The Leica is a legend. A brilliant, beautiful tool that’s been used to shoot some of the world’s most iconic images. This year, Leica has a few things to celebrate. For one, its no longer in financial trouble; and for another, the company is turning 100 this year.
Leica made its name by creating the first practical 35mm camera to use standard cinema 35mm film. Since then, the company has had many successes and a few failures, most of the latter coming in the early 2000s when the company was having trouble moving into the digital age.
In 2004, Leica was saved from near bankruptcy by investor Andreas Kaufmann. Beyond just providing the capital the company needed at the time, Kaufmann was the driving force behind Leica’s successful move into the digital age. And even though he is credited for reviving a legend, Kaufmann maintains that no revival was necessary — the legend never died.