Tuesday, August 9, 2022


Text and photos : José Manuel Serrano Esparza

© jmse

Since his teenage years in Brooklyn ( New York ), Daniel Zirinsky was smitten with small photographic devices able to get great pictures, and after graduating as a Bachelor of Science at Syracuse University in 1949, that fascination grew by leaps and bounds, turning him into an avid user and researcher of 24 x 36 mm format cameras and lenses, particularly those ones manufactured by Leitz, Zeiss Ikon and Nikon, in addition to having proved a flair for photography since 1950.

Right off the bat, everything related to top-notch 35 mm cameras and lenses became a tremendous passion for him, along with his unswerving love for black and white photography, making in 1955 two great aerial images : one capturing the Upper East River as a shimmering body of water flowing around the Fiorello Laguardia Airport (which would soon be expanded) and Rikers Island, and a further one depicting the network of highways and railroads of Newton Creek, which was then the most concentrated industrial area of the United States and the epicenter of New York´s commercial activity.

Daniel Zirinsky, an authority on Leica topics. He was a photographer with Leica screwmount and M cameras for sixty-five years since 1950. Born in 1927, he was one of the first users of mirrorless full frame Leica M System of Cameras and Lenses in mid fifties, just after the launching of the Leica M3 in Photokina Köln 1954, and he had got one of the best Leica Literature libraries in the world, including original instruction books and information on the rarest cameras given to him by Ernst Leitz III. Here he appears with a Leica 1 Model C Standard Mount from 1931 (the first full frame compact mirrorless camera with interchangeable lenses in the world, thanks to a lens mounting flange to film plane distance fixed at 28.8 mm) with Leitz Elmar 5 cm f/3.5 and solid leather case. At first, each interchangeable lens had to be individually matched to the body, but in early 1931 a standardized lens mount was devised and every lens could be made to be coupled to any Leica 1C camera from serial number 65,001 onwards. Photo: José Manuel Serrano Esparza

Throughout his sixty-five years of infatuation with photography, Daniel Zirinsky was Member of the Leica Historical Society of America, Nikon Historical Society, Zeiss Historica, Photographic Historical Society of New England, Photographic Historical Society of New York and Photographic Society of Hong-Kong, as well as having been Vice President of the Great Neck Color Camera Club in New York (within which he won the Print of the Year Award, the Color Print of the Year Award 1989-90, 28 awards and 42 honorary mentions).

By dint of perseverence, increasing knowledge and gleaned experience, he was able to gather a vast assortment of photographic cameras, lenses and accessories that wquality ould turn after a few years into one of the best collections in the world, featuring museum  and being steadily enhanced by his travels all over the globe searching for top-class equipment in mint condition.

His curiosity and yearn for learning were boundless and he likewise managed to get a wonderful and very extensive trove of photographic literature, with highly valuable books and magazines ranging between mid XIX Century and late XX one.

Moreover, he was a great enthusiast of photographic exhibitions and top-drawer black and white prints on baryta paper, to such an extent that he often travelled with his beloved wife Gilda Schiff and visited picture galleries and museums all over the world.

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Daniel Zirinsky, a highly experienced user of both screwmount and Leica M cameras and lenses,

Daniel Zirinsky during the 2008 LHSA Annual Meeting in Louisville (Kentucky) 
indicating something with a ball-pen to Mark Theken from Canton (Ohio). 
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knew perfectly that Leica M rangefinder cameras and objectives are the ones able to deliver peerless image quality,

Mark Theken showing a small picture of a Leica M prototype lens in a catalogue to Daniel Zirinsky during the 2008 LHSA Annual Meeting in Louisville (Kentucky). 
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Pages thirty and thirty-one of the landmark article titled M for Illustrious written by the British world-class expert on photographic optics Geoffrey Crawley inside the special number of Amateur Photographer magazine of November 27, 2004, delving into the need of faster speed lenses for Leitz from early fifties, which resulted in the inception of the new Leica M bayonet and the reference-class Leica M System of 24 x 36 mm format cameras and lenses. Daniel Zirinsky was a passionate reader of photography magazines throughout his lifetime. 
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thanks to their bayonet M created by Hugo Wehrenfennig in 1950 (featuring a flange distance of 27.8 mm and external diameter of 44 mm, making possible the design of more luminous lenses) and a reference-class coupled range-viewfinder ( enabling the photographer to simultaneously focus and compose) which is a masterpiece of opto-mechanical precision and features more than 150 parts,

Leica M3 with Summicron-M 50 mm f/2 Type 1 (1953-1960). It meant a quantum leap in terms of optomechanical quality based on the perfect integration of the rangefinder into the viewfinder, so unlike the single-lens reflex cameras in which the focal length and the speed of the lens determine the precision of distance measurements, the measurement base of the RF in a Leica M always remains identical, irrespective of the focal length of the lens being used, so both the distance measure and focusing accuracy of a Leica M with short and medium focal length lenses between roughly 28 mm and 90 mm is far better than with reflex cameras, even under very dim light conditions, particularly at the widest apertures. 
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with the Leica M3 as jewel of the crown with its superb, crisp and very brilliant 0.91x viewfinder boasting the most accurate focus of any Leica camera made hitherto, both in the analogue and digital domains.

On their turn, the Leica screwmount cameras don´t feature a combined viewfinder and rangefinder assembly, but separate eyepieces for the VF and the RF, so the photographer has to focus first with the rangefinder and then compose with the viewfinder (Zeiss Ikon had gone far ahead of Leica for eighteen years in this regard, with its Contax II rangefinder camera from 1936, the first one sporting a rangefinder and viewfinder combined in a single window, with the added advantage of a huge rangefinder baselength of 90 mm, with a magnification of 0.75x, giving a stunning effective baselength of 67.5, even longer than the 62.33 mm effective baselength in the Leica M3, though the latter´s clarity of the RF patch is better).

Daniel Zirinsky talking to the legendary Rolf Fricke (former regional Director of Marketing Communications at the Eastman Kodak Company in Rochester, cofounder of the Leica Historical Society of America in 1968, founder of the Leica Historical Society of England in 1969, and founder of the Leica Historica Deutschland in 1975 along with Theo Kisselbach) during the 2008 LHSA Annual Meeting in Louisville (Kentucky). In the background, out of focus, can be seen part of Rolf Fricke´s extraordinary collection of screwmount Leica cameras from twenties and early thirties which he displayed and was daily relished by every attendee. The emotional intensity and passion of both while speaking about Leica topics can be seen on their facial expressions. 
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In addition, Leica screwmount cameras like the Leica III (1933-1939) are optimized to be used with 50 mm lenses in symbiosis with a 1.5 x rangefinder magnification, needing specific external VFs to leverage objectives of other focal lengths, while the Leica M cameras (with choice of rangefinder magnifications of 0.58x, 0.68x, 0.72x, 0.85x and 0.91 x) can use a slew of lenses between roughly 28 mm and 135 mm without specific external viewfinders, thanks to their selective framelines and parallax correction, as well as being better to get very precise focus with tele lenses or on using very large apertures.

Another instant of the conversation between Rolf Fricke and Daniel Zirinsky during the 2008 Leica Historical Society of America Annual Meeting in Louisville (Kentucky). Near them you can see Thomas Campbell from Charleston (South Carolina) with Igor Reznik ( owner of Igor´s Camera photo gear shop in Cleveland, Ohio ). 
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But Daniel Zirinsky also realized that screwmount Leica cameras are the ones more linked to Oscar Barnack´s essential keynotes of very small cameras and lenses delivering great images and also outstanding photographic tools to capture expressive attitudes or prevailing moods and obtain meaningful pictures oozing spontaneity and expressing what he saw and felt in the subjects he photographed or the places he captured with his Leicas during his trips, sides more important for him than getting a huge technical perfection in the images. Not in vain, he made many of his first pictures in early fifties with high speed for the time and grainy Kodak Super-XX ISO 200 black and white film (the photojournalistic all-round emulsion par excellence for shooting handheld before the launching into market of Kodak Tri-X in 1954) yielding low contrast, a long scale of tones and excellent latitude, so it endured very well both overexposure and underexposure.

And LTM39 mount cameras like the Leica III (1933-1939) with its 1.5x VF magnification coupled to standard 50 mm lenses were an excellent photographic tool offering a very good effective rangefinder baselength of 0.58x, superior to the 49 mm effective baselength of 0.72x VF Leica M cameras and very near the 59 mm effective rangefinder baselength of 0.85 x VF ones and the 62 mm effective rangefinder baselength of the Leica M3.

Rolf Fricke´s impressive collection of screwmount Leica cameras manufactured between 1920 and 1931 displayed during the 2008 LHSA Annual Meeting in Louisville (Kentucky). This landmark trove of jewels harking back to the beginning of the international projection of the German photographic firm included an exceedingly valuable item : Oscar Barnack´s second 35 mm camera from 1920, which led to the O-Series and had been recently revealed. Daniel Zirinsky revelled in observing these historical cameras from a very near distance during the two days event. In front of the cameras is the gorgeous book Barnacks Erste Leica Das Zweite Leben Einer Vergessenen Historischen Kamera (Barnack´s First Leica : The Second Life of a Forgotten Historical Camera) published by Lindemanns Verlag and written by Hans-Günther Kisselbach (son of the legendary Theo Kisselbach, Director of the Leica School, revived by him in Wetzlar from late forties), in which he elaborates on his discovery in 2003 of Oskar Barnack´s second 24 x 36 mm format prototype camera from 1920 within his father´s collection and the four-year study of the camera (that worked like a charm eighty-three years after its construction and still yields good images nowadays) he carried out between 2003 and 2007, in addition to showing the pictures he made with it, some of which also appeared in two excellent reviews : the first one made by Alfred Wehner´s in the number 96 of the German magazine Vidom of December 2007, and the second one made by Edward Schwartzreich in the Volume 42 Number 3 2009 of Viewfinder magazine. © jmse

In addition, broadly speaking, LTM39 Leitz cameras are superior to M ones in some important aspects :

a) Tiny size and weight. As a matter of fact, however incredible it may seem, the screw mount Leica cameras and lenses are not only smaller and lighter than Leica M ones, but also in comparison to the smallest 24 x 36 mm format current digital cameras like the Sony Alpha 7 and 9 lineup.

Top plate of a Leica III from 1936. From left to right you can see the rewinding knob, the acessory shoe, the fast shutter speed dial with values between 1/30 s and 1/1000 s, the shutter release button with the reversing lever over it, and the turn winding knob with the exposure counter around it. And just above the LTM39 mount can be seen the left RF window, the VF window, the right RF window and the slow shutter speed dial with times between 1/20 s and 1 second. The beauty and elegance of contours, knobs and dials in the Leica screwmount saga of 35 mm cameras along with the posh appearance of the metallic surfaces are truly splendid. 
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For example, a Leica III (1933-1939) features a size of 136 x 39 x 65 mm and a weight of 410 g, being smaller and lighter than the Leica M3 ( 138 x 77 x 33.5 mm and 580 g), the Leica M2 (138 x 77 x 33.5 mm) and 560 g), the Leica M6 (138 x 77 x 33.5 mm and 585 g), and also clearly beats in this regard the very small digital full frame cameras Sony Alpha 7 (127 x 94 x 48 mm and 474 g), the Sony Alpha 7RIV (129 x 96 x 78 mm and 665 g), the Sony Alpha 9 (126.9 x 95.6 x 63 mm and 673 g) and Sony Alpha 9 II (128.9 x 96.4 x 77.5 mm and 678 g).

A riveting sight : detail of the Leica III from 1936 turn winding knob (featuring an incredibly accurate knurling) with the exposure counter around it . The painstaking manufacturing perfection and laudable miniaturized engineering of screwmount Leica cameras always enthralled David Zirinsky. Also visible on the right is the very sturdy strap lug for transport. © jmse

b) The beauty and cosmetic appearance of cameras and lenses. Though entering a subjective sphere, it seems apparent that screwmount Leitz photographic tools are the most beautiful ever made by the German firm.

c) The amazingly tiny size and weight of lenses. Most times, LTM39 mount Leitz lenses get the upper hand in this aspect in comparison to M ones,

Old uncoated Leitz Elmar 50 mm f/3.5, best photographic lens in the world along with Ludwig Bertele´s Carl Zeiss Jena 5 cm f/1.5 until 1953 (when the 7 elements in 6 groups Summicron-M 50 mm f/2 Type 1 was created). Though featuring a relatively low luminosity to modern standards, it keeps on delivering very good resolving power and contrast, together with outstanding reistance to flare. Daniel Zirinsky, a great collector of 50 mm Leica lenses both in LTM39 and M mount, knew all the many changes in mechanical components, radius of surfaces and distance from position of aperture to first element undergone by the Leitz Elmar 50 mm f/3.5 during its thirty-seven years of production between 1924 and 1961. 
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with objectives like the 4 elements in 3 groups Leitz Elmar 50 mm f/3.5, sporting a length of 32 mm (10 mm when collapsed), a front outer mount diameter of 36 mm and a weight of 111 g.

Needless to say that the 28.8 mm flange distance of the LTM39 mount was instrumental to make possible the design and manufacture of such incredibly small and light lenses.

That´s why the Leitz Elmar 50 mm f/3.5 in M mount has an almost double weight with 210 g.

Whatever it may be, Leica M lenses are more modern and far better than LTM39 mount ones, particularly in terms of resolving power, contrast, impressive performance at widest aperture (in such a way that on stopping down you only gain depth of field), uniformity of results at every diaphragm, thanks to new breakthrough manufacturing techniques, improved coatings, new glass types discovered, use of cutting-edge CNC machines, state-of-the-art optical softwares, etc.

d) The overall craftsmanship. Evidently, a Leica M3, M2, M6, M7 or digital models like the Leica M10, M10-P, Leica Monochrom and others are masterpieces of precision.

But though being much older,

Right diagonal image of the Leica III from 1936 coupled to a 6 elements in 4 groups Leitz Summar 5 cm f/2, an amazingly small and light lens for its large aperture at the time, with a length extended of 47 mm and a weight of 177 g. 
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the screwmount Leitz cameras and lenses are the cream of the crop of craftsmanship ever made by Leica,

Upwards view of the Leica III from 1936 in which can be discerned that form follows function. The special dial for slow speeds (1/20 s, 1/8 s, 1/4 s, 1/2 s and 1 second) located on the upper front right area of the camera and working through a train gear built for it inside the shutter mechanism, was the fruit of many years of intensive toil by Oskar Barnack, until he managed to create it in 1933, so from then on, the capabilities of Leica screwmount cameras shooting handheld to get sharp pictures under dim light conditions improved hugely, as proved by Daniel Zirinsky, who went on using them during XXI Century, shooting top quality black and white and colour ASA 400 and 800 high speed films with very scarce grain thanks to new emulsion technologies. 
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real benchmarks of mechanical accuracy and miniaturized engineering, which were manufactured in an utterly 100% manual way, with lavishness of very high quality noble metals like aluminum and brass and boasting amazing completely mechanical and whispering horizontal travelling cloth focal plane shutters created by Oskar Barnack and Ludwig Leitz.

Pages 26 and 27 of the sensational article by Ivor Matanle (the most important expert in the world on classic cameras along with Jim McKeown) in the Amateur Photography magazine from February 9, 2002, explaining the superb mechanical construction of prewar screwmount Leica cameras and lenses. Daniel Zirinsky fell in love with these tiny and pretty light masterpieces of craftsmanship in 1948 and kept that idyll during his whole life. 
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And these screwmount Leica cameras and lenses were definitely built to last, without any kind of programmed obsolescence, and nowadays, many decades after their production, they go on working flawlessly and hold an elegance and aura inherent to the halcyon days of the brand.

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Daniel Zirinsky always grasped that resolving power and contrast are not the only important things.

He was never a man subdued by MTF charts, scientific measures of lens performances, tests and so forth.

Daniel Zirinsky was a human being having a tremendous visual culture stemming from the observation of millions of images throughout his long activity as a photographer since early fifties and the myriad of photography books, magazines, catalogues, photographic exhibitions, baryta prints, etc, which he thoroughly watched once and again with unbridled enthusiasm, in symbiosis with a deep knowledge of darkroom secrets that he acquired after a lot of practice.

And he was fully cognizant that it is not all about sharpness (which is often confused with resolving power) either.

Because sharpness is a very complicated concept not defining a measurable parameter, but how the human brain perceives an image.

And in spite of having a remarkable technological background, Daniel Zirinsky was never a scientific person regarding photography.

He was a man with great sensitivity and having a penchant for getting pictures with special feeling, above all in terms of acutance, vintage image aesthetics, special atmospheres captured, saturation, distinctive depiction of textures, unique bokehs and so on.

And Leica screwmount lenses are second to none in these aspects.

He never valued photographic lenses focusing only on their resolving power, contrast and sharpness, but also paying attention to a raft of other important sides and subtleties.

Moreover, Daniel Zirinsky (who strongly believed that the design of top class lenses is an art more than a product of computers, optical softwares or manufacturing automatic systems, so the human role is decisive) was an indefatigable researcher of the different colour renderings yielded by each specific lens, either warmer or colder, in addition to thouroughly study the diaphragms positions inside the lens barrels ( he was particularly enthralled by the exquisite and ten curved blades aperture of the Elmar 50 mm f/3.5, constantly round at every diaphragm ), the variations of sharpness between center, borders and corners of a wide range of lenses, the transitions between planes of focus with bokehs at largest apertures, their higher or lower uniformity of resolving power across the frame, the falloff at the edges as an aesthetic and creative means, etc.

And though praising and admiring incredibly perfect lenses like the 8 elements in 5 groups Summilux-M 50 mm f/1.4 ASPH designed by Peter Karbe, he was particularly happy on using some screw mount lenses designed by Max Berek, suffering from some chromatic aberrations but delivering very special signature, character and a unique image aesthetics of their own, like the uncoated Leitz Elmar 50 mm f/3.5 (1926-1944),

6 elements in 4 groups Summaron 35 mm f/3.5. Though far from being a stellar performer in terms of resolving power and contrast, it is a superb and tiny lens (200g) for artistic black and white photography, spawning very unique looking images thanks to its very special blend of vignetting, softness and contrast. It was one of David Zirinsky´s favourite lenses. 
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the Summaron 35 mm f/3.5 (1946-1960), the Summitar 50 mm f/2 (1939-1955), the Hektor 73 mm f/1.9 (1931-1946), the Thambar 90 mm f/2.2 (1935-1949), the thin Elmar 90 mm f/4 (1933-1948),

4 elements in 3 groups Elmar 90 mm f/4 (1949-1963) in LTM39 mount, a very small and light tele lens for its focal length (being 86 mm long, with a weight of 280 g) oozing beauty, elegance and class to spare, boosted by the chrome all over its surface and the narrow vulcanite band near its base. It boasts character, in addition to yielding very nice vintage colours, different from much modern lenses, and a very beautiful bokeh. In spite of being evidently very far from stellar performers like the Apo-Summicron-M 90 mm f/2 ASPH both in widest luminosity and resolving power /contrast attained, the Elmar 90 mm f/4 is still an excellent choice for portraiture, thanks to its incredible ergonomics, its unutterable convenience of use shooting handheld and the unique kind of vintage results it delivers, both in black and white and colour, making it also ideal for creative photography. 
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Elmar 90 mm f/4 (1949-1963) and others.

Moreover, though being a world-class collector of Leica photographic gear, Daniel Zirinsky always thought that Leica cameras and lenses are fundamentally photographic tools to be used and get pictures with them.

And he was likewise a discerning and very knowledgeable buyer of second hand products in good condition, which he personally checked thoroughly, paying heed to every detail, as proved by this sequence of him examining a Leica Digilux 2 camera with Leica DC Vario-Summicron 17-22.5 ASPH lens sold by Carl Merkin (a New York based professional photographer with 53 years of experience, veteran trader of Leica photographic gear having it down to a science and also a legendary member and director of the LHSA, who worked as sales representative in Leica Store Soho New York) in his booth during the 2008 LHSA Annual Meeting in Louisville (Kentucky) :

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Daniel Zirinsky and Carl Merkin grabbing the 5 megapixel Leica Digilux 2 at the same time. This great digital compact camera, designed by Professor Achim Heine in 2003, produced an excellent image quality thanks to its first-rate Leica DC Vario-Summicron 17-22.5 ASPH zoom lens. 
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A highly respected member of the LHSA wholeheartedly attending to its Annual Meetings and a fervent reader of

Cover of the Volume 41, Number 1, 2008 of Viewfinder, the LHSA gorgeous magazine, passionately perused by Daniel Zirinsky during his life, and which through strenuous effort and passion of decades has become the reference-class publication on Leica topics in the world along with Vidom and Leica Fotografie International. Particularly praiseworthy in this regard has been the great labour fulfilled by Bill Rosauer (Viewfinder Editor since year 2000, President Emeritus of the LHSA along with Rolf Fricke and James Lager, one of the most influential personalities in the history of the brand, who founded with his father in 1983 the second store in United States exclusively devoted to Leica products — the first one had been Photo Visuals Photo Visuals Minneapolis in 1979— with his shop in the suburban Chicago area, graduated in three Leica Akademies, remarkable expert on a wide variety of Leica subjects and great friend of Knut Kühn-Leitz, he has been a Leica user for 40 years, featuring a 30 years experience as a professional photographer, retailer and collector, having also served as a consultant to Leica Camera AG for twenty years on varios special projects, among them the fantastic " Total Wetzlar Experience " Der Leicaman Tours , including Leitz Park, Old Wetzlar and Haus Friedwart, which he organizes every year, without forgetting his great articles in 
Viewfinder, MacFilos, etc). 
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Leica Fotografie Number 5 of 1959 including a great 11 page article on the Leica photographer Izis Bildermanas with amazing pictures made by him in Paris and Israel, a dazzling indoor reportage of the Munic´s Oktoberfest made by Ernst Herb mostly with a Leica III coupled to Leitz Hektor 135 mm f/4.5 and Summarit 50 mm f/1.5, shooting handheld at f/4.5 and 1/30 s and at f/4 and 1/10 s, and delivering unique images with vintage image aesthetics wonderfully capturing the very special ambience of this event (particularly the colour one of page 205 made with Perutz C 18 film highlighting the beer jars), and a still life made by Herbert List. Daniel Zirinsky was a devoted reader of this magazine since early fifties, while he was still a fledging photographer, and learnt very much from its section " An Introduction to the Leica System ", written by experts like Josef Makovec, Walther Benser, Dipl.Ing. W. Häfner, Hans Saebens, Hermann Speer and others, as well as getting the knack of choosing between Paul Wolff´s " Long exposure, short development " and Beutler´s " Short exposure, long development " principles on using black and white films. 
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Leica Fotografie International,

First of the six page test made by Popular Photography magazine (one of Daniel Zirinsky´s favourite publications) to the Leica M6 rangefinder camera, ten years after its launching into market in 1984, hailing it as the best 24 x 36 mm camera at that time. It was the only 24 x 36 mm camera manufactured by the German photographic firm until the appearance of the Leica M7 in 2002 with aperture priority mode and electronically controlled shutter. With their thriving sales, these two rangefinder models consolidated the survival of the M camera breed that had been attained in 1976 by Walter Kluck (Enterprising President of Ernst Leitz Canada in Midland, Ontario, and a magician of cost estimating), when he convinced Ernst Leitz Wetzlar to transfer the production of the Leica M4-2 to Midland. Subsequently, Stefan Daniel (second to none in terms of passion and knowledge on Leica M cameras in the history of the brand) became from early nineties the key figurehead in the development, international expansion and knowledge of the Leica M concept, creating the first specifications for a digital M camera in 2001 and paving the way for the arrival of the Leica M8 in 2006 and particularly the Leica M9 in 2009, with which Leica managed to fulfill a stunning transition from analogue to the digital era, mainly thanks to the courage, love for the brand, stunning entrepreneurial skills and visionary mentality of Dr. Andreas Kaufmann, the man who saved Leica in 2005, becoming the main shareholder and architect of its prodigious turnaround until turning it into a reference-class brand in the digital scope, with a highly successful variety of state-of-the-art digital cameras and lenses in different formats, after pouring its heart and soul into Leica Camera AG and begetting a value creation engine within it. 
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Popular Photography,

Shutterbug magazine number of February 1989, announcing on its cover, among other things, a review of the Leica R6, an utterly mechanical slr workhorse, featuring a superb construction with noble materials (aluminum, bronze and zinc), a minimalist design and created to be put to its paces in the hardest professional contexts, so it´s no wonder that it was used by Sebastiao Salgado to do some of his picture essays. This camera was a departure from the usal trends of the time within dslr product segment, since it almost completely lacks any electronics (with the exception of the built-in light meter) and will keep on working at all shutter speeds if the batteries die. Anyway, it boasts a very sophisticated metering system for the time , with a silicon photodiode in the bottom of the mirror box receiving light refelected from a special reflector (consisting of 1,345 micro reflectors in a fresnel pattern) behind the mirror, and its viewfinder is exceedingly bright and contrasty, in synergy with the silky smoothness focusing of the superb Leica R lenses. Daniel Zirinsky was a persistent reader of Shutterbug and sometimes sent them copies of instructions manuals of specific products to help other readers. 
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Shutterbug and many other specialized illustrated photographic magazines, Daniel Zirinsky was a veteran and highly experienced photographer using both screwmount and M mount rangefinder Leica cameras and lenses, and had always a haptic conception of photography, firmly rooted on large prints as cornerstone of his images production.

That´s to say, photography was for Daniel Zirinsky an art which had to be depicted on photographic paper or first-string inkjet papers like Hahnemühle or Canson to be not only beholded but also touched and smelled.

" Leica Manual " for the Amateur and Professional Covering the Field of Leica Camera Photography, a landmark book written and published by Willard D.Morgan & Henry M. Lester. It was acquired by Daniel Zirinsky in mid fifties and was the most important work in its scope at that time, together with the also milestone Das Leica Buch, written by Theo Kisselbach in 1955 and published by Heering-Verlag. 
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Page 227 lower area from the January 1951 edition of the milestone book " Leica Manual ", written and published by Willard D. Morgan & Henry M. Lester, which was bought by Daniel Zirinsky in early fifties. He was particularly mesmerized by the chapters devoted to photojournalism, written by Arthur Rothstein, William Vandivert and Alfred Eisenstaedt, with black and white photographs mostly made by them. The image illustrating this page, made by 17 year old Stanley Kubrick in 1946 working for Look magazine with a Leica IIIc coupled to a Leitz Summar 50 mm f/2 shooting at f/2.8 and 1/8 seconds inside the New York underground, became a turning point in Daniel´s life, convincing him about the boundless possibilities of Leica rangefinder cameras shooting handheld at incredibly low shutter speeds and going unnoticed, even in the midst of very dim available light conditions inside a wagon at night, capturing the special mood of every instant. 
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And to attain that goal, he always strove after getting the best possible print, working hard for it during a lot of decades of intensive learning with first-class enlargers, albeit always understanding that the technical perfection of images is not the most significant thing, but the conveyance of feelings, atmospheres, sensations, emotions and a broad array of messages.

Daniel Zirinsky with his beloved wife Gilda Schiff sitting at their booth during the 2008 LHSA Annual Meeting in Louisville (Kentucky). She was always an accomplished artist, who influenced by his husband changed brush for a camera and lenses, making up a good team with Daniel, sharing a lot of photographic experiences and getting pictures in different countries. 
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And this raison d´être of photographic images was one of Daniel Zirinsky´s driving forces in his life, along with his great sense of humor, debonair nature and above all an unflinching love for his family.

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