Leica IIf is a 35mm film interchangeable lens rangefinder camera, manufactured by Ernst Leitz Wetzlar, former West Germany and produced between 1951-56.

The name Leica comes from Lei-tz ca-mera.

This model is a Leica IIIf body without the slow-speed button. The early model Leica IIc was replaced in 1951 by the IIf with minor differences. There are many variants such as Black dial (1951-54) [1], red dial 1/500, red dial 1/1000 (1951-56), Betriebsk or Betriebskamera engraved that worker cameras used by Leitz employees and Eigentum property company cameras. All Black dial cameras have the old type shutter speeds of 1/20, 1/30,1/40...

The firm Ernst Leitz in Wetzlar, Germany began as an Optical Institute under the direction of Carl Kellner in 1849. In 1863 Ernst Leitz joined the institute and later Leitz became the sole owner of the now renamed company, E Leitz, Wetzlar. An employee at Leitz, Oscar Barnack, began experimenting, for his own use, on a pocket size camera. From two or possibly three prototypes built between 1914 and 1923 came the idea of mass producing a 35mm camera. In 1924, 30 hand built "Null series" cameras were distributed to famous photographers and other photographic experts to gauge their reaction to this "small negative, large picture" concept. So, the Leica was born.

Leica cameras are by far the most collected camera ever. There are an infinite variety of both screw mount, and later, bayonet mount models and variations of models to choose from. It would be fair to say that few collectors will ever have the luck or the money to collect all the different models. Well, not to try this.


  • Lens: There are various lenses for Leica IIf [2]
    • Leica M39 screw mount
  • Focusing: by matching yellow rangefinder images in the left window in the eyepice
  • Shutter: double rubber & cloth curtain, horizontal focal plane, speeds 1/30 - 1/500 +B [3]
  • Viewfinder: rangefinder and viewfinder are in a window with separate viewers
  • Diopter correction lever: beneath re-winding knob
  • Film loading: after opening of the bottom plate, by a handle on it with engrawings open-auf, close-zu
  • Others: Cold-shoe; Strap lugs; Tripod socket; PC sync socket; Memory dial; Engravings on the top plate: Leica D.R.P. [4], serial no., Ernst Leitz Wetzlar, Germany
  • Body: aluminum with chrome plated brass top housing, base plate and knobs; Weight

Notes and references[]

  1. Black dial means that has black engravings for the flash synch numbers beneath the speeds dial, and red dial means these numbers are red
  2. Lens in the Black dial variant camera in here: Collapsable, Summitar 50mm f/2, filter 40mm slip-on , Aperture: f/2 - f/12.5, Focus range: 1-20m +inf
  3. The early Leica cameras, and the other Leica inspired cameras like Canon III, FEDs and Zorkis, and generally any camera which winding on also causes the film speed selector to turn, always cock the shutter before changing film speeds.
  4. D.R.P. means Deutsches Reichs Patent stating that this design or part of it was patented sometime between 1890-1945