An ultra-rare Leica 250 GG Reporter camera complete with its electric motor drive fetched nearly a million euros when it was sold at the Leitz Photographica Auction in Germany on Saturday (10 June).
The camera, complete with its motor and the ultra-large magazine for 250 frames of 35mm film, sold for a hammer price of €900,000 (£770,350/$971,250) at the auction in Wetzlar.
The camera was one of only 92 made in the 1930s and 40s. Many were fitted to Luftwaffe Stuka dive bombers for aerial reconnaissance and only 16 are thought to have survived into peacetime.
The example sold at the auction was thought to have been made for the Dutch military after World War II.
As Kosmo Foto reported earlier this year, the camera was expected to be one of the highlights of the 42nd Leitz Photographica Auction.
Other lots at the auction included a Leica M3 black paint first edition which sold for €540,000 (£462,000/$582,750). The camera had been delivered to Sweden in 1958 and represents one of the most collectable series of Leica M cameras. It includes an all-black shutter dial, which is an uncommon feature.
Another high-performing lot was a Leica MP owned by photographer Terry O’Neill, who passed away in 2019. The camera sold for €240,000 (£205,370/$259,000).
Another interesting Leica lot – digital this time – was a brass and green leather Leica M11. As Leitz Photographica said: “The idea to produce such a camera came from a famous US Actor who imagined a Leica that would quickly age with use and becomes a unique patinated brassy look. Leica AG produced one camera for him; the offered example is the second made.” The camera ended up selling for €72,000 (£61,600/$77,675) which was donated to the charity Licht ins Dunkel.
One rare Soviet item was an FK-6 space camera used in the 1975 Apollo-Soyuz mission. Based on the Kiev-6C medium format SLR, the FK-6 was especially modified for the rigours of space.
Leitz Photographica said: “The body and lenses have been engineered for use in an oxygen-rich environment by using only non-flammable materials and modified to withstand the harsh conditions during space flights.” The FK-6 ended up selling for €60,000 (£51,350/$64,750).
The auction was one of two Leitz Photographica events taking place this year; the next will be in November.