Leica II - Ernest Leitz GmbH Wetzlar, Germany - 1936
No need of introductions. This is one of the most successful brands in the world. It does not appear on the top of mind surveys just because the market of high class cameras is not top of mind itself. But if you consider the prices demanded for Leicas, compared to the prices for cameras with the same specifications, then you realize that this is a marketing masterpiece. Ok, it is an engineering masterpiece as well, I just meat that there is a great deal of intangible added value there.
This Leica II is my first Leica. I bought is from a lady about her seventies that still remembers at the age of 10, going with her father to a camera shop in Amsterdan to buy this camera. My first reason was the idea of buying something legendary as a Leica. But going there I was surprised by how perfectly it fits in your hands. Some modern cameras, through computerized design, are shaped plenty of curves and ups and hills to get a grip and to wear in your hands. It is amazing how this old leicas using basic geometric elements are so nice to handle. Maybe it is a combination of shape, weight and touch feeling because of the leather cover. The lowest speed for this model is 1/20, OK for handheld photography. One thing that is not the best is the double window: one rangefinder and the other viewfinder. Lens is a Summar uncoated, kind of slight soft-focus compared to the Summitars.
For more information about Leicas: try Leica Company Site
Leica advertising from 1934