Decades of Leica Enthusiasm

Feb 16, 2018  By Jim Lager

During the mid-1960’s (my college years) I purchased my first Leica, a used IIIg with several lenses. As expected, the results were excellent. I sought assistance from others with more Leica Experience than I. Ohio State University Professor, Al Clarke, graciously answered my unending questions and suggested I contact an individual employed by Eastman Kodak in Rochester, New York. That individual was deeply engrossed with everything Leica and if he could hot provide accurate information, he would go to the ends of the earth (Leitz Wetzlar) to obtain it.

Finally, I met Rolf Fricke at a Spring 1969 meeting in Columbus, Ohio. The tiny group of Leica enthusiasts called themselves the Leica Collecters International. It became immediately obvious that Rolf was the most knowledgeable. He knew and cared about the Leica and was willing to share his enthusiasm for the famous product of Leitz Wetzlar.

Rolf and I communicated regularly between 1969-1975. Both of us benefitted from our exchanges. We immersed ourselves in the complexities of the Leica story. The equipment, the history, the personalities. Rolf made certain that I always presented accurate information in my early LHSA Viewfinder articles.

Rolf Fricke is a founding father of LHSA. His Leica enthusiasm extends from the late 1930’s to the present. To put this into perspective, the Leica was less than 15 years old when Rolf began his photographic journey.

The illustrations, previously shown at the recent Chicago Annual Meeting in 2017, are taken from old issues of the Viewfinder. They show Rolf at his best. The Society’s Program Chairman for the Ages. Congratulations to my friend and senior member of LHSA – The International Leica Society

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