13 Jun Bill’s old Leica IID: Witness to a century of turmoil
Here I am fresh back from the Leitz factory in 1932 with a brand new rangefinder on my top plate
I would like to introduce myself. Today, the Englishman calls me “Barnack” in honour of my designer but over the years I have been known by many names, and held in many hands. If you will indulge me, I shall tell you some of my story.
I was born in 1930, in a small town in Germany called Wetzlar. It was a fine day in early Summer. Mensch, was I not a sight to see in those days! My elegant suit of midnight black vulcanite fitted me like a glove, and was set off by my glossy black top and bottom plates. I thought I was—what was that word we used then—“snazzy”.
At first I was known by my birth name, LENEU. I was the last word in those days. Unlike my predecessors I was born with the ability to change lenses! Oh how I looked down on my older brothers. At the factory I was introduced to a lens called ELMAR and we got together famously from the outset. He was a clever chap—he could extend forwards, and click into place to take a picture. He was sharp, and fast, and we made a fine pair.
My very first journey was quite short; I was bought by a doctor who had a practice in nearby Driedorf. He was very excited to have me and practised for hours loading me with film. He kept me in a leather case and took
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