Color IV

1952

16mm projector lenses. Optical designs vary some based on focal length.

TV-Tachar f/1.5

1962

No Astro patent found. Similar to post-war Zeiss Ernostar f/1.8 design. (Source)

Telastan

1956

Astro-Berlin patent.

Tachon f/0.75

1970

X-ray lens, no Astro patent found. (Source)

Key people in Astro-Berlin

Willy F. Bielicke (1881 – 1945)

German-American Chief Optical Engineer and Vice-President of Astro Ges. Formally worked in Goerz, Ross, Spencer Lens Company (Buffalo) and Bausch and Lomb.

Dr. Hugh Ivan Gramatzki (1882 – 1957)

Chief engineer for Astro-Berlin, astronomer/astrophysicist, designer, entrepreneur and author.

Dr. Walter Otto (1892 – 1951)

Soldier and paymaster on the Eastern Front during World War I. Businessman who previously worked in the glass and mirror industry.

Fritz Joachim Otto (1916 – 1993)

Son of Dr. Walter Otto, World War II cameraman for Todt, UFA and Die Deutsche Wochenschau, manager of post-war Astro-Berlin from 1952 to 1987.

A map showing their 5 locations from 1922-1991.