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Chronology of the Leica brand  New window

Manufactured in Allemagne from 1929 until 0.
Index of rarity in France : Rare (among non-specialized garage sales)
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Inventory number: 11420

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Leica IA

Traduction de Christian Surle

This is a mythic camera, because it was the first marketed Leica. There are many fixed lenses combinations, and some of them are very rare. The development of the Leica is due to Oskar Barnack, but it is often said or written that the Ur-Leica (the prototype name) was the first camera using 35mm film. This is a big mistake. 35 mm film was originally dedicated to cinema since the end of 19th century. In 1908, a camera using 35 mm film was patented, but   followed by no marketing. In 1913, Jules Richard patented a stereo camera using 35 mm film, which leads to manufacturing the Homéos. Then appeared the Minigraph in Berlin in 1915, the 100 exposures, etc..... So, what about Barnack ?.
Barnack was a Leitz engineer since 1911. At that time, Leitz produces optical devices but no camera. Since Barnack wanted a small, solid and practical camera to shoot in the mountains, he created in 1913 a prototype using cinema film waste. The resulting negative size is no longer 18 x 24 mm, but now 24 x 36 mm. He named it Leica (Leitz camera) and Ur (for primitive). The Ur-Leica was presented to Mr. Ernst Leitz. A few models were manufactured and presented at the Leipzig show in 1925. Seeing the very positive reaction of the public, Leitz decides to begin the mass production of what would be called the Leica I. This was a major success, because Leitz products were famous for their reliability. Beyond the above mentioned quality and novelty, Leica model I was featuring the use of a film cartridge (that had to be reloaded in a black room); the film was then winding around an axle, and returned to the initial cartridge after exposure.

Leica IA