Each year, the WestLicht Photographica auction house puts some incredible historic cameras on the block and lets us mere mortals “oh” and “ah” at them before some collector with deep pockets plunks down hundreds of thousands of dollars to take them home (where they will, of course, be used daily right?…).
There’s always special items going up for auction — remember Alfred Eisenstaedt’s 1931 Leica IIIa with which he shot his iconic V-J Day kiss photo? That camera sold for almost $150,000 — and the 24th camera auction set for November 23rd is no different.
The preview shows off your typical crop of old cameras (mostly Leica) complete with interesting historical finds, but two cams stand out: the one millionth Leica and a Nikon F3 that was modified by NASA for use in space.
The 1,000,000th Leica is expected to bring in the most on the block, with estimates topping out at 500,000 Euros or about $679,000 US. It was made in 1960 and given to Dr. Ludwig Leitz by Willi Stein, the ‘Father’ of the Leica M3, and will come to auction in mint condition with a matching mint CF Summicron 2/50mm lens. (Side Note: The 1,000,001st Leica was given to the aforementioned Alfred Eisenstaedt).
The Nikon F3 isn’t expected to go for nearly as much — estimates put it at 60,000 Euros or about $81,000 US max — but it’s got to be the strangest looking of the offerings. It looks sort of like what you would imagine an F3 would look like part way through evolving into a transformer.
It was dubbed the “Space Shuttle” version and only 19 of these puppies were made around 1986, some of which were “lost in space” according to the auction house. The camera comes equipped with a special 250-exposure magazine back a Nikkor 1.4/35mm lens.
Other notable cameras going up include the 500,000th Leica, an original Nikon 1 and a Nikon S camera outfitted with a special Stereo-Nikkor 3.5/3.5cm (pictured above) that WestLicht is calling “the highlight of every Nikon collection.”
To see the full breakdown of items being sold, head over to the auction’s preview by clicking here. And if you happen to have ridiculously deep pockets and a love of historical cameras, you might wanna start planning your trip to Austria.