Sunday, October 28, 2012

The camera outfit a well dressed photographer wore in the early 1930's
Leica Standard 1932-33
The Leica camera was introduced in 1925, but a truly practical consumer model did not appear until the Leica Standard of 1932.  The Standard introduced interchangeable lenses, used 35mm cine film that you could roll yourself onto self contained film canisters, and had shutter speeds from 1/20 - 1/500 sec.  Most photography was done in black and white. The first 35mm Kodachrome slide film would not appear until 1936 with a speed rating of ASA10 (now referred to as ISO10).

The 1932 Leica Standard was the first really practical 35mm camera model with interchangeable lenses.  It is shown here with a leather case that could hold the camera, its 50mm f/3.5 collapsible Leitz Elmar lens, accessory rangefinder, and a holder for two rolls of 35mm film.

The camera had a viewfinder but no internal focusing device.  Instead, you could mount an accessory rangefinder on top to measure distance.  Once this has been determined the lens was focusing ring was turned to match the distance scale on the rangefinder.

You would determine distance by looking through the top window and turning the dial until two split-images coincided.  You looked through the lower window to frame the picture. 

The Leica was originally made to accept 35mm film from the cine industry.  You would load the film into canisters, like the one shown above, put it into the base of the camera after removing the base plate, and thread the film leader across to a spool on the other side.

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