While the signs are that the mirrorless camera market is picking up, despite the constant pressure from smartphones on sales, there is a continued boom in used and vintage camera sales, too

Leica is part of the DNA of 20th century photography, as well as being a highly coveted super-brand, so it’s not surprising that its vintage cameras continue to make big money at auction.

The 44th Leitz Photographica Auction is taking place at Leica’s HQ in Wetzlar, Germany, on the 8th of June. As with previous years, there are several ‘star’ attractions likely to go for serious Gs, notably a black-paint Leica MP2 produced in 1958.

Leica auction MP2 black paint
This black-paint beauty could make some serious money

Back to black

Of the 27 examples made as part of a test series, only six were finished in black paint – and serial number 935509 will be going under the hammer in Wetzlar. The MP2 is a modified, professional version of the Leica M2, capable of capturing 3.5 pictures per second thanks to a special electric motor drive. The estimate for this historic camera ranges from 600 to 700,000 euros (up to £598,000).

Leica auction Leica rifle
Shoot to thrill – but warn your bank manager first

Leica rifle, anyone?

Also up for grabs is the curious Leitz NY Rifle, which sports a rifle stock originally developed for pre-war wildlife photography (with the rifle butt there for stability and also to encourage big-game hunters to ‘shoot’ their prey in a more humane way).

According to expert estimates, fewer than 15 such ‘rifles’ were made. This particular lot also includes a Leica IIIb and a Telyt 5/40cm lens and is estimated to sell for up to 260,000 euros.

Leica auction charity lens
All proceeds to charity

Then there is a prototype of a reissue of a steel rim Leica Summilux F1.4/35mm lens, estimated to reach a somewhat more affordable 6 to 7,000 euros: the proceeds of this sale will be donated to Licht ins Dunkel, an Austrian charity which helps families with kids facing learning, physical and social difficulties.

Bids for the 44th Leitz Photographica Auction can be can be submitted in advance, either online or in writing. You can also live-bid by telephone or at www.leitzauction.com and www.liveauctioneers.com.

Further reading
43rd Leitz Photographica Auction features rare black paint Leicas
Leica SL3 interview: “Our products are not cheap, but they keep their value”