Leica IIIa: A Family Affair (a NEW “Through the Lens of History” episode!)

Have you ever wondered how a photography camera became a cherished family heirloom? In this new episode of “Through the Lens of History,” we delve into the story of the Leica IIIa, a camera that not only revolutionized the world of photography but also became a symbol of family heritage. Passed down through generations, the Leica IIIa holds a special place in the hearts of photographers and enthusiasts alike, evoking memories of priceless moments captured in time. Join us as we explore the fascinating journey of this iconic camera, from its inception to its enduring legacy as a treasured family affair.

Leica IIIa: A Family Affair

This article is a part of the “Through the Lens of History” series, focusing on the Leica IIIa camera. One particular Leica IIIa holds a special place in the Brownstone family, as it belonged to Hilda Hubback, a renowned photographer. Hilda, a Bauhaus-trained artist, was forced to leave Germany in the late 1930s due to her religion. After arriving in America, she became a successful family and portrait photographer in New York City, and she became the official photographer for the Brownstone family.

A Photographic Origin Story

Hilda’s journey, along with her Leica IIIa camera, played a significant role in shaping the author’s own photographic journey. In a six-minute short film titled “We Knew Hilda,” the author shares the story of how Hilda’s camera and her presence in his life influenced his passion for photography.

Every photographer has an origin story, and the author encourages readers to explore their own and reconnect with it.

The Exhibition in Trier

The author mentions that the film, “We Knew Hilda,” was commissioned for an exhibition about Hilda currently running at the Library in Trier, Germany, her hometown. The exhibition showcases Hilda’s work and contributions to the world of photography.

Watch “We Knew Hilda” here

The Original Leica IIIa

The author also shares a personal anecdote about the original Leica IIIa camera that belonged to Hilda. As a child, the author unintentionally damaged the camera by stripping off the vulcanite, spray painting it black, and filling the top with chalk. The camera was later given to a restoration expert, but the restoration was not entirely successful. The camera bears a serial number and was delivered to a Berlin store in December 1938, just a month after Crystal Night.

Squarespace: Supporting the Channel

The author expresses gratitude to Squarespace for their support of the channel and their role in building the Three Blind Men and an Elephant business. Squarespace offers website solutions for small to mid-sized businesses in any industry.

If you are interested in trying out Squarespace, you can visit their website at www.squarespace.com for a free trial. Additionally, by using the discount code “hugh” at checkout, you can receive 10% off your first order.

Supporting Three Blind Men and an Elephant

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For those interested in purchasing a copy of “Streets of New York,” a book by Three Blind Men and an Elephant, visit wwe books.

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Finally, the author suggests supporting their work by using their affiliate links, purchasing official Three Blind Men and an Elephant merchandise at 3bmep.threadless.com, sending coffee money via PayPal, or becoming a patron on Patreon.

Leica IIIa: A Family Affair (a NEW “Through the Lens of History” episode!)

Leica IIIa: A Family Affair (a NEW “Through the Lens of History” episode!)

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the Leica IIIa?

The Leica IIIa is a mechanical rangefinder camera that was manufactured by Ernst Leitz GmbH in the mid-1930s. It is part of the Leica III series, which were highly regarded for their precision and compactness. The Leica IIIa is known for its superior optics and innovative features that made it popular among both amateur and professional photographers.

2. What are the key features of the Leica IIIa?

The Leica IIIa boasts several notable features, including:

  • Interchangeable lenses
  • Rangefinder system for precise focusing
  • Film advance system with a knob on the back
  • Lens mount compatibility with Leica screw mount (M39 thread)
  • Mechanical shutter speeds ranging from 1/500 to 1 second

3. How does the Leica IIIa contribute to photography history?

The Leica IIIa played a significant role in shaping the history of photography. Its compactness and reliability made it a popular camera of choice for many renowned photographers during its time. The Leica IIIa, along with other Leica models, set the standard for 35mm film cameras and influenced many subsequent camera designs. It remains an iconic piece of photographic history.

4. Can I still use the Leica IIIa today?

Yes, the Leica IIIa can still be used today. Despite being an older camera model, it has stood the test of time and many photography enthusiasts still appreciate its classic design and excellent optics. However, it’s important to note that due to its mechanical nature, it may require maintenance or repairs from specialized technicians to ensure optimal functionality.

5. Where can I find more information about the Leica IIIa?

If you are interested in learning more about the Leica IIIa, you can refer to photography museums, historical camera exhibitions, or online resources dedicated to vintage cameras. There are also numerous books and publications available that delve into the history and technicalities of the Leica IIIa and its impact on photography.

I hope you find useful my article Leica IIIa: A Family Affair (a NEW “Through the Lens of History” episode!), I also recommend you to read my other posts in my blog at this link.

If you need help with anything join the community or do not hesitate to contact me.

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