|1934-55 FED 1||1948 Zorki 1||1949 Tower Type III||1949 Canon IIb||1950 Leotax DIV||1950 Shanghai 58-II|
|1952 Nicca III-S||1953 Minolta 35 II||1955 Tanack IV-S||1956 Pax M2||1957 Alta - Bower||1958 Yashuca YF|
|1959 Yashica YE||blank||blank||blank||blank||blank|
In 1932 Leica introduced the Leica II. This camera was the first real system camera. The lenses were interchangeable with 6 different focal lengths, all of which were indexed to the built-in rangefinder. Microscope attachments, close-up attachments, Copy stands, Visoflexes, and a host of bits and pieces could be screwed onto the Leica. Truly a camera for the ages, all of it duly patented and copyrighted......
Two years later, in 1934, hundreds, then thousands of copies were being produced in Russia without permission by Leitz and against all international copyright laws. Being the Soviet Union not much could be done about it.
After World War II the Japanese Optical Industry was encouraged to convert to peace time products. Since Germany was on the losing side in the war, all copyrights held by Leitz (and Zeiss) were considered null and void by the allies. And so, the Japanese Camera industry as we know it was born. Most Japanese camera manufacturers got their start or were revitalized after the war by manufacturing Leica (or Contax) copies. There were over 300 different Leica copies manufactured in the 1934 - 1960 time period. Russia, China, Japan, Italy, Czechoslovakia, even the USA made Leica copies. Some of the Leica copies are of excellent quality, some are not. All are collectible.