Tuesday, April 3, 2012


The Solms Photo Exchange attracts Leica fans from many countries.

Solms-Burgsolms (hp).   When Wetzlar Leica specialist Lars Netopil invites to the photo exchange at the Taunushalle (Taunus hall), friends of photography come from all over the world to the middle of Hesse, especially fans of the world famous Leica, to see the treasures up closely – and when the negotiations are successful – to buy.  Yesterday there were several hundred collectors who visited the 87 exhibitors.

 To look at, to touch, to talk shop, to search and to find

At the exhibitions in the Taunushalle visitors were able to purchase everything from classic cameras to lenses to accessories like light meters, batteries, camera bags, flash attachments, tripods, literature and a lot more.  Of course many high quality makes of cameras were offered, but when it comes to the cameras with the red dot, the eyes of the collectors assembled at Solms appeared to be a bit brighter. 

Take watchmaker Johann Schepers from Staufenberg for instance, he has his Leica rarities in daily use and many stopped to marvel at his Leica I from 1930.  Even though it looks inconspicuous, it still produces outstanding pictures. 

Johann Schepers with his Leica 1 from 1930

“That is what fascinates me so much, the precision and the finest mechanisms still function like clockwork after 80 years – the monetary value leaves me cold,” the hobby photographer marvels while showing his outstanding color photographs of the Antarctic to those interested.

“Photography only works with film and without automation for me,” he declares categorically and the visitors eye the camera veteran with virtual reverence.  

Everywhere they talked shop, tried things out, rummaged and negotiated and one or the other long sought after piece, which was missing in the collection and which isn’t even offered elsewhere any longer, was found.

“A true paradise for friends of photography,” says Horst Wittig, who has been showing his animal photographs for years.  “I can occupy myself with my hobby on a daily basis and I never get bored,” he raves.

Retired hobby photographers like Horst Wittig feel at home in the loose atmosphere of the camera lovers in the Taunushalle.  Time after time they look for discussions and exchange of experiences.  Already the fans are looking forward to the 38th Solmser Fotobörse (Solms Photo Exchange) which opens its doors on December 1 and with it the market of possibilities to catch a treasured favorite piece of equipment.

Translated by Heinz Richter

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