Leica & Magnum: Past Present Future


For over 60 years, Magnum photographers have traveled around the world with their own agendas carrying their camera of choice, which was more often than not a Leica. These photographers produced iconic images of major world events including wars and revolutions, as well as everyday scenes of the world at work and at play. Magnum has allowed these photographers to share their unique visions and, as Alice George mentions in the video, Leica has become Magnum’s “passport to the world.” Leica and Magnum’s shared history and common mission gave rise to a technological and photographic collaboration which Alfred Schopf, CEO Leica Camera AG, and Magnum photographer Jonas Bendiksen, President of Magnum Photos International Inc., signed into being in December 2010 and was announced in February 2011.


As part of the photographic collaboration, Leica and Magnum are producing a series of multimedia essays that will take a deeper look into the stories behind the photographs. Jonathan Roquemore, who works in Brand and External Relations at Magnum, describes what sparked this collaboration, “This new program is an extension of a long-standing relationship and the need to support new documentary works with depth, has never been greater. Leica deserves healthy recognition for having the vision to understand, appreciate and support the creation of these vital new works and share them with audiences.”

The series, of which “Leica & Magnum: Past Present Future” is the first, are being presented on online at leica-camera.comlfi-online.de and inmotion.magnumphotos.com/. The video examines the legacy of Magnum photographers and Leica users from the Spanish Civil War to the present including Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Capa, Bruce Davidson, Elliot Erwitt, Constantine Manos, Susan Meiselas, Alex Webb, Gueorgui Pinkhassov and also features photos from Inge Morath, Gilles Peress, Stuart Franklin, David Alan Harvey, Rene Burri, Dennis Stock, Burt Glinn, Paul Fusco, Alex Majoli, Paolo Pellegrin, Alec Soth, Jonas Bendiksen and George Rodger. Alice George, former head of Magnum, narrates the video, which also explains the current collaboration and contemplates the future generation of Magnum and Leica photographers.


“After having met with Jonathan Roquemore, it became evident that Magnum and Leica shared the same obsession for photography, the same high quality standard and a compulsive urge to present our users with the best possible web content too,” explains Leica Internet Manager Jean-Jacques Viau. So what does the future hold for Leica and Magnum? We can certainly promise more photographic essays that will cover new works by Magnum photographers addressing contemporary themes, as well as investigations into the archives of photographers career-long obsessions to share Magnum photographer’s individual journeys and unique ways of storytelling.

There is also the technological aspect of the collaboration to be fulfilled and we’ll be reporting with more news on that front in a few months so stay tuned.

-Leica Internet Team

(Visited 917 times, 1 visits today)
Leica Internet Team

Leica Internet Team

Leica Internet Team

Tags: ,


  • I think that this is an excellent idea and shows how Dr. Kaufmann likes photography. Congratulations to everybody involved in this agreement.Best wishes
    Joaquim Afonso Malato de Sousa

  • It can not be in other way. Best agency with best cameras…

  • Looking forward to each and every installment. A brilliant gift to the photography community for which full accolades are in order.

  • Hopefully that collaboration can solve the technical problems of the M9.. After one year I am on my second camera which had the sensor replaced twice. And don’t forget to work on the sealing of the camera as well..

  • It is great news! It’s not an easy time for either,Leica or Magnum. The future will be very different! Magnum needs to see a way where their wonderful images can be seen, enjoyed, savored and studied.Maybe an internet magazine?
    So far Leica is not moving fast enough..Sure economically a good year but there are strong competitors out there.The S2 lacks serious functions and is outplayed in price by the coming Pentax. The Leica M9 needs a re-think.Fuji 100 shows the way, though really poorly. No interchangeable lenses.
    Leica needs to design & build a simple box with a really clear viewfinder,like the M2. Repeat M2. The M3 would be best but need a lens that is internal to make the 50mm frame to 28mm rather than 35mm. I use Leicas and my M6 viewfinder sucks! The M3 still my favorite after 45+years.
    No really long lenses,the 90mm fine. Ya gotta have VIDEO.
    I’m going on a month shoot to Southern Africa, mainly people and not taking my M’s for the first time! I shall use small digicams..the Minolta-600 6mp,Canon Power-shot S590 and a really low end Kodak with Rochester sensor.
    Leica for me was always about size, not aspheric lenses.
    I am not alone! In time the iPad will be a functioning camera. One will add a lens system to that. Wireless probably.
    Look forward to your partnership.

  • I watched the Video of Leica and Magnum, It`s such a inspiration.Their match is like body and soul perfectly match each other.They are not simply a partner…..

Submit a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *