OSKAR BARNACK: Revolutionized Photography

Oskar Barnack's Ur-Leica
"The small format 35mm camera created a revolution in photography"

Hohenzollernbrücke, Cologne
Photograph (c)
Oskar Barnack

Eselstreppchen, 1914
Photograph (c)
Oskar Barnack

Flood, Langgasse, 1920
Photograph (c)
Oskar Barnack

Photograph (c)
Oskar Barnack

Self Portrait, 1914
Photograph (c)
Oskar Barnack

"Oskar Barnack's genius idea of creating the small format 35mm camera created a revolution in photography"

Oskar Barnack wanted to move away from the traditional, heavy plate cameras then used for most photography. As early as 1905, he had the idea of reducing the negative format and enlarging the photographs at a later stage. Ten years later Barnack developed the Ur-Leica, the first successful small-format camera. The photographs created in 1914 were of outstanding quality for the time. Delayed due to World War I the first LEICA did not enter series production until 1924 and introduced to the public in 1925.(more about the history of the Leica here).

Many thanks to
New York Leica Gallery Director's, Rose A. Deutsch and Jay R. Deutsch, for introducing me to the Leica creator. Oskar Barnack Room, Leica Gallery, NY


Bruce Barone said...


This makes me want to run outside and photograph downtown Holyoke.

Photos to follow:)

Anonymous said...

I think I would give my left arm for a Leica if I didn't need it to adjust the focus.

Thanks for the history brush up! I always need a reminder about dates and names.

Unknown said...

it s really great, I like it much, hugh Kathrin

Anonymous said...

The education I'm receiving from your blog is ASTOUNDING!! Thank you.

Caio Fern said...

what a post !! what a post !!

and i think i have never seen a image of that Ur-Leica before.
thank you !

Michael Jackson said...

Thanks for the introduction to this work - I'm off to trawl the internet for more!

Susan May Tell said...


Russ Martin said...

From a "little idea" the world of photography was changed. Thank you for posting this.

cornel said...

I like the photographs from the past
they have a lot of charm and glamour

Momo Luna S!gnals said...

Great post and the photo's are just wonderful. Nothing beats a Leica i think.

-K- said...

I've come back to these photos several times. So much of photographic history comes from them and Mr. Barnack.