History of creation and overview of Leica cameras

Inexperienced in the photo, a person may think that “Watering” is a kind of contemptory name for a camera that does not differ outstanding qualities. The one who is focused in manufacturers and models of cameras will never be mistaken – for him Leica is a generally accepted brand causing if not awe, then at least respect. This is one of those cameras that are worthy of comprehensive attention as lovers and professionals.

History of creation

To succeed in any industry, you need to be the first. Leica did not become the first small-informant apparatus, but it is the very first mass chamber of a small size, that is, the manufacturer managed to establish a conveyor factory issue and ensure sales by low cost. The author of the first prototype of the camera of the new brand, which appeared in 1913, became Oscar Barnak.

He described his brainchild, he simply described and tastefully: “Little negatives are big photos”.

The German manufacturer could not afford the release of an unverified and imperfect model, because Barnaka had to work very long and hard to work on the improvement of his aggregate. Only in 1923, the head of the barnaca Ernst Leitz agreed to release a new device.

On the store shelves, it appeared even after 2 years called Leca (the first letters of the name of the chief), then the trademark was decided to make more harmful – added one letter and sequence number of the model. So born famous leica i.

Even the initial model received a deafening success, but the creators did not rest on the laurels, and instead decided to expand the model range. In 1930 he saw the light of Leica Standard – unlike the predecessor, this chamber allowed to change the lens, especially since the same manufacturer himself released them. After another 2 years, Leica II appeared – a compact camera with a built-in optical rangefinder and a conjugate lens focus.

In the Soviet Union, licensed “Lakes” appeared almost immediately at the time of the start of release and also became very popular. From the beginning of 1934, the USSR has begun the release of its own FED cameras, which was an exact copy of Leica II and was produced for two decades. Such a domestic device cost almost three times cheaper than the German original, besides during the Great Patriotic War, caused much less unnecessary issues.


Nowadays, Leica’s camera is already unlikely to claim photographic leadership, but it is an eternal classic – a model that is focused on. Despite the fact thatThe release of new models continues, even the old models still provide very good shooting quality, Not to mention the fact that such a vintage camera looks prestigious.

But not only those are good “Lakes”. At one time, they were very highly appreciated for the thoughtful build structurality – the unit was light, compact and easy to manage.

Yes, today its characteristics have already been exceeded by competitors, but for a film camera he is still good, even if it are about the very first models. It is safe to say that once “Lake” was noticeably averaged her time, because now it does not look like an anachronism. Unlike other cameras of the time, the shutter of the German miracle of technology practically did not click.

The popularity of the brand says at least that for decades “Lakes” in our country in general, any little informant cameras were called – first the domestic analogue of the FED, and then the products of other plants. An unpretentious original perfectly showed itself in the years of World War II – many photos from the Western Front were filmed by correspondents precisely on such a device.

After World War II, competitors began to be increasingly active – primarily Nikon. For this reason, the real Leica began to lose popularity and depart to the background, although photographers of the whole world, many decades later considered such an aggregate by a real masterpiece. This can be confirmed in the same cinema, whose characters even in the 21st century are very proud of the fact of possession of such equipment.

Although the golden times of “watering” have long passed, it is impossible to say that it disappeared completely and no longer in demand. The brand exists and continues to work on new models of equipment. In 2016, the well-known manufacturer of Huawei smartphones boasted collaboration with Leica – Its then flagship P9 possessed a double camera issued with the direct participation of the legendary company.

The lineup

The variety of existing Like models is such that you can choose for yourself a branded camera for any needs. A full review of all models could stretch, so we will only highlight the best – relatively new promising models, as well as the unstasive classic.

Leica Q

A relatively new model of a compact digital camera in the “Soapny” design – with a lens that can not be replaced. The diameter of the standard lens – 28 mm. Full-frame matrix for 24 megapixel causes browsers to compare the capabilities of this chamber with the abilities of the camera built into iPhone.

Visually Q looks like an old good classic, very much reminds the models of the famous Series M. Nevertheless, autofocus and electronic viewfinder are present.

Designers also markedly relieved this model compared to classic and wearing it became more convenient.

Leica SL

This model, the manufacturer tried to challenge all the mirror cameras – the unit is supplied as a mirrorless and at the same time as a future technology. The device is positioned as professional, the creators convince the potential buyer that the autofocus here works much faster than almost any competitors.

As it should be a digital camera, this “watering can not only makes photos, but also removes video, and in the fashionable now the resolution of 4k. “Professionalism” of the chamber is that it instantly responds to the first call of the owner. It is compatible with the good hundreds of the lenses of the same manufacturer. If necessary, the unit can be connected to a computer via USB 3.0 and keep shooting right so.

Leica CL / TL

Another series of digital models designed to prove that “Lake” will still show. Models inherent standard for manufacturer 24-megapixel sensor. The great advantage of the series is considered to be its ability to instantly pick up a bunch of personnel – the mechanics of the device is such that in a second you can save up to 10 pictures. At the same time, autofocus does not lag behind, and all pictures remain clear and high-quality.

As it should be a good modern aggregate, representatives of the series are compatible with a huge variety of lenses for every taste. Those captured on the camera can almost instantly transfer to the smartphone through a special Leica Fotos application, which means that your masterpieces will see everything!

Leica Compact

This line is distinguished by relatively modest sizes of the camera, which could not but affect its name. The digital unit has a somewhat understated amount of megapixels (20.1 MP), which does not prevent him from doing excellent photos by resolution up to 6k.

The focal length of the “compacts” can vary within 24-75 mm, the provided optical zoom – four-time. In the speed of shooting, this model even exceeds many competitors from the Leica itself – the manufacturer declares that the unit is able to make 11 frames every second.

Leica M

This legendary series at one time began with film aggregates – these are the most luxurious in their practicality and the quality of the camera that journalists of the distant past. Sure, The designers have worked out that even this series is visible – today it consists of digital models capable of competing professional mirror cameras of leading manufacturers.

In the newest models, designers tried to improve the battery life of the camera. For this purpose, they used a special sensor and processor, characterized by increased efficiency.

Thanks to this, not even the largest (according to modern standards) of the battery 1800 mA * h enough for considerable time.

Leica S

Even against the background of others, “Leeks”, at all, not lagging behind world trends, this looks like a real “beast”. This is a model for journalists working in the most intense atmosphere. Sensor and autofocus here are flawless – they are always ready to shoot. 2 GB of RAM (at the level of good laptops 10 years ago) make it possible to make a series of 32 frames – this is enough to illuminate the most vivid sports events.

For maximum practicality, all the basic settings are removed directly on the display – you can almost instantly adjust the shooting conditions. This is a worthy choice for a modern professional profession.

Leica X

Against the background of his colleagues, “X” looks very modestly because it is only 12 megapixels. Wherein Eating people know that even such a quantity with adequate execution of the matrix is ​​quite enough for ordinary photos – It is only smartphone manufacturers in competitive struggle to overestimate their quantity, without changing the quality of the photo.

The budget model does not reach the level of the professional chamber, but for amateur shooting is suitable for all one hundred.

The key feature of the model is its vintage design – The surroundings may think that you, like a real bohem, shoot on the perfectly preserved old device. At the same time, there will be a liquid crystal display and all those useful functions that are considered the norm in a modern camera.

Leica Sofort

This model is so inexpensive that any amateur photo can afford it – at the same time it will still receive the level of quality, typical of “watering”. This model designers created with an eye on the maximum ease of photographing – the owner may not be rummaged in the settings, but simply put the lens, pull the shutter and get a beautiful and bright photo.

Nevertheless, Leica would not be if he had not left the consumer with independently experimenting with the settings, in order to get the space for maneuver.

If you know in advance what you will be photographing, you can tell it to your camera – It is pre-installed several modes that are perfect for common situations. This is definitely the best solution for the newcomer in the world of photos – at first trusting automatic settings, over time it will be experimenting and learned to play with the picture.

Tips for choosing

Brand Leica offers a wide selection of models of cameras for every taste – this means that every amateur and professional will find something worthy of attention without refusing to the firm’s interested. At the same time, it is not worth blindly taking the most expensive camera, hoping that it is the best – you may not need those functions for which you pay.

Pay attention to the following important characteristics.

  • Film and figure. Classical Leica, Certainly, film, because then there was no alternative. Those who chase for the brand for the sake of maximum vintage and the charm of the old days are worth paying attention to the film model, but there is one snag – the firm, trying to be modern, such a long time does not release. This means that the supporters of the film will have to first look for such a camera from the hands, and then each time to engage in the film. If this is all not for you and you like modern technology with the best features for setting the camera, then, of course, pay attention to new models.
  • Camera type. “Watering” for some reason dislikes “Sls” – at least among its top models there are no such. Comparatively inexpensive brand products refers to compact cameras, and even there is a ruler that is called – Compact. These are the very “soapboxes”, which are sharpened to automatic configuration and instant photographing – they will definitely enjoy the beginners. At the same time, the company never refuses to provide the consumer with the opportunity to adjust the modes on their own. As for the “midwakes”, to which most modern LEICA models include, they have already lost the main disadvantage in the form of a slow autofocus, and in terms of the quality of the picture significantly exceed the “Sls”. Another thing is that a newcomer such an aggregate will not be affordable – the price in dollars can easily be five-digit.
  • The matrix. In expensive brand models, the matrix is ​​full-size (36 per 24 mm), with such a technique you can even shoot a movie. Models are simpler equipped with APS-C matrices – for the semi-professional. Non-consumers love to chase the number of megapixels, but it is not so important if the matrix is ​​small. “Watering” can not afford to displaced a small matrix, because its possible 12 megapixels is not at all the same as the same characteristic for the smartphone camera. Experts argue that 18 megapixels in such a camera – this is already the level of printing of posters and billboards, and this is unlikely to use it.
  • Zoom. Remember that digital zoom is a hoax, a software increase of a piece of quality photo when pruning all extra. This zoom, interesting for professional, is optical. It allows lenses to zoom in the picture, without losing its quality or permission.
  • Photosensitivity. The larger range, the more your model is adapted for photographing in different illumination conditions. For amateur chambers (not “leaks”) of a good level of the norm 80-3200 ISO are considered. For shooting indoors and with weak light, lower indicators are needed, with too bright light – higher.
  • Stabilization. At the time of shooting, the photographer can flow a hand, and it will spoil the frame. To this not happen, the digital (software method) and optical (lens not immediately “floats” after the body) stabilization. The second option is definitely more reliable and better, today it is already the norm for a good chamber.

Brief overview of Leica cameras, see the following video.

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