see small, see large

Leica ad – September 1951 Popular Photography

Toronto. George Dunbar sent me this September 1951 advertisement from Popular Photography. Leitz made use of the atomic bomb and research to join their microscope and camera products. Both were innovative instruments for their time. The Ortholux microscope was designed in the late 1930s. I have its junior companion, the Dialux which is similar to the Ortholux but smaller with┬áthe flat limbs at the back to better accommodate the user’s hands. Mine was made about 1952 or 3 according to its serial number. The first ads I saw for the Dialux was 1954. Later versions are more like the Labolux with the triangular base.

The Leica ad in Popular Photography links the Berek microscope condenser and the IIIf Leica’s 5cm collapsible Summitar lens. Max Berek was the optical designer at Leitz for both the Berek microscope condenser and the Summitar and other early lines of photographic lenses. Berek died in his early 60s in 1949 while still at Leitz. The IIIf came out in 1950.

There is one point in the ad that contradicts history: Leica wasn’t the first 35mm camera, but it was the first commercially successful 35mm camera. The late Jack Naylor of the PHSNE produced a booklet listing the many 35mm cameras that used 35mm cine film, some half frame, some not.

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