Friday, March 30, 2012


Allendale, NJ (March 30, 2012) – Leica Camera Inc., the legendary German camera and sport optics brand, announces the debut of its new retail concept in North America with the opening of the Leica Store Washington DC. Located at 977 F Street, NW, in the heart of downtown Washington, DC's Penn Quarter, the store will feature the entire Leica photography and sport optics product portfolio.  Serving as a gateway into the world of Leica Camera, the Leica Store Washington DC will celebrate an official grand opening on Wednesday, May 2nd and Thursday, May 3rd.
“Perfect for Leica enthusiasts, professional photographers and new customers alike, the Leica Store Washington DC creates a completely immersive experience into the world of photography,” said Roland Wolff, Director of Corporate Retail at Leica Camera Inc. “Leica Camera has always represented the best in German engineering and the special culture of the picture. We are now able to offer a complete showcase for our products and services as well as a creative setting for our customers, bringing this central mission to life in a new way.”
A unique lifestyle destination, the Leica Store Washington DC will provide customers the opportunity to discover the art of photography with a retail space, a photography gallery featuring exhibitions shot with the Leica portfolio and a studio set up to demonstrate the exceptional performance of the Leica S-System. Keeping in line with Leica Camera’s commitment to increasing the enjoyment of photography and deepening photographic knowledge, the Leica Store Washington DC will also be an ideal setting for the immensely popular Leica Akademie workshops. In addition, the store will be designated as an S2 Pro Dealership and provide specialized demonstrations, consultations and support for professional photographers utilizing this revolutionary digital camera system. A knowledgeable and enthusiastic team of retail and photographic professionals will deliver expert information and advice to create the finest customer experience.
To celebrate the grand opening of the Washington, DC location, Leica Camera will host programming throughout a two-day event May 2nd - 3rd which includes workshops highlighting Leica’s product portfolio, a cocktail hour for professional photographers and an official opening ceremony showcasing the new setting to invited guests. The gallery space will feature an exhibition by internationally acclaimed Photojournalist Peter Turnley. As part of a new Leica Lecture Series, Turnley will present “Peter Turnley: Moments of the Human Condition” on May 2nd. Attendees of this lecture will not only view Turnley’s iconic photographs but also hear the stories behind the images that have shaped views of world history from the fall of the Berlin Wall and the 1989 revolutions in Eastern Europe to the devastation at Ground Zero on September 11, 2001 and most recently, the turning point in the Egyptian Revolution.
Leica Stores complement an extensive dealer network and serve to further grow the brand in North America. At present, Leica Camera has confirmed two additional store locations in the United States slated to open later this year, Leica Store New York SoHo and Leica Store Miami. Additionally, the company’s store-in-store concept will continue to expand with the Leica Boutique in Rancho Mirage, CA (located at Camera West) and Leica Boutique in Richmond, British Columbia, Canada (located at Broadway Camera).
The Leica Store Washington DC will be open seven days a week and provides customers with the opportunity to schedule private appointments.
For additional information, please visit


By Daniel Grotta-Kurska

Reprinted by permission from
Philadelphia Magazine
February 1974

Please Note:
Even though this article was published years ago, its basic message is as true today as it was then, and I thought it to be interesting reading even today.

 “You keep telling yourself that it’s only metal, glass and fabric, that the damn thing’s nothing more than a machine; a collection of gears, springs and ball bearings.  Your mind says that it’s only a camera, just like an Instamatic or Polaroid or a Brownie.  But then you take it into your hands, heft it up and down a few times to feel the balance, try out its flawless focusing, fire off a couple shots to hear its ultra-quiet shutter and it becomes an unmistakable instrument of perfection, a thing of beauty.  Then you know for a certainty that in this entire world there’s only one thing like a Leica, and that’s another Leica.”

A Leica is a Leica is a Leica, just like a Rolls-Royce is a Rolls-Royce and a Rolex is a Rolex and a Bang and Olufsen is a Bang and Olufsen.  The Leica is, without a doubt, the very finest 35mm camera in the world.  Leica is the ultimate of ultimates, the most coveted, sought after, and proudly possessed piece of photographic equipment anywhere.  Whether they admit it or not, inside every Minolta or Pentax or Nikon owner there’s a Leicaphile trying to get out.  Unfortunately the Leica system, being the best, also happens to be the most expensive.  This means that it is priced out of the reach of most serious and professional photographers, who have to make do with their Nikons and spin all sorts of rationalizations and justifications to explain to themselves and others why they didn’t really want a Leica in the first place.  This makes for a rather odd situation; whenever photographers get together, they usually talk about photography, but whenever Leica owners assemble, they inevitably talk about……Leicas.

 Leica owners belong to a select fraternity who share their status, style and elegance with each other and it doesn’t matter a twit whether they have the latest model or a 45-year-old Model A.  A Leica is a Leica is a Leica.  Well, not quite.  There are super select Leica purists who, for example refuse to acknowledge the existence of the CL model because it was assembled in – horrors! – Japan.  Still other Leicaphiles refuse to use the reflex models because they believe Leica should only make rangefinders, the M series cameras.

Owning a Leica can be an infectious, incurable disease.  Since Leica owners are already at the top, the only upward mobility left to them is to own more Leicas.  Occasionally you’ll meet an elderly doctor or a distinguished lawyer who is perfectly content with his one camera and lens, but they are very much the exception.  Once you have the basic camera, the next step is to

possess the entire current camera system.  At current (1974) market prices, a system can easily cost $10,000 and up.

After the current system, the really hard-core Leicaphiles inevitably start collecting systems.  Over the years, Ernst Leitz, the firm that makes Leicas, has produced so many different models, lenses and accessories that even it isn’t sure where it all ends.  But according to its records, in the 50 years that it has been marketing 35mm cameras, it has produced a grand total of 1.3 million Leicas (1974), or an average of 27,000 cameras per year.  That means that, in addition to being very expensive, used Leicas also happen to be relatively rare these days.

Leica owners might seem to be a trifle eccentric, but Leica collectors come across as out-and-out high class cranks.  They’re an ultra-secretive, paranoid lot who are afraid of fire, theft, and Acts of God.  One center city lawyer prizes his Leica collection so much that he keeps it all in two bank vaults, in two different buildings.  Another Main Line collector declines to reveal where his collection is squirreled away, but admits that he wouldn’t dare keep it in anything as unsafe and uncertain as his……home.

This type of behavior isn’t at all unusual; most Leica collections, in fact, rarely see the light of day.  Since the only person who could possibly appreciate the mystique and beauty of a bunch of cameras is another collector.  Leica collections are almost never displayed at home or publicly exhibited.  In a way, the Leica collector is like the millionaire art enthusiast who recruits brigands to loot the world’s finest museums of their masterpieces and then build a secret room in his mansion just to privately gloat over the paintings from time to time.

Every collector whom I encountered while writing this article made me promise that I wouldn’t reveal his name, address, or anything else that could remotely identify him.  Two of them were so uptight that they actually had me sign legally binding documents prepared by their respective attorneys swearing me to anonymity.  And still another collector refused to give me his name and would only speak over the telephone.  Incidentally there are ten serious and 250 occasional collectors in Philadelphia, but within a few days time, most of them knew that I was writing an article for the Philadelphia Magazine.  They have a very efficient grapevine.

No Leica collector starts with the idea of becoming a collector; it just sort of happens that way.  “You get hold of your first Leica and start using the thing and then you want accessories.  Then you happen to see an old Leica somewhere and buy it because it looks so good.  Somehow you never seem to get rid of equipment and it just keeps accumulating.  Then one day, you take out everything, look at it and ask yourself, “Good grief! Where did it all come from?”  From that day you are a Leica collector.”

Through the years, Ernst Leitz has produced (manufactured is a misnomer, since almost everything is virtually handmade) an incredible variety of lenses and accessories for its many camera models.  Some collectors want to own at least one of everything Leitz has ever made, while others concentrate and specialize.  The center city lawyer, for example, has a relatively small collection (30 camera bodies and approximately 60 lenses), but has four ultra-rare Model B cameras.  A teenage collector with little money to spend concentrates his efforts in finding small accessories, such as optional finders, lens hoods and filters.  Other collectors pass up the cameras in favor of lenses or instruction booklets, or Leica technical manuals, or old advertisements.  And if that isn’t enough, still other collectors haunt camera stores to track down the original red boxes which once held Leica cameras and accessories.  Nothing Leitz ever produced or printed is without value.

Some Leica items have stories to go with them.  Many Leitz lenses, for example were designed by Professor Dr. Max Berek.  Like a comet discoverer, he who designs new lens formulas gets to name them.  Berek decided to immortalize his two favorite dogs, Hector and Rex, with the Hector and Summarex series lenses.  Incidentally, one of Berek’s classics is a lens that was designed back in 1926 and was so outstanding that it is still produced by Leitz.

A recent classic is the M4 camera which was only produced between 1967 and 1971.  It is perhaps the most rugged and reliable piece of machinery ever built on God’s green earth.  One (true) story is that the Leitz people once put the M4 through an endurance test to see how long the shutter would continue to work before breaking down.  To do this, they rigged the camera to a machine that did nothing but mechanically cock and shoot the shutter, once a second, day and night.  The machine broke down long before the M4 did.  Another true tale concerns the M4 that was accidentally dropped 2,000 feet from an airplane.  The photographer eventually retrieved it, dusted it off and continued to use it as if nothing had happened.

More important than classics to collectors are the rarities, or those models which had very limited production runs.  One such camera was the Luxus Leica, a blatantly ultra-luxurious model for people rich enough and silly enough to buy it.  The Luxus was available in red, green blue or brown leather.  Even snakeskin.  And believe it or not, even gold plated.  Less than 100 were made in 1929 and it rates as one of the rarest Leicas.  Another model is the Leica 72, a half frame prototype.  Then there is the Leica Gun telephoto camera, of which only a few were made.  Other desirable models include the 250-exposure Leica FF, a special gray model IIIc used by the Luftwaffe, a 90mm screw mount Summicron lens manufactured in Germany (all other Summicrons, heaven forbid, are made in Canada), and a IIIc with a self-timer.  Every collector is also aware of persistent, unsubstantiated rumors that Leitz secretly produced cameras in South America during World War II, but so far, nothing has turned up to confirm that.

Leica collectors are the first to cheerfully admit that they are probably crazy.  “Being unmarried is almost a prerequisite for serious collecting,” says one bachelor collector who has spent over $35,000 in the past 20 years on Leicas.  “I don’t know of any wife in her right mind who would put up with this kind of insanity.  A Leica collector needs two essential things: an understanding family and a big bank account.”

Their insanity is manifested in many different ways.  One collector with 30 cameras, for example, shoots less than 20 rolls of film each year.  Another visits the bank vault three or four times a year, unwraps his collection, fires each shutter off a few times and then wraps them back up in Wonder Bread plastic bags.

There is a strong competitive streak among Leica collectors that has to be seen to be believed.  It is perhaps the ultimate in one-upmanship.  One might have a rim-set Model B, but the other would gloat over his slightly rarer dial-set Model B.  Or one might have three Model A cameras, but the other might have one with a lower serial number.  And then there is the variation of “I paid $2,000 for mine,” only to be topped by another who proudly announces “I got it for only $35.”

Leica collectors constantly haunt camera shops, watch newspaper ads, attend estate auctions and ask their friends if the know anybody that might have Leica hardware.  The serious collectors eventually join the American Leica Historical Society which is only one of many Leica clubs around the world.  The society exists primarily for collectors who want to buy or trade equipment.  They have even managed to coin a word for their mania – Leicacunabula.  Incidentally, most of the ads in the LHSA publication Leicalog have box numbers instead of names and addresses.

A two day Leica factory technical seminar at the Bellevue Stratford in Philadelphia drew about 150 people, but as usually happens at these affairs; practically all those present were less interested in the technical lectures than comparing their Leicas.  The overwhelming majority of students were successful, conservatively dressed, middle aged men, although there were a few wives and one or two teenagers.  It seemed that most of the men suffered through lectures and slide shows, waiting for the coffee breaks in order to really come alive.  I learned some very interesting things through those breaks.

-The largest private Leica collection in the world is, ironically enough, owned by a Japanese rubber tycoon named Kenijiro Nakamura.  But the third largest collection is right here in America, in Miami, owned by – sorry, no names please.

-The 2 M4 bodies I had to sell for $150 each in 1971 in order to pay the rent now go for $600 each.

-Leica equipment has no depreciation.  Virtually every model and lens made is worth as much or more than it cost originally.

-Old Leicas make damn fine investments.  For example, in 1963 a 150mm Alpine lens could be had for $35, but you can’t touch one today for less than $600.  Five years ago a Leica IIIc with lens cost $49, but now the body alone goes for $125.  And a model B which originally sold for less than $100 was bought by a Montgomery County collector for $2,900 in December and one went for a reported $4,000 in Japan a week earlier.

-Some insurance companies, such as Liberty Mutual, now offer low cost fine art insurance for old Leicas, just as if they were oil paintings by old masters.

-In the past three years, old Leicas have appreciated in value by an average of 300%.

-Leica has, through the years, spawned a lot of imitators such as Canon, Nicca, Tower, Zorki, Ixa, Yashica and others.  Some of them have been identical carbon copies.  Enterprising but dishonest mechanics now have a brisk trade modifying them and selling the counterfeit Leicas as ostensible rare models.

“The market took off like a rocket about three years ago,” says one serious collector.  “Why, I’m not certain, but it could be nostalgia for all things old, or that indefinable mystique about Leica’s legendary quality.”

“My wife hates cameras,” says one local dentist, “but she likes Leicas as investments.  She thinks they are a hell of a lot better than the stock market.”

But why do people collect Leicas and why are they now considered to be valuable works of art?  “They have the feeling of perfection,” surmises the lawyer.  “In an age where everything is breaking down, it is reassuring to take a 50 year old camera and have everything work as perfectly as the day it was built.”

If Leica collectors are crazy, then maybe they are crazy like foxes.       

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Leica S2-Adapters For Hasselblad, Mamiya, Pentax Lenses

Leica Camera AG, Solms, expanded the range of accessories for the Leica S2 professional camera system. They are offering three new Leica S-Adapters that allow users to attach medium-format lenses from other manufacturers to Leica S bodies.
The individual adapters are the Leica S-Adapter V for Hasselblad V System lenses, the Leica S-Adapter P67 for Pentax 67 system lenses and the Leica S-Adapter M645 for lenses of the Mamiya 645 system.
This means that professional photographers now have access to an enormous selection of additional lenses that can further increase the flexibility of the Leica S-System. At the same time, photographers who already own lenses from the systems mentioned above can now use them on the Leica S2. When using the Leica S-Adapter, no mechanical or electrical functions, signals or data are transferred between Leica S system cameras and lenses.
As is the case with all products of the Leica S portfolio, the Leica S-Adapters are characterised throughout by outstanding quality. The exclusive use of high-quality materials in their construction – anodised aluminium and chrome-plated brass – makes them absolutely dependable, even when in constant use.





I am the lucky owner of a list of Leica serial numbers, starting with the pre-production cameras in 1923 and up to 1965.  I obtained it years ago in form of a bad photocopy.  My apologies for that.  However, it is still a very useful document which has shed light on many Leicas in the past and, I am sure, will do so in the future.

The list is 16 pages long, which cannot all be reproduced here at one time.  The images need to be broken up into several separate listings.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

LEICA Barnack Berek Blog Gallery 3-28-12

Today’s gallery is dedicated to the individual most responsible for my career as a professional photographer, my father.  He always encouraged me to take pictures, to experiment, to find my own way.  For that reason he gave me my first camera, a Leica III with 50mm f/2 Summar lens on my 5th birthday.  This used to be his personal camera and all of the photographs in today’s gallery were taken with that camera.

He attended the Hamburg School of Photography, where he took these photographs in 1949 at the harbor in Hamburg.

After graduating from the Hamburg School of Photography he worked as an apprentice with several different photographers and finally earned his degree of Fotografenmeiser (master photographer).

St. Pauli Landungsbrücken Subway Station

View other Leica Galleries here:


LEICA Barnack Berek Blog GALLERY  7-11-2012




LEICA GALLERY  6-09-2012

LEICA Barnack Berek Blog GALLERY  5-14-2012



LEICA Barnack Berek Blog GALLERY

H E L P !

This is a plea for help from the readers of this blog.  I am having a great time working on it, finding news, writing articles and all else.  It is immensely gratifying to see how the popularity of this blog has increased since it first appeared on February 20 of this year.

But I would like this to be more than just my blog.  I am certain that it could become a lot more interesting if others would be contribute as well.  I would like to see articles from others about Leica, their experiences with the Leica and photography in general.  I would also like submissions of photographs to the blog gallery.  I see this as especially important because this can only greatly enhance the appeal and value of this blog.

Photographs can be submitted in any way that is convenient.  I will resize them and convert them to the appropriate file format as necessary.  No special input is needed from you at all.  I guarantee that any of the photographs will never be used for anything other than to be shown on this blog.  I guarantee adherence to all copyright laws.

Here is some incentive to make the decision to submit an article or photographs a bit easier:

For any article or photograph submitted you will have the choice to receive either a faithful reproduction of a design sketch by Oskar Barnack or a print of an original piece of artwork about Oskar Barnack and the Leica.

Vorschaltblende - Preset Diaphragm

I made the reproduction of the Oskar Barnack sketch from the original which I obtained several years ago.  I made sure that it is as close to the original as possible in any respect; color, texture detail and the original size of 4 x6 inches.  While several original Barnack sketches have been offered in the past, they are becoming rather scarce.  This reproduction is probably the closest to an original many will ever come to.  It is a collectable piece of Leica lore in its own right.

The Barack lithograph was originally commissioned by Photo Visuals of Minneapolis.  The artist, Susan Kennedy, submitted several layouts from which this one was chosen.  It is based on original photographs of Oscar Barnack, him at his work desk, the Ur-Leica, the Leica M4 and several lenses.  Like the Barnack sketch, it is printed to archival standards.  The size is 13 x 17 inches and it too should be considered a Leica collectable.

Articles and photographs should be emailed to

Thank you,

Heinz Richter.

Leica Camera AG - Newsletter

Dear Friends of Leica,

We have got some exciting news for you:
many new Leica cameras now come with Adobe® Photoshop® Lightroom® 4.
You can also view our new nature observation Facebook community, our
latest videos and fascinating camera blog highlights in this newsletter
as well.


Your Leica Camera Internet Team.

Adobe® Photoshop® Lightroom® 4 is now supplied with many Leica cameras

Adobe® Photoshop® Lightroom® 4 is considered to be the most
professional image processing software currently available and, in
combination with Leica cameras, guarantees ultimate picture quality.
This latest version of Adobe® Photoshop® Lightroom® 4 is now available
as a download to new buyers of Leica S2/S2-P, Leica M9/M9-P, Leica X1
and Leica D-Lux 5 cameras.

Leica cameras are fully integrated into the Adobe® Photoshop® Light-
room® 4 workflow, for example with colour and lens profiles. In
addition, the speed and stability of tethered shooting with the Leica
S2 medium-format digital camera has been further improved.

Further new features:
_ Increased processing speed
_ Selective moire filter
_ M-Lens profiles
_ Selective white balance
_ Soft-proof function
_ Video compatibility

More information

Latest Leica Camera videos

Leica & Magnum: Alex Webb
On the streets of Chicago: Alex Webb explores the diverse nature of the
US’s "Second City."

To the video

Leica. My Life: Ben

The 4th installment of our "Leica. My Life" series: Ben Bernschneider
is a passionate photographer, with particular interest in pictures of

To the video

Highlights on the Leica Camera blog

Ethiopia: Michael Tsegaye
Street photography in Addis Abeba: The African Michael Tsegaye
discovers the urban side of Ethiopia.
Michael Tsegaye #1

Thailand: Preedee Ponchevin

The Thai photographer Preedee Ponchevin documents the daily life in
Bangkok during the floods.
Preedee Ponchevin: #1

NEW: The nature observation community on Facebook

We now offer a community for birders and observers of nature.
To help us focus even more specifically on the needs of our friends and
customers with these interests, we have launched a community for:
_ Nature observation topics
_ Fascinating photos shot in natural habitats by experienced birders
_ Direct exchange of expertise and experience between passionate birders
_ The latest news and events from Leica Sport Optics

To the Facebook community

Leica Camera AG
Oskar-Barnack-Straße 11
D-35606 Solms
Tel: +49(0)6442-208-0
Fax +49(0)6442-208-333

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


Below is a list of the serial numbers of Leica lenses by year from 1933 through 2000.


Over the years I am sure many of us have wondered when our Leica cameras might have been made.  I just obtained the production numbers for the Leica R cameras from the original Leicaflex to the beginning of the R8 in 1996.

Unfortunately the list is in form of two JPEG images.  I relabeled some of the German expressions, but some remain in German.  Here is the translation:

O Serie = O Series
Chrom = Chrome
Schwarz = Black
Grün Safari = Green Safari

Monday, March 26, 2012


The shortage of Leica M lenses appears to be fading.  Dealers are reporting that shipments of these lenses are very much improving.  Even the 35mm Summilux f/1.4 is showing up again. 

Leitz reported a while ago that they have hired additional personnel.   Apparently the sales increases over the last months resulted in Leica not being able to manufacture enough lenses for timely shipments to their dealers.  This has not only resulted in hiring additional personnel, the direct result of which are the increased shipments of lenses that have been in short supply for a while.  Leica is also considering keeping the Solms facility open, even after they move back to the new headquarter in the Leica Park in Wetzlar in 2013.  Previously it was assumed that the Solms facility would be closed.


Over the years I have heard many accounts of how tough Leicas are.  The most memorable one that sticks in my mind is of a photographer who took his Leicaflex SL2 along on a ride in an Air Force fighter jet.  As it turned out, the jet developed problems and he and the pilot had to bail out.  When the parachute opened, the sudden deceleration caused the camera slip out of the photographer’s hands.  It fell several thousand feet to the Mojave Desert.  It wasn’t until a year later that a hiker found the camera.  The camera back had remained closed which allowed for the film to be removed and developed.  With the help of the pictures the original owner of the camera could be found.  He in turn sent the camera to Leitz.  They determined that it actually could be repaired but decided to keep it in its battered condition and offered the photographer a new one in exchange.  The camera had apparently fallen in an angle onto the lens with the result that the lens mount of the camera had been pushed far into the camera housing on one side.  I saw the camera in the Leica museum at Leica Camera.  It definitely looked sick.

But not all accounts of Leica toughness are this extreme.  Here is an account from the


By Bob Nandell

Staff Photographer Des Moines Register

It was what every photographer dreads.

One minute I was driving along looking for harvest pictures with my Leica R3, an R3-Mot, a 250mm f/4 and a 400mm f/6.8 Telyt nestled on the seat beside me, ready for color or black and white.

An instant later, after taking the ditch to avoid collision with a truck, my car was upside down.

After getting out of the seatbelt and hastily exiting the car, to my astonishment I was not badly hurt.  But what about the cameras?

The gadgets bag with 35, 50, 135 and 19mm R lenses nestled in its pockets was fine.  It had been in the foot-well.

The R3 with the 250mm attached was in a sea of mud and glass that had been the windshield.  The R3-Mot and the 400mm were next to the roof, also in mud.

Disaster? Not so.

A quick inspection showed that the bodies were functional.  In fact, I took photos for insurance purposes at the scene with the R3-Mot.

Back home again, I found that the all equipment was useable.  The meters worked, the lenses worked, the motor worked.  The thick plastic lens covers, which Leitz supplies, had saved the glass in both lenses.  Both lenses were shipped off for tightening and cosmetic repair, and a few pieces, such as a replacement for a bent rewind knob, were ordered.

Tough Camera                                                                  Tough Photographer

The cameras, although battered like their owner, had survived.  In fact, on the way home from the accident scene, the badly scratched R3 produced a nice color harvest picture, which had been the original goal of the day.

I had purchased Leicas for their value and durability.

I know the list can now include indestructability.

Other articles by Bob Nandell:

Other articles by Bob Nandell:


ODE TO LEICA NO. 1048416


For more on the legendary toughness of Leica cameras go to:




Sunday, March 25, 2012


I am the first to admit that Photoshop is a great and welcome addition to the photographer’s bag of tricks.  It offers possibilities that were either impossible or at least very difficult to achieve in the past.  Yet sometimes it can be fun and potentially even easier to work towards ones artistic vision the old fashioned way.

This photograph is one such example.  The idea came to me a while ago which brought up the question of how to execute the image.  For the manipulation to effect the final outcome I decided not to use Photoshop and go about it with film and a bit of simple trickery instead.

I started out by photographing the model with a Leica M6 equipped with a 50mm Summicron f/2 lens.  Lighting was with studio strobe equipment.  For optimum quality I shot on Agfapan APX 25 which was developed in Agfa Rodinal for 15 minutes with continuous agitation.

The image was enlarged with a Leitz Focomat V35 to a size of approximately 11 x 14 inches.  That picture was transferred to a product table where I added the spoon on the bottom and sugar in the manner shown.

I then lit the set with a single light source with a 16 inch reflector and a diffusion disc attached.  It was necessary to have this light source about 15 feet away from the set to avoid any visible light fall-off from the left to the right side of the set.  Here it is important to remember that light intensity diminishes by the square of the distance.  With other words, doubling the distance of any light source will diminish the intensity of the light by a factor of 4x or two stops.

The set was then photographed with a Leica R4 and a 135mm Elmarit-R and ELPRO close-up lens.  This allowed for a greater camera to subject distance to avoid any visible shadows casted by the camera.  Again the film was Agfapan APX 25 developed in the same manner.  The resulting negative is now available for printing or scanning.


I made a slight mistake when setting up the 11 x 14 with the sugar.  So far nobody has ever noticed it.  So here is a challenge; take a close look and see if you can determine where this mistake lies.  Please email me at  I will publish your answers under comments below this article.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Tamarkin Camera Auction

Not to be outdone by WestLicht, Tamarkin Camera of Woodbridge, Connecticut has announced the dates for their camera auction of this year.  Her is the official announcement:


The Tamarkin Photographica Spring auction will be held on Sunday, April 29, 2012 in Woodbridge, Connecticut. This auction will be especially attractive to Leica collectors because we will offer a wonderful collection including a black Leica MP, a chrome Leica MP, two Leica 250 Reporter cameras, two prototypes of the original Leica M motor drives, a Minox Riga,a gorgeous war-time grey Leica IIIc(K) with the original E. Leitz invoice, a Leica SP in the box, a 50mm Nikkor 1.1, a Thambar, Mountain-Elmar, a black enamel 50mm Summicron f2,a handsome Contarex Electronic outfit,and many more exciting rarities.

The completely illustrated auction catalogue is now available online at Tamarkin & Bertoldi Vintage Auction Catalogue #28 – April 2012 or by U.S. post ($20 domestic/$30 foreign).  Bidding will in person, by fax, mail and in real-time on the internet. Consignments for the auction will be accepted until February 15, 2012.

For more information call Stan Tamarkin at 203.397.9191 (Toll-Free 800.289.5342) or by e-mail at

Tamarkin Bertoldi Auction Catalog #28 - April 2012
Tamarkin & Bertoldi Vintage Auction Catalogue #28 - April 29, 2012

A Leica Gun set a world record at the last Tamarkin Photographica’s auction on October 30, 2011.  It sold for $119,500, including Buyer’s fee, a world record for a Leica accessory.  Other highlights were a black Leica MP which was auctioned off for $72,985, a Leica 50mm Noctilux f1.2 lens that sold for over $20,000, and Ernest Hemingway’s personal Leica camera at $30,500.  Buyers from around the globe participated on line, on the phone, live at the auction, and by fax bidding. The buyers of many of the most expensive items were from the USA, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, England, and Germany.

Top Left:  Leitz Noctolux 50mm f/1.2
Top Right:  Black Leica MP
Bottom Left:  Leica Gun
Bottom Right:  Ernest Hemmingway's personal Leica Camera     

WestLicht Photographica Catalog Now Available Online

Thes WestLicht Photographica Catalog for the May 12th auction is now avaolable online.  Here is their official announcement:

Camera and Photo-Auction on May 12th 2012

Our upcoming auction offers many outstanding and highly precious lots.
Please use the following links to view the

Camera Catalogue

or the

Photo Catalogue.

If you would like to order one of our printed catalogues, please click here.

Leica 0-Serie Nr. 116 (1923)
Estimate Euro 600,000 - 800,000

Attributed to Jean Baptiste Louis Gros (1793–1870)
La Fontaine et le marché des Innocents
Paris c.1855
Estimate Euro 150,000 - 200,000

Friday, March 23, 2012


Leica Camera AG announced a special white edition of the Leica M9-P exclusively for the Japanese market. 

The package includes a silver Noctilux M f0.95/50mm ASPH lens, silver chrome body styling, white leather on the body, a matching strap and white logo text on the top.

The price is ¥2,620,000 or about $30,000.  Only 50 cameras will be produced for this limited edition.

Thursday, March 22, 2012


There has hardly been any accessory for the Leica cameras that hasn’t been offered by Leitz in one form or another and still, other companies have made a variety of accessories that proved to be a valid alternative to their Leitz made counterparts.

One such accessory is the adjustable Braun Universalsucher (Universal Viewfinder).  Just like the Leitz Imarect finder the Brown offers adjustable viewing fields for 35/38mm, 45/50mm, 85/90mm and 135mm and parallax correction in meters and feet from 0.35 meters (1.5 feet) to infinity.

Braun Universalsucher
Focal Length and Parallax Adjustments

Viewfinder set for 85/90mm

Unlike the Leica M cameras, the Leica screw mount cameras had no adjustable viewfinders and therefore lack any possibility for previewing focal lengths other than 50mm.  Here too the Brown viewfinder, just like the Imarect, can be used to do so by simply adjusting the viewing frame of the finder.

It is definitely not as sophisticated as the Imarect, but that doesn’t diminish its usefulness at all.  I used one for many years on various Leica screw mount cameras with lenses from 35mm to 135mm. 

Even today I use it occasionally with my Leica Digilux 2 for night shots.  While the electronic viewfinder of the Digilux 2 is not at all bad under normal lighting conditions, it is virtually useless at night.  Framing is almost impossible.  With the help of the Braun adjustable viewfinder I am able to cover the focal length range of the Leica DC Vario Summicron with the exception of focal lengths wider than 35mm.  Even with the lens at 28mm the finder has proven to be useful in aiming the camera correctly.

Thus this little accessory from years past still is of value beyond that of a collector’s item and I am glad to see that it still works just as well as it did when it was first made.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


18420 LEICA X1                                   stahlgrau                                                                    ausverkauft
18400 LEICA X1                                   schwarz                                                                      ausverkauft
18707 LEICA X1                                   Spiegelsucher 36mm                                                         342.00
18709 LEICA X1                                   Ledertasche                                                               ausverkauft
18710 LEICA X1                                   Bereitschaftstasche                                                           157.00
18711 LEICA X1                                   Systemtasche                                                                     212.00
18712 LEICA X1                                   Handgriff                                                                            106.00
14444 Blitzgerät                                  LEICA SF 24 4                                                                       16.00
18706 Lithium-Ionen-Akku                  BP-DC 8 8                                                                               3.00
18713 Handschlaufe                           für LEICA X1                                                                         32.00
42331 LEICA X1                                   Digiscoping Adapter                                                          134.00

These are the prices (in euros) in the current Leica pricelist.  “Ausverkauft” means “sold out.”  Does that possibly mean that the cameras are out of production?  The X1 was introduced together with the M9 and both of them are rumored to be replaced.