Toronto. Leitz NY published this ad for Leica cameras in the March 1949 issue of Popular Photography as they tried to capture the magic these little cameras had before the war intervened. My friend George Dunbar sent along this wonderful old ad.
The Leicas offered were actually very old designs, The IIc and IIIc were late 1930s while the standard dated back even earlier -to 1930. Standard referred to the standard film to lens flange distance and ability to interchange lenses.
The IIIc series used a casting for the spacing box between the shutter and the lens flange and was slightly longer from side to side than the IIIa series. The IIIb and IIId series didn’t sell very well for some reason. Both are much rarer today.
Models like those offered in 1949 opened the door for the Japanese rangefinders and SLRs. The IIIf series came out a few years later followed by the vastly superior and more successful M3 series.
The M series was initially better than the SLRs of the day (i.e the Exaktas). But the SLRs took over when better quality zooms came out along with SLRs that had auto diaphragms and mirrors that returned on their own.
The quality of the Leica kept it going for many years. I bought my M4 in 1972 because my Exakta was just too hard to focus with my aging eyes, especially indoors and at the time of day I preferred to shoot – evening and early night-time.