The Museum is part of the Leitz-Park complex built in 2014 for the company that makes Leica cameras. Ernst Leitz I (1843-1920) and Ernst Leitz II (1871-1956) built their optics business making microscopes and cameras. The company was renamed Leica in 1986 after its most famous product, the 35-mm camera it produced from the 1920s (which in turn got its name from three letters of ‘Leitz’ and two letters of ‘camera’).
The museum opened in 2021 with newly designed displays and a temporary exhibition space for leading photographers. Three ‘experience zones’ cover ‘Seeing and Perception’, ‘Technology and History’ and ‘Photography’. The ‘Technology and History’ zone describes the history of the company and its innovations, drawing on its archive of objects and documents. Interactive stations demonstrate optical phenomena and explain principles of photography. Visitors can test the technical features of Leica cameras and lenses and see how to develop pictures in a darkroom. Creative decisions in photography are also explored, for example showing the effects of highlights and shadows, colour moods or motion. Visitors can download photographs they create.