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Jim Lager - Leica Historian Jim Lager is widely considered the best Leica historian ever, having authored arguably the best selection of Leica history books ever written. RFF is very fortunate to have access to his amazing Leica knowledge.

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Leica MP and Leica 72
Old 09-18-2017   #1
Jim Lager
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Leica MP and Leica 72

Available from your Leica Dealer during the 1950's

Leitz New York debuted the Leica 72 in March 1954. Leica Photography magazine Winter 1954
Volume 7, #4 page 24 lists the 72 body only at $189. The Leica 72, built on a model IIIa chassis,
fitted with f type flash synchronization, yielded 72 frames 18x24mm from a 36 exposure roll.
The 1954 announcement is illustrated.

The Leica MP was announced in 1956. Leica Fotographie #5 1956, Popular Photography
July1956, and Modern Photography December 1956 mention the new M camera. The MP was
never listed in the Leitz New York general catalogue. An August 21, 1957 letter was dispatched
to Leica Dealers listing the MP body ( black paint or chrome plated) at $360. The front cover of
the September 1956 Leitz Wetzlar brochure illustrates the MP with Leicavit MP winder.
Most Leica specialists are fully aware that today’s prices on limited production models are
significantly higher than the original selling prices. Data available suggests the Ernst Leitz
Canada Leica 72 lies within serial number range 357301-357450. MP delivery records list
402 cameras.

In the case of the Leica MP Leitz New York decided who would own the camera. The August
21, 1957 Dealer Letter includes the following passage:
RESTRICTIONS ON SALES

Due to the limited number of these cameras which will be available, only orders for resale to
bonafide working press photographers will be accepted. Therefore, every order submitted by a
dealer must specify the name, address and affiliation of the customer to whom the camera is to be
sold. We reserve the right to determine whether the individual concerned qualifies. If the
individual ordering this camera is not well known we suggest that you submit additional
evidence of his status as a working member of the press. Orders for black cameras will be
accepted only with black lenses.


















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Old 09-18-2017   #2
maddoc
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Thank you very much for sharing this. The first time I heard about a screwmount half-frame Leica, very interesting.
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Old 09-19-2017   #3
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Fascinating - I too was unaware of the half-frame Leica!

Interesting about the MP too.

John
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Old 09-19-2017   #4
Dralowid
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Thanks for this, made me double check...I had it in my head that the 72 was only made in Canada, hadn't clocked that it was made in Wetzlar too.

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