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Leitz Ur-Leica versus Leica S2

Roughly a century of technological development separate the Ur-Leica and the Leica S2. The former was finished in March 1914, while the latter was presented to the public in September 2008. The Ur-Leica was the first camera to use 24x36mm film, whereas the S2 is build around a 37.5MP Medium Format digital imaging sensor.

Body comparison: Ur-Leica vs Leica S2

An illustration of the physical dimensions and weight of the Leitz Ur-Leica and the Leica S2 is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Compare Leitz Ur-Leica vs Leica S2
Compare Ur-Leica versus S2 top
Compare Ur-Leica and S2 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Leica S2 is considerably larger (122 percent) than the Leitz Ur-Leica. Moreover, the S2 is substantially heavier (228 percent) than the Ur-Leica. In addition, while the Ur-Leica has an integrated lens (the retractable Mikro-Summar 42mm f/4.5), the S2 requires an additional lens, which will add further to its weight.

Ur-Leica
Ur-Leica with viewfinder attached[bitflare.de]

Evidently, the S2 is the more powerful imaging tool, providing an image quality and picture-processing capability that Oskar Barnack, the creator of the Ur-Leica, probably could not have envisioned. However, there are two aspects (apart from size and weight) where the Ur-Leica has an edge over the S2. The first one is power supply. The Ur-Leica is a fully mechanical camera, so that there is no risk of running out of juice during a shooting session...

The second advantage of the Ur-Leica is, well, its resale value. The camera is a museum piece, resting safely at Leica’s headquarters in Wetzlar/Germany. Collectors would probably be willing to pay several million US dollars if it were put up for sale. In contrast, the Leica S2, while surely being the better, more modern camera, just lacks the scarcity and historical importance that foster "auction madness" and drive vintage camera prices into six or seven-figure territory.

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Other comparisons

Any interest in exploring another side-by-side comparison? Just enter your cameras of choice in the search box below and you will be taken to a corresponding display. Alternatively, you can also follow any of the links further down for comparisons that others pursued.

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