the power of persuasion

IIIf from LIFE ad 1954

Toronto. In its May 17, 1954 LIFE (p64) ad, Leica rested on its laurels as the driving force in kick starting the  minicam era.  The ad featured its newest camera, the IIIf with the f/2 collapsible Summitar lens that replaced the equally fast Summar and was shortly replaced by the f/2 collapsible Summicron.

While the marketing mavins touted the little camera as “the world’s most famous camera“, it was neither the first of the Leicas or the last of the screw mount models (it did sell the best of all screw mounts, perhaps helped by pent up demand caused by the long depression and war that followed). It did have the sturdy construction and utilitarian ergonomics of its predecessors, but its main claim to fame was the built-in flash synchronization – a feature already found on its many competitors. A few weeks later, a truly innovative Leica was marketed, one that changed photography dramatically.

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