Here’s a little camera porn for all you Leica devotees out there.
Filmmaker Richard Seymour gained access to the lab where they manufacture the Leica M10 camera in Wetzlar, Germany (also where the first ever photo from a Leica camera was taken) for this mini-doc on one of the most prolific camera-makers in the game. The video (and sci-fi music that accompanies it) is kind of weird and almost suggests that in a bottom level of the building they’re harvesting human embryos in floaty tanks, but that’s not really the point.
The point is you get to see the masterful construction of one of the world’s best cameras, which involves 1, 100 individual parts being pieced together with typical German precision equal to that of a brain surgery. The clinical feel to the lab exists for a reason—the glass used in the lenses is so sensitive, it can be damaged by air or contact (explaining the sterile looking conditions, and lab coat/hair nets). The glass that Leica uses in the topflight S and M line lenses are so specialised they’re shipped from two different suppliers—one in Germany, the other in Japan—in soft paper as protection.
In an industry where many jobs have been replaced by intelligent, automated computer systems, Leica still relies on highly trained specialists to manufacture the Leica M Series cameras with the utmost precision, of which you can watch in the video above. If you’ve ever seen something more visually satisfying than when that final Leica logo gets popped perfectly into place at the very end, please let us know by emailing into firstname.lastname@example.org. And, if you think this is starting to sound like a paid ad, you can rest assured Leica’s not planning on sending me an $8000 camera now, or ever.