Got a spare $47,000? This unique beast of a Leica fish-eye lens could be yours!

Leica / Hughes Leitz 17mm 2.0 fisheye lens
(Image credit: Leica Store Lisse)

An ultra-rare Leica lens has come up for sale at a Leica store in the Netherlands. Leica Rumors has discovered the Leica Store in Lisse has acquired this one-of-a-kind 17mm f/2.0 fisheye lens, produced by Leica in conjunction with the Hughes-Leitz corporation. The lens is a unique prototype and weighs in at a hefty 12kg. It's unknown when it was originally manufactured, but since the Hughes-Leitz company name was only in use between 1990 and 1997, we can safely assume the lens is from this time period.

Leica / Hughes Leitz 17mm 2.0 fisheye lens

(Image credit: Leica Store Lisse)

It's perhaps fitting that the lens is so gargantuan, given it was produced in part by the same Hughes aircraft company which made the colossal Spruce Goose flying boat back in the 1940s - a plane which held the record for the largest wingspan until 2019!

(Image credit: Leica Store Lisse)

PetaPixel has revealed that the starting price for the lens is 40,000 Euros, but you can bet the final sale price will be considerably higher, given this is such a distinctive and unique piece of Leica history. This price also seems reasonable when you consider that examples of Nikon's legendary Fisheye-Nikkor 6mm f/2.8 lens have fetched up to $100,000 USD, and it's estimated up to 200 copies of that lens were produced, making it almost common next to the sole Leica 17mm fisheye!

The Fisheye-Nikkor 6mm f/2.8 commands serious money when examples occasionally come up for sale (Image credit: Photografica)

The lens would certainly be a good display cabinet talking point, and this is where it would likely stay, as the lens isn't designed for a consumer camera system like the M-mount. Instead, it would likely have been made for industrial or possibly aviation applications.

(Image credit: Ricoh Imaging)

Thankfully, these days you don't need to spend anything like a 5-figure sum to get such an extreme angle of view. The best 360-degree cameras can be had for a few hundred bucks and can fit in a shirt pocket, though it’s fair to say they don’t exude anything like the same kudos as the legendary optical fish-eye monsters of yesteryear.

Read more: 

Best Leica cameras
Best Leica M lenses
Best Leica SL lenses
Best 360 cameras

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Ben Andrews

Ben is the Imaging Labs manager, responsible for all the testing on Digital Camera World and across the entire photography portfolio at Future. Whether he's in the lab testing the sharpness of new lenses, the resolution of the latest image sensors, the zoom range of monster bridge cameras or even the latest camera phones, Ben is our go-to guy for technical insight. He's also the team's man-at-arms when it comes to camera bags, filters, memory cards, and all manner of camera accessories – his lab is a bit like the Batcave of photography! With years of experience trialling and testing kit, he's a human encyclopedia of benchmarks when it comes to recommending the best buys.