Ur-Leica

Film camera
Date of appearance: March 1914
Trademark: Leica
Designer: Oskar Barnack
Manufacturer: Ernst Leitz GmbH (now Leica Camera AG)
Made in: Germany
Weight: g
Materials: steel
Colors: black, bronze
Tags: leica, featured


The construction of the first, fully functional prototype of a revolutionary new still picture camera for 35 mm perforated film was completed by Oskar Barnack in March 1914. The camera had a full metal body, a collapsible lens and a focal plane shutter, which, at the time, had no overlapping curtains. A cap, fixed to the lens by a screw, was swung across the lens when winding on the film to prevent light getting in. The Ur-Leica was the first camera to feature coupled film winding and shutter cocking – thus preventing double exposures. The camera took its place as a milestone in the history of photography under the name ‘Ur-Leica’.

Ur-Leica
Front
Viewfinder