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Leica History

1849
"Optical Institute" established in Weltzar for the development of lenses and microscopes.

1869
Ernst Leitz becomes manager and expands company under his name.

1924
Ernst Leitz II decides to introduce a 35 mm camera designed by Oskar Barnack.

1925
Leica camera introduced.

1952
Midland, Ontario manufacturing plant constructed.

1954
M3 Introduced

1957
M2 Introduced with a new rangefinder design enabling field view of 35mm lens.

1966
M4 Introduced with rapid film advance. It has 4 frames for 35mm, 50mm, 90mm, and 135mm lenses.

1971
M5 Introduced with TTL metering in a larger body.

1977
M4-2. Old body dimenssions, cost reduced by elimination of self timer, redesigned finder, hot shoe and improved flash synchronization. Some gears changed from brass to allow motorwinder. Canadian manufactured. Best buy because bodies are not popular with collectors.

1980
M4-P. Added 28mm and 75mm frames.

1984
M6 Introduced.

1986
Portugal plant constructed.

1990
Merger of Wild Leitz Holding AG with the Cambridge Instrument Company.(including Zeiss-Ikon).

1996
Takes over Minox and becomes a public company.

Last modified: Tue, 26-Jun-01 22:21:42 PDT