FOFER

A lightmeter, a camera, a rangefinder, some film. All you need.

A lightmeter, a camera, a rangefinder, some film. All you need.

The 0-series replica is a simple camera. It doesn’t even have a rangefinder. Mine now does.

FOFER, an external rangefinder from 1930.

FOFER, an external rangefinder from 1930.


At that time, the Ernst Leitz factory used codes like these to make dealer’s orders by teletype less error-prone. Their second rangefinder came out in 1930 and got the abbreviation “FOFER”.

Nagel as in Nagel Pupille, a popular camera in the 1930-ties.

Nagel as in Nagel Pupille, a popular camera in the 1930-ties.

I got a version Ernst Leitz made as an accessory to the Nagel Pupille camera. But of course, I’m going to use it with my 0-series replica. The Anastigmat in that camera is a fantastic lens, but if you guesstimate the distance to your subject, sharpness is going to suffer.

I wonder, will anyone today recognise this as a camera?

I wonder, will anyone today recognise this as a camera?

It mounts in the cold shoe right next to the viewfinder. Separation of the two images in the rangefinder spot is not as clear as in the later M cameras, but it will work. Switching between the rangefinder and the viewfinder is slower than those two viewports in a later screw-mount Leica with a built-in rangefinder, because they have different viewing distances. But again, it will work in most situations where you need an exact distance to target.

And now for something not completely unrelated: Photos from the 0-series.

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