Visit Leica, the legendary life-saving camera

The entire complex is thought out, conceived, created, designed, deployed and built with exquisite taste. It could be said, but no, it cannot be said that everything is too handsome, modern, perfect, flawless. But is this it was so leika Oskar Barnak, an expert in inventing the microscope since its creation, convinced his boss Ernst Leitz in 1914 that the future was in that Ur-Leica room. People had the basic material, the memories, to capture, miss, retrieve, and, above all, know what was going on in the world, the photographs that one had just invented and which, over the years, would become true works of art. and, despite the advent of television, it remained, roughly in the early 1950s, a unique tool for transmitting sensations and making people tingle by seeing the images it produced, analog or digitally, even when cell phones existed. .

beautiful complex

If you lived in Ronda Universidad 23, i.e. ‘La Ronda’, surrounded by Leica cameras and Leica cameras in your closets, you cannot avoid your childhood, youth, adolescence and profession without taking advantage of transfers, trips and entertainment. substitution Sachsenringformer German Democratic Republic, assentThe Netherlands, from one grand prize to the next, to once again visit the legendary camera factory Leica, rivaling the Japanese (now Sony has taken a good bite out of them all, especially Canon and Nikon), worthy Complex, small 50,000 inhabitants very close to Frankfurt It is located in the German town of Wetzlar, a city.

One of the buildings of the Leica complex in Wetzlar. EMILIO PEREZ DE ROZAS


It is a magnificent complex in which there is a hotel and a cinema, of course, a beautiful gallery, a no less interesting Ernst Leitz museum (name). leika comes from the union I READtz and HUNGRYpasture), a Vienna House, and the factory itself are brimming with highly sophisticated technology and tremendous precision, such as optics, binoculars and microscopes, which Leitz produced before making the switch to analog cameras that would be popularized by the world’s best photographers. and now they still serve to capture the best images, usually black and white, because as my father said, “life is colourful, but photographs must be black and white”. And if you don’t tell the teachers Henri Cartier Bresson, Sebastian Salgado, Robert Cape, Thomas Hopker anyone albert corpsAmong the many things visible on the walls of this wonderful complex, which, when viewed from the air, resemble gigantic binoculars.

historical portraits

When you enter Leica, you enter a unique world where the first camera with a 35 millimeter lens, that is closest to the human eye, mixes with the latest digital camera. company. It is interesting that the first slogan on which the already legendary Ur-Leica, invented by Oskar Barnack, was released, was “small negatives, big images” to the world.

as large as Alberto Korpa’s portrait of Che Guevara; she’s ‘napalm injured girl’ Huynh Cong Utwho just turned 50; ‘the victory day kiss’ Alfred Eisenstaedt; Robert Capa’s ‘death of a militia soldier’ ​​or Thomas Hoepker’s impressive portrait of Muhammad Ali, slender fist, focused, face, serious, determined, aggressive, out of focus.

One of many paintings on display at the Leica Gallery. EMILIO PEREZ DE ROZAS


He walks in the vast spaces of man Wetzlar’s Leitz Park and its spacious rooms, its impeccable walls neatly devoted to (or much of) history’s best photographs, and, above all, its beautiful, cleanly lit display cases, as the master Cartier-Bresson, who turned the Leica into a perfect machine, once said, ” photographic and optical engineering that is in the “extension of my eye” and finally stands on a counter in the middle of the main room. The Leica Gallery, which is almost impossible not to see.

something like i said Johan Cruyff, cause you “fur chicken”. A Leica M4 from 1968, no lens, silver and black, as Leicas should have always been, a bullet hit or a few shrapnel hits or a burst of machine gun fire in the same spot, very close to the visor that saved his life. near John A Schneiderphotographer News Weekin meaningless years Vietnam War. The camera with the initials JAS on the back demonstrates, among other things, not only how strong, how tough, how durable, how well-made, but also that it, its predecessors and later Leica cameras are not the same. just witnesses, but vital pieces for experienced photojournalists to be able to (sorry, they can) show the world the atrocities that occur in wars.

‘The girl injured by Napalm’ by Huynh Cong Út, now 50 years old. EMILIO PEREZ DE ROZAS


It is possible that the idea Barnak conceived when inventing the first Leica, on his curious desk, is more worthy of a writer than a scientist, yes, and it all comes to life in this complex surrounded by wonder and magic. precision and optics are perfectly suited to the device every reporter needs: a small, fast, manageable camera that can be concealed and captures several shots at once. This is what made Leica the paradigm of journalism, instant and author photography.

Leica changed everything

Not so long ago, at the opening of an exhibition in Brazil, a tribute to the Leica masters, someone wrote: “More than 100 years ago, something changed the course of photography drastically. The first Leica was born (…) Leica took the camera out of the studio and placed it in real life. The defining moments known as snapshots began to recreate our lives. We could see, feel, smell thousands of moments. The camera, especially Leica, has become an extension of the photographer’s eye. Joy, pain, everyday scenes, good and bad, terrible, fear, losers, winners, misery. War from within. An image that pollutes the others. The most iconic images in history, even those that weren’t shot by a Leica, were shot because of Leica.”

Below, left, Mohammed Ali’s legendary portrait of Thomas Hoepker, and above, Leica inventor Oskar Barnack, right. EMILIO PEREZ DE ROZAS


There is not much color on the walls. Wetzlar’s Leitz Park nor in Leica’s flawless and unique buildings. I can’t be. Leica is history and history is analogue. And black and white. And the portraits hanging on the walls of the Leica Gallery are shocking. And not only that Che Guevara, such that; that black fist, almost blue big, menacing Muhammad Ali, such that; that girl was burned in napalm, so; That’s the militia with the machine guns, and of course, a huge photograph of a man peeing in a public bathroom with four more beautiful portraits on the walls. Marilyn Monroenaughty, smiling, black and white, which it is.

Wandering through the Leica complex in Wetzlar, Sebastian Salgado he might have been right only five years ago when he felt that photography was over “because it’s not the photo we see on mobile, no. The photograph has to happen, you have to print it, see it and touch it”.

Such is this beautiful Leica house, the camera that becomes eternal, an icon, an emblem, a way of living and telling and/or condemning and/or enjoying what happened. The camera that can save lives.

Source: Informacion

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