When Oskar Barnack conceived and maufactured
the first 35mm rangefinder camera in 1925 at Ernst
Leitz, the Leica (Leitz Camera)
cult status was born. Leica cameras were copied
by most other camera manufacturers, but Leica's
superiority in both optics and engineering prevailed
for a long time.
Today, Leica has partnered with consumer electronics
giant Panasonic to produce digital cameras. The
partners complement each other ideally with their
different expertise: Panasonic contributes the
electronics know-how and Leica the optics know-how.
A friend of my father had taught himself photography
and had achieved some fame, especially with landscape
photography. He taught me how to develop and print
in B&W and helped me with my first compact
35mm film camera purchase when I left for the
US [heading to UT@Austin].
I also distinctly remember him trading his two
Nikon F[?] SLRs for a Leica R[?]. He proudly showed
us his new camera and promptly left for China
on assignment. The pictures he brought back were
widely exhibited and published. Seeing these beautiful
pictures, it was only at that time that the Leica
legend took hold in my mind.