Updated 26 page report on Leica from first still camera to Che Guevara to Cine Lenses. What am I doing in Wetzlar, sneaking around Solms, peering at pictures of Che? This report delves into the background leading up to Leica’s new Summilux-C Cine Lenses: provenance, production and people. Our story begins in a bank vault, somewhere near Wetzlar. We’re holding the first Leica ever made: the original 1913-1914 Oskar Barnack prototype 35mm still format camera, worth around 4 million dollars.
Most of us remember the iconic photograph of Che, by Alberto Korda, using a Leica camera. No other photo has been reproduced more often. Arguably, no other still camera captured the imagination or the events of the twentieth century more prominently than the lightweight, portable cameras from Ernst Leitz GmbH.
Our cast of characters includes Dr. Andreas Kaufmann, Managing Director of ACM Project Development and majority owner of Leica Camera AG. Iain Neil, international, multi-talented optical designer, with more technical Oscars than anyone else, designer of the Leica Summilux-C Cine Lenses. Otto Nemenz, President of Otto Nemenz International, the Hollywood motion picture camera rental company. Christian Skrein, photographer, filmmaker, collector and longtime friend of Otto Nemenz. Alfred Schopf, Chairman of the Board of Leica Camera. Erik Feichtinger, Managing Director of CW Sonderoptic. Band Pro Film & Digital, the exclusive worldwide distributor for Summilux-C Lenses.
Join us on a factory tour in Solms with the team that makes Leica Cine Lenses: from grinding and polishing multi-aspherical surfaces to assembly and testing.