Leica IIIC c.1940-c.1946

Leica IIIC

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Oscar Barnack developed the first 35 mm camera in 1913, while working for the Leitz Company. Before accurate meters, cine photographers had to first expose film to determine the correct exposure. Barnack designed a pocket sized camera for test exposures, and doubled the size of cine film to 24x36mm (standard 35 mm) to get accurate test results.  Although Barnack did not intend to make prints from the negatives, the idea that you could create a large picture with a small negative influenced the design of the Leica—the first 35mm camera available to the public.

Over the years, the Leitz Company updated the Leica with new lens, coupled viewfinders, and rangefinders. Shutter innovations allowed photographers to easily control exposure time for the best possible photograph. The Leica III came out with a slow and fast shutter speed—1 second and 1/1000 second. Many photographers considered the Leica the top quality camera of the century.

The Evolution of 20th Century Camera Technology from the William B. Cavanaugh Collection