Friday, 7 October 2016

Magazines from the Golden Age. LEICA NEWS AND TECHNIQUE

I have recently been fortunate to acquire many bound and loose copies of the Magazine issued from E.Leitz(London) at 20 Mortimer Street W1. These ran from No.1 in January 1935 until the outbreak of War and I think I have them all.  The word 'rare' is much overused in Leica circles but it is not too hard to come across this Magazine which was issued widely and was sent free to all who registered their Leica serial number.  No doubt this had the dual purpose of tracking sales and imports and Leitz could be a bit off-hand about unofficial imports as can happen elsewhere today!  Needless to say this was a difficult time internationally and in the build up to war I can detect no bias or political slant- indeed, the content has a very British flavour.Contributions from Europe share this strictly neutral approach. The cover for March/April 1939 is an example of what was displayed,hardly enough to frighten, and in fact the last edition I have.I should be pleased to hear if later issues were published.
 The Aircraft is a DH86 Express which was a rather old design, even then, as De Havilland were already manufacturing the streamlined Albatross when war was declared.

 Looking in detail at this issue,it ran to 28 pages with advertisements from non-Leitz sources such as M.C.M. and A.P. included. Four pages of Colour were included with two full page prints in Agfacolor from Leica slides which are of excellent quality and used the Elmar 90mm and 35mm lenses. The material is diverse and rather technical in character but the house style is very readable to the present day enthusiast.

The contributors are widely spread across the Leica scene of the 1930's with photographs from C. C. Herbert of our Society.the author H.V.Morton, Stoeckler,Hoppe,Dr Salomon,H.S. Newcombe,Baumann,J Allan Cash,Dr Jouhar and above all James Jarche, uncle of our current President, with his magnificent press photographs. The enigmatic 'R.G.Lewis' also appears in the credits with a very innocent picture of a Windmill in Aden although I notice that much more of his work appears in M.C.M of the day.

I have not tried to reproduce the colour plates which may not scan too well but a most interesting set of prints appears in Nov/Dec 1937 with contributions from Walter Benser and Ernst Leitz, Jr. On the next page is an advertisement for Kodachrome Slide Film at 12/6  per 18 exposures.(0.62p decimal)
However Agfa have a whole page and quote 6/- per 36 exposures(30p)  both with processing in London!

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