OK, what’s a WINTU? A crazy little right angle viewfinder that Leica-Leitz made between 1933 to 1948. I imagine it could have assisted with close-up copy work but having used it on my Nicca 3-S I can say that it works but it seems to have been made as just another gadget to buy. It was advertised as being able to “look around corners” and to take pictures without being noticed (stealth street photography).
It doesn’t fit completely onto the accessory shoe of my Nicca 3-S from around 1955 but the eyepiece does line up and I was able to use it. In reality the best way to take street pics without being detected is to place your camera on a table at a cafe along the street and prefocusing it and presetting the exposure. Then just press the shutter whenever something strikes your fancy.
Still, a nice bit of German engineering that’s stood the test of time.
Many 35mm rangefinder camera makers offered a reloadable metal film cassette for use with their cameras. Maybe one of the first to do so was Leitz for their Leica cameras.
Pictured below is one of those cassettes with its original Bakelite canister (film can).I believe this set was released around 1953 and was originally intended to be used with the new Leica M3.
Here’s a comparison between a standard disposable film cartridge from 1959 next to the metal reloadable cassette from Leitz (Code IXMOO). Overall the cartridges are within 1 mm of each other but as can be seen, the top of the Leitz canister is slightly taller.
The idea was simple. Since buying 35mm film in bulk was popular at the time, reloadable cassettes were a necessity to keep the cost of taking pictures low. As the disposable film cartridges became standardized the use of bulk film decreased as it was much simpler to use the premade film canisters.
While I was in college back in the early 1970s and taking some photography classes, I bulk loaded my own B&W films (mostly Kodak Plus X). It was a pain but it was far less expensive.
The earliest metal film cassettes made by Leitz were coded FILCA and were slightly taller than the newer IXMOO. I don’t have a FILCA cassette for comparison but I’d like to find one (I’ll gladly accept a donation of one if you have a spare).
From a Leica illustrated price list from 1939, the FILCA was Cat. No. 66,800 and was listed as a “Spare Roll Film Magazine” and sold for $3.00 USD. The catalog covers are pictured below.
Thanks for stopping by and if you’ve made it this far, congratulations for sticking with it! – Chris
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