From its origins as a microscope maker, Leica made photography a part of everyday life when they introduced the first 35 mm camera in 1914. Leica’s century-old tradition of quality cameras and lenses highlights the true essence of what a camera is and sets the company apart from the powerful Japanese DSLR brands.

Welcome to the 34th issue of B.

My parents used to keep a film camera in the wardrobe, like it was one of their most treasured possessions. I think it was a Pentax. My father was very deliberate in the photos he took with it, and I’m reminded of that unique-looking manual focus camera whenever I look at those photos. Perhaps because I wasn’t allowed to touch that camera, I really enjoyed photography class when I was in college. Every time I advanced the film, I would imagine how the shot came out, but it only existed in my mind until I developed the film. I would work on the film with great anticipation, surrounded by the sharp chemical scent of the darkroom, and I was truly delighted when the images would emerge on the paper. I still distinctly remember that feeling.

The moments when I experienced the transition from the warmth of analog to digital remain some of the most special memories of my college days. Just as word processors and printers replaced handwritten reports, the emergence of digital cameras placed film cameras firmly in the past. It’s been two decades since I graduated from college, and in that time, I’ve seen various digital cameras. I found myself, however, approaching photography more superficially as the act of taking a picture became easier. At one point, the thousands of easily accessible photo and image files stored on my smartphone and computer became an overwhelming burden.

I had become more obsessed with camera products than photography itself. And then I encountered the Leica M Monochrom. It was an opportunity to reconsider my
thinking. The manual camera produced only black and white images using lenses made specifically for the Leica M series. It reignited my old passion for photography, and I’ve maintained my new interest in the field for over two years. I think an image
expressed only in black and white leaves a meaningful impression because human vision tends to perceive brightness before color. The M Monochrom is a brilliantly eyeopening creation based on that principle.

This month, we talk about German camera brand Leica. It’s a special brand making expensive compact cameras sought after by all photographers, amateur and professional. With the decline of film and the rise of digital, many businesses in the photography
industry, including Leica, found themselves facing significant challenges. Leica, however, adopted Panasonic’s digital technology to introduce new products, and has continually worked to strengthen its presence in the digital market. The value of the Leica brand seemed to have been proved when Leica and Panasonic launched identical cameras, differentiated only by slightly different logos and designs, and more people went for the
Leica. It must have taken an extraordinary effort for the camera brand that invented the 35 mm compact and introduced photography to the general public to maintain its reputation in the digital segment.

In preparing this issue, I pulled out the photographs I took and developed 22 years ago. What seemed clear to me was that while the technologies for storage and reproduction have evolved, the person who felt and created those photos has not changed. The
hands, the ears, the eyes, and the mind of the creator are still the same. It seems as though some of those things which were forgotten with the emergence of digital over the last 20 years are now receiving new recognition. This might be a good time to
shoot photos in black and white and develop them for physical printing. This process gives the photographer some time to take a break and recall the moments captured. Perhaps I could even gather all the photos I’ve taken and hold a small exhibition

PublisherSuyong Joh


Publisher’s Note


Comments from Leica users across the globe and records of the moments they have shared with Leica

Into the Shops

Scenes from Leica stores around the world


Jeffrey Hirsch, owner of the New York camera shop Foto Care

Inner Space

Product Scenes
Leica’s unique show window displays revealing the brand’s identity

Basic Lineup
Classic product lineups encompassing Leica’s past, present, and future

Extended Lineup
Products born out of Leica’s confidence and spirit of collaboration


A look at Leica’s attempts to differentiate itself in the digital market


Film director Chan-wook Park


Independent Dealers
Independent dealers retailing Leica products in their own ways

User Choice

Four Leica users who each have different reasons for liking the brand

Brand to Brand

Media Inspiration
Leica users talk about the media outlets that inspire them


British conceptual artist Rolf Sachs

The Decisive Moment

Records of the scenes captured by 10 photographers

The value of Leicas as tools

The philosophies and attitudes of 10 photographers

The Field
Photographers capturing photos in the field

Brand Story

Leica’s unique philosophy and technologies helped it rise from its origins as a small microscope maker to the peak of the camera industry


Leica’s partners share common business or cultural experiences with the German camera company


An analysis of the global camera market with a chronology of significant events


The prestige of the Leica seen in comments by public figures


Quotes by Leica CEO Alfred Schopf


Significant figures in the history of Leica

From the Editor in Chief

The Editor in Chief offers his observations on Leica’s core values



Suyong Joh

Editor In Chief
Taehyuk Choi

Issue Editor
Eunsung Park
Senior Editor
Heeyoung Yoo/dd>
Yunseong Jang, Bora Nam
Translation Editor
Heejean Kim
Hyunkyung Yoo, Rancy Kim, Seongae Yang, Soonok Hwang
Copy Editing
Eugene Larsen-Hallok
Simon Chan
Lead Designer
Younghyun Ok
Ayoon Jung, Minyoung Kim
Film Designer
Onedoe Jung
Nohseon Song
Mihye Nam (Tokyo), Nari Park (London), Jungho Lee (New York), Jeewon Lim (Milan), Hyeseon Jeong (Paris)
JOH & Company
Printed in the Republic of Korea
978-89-98415-70-9 03050


Henri Cartier-Bresson: The Decisive Moment
100 Years of Leica, Ninety-Nine Years
Alex Webb and Rebecca Norris Webb on Street Photography and the Poetic Image: The Photography Workshop Series
Leica Myself
BBC News “One Hundred Year of Leica Cameras”
Leica User Forum