I have been a subscriber of Leica Fotografie International magazine since issue 5/1988. The above photo shows the evolution of the magazine over the past 30 years. On the far left is the 5/1988 issue from the summer of 1988. The M6 was the hot camera that everyone wanted. It wasn’t the first M camera with a built-in light meter, that was the M5, but it raised the Leica brand to heights that it hadn’t seen in many years. The next issue is the 5/1998 issue. Leica was doing well with the M and R line. Second from the right is the 5/2008 issue. Leica came close to bankruptcy just a few years earlier and the M8 was released 2 years ago. The last issue is the 5/2018 issue. Leica is doing well thanks to some good products and an even stronger management team.
The first issue of Leica Fotografie International was published in 1949. It was only available in the German language. My oldest issue is the 2/1950 issue. I have about 30 assorted issues from before I started subscribing in 1988. Some issue are certainly older than me. It’s interesting how the magazine has changed over the years. Up until the mid 90’s it mostly featured the work of Leica photographers. The last 20 years there have been a lot more emphasis on the gear and less on technique.
Before the internet photography magazines was the most popular way to learn photography. I know a number of people who have been professional photographers and their only schooling was a few night classes at the local college and the rest from photography magazines. It has been a time honored tradition to say that you were self taught.