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Monday, August 29, 2016

ATELIER LUDWIG LEITZ





When we think of Leica, cameras are obviously an integral part of that.  Leica will be forever connected to the name of Leitz, Ernst Leitz, the founder of the company.  He was followed by his son, Ernst Leitz II and subsequently his grandson, Ernst Leitz III.  As a matter of fact, the name Ernst and Leitz are so closely connected to the Leica camera that hardly any thought is ever given if possibly there might have been other Leitz family members that were not named Ernst.

There were indeed and one of them was Ludwig Leitz, son of Ernst Leitz II.  He was born in 1907.  He studied math and physics and in 1939 he took over full responsibility for the entire area of development of his father’s company.  Under his leadership many patents and design innovations of the product line of the Leitz company were developed.


Ludwig Leitz II

Four generations Leitz:
Ernst Leitz II (second from left) with sons Ernst (right) and Ludwig (left)
and grandson Knut in front of a portrait of the company founder Ernst Leitz I.

He was an avid photographer and accompanied the development of the preproduction cameras, the Nullserie and the further development of the camera until 1980.  His artistic orientation strongly influenced the design of many of the Leitz products. He even hired the sculptors Adolf Great and Heinrich Janke to to work for Leitz. The high level of design showed particularly in the development of the Leica M series cameras.  Their basic design survives until this day.

This interest in design did not happen by accident.  In addition to the study of mathematics and physics Ludwig Leitz graduated in 1926 at Wollek in Vienna and 1927 as a student at Johannes Itten in Berlin. This was more often than not done in the evening hours until he finally finished his training as a sculptor.

 
                                        Sculpture by Ludwig Leitz                                         Atelier Ludwig Leitz

Although his artistic work often had to take a backseat to his job responsibilities, he pursued the development of contemporary art with a keen interest in.  Sketches, models and bronze casts of the sculptural works of Ludwig Leitz document his artistic aim of identifying the essence of the form of the random appearance of things.

A special experience for art lovers is a visit to the "Atelier Ludwig Leitz", which opened to the public in September of 1984.  Last year the Atelier Ludwig Leitz had a showing of a special selection of his work in commemoration of the construction of the reception building of the Leitz company 60 years ago.  Today this building is the “Neues Rathaus” (new city hall) in Wetzlar.

The Neues Rathaus (new town hall), the former Empfangsgebäude
(reception building) of Ernst Leitz GmbH.  The front door leads to
a large staircase which used to be the way to the original Leica Museum.

The work of Ludwig Leitz can be seen at the Atelier Ludwig Leitz at Laufdorfer Weg 33 A.

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To comment or to read comments please scroll past the ads below.
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www.classicconnection.com                                     www.oberwerth.com

 www.mgrproduction.net                                              www.leicastoremiami.com

     
                                             www.eddycam.com                                       

                                                                      


 
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                             For rare and collectible cameras go to:               http://www.tamarkin.com/leicagallery/upcoming-shows
                                 http://www.tamarkinauctions.com/

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Sunday, August 28, 2016

LEICA M2-250





Recently I sold a few Leica items on eBay.  One of the buyers struck my interest with his eBay screen name of Schmirgelpapier.  Taking a closer look revealed that it was Don Goldberg of DAG Camera Repair, one of the best Leica repair technicians in the country.  I hadn't talked to Don for a while and it was nice to catch up.  Needless to say, we also talked about the LEICA Barnack Berek Blog.  I asked him if he would be willing to contribute some of his wisdom to the blog, only to be totally surprised by his answer.

One of the items he was interested to talk about was a Leica M2-250, an off the shelf camera that his father Norman Goldberg had converted in the 1960s to accept film for 250 exposures.  I had never heard of this camera and I was eager to learn more about it.

Norman Goldberg was born in Chicago in 1931 and, after serving a five-year apprenticeship in camera repair and attending the Illinois Institute of Technology, he moved to Wisconsin in 1951. There he established Camcraft, an independent workshop which specialized in repairs and custom modifications to professional photographic equipment. In 1966 he became a technical consultant to Popular Photography, devising a lens testing program for them and creating their testing laboratory, and in 1972 he joined the staff of the magazine. He retired in 1987 after working for Popular Photography for 22 years.

While running Camcraft, he became the first Leica authorized service facility for Leica cameras in the US.  He also published a book about camera technology in 1992, titled “The Dark Side of the Lens.

Goldberg is perhaps best known as the creator of the Camcraft N-5 electric motor drive for the Leica M2 and MP. However, he has also several other inventions for Leicas and other cameras to his credit.  For instance, the clip he designed to permit wearing an M Leica on the belt was widely used, and he also offered modifications of the Visoflex, utilizing either a prism or a pellicle mirror.  He also designed and built a considerable amount of testing equipment to test cameras and lenses, including the equipment used at Popular Photography, and he held numerous patents.

 
 Camcraft N-5 motor with power supply

 
Camcraft N-5 motor attached to Leica M2

The first camcraft N-5 motor was introduced in 1961.  After several modifications to the original design, the final version was made by TPI (Technical Photomation Instruments) of Los Angeles.  Eventually Leitz bought the patents and the rights to the motor.  Over the years they made over a thousand units of what was often called the NY Motor.  It was sold for the M2-M and later for the M4-M.

With the motor in place, 36 exposures could go very fast, and the need to change to a new roll of film was ever present.  This lead to thoughts of a larger capacity of film and Goldberg began to design a 250 exposure conversion of a Leica M2 which incorporated the successful N-5 motor.  The modifications are based on a standard Leicavit rapid advance.  They included larger film compartments at both the supply and take up side of the camera which were attached to the camera and the Leicavit.  The manual film advance of the Leicavit was replaced by the N-5 motor.  Power was supplied via a cord, connected to a separate power supply which contained the batteries.  Only one of the M2-250 cameras is in existence, making it also one of the rarest Leicas.

 

 

 

 

 
 M2-250 original design sketch by Norman Goldberg

Far from walking in the shadow of his father, Don Goldberg is very accomplished in the Leica community himself.  In 1970 he worked at Leitz Wetzlar for two years.  There he received the skills of a Feinmechaniker (Precision Mechanic) a prerequisite for Leica technicians.  With the town of Giessen close by, he also decided to learn about Minox cameras at the Minox plant there.  He worked for Minox for three months and then took a position at the Leica Service department in New Jersey.  In 1980 Don established his own camera service business, DAG which he still runs today.

Don is interested in determining what the M2-250 might be worth and he might consider selling it.  Anyone interested can contact Don directly at:

DAG Camera Service
2128 Vintage Drive
Oregon WI 53575 USA
608-835-3342


________________________________________________________________________________________

To comment or to read comments please scroll past the ads below.
All ads present items of interest to Leica owners.


 


 
www.classicconnection.com                                     www.oberwerth.com

 www.mgrproduction.net                                              www.leicastoremiami.com

     
                                             www.eddycam.com                                       

                                                                      


 
 www.lenstab.com                                                                   http://www.tamarkin.com/


                          
                             For rare and collectible cameras go to:               http://www.tamarkin.com/leicagallery/upcoming-shows
                                 http://www.tamarkinauctions.com/

Click on image to enlarge
Please make payment via PayPal to GMP Photography

Click on image to enlarge
Please make payment via PayPal to GMP Photography

Click on image to enlarge
Please make payment via PayPal to GMP Photography