Leica I Model C
The Leica I Model C (also known as Leica Ic) was the follow up model to the Leica 1 Model A, which was in its’ own right a great start for Leica and set standards in the world of photography. Unfortuntely the fixed lens was a problem as photographers wanted to experiment with different lenses without having to change the camera.
The first Leica with an interchangeable lens was introduced in 1930: the Leica I Model C
Leica Code: LENEU
Weight: 700 g
Baseplate length: 13.7 cm
Total Production: 10 226 + updated Leica I Model A
Previous Leica Model: Leica I Model A
Following Leica Model: Leica II Model D
The Leica I Model C is essentially a Leica I Model A with the possibility of changing the lens. The Leica I Model C was only produced with a black enamel finish with nickel fittings. In total 10 226 Leica I Model C were manufactured (2 307 non-standardized and 7 231 standardized).
Leica I Model C Variations
The main difference is the standardization of the mount after 1930:
Early non-standardized Leica I Model C
- Early models that were produced before december 1930 did have changeable lenses but not interchangeable ones. As every Leica was handmade slight differences in terms of size of the lens mount and the distance between the film plane and the lens flange occured. This meant that early lenses had to be adapted to a single Leica I Model A and could only be used with that specific camera. These lenses normally have the last three digits of the Leica camera engraved on the lens barrel. A total of 2 307 non-standardized Leica I Model C were produced in 1930 and 1931.
Leica I Model C interchangeable lens with standardized mount
- The problem of the lens interchangeability was resolved in the fall of the year 1930 with the introduction of a standardized mount. The distance between the front of the flange and the film plane was set at 28,8 mm and all lenses could be used without individual adaptation. From Leica seial #60 501 all Leica I Model C are fully interchangeable. A total of 7 231 standardized Leica I Model C were produced.
Buying a Leica I Model C
Leica I Model C cameras are very saught after as they are pretty rare. Especially the non-standardized cameras with matching lenses are very collectible. A good way to be on the safe side is to double check the serial number.