Leica I(a) - Antique and Vintage Cameras

Leica I(a)

1925

E. Leitz G.M.B.H.

Wetzlar

Germany

Image of Leica I(a)

Lens:
f3.5, 5 cm Elmar, iris diaphragm to f18.

Shutter:
Focal-plane, speeds 1/20 - 1/500, B. Speeds are varied by delaying the second blind.

Construction:
Vulcanite covered metal body.

Format:
36, 24 x 36 mm exposures on 35 mm cine film held in cassette, film is re-wound into cassette.

Focusing:
Helical to 1 metre.

Attributes:
Direct-vision (lens/lens) view-finder.
Auto-stop on film-advance coupled to shutter. Film-advance tensions shutter. Exposure counter.

Identification:
Version with: 7 speed shutter dial, early base catch, dimpled shutter release, short film-advance knob.

Serial Number:
10489 (1928) .

Notes:
Address on close-up lens box: Otto Krauss. Konigstr 60. Nürnberg.

With:

  • Lens cap.
  • Removable rangefinder, scaled to 1 metre. Swing mirror giving double image 85 mm base. Small dial version with yellow filter, serial number: 34759.
  • Elpet close-up lens No. 3. Version without infill to the engraving. In early box.
  • 2 Cassettes in early cardboard double holder. Case for camera, rangefinder and cassettes.
  • Yellow filter 1, early type stepped mount. In early box.

Although the Leica introduced no innovations the combination of elements produced a camera that was to prove very popular and become the archetype of cameras into the 1960s. A precision built miniature camera using cine-film with a focal-plane shutter, easy to use and always ready to use were the characteristics of the camera. Later the coupled rangefinder and range of lenses and accessories would be equally important.

The cardboard cassette holder pre-dates the aluminium version. This is an early ETRIN case, the straps are riveted to the case later they would swivel, the brown buckle was later replaced by a chrome version.

Code Names:
FOFER - rangefinder. ELPET - close-up lens. FILCA - cassette. ETRIN - case. FILBY - filter.

References & Notes:
Leica shutter. BP 235560/1924. BJA 1924, p. 285 (FOFER). BJA 1925, p. 363. BJA 1926, pp. 328, 763. Hasbroeck, Leica.

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