Leica Acquires Swiss Large Format View Camera Manufacturer Sinar


Leica began its takeover of Swiss view camera manufacturer Sinar all the way back in 2006, when the German company acquired a 51% stake in Sinar from Jenoptik. The real goal, however, was only truly achieved yesterday when both companies announced via press release that they had reached an acquisition deal.

The financial details of the deal are being kept under wraps, but the significance of this acquisition is reverberating through the photography industry today.

“Sinar Photography AG is [a] manufacturer of equipment for professional view camera photography and the only provider in this segment to offer complete digital solutions for view camera photographers,” reads the press statement. “With this takeover, Leica Camera AG completes the company’s portfolio in the high-end digital camera segment and further expands its position in the market for professional photographic equipment.”


Sinar produces everything large format, from cameras and lenses to digital backs, shutter systems and workflow software. The largest sensor Leica offers can be found in its medium format S System cameras, but this acquisition seems to hint at Leica-branded large format options in the not-so-distant future.

As of right now, marketing, production, product management, support and development will continue at Sinar’s headquarters in Z├╝rich, Switzerland, with Leica taking over “sales and distribution of the product portfolio” alongside Sinar’s current worldwide dealer network.

The statement wraps up by pointing out that, thanks to this acquisition, “Leica now possesses a complete product portfolio from a medium format digital camera system to digital view cameras and… is now the only full range provider of digital camera systems in formats larger than the 35mm Leica full-frame format.”

To find out more, check out the full translated press release here. But before you do that, let us know what you think of this move in the comments down below.

  • sasa


  • Kieran Grasby

    Because they are a business, which means they exist to make money. If they can make more things then they can sell more things, which means they’ll make more money.


  • superduckz

    Good for them. I can’t even begin to fathom the cost of a full frame digital system with the Leica logo on it but it’s a fun dream to ponder.

  • Leonardo Abreu

    $900,000 Leica camera coming in 3… 2… 1…

  • gston3

    I wonder what Leica will do to bring the brand up to date and more competitive with Phase One. It obviously didn’t work out for Hassleblad after they purchased Sinar.

  • Jonas N

    This makes sense if there’s a sizable market for large format cameras. Is there? That is the “why?” here. It’s possible to reply to that with “Yes, because Leica thinks it is and they’ve probably researched this.” but that still doesn’t take any discussion forward (personal opinions). :p

  • David Liang

    Premium and custom markets do not depend on volume sales, so market size isn’t nearly as big a factor in the business model. Leica probably more than any other company in the industry understands what their customer base wants and is willing to pay. I suspect owners of Leica Ms and S cameras are the same people who own and use view cameras. This isn’t a consumer market model its a specialist market.

  • Zigmars Zilgalvis

    I hope Sinar will not turn into overpriced mess like Leica 35mm digital solutions. Seriously, those are a great laugh.

  • OnePhotog

    … ‘came’ in 3… 2… 1…
    they sold the apple designed M 240 for well over a million.

  • jimfelt

    Having owned professionally perhaps a dozen Sinars (P2 and digital) and a very few Leica’s over the years I personally find this very much like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. I hope I’m very wrong because Hassie and Canikon need some competition besides Apple and micro4/3rds.
    We shall see.

  • MikeD

    Seriously, who else would buy Sinar?

  • Cinekpol

    Sinar is going to release some cheaper cameras now?


  • Cinekpol

    I doubt Lecia bought Sinar to compete with either of these. Hassel pretty much sold itself in hands of Sony, and Canikon don’t do anything that comes in area of interest for either Leica or Sinar.

  • Cinekpol

    And fun fact here: Leica earns more from it’s camera buisness than Sony or any of the mirrorless manufacturer (as these are closest competitors to what Lecia M does).

  • hugh crawford

    Sony? Hasselblad has been pretty tied up with Fuji and merged with Imacon after the Shriro group bought them.

    Those Sony re-badges are the equivalent of the X-pan Fuji re-badge or all those Leica/Panasonic cameras.

    Leica’s are pretty much a bargain compared to how much they would cost if only serious photographers bought them. Rich idiots is where nice used Leicas and Hasselblads come from. Trust me you wouldn’t wan one that a professional photographer was selling.

  • Cinekpol

    Hassel signed contract with Sony – they’re much closer with eachother than Hassel is with Fuji. You’ll see in next year.

  • taneli2314234

    Neither of them make sensors or lenses. They only make the stuff that connects them.

  • Toronto Product Photographer

    I see this acquisition as a consolidation of the camera
    manufacturers due to falling prices within the camera manufacturing
    industry. More cameras like the Nikon D800 are now able to meet the requirements of what use to be exclusive to large format game.
    Indeed the D800 is not a perfect replacement, but it will be able to substitute
    just fine form many assignments.

  • P3

    Hasselblad bought Broncolor and all the companies that fell under the old Sinar Bron umbrella but not Sinar. Sinar got the boot.

  • Federico Montemurro

    If you appreciate making art, this is for you. If you need to make money, this is not.

  • Ken Elliott

    Most people won’t understand your comment. LOL.

    (The only reason you buy a Sinar, is you are deadly serious about image quality at all costs. And it does cost. We hope Sinar doesn’t go downhill after this.)

  • Ken Elliott

    Agree. FX is moving into low-end medium format. With Sony now building CMOS medium format sensors, we may see Asian camera companies move into medium format for the first time. They have already developed most of the components with their mirrorless cameras. I think Leica sees this, and want’s to stay ahead of the curve by moving into the large format / technical camera market. Sinar puts them there instantly and gives them a new market for lenses. Sinar has always been an expensive camera, and this is exactly the type of market Leica seeks.

    I wonder what Phase One will do?