The Post Camera Thing

Oct 27, 2016  By Pierre Jeandrain

Of course, we speak of long abandoned systems – digitalization has changed everything – but they are still of interest for Leica collectors, since they “explain” the use of the “Post” MD’s and MDa’s found in so many collections. As well as the “error” of calling “MD Post” the first “modified M3 for Post”.

Of course I had all three models when an active collector (we speak of the last quarter of the last century…), and I long asked myself how they were practically used. Until I discovered by pure chance an ALOS “funnel” (without the camera!) at a Swiss flea market.

I recently published some retrieved photos on the Leica Forum, and Bill Rosauer immediately asked me to provide Viewfinder readers with the information. I do so with great pleasure as I am a faithful reader since the first (mimeo-graphed) issue of Viewfinder in 1968.

First, let us explain to the young “digital” generation readers-collectors that in the “past”, the calculating of telephone bills required the “reading” of individual counters-registers by the telecom authority, generally depending of the “Post” office or administration. Among others (most probably…), the Swiss ALOS firm from Zürich had developed a system that allowed the taking of a picture of several counters simultaneously. The enlarged prints were then transmitted to the administrative services for reading and manual reconciliation of the invoice. This system offered a significant time savings and provided a useful file for proof when required.

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1 Comment

I am unable to collect Leicas but have made a mini collection of the viewfinderless, rangefinderless models.
The M.D. was made 1964-1967 and was an M2. The coming of the M4 in 1967 gave us the MDa that had the slanted rewind crank and the frame counter under a glass window. The film take up spool was fixed, as in the M4 and made reloading quicker. I have two of these and use them with a 3.5cm F3.5 Summaron and the SBLOO viewfinder. In use, when I reach the end of the film, I simply exchange lens and viewfinder with the body cap on the second body. I also have the MD2 that is black and made in Canada. It has a hotshoe and can take a winder or motor drive. I use this with a 21mm F3.4 Super Angulon lens by Schneider (1964-1980). This body was based on the M4-2 & M4-P and was made until 1987, well into the M6 era. The quality of these ‘cheaper’ models is outstanding and I greatly enjoy using my four. Of course, minus the view and rangefinders makes the M.D./MDa/MD2 incredibly rugged which is why my MDa pair are my travelling cameras together with a meter and a few rolls of film, in a Billingham for Leica Combination bag M with a Filofax for notes etc. Never any problems carrying it with me on planes.

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