end of an era…

OOTGU focoslide for M-seiries cameras

Toronto. The last of the Leitz focoslides was the OOTGU model first sold in 1957 only to disappear a few years later. This model was intended for the M series of cameras and reverted to locking the camera body to the focoslide by its lens mount, just like Willard Morgan’s attachments nearly 30 years earlier.

I bought my example at Simon’s Camera Exchange in Montreal down on Craig Street near St Lawrence Blvd on February 9th, 1979. It came according to the sales clerk with a special 5x focusing viewer, an old nickel LGCOO which fit the OOTGU but was intended for the screw mount mirror box (which was fine with me). The nickel plated LGCOO was much rarer than the LVFOO (I have a few LVFOOs with various  metal coatings from satin chrome to black enamel to the more recent black crackle finish which matches the OOTGU in age)!  I made the buy only after learning a valuable lesson in social graces.

A few months earlier, I had visited Simon’s and seeing the focoslide, I commented strongly to the clerk that his goods were over priced now compared to a few years ago. This was in earshot of the owner, Mr. Mendelson, who calmly took the accessory from his clerk and said politely to me that it was not for sale but was in the display case in error.

With the advent of SLR cameras it became easy to frame a close up object and use  extension tubes, a bellows, or close-up lens elements to bring the camera and its lens into the macro photography range. The traditional focoslides intended for rangefinder cameras were a disappearing breed. The OOBAZ and OOTGU both used lens heads and massive focussing mounts with 51mm threads rather than the usual camera lenses and mounts. These focoslides seemed to be intended  for the Reprovit professional copy stands, not for amateur photographers.

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