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Nikkor 58/1.0 lens (Pic: Wetzlar Auctions)
The lens is thought to be the first in an extremely small production run (Pic: Wetzlar Auctions)

The record price for a Nikon lens was broken this weekend when a rare 58/1.0 lens was sold at the 2022 Wetzlar Auction in Germany.

The 1970s-era lens is thought to be the prototype of an extremely small production range, and sold for €187,500 (£164,450/$182,100) on Saturday (8 October).

“The only Nikkor-O Auto 58 mm f/1 known to us to date, with serial number 580101,” Wetzlar Auctions said. “The serial number is believed to be a combination of focal length and maximum aperture values, as well as sequential number 1 for the very first lens in this series.

Nikon 58/1.0 lens (Pic: Wetzlar Auctions)
The lens came complete with a blue rear cap Nikon used to denote prototypes (Pic: Wetzlar Auctions)

“Developed for cathode ray tube (CRT) photography with an engraved magnification scale instead of a distance scale. Two of the extremely rare CRT-Nikkor Auto 58 mm f/1 lenses known to us bear serial numbers in the 58111x range, which is why we assume that the lens offered here may be a prototype.”

The lens came with both a blue rear cap – often used by Nikon to signify prototype lenses.

“Two customers who connected by phone engaged in an exciting bidding war, so that the lens was finally sold for an unbelievable EUR 187,500. This is the world’s highest price ever for a Nikon lens at auction.

The lens was one of more than 250 lots offered for sale in the 2022 edition of the sale, which has become one of the leading auctions for rare and valuable photographic gear.

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Stephen Dowling
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