Rare Leica 24x24mm prototype sells for nearly $700,000 at Wetzlar Camera Auction

The Wetzlar Camera Auction has concluded, and some remarkable cameras were sold. Among the 256 lots, the majority were Leica cameras. However, among the highest hammer prices was a rare Nikon Nikkor-O Auto 58mm F1 lens. The Nikon Nikkor-O Auto 58mm F1 lens sold for €150,000, which is about $145,580. It's believed to be the first lens of its kind, and its serial number is 580101, where it's believed 58 represents the focal length and the two '01' numbers are the aperture and the production number. The lens was developed for Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) photography and includes an engraved magnification scale rather than a distance scale. There are other samples of the lens, although not many, but this particular lens seems like it is a prototype built around 1970. It includes an original blue rear lens cap, typical for experimental Nikon lenses. This Nikon Nikkor-O Auto 58mm F1 lens sold for over $145,000 at the recent Wetzlar Camera Auction. Lot 0254. Although only estimated at €8,000-10,000 before the auction began, a Leica M Prototype 24x24mm camera sold for the highest hammer price of the auction at €550,000. With the buyer's premium included, the final selling price is €687,500 ($667,000). It's an experimental model of an M camera that was previously unknown to exist. It's designed to capture 52 24x24mm images and doesn't include a built-in viewfinder. Leica M Prototype 24x24mm. Lot 0096. A Leica MP black paint was estimated to sell for €250,000-300,000 and it ended up selling for €500,000 (around $485,000). The camera was built in 1957 and delivered to the then Leitz agency in Norway that October as a silver-chrome plated camera. In the 1960s, it underwent a factory repair, and the customer requested a black finish. Leica MP black paint. Lot 0104. Keeping the Leica train rolling, next up is one of the rarest Leica military cameras, the Leica IIIg Bundeswehr. The camera includes an olive green vulcanite covering and a golden federal eagle decal. Only two Leica IIIg cameras like this have been documented. The camera is in 'very fine' condition and was produced in 1959. It was sold alongside an original olive green leather case. Leica IIIg Bundeswehr. Lot 0053. Last week, we wrote about a very rare Canon FD 24mm F1.4 S.S.C. Aspherical lens in the Wetzlar Camera Auction. The lens was expected to sell for nearly $15,000, which is about where the hammer price ended. Canon FD 24mm F1.4 S.S.C. Aspherical. Lot 0245. To see the full list of 256 lots, click here. The next Wetzlar Camera Auction is scheduled for October 2023, and entries are already being accepted. All images courtesy of Wetzlar Camera Auction

Rare Leica 24x24mm prototype sells for nearly $700,000 at Wetzlar Camera Auction

The Wetzlar Camera Auction has concluded, and some remarkable cameras were sold. Among the 256 lots, the majority were Leica cameras. However, among the highest hammer prices was a rare Nikon Nikkor-O Auto 58mm F1 lens.

The Nikon Nikkor-O Auto 58mm F1 lens sold for €150,000, which is about $145,580. It's believed to be the first lens of its kind, and its serial number is 580101, where it's believed 58 represents the focal length and the two '01' numbers are the aperture and the production number. The lens was developed for Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) photography and includes an engraved magnification scale rather than a distance scale. There are other samples of the lens, although not many, but this particular lens seems like it is a prototype built around 1970. It includes an original blue rear lens cap, typical for experimental Nikon lenses.

This Nikon Nikkor-O Auto 58mm F1 lens sold for over $145,000 at the recent Wetzlar Camera Auction. Lot 0254.

Although only estimated at €8,000-10,000 before the auction began, a Leica M Prototype 24x24mm camera sold for the highest hammer price of the auction at €550,000. With the buyer's premium included, the final selling price is €687,500 ($667,000). It's an experimental model of an M camera that was previously unknown to exist. It's designed to capture 52 24x24mm images and doesn't include a built-in viewfinder.

Leica M Prototype 24x24mm. Lot 0096.

A Leica MP black paint was estimated to sell for €250,000-300,000 and it ended up selling for €500,000 (around $485,000). The camera was built in 1957 and delivered to the then Leitz agency in Norway that October as a silver-chrome plated camera. In the 1960s, it underwent a factory repair, and the customer requested a black finish.

Leica MP black paint. Lot 0104.

Keeping the Leica train rolling, next up is one of the rarest Leica military cameras, the Leica IIIg Bundeswehr. The camera includes an olive green vulcanite covering and a golden federal eagle decal. Only two Leica IIIg cameras like this have been documented. The camera is in 'very fine' condition and was produced in 1959. It was sold alongside an original olive green leather case.

Leica IIIg Bundeswehr. Lot 0053.

Last week, we wrote about a very rare Canon FD 24mm F1.4 S.S.C. Aspherical lens in the Wetzlar Camera Auction. The lens was expected to sell for nearly $15,000, which is about where the hammer price ended.

Canon FD 24mm F1.4 S.S.C. Aspherical. Lot 0245.

To see the full list of 256 lots, click here. The next Wetzlar Camera Auction is scheduled for October 2023, and entries are already being accepted.


All images courtesy of Wetzlar Camera Auction