Leica Milestone

May 12, 2013


Milestones in the Leica product history

1849 The optician and mathematician Carl Kellner founds an optical institution for the development of lenses and microscopes in Wetzlar.
1887 The 10,000th microscope is produced.
1907 Start of binocular production under the management of Max Berek.
1914 Oskar Barnack creates the Ur-Leica.
1923 Production of the first 25 prototypes of a small-format 35mm camera named the “Null-Serie” for test purposes.
1925 The Leica with built-in collapsible lens is presented at the Spring Trade Fair in Leipzig. 1,000 cameras were produced in the first year alone. The first small-format enlarger is introduced under the name of FILAR.
1926 The first small-format 35mm projector is launched under the name of ULEJA.
1930 The first Leica camera with interchangeable threaded mount and three vest pocket lenses is launched. The Lehr-Atelier is set up in the optical factory Ernst Leitz in Wetzlar to introduce researchers, technicians, journalists and scientists to the advantages of small-format photography in both theory and practice.
1932 The Leica II with coupled rangefinder and built-in viewfinder is made available for the first time. Additional screw-mount lenses enter the market. Leica photographers now have seven vest pocket lenses with standardized thread at their disposal. The Leica II with the serial number 100,000 is manufactured.
1934 The Leica 250, dubbed the “Reporter”, contains 10 meter film and delivers 250 exposures without reloading. Combined with a spring motor, it becomes the preferred device used in reconnaissance aircraft by the German air force.
1954 The Leica M3 with bayonet mount and high-magnification rangefinder marks the end of an era for screw thread cameras. Film transport is made significantly easier with the use of a rapid-wind lever.
1957 The Leica IIIg ,the last Leica screw thread model, is introduced.
1963 Groundbreaking new development in the form of LEICA Trinovid binoculars is presented at the Photokina exposition. It featured an elegant new slim line design, a new central focusing control, and a true internal-focus system to prevent suction when adjusting.
1965 The Leicaflex marks the first Leica single-lens reflex camera to enter series production.
1966 The Leica Noctilux 1:1.2/50 mm is the first 35mm camera with an aspherical element.
1967 The Leica M4 is launched with a simplified film loading system and new rewind crank.
1968 The Leicaflex SL is the first camera in the world with selective-area metering.
1971 The Leica M5 is the first rangefinder camera in the world with selective light measurement through the taking lens.
1973 The Leica CL is launched as a compact rangefinder camera. A new factory in Portugal starts operation.
1975 Newly developed glass types enable the construction of the extremely high-aperture objective, the famed Leica Noctilux 1:1.0/50 mm.
1976 The Leica R3 is the first electronic Leica with selective/integral light measurement.
1980 The Leica R4 is the first Leica with multi-program automatic exposure.
1984 The Leica M6 with selective light measurement and LED display in the finder is launched.
1988 The Leica R6 with mechanically controlled shutter is announced.
1989 The first Leica compact camera LEICA AF-C1 is launched.
1990 The binocular series LEICA TRINOVID BA is launched with newly developed lenses and a totally redesigned mechanism.
1992 Leica introduces the first binocular with integrated laser rangefinder: Geovid 7×42 BD.
1994 The first digitally controlled Leica is presented, the LEICA R7.
First Leica lens with molded asperical lens is introduced.
Leica introduces the first Leica spotting scope: Leica Televid.
1996 The microprocessor-controlled single-lens reflex camera, Leica R8, is launched.
1998 The Leica M6 TTL with TTL flash exposure measurement is introduced. The Leica Digilux is launched – the first digital Leica compact camera.
1999 With the Leica C1, the new design series in Leica compact cameras, is launched
2002 Leica M7 with automatic timer providing digital countdown digital display of long exposures.
The Leica R9 with low weight and extended flash control options is launched.
Leica Duovid is worldwide the first high performance binocular with dual magnification.
2003 The new binocular range Leica Ultravid in a new design and improved optical system is launched. A digital rear panel for the Leica R9 is announced.
2004 The Geovid is redesigned – more compact and improved construction: Geovid 8×42 BRF.
2005 The Digital-Modul-R is introduced and the analog R8/R9 becomes a digital SLR-camera.
2006 Leica introduces the digital rangefinder camera Leica M8.
2009 Leica introduces the digital rangefinder camera Leica M9.
2013 Leica introduces the digital rangefinder camera Leica M type 240.