Docter Optic has a long and proud German/Austrian heritage. The link will take you to their official website.
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><HR> Some history
Docter Optic was originally a small West-German company founded in 1985 by Bernhard Docter (hence the company name – no relation to academic titles). Note the spelling of the name: Docter, not Doktor, Doctor, or Doctar - the latter is one of their lens names; and Optic written with a “c”. They made OEM projection optics, lighting optics, car headlight optics, etc. Their specialty was a glass blank molding process for aspherical optical elements. They were located near Wetzlar. The company expanded, and in 1989 bought an Austrian subsidiary, which had originally been the optics department of Eumig, an Austrian manufacturer of home movie projectors.
After the German reunification in 1990 the East German Carl Zeiss Jena combine, which was quite big (70,000 employees), and made everything from binoculars to microelectronics in the GDR, was downsized and separated into different parts. The West-German Carl Zeiss company only took back a small core part (no, not the photography related business unit – the microscope division). Another part formed the new company Jenoptik, now successfully working in clean room technology and photonics. Other company divisions were sold off or finally closed down.
The Docter Optic group bought some of the plants of the former Carl Zeiss Jena combine in 1991. In August 1991, Docter acquired the plant in Saalfeld, Thuringia, which had made the Carl Zeiss Jena large format optics in the GDR, and was still producing them then. He also bought another former Zeiss plant making binoculars in nearby Eisfeld at the same time. The Saalfeld plant was originally founded in 1911 as Optische Anstalt Saalfeld (OAS) and produced optical parts (prisms, lenses) and some objectives for Zeiss before and during WWII. During GDR times they made all photographic, movie, video, projection, and process lenses for Carl Zeiss Jena, as well as a variety of other optical, electronical, and medical components.
In 1995 Bernhard Docter died and the Docter group went bankrupt. The main parts of the group were eventually sold to a holding owned by Rodenstock, Hella, and Bosch (the latter two being – among many other things - car part manufacturers; their interest was probably related to the car headlight optics part of Docter).
Remark: the Rodenstock share of that holding is still held by Rodenstock itself, and not by Linos, the company that recently acquired the Rodenstock Präzisionsoptik subsidiary (they produce the Rodenstock LF optics) from Rodenstock.
The present Docter company does no longer manufacture view camera optics, but they still make projection optics, OEM optics, and blank molded aspherics. They have recently relocated to Neustadt/Orla in Thuringia. They have a website at http://www.docteroptics.com/.
The plant in Saalfeld is now abandoned and the buildings are offered for rent (as of May 2002).
To add some confusion, the binocular manufacturing plant in Eisfeld was sold in 1997 to a different company, “analytik jena”, but also uses the name Docter (http://www.docter-germany.com/index1.htm