The World’s Most Expensive Camera Lens

A Leica camera from 1923 became the world’s most expensive camera earlier this year when it was auctioned for a staggering $2.79 million. The world’s most expensive lens has a similar price tag… and is also a Leica.

The Leica APO-Telyt-R 1:5.6/1600mm, pictured above, is a massive telephoto lens that dwarfs any Leica camera that you attach to it. It’s the company’s longest, largest, and heaviest lens.

It was produced as a custom order by one of the world’s wealthiest photography-enthusiasts, Qatari prince Saud bin Muhammed Al Thani, who paid a whopping $2,064,500 for the hefty piece of glass.

That’s not all though. Like any good billionaire photographer would do, Al Thani reportedly purchased a customized four wheel drive Mercedes Benz for the sole purpose of transporting the lens from place to place (the world’s most expensive “camera case”?)

There’s actually a second copy of the lens in existence: a prototype that’s on display at a Leica showroom in Solms, Germany.

While the technical specs of the lens are shrouded in mystery, certain things are known: it’s equipped with a Leica R-mount, it’s approximately 4 feet long, and it weighs at least 132 pounds.

Sadly, it doesn’t appear that there are any sample shots taken with the lens available for pixel peepers, but we’re guessing the shots and the functionality of the lens are similar to the magical Sigma 200-500mm.

(via Geek)

Image credit: Photograph by Leica/MegaPixel

  • Oliver Dixon

    because money equates to talent. its not the gear but the eye that makes a photographer. otherwise just a rich prick that doesn’t know how to get the most out of the expensive gear

  • Myrna Forge

    I heard that in Qatar going to university is free. Is that true?

  • Sam

    If you know nothing about photography and have that deepest pocket, then this is the best lens for you because it changes Nothing!

  • dumbo

    the lens barrel obstruct the viewfinder wtf!!!

  • dumbo

    the lens barrel obstruct the viewfinder wtf!!!

  • ajax jones

    It’s called a “telescope”

  • Henri de Feraudy

    That’s very witty, I’m not sure everyone will understand it though.

  • Henri de Feraudy

    If I remember well, some other rich middle eastern had a Carl Zeiss 5 m mirror lens built for his Hasselbad. I wonder how the price compares.

    Of course most of the cost incurred is in R&D.

    There are also some rather amazing lenses made for the military that the public almost never hears about. Because more than one of them is made they are probably less expensive.

  • Fanandala

    About that Leica lens: can anybody tell me what the max. magnification factor would be?

  • John

    meanwhile in africa…

  • Jude I⚡caяiot