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Leica 35mm Film Cameras

The Beauty of 35mm Film Cameras

While DSLRs remain a likely choice in the photography world, few people would deny that film cameras, like a 35mm camera from Leica, fill a nostalgic role that is truly irreplaceable. A film camera is a way to get back to the roots of photography by having to manually set all the features, and then develop the film later without being able to first see the image on a small LCD screen. For those who wish to add this type of camera to their collection, they can find a variety of cameras suitable for both amateur and professional photographers.

Are Vintage Cameras Worth Getting?

While Leica was not the first company to produce a 35mm camera, it was nevertheless a key figure in popularizing film photography and bringing the field to what it is today.

  • The first 35mm model by this company was launched in 1925 in Germany, and sent shock waves throughout Europe and soon, the rest of the world.
  • This type of camera led to the 35mm format being the most used film format ever. This camera creates a movie frame size of 18 by 24mm, which became the standard in the cinematic world.
  • While some vintage 35mm bodies are non-functioning and just for collectors, many vintage cameras still work for people looking to shoot with film.

What Are the Features of These Models?

Because these earlier cameras are now quite old, their features are bare when compared to modern standards. Nevertheless, for the time, these features were quite remarkable and allowed the common person to become a photographer.

  • Shutter speeds of the original 35mm model used a cloth focal plane shutter, which could capture photographs between 1/25 and 1/500th of a second.
  • The lens could not be detached, which is distinct from other SLRs where the lenses can be swapped at will, called interchangeable lenses, and the viewfinder was separately attached to the top plate, instead of built in directly.
  • These earlier versions were covered in a material called vulcanite, which looks similar to leather.

Are There Any Newer Camera Models?

Apart from the original 35mm flagship model, there were also other iterations of this camera.

  • In 1930, a new 35mm version launched that did have interchangeable screw-fit lenses. These lenses were first fit with individual bodies, and therefore, the lenses could not be switched onto other bodies.
  • Later, the lens mount became standardized, allowing fully interchangeable lenses on the 35mm cameras to be possible.
  • Another 35mm version, launched in 1933, introduced a slow speed dial, which allowed for photographers to shoot with shutter speeds as fast as 1/1,000th of a second.

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