Focal Point President’s Letter August 2017

Aug 10, 2017  By Richard Rejino

Leica Society Friends,

The year – 2017 – marks the beginning of LHSA’s 50th Anniversary Jubilee, a one-year celebration that begins in Chicago in October 2017 and runs through Wetzlar, Germany, October 2018.

As you know, LHSA was formed in the late 60’s by a group of Leica enthusiasts which included Rolf Fricke, Nate Skipper, Spike Stieger, Jim Lager and others.   We thank them for their efforts as we continue to share information about Leica products and their use for both collectors and users, preserving literature, sharing stories and of course camaraderie. 

For the last 50 years, the mission has been to provide a place where Leica camera enthusiasts can congregate for mutual interest and enjoyment. And, of course, there is also our acclaimed quarterly publication for members, “Viewfinder”.

Our vision is to advance the “Leica Journey” in each of us.   LHSA offers Leica enthusiasts the experiences they want, and helps solve their problems as they travel along their individual journey. 

We begin our Jubilee celebration at our fall meeting in Chicago October 5-8, and you should attend!   Our lineup includes Stefan Daniel (the head of Leica’s camera business worldwide); notable photographers Constantine Manos (Magnum) and Nick Pinto; Jim Lager; Tom Smith; and Lars Netopil of Leica Historica, Alan Weinschel, Bill Royce and others.  You can register at, and join in the fun and camaraderie of meeting your fellow members, attending educational and inspirational sessions, and building on your Leica Journey.

Your Society has just witnessed an inflection point. We have been reaching out to Leica AG and Leica USA in many ways over the last 16 months, and our efforts have generated a number of cooperative programs that we work on together. Leica USA has recently asked us to participate with them in three upcoming events: Photoville in Brooklyn in Sept; NYC during Photo Plus Expo in late October; and Miami Art Basel.  You will want to support these events and attend if possible, and we will keep you informed.

Did you know there are other ways that you can support your Society?  Your dues alone do not cover the services that we provide, so here are several ways that you can help support the momentum and services that make your Society the ‘Go to Place for All Things Leica’.

  1. You will have the opportunity to purchase an English translation of the illustrated book “Oskar Barnack-From the Idea to the Leica”. This book, written in German in 2009 by Ulf Richter, and through the hard work of Doug Drumheller and his team, has been translated into English.   This rare edition will be available to you this Fall at a very attractive price.
  2. Member Stefan Immes, owner of Oberwerth Camera Bags is releasing a special Oberwerth Freiburg bag using non-production materials and with a 50th LHSA Anniversary Logo. We are attempting to serialize these bags, and they will be collectors’ items in the years ahead. In addition, he will donate funds from each bag sale to help support our Photography Philanthropy Fund. We will need a minimum of 50 pre-orders to launch this important program, so please participate.
  3. A Sweepstakes is being offered September of this year after a long hiatus. Top prize is a new M10, a camera on a long backlist due to its popularity. Many of you have experienced procurement delays, but we will have one for the lucky prize winner. You will receive more about this program in a few weeks, and again, this is your chance to support your Society and to continue to enjoy our services and give yourself a chance to experience the Leica Journey with a new M10.
  4. Bill Rosauer is working with Leica AG on some LHSA commemorative Leica products. The first offering will be a limited edition retro design of the 50 APO Summicron based on the original Rigid Summicron. We hope to have this available by the end of this year.

Now some questions for you:

Have you seen the new video program we have started? We roll out a new video every month from our events.  The most recent ones featuring: Stefan Daniel; Jim Lager, Gregory Simpson; Ashwin Rao and others. These videos are getting great reviews on social media for their educational value, tips for photographing, etc., and let’s not forget entertainment.

When was the last time that you visited our new Website?   There are all types of new features for you to enjoy and enhance your membership. Please take a moment to explore what your website has to offer.

Are you interested in attending the meeting in Wetzlar in October 2018?  This meeting will include a tour of the Leica factory and meetings with Leica executives.   Email to with “Wetzlar” as the subject and we will put you on the already large and still growing list.  

Thank you,

Gary Hough, LHSA President

Richard Rejino
Richard is the Executive Director of LHSA - The International Leica Society and a part-time professional photographer. He is also a classically trained pianist, writer and published author. His book, "What Music Means to Me" is available from Hal Leonard Corporation.

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