1913-14 PROTOTYPES

Ur Leica

Units: 1

+ 1000 "Nachbildung des Ur Leica" models made for museums and institutions

Story

Beginning of the 20th century, a new photo camera design was experimented by Oskar Barnak, due to the fact that at this time he was working on a cine-film camera but needed some instrument to make light condition test to determine correct exposure parameters on the film camera. So, his idea was to build a box loaded with same cinematographic film, built with a 18-24mm picture format. Then he chose 24-36mm format which was much better in size. 35mm camera was born. Yes, this 35mm film format is still the one we use today, one century old...

Ernst Leitz II, who owned an optical instruments factory in Wetzlar, 80 km north of Frankfurt, was very interested in the ideas of Oskar Barnack who was Leitz Research Department Chief.

So, in 1913 Barnack built two new no-name camera (called later Ur-Leica) to hold this film. The box had already the shape of the future Leica cameras we know now. Round shape body, coupled film transport with fixed slit focal plane shutter rewind, focusing fixed lens. Quickly this little camera proved to be more than just a light meter and a real interest was found to launch a new kind of camera. A second prototype was then built with enhanced shutter.

Technical specifications

 Body

aluminum - black lacquer finish - l=128mm w=28mm h=55mm

 Shutter

focal plane, simple curtain with fix 40mm slit - 1/25e + 1/50e
Viewfinder none, accessory shoe could be used to fix one
Rangefinder No
Lens collapsible non interchangeable lens Kinotessar (comes from cinema with 18x24mmm format which then appeared not to be so adapted to 24x36mmm format)
1923-1924 LEICA NULL-SERIE

Leica 0-Serie

Story

After First World War, the camera shutter and lens were perfected. 30 pre-series model were built. Ernst Leitz II then decided in 1924 to product this new camera called Leca then Leica (LEItz CAmera). Success was immediate; price was high but quality was very high.

Technical specifications

Body

aluminum and brass top and base plates with knobs - black lacquer finish - l=133mm w=39mm h=65mm

Shutter

focal plane, double curtain with variable slit, not shut during film winding
Speed given by slit widths : 2 = 1/500, 5 = 1/200, 10 = 1/100, 20 = 1/50, 50 = 1/20, M (=T called now), Z (=B called now) on the rewind lever
Viewfinder fold-down viewfinder lens with etched cross air
Lens collapsible non interchangeable Leitz Anastigmat 1:3.5 F=50mm (3,4-4,5-6,3-9-12 stops) - 4 elements in 3 groups
Misc. Frame counter with 40 positions 
1925-1939 LEICA I (MODEL A)

Leica I (Model A)


Pre-Production Units

1925

870

Luxus units (only official #)

1930 15

Black units

1925-39 57776




Leica I with box, leather case and accessories

Story

Same as Null-Serie model with different viewfinder and new system to shut curtain during rewind, bigger rewind knob.
This model is called Leica 'I' in Europe and Leica 'A' in USA (same rule for later models).

Technical specifications

Code Name

LEANE with Elmar 3.5/50
LEANE KALB with calf-covered body
LETTO with ETRUX leather carrying case
LENEL with ESNEL carrying case
LEICA with ESNEL + ETRIN film cartridges case
LELUX for luxus model

Body

aluminum and brass top and base plates with knobs - black lacquer finish (some chrome models) - l=133mm w=39mm h=65mm

Shutter

focal plane, double curtain, shut during film winding.
Shutter speeds:
1st 500 1925 units : 1/500, 1/200, 1/100, 1/60, 1/40, 1/25, Z (=B called now)
Then later : 1/500, 1/200, 1/100, 1/60, 1/40, 1/30, 1/20, Z 
Viewfinder optical viewfinder
Lens non interchangeable screw mount collapsible Leitz Anastigmat 1:3.5 F=50mm,
Leitz Elmax 1:3.5 F=50mm, Leitz Elmar 1:3.5 F=50mm in 1926, Leitz Hektor 1:3.5 F=50mm
Misc. Shutter knob changed from round knob at the beginning to knob with screw ring for shutter cable.
Two accessory shoes : one for the viewfinder, the other for a separate rangefinder available as accessory.
1926-1930 LEICA COMPUR (MODEL B)

 

Leica Compur
(Model B)


Type 1 units

1926-29 800


Type 2 units

1929-30 684
Story

This Leica with Compur shutter permitted to take pictures up to 1 sec. but was less successful than normal focal plane shutter model. 2 models were produced, first with two barrels, second with one barrel control.

Technical specifications

Code Name

LECUR
LECOM with ETROS carrying case

Body

aluminum and brass top and base plates with knobs - black lacquer finish - l=133mm w=39mm h=65mm

Shutter

Compur shutter on lens
Speeds: 1/300, 1/50, 1/25, 1/20, 1/5, T, B
Viewfinder optical viewfinder
rangefinder FOFER as accessory
Lens non interchangeable screw mount collapsible Leitz Elmar 1:3.5 F=50mm
Misc. View counter mounted on Leica I shutter speed dial place
1931-1931 LEICA I (MODEL C)

 

Leica I (Model C)


Black units

1931 11199
Story

First Leica with interchangeable 39mm screw mount lenses, on the same body at first, then on any body.

Technical specifications

Code Name

LENEL
LENIX with 2 cartridges
LEOMU with Elmar 3.5/50

Body

aluminum and brass top and base plates with knobs - black lacquer finish - l=133mm w=39mm h=65mm

Shutter

Focal plane, double curtain shutter.
1/500, 1/200, 1/100, 1/60, 1/40, 1/30, 1/20, Z 
Viewfinder optical viewfinder
rangefinder FOFER as accessory
Lens First models with interchangeable screw mount lenses dedicated to the same body (lens identified by 3 digits equal to the 3 last digits of the body number), then standardization allowed to mount one lens to different bodies.
Elmar 3.5/50, Elmar 3.5/50, Hekto(r) 2.5/50, Elmar 4.5/135, Elmar 4/90
Misc. No more body front spring lever for lens infinite lock.
Lens screw mount diameter = 39mm.
Standardized 28.8mm mount to film plane distance.
1932-1948 LEICA II (MODEL D)

 

Leica II (Model D)


Black Units

1932-48 52194


Chrome Units

1933-35 2355


Total

  54549
Story

First Leica with coupled rangefinder with 35-135mm lenses. Very long production period (16 years).

Technical specifications

Code Name

LYKAN
LYKUP with Elmar 3.5/50
LYKEH with Hektor 2.5/50
LYKAN CHROM for chrome model
Changed in 1934:
ABOOT black model with Elmar 3.5/50
ABOOT CHROM for chrom model with 3.5/50

Body

aluminum and brass top and base plates with knobs - black lacquer or chrome finish - l=133mm w=39mm h=65mm

Shutter

Focal plane, double curtain shutter.
1/500, 1/200, 1/100, 1/60, 1/40, 1/30, 1/20, Z 
Rangefinder Coupled to 35-135mm lenses
Lens Elmar 3.5/50, Hektor 2.5/50, Summar 2/50, Elmar 3.5/35, Hektor 1.9/73, Elmar 4/90, Elmar 6.3/105, Elmar 4.5/135
Misc. Upgradeable to III or IIIa
Leica II could be a previous Leica I model modified to Leica II specs by factory.
1932-1948 LEICA STANDARD (MODEL E)

 

Leica Standard
(Model E)


Black units

 1932-48 27155

Chrome units

 1934-35

1350


Total

  28505
Story

Very similar to Leica I Model C with same pull rewind knob as Leica II.

Technical specifications

Code Name

ALVOO
AROOG with Elmar 3.5/50
ALVOO CHROM and AROOG CHROM for chrome models

Body

aluminum and brass top and base plates with knobs - black lacquer or chrome finish - l=133mm w=39mm h=65mm

Shutter

Focal plane, double curtain shutter.
1/500, 1/200, 1/100, 1/60, 1/40, 1/30, 1/20, Z
Viewfinder optical viewfinder - no rangefinder
Lens Elmar 3.5/50, Hektor 2.5/50, Summar 2/50, Elmar 3.5/35, Hektor 1.9/73, Elmar 4/90, Elmar 6.3/105, Elmar 4.5/135
Misc. Pull film rewind knob.
Leica Standard could be transformed to Leica II then III or IIIa by factory.
1933-1939 LEICA III (MODEL F)

 

Leica III
(Model F)


Black units

 1933-39 63510

Chrome units

 1933-35

16545


Total

  80055
Story

Launched one year after Leica II. New speed dial on front face for 1/20 to 1s and T speeds.

Technical specifications

Code Name

AFOON
ACCOS with Elmar 3.5/50
ACHOO with Summar 2/50
AFOON CHROM, ACCOS CHROM and ACHOO CHROM for chrome models

Body

aluminum and brass top and base plates with knobs - black lacquer or chrome finish - l=133mm w=39mm h=65mm

Shutter

Focal plane, double curtain shutter.
1/500, 1/200, 1/100, 1/60, 1/40, 1/30, Z(B) - 1/20, 1/8, 1/4, 1/2, 1, T
Rangefinder Coupled to 35-135mm lenses
Lens Elmar 3.5/50, Hektor 2.5/50, Summar 2/50, Elmar 3.5/35, Hektor 1.9/73, Elmar 4/90, Elmar 6.3/105, Elmar 4.5/135
Misc. New speed dial on front face for 1/20 to 1s and T speeds
1933-1943 LEICA 250 (MODEL FF)

 

Leica 250 or Reporter
(Model FF)


Black units

 1933-43 876

1/1000 units

 1936

76
Story

First Leica with very large 250 film spool chambers.

Technical specifications

Code Name

LOOMY (2 cartridges included)
LOOYE with Elmar 3.5/50
Carrying case ESFOO

Body

Special body designed to receive 250 pic. film cartridges - black lacquer finish

Shutter

Focal plane, double curtain shutter.
1/500, 1/200, 1/100, 1/60, 1/40, 1/30, Z(B) - 1/20, 1/8, 1/4, 1/2, 1, T
Rangefinder Coupled to 35-135mm lenses
Lens Elmar 3.5/50, Hektor 2.5/50, Summar 2/50, Elmar 3.5/35, Hektor 1.9/73, Elmar 4/90, Elmar 6.3/105, Elmar 4.5/135
Misc. The 2 first prototypes have no low speed dial.
Possible to cut film before end buy mean of built-in knife and auto opening-closing film cartridges.
A small number of chrome models were introduced on US market.
1935-1950 LEICA IIIa (MODEL G)

 

Leica IIIa
(Model G)


Chrome units

 1935-50 192559

 

 

 
Story

First model with top speed of 1/1000. Massively produced model ~200k u. Last model to be named with a letter (G) - except next IIIb named with the same letter G. Only chrome version produced.

Technical specifications

Code Name

 

Body

aluminum and brass top and base plates with knobs - chrome finish - l=133mm w=39mm h=65mm

Shutter

Focal plane, double curtain shutter.
1/1000, 1/500, 1/200, 1/100, 1/60, 1/40, 1/30, Z(B) - 1/20, 1/8, 1/4, 1/2, 1, T
Rangefinder Coupled to 35-135mm lenses
Lens -
Misc. First model with top speed of 1/1000
Dioptric correction lever around eyepiece.
Only chrome version produced
Could be transformed to IIIf with synchroflash by Leitz.
1937-1946 LEICA IIIb (MODEL G 1938)

 

Leica IIIb
(Model G 1938)


Chrome units

 1937-46 30850

 

 

 
Story

Intermediate model to IIIc. Viewfinder and rangefinder eyepiece interval reduced.
Viewfinder dioptric correction changed to concentric lever around rewind knob.

Technical specifications

Code Name

ATOOH
ARHOO with Elmar 3.5/50
AZOOB with Summar 2/50

Body

aluminum and brass top and base plates with knobs - chrome finish - l=133mm w=39mm h=65mm

Shutter

Focal plane, double curtain shutter.
1/1000, 1/500, 1/200, 1/100, 1/60, 1/40, 1/30, Z(B) - 1/20, 1/8, 1/4, 1/2, 1, T
Rangefinder Coupled to 35-135mm lenses
Lens -
Misc. Viewfinder and rangefinder eyepiece interval reduced.
Dioptric correction lever changed to concentric lever around rewind knob.
Top cover 1mm higher.
Accessory shoe fixed with 4 screws instead of 3 on previous models.
Could be transformed to IIIf with synchro-flash by Leitz.
1940-1951 LEICA IIIc

 

Leica IIIc


Chrome units

 1940-51 138552

 

 

 
Story

First Leica with die cast alloy body frame in one block as opposed to previous models made of different pieces. Body length increased to 136mm (133mm before). Very similar to IIIb model.

Technical specifications

Code Name

Pre-war models:
LOOGI with Elmar 3.5/50
LOODU with Summitar 2/50
LOOSB with Xenon 1.5/50
Post-war models:
LOOHW
LOOIT with Summarit 3.5/50
LOOPN with Elmar 3.5/50
LOOKX with Summitar 2/50

Body

aluminum and brass top and base plates with knobs - chrome finish - l=136mm w=39mm h=65mm

Shutter

Focal plane, double curtain shutter.
1/1000, 1/500, 1/200, 1/100, 1/60, 1/40, 1/30, Z(B) - 1/20, 1/8, 1/4, 1/2, 1, T
Rangefinder Coupled to 35-135mm lenses
Lens -
Misc. Mono-block die cast body frame.
Body housing made in one piece down to the lens mount.
Release button ring larger (no more necessary to unscrew this ring to adapt a cable release).
1940-1945 LEICA IIId

 

Leica IIId


Chrome units

 1940-45 600

 

 

 
Story

Same as Leica IIIc with a built-in selftimer.

Technical specifications

Code Name

Pre-war models:
LOOTP (255 marks)
LOOUC with Elmar 3.5/50 (332 marks)
LAQOO with Summar 2/50 (435 marks)
LOOWD with Xenon 1.5/50 (587 marks)

Body

aluminum and brass top and base plates with knobs - chrome finish - l=136mm w=39mm h=65mm

Shutter

Focal plane, double curtain shutter.
1/1000, 1/500, 1/200, 1/100, 1/60, 1/40, 1/30, Z(B) - 1/20, 1/8, 1/4, 1/2, 1, T
Rangefinder Coupled to 35-135mm lenses
Lens -
Misc. Selftimer
1948-1951 LEICA IIc

 

Leica IIc


Chrome units

 1948-51 10999

 

 

 
Story

Simpler version of the Leica IIIc model. No slow speed. 1/500 top speed.

Technical specifications

Code Name

 

Body

aluminum and brass top and base plates with knobs - chrome finish - l=136mm w=39mm h=65mm

Shutter

Focal plane, double curtain shutter.
1/500, 1/200, 1/100, 1/60, 1/40, 1/30, Z(B)
Rangefinder Coupled to 35-135mm lenses
Lens -
Misc.  
1949-1951 LEICA Ic

 

Leica Ic


Chrome units

 1949-51 11800

 

 

 
Story

Launched in replacement of Leica Standard production end in 1948 - No viewfinder or rangefinder - Scientific usage

Technical specifications

Code Name

OEFGO
OEGIO with 50mm viewfinder accessory
OEINO with Elmar 3.5/50
OESFO with Summitar 2/50
Chrome rangefinder = FOKOS

Body

aluminum and brass top and base plates with knobs - chrome finish - l=136mm w=39mm h=65mm

Shutter

Focal plane, double curtain shutter.
1/500, 1/200, 1/100, 1/60, 1/40, 1/30, Z(B)
Rangefinder No - Only possible through accessory hot shoe
Lens -
Misc. 2 accessory hot shoes
1950-1956 LEICA IIIf

 

Leica IIIf


Units

 1950-56 138634

 Cold Proof Units

1956

100 

 Delay Mechanism Units

1954-55

40999 

 Delay mechanism ELC Units

1954

2000 

 ELC Units

1952-56

3567

 TOTAL

 

185300
Story

Last step of improvement for Screw mount Leica cameras.  Identical to IIIc but with flash synchronization system. Change in speed scale. 2 series : first with black flash synch numbers, second (1952) with red flash sync numbers around speed dial. Second serie comes with a new shutter made of light metal pieces. Some IIIf were produced by Ernst Leitz Canada (ELC).

Technical specifications

Code Name

LOOHW
LOOPN with Elmar 3.5/50
LOOKX with Summitar 2/50
LUOOX with Summicron 2/50
LOOIT with Summarit 1.5/50

Body

aluminum and brass top and base plates with knobs - chrome finish - l=136mm w=39mm h=65mm

Shutter

Focal plane, double curtain shutter.
Black numbers:
1/1000, 1/500, 1/200, 1/100, 1/60, 1/40, 1/30, B - 1/30, 1/20, 1/15, 1/10, 1/4, 1/2, 1, T
Red numbers:
1/1000, 1/500, 1/200, 1/100, 1/75, 1/50, 1/25, B - 1/15, 1/10, 1/5, 1/2, 1, T
Rangefinder Coupled to 35-135mm lenses
Lens -
Misc. Speed scale changed.
Black flash synch numbers around speed dial for first model.
Red flash sync numbers around speed dial for second model.
No button on dioptric correction lever.
Some IIIf were produced in black finish with black Elmar for the army.
1951-1957 LEICA If

 

Leica If


Units

 1951-57 17309
Story

Simpler version of the Leica IIIf, replacing Ic as a no finder model. No slow speed dial. No selftimer.

Technical specifications

Code Name

OEFGO
OEIGO with 50mm viewfinder accessory
OEINO with Elmar 3.5/50

Body

aluminum and brass top and base plates with knobs - chrome finish - l=136mm w=39mm h=65mm

Shutter

Focal plane, double curtain shutter.
Black numbers:
1/1000, 1/500, 1/200, 1/100, 1/60, 1/40, 1/30, B - 1/30, 1/20, 1/15, 1/10, 1/4, 1/2, 1, T
Red numbers:
1/1000, 1/500, 1/200, 1/100, 1/75, 1/50, 1/25, B - 1/15, 1/10, 1/5, 1/2, 1, T
Rangefinder No - Only possible through accessory hot shoe
Lens -
Misc. No Slow speed dial - No viewfinder - No selftimer - 2 accessory shoes.
1951-1956 LEICA IIf

 

Leica IIf


Units

 1951-56 35999
Story

Same as Leica IIIf, but without slow speeds dial.

Technical specifications

Code Name

LOOSE
LOOEL with Elmar 3.5/50
LUUON with Summicron 2/50

Body

aluminum and brass top and base plates with knobs - chrome finish - l=136mm w=39mm h=65mm

Shutter

Focal plane, double curtain shutter.
Black numbers:
1/1000, 1/500, 1/200, 1/100, 1/60, 1/40, 1/30, B
Red numbers:
1/1000, 1/500, 1/200, 1/100, 1/75, 1/50, 1/25, B
Rangefinder Coupled to 35-135mm lenses
Lens -
Misc. No slow speed dial.
Speed scale changed.
Black flash synch numbers around speed dial for first model.
Red flash sync numbers around speed dial for second model.
No button on dioptric correction lever.
Some IIIf were produced in black finish with black Elmar for the army.
1956-1960 LEICA IIIg

 

Leica IIIg


Chrome Units

 1956-60 42445

Black Paint Swedish Units

1960

125

ELC units

1956-58

1780

TOTAL

 

44350
Story

Last Screw mount Leica camera. M3 was already under production. New viewfinder with incorporated focal frames for 50mm and 90mm lenses and parallax compensation. Viewfinder image larger. Shutter speed in geometric scale.

Technical specifications

Code Name

GOOEF
GOOEL with Elmar 2.8/50
GOOMI with Summicron 2/50

Body

aluminum and brass top and base plates with knobs - chrome finish - l=136mm w=39mm h=65mm

Shutter

Focal plane, double curtain shutter.
1/1000, 1/500, 1/250, 1/125, 1/60, B - 1/30, 1/15, 1/8, 1/4, 1/2, 1, T - 2 lightning symbols : black = 1/60 for electronic flash, red = 1/30 for bulb flash.
Rangefinder Coupled to 35-135mm lenses
Lens -
Misc. Viewfinder frames for 50mm and 90mm focal lengths.
Larger front viewfinder lens.
Shutter speed in geometric scale.
One flash plug only.
Film memorizing help dial on body back.
Delay mechanism.
New Elmar 2.8/50.
1957-1960 LEICA Ig

 

Leica Ig


Chrome Units

 1957-60 6388
Story

Leica If replacement. Identical to IIIg, but without viewfinder and selftimer.

Technical specifications

Code Name

OCEGO
OADGO with Elmar 2.8/50
OGILO with viewfinder accessory

Body

aluminum and brass top and base plates with knobs - chrome finish - l=136mm w=39mm h=65mm

Shutter

Focal plane, double curtain shutter.
1/1000, 1/500, 1/250, 1/125, 1/60, B - 1/30, 1/15, 1/8, 1/4, 1/2, 1, T - 2 lightning symbols : black = 1/60 for electronic flash, red = 1/30 for bulb flash.
Rangefinder No
Lens -
Misc. Shutter speed in geometric scale.
One flash plug only.
Film memorizing help dial on body back.
1956 LEICA IIg

 

Leica IIg


Chrome Units

 1956 12-15?
Story

Same as IIIg, but without slow speed dial and selftimer. Produced in very small quantity.

Technical specifications

Code Name

 

Body

aluminum and brass top and base plates with knobs - chrome finish - l=136mm w=39mm h=65mm

Shutter

Focal plane, double curtain shutter.
1/1000, 1/500, 1/250, 1/125, 1/60, B - 2 lightning symbols : black = 1/60 for electronic flash, red = 1/30 for bulb flash.
Rangefinder Coupled to 35-135mm lenses
Lens -
Misc. Viewfinder frames for 50mm and 90mm focal lengths.
Larger front viewfinder lens.
Shutter speed in geometric scale.
One flash plug only.
Film memorizing help dial on body back.