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Rare 1932 Leica fails to set record at Hong Kong auction

By dpreview staff on Nov 23, 2013 at 21:00 GMT

A rare Leica camera has been sold at auction in Hong Kong for around $620,000 (~£380,000). According to the auction house, the gold-plated 1932 Leica Luxus II is one of only four ever made, and comes in a crocodile skin case. The whereabouts of the other three Luxus II cameras are unknown. The model sold at auction belonged to a photography enthusiast from Bridport, Wales (now deceased) who took ownership of the rare camera after World War Two and used it for many years. In 2001 he took it to the BBC's 'Antiques Roadshow' for appraisal, where its value was placed at around £5000 (~$8100).  

The camera was expected to raise around $1.2 million at its recent auction, but ultimately sold for around half of that amount. Not all Leicas disappoint at the auction house - last year a new world record for cameras was set by a Leica O, which sold at an auction in Vienna for 2.16 million Euros (~$2.78 million). 

Source: BBC

Comments

Total comments: 94
12
RStyga
By RStyga (2 months ago)

It seems that the reason for not reaching its estimated value was the lack of image stabilisation.

2 upvotes
Rage Joe
By Rage Joe (2 months ago)

What is the bokeh like with this lens? Is it any good?

1 upvote
bodziu
By bodziu (4 months ago)

or at least the #PhotographyLoving ones;)

0 upvotes
bodziu
By bodziu (4 months ago)

people are getting less stupid???

0 upvotes
costinul_ala
By costinul_ala (4 months ago)

an absolute steal

0 upvotes
Vadimka
By Vadimka (4 months ago)

The reason this camera went for so low, was because of the auction house. Not very well known place to buy a rare camera.

0 upvotes
Mohammad AlLawati
By Mohammad AlLawati (5 months ago)

Maybe the lens was not good enough...

1 upvote
Northgrove
By Northgrove (5 months ago)

But what does DxO Mark think about it?

3 upvotes
snegron2
By snegron2 (5 months ago)

Cool piece of history!

1 upvote
PowerG9atBlackForest
By PowerG9atBlackForest (5 months ago)

RED Charity Auction Sale: 1.8 Mio US Dollar for the digital Leica M design Marc Newson - feel better now?

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
Pierogo
By Pierogo (5 months ago)

Amazing. Here are some details:
http://petapixel.com/2013/11/24/one-kind-jony-ive-red-leica-m-sells-whopping-1-8m-charity-auction/

0 upvotes
MarcMedios
By MarcMedios (5 months ago)

Could it be that some common sense is creeping into the scene?

6 upvotes
Vladik
By Vladik (5 months ago)

I really hope so, but ... :)

0 upvotes
Sordid
By Sordid (5 months ago)

Common sense? No way! It's rather the financial crisis. ^^

1 upvote
jkoch2
By jkoch2 (5 months ago)

Might the Welshman who picked up the gold-plated Lexus II while serving in the UK forces that occupied a segment of Germany in the 45-47 period? It could have fetched someone a mighty favor. Escape from Spandau?

Might the other three still be belong to the estates of Industriellen oder Politiker prominent in den 1930er Jahren?

1 upvote
Sordid
By Sordid (5 months ago)

Hu?

0 upvotes
Artistico
By Artistico (2 months ago)

Gute Theorie...

0 upvotes
Pierogo
By Pierogo (5 months ago)

Nobody would have purchased a gold-plated Leica to actually take pictures, so the thing's nastiness must have come from sitting on a fireplace mantle for the last 81 years. Rare or not, it looks like junk and the bag looks worse.

1 upvote
peevee1
By peevee1 (5 months ago)

The existence of such prices for useless stuff is a indication that some people have TOO much money, and taxes can be safely raised.

4 upvotes
audijam
By audijam (5 months ago)

be careful for what you are wishing for....riches never pay taxes doesn't matter how much you raise. it is just gonna hurt the middle class.

5 upvotes
mcshan
By mcshan (5 months ago)

Why look for an excuse to raise taxes? Taxes are too high already and should be cut. If buying this camera fit someone's budget and they bought it good for them.

1 upvote
pictureAngst
By pictureAngst (5 months ago)

This is clear evidence that the market for mirrorless systems is waning and 2014 will see a shift back to nice big DSLRs

10 upvotes
boarderphreak
By boarderphreak (5 months ago)

This camera however, IS the most expensive ever sold:

http://lavidaleica.com/content/leica-red-m-nets-staggering-18m-usd

0 upvotes
pierre1
By pierre1 (5 months ago)

The most expensive photograph ever sold.
http://www.popphoto.com/news/2011/05/cindy-sherman-print-sells-39-million-auction-highest-ever-photograp

0 upvotes
Zerixos
By Zerixos (5 months ago)

No, the most the Rhein II for a little 500.000 more.

0 upvotes
oselimg
By oselimg (5 months ago)

Nowadays Leica can take pride in their cameras from the past only.

3 upvotes
mcshan
By mcshan (5 months ago)

Come on.

1 upvote
Stephen787
By Stephen787 (5 months ago)

these are bought by museum right?
why would anyone want to pay such money.

0 upvotes
jkoch2
By jkoch2 (5 months ago)

Why endow a museum to pay fortunes for cameras?

0 upvotes
ArtWW
By ArtWW (5 months ago)

For a sizeable tax deduction

1 upvote
RichRMA
By RichRMA (5 months ago)

Notice that over the past few years records are being set in the art, in the collectable world. The rich have been growing in China and India and the rich in the West have been buying up things that aren't related to bonds and the like because there isn't much trust left in those things. A painting the other day sold for $140M. A yellow diamond going on the block is expected to fetch $60M. Some muscle cars (though they have dropped in value since 2008) went from $5000 when new to $2M.

0 upvotes
Maverick_
By Maverick_ (5 months ago)

This news made me pick up my mint '51-52 IIIF from the shelf and play with it and also refresh my memory on the shutter settings for "slow" dial, vs the "fast" dial. Really, what fun working with these amazing all mechanical, and rather complex for their time top gear! I don't want to deal with film anymore but I wouldn't mind shooting a roll with this old boy. Works great, looks great. No scratch and no rust!!! :)

This is a good example that every time I see Leica slap their red dot on a Pana (I own a Pana GH1) it makes me sick! Leica should just stick to making lenses now!

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
4 upvotes
kixigvaq
By kixigvaq (5 months ago)

Collectors are generally not big fans of the special Luxus Leicas. The regular production run cameras are more highly valued. I'm surprised it sold for as much as it did. One Leica I wish I'd bought on eBay was also a IIIc. On the back it had an inscription to a German General from his staff at Stalingrad. It sold for just over $300.

0 upvotes
M Irwin
By M Irwin (5 months ago)

:(

0 upvotes
AbrasiveReducer
By AbrasiveReducer (5 months ago)

The other day, I shot an elephant in my pajamas. The folks at Antiques Roadshow were way off, even at the time for a real Luxus. The reason this stuff is in decline these days is that people who know the history and importance are leaving the scene.

Still a lot of dough for a little camera with no phone, no plastic, and--yikes--a viewfinder. No multitasking with this thing.

Comment edited 9 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Neville Dukes
By Neville Dukes (5 months ago)

What was an elephant doung in your pyjamas?

4 upvotes
Lawrence33
By Lawrence33 (5 months ago)

Same thing the Pig was doing !

1 upvote
Zerg2905
By Zerg2905 (5 months ago)

This happened because I have missed the plane to HK. Cheers!!! :) :) :)

2 upvotes
Stealthy Ninja
By Stealthy Ninja (5 months ago)

I live in Hong Kong. It happened because I got stuck in traffic on the way to the auction house. I told the driver of my Rolls to take a short cut, but he's new and didn't know which way to go. Next time I'll take my helicopter. ;)

2 upvotes
JDThomas
By JDThomas (5 months ago)

It's a custom handmade camera of which only FOUR were made and this is the only one that the whereabouts can be accounted for.

If it were a rare prototype Ford Model T nobody would blink an eye. But it's a Leica so idiotic judgements must be passed about "rich people showing off their wealth".

Guess what? Rich people show off their wealth all the time WITHOUT Leicas. They fly around in private jets, drive expensive (new and antique) cars, and pay exorbitant amounts of money for rare food.

So what if a rich person is a camera enthusiast and wants to own a rare hand-made camera? How's that different than some rich car-lover buying a rare one-of-a-kind automobile?

6 upvotes
Resom
By Resom (5 months ago)

"Compassion is received as a gift, envy has to be earned."

btw - I do not own a Leica, but I like the M

0 upvotes
AbrasiveReducer
By AbrasiveReducer (5 months ago)

I don't know if it's still true but in Japan, collectibles (cameras, guitars, cars if you had room) were a tax dodge.

1 upvote
JDThomas
By JDThomas (5 months ago)

I wish it were true in the US because all I have are cameras and guitars. Uncle Sam still wants his $ though.

0 upvotes
tobyone
By tobyone (5 months ago)

Film cameras just don;t get the good prices anymore. One use to buy a Hassy, use it for 5 years and sell for 25% more than was paid.

0 upvotes
mcshan
By mcshan (5 months ago)

Someone spending their own money for what they want isn't being a show off.

This camera means nothing to me but I can't knock someone who would want it.

1 upvote
obeythebeagle
By obeythebeagle (5 months ago)

When I collected Leicas in the 1980s, I had a IIIf, which was only a few generations later. Using it was time-warp compared to contemporary Leicas, but it had a certain amount of cache walking around NYC, and at the Village Vanguard for Dexter Gordon. My beloved 1964 Kodak Instamatic 104 prob took better pics! Got the IIIf for eighty bucks. There were no coatings on the lens and color pics sucked, so of course you only shot B&W, usually pushed tri-x for the way cool grain.

For IO, people starting in photography today are clueless how good they got it. My daughters ninety-dollar Fuji ultra-compact takes pics you could blow up to 16x20 tack sharp. Not to mention cell phones. Try making a phone call on that gold Leica.

Did Leica hire poachers for crocs, of did they have there own specially-trained teams?

0 upvotes
Wye Photography
By Wye Photography (5 months ago)

I had a Leica IIIc and a 50mm 1949 Summitar. I had some really great results and couldn't fault the lens. On the other hand, the previous lens I had on the IIIc was a Summar, can't quite remember the year of manufacture, but that, was pretty rubbish. I think it was pre-war. It was OK if you like your photos softish, low contrast with loads of flare.

You wouldn't need to make a call on that gold Leica, you would get your servant to do that.

0 upvotes
Der Steppenwolf
By Der Steppenwolf (5 months ago)

What a piece of c***! This is one of prime examples of "more money then brains".

3 upvotes
feraudy
By feraudy (5 months ago)

You meant more money than brains

Comment edited 17 seconds after posting
7 upvotes
Der Steppenwolf
By Der Steppenwolf (5 months ago)

Yes, thank you for correction.

0 upvotes
Wye Photography
By Wye Photography (5 months ago)

I feel sorry for the crocodile.

9 upvotes
PowerG9atBlackForest
By PowerG9atBlackForest (5 months ago)

No need for that. They did survive the past ten thousands of years and probably will survive Leica.

0 upvotes
Josh152
By Josh152 (5 months ago)

@PowerG9atBlackForest

That doesn't doesn't help the one that was killed to make the case. You know the (singular) crocodile Wye Photography was specifically talking about instead of crocodile's in general which is what you are commenting about.

0 upvotes
PowerG9atBlackForest
By PowerG9atBlackForest (5 months ago)

@Josh152
Don't we all do that from time to time: Talking about a singular crocodile and commenting about crocodiles in general?

0 upvotes
Paul Guba
By Paul Guba (5 months ago)

I shot some brick walls with it and they were not in focus on one side.

5 upvotes
AlpCns2
By AlpCns2 (5 months ago)

Yep, and the shutter sheds debris particles to the outside of the casing. It looks all dusty now ;-)

0 upvotes
stevens37y
By stevens37y (5 months ago)

Perhaps fungus in the lens.

2 upvotes
Multifot
By Multifot (5 months ago)

But... if it's a fake copy are made of USSR Zorki by ukrainians ?

1 upvote
NDaniel
By NDaniel (5 months ago)

I am pretty sure this camera can make a picture of a crocodile.....

Comment edited 38 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
NewForce
By NewForce (5 months ago)

Judging from the condition, I won't even pay for more than $1000.

Anyway, most antiques does not worth that kind of money when the original maker still alive. It is just a game for the rich to show off their wealth.

1 upvote
Leandros S
By Leandros S (5 months ago)

How exactly would someone who was old enough to build a camera in 1932 still be likely to be alive in 2013? Do you have a source for your claim?

0 upvotes
NewForce
By NewForce (5 months ago)

What I mean was back in 1932 with the maker still pretty much alive, the camera wasn't worth the money currently seeing in Auction.

You know, just like Picasso Le Rêve painting was worth only around $7K, it is now more than $48.4Mil.

0 upvotes
JohnEwing
By JohnEwing (5 months ago)

Hang about while I dip my Holga in yellow paint.

1 upvote
Leandros S
By Leandros S (5 months ago)

So, epic BBC fail? #donttrusttheantiquesroadshow

3 upvotes
Stoneysanpper
By Stoneysanpper (5 months ago)

Eh? The BBC valuation was 12 years ago. Ok £5k might have been a bit light but hardly an "epic fail".

3 upvotes
mr_landscape
By mr_landscape (5 months ago)

pure automanipulation.

0 upvotes
grumpycat
By grumpycat (5 months ago)

And you were complaining the Vario X is expensive! :D

0 upvotes
Ferling
By Ferling (5 months ago)

Ah, damn. Credit card declined... maybe next time.

4 upvotes
ioshadha
By ioshadha (5 months ago)

I would have settled with a camera that has auto focus, save about $619 900 and call it a day!! Oh what the hell... maybe a RX1R and save $617 000.

1 upvote
InTheMist
By InTheMist (5 months ago)

Wow, what a bargain!

1 upvote
yabokkie
By yabokkie (5 months ago)

climate should be blamed, the uncertain economy in China. also in Japan and China, fake Leica copies often sold at higher prices than genuin ones, that genuinity may also be blamed.

0 upvotes
Vadimka
By Vadimka (4 months ago)

what the flack are you talking about??? Clueless as always...

0 upvotes
HawaiiVolcanoes
By HawaiiVolcanoes (5 months ago)

btw...from the image i see here...it looks like CRAP...looks like it went through a rock-tumblr......who ever bought it paid too much

3 upvotes
Josh152
By Josh152 (5 months ago)

Considering it is the only one of four ever produced to still be known to exist and it went for half of what was expected, probably due the condition, I think the price wasn't that bad.

0 upvotes
HawaiiVolcanoes
By HawaiiVolcanoes (5 months ago)

good....like i've ALWAYS SAID.....Leica makes cameras for COLLECTORS...NOT Photographers....Amen

4 upvotes
Lawrence33
By Lawrence33 (5 months ago)

With that name you must be all 'Smoke' that blows hot and hard.
Back in the day,( B.D. )with real photogs it was 4x5 and that Leica, if you could come up with the cash.
Today, it all about 'Ego Talk' and the score, " … I've got Upteen zillion actuations … " What have you done lately ?

2 upvotes
kixigvaq
By kixigvaq (5 months ago)

I still shoot a lot of good pictures with a Leica.

4 upvotes
Fogsprig
By Fogsprig (5 months ago)

No 24p = no buy!

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
6 upvotes
Gesture
By Gesture (5 months ago)

Condition. Timing. How well the auction was marketed. That's still a lot of money.

0 upvotes
KeeChiuPeng
By KeeChiuPeng (5 months ago)

Does it have OIS?

Comment edited 10 seconds after posting
3 upvotes
JF69
By JF69 (5 months ago)

no, but it does have iOS

0 upvotes
mcshan
By mcshan (5 months ago)

It doesn't have a tilt screen or EVF so what did you expect?

5 upvotes
reginalddwight
By reginalddwight (5 months ago)

No red dot? I'll pass.

11 upvotes
Damo83
By Damo83 (5 months ago)

Expensive paperweight

1 upvote
OdzBodkinz
By OdzBodkinz (5 months ago)

It didn't have the latest firmware.

12 upvotes
Mario G
By Mario G (5 months ago)

Yes but you can't really say that its firmware is not updated or too old for that matter.

0 upvotes
Total comments: 94
12