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40th Leitz Photographica Auction catalog of rare cameras is now live

Leica Leitz Photographica Auction
(Image credit: Leica)

Renowned auction house Leitz Photographica Auction (opens in new tab) will be holding the world's largest auction of historic cameras, for the 40th time, in celebration of its 20 year anniversary! The catalog for the upcoming auction spectacle is now available to peruse online and it offers some of the most interesting and sought after pieces of camera history.

The auction house will be showcasing some extremely rare gems, including an exceptional stand out, the historically unique Leica 0-Series No.105 camera produced in 1923, this was the personal camera of Oskar Barnack, renowned as the inventor of 35mm photography. 

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An international network of dealers and collectors will be present at the 40th celebratory auction, taking place on 11 June at Leitz Park, Leica World, located in Wetzlar, Germany, where the Leica legacy was first founded in 1849.

Established in 2002, the Leitz Photographica Auction (opens in new tab) house has hosted a total of 39 auctions thus far, showcasing the best of the Leitz/Leica product world. In March 2018, a world record was set when a Leica 0-series no.122 was sold at the auction house for a staggering 2.4 million Euros ($2,560,618.84 / £2,035,999.64 / AU$3,597,952.15 approximately), including the buyers premium, standing currently as the World's most expensive camera ever sold to date. 

If you're curious as to what additional extraordinary (and astronomically expensive) pieces Leica will have on offer at this special anniversary auction, the full catalog has now been made available on the official auction site as well as via Live Auctioneers. The listings can also be viewed as a digitized interactive book of the catalog that users can browse by turning the virtual pages.

We've also got the full catalog below – should you be in the market for a piece of history!

There's a chance this record could be beaten next month, with the Leica 0-series with a serial number of 105 up for grabs, recognized as one of the most desirable cameras to collectors, and estimated to sell for up to 3 million euros.

Leica display stand up for auction (Image credit: Leitz Photographica Auction )
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A wide range of interesting collector’s items are featured in the catalog (see below), not limited to Leica/Leitz branded products. For example an Olympus OM-1 black 'NASA' variant (catalog number 305) is being auctioned with a 4-5 thousand euro estimate, being one of only five bodies made solely for NASA for space shuttle missions. An exclusive gold Hasselblad 500 C/M is estimated for 7 thousand euros and a cut-in-half Canon AE-1 (catalog 322) for a lower-end €650 euro estimate. 

Olympus OM-1 black 'NASA' variant (Image credit: Leitz Photographica Auction )
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Additionally, an extremely cool Nikon F2 budle is being sold that was previously owned by Chas Gerretsen and used on production and the set of Apocalypse Now. Included with the outfit (catalog 365) is a limited edition of  Apocalypse Now - The Lost Photo Archive book by Gerretsen, including two Nikon F2 bodies, various lenses, three signed prints, a provenance letter, and a personal note from Gerretsen to the future owner of the collection. 

Nikon F2 Apocalypse Now outfit (Image credit: Leitz Photographica Auction )
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The "Charity lot" as its referred to, will this year see a very unique camera set auctioneered to charity for a good cause. The set includes an analogue Leica MP with the serial number 5630769 and the Leica Elmar-M 1:2.8/50 with the serial number 3739015. 

These are both unique pieces that are said to stem from a cooperation between Leica Camera AG and the Leitz Photographica Auction. The metal exterior parts of these cameras were coated with a layer of real gold, and have extra unique features such as unusual gold-colored engravings.

Gold Hasselblad 500 C/M (Image credit: Leitz Photographica Auction )
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It's not just camera bodies on offer, an array of weird and wonderful offerings in the Leitz Photographica Auction catalog also boasts various rare lenses, a green Leica display shelf, prototype viewfinders, blueprints, spy cameras, binoculars, laboratory flasks, museum book collections, a magnifying glass, vintage brochures, vintage prints, Leica retro display signs and leather camera cases and bags.

Canon AE-1 cut in half for auction (Image credit: Leitz Photographica Auction )
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Read more:

Best Leica M lenses
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Best Leica SL lenses (opens in new tab)
Best L-mount lenses (opens in new tab)
$3.3 million Leica up for grabs at the Leitz Photographica Auction (opens in new tab)
Leica’s partnership with Xiaomi is official (opens in new tab)

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A staff writer for Digital Camera World, Beth has an extensive background in various elements of technology with five years of experience working as a tester and sales assistant for CeX. After completing a degree in Music Journalism, followed by obtaining a Master's degree in Photography awarded by the University of Brighton, she spends her time outside of DCW as a freelance photographer specialising in live music events and band press shots under the alias 'bethshootsbands'.