Videos on the Leica History (German only)

Filme zur Leica Geschichte


April 26th 2013 is the 170th anniversary of the birth of Ernst Leitz I (1843–1920), who turned a small optical workshop in Wetzlar into an optics company of world renown. At the beginning of the 20th century, the Ernst Leitz Optical Works rapidly became one of the leading suppliers of microscopes and optical products. In 1924, Ernst Leitz II (1871–1956) made the decision to put the “apparatus” of his R&D manager Oskar Barnack into series production. From an instrument for exposing test strips for cinema film, Barnack had developed the world’s first successful 35 mm photo camera: the “Leica” (Leitz Camera). Although the Leica brand meanwhile represents three independent companies without any legal, operative or financial ties - Leica Microsystems GmbH, Leica Camera AG und Leica Geosystems AG – these companies share a common history. This history is illuminated by the two films presented here.

Die Leica-Geschichte

YouTube video by hr-fernsehen,

Germany: 2011

Leica – a term that conjures up many a covetous gleam in the eye. After all, it is not just any camera, but the miniature camera, which in the Twenties revolutionized the world of photography. The history of the company that brought the Leitz camera on the market began in 1869 in Wetzlar: Ernst Leitz took over there at that time the senior small optical workshop of Carl Kellner, were built in the microscope.

Leica – ein Begriff, der vielen ein begehrliches Glitzern in die Augen zaubert. Denn schließlich handelt es sich nicht um irgendeinen Fotoapparat, sondern um die Kleinbild-Kamera, die in den zwanziger Jahren die Welt der Fotografie revolutionierte. Die Geschichte der Firma, die die Leitz-Kamera auf den Markt brachte, begann 1869 in Wetzlar: Dort übernahm damals Ernst Leitz senior die kleine optische Werkstatt von Carl Kellner, in der Mikroskope gebaut wurden.

Ernst Leitz Optische Werke Wetzlar

YouTube video by Deutsches Filminstitut – DIF e.V.

Germany before 1932
Director: Oskar Barnack

Brought to you by "filmarchives online", the web gateway to European film archives:
With the support of the MEDIA Plus programme of the European Community.

A portrait of the Leitz factory. Following a view of Wetzlar and the Leitz factory from Kalsmunt, the film introduces several departments of the company: milling, engraving, lens cutting, and adjusting. The film also shows the assembly of a microscope and a Leica. This Leica eventually allows to date the film: it is a Leica 1, production of which was stopped in 1932, when it was replaced by a camera with exchangeable objective lenses.

Firmenporträt der Leitz-Werke. Nach einem Blick auf die Stadt Wetzlar und die Leitz-Werke vom Kalsmunt aus stellt der Film verschiedene Abteilungen der Firma vor: die Fräserei, die Graviererei, die Linsenschleiferei, die Justierabteilung. Der Film zeigt weiterhin den Zusammenbau eines Mikroskops und einer Leica. Aufgrund dieser Leica lässt sich der Film datieren: Es handelt sich um eine Leica 1, deren Produktion 1932 auslief und die durch eine Kamera mit Wechselobjektiv ersetzt wurde.

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