The Germans have invented several things I love, including the printing press, the hamburger, denim jeans, and contact lenses. But my favorite of these is the Leica, a camera I love so much it features prominently in my novel.
Of course, I’ve never owned one.
They were invented to make photography portable and cheap for German mountain climbers. My favorite part about the creation story of the Leica is that the internal name for the product, within the Leica company and in the patent application, is the Rollfilmkamera. That’s right, the ROLLFILMKAMERA. I’m going to start referring to all cameras this way from now on.
Because of the high quality of its lenses and it’s portability and durability, the Leica became the favorite camera of photojournalists, including Robert Capa, a Hungarian born photographer who witnessed the rise of Hitler and became an iconic figure during the Vietnam War. I’ll tell his story in my next post about the the history of photography.