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Object of desire: Leica M10-P “ASC 100 Edition” camera

The American Society of Cinematographers celebrate their centenary with the release of the limited edition Leica M10-P "ASC 100 Edition" – Oskar Barnack’s legendary "Ur-Leica" reimagined.

At the genesis of cinema, American directors and photographers were faced with a headache. “Big, ugly white streaks” were often produced as a result of the static electricity that was discharged from the antiquated hand-cranked cameras they were using. In hopes of finding a cure, two groups in the States collaborated to find a solution – the Static Club of America and the Cinema Camera Club, the latter of which would later become the ASC, now the world’s oldest association for filmmakers. In commemoration of ASC’s 100th anniversary, Leica has released a new special edition addition to its M series cameras – the Leica M10-P “ASC 100 Edition”.

Leica M10-P ASC 100 Edition camera

The golden lens and black body make for an elegant collector’s item.

(Related: Inside Leica’s new top-end rangefinder camera, the M10)

Featuring an elegant all-black Leica M10-P body with a chrome finish and leathering, coupled with a gold-coloured anodised Leica Summicron-M 35 f/2 ASPH. lens with an ASC logo on the top plate, the newest product in their arsenal prides itself to be a highly versatile yet exclusive tool for cinematographers and directors alike.

New takes on an old favourite

Premiering at the society’s 33rd ASC Outstanding Achievement Awards, this camera is a contemporary take on the original version of the “Ur-Leica” made by Oskar Barnack – which was the first-in-line for a series of cameras that would eventually be developed to become the 35mm standard, the film gauge most commonly used for motion pictures. Apart from the gilded lens creating a sharp, yet aesthetic contrast with the camera’s charcoal body, it also serves to communicate the style of the old-school ‘Ur Leica’ with its brass lens, in a modern day light.

The camera comes with two “Cine looks” which can be toggled to provide different colour profiles for the photos made. These were conceptualised and developed with top professionals in the movie making industry and members of the ASC. An “ASC Cine Classic” look makes for a more vintage, analogue 35mm film look, while an “ASC Contemporary” takes on a modern, digital movie look. Aspect ratios can also be adjusted, which will show as a bright-line frame displayed in Live View mode.

The extras

Leica’s M10-P “ASC 100 Edition” also comes with a Leica VISOFLEX electronic accessory viewfinder and a Leica M-PL-mount adapter, enabling it to be compatible with almost any PL-mount cine lens on the market. It is also well synergised with the Leica FOTOS application, allowing for an expeditious sharing of photos for those collaborative projects or shoots.

The features, when combined, make for a handy, highly functional yet handsome camera with history to its design. Although this is a stills-only camera, Leica has definitely put together quite the tribute for the camera symbolising a century of cinematography.

(Related: Leica’s new M10-D digital camera takes on a familiar analog form)

The Leica M10-P “ASC 100 Edition” will be available in Autumn 2019.