Swedish auction house Auctionet, has listed a half dozen Leica cameras for auction later this week.
Four of the listed cameras are Leica IIIf rangefinders. Leica produced the camera from 1950 to 1957. The other two are Leica IIIg rangefinder cameras, which Leica began making in 1956. The IIIg was the last screw mount Leica camera, and production ended in 1960. Nearly all the approximately 40,000 Leica IIIg were made with a chrome finish. However, the 125 units produced for the Swedish military were finished in black and include engraved Swedish crowns.
|Leica IIIf with Elmar 3.5/5cm lens
The six listings are quite similar looking on the surface. However, there are some minor differences that may affect the camera’s values.
- Leica IIIf camera (No.822901) with matching black Elmar 3.5/5cm lens (No.1427165). This was the first camera in batch 822901-823000 for the Swedish army in 1956. As of now, of the six listings, this one has the highest current bid price at 41,395 euros (around $43,695 USD)
- Leica IIIf camera (No.822919) with matching black Elmar 3.5/5cm lens (No.1427158). The current highest bid is around $33,000.
- Leica IIIf camera (No.822956) with matching black Elmar 3.5/5cm lens (No.1427099). The current highest bid is just over $26,000.
- Leica IIIf camera (No.822994) with no matching lens. To nobody’s surprise, the Leica IIIf without a lens is currently poised to sell for the lowest final hammer price. The current highest bid is just under $9,700.
- Leica IIIg camera (No.987906) from series 987901-88025. Incudes ‘Triple Crown’ engraving and comes with black paint Elmar 3.5/5cm lens (No.1427101). The current max bid is around $35,800.
- Leica IIIg camera (No.987986) with black paint Elmar 3.5/5cm lens (No.1427109). The highest bid for this final camera in the set is similar to the other Leica IIIg camera, currently set at just over $35,000.
Five of the six Leica cameras built for the Swedish military look set to sell for significant sums. It will be interesting to see if any of them reach the $50,000 mark before the auctions end on May 7. For more information, visit Auctionet.
|Leica IIIg with three engraved Swedish crowns on the rear top plate
These aren’t the first expensive Leica cameras to hit auction lately. Last month, we wrote about a rare Leica 16mm prototype that could fetch over $3M at the 40th Leitz Photographica Auction later this year. Last year’s 39th edition of the famous auction featured numerous Leica cameras with starting prices in the six figures. There’s no doubt that Leica, a brand that is still very much alive in the digital age, produced many film cameras and lenses that people continue to desire. Although perhaps as investments rather than photographic tools.