Remember the Wollensak Lenses for the Leica?

Leitz NY 127mm lens for the Leica – April 1945

Toronto. PHSC Member George Dunbar sent me this April 1945 advertisement from Popular Photography. During WW2, Leitz NY continued to operate. One big problem: merchandise from Germany dried up. To solve one of the issues, Leitz NY manufactured lens mounts that fit the Leica screw mount cameras and designed in a style similar to the Leitz Wetzlar products except they used Wollensak lenses.

The telephone companies used Wollensak lenses and cameras as recorders for their traffic registers which indicated how busy their various routes were. The 127mm lens was made as a standard lens for the Graphic and Graflex lines so it had a far wider film coverage than needed for 35mm film. Similarly in Germany the 135mm lens was first designed for view cameras hence the seemingly vast coverage of the 135mm Elmar lens on the tiny Leica.

Leitz NY survived the war on its service department doing Leitz repairs and by selling some lenses and accessories made for or by them.

Leitz NY even produced a lens brochure. This four page example is from 1948 along with a sample page. In spite of the blustery tone of the marketing minions, few true Leicaphilliae believed the lenses were superior to the Elmars of the day.


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