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Leica Vintage Cameras

Leica is a German company that specialises in optics and cameras. The Leica camera is a high end specialist camera that is made to last a lifetime. Older versions of Leica camera models are great for camera collectors and photographers alike, as they make fantastic vintage cameras .

The camera was innovative in that the image frame was sideways for a 35mm film, instead of the cine-camera way of across the filmstrip. Photography using 35mm film changed the way we viewed images because of its versatile application.


Leica vintage cameras are compact and they have collapsible lenses. The rangefinder feature was added to later models. There is also a viewfinder camera that has interchangeable camera lenses .

Upgraded models featured slow speed shutter controls, with a fast shutter speed of 1/1000th. In the 1960s, Leica produced their single-lens reflex camera, manufactured in collaboration with Minolta. The R9 model had the option of a Digital Module back and the Leica R model included autofocusing.

As well as the Rangefinder and SLR models, Leica developed the Visoflex System, which is a mirror reflex body that can be attached to the lens mount of the rangefinder camera with lenses that were made specifically for the Visoflex system. Focusing was by a ground glass screen, rather than the rangefinder, and a coupling released the mirror and shutter for the exposure.

Leica rangefinder cameras were limited in being able to focus long focal length lenses accurately so the Visoflex system allowed for long length lenses. Leica are also well known for their range of aspherical production lenses, multicoated lenses and the rare earth lenses. Leica lenses for the Visoflex included focal lengths of 65mm, 180mm, 200mm, 280mm, 400mm, 500mm and 800mm. The optical groups of most of the rangefinder lenses could be removed and attached to the Visoflex camera via adapters.

A wide range of accessories are available for Leica cameras including the LTM screw mount lenses that could be used on M cameras via an adapter. Visoflex lenses could also be used on the Leicaflex and R cameras with an adapter. Some LTM and M rangefinder lenses had removal optical groups and Leica also produced focusing systems like the Focorapid and Televit, which could replace certain lens helicoid mounts for sports and natural life photography.

The earliest Leica camera was the PLOOT and one of the first 35mm SLR cameras, along with the Visoflex model.

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