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Despite living in a world of incredibly rapid technological advances, we can also observe the opposite phenomenon. That means returning to the old high-quality items which, often under the influence of contemporary times, are becoming luxury items.

The Charm of Old Cameras: Leica and Zenit

Eva Ledecká
24.Feb 2017
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2 minutes

No different is the situation regarding old cameras... 

The present time has a negative impact on the lives of cameras, whose function at least as regards the ordinary users, is slowly but surely being taken over by mobile phones. . The development of new cameras is not going forward so fast because there is not a large enough demand for them. Therefore the manufacturers tend to focus on a different group of people - the lovers of retro luxury.

Leica and Zenit revive!

In this manner the German Leica camera came back to life in its new modern retro form and in the case of the Russian Zenit camera, which announced its comeback last year, it will probably be the same situation.

The Russian Zenit

The Russian Rostec Company is planning to revive the old Zenit camera, which is intended to have a new luxurious appearance. The sale of these cameras was launched in the 1950’s and during the entire period since that time more than 10 million units have been sold. They were sold at a low cost and thereby became very popular at that time. It was a classic SLR camera made for use with traditional 35mm film. The Zenit was made of aluminium alloy and weighed cca. 1 kg without the lens. It was exported to western countries, including Germany, Italy, France and Great Britain.

Luxusní vila na Hanspaulce 940m
Luxusní vila na Hanspaulce 940m, Praha 6

The German Leica

The production of the German Leica camera started much earlier than that of the Zenit and now it is considered as being a legendary product. The Leica Camera is a company that initiated its development of cameras in 1913. The first prototypes were created in accordance with designs that were produced by Oskar Barnack that were originally created as light meters for filmmakers.

The Leica I Model of 1925 achieved a high degree of commercial success and it was also the first practical film camera.

New Models

In 2008, a new SLR S2 was brought to the market and in 2009 the Leica M9, a digital camera with a full-frame sensor. Then in 2012 the Leica M Monochrom, which was a camera equipped with a monochrome sensor appeared on the market. It became the first full-frame digital monochrome camera. Nowadays you can buy a luxury Leica X-U, which is even waterproof.

What kind of news the two companies will bring to us in the future is a big question. It is believed, however, that the desire for revived luxury retro products will not just go away, so it could happen that the legendary cameras will find their place in the market again. However, will they be able to take over increasingly high-quality cameras in our smartphones?

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