1940 Leica Manual

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Humansvillian Senior Member • Posts: 1,968
1940 Leica Manual

Leitz Ad from 1940 Leica Manual

Micro Four Thirds lovers have a lot in common with Leica lovers of many years ago.

When the Leica came out in 1925 it began the long drift towards “miniature photography”.

The Leitz company had to convince the users of big, heavy large and medium format cameras that a little dinky 35mm film strip camera was more than a toy for amateurs.

Beginning in 1935 the Leitz company came out with a beautiful Leica Manual that was only partially a operator’s guide, but mostly glorious propaganda promoting the 35mm Leica.

I ordered on eBay the 1940 Leica Manual that was the 1937 Third Edition revised December 1939.

World War Two was on, U boats were prowling the Atlantic, and yet Leitz was still pushing the Leica for American customers.

1940 Leica Manual

I’ve ordered a 1953 and 1955 and already own the 1973 Leica Manual.

The average price is $15 delivered.

Every few years the Leica Manual was completely revised and they are chock full of articles and contributions from famous photographers of the era.

The reason for the Leica (and it’s many imitators) then is the reason for Micro Four Thirds today.

It’s not the biggest format, but the smallest that offers true professional level images for small, lightweight, full featured cameras.

And if you love history, the Leica Manual is a treasure trove of the past.

I’d reckon that the supply of Leicas was cut off completely to the USA after Pearl Harbor on December 7 1941.

But in December 1939 Leitz was still peddling Leicas in New York City.

Fascinating stuff, for history buffs.

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