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"Wie arbeitet man mit Leica Kamera" booklet 1929


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This very old "Wie" booklet dated April 1929 came with my 1929 Leica 1A (#14103) purchased almost 5 years ago from Latvia (Jerzy will recognise that camera). Being curious, I wanted to ask other literature enthusiasts about the "purpose" of this small 20 pages (without counting the covers) publication. Although I do not understand much German, it appears to be a basic introduction to the then-unusual small camera, its use, and the small "system" of equipment available to support the camera. Sort of a general "marketing" overview without many details.

Was this ever printed in English? Can our German owners summarise for us the contents of this old booklet? I have seen it on auction sites in different print dates, but I don't think it was continued much past 1931. The front and back covers have a stamp from a dealer - Riegler Optik-Photo, Munchen - but I doubt that store was the original seller of my camera 90+ years ago. It would be almost a miracle if the hardware and software are "connected".

 

Edited by ironringer
added [ general "marketing" ] in text
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1 hour ago, ironringer said:

This very old "Wie" booklet dated April 1929 came with my 1929 Leica 1A (#14103) purchased almost 5 years ago from Latvia (Jerzy will recognise that camera). Being curious, I wanted to ask other literature enthusiasts about the "purpose" of this small 20 pages (without counting the covers) publication. Although I do not understand much German, it appears to be a basic introduction to the then-unusual small camera, its use, and the small "system" of equipment available to support the camera. Sort of a general "marketing" overview without many details.

Was this ever printed in English? Can our German owners summarise for us the contents of this old booklet? I have seen it on auction sites in different print dates, but I don't think it was continued much past 1931. The front and back covers have a stamp from a dealer - Riegler Optik-Photo, Munchen - but I doubt that store was the original seller of my camera 90+ years ago. It would be almost a miracle if the hardware and software are "connected".

 

I will get the details of the original delivery and find out about 'Wie' for you . I was in the Leica Archives yesterday and they had a lot of Leica and  non Leica produced material and publications including 'Foto Woche' dating back to 1904 and continuing through the Leica era. They may also have this publication. I will do this for you as they may not reply about 'Wie' through the usual serial number query system. The chances of this having been translated into English are very slim.

On the same tack, checking von Einem's book after my visit to the Archives yesterday I found that, as well as the instruction manual, new I Model As were delivered with depth of field tables called 'Tiefenscharfe-Tabelle'. While I have the manual, I have never seen the original depth of field tables for the IA. The other interesting point made by von Einem about IA deliveries is that the IA set with the ETRIN leather case was delivered in a, usually plum coloured, box, which many customers chose to leave behind in the store. This means that today the boxes are much more rare than the ETRIN cases and that is why sets with the original box ( particularly matching number ones) fetch so much at auction. Also boxes may also show the number of the matching FODIS delivered with the set. You would also need to get the FILCAs and the cardboard tube container to get 'game. set and match', as they say in tennis.

Going back to 'Wie', I suspect this was intended to overcome some of the resistance to Leica from people who might have thought that it was difficult to get good results from such tiny negatives. People like Paul Wolff produced material and advised customers on how to do that. There is a little stamp from an organisation in Wetzlar on the bottom right hand corner. It looks like 'Scharfdrog' or something like that. 'Scharfdrog' would actually mean 'sharp drug'. I wonder if this was a publisher or a printer? In any event I would suspect that this publication was handed out to new IA owners as an aid to getting better pictures, but this may have been at the discretion of the dealer.

William

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Thank you William and I was sort of hoping that you or someone well-connected could track the original delivery location for my 1A. After buying it on the e-auction site, strictly based on the listing pictures that Jerzy had noticed, I had the Russian seller send it to Jerzy for inspection and servicing. He took it apart and reported happily that it was completely original, identical to a "type 5" 1A as per the von Eimen reference document. It did have the shutter curtains replaced, probably in the 1970s (old Ferrania Dia film tab was in its case).

Your comments about the Wie booklet contents make good senses - it was a general marketing and education booklet for the early years, not needed as the :Leica sales increased.

I look forward to your possibly finding the original delivery note for #14103 🙂. Pictures are attached, showing the "modern" lens cap that fits the old Elmar nicely.

 

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11 hours ago, ironringer said:

 

Was this ever printed in English? 

Yes, on the left, German version dated Sept. 1929, on the right English version, dated July 1930. Both with 8 full page photos, but only 6 are the same, as the 1930 version has 2 that are different. Of course, the text at the bottom of every photo is in German or English as appropriate.

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Thank you Alan, I was sure that if it existed in English, you would have one (or more) copies 🙂. Yours is in Mint condition - lovely old paper!

I would be interested in seeing a scan of the whole thing, when and if the spirit moves you. It is an interesting little booklet and quite appropriate for the early days of the Leica.

Below is my "hobby card" that I hand out to people when I ask them to pose for a picture - street photography on a personal level. It is surprising how many people especially young ladies are interested and ask about my vintage Leicas when I am strolling around (rarely, during this Covid pandemic) taking pictures. That usually leads to a conversation and a few remember their parents or grandparents having a Leica. These impromptu meetings are good photo opportunities, and the subjects enjoy receiving my picture scans 🙂. I took the picture of the wedding couple in Old Montreal, with my 1954 M3 and goggles Summaron 35mm, using ancient 2006 Kodak 400 film that still delivered good results.

 

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Your copy from April 1929 (list 2313b) is probably the second German publication of this booklet, I have a German copy dated July 1928 (list 2313a).

The English edition dated July 1930 is list 2390a.

My copies are in such good condition that I have my suspicion they are reprints, but nothing indicates that on them and the 1928 copy has 12 pages including the photographs you mention.

There is also a predecessor to the Wie booklet which was published in May 1927 (list 2275) with people writing about the virtues of the Leica Camera

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11 hours ago, willeica said:

 

, I have never seen the original depth of field tables for the IA. 

Here are two possibilities:  both in English, both from the printing office Schnitzler of Wetzlar

July 1929, 18 pages, E L New York List 2323b (includes supplementary front lenses)

August 1929  List 2427, 4 pages (Camera only, no supplementary front lenses)

 The numbers 3000 and 5000 appear after the date on the front cover, are these the number of copies originally printed of a given list number? Was the July (right) version printed in Germany then shipped to New York? I have seen several different printing firms, located in the Wetzlar/Frankfort area, that Leitz evidently used for their early literature needs.

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9 hours ago, alan mcfall said:

Here are two possibilities:  both in English, both from the printing office Schnitzler of Wetzlar

July 1929, 18 pages, E L New York List 2323b (includes supplementary front lenses)

August 1929  List 2427, 4 pages (Camera only, no supplementary front lenses)

 The numbers 3000 and 5000 appear after the date on the front cover, are these the number of copies originally printed of a given list number? Was the July (right) version printed in Germany then shipped to New York? I have seen several different printing firms, located in the Wetzlar/Frankfort area, that Leitz evidently used for their early literature needs.

Thanks Alan. I will look through my collection. I have a tiny exposure booklet which came with a Sinclair of London engraved II D. It actually fits in the back pocket of the ERC that came with the camera. Both the booklet and the ERC are marked Sinclair. I don’t recall having any such tables with a I A , but I will take a look at what I have.

William

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Well, I thought the dealer imprint on the back of the Wie booklet looked familiar. Here is my Leica I # 36621 with the dealer medallion inset into the back of the camera's vulcanite. I will have to check with the Archiv and the delivery records to find out more of the story. This camera has been in my collection for many years.

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For me as a literature/paper enthusiast, Leitz/Leica literature print codes are an interesting detail:

To answer Alan - yes those "000" numbers at the bottom of literature are 99%-likely print run quantities. Starting in the 19teens, Meccano and other European manufacturers used a "print code" on most product literature, showing a date, and sometimes with a printer company code number (if several printers were contracted), followed by a print quantity in thousands. Perhaps this became a common practice, or even an industrial standard in Europe. Apparently Leitz/Leica literature used a "Photo No." as a reference for the literature identification, plus a month-year date, and sometimes a print quantity. As we observe in this Wie booklet, some editions (varieties) of a piece of literature use the same Photo No. followed by different "letter codes" to identify the version.

In the 1950s Leitz/Leica started using a different date and print code for most product literature: xx/yy/zz..    , where xx = Roman numeral for month, yy - last 2 digits of the year, and zz.. = 2, 3 or 4 (or rarely, 5) capital letters to show some unknown-to-me information. Those last "code"letters  might be the edition, printer company, geographic location, print quantity, language, or ? An example is an M3 instruction manual in English (there are several variations over 10+ years) marked III/54/DLX for March 1954 and ???. I believe that is the first edition of the M3 manual. A much later M3 manual s marked X/65/FLX/SD printed in October 1965 and ??? I do not know what the string of capital letters stands for.

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