Gold-plated Hasselblads and snakeskin Mamiyas: what are these cameras worth?

Gold plated Hasselblad 2000
(Image credit: James Artaius)

Wonder how much a gold-plated Hasselblad is worth? How about a snakeskin-covered Mamiya? We caught up with auctioneer Flints at The Photography Show (opens in new tab), which showed us some of its most sought-after cameras ahead of its live Fine Photographica auction on November 17.

Founded in 2016, Flints Auctions is an independent firm of auctioneers and valuers with a growing range of specialist departments in fine art and antiques. It is the leading auction house for the sale of fine cameras and scientific instruments in the United Kingdom – which was certainly evidenced by the cameras we saw…

The gold standard

Perhaps the most eye-catching camera we saw was this gold-plated Hasselblad 2000 FC/M – already one of the best Hasselblad cameras ever made, now even more covetable dripping with gold. 

With only 100 built, the experts at Flints were confident that its value would exceed £2,000-£2,500 (approximately $2,150-$2,700 / AU$3,320-AU$4,150) at auction. We thought it was by far the sharpest-looking camera of the bunch. 

There's a snake in my boot

If you're after something with a little less bling and a little more lizard, then you could always get your bids in for the Mamiya RB67 Snake Skin edition. 

Legend has it that when the first batch (of just five cameras) was shipped to the UK, one fashion photographer bought the entire lot no questions asked – making them particularly hard to find. 

Flints valued this item at auction for a little less than the Hasselblads at around £1,500 ($1,600 / AU$2,500) but said it could easily reach north of £2,500 ($2,700 / AU$4,150) to the right buyer.

Leica magic

You probably guessed it, but the jewel in the crown of the collection had a famous red dot on it; sat regally in a glass cabinet with its own box and red cushion, we spotted the Leica M6 Ein Stück edition. 

With only 1,000 ever made, this particular camera was pristine – and has never even had a roll of film put through it. Like an old Ferrari that's never been started, the motors might need a quick trip to the auto shop before it's road worthy, but Flints estimates that it would fetch at least £6,000-£8,000 ($6,400-$8,600 / AU$9,900-AU$13,300).

Don't miss the auction

For more information and the chance to add one of these cameras to your collection, visit the Flints Auctions website (opens in new tab). The Fine Photographica collection goes up for auction on November 17.

Is medium format photography worth it? Here's what a professional thinks (opens in new tab)you might also want to check out Is film better than digital photography in 2022? We asked an expert (opens in new tab) – and if you're after some film for your analogue camera Best film: our picks of the best 35mm film, roll film, and sheet film for your camera (opens in new tab)

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Alistair is the Features Editor of Digital Camera magazine, and has worked as a professional photographer and video producer.