The Leica Standard or Leica E was introduced, as a basic model by Ernst Leitz, Wetzlar in October 1932. It is an improved Leica I (C) that it replaced. It has a lensmount with standardised distance from film plane to lens flange of 28.8mm, a Leitz standard. When this feature was introduced the previous year on model C, the flange was stamped with a "0" (zero) at the top to indicate the implementation of the standard, and there was an inspection hole in the back covered by a black plug, this practice was continued for some time and is also found on early Leica Standards.
The camera was offered simultaneously with the Leica II and Leica III models that have coupled rangefinders, the latter also has the faster speed of 1/1000 sec. As with all early Leica cameras, the factory offered upgrading when new features were introduced and it was possible to upgrade to other models as well. This practice in consequence makes the early models in original condition quite scarce, especially the Standard being in the first place less equipped with features than later models.
The Leica Standard was originally finished in black enamel with nickel-plated lens barrel and camera controls. The only noticeable improvement compared with the Leica C was the smaller diameter extendible rewind knob. It has an accessory shoe at the top plate exactly above the lensmount for either a rangefinder or an accessory viewfinder. The serial numbering started at 101.001 and continued consecutively for 5000 cameras that were made between October 1932 and early 1934. At which point production of chrome-finished Standard cameras had started in small numbers. However, after 1936, the majority of the production was finished in chrome, and from 1940, the Standard was only available in chrome finish, but just a few were made each year after 1940, except 461 cameras in 1947. In 1948 the Standard was replaced by the viewfinder-less Leica Ic as a basic camera in the Leica line. Those made after 1945 have a disc cover instead of a slow speed dial found on other contemporary Leica models.