Someone Paid $2.9 Million For a Leica

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(Leica Model 0 prototype sold at auction)

Hold onto your camera, it may be worth something one day. Someone recently paid $2.9 million dollars for a 1923 Lecia Model-0 prototype at an auction, which is amazing as it's actually just under the list price for a new Leica at B&H. Leica's are notoriously expensive, but this model actually might be worth it. 

The Leica model-0 in question had the serial number 122 and is one of the prototypes Leica made two years before they were an official brand and delivered any cameras to market. The auction listed the prototype camera at a starting price of $492,000, but a private collector from Asia swooped in and made sure that no one else was taking this camera home by paying almost three million dollars for it. 

The original LEICA was a breakthrough when it was released. Instead of using large negatives or plates it took advantage of already existing 35mm roll-film emulsion that was being used in the movie business. Instead of running the film vertically through the gate, which would make the camera bulkier to carry around, they ran the film horizontally, essentially creating a still movie camera. In one move, they made still photography negatives smaller and gave photographers the chance to capture more images at a time without re-loading a roll or changing plates. Prints were then made by enlarging the image from the negative. This is basically the genesis of what all modern 35mm cameras were until the digital revolution of the last decade.  

Even when Leica suffered financial misfortune towards the later stages of WW2, their camera designs were so far ahead at the time that they were mass replicated and illegally reproduced in Russia and other parts of the world to fill a need. For years if you wanted a new Leica the only way you could only get one was by buying a knockoff. The odd thing is I bet one of those knock-offs are worth a lot of money today too. 

Watch the whole auction here: