'Leica I' camera, made by Leitz, 1930.
© National Media Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
The Leica (Leitz camera) was developed by Oskar Barnack (1879-1936) while head of the experimental department at the Leitz company in Germany. As early as 1905, Barnack had the idea of reducing the format of negatives and then enlarging the photographs after they had been exposed. The revolutionary Leica I finally went into serial production in 1924, and was presented to the public in 1925.