Leica Camera AG is a German optics enterprise constructing Leica cameras . The company is principally known for its lightweight,
high quality rangefinder cameras, which
have gained notority from the Leica being thir camera of choice for numerous famous street photographers. The forefather of the company, formerly known as Ernst Leitz
GmbH , has become three companies: Leica Systems AG, Leica Camera AG and Leica Microsystems GmbH, which builds cameras,
microscopes, and geosurvey equipment. Leica
Microsystems AG is the owner of the Leica brand and licenses the use to its sister companies.
The Leica I Schraubgewinde was produced in 1930 with a exchangeable lens system based upon a 39mm screw thread, regularly alluded to as " Leica Thread Mount" or LTM. Notwithstanding the 50 mm normal lens, a 35 mm wide-angle and a 135 mm telephoto lens were at first available. In the mid-1930s, the legendary soft-focus Thambar 90 mm f/2.2 was created, and built in small amounts somewhere around 1935 and 1949, with close to 3000 units. It is now a rare collectors item
The Leica II was manufactured in 1932, with a built-in rangefinder attached to the lens focusing mechanisn. This model had a seperate viewfinder (allowing for a reduced image) and rangefinder. The flange to filmplane was
standardized to 28.8mm in 1932, and initially executed on the Leica model C, and on the Leica Standard the next year.
The Leica III added slow speeds down to 1 second, while the model III created a shutter speed of 1/1000 second. The IIIa was the last model made before Barnack's passing, and along these lines the last model for which he was completely responsible. Leitz kept on refining the original design until 1957. The last version, the IIIg, incorporated a large viewfinder including several framelines. These models all had a functional mix of circular dials along with square windows.
Early Leica cameras contained the initials D.R.P., which stands for for Deutsches Reichspatent, the name for German patents prior to May 1945. This is most likely a reference to German patent No. 384071 "Rollfilmkamera" given to Ernst Leitz, Optische Werke in Wetzlar, in November of 1923.