Got $1,000? You can buy this 24-karat gold legendary camera lens

TTArtisan 35mm f/1.4 Gold Skin Limited Edition
(Image credit: YouTube @ArthurR)

If you've ever wanted a lens made of (well, plated with) 24 Karat gold, today is your lucky day: this TTArtisan 35mm f/1.4 Gold Skin Limited Edition can be yours for a cool $999 (approximately £775). 

Obviously there are a few curiosities in that paragraph – not least the words "TTArtisan", "24 Karat gold" and "$999", given that TTArtisan is a manufacturer best known for making some of the best cheap lenses in the industry rather than premium products. 

Either way, this 35mm f/1.4 lens – designed for the Leica M mount, which is easily adaptable to most mirrorless cameras – certainly has the trimmings of a luxury product (hat tip to Photo Rumors). 

For starters, it's a clone of the legendary Leica Summilux-M 35mm f/1.4 ASPH FLE – which costs $6,000 and is, as Ken Rockwell puts it, "a landmark lens, optically and mechanically. It is the only 35mm lens one will ever need, offering practical optical perfection, and ergonomic brilliance."

Only 200 copies of the TTArtisan version have been made, and there's one for sale on eBay right now (and the seller is accepting Best Offers, so you might be able to get it below the thousand dollar asking price). 

So what do you get for your money? 

Well, again quoting Ken Rockwell, "the TTArtisan 35mm f/1.4 ASPH is better-made than the plastic rubbish offered by Nikon and Sony, and is sharper at large apertures than my Leica Summilux 35mm f/1.4.

"It looks and feels 95% the same as my LEICA Lenses, and only costs about 8% as much as the Leica Summilux-M 35mm f/1.4 ASPH FLE it can replace for people who actually shoot rather than work in a laboratory."

Of course, he's reviewing the standard TTArtisan lens – so you get all that goodness plus 24K gold plating, and it's still a sixth of the price of the original Leica lens. You can see it in use in the video below – just be warned, as you may not be able to resist hitting Buy It Now afterwards. 

Check out the best 35mm lenses, which are some of the best lenses for street photography, documentary and reportage. And if you're feeling flush, take a look at the best Leica M lenses too. 

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James Artaius

The editor of Digital Camera World, James has 21 years experience as a journalist and started working in the photographic industry in 2014 (as an assistant to Damian McGillicuddy, who succeeded David Bailey as Principal Photographer for Olympus). In this time he shot for clients like Aston Martin Racing, Elinchrom and L'Oréal, in addition to shooting campaigns and product testing for Olympus, and providing training for professionals. This has led him to being a go-to expert for camera and lens reviews, photo and lighting tutorials, as well as industry news, rumors and analysis for publications like Digital Camera MagazinePhotoPlus: The Canon MagazineN-Photo: The Nikon MagazineDigital Photographer and Professional Imagemaker, as well as hosting workshops and talks at The Photography Show. He also serves as a judge for the Red Bull Illume Photo Contest. An Olympus and Canon shooter, he has a wealth of knowledge on cameras of all makes – and a fondness for vintage lenses and instant cameras.