Leica Cameras

  • LeicaFlex In April of 1970, I bought a LeicaFlex camera, with a Summicron lens from New York's Willoughby-Peerless, which was regarded as the most prestigious camera store in the world. The list price was $750, but I paid $485. The camera came in three boxes, for the body, lens, and a leather case. Here is the warrantee from the Leitz, Inc.

    It was one of the happiest moments in my life. The only problem was that it was so valuable to me that I kept it in my closet and seldom used it. Yet, I managed to take photos of some important places and events, including some "must see" places in Washington, DC. Let us see them.

    1. White House in 1972. Richard Nixon was the president of the United States. He appeared to be OK at that time.
    2. Lincoln Memoral and the reflection pool. Here is Lincoln's statue in the memorial.
    3. Washington Monument and Reflection Pool seen from the Lincoln Memorial.
    4. Iwojima Memorial and the Marine honor guards.
    5. Watergate Complex seen from the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts.

    Alas, in May of 1977, a burglar came into my house and took away all of my photographic instruments, including this LeicaFlex. During this seven-year period since 1970, the price of this camera became more than doubled, and my insurance company, after a critical review, paid me $1,074. This amount includes replacement costs for other devices (including a spring-driven movie camera), but they were obsolete and I wanted to get rid of them. Leica seems to be a good investment. These days, it costs as much as $10,000 to own a genuine Leica camera.

Leica Cameras in Digital Age

  • Leica V-Lux 1 (with Leica Elmarit Lens). Let us stop fooling around. Electronic Leicas are affordable. This V-Lux model looks like and operates like a single-lens reflex. But this model does not have a moving mirror, thanks to new electronic technology. Like all other Leica cameras, this Leica gives photos without spherical distortion.

    I bought this camera for $800 in 2007, and use it at important occasions. Since then, Leica (made by Panasonic) introduced new models in this series, such as Leica V-Lux 4 and V-Lux (Type 114) in the price range from $1100 to $1300. These days, the Leica V-Lux 1 is available mostly as an used item. However, on February 12 (2015), one new V-Lux 1 was avialable from Amazon.com for $1948. Here again Leica was a good investment.

    In spite of the pleasure of owning of a Leica camera, the camera body is bulky, and it is not convenient to carry this camera while travelling. I thus had to go back to a Lumix camera with a Leica lens.

      M1 Garand (top) weighing 5 kg, and
      M1 Carbine weighing 2.5 kg.
  • I then came up with the concept of M1 and Carbine. During World War II, American soldiers used two different rifles. One of them was M1 Garand, and the other one was M1 Carbine. The Garand was a heavy infantry rifle weighing 10 pounds. The Carbine was a light-weight rifle (6 pounds) for army engineers, artillery men, medics, and other people whose primary combat duties are not shooting at enemies.

    They used again those two machines during the Korean War, and the Korean army adopted this American culture. The Korean name for M1 Garand was simply M1. The name for M1 Carbine was just Carbine. I thus grew up in the world of M1 and Carbine.

Contax Cameras

Digital cameras can change your world.