Leica Camera

Leica Camera

Coordinates: 50°32′35″N 008°23′25″E / 50.54306°N 8.39028°E / 50.54306; 8.39028

Leica Camera AG
Type Aktiengesellschaft
Industry Optical imaging
Founded Germany (1913)
Headquarters Solms, Germany
Key people Alfred Schopf (CEO)
Products cameras, photographic lenses, binoculars and other optical equipment.
Ur-Leica ("original Leica"), from 1914

Leica Camera AG, a German optics company, produces Leica cameras. The predecessor of the company, formerly known as Ernst Leitz GmbH, is now three companies: Leica Camera AG, Leica Geosystems AG, and Leica Microsystems AG, producing cameras, geosurvey equipment, and microscopes, respectively. Leica Microsystems AG is the owner of the Leica brand, and grants licences to Leica Camera AG and Leica Geosystems.



Before WWII

Reproduction of the Leica Prototype, 1913, 1:3,5

The first Leica prototypes were built by Oskar Barnack at Ernst Leitz Optische Werke, Wetzlar, in 1913. Intended as a compact camera for landscape photography, particularly during mountain trips, the Leica was the first practical 35 mm camera, using standard cinema 35 mm film. The Leica transports the film horizontally, extending the frame size to 24×36 mm, with a 2:3 aspect ratio, instead of the 18×24 mm used by cinema cameras which transported the film vertically.

The Leica went through several iterations, and in 1923 Barnack convinced his boss, Ernst Leitz II, to make a pre-production series of 31 cameras for testing in the factory and by outside photographers. Although the prototypes received a mixed reception, Ernst Leitz took the decision in 1924 that the camera would be manufactured for sale. The camera was an immediate success when introduced at the 1925 Leipzig Spring Fair as the Leica I (for Leitz camera). The focal plane shutter had a range from 1/20 to 1/500 second, in addition to a Z for Zeit (time) position.

Because Barnack's concept for the Leica was to use a small camera, producing a small negative, to make a big picture by enlargement, ("small negative, large picture" concept) the camera needed high quality lenses to create sharp negatives. Barnack tried a Zeiss Tessar on his early protoype camera, but because the Tessar was designed for the 18x24mm cine format its coverage of the Leica's 24x36mm negative was inadequate. Barnack resorted to a Leitz Summar lens for his protoype, but to achieve the resolution Barnack knew was necessary to allow satisfactory enlargement, the 24x36mm format really needed a lens designed specially for it. The first Leica lens was a 50 mm f/3.5 design based on the Cooke triplet of 1893 adapted by Professor Max Berek at Leitz. The lens had five elements in three groups, the third group being three cemented elements, and was initially called the Leitz Anastigmat. Unlike other triplets, the Leitz Anastigmat had the diaphragm placed between the first and second elements. When the Leica was launched this lens was renamed the ELMAX, for E Leitz and MAX Berek. By 1925 the Leitz laboratories had produced glasses with improved optical properties and Professor Berek designed an improved version of the ELMAX called the ELMAR with four elements in three groups, the third group being simplified to two cemented elements, which was easier and cheaper to make.[1] Professor Berek had two dogs, Hektor and Rex. The first of these, Hektor, gave his name to a series of Leica lenses, and the name of the second appeared in the SummaREX.[2]

In 1930 came the Leica I Schraubgewinde with an exchangeable lens system based on a 39mm diameter screw thread, often referred to as " Leica Thread Mount" or LTM. In addition to the 50mm normal lens, a 35mm wide angle and a 135 mm telephoto lens were initially available. In the mid-1930s, a legendary soft-focus lens, the Thambar 90mm f2.2 was designed, and made in small numbers between 1935 and 1949, no more than 3000 units. It is a rare collector's item today.[3][4]

The Leica II came in 1932, with a built in rangefinder coupled to the lens focusing mechanism. This model had a separate viewfinder (showing a reduced image) and rangefinder. In 1932 the flange to filmplane was standarised to 28.8mm, first implemented on Leica model C, and the Leica Standard the following year.[5]

The Leica III added slow shutter speeds down to 1 second, and the model IIIa added the 1/1000 second shutter speed. The IIIa was the last model made before Barnack’s death, and therefore the last model for which he was wholly responsible. Leitz continued to refine the original design through to 1957. The final version, the IIIg, included a large viewfinder with several framelines. These models all had a functional combination of circular dials and square windows.

Early Leica cameras bear the initials D.R.P., which stands for Deutsches Reichspatent, the name for German patents before May 1945. This is probably a reference to German patent No. 384071 "Rollfilmkamera" granted to Ernst Leitz, Optische Werke in Wetzlar, on 3 November 1923.

After WWII

After the war, Leitz continued to produce the late versions of the Leica II and the Leica III through the 1950s. However, in 1954, Leitz unveiled the Leica M3 introducing the new Leica M mount, a bayonet type lens mount. The new camera also combined the rangefinder and viewfinder into one large, bright viewfinder with a brighter double image in the center. This system also introduced a system of parallax compensation. In addition, it had a new rubberized, reliable, focal-plane shutter. This model has continued to be refined (the latest versions being the M7 and MP, both of which have frames for 28, 35, 50, 75, 90, and 135 mm lenses which show automatically upon mounting the different lenses).

Post-war models bear the initials DBP, standing for Deutsches Bundespatent (Federal German Patent), instead of the DRP found on pre-war models.

A number of camera companies built models based on the Leica rangefinder design. These include the Leotax, Nicca and early Canon models in Japan, the Kardon in USA, the Reid in England and the FED and Zorki in the USSR.

Factory Upgrade

Leitz offered factory upgrades for earlier model cameras until at least the middle of the 1950s. Many cameras were sent back to the factory and upgraded to the latest model's specification. The converted camera kept the original camera's serial number. [6]

Single-lens reflex cameras

The Leica R4 (1980) introduced the shape of the Leica SLR throughout most of the 1980s and 1990s. The Leica SL2 MOT (1974) was the culmination of the original Leicaflexes. The SL2 was reportedly more expensive to produce than the camera’s price.

From 1964, Leica produced a series of single-lens reflex cameras, beginning with the Leicaflex, followed by the Leicaflex SL, the Leicaflex SL2, and then the R series from R3 to R7, made in collaboration with the Minolta Corporation. The Leica R8 was entirely designed and manufactured by Leica. The current model is the Leica R9, which can be fitted with the Digital Module back. Leica was slow to produce an auto-exposure model, and never made a Leica R model that supported auto-focusing. Leica's U.S. official website announced (25 March 2009) that the R-series has been discontinued. The reason given was that "new camera developments have significantly affected the sales of Leica R cameras and lenses resulting in a dramatic decrease in the number sold. Sadly, therefore, there is no longer an economic basis on which to keep the Leica R-System in the Leica production programme."[1]

The Leica Visoflex II (1960)

Conceptually bridging the Rangefinder Leicas and the SLR Leicas was the Leica Visoflex System, a mirror reflex box which attached to the lens mount of Leica rangefinders (separate versions were made for the screwmount and M series bodies) and accepted lenses made especially for the Visoflex System. Rather than using the camera’s rangefinder, focusing was accomplished via a groundglass screen. A coupling released both mirror and shutter to make the exposure. Camera rangefinders are inherently limited in their ability to accurately focus long focal-length lenses and the mirror reflex box permitted much longer length lenses.

In the course of its history, Leitz was responsible for numerous optical innovations, such as aspherical production lenses, multicoated lenses, and rare earth lenses. Leica optics are advertised as offering superior performance at maximum aperture, making them well-suited for natural-light photography.

Leica’s answer to the SLR: a Leica Visoflex II on Leica IIIf with 65mm f/3.5 Elmarit

The earliest Leica reflex housing was the PLOOT (Leitz's five letter code for its products), announced in 1935, along with the 200mm f/4.5 Telyt Lens. This date is significant because that it places Leica among the 35mm SLR pioneers. Moreover, until the 1964 introduction of the Leicaflex, the PLOOT and Visoflex were Leica’s only SLR offerings. A redesigned PLOOT was introduced by Leica in 1951 as the Visoflex I. This was followed by a much more compact Visoflex II in 1960 (which was the only Visoflex version available in both LTM (screwmount) and M-bayonet) and the Visoflex III with instant-return mirror in 1964. Leica lenses for the Visoflex system included focal lengths of 65, 180 (rare), 200, 280, 400, 560, and 800mm. In addition, the optical groups of many rangefinder lenses could be removed, and attached to the Visoflex via a system of adapters. The Visoflex system was discontinued in 1984.

Leica offered a wide range of accessories: for instance, LTM (screwmount) lenses were easily usable on M cameras via an adapter. Similarly Visoflex lenses could be used on the Leicaflex and R cameras with an adapter. Furthermore, certain LTM and M rangefinder lenses featured removable optical groups which could be mounted via adapters on the Visoflex system, thus making them usable as rangefinder or SLR lenses for Visoflex-equipped Screwmount and M rangefinder cameras, as well as being usable on Leicaflex and R cameras. Leica also carried in their catalogues focusing systems such as the Focorapid and Televit which could replace certain lenses’ helicoid mounts for sports and natural-life telephotography.

Company changes

In 1986, the Leitz company changed its name to Leica (LEItz CAmera), due to the strength of the Leica brand. At this time, Leica moved its factory from Wetzlar to the nearby town of Solms. In 1996 Leica Camera separated from the Leica Group and became a publicly held company. In 1998 the Leica group split into 2 independent units: Leica Microsystems[7] and Leica Geosystems.


The Leica is particularly associated with street photography, especially in the mid-to-late 20th century, being used by such noted photographers as Henri Cartier-Bresson.

Leica cameras, lenses, accessories and sales literature are collectibles. There are dozens of Leica books and collector’s guides, notably the 3-volume Leica, an Illustrated History by James L. Lager. Early or rare cameras and accessories can reach very high prices on the market. Notably, Leica cameras sporting military markings carry very high premiums;[8] this started a market for refurbished Soviet copies with fake markings.

Leica and Panasonic

Leica-branded lenses are used on many Panasonic digital cameras (Lumix) and video recorders. These lenses are manufactured by Panasonic to Leitz quality standards. Collaboration between the two firms extends at all levels, with engineering teams contributing in areas of respective expertise. Panasonic/Leica models were the first to incorporate optical image stabilization in their digital cameras.

List of Leica cameras and lenses

Early models

  • Leica I — was first introduced to the market at the 1925 spring fair in Leipzig, based on the Ur-Leica prototype developed by Barnack in 1913 and the Prototyp 1 developed in 1923. Followed by Leica Luxur and Leica Compur (a total of 60,586 of the Leica I, Luxur and Compur models were made). Interchangeable lenses for these were introduced in 1930.

Leica 35mm series with interchangeable lens screw mount style Leica bodies:

  • Leica Standard — 1932. The first Leica camera designed with a film-to-lensflange distance of 28.8 millimeters.
  • Leica II — 1932. The first Leica camera with a rangefinder.
  • Leica III — 1933. Leica incorporates slow shutter speeds on this model.

C (point and shoot) series

M (rangefinder) series

  • M3 — 1954–66 (Total 200,000 units manufactured) Introduced at the German Photokina exhibition in 1954, the M3 was the first of the M series Leicas, a line that is still manufactured today, and featured the first Leica body with a bayonet-style mount for interchangeable lenses. In an advertisement from 1956, it was regarded as a "lifetime investment in perfect photography". The M3 has a .92 magnification finder, the highest of any M camera made. The price of this high magnification was that a 35mm lens required "goggles" which fit in front of the view/rangefinder windows to facilitate a wider view. The M3 advanced film via a lever rather than knob, the first M3s required two strokes to advance the film, after 1958 M3's were single-stroke. Early M3s lacked a frame preview selector lever to switch between framelines.
  • MP — 1956–57 (Total 402 sets were manufactured). The original MP was based on the M3 and could be fitted with a Leicavit trigger winding device. MP originally stood for "M Professional"; the camera was intended to be a photojournalist's camera. The "M" within the nomenclature of this series Leica is from "Meßsucher," German for a combined rangefinder and viewfinder.
  • M2 — 1958–67 (88,000 sets were manufactured). A scaled-down and lower-cost version of the M3, the M2 had a simplified rangefinder of 0.72 magnification, allowing easier use of 35mm lenses. The 0.72 magnification became the standard viewfinder magnification for future M cameras. The M2 lacked the self-resetting film frame counter of its predecessor.
  • M1 — 1959–64 (9,392 sets were manufactured). A stripped-down version of the M2 for scientific/technical use, the M1 was a viewfinder camera with no built-in rangefinder. Replaced in 1965 by the MD (with no viewfinder at all), and the MDa (based on the M4) (1967), and finally the MD-2 (based on the M4-2) (1980).
  • M4 — 1967–75 (50,000 sets were manufactured); 1974–75 (6,500 sets were manufactured). With added rangefinder framelines for 35mm and 135mm lenses. Introduced the canted rewind crank (the previous Ms had rewind knobs). With the M5, was the last M camera to have a self-timer.
  • M5 — 1971–75 (31,400 sets were manufactured). With added integral TTL lightmeter. First Leica with a light meter, a mechanical swinging-arm CDS cell positioned behind the lens. The added functionality required a redesigned, larger body compared with the traditional M3 dimensions. Certain wide angle lenses (early 21mm f4.0 and f3.4) could not be used in the camera without modification because of the possibility of damage to the rear element of the lens or the meter arm. For similar reasons, collapsible lenses could not be collapsed on the M5. These restrictions also held true for the Leica CL (below). With the M4, last M camera to have a self-timer.
  • CL — 1973–76 (the compact Leica). Leitz-Minolta CL, introduced with 2 lenses special to that model: the 40mm Summicron-C f2 and 90mm Elmar-C f4. Internal metering similar to the M5 — CDS cell on a swinging stalk. The CL is also notable for being the only M-bayonet camera to have a vertically-travelling shutter. Minolta later manufactured and sold an improved electronic version, the Minolta CLE with Auto Exposure, Off-The-Film TTL metering and TTL Flash metering, together with three M-Rokkor lenses, the 40mm/f2, 28mm/f2.8 and 90mm/f4.
  • M4-2 — 1977–80 (17,000 sets were manufactured). First M to be manufactured since 1975. With stronger gears for the adaptation of a motor drive. First M with hotshoe for electronic flash. No self-timer. Made in Canada.
  • M4-P — 1980–86. Added rangefinder framelines for the 28mm and 75mm lenses.
Leica M6 Black Chrome
  • M6 — 1984–98. A camera that first combined the M3 form factor with a modern, off-the-shutter light meter with no moving parts and LED arrows in the viewfinder. Informally referred to as the M6 "Classic" to distinguish it from the "M6 TTL" models, and to indicate its "Classic" M3 dimensions.
  • M6J — 1994. A collector's edition of 1,640 cameras to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Leica M System. Notable for its introduction of the 0.85 magnification finder, the first high-magnification finder since 1966, and the basis for the 0.85 cameras to follow starting in 1998.
  • M6 0.85 — 1998. The M6 could be optionally ordered with a .85 magnification viewfinder for easier focusing with long lenses and more accurate focusing with fast lenses, such as the 50mm/f1.0 Noctilux and 75mm/f1.4 Summilux. The 28mm framelines are dropped in this model. 3,130 of these cameras were made (all black chrome), so they are among the rarer non-commemorative M6's.
  • M6 TTL — 1998–2002. With .72 and .85 viewfinder versions. From 2000 the .58 viewfinder camera for eyeglass wearers are added to the line. Supported TTL flash. The added electronics added 2mm of height to the top plate, and the shutter dial was reversed from previous models (traditionally, turning clockwise increased shutter speed).
  • M7 2002. Has TTL exposure, aperture priority and manual exposure, electronic shutter and two mechanical speeds of 1/60 and 1/125. Comes in .58, .72, and .85 viewfinder formats, each with different brightline framelines. Same taller top plate and counter-clockwise shutter dial as the M6 TTL. Leica even produced an M7 made of solid titanium, and offered it in a kit with 1 or several like titanium colored lenses.
  • MP — 2003 — current model (as of 2008). A homage to the original MP, the new MP (this time standing for "Mechanical Perfection") cosmetically resembles the original (even down to changing the rewind crank back to a knob) but is functionally closer to the M6 Classic. A notable improvement over the M6 was the modification of the rangefinder to eliminate flare. The Leicavit M is an accessory introduced with the new MP, allowing trigger wind with the right hand at speeds up to 2–2.5 frame/s. The new MP is available in chrome and black paint and with viewfinders of .58, .72 and .85 magnification.
  • A La Carte Program 2004 — present. Program to facilitate custom-built combinations of metal finish, leather type, viewfinder magnification, and custom engraving.
  • M8 — 2006–09. The M8 was the first digital M introduced, featuring a 10.3 megapixel sensor. The sensor is a 1.3 crop of standard 35 mm film, which gives the M8 an enlarged perspective in comparison to its predecessors.
  • M8.2 — 2008–09. A slightly updated edition of the Leica M8, featuring a quieter shutter, sapphire glass LCD screen cover, new leather coatings, etc.
Leica M9 with a Summicron-M 28/2 ASPH Lens
  • M9 — 2009 — . The first full frame digital camera in the series, introduced on September 9, 2009.
  • M9-P — 2011 — current model. The full frame digital camera with a classic look, introduced in June/July 2011.[9]

R (35mm film SLR and dSLR) series

  • Leicaflex — 1964/5 — sometimes called the Standard — built-in external light meter, clear focusing screen with centre microprism spot. There was a great deal of pressure to introduce a Leica SLR because of the phenomenal success of the Nikon F (1959).
  • Leicaflex SL and SL MOT — 1968 — TTL selective-area metering, slightly taller body than its predecessor, long-lived and lovely to use. MOT model took a large and heavy motor drive. Only about 1,000 SL MOTs were made.
  • Leicaflex SL2/SL2 MOT — 1974 — refinement of the SL with more sensitive light meter and improved body shape. Thought by some to be the toughest 35mm SLR ever built. The Leica Solms museum has on display an SL2 MOT with Motor and 35mm Summicron which survived a 25,000-foot (7,600 m) fall from a Phantom II fighter jet: battered but in one piece, and deemed repairable by Leica. Only about 1,000 SL2 MOTs were made. The SL2 was the swan-song of the Leicaflexes; the SL2 reportedly cost Leitz more to manufacture than it recouped in sales, and motivated the company to collaborate with Minolta for their next series of electronic cameras. The SL2 would also be the last mechanical Leica SLR for 14 years.
  • Leica R3 — the first electronic Leitz SLR — 1976 to 1980, based upon the Minolta XE1/7. The first few were built in Germany and then production was transferred to the Leitz Portugal factory.
  • R4MOT/R4/R4S/R4S Mod2 — 1980–87 a new compact model based upon the Minolta XD11. The R4 set the design for all cameras up to and including the R7. The R4 offered Program mode, Aperture and Shutter Priority, and Manual, with Spot and Centerweighted metering. The R4MOT differed in designation only; all R4s and up accepted motors and winders. The R4 offered The R4S and R4S Mod2 were simplified models at slightly lower prices.
  • Leica R4.[10]
  • Leica R5 and R-E — 1987 — revised electronics (R5 had TTL flash capability), the RE was a simplified model.
  • Leica R6 — 1988–92 mechanical shutter, relied on battery power only for the built-in light meter.
  • R6.2 — 1992 — as R6 but with refinements, including a 1/2000th shutter speed.
  • Leica R7 — 1992 — yet more advanced electronics.
  • Leica R8 — complete redesign, this time in-house with production moved back to Germany. All traces of Minolta gone.
  • Leica R9 — refinement of the R8 with 100g less weight and a new anthracite body finish. This model and its range of lenses was discontinued in 2009.
  • R8/R9 DMR Digital Module-R — 10 megapixel digital back for the R8/R9, making them the first 35mm SLR cameras able to capture to film or digitally. This unit was discontinued in 2008.
  • Leica R10 — Leica announced in July 2009 that no R10 will be forthcoming.[11]

S (medium format dSLR) series

  • Leica S1 — The Leica S1 Pro is a scanner camera with a very high resolution (26 megapixels) for stationary use introduced in 1996. On a 36×36 mm2 sensor 5140×5140 pixels get scanned and optically transferred to a connected computer. The object lens adapter system was exchangeable, thus object lenses of the systems Leica R, Leica M, Hasselblad, Mamiya 4, 5×6, and all mechanic object lenses from Canon (FD), Nikon, etc. can be used with the S1. The software for the S1 is a special SilverFast version, originally developed by LaserSoft Imaging for high-end scanners. Approximately 160 cameras were built and mostly sold to museums, archives and research institutes. Later on Leica introduced the S1 Highspeed with very quick scanning and the S1 Alpha with half the resolution to the market.
Leica S2
  • Leica S2[12] — In 2008, Leica announced plans to offer an "S-System" DSLR with a Kodak-made bespoke CCD sensor measuring 30×45 mm and containing 37 million pixels.[13] This sensor has a 26% longer diagonal and 56% larger area than a "full-frame″ 24×36 mm DSLR sensor and will output an approximately 5000x7500 pixel image. The S2 will thus essentially be a medium format camera in a "35 mm SLR"-sized body. The new "Maestro" imaging processor used in the S2 was developed by Fujitsu and the autofocus system (Leica's first to see production) was developed in house. The S2 series body, lenses and accessories will be available as of October 2009, and retail prices have been announced.[14] A series of new Leica lenses is manufactured specifically for the S2 and Leica claims they will offer unsurpassed resolution and contrast at all apertures and focusing distances, even exceeding the sensor's capabilities. Lenses offered for the S2 will include Summarit-S's in normal (70 mm), wideangle (35 mm), and macro (120 mm) varieties, and Tele-Elmar (180 mm) portrait-length telephotos; these will also be available in versions featuring integrated multi-leaf blade shutters ("Central Shutter", or CS), in addition to the focal-plane shutter in the camera body, to enable higher flash sync speeds.[15]

Digilux (digital) series

The original Digilux model

Digital compact camera series

  • C-Lux series.
  • D-Lux series
  • V-Lux bridge camera series
  • X series. Introduced with the Leica X1 on September 9, 2009. APS-C size sensor in a compact body. No viewfinder (hotshoe finder optional), fixed prime lens.

Leica M lenses

  • Tri-Elmar-M 16-18-21mm f/4 ASPH.
  • Tri-Elmar-M 28–35–50mm f/4 ASPH.
  • Summilux-M 21mm f/1.4 ASPH.
  • Elmarit-M 21mm f/2.8
  • Elmarit-M 21mm f/2.8 ASPH.
  • Super-Angulon-M f/3.4
  • Super-Angulon-M f/4.0
  • Summilux-M 24mm f/1.4 ASPH.
  • Elmarit-M 24mm f/2.8 ASPH.
  • Elmar-M 24mm f/3.8 ASPH.
  • Summicron-M 28mm f/2 ASPH.
  • Elmarit-M 28mm f/2.8
  • Elmarit-M 28mm f/2.8 ASPH.
  • Summilux-M 35mm f/1.4 ASPH.
  • Summicron-M 35mm f/2
  • Summicron-M 35mm f/2 ASPH.
  • Summarit-M 35mm f/2.5
  • Noctilux-M 50mm f/1.2
  • Noctilux-M 50mm f/1
  • Noctilux-M 50mm f/0.95 ASPH.
  • Summilux-M 50mm f/1.4
  • Summilux-M 50mm f/1.4 ASPH.
  • Summicron-M 50mm f/2
  • Summarit-M 50mm f/2.5
  • Elmar-M 50mm f/2.8
  • Summilux-M 75mm f/1.4
  • Apo-Summicron-M 75mm f/2 ASPH.
  • Summarit-M 75mm f/2.5
  • Elmarit-M 90mm f/2.8
  • Apo-Summicron-M 90mm f/2 ASPH.
  • Summarit-M 90mm f/2.5
  • Macro-Elmar-M 90mm f/4
  • Apo-Telyt-M 135mm f/3.4

Note: Noctilux means f/0.95-f/1.2, Summilux means f/1.4, Summicron means f/2, Summarit means f/2.5 in the current lineup, Elmarit means f/2.8, and Elmar means f/3.5-f/4. Noct, Lux and Cron are commonly used as short forms for Noctilux, Summilux and Summicron, respectively. For example, 50 Cron uniquely identifies the Summicron-M 50mm f/2 construction, although the exact version is not specified. Many Leica M lenses went through several revisions through the years.

Leica R lenses

  • Leica 15mm f/3.5 Super-Elmar-R — 1980 (Carl Zeiss design)
  • Leica 15mm f/2.8 Super-Elmarit-R ASPH — 2001
  • Leica 16mm f/2.8 Fisheye-Elmarit-R — 1970
  • Leica 19mm f/2.8 Elmarit-R 1st version
  • Leica 19mm f/2.8 Elmarit-R 2nd version — 1990
  • Leica 21mm f/4.0 Super-Angulon-R — 1968–92 (Schneider-Kreuznach design)
  • Leica 21mm f/3.4 Super-Angulon-R — 1968 (Schneider-Kreuznach design)
  • Leica 24mm f/2.8 Elmarit-R — 1970 (Minolta design and glass production)
  • Leica 28mm PC-Super-Angulon-R (Schneider-Kreuznach design)
  • Leica 28mm f/2.8 Elmarit-R 1st version — 1970
  • Leica 28mm f/2.8 Elmarit-R 2nd version — 1994
  • Leica 35mm f/4.0 PA-Curtagon-R (Schneider-Kreuznach design)
  • Leica 35mm f/2.8 Elmarit-R 1st version — 1964
  • Leica 35mm f/2.8 Elmarit-R 2nd version
  • Leica 35mm f/2.8 Elmarit-R 3rd version
  • Leica 35mm f/2.8 Elmarit-R 4th version (Built-in lens hood; 55mm filter)
  • Leica 35mm f/2.0 Summicron-R 1st version — 1970
  • Leica 35mm f/2.0 Summicron-R 2nd version — 1976
  • Leica 35mm f/1.4 Summilux-R
  • Leica 50mm f/2.0 Summicron-R 1st version — 1964
  • Leica 50mm f/2.0 Summicron-R 2nd version — 1977 (Built-in lens hood, 3-cam and R-cam only version)
  • Leica 50mm f/1.4 Summilux-R 1st version
  • Leica 50mm f/1.4 Summilux-R 2nd version
  • Leica 50mm f/1.4 Summilux-R 3rd version — 1997 (ROM contacts)
  • Leica 60mm Macro-Elmarit-R 1st version — 1972 — outside bayonet lens hood fitting
  • Leica 60mm Macro-Elmarit-R dn2 version
  • Leica 75mm f/2.0 Elcan-R code C-341 — Extremely rare
  • Leica 80mm f/1.4 Summilux-R
  • Leica 90mm f/2.8 Elmarit-R 1st version — 1964–96
  • Leica 90mm f/2.8 Elmarit-R 2nd version — 1983
  • Leica 90mm Summicron-R 1st version — 1969
  • Leica 90mm Summicron-R 2nd version -
  • Leica 90mm APO-Summicron-R ASPH — 2002
  • Leica 90mm f/1.0 Elcan-R — Extremely rare
  • Leica 100mm f/4.0 Macro-Elmar-R bellows version
  • Leica 100mm f/4.0 Macro-Elmar-R helical version
  • Leica 100mm f/2.8 APO-Macro-Elmarit-R
  • Leica 135mm Elmarit-R 1st version — 1965
  • Leica 135mm Elmarit-R 2nd version
  • Leica 180mm Elmar-R — 1976
  • Leica 180mm f/2.8 Elmarit-R 1st version
  • Leica 180mm f/2.8 Elmarit-R 2nd version
  • Leica 180mm f/3.4 APO-Telyt-R — 1975–98
  • Leica 180mm f/2.8 APO-Elmarit-R — 1998
  • Leica 180mm f/2.0 APO-Summicron-R
  • Leica 180mm f/3.4 Elcan-R code C-303 — Extremely rare
  • Leica 250mm f/4.0 Telyt-R 1st version —
  • Leica 250mm f/4.0 Telyt-R 2nd version
  • Leica 280mm f/4.8 Telyt-V
  • Leica 280mm f/4.0 APO-Telyt-R
  • Leica 280mm f/2.8 APO-Telyt-R — 1984–97
  • Leica 350mm f/4.8 Telyt-R
  • Leica 400mm f/6.8 Telyt-R — 1968–94
  • Leica 400mm f/5.6 Telyt-R
  • Leica 400mm f/2.8 APO-Telyt-R — 1992–96
  • Leica 450mm f/5.6 Elcan-R, code C-329 — Extremely rare
  • Leica 500mm f/8 MR-Telyt-R
  • Leica 560mm f/6.8 Telyt-R — 1971–95
  • Leica 560mm f/5.6 Telyt-R — 1966–73
  • Leica 800mm f/6.3 Telyt-S — 1972–95 (sold, during a promotional campaign, with a "free tripod"—a VW Fox)
  • Leica modular APO-Telyt-R 260/400/560 head
  • Leica modular APO-Telyt-R 400/560/800 head
  • Leica 21mm–35mm f/3.5–f/4.0 Vario-Elmar-R zoom — 2002
  • Leica 28mm–70mm f/3.5–4.5 Vario-Elmar-R zoom
  • Leica 70–180mm f/2.8 Vario-APO-Elmarit-R zoom
  • Leica 35–70 f/4.0 Vario-Elmar-R zoom
  • Leica 35–70mm f/3.5 Vario-Elmar-R zoom
  • Leica 35–70mm f/2.8 Vario-Elmarit-R ASPH zoom — 2000 (only 200 was made)
  • Leica 70–210mm f/4.0 Vario-Elmar-R zoom
  • Leica 75–200mm f/4.5 Vario-Elmar-R — 1976–84
  • Leica 80–200mm f/4.5 Vario-Elmar-R zoom
  • Leica 80–200mm f/4.0 Vario-Elmar-R zoom
  • Leica 105–280mm f/4.2 Vario-Elmar-R zoom

Leica S lenses

  • Summarit-S 1:2.5/70 mm Aspherical
  • Summarit-S 1:2.5/70 mm Aspherical CS
  • Apo-Tele-Elmar-S 1:3.5/180 mm
  • Apo-Tele-Elmar-S 1:3.5/180 mm CS
  • Apo-Macro-Summarit-S 1:2.5/120 mm
  • Apo-Macro-Summarit-S 1:2.5/120 mm CS
  • Summarit-S 1:2.5/35 mm Aspherical
  • Summarit-S 1:2.5/35 mm Aspherical CS

Leica / Leitz enlargers

Focomat IIc.
  • Leitz Valoy and Valoy II — manual focus, later versions of the Valoy II were grey in colour. Valoy II normally equipped with Focotar 50mm f1:4.5 code name DOOCQ, and used with extension ring DOORX.
  • Leitz Focomat Ia — Same as Focomat 1C, that is with autofocus, but the head does not tilt back to allow for easy insertion of negative.
  • Leitz Focomat Ib
  • Leitz Focomat Ic — sometimes fitted with Kienzle colour head. Produced first with varob 5 cm f1:3.5 lenses, later with elmar 5 cm f1:3.5, focotar 5 cm f1:4.5, focotar 50mm f1:4.5, focotar 50mm 2nd version f1:4.5, focotar-2 f1:4.5. Changes in focotar name or focal length designation do not necessarily coincide with the optical formula. The focotar-2 is always the same formula, and so is the 5 cm version. The 50mm exists in two versions. The 1C helical will accommodate lenses of various makes. Available in "color" version with filter drawer and lighted enlargement factor scale. Many small design variations exist.
  • Leitz Focomat IIa — 35mm–6×9 format, dual lens turret on later versions that fitted a 5 cm elmar f1:3.5 or focotar 1:4.5, and a 9.5 cm f1:4.5 focotar, autofocus. The early version has a single helical that will accommodate lenses of any make. Available in "color" version with filter drawer and lighted enlargement factor scale.
  • Leitz Focomat IIc — 35mm–6×9 formats, dual lens stage rather than turret, autofocus. First produced with focotar 6 cm f1:4.5 and focotar 9.5 cm f1:4.5, later with focotar 60mm and V-Elmar 100mm f1:4.5, still later with focotar 60mm and focotar II 100mm f1:5.6. All the 6 cm and 60mm focotars appear to be the same optical design. Kienzle or other colour heads sometime fitted. Only very slender enlarging lenses will fit the IIc helicals. Available in "color" version with filter drawer and lighted enlargement factor scale.
  • Leitz Focomat II (modified for American military), code EN-121A — Extremely rare
  • Vincent electrical shutter (for enlarger) — Extremely rare
  • ELCAN 52mm enlarger lens (20×–25× enlargements) — Extremely rare
  • ELCAN 20mm enlarger lens (40×–75× enlargements) — Extremely rare
  • Leitz/Leica Focomat V35 — autofocus — 40mm f/2.8 Focotar lens — colour or Multigrade (variable contrast) heads. 1978–95.


Leica is traded as LCA1 in the Frankfurt stock exchange.

See also


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