Tuesday, October 1, 2013


It is a known fact that Nikon got its start by copying Leitz and Zeiss lenses and later cameras to enter the photographic market.  The upcoming WestLicht auction in Vienna shows another example of Leica tech used by Nikon.

Nikon Stereo Nikkor 35mm f/3.5

The Nikon Stereo-Nikkor 35mm f/3.5 outfit consisted of a stereo lens and stereo prism for the Nikon rangefinder cameras.  Introduced in 1956, it bears more than a close resemblance to the Leitz Stereoly, first introduced in 1931 and later replaced by an improved model in 1954.

Patent drawing of the Leitz Stereoly attachment

Image of Leica 11
Leitz Stereoly on early Leica II

Leitz 33mm f/3.5 Stemar

In either case, this stereo equipment produced two half frame stereo images in place of the standard 35mm frame.  Stereo viewers and projector accessories allowed for stereo viewing of the images taken.

Thus we have another example of the influence Leica has had on other manufacturers over the years.  Leica cameras and accessories remain the most copied photographic equipment in history. 

For more on the Leica Nikon connection go to:




  1. Aren't you knocking Nikon to make Leica look better? I have never seen a Nikon camera that even closely resembles a Leica. So where are the Leica copies from Nikon?

  2. How can stating facts be misconstrued as "knocking Nikon?" And where did I state that Nikon made a copy of a Leica camera? What I did say is that Nikon got its start by copying Zeiss and Leica lenses and cameras. Apparently you did not use the link to the "Leica Tech in Nikon Cameras" article, otherwise you would have realized that the first Nikon camera was a copy of the Zeiss Contax, however, with a copy of a Leica shutter instead of the much more complicated Zeiss Contax shutter.

  3. Do you have any proff that Nikon actually copid anything from Leica?

    1. If you are looking for Nikon to say so, obviously that will never happen. But you know what they say about ducks, if it looks like one, walks like one, quacks like one...
      Take the Leica shutter and compare it to the one in the Nikon rangefinder cameras and the Nikon F. The entire sytem is vitually the same, the position of the winding lever, the shutter speed dial as well as the shutter release, including the collar type cable release system which was hardly used by any other camera manufacturer. The advance interlock, which allowed unlimited multiple exposures, also something not used by anyone else. Or take the double lens, in a single mount stereo sytem, including the prism arrangement. All this was used and marketed by Leica prior to Nikon. Are you seriously suggesting that Nikon wasn't aware of that and independently developed these ystems on their own?

    2. All I did is ask for some sort of proof instead of unsubstantiated allegations.

  4. I did. You, on the other hand, simply questioned my post without giving any reason at all.