History of manufacturing projectors by Leitz and Leica
In 1926 Leitz presented the first mass-produced projector for film strips, the Uleja. One year before, in 1925, they offered the first successful 35mm-film camera called Leica.
The first small projector had a three-lens condenser and a lens of 8 cm focal length. It worked with a 30v-100W tubular lamp or with the less brightness of a 220v/ 100W- lamp.
Nearly all small projectors up to the early sixties could be used with the interchangeable Leica camera lenses (with focal length 50mm or more). As attachments there were film strip holders or slide changers between condenser and lens.
In the following decades, Leitz made efforts to increase the brightness and the cooling of the projectors. Therefore they developed aspherical efficient condenser systems and brilliant optical systems for the projector lenses.
In 1938 Leitz offered a set of projectors like the VIIIs and the Parvo 100 for different employments at home, in school or wide halls. The Prado 250/ 500 (of 1950) was as sturdy and favoured, that it got very famous and ist was used for many years up to the seventies, some of them still today.
In 1958 with the Pradovit f the first small projector was offered with an automatic slide change magazine. This ”Leitz-magazine” became the most popular slide magazine in Europe.
In the same year the most famous projection lens was presented, the Colorplan f/2.5 90mm.
For scientific and academic employments Leitz provided many attachments for microscopy, polarization, vertical projection or with micro aquariums. Especial for the Prado 250/ 500 and the Prado universal Leitz offered attachments for 6x6 or 7x7cm- slides, too.
In 1982 Leitz and Kindermann designed the new LKM-magazine for 50 or 80 slides. The Pradovit R/ RA 152 and the Pradovit C/ CA 2502 were the first Leitz-Projectors with this magazine-option.
The cooperation between Leitz and Kindermann became more closely, when they developed the Pradovit 153/ 253. It was manufactured by Kindermann. The cooperation has ended 1990. In the same year Leitz acquired the Zett-Projektorenwerke in Braunschweig (formerly Zeiss-Ikon).
Then the Pradovit P150, P155 und P255 were offered, projectors, that based on previous Zett projectors. The Zett-Projektorenwerke had already existed since 1928 and were bought by Zeiss-Ikon in 1969. 1995 the Pradovit 600 was manufactured in this factory, too.
This apparatus was the new top product, when the production of the Pradovit P2002 ended in 1998. A new advanced condenser system generated 20% more brightness and the last models disposed of a very fast automatic lamp-change when the bulb burned out.
1998 Leica offered the Pradovit RT with carousel-magazine (and in cooperation with Kodak). It was manufactured by Kodak for Leica until 2004 (?).
The production of Leica slide projectors ended in 2006, when they were no longer in demand.
At the Photokina 2008 in Cologne Leica presented his first projector for digital pictures, the Pradovit D-1200. It was developed and manufactured in cooperation with the company ”Projectiondesign” from Norway.