The Leica Standard, or Model E, made from 1932 – 1950, was basically a lens-standardized Leica I with a smaller, extendable rewind knob. The Standard was marketed as a less-expensive option to the new Leica II with its built-in rangefinder, and also introduced at the 1932 Leipzig Spring Fair.
The Standard became the basis for a number of scientific and X-ray cameras made in later years, but from the start it was immensely popular, which led Leica to create some ingenious accessories for this basic camera including a rangefinder called a FOKOS, that mounts horizontally (an innovation for this common Leica accessory), and swivels out of the way of the shutter speed dial.
Leica made some 35,000 Standard cameras, in both black enamel and silver chrome. Early models are black enamel with nickel fitting and had nickel accessories to match. Late models – the Post-War Standards – were assembled in New York using IIIc shells (which is readily identified from the ordinary by the strap lugs) and with a circular cover where the slow speed dial would be; approximately 537 were made.
This is one of our favorite Leicas, mainly due to the flexibility of the design and the elegance of the camera and its accessories. It reminds us “form follows function” and of the elegance and innovation of the Leica I.