You’re unlikely to ever own one of the three original Ur-Leica cameras made by Oskar Barnack before World War I, but there might be a much cheaper way to get your hands on a lookalike.
The Lego project site Lego Ideas currently features an Ur-Leica model built entirely from Lego bricks, and could go into production by the Danish toy brick maker if it receives enough support.
The project’s creator, Pandis Pandus, says he was drawn to create the model of Leica’s first 35mm camera because of its pioneering effect on film photography. Leica’s Barnack only made three examples of this camera between 1913 and 1914, and two of them are currently held by the Leica Museum in Wetzlar, Germany.
The prototype Lego design features 205 pieces and weighs 164g. The Lego-brick model comes complete with the outsized viewfinder which was attached to the top of the camera, and the Mikro-Summar 42/4.5 lens the camera used.
He said: “This product proposal captures the general aesthetic and feeling of the camera. Even the weight has been modified, with a 2x6x2 weight brick integrated into the body. The last four pictures display information about the specifications and components featured in the camera.
“The golden frame of the viewfinder is almost exactly in the 2:3 aspect ratio, which this camera gave birth to. It also happens to be the aspect ratio of the pictures and the video in this presentation.
“I think this would make a great set for any camera or gadget enthusiast, and fan of Leica or Lego. Both companies have – with the attitude that good is not good enough – managed to change entire markets and inspire countless minds across generations.”
You can see the video Pandis Pandus made as part of the project below. To vote on the project, you’ll have to sign up to Leica Ideas.
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