Both Fleming and Maillart carry a Leika camera.
Based on the writings of Peter Fleming, the camera has been identified as a Leica III (also known as a Leika F), a model produced between 1933 and 1939.
It has been argued that Maillart (that carried two cameras) had discovered the Leica – a very advanced camera, for the time – through her photographer friend (and possibli lover) Annemarie Schwarzenbach, and had later suggested the same model to Fleming1.
Now, Fleming writes:
“The Leicas turned out very satisfactory. From our point of view one of their great virtues was that they can be handled with one hand; a large proportion of the photographs we took were taken from the saddle; and it made a lot of difference being able to hold your horse in with one hand while you focused the camera with the other.”
And I guess that with “focusing” Fleming meant “point and click”, because having had the opportunity of handling a Leica III many years ago, I’m pretty sure you can’t hold the camera and set the focus with just one hand.
And as we are at it, here’s a nice overview of the Leica III camera, courtesy of the Zenography vlog.
- thus fueling the Fleming/Maillart speculations. ↩