'Leica IIIa' camera, made by Leitz, 1935-1950.
© National Media Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
A chrome finish Leica IIIa fitted with a Xenon F1.5 50mm lens which, it was claimed, was 75% faster than the conventional Summar F2 lens. This camera has a coupled rangefinder and a focal plane shutter with speeds 1/20 to 1/1000 of a second and (on the slow speed dial) 1 second to 1/20 of a second. The Leica (Leitz camera) was developed by Oskar Barnack (1879-1936) while head of the experimental department at the Leitz company in Germany. The 'Leica I' was released to the public in 1925.