hardly ever

Case for screw-mount Leica with 5cm lens and an accessory viewer attached c1935

Toronto. In the late 1950s, I bought my Exakta VX IIa complete with an “ever-ready” case. Like many youths of the day, we called these “never-ready”cases since the camera couldn’t be used until the case was opened. When the box of cameras and lenses arrived in Labrador, I was disappointed that the camera case half covering the lens was a light brown plastic cup affair, not brown leather like the Leica used. On the other hand, the snap at the back of the camera allowed the two case halves to be separated. The knob attaching the case to the camera was threaded so the case (with the camera) could be mounted on a tripod – essential in those days for interior shots.

Years later, research showed these cases were offered around the time of the minicam revolution and may even have originated with the Leica. While the front part of the case dropped down to expose the camera, it didn’t detach. Hence, it was common practice to use the camera without the case. Shortly after the Leica appeared on the scene, Leitz sold a wealth of accessories and later lenses. Leitz sold many different cases of leather, aluminum, Bakelite, and other materials.

Cases are rarely collected making identification more difficult. The screw mount Leica case above could be used with an accessory such as the Imarect (multi-lens viewer) attached to the camera. I must have acquired it 30 or 40 years ago, but the records have been lost. My case was made by Leitz New York and sold to someone in Derry, NH.



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