Leitz Camera is a German company dedicated to the manufacture of precision optical instruments. In 1923 Barnack convinced his boss Ernst Leitz, to manufacture a series of 31 prototypes. The first Leica cameras emerged as mechanisms to test their own lenses.
Leitz also manufactured SLR cameras, started with Leicaflex, passing through SL, SL2 and R, from R3 to R7, initially manufactured in collaboration with Minolta. They had an electronic shutter, minus the R6 that was completely mechanical.
He was the pioneer in mass production of spherical lenses. The Leitz objectives were the origin of a myth that said that the photographs recorded with their optics were easily identifiable to photographs taken with other manufacturers’ optical devices.
It is currently divided into three clearly differentiated companies: Leitz Camera AG, Leitz Geosystems AG and Leitz Microsystems AG, which are dedicated respectively to producing cameras, topographic equipment (for topography) and medical equipment (microscopy, histological process). Leitz Microsystems AG is the owner of the Leica brand, and provides licenses to Leica Camera AG and Leica Geosystems AG.
Currently Leitz has been updated with the 35mm Film Optics market with the launch of Leitz Summilux and Leitz Thalia.