The pilgrimage to Midland.

2022, Beyond 200 feet of My House™, Favourite, Film, Inspiration, Leica 50mm Summicron Dual Range f/2, Leica M3, Portrait, Q&A, Scanner - Plustek 8200i, Teaching point

In 1952, Leica opened a factory in Midland, Ontario, Canada.

(There are interesting discussions of how this came to be, here and here).

The “Ernst Leitz Canada (ELCAN)” location was initially intended to be a place for the assembly of cameras and lenses using parts from Wetzlar, Germany.  However, under the leadership of Walter Mandler, it became a high-tech research and development centre.

Although Mr. Mandler had planned to stay in Midland for only a brief time, he ended up living there for the remainder of his life. Some of the most groundbreaking — and beloved — Leica lenses were created in Canada during his tenure.

In 1990, Leica sold the plant to Hugues Aircraft.  In 1997, the plant was sold again, this time to Raytheon.

Today, I fulfilled a long-standing wish and made the pilgrimage to Midland. The distance — a 2 hr drive from Toronto — is short enough to be easily traversed, but long enough to be inconvenient (hence why I hadn’t previously attempted it).

I knew one thing before I even started: the destination would be a disappointment.  The physical appearance of the building is… uhm… not pretty, and it’s under security (Raytheon is a USA defense contractor) so there was no chance of stepping inside and accidentally uncovering a treasure trove of lost Leica lenses/cameras.

Still… I had to go, and I’m glad I did.

I took my trusty Leica M3 (loaded with Kodak Portra 400) and 50mm Summicron Dual Range, and shot 3 frames.  There was really no point shooting more, LOL.

(However, I used up the rest of the roll in the surrounding region outside of Midland, but those images await another day.)


Leica M3, Leica 50mm Summicron Dual Range, Kodak Portra 400, and Plustek 8200i.


House-Road Blues, 4.

2018, Favourite, Film, Inspiration, Kodak Tri-X 400, Leica 50mm Summicron Dual Range f/2, Leica M3, Portrait, Scanner - Plustek 8200i, Within 200 feet of My House™

The darkness on the left side is, ahem, part of my camera strap.  I could tell you that it was intentionally placed there, but then you’d know I was lying.

Unfortunately, there were no do-overs on this one… it was a candid moment.


Leica M3, Leica 50mm Summicron Dual Range, Kodak Tri-X 400, and Plustek 8200i.