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I am told that this section of the forum has occurred because of a suggestion that I made, so I'll run with it.


Over the years I have amassed a fairly large collection of Leica books in several languages. This is for me partly a reference library for some of the articles I write in LHSA's Viewfinder magazine, partly for pleasure reading, and, let's face it, because like many of us here I like to collect things, and books are cheaper than Leicas. My specialty has been books written by the early Leica photographer Dr. Paul Wolff, and I will happily offer to anyone here a PDF of my bibliography on that gentleman.


One Leica book I have searched for fruitlessly is the 10th anniversary publication by the German Leica Society (Leica Historica): Geburtstage der Leitz Fotokonstruktionen ab 1927 by Wilhelm Albert. This book is long out of print, but allegedly shows many prototypes and odd Leica models. So if anyone reading this has one to sell, or even to discuss, please let's hear from you.


And if you wish to discuss any Leica-related book, this is the place.



Edited by Edward Schwartzreich
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Wish I had taken German in school

I have a few in translation (Osterloh and Benser come immediately to mind) but it's not quite the same thing. My favorite Leica books are the ones by Brian Bower and Erwin Puts, perhaps because I've had the pleasure of meeting both of those fine gentlemen and have their inscriptions in my copies.
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I've also long been looking for the volume Ed mentions. Also the so-called Hahne List (I seem to recall it appears in this volume). If the List is not copyright protected any more, and any member could find the time to scan a PDF of it, then I (and I am sure others here) would be very grateful.


Speaking of gratitude, Ed, I would heartily thank you for a copy of your Wolff bibliography. I'd be glad to send you my email address by PM, though you might already have access to it, as I am an LHSA member.



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  • 1 month later...

Great work, Ed!


I just checked two German ressources (which you may have checked too):


ZVAB (Zentralverzeichns Antiquarischer Bücher)

ZVAB.com (Millions of Used Books, Rare Books and Out-of-Print Books)


Lindemanns Fotobuchhandlung in Stuttgart (the forum has a partner shop there)

start Lindemanns Buchhandlung


They list the book but don't have it available:

start Lindemanns Buchhandlung


Best regards from Bonn


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  • 9 months later...

Ed, I've finally managed to secure Wilhelm Albert's volume, as well as a bound photocopy of the Hahne List.  The former is decidedly very interesting:  Albert's documentation (mostly consisting of 175 picture pages) of Leitz's prototypes from 1927 to 1961.  Many of these items reappear in Lars Netopil's lavishly illustrated "Prototyp Leica" (2010) - a book to be consulted alongside Albert's.  Both books are precious documents of the rich material that Leica Camera AG raided from its own factory museum in 2003, selling off to private collectors during those dark days of imminent bankruptcy - Netopil documents the trove of presumably the largest of these collectors, the Thai millionaire Surat Osathanugrah.  (Incidentally, I wonder what will or has happened to Mr. Osathanugrah's collection since his death in 2008 - alas, irretrievably dispersed?)


In any case, since today's factory museum in Wetzlar is a poor shadow of what it once was, and the company pays little more than commercial lip-service to 'old Leicas' (as reflected pitifully in the recent company policy not to service any equipment from before 1960!), these are hugely important books for anyone interested in photographic history.  They document the enormous variety and evolutionary vigour of the Leica ecosystem before and after World War II, and would be a salutary reminder to any company (including Leica, if it would only pay attention) that it should never have complacent ideas of its perceived position on an evolutionary 'ladder':  "Look in the mirror, and don't be tempted to equate transient domination with either intrinsic superiority or prospects for extended survival."  (Stephen Jay Gould)

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