Leica fact 15: Leica accessories in the thirties

The other day I was browsing through my Leica documentation. I have 4 issues of the Leica Zubehör catalogue (Accessories) being: November 1935, without prices, July 1937 with printed prices in Reichsmark, August 1937 with a separate insert with prices in Dutch guilders and one of April 1939 without prices. Image 1

Leitz issued separate catalogues for lenses, viewfinders, close up accessories, projection reproduction and enlargement equipment and more.

What is it that you can find in these catalogues?

Leica film cassettes, lens caps, dioptre correction glasses, filters, sun hoods, close up attachments, wire releases, self timers, Tripod ball heads, several accessories for stereo photography, spirit levels, Film accessories, like cut- and roll-up equipment, camera and lens cases, reproduction and enlargement equipment.

The catalogue is filled with some 300 articles and it turns out that the differences between 1935 and 1939 are limited. This is remarkable as the beginning of the thirties showed a lot of development in lenses, cameras and accessories. Possibly this is related to the fact that Oskar Barnack passed away in January 1936. After all he was the motor behind the R&D at Leitz.

Apart from some changes in the layout differences there are not many differences between the catalogues.

Of course the catalogues follow the new lenses (mainly the Xenon 1.5 5 cm) with filters, sun hoods, caps and cases. 

There are cases that are suited for the Leica with the quick release SNCOO as of 1937. The case for the Leica 250 cannot be found in the 1939 catalogue anymore.

In 1939 polarisation filters appear in the catalogue. One type that should be adjusted in front of the eye, and then be clamped on the lens (Pooma). And one the will be clamped on the lens, after which the filter itself can be turned in front of the viewfinder. Then the filter is adjusted and turns back in front of the lens (Pooln).

In 1939 a wrist strap is introduced. It is attached to the tripod screw and around the left wrist. This gives an advantage in stabilizing the camera and less movement in the negatives. Cable word is Troov (image 2).

As of 1939 Bakelite boxes appear to store lenses.

In 1935 and 1937 a combination of a projector and enlarger is shown, but for the 1939 catalogue a choice was made to show the available lenses at the time.