Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2005/11/16

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Subject: [Leica] Leica size
From: langeratcarleton at (Mark Langer)
Date: Wed Nov 16 06:29:32 2005
References: <>

The Rollei is a wonderful camera, and I get a lot of use out of my 35SE. The
lens really approaches the Summicron for quality. I do find that the earlier
Barnack cameras are more pocketable than the later ones. The Leica II with
collapsible Elmar is perfect for a shirt pocket -- no strap lugs, self timer
or slow speed dial to catch on clothing. And its 1/500 top speed is the same
as that on the Rollei! :-)

In general, I'm a big fan of the ultracompact 35mm camera -- I find that the
Olympus XA has a tendency to vignette, and prefer the XA4 with its nice 28mm
f3.5 lens -- the whole camera weighs less than many 28mm lenses for
interchangable lens cameras. The Minox 35mm cameras have fewer virtues, but
the lens is outstanding and the camera is, I believe, the smallest full
frame 35mm camera ever made. There are so many interesting cameras in this
league, from the humble Hanimex 35EE (with an ingenious flip up flash that
doubles as the lenscap) to the Chinon Bellami that looks like what results 9
months after you leave an Olympus XA and Minox 35 in a dark room together.
All of these are more pocketable than the clunky rectangular shape of the
Rollei, but the Rollei Sonnar and complete control over aperture and shutter
speed make for a potent package. I do agree that the Barnack spirit is found
more completely in these cameras than the M Leicas. It also resides in
medium format folders like the Voigtlander Perkeo II or Bessa 66, which are
more pocketable than any M Leica.


On 11/16/05, Lawrence Zeitlin <> wrote:
> Mark writes:
> To me the Leica philosophy of camera size went out with the M system in
> 1954.
> To me by far the TRUE size of a Leica is the size of a Barnack. A Leica
> thread mount camera. Fits in your pocket. Not so M. too big. Clunky.
> ------
> The Barnack Leicas won't fit in any normal pocket unless they have a
> collapsible Elmar lens. For me the ideal pocket camera is the Rollei 35SE.
> The lens is better than the Elmar too. Leica once built prototypes of a
> Rollei 35 size camera but abandoned it in favor of the M.
> Larry Z
> _______________________________________________
> Leica Users Group.
> See for more information

In reply to: Message from lrzeitlin at (Lawrence Zeitlin) ([Leica] Leica size)