Leica III Behind Iconic ‘Flag Over Reichstag’ Photo Going Up for Auction in November


It’s a day heavy with beautiful Leica news. First, we shared the photos and story behind this one-of-a-Kind Leica M4 that you can’t have, and now we’ve caught wind of another iconic Leica that is going up for sale (and is probably just as unattainable for most of us).

What makes this Leica (a Leica III, to be exact) special isn’t some particular one-of-a-kind design, it’s the fact that this is the actual camera used by photographer Yevgeni Khaldei to take his iconic Raising a Flag Over The Reichstag photograph in 1945.


Khaldei, then 28 years old, took the iconic shot in May of 1945 while working for the Soviet news agency TASS. His hope was to create a photo that would be as iconic as the famous Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima image, and so he staged this shot of an actual event a couple of days after Berlin was initially captured.


Now, the Leica III he used to snap the shot is going up on the Bonhams auction block on November 30th in Hong Kong. Joined by an Elmar f/3.5 50mm lens, the iconic piece of camera equipment is expected to fetch somewhere between $390K and $580K USD… which is why you probably can’t have this one either.

(via DPReview)

Photo credits: All photographs courtesy of Bonhams

  • Carlini Fotograf

    I highly doubt Yevgeni Khalde a Soviet News photographer would know anything about the raising of the flag by US Marines that took place only 2 months prior to the fall of the Third Reich and Berlin. I don’t think a Soviet reporter would have any access to knowledge of the Iwo Jima event at that time. Back in the time long before the internet, news traveled very very slowly and Soviets were quite restricted on what they had access to, as were the Germans too.

  • Grumpyrocker

    He’d actually seen two different Iwo Jima shots – and any simple web search would have shown you that these pictures were widely circulated as propaganda among the allies. You are just flat out wrong.

  • jeanettekavant

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  • Douglas Clarke

    Ironic as it gets. A German camera used by a Russian photograper to make a photo depicting Russian victory over the Germans. Now it is being sold in Hong Kong which is controlled by China, a Russian ally all through the cold war. Ahh, the twists and turns that time brings.

  • angelaesoto

    my Aunty
    Allison recently got a nice 6 month old Jaguar by working from a macbook.this website C­a­s­h­f­i­g­.­C­O­M­

  • Helk

    It was 1945, not 1745…

  • barbaracbell

    as Thelma
    explained I cannot believe that a stay at home mom can make $7420 in four weeks
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  • Carlini Fotograf

    Im not ignoring any facts. Actually WW1 and WW2 history is my hobby and I also had quite a lot of German and Italian family who fought in the war. The Soviets under Stalin’s system were quite restricted on what they had access to. Yes Im sure many American,British,Australian, and Canadian news services had those Iwo Jima photos. I highly doubt the Russians had any access to those..

  • ajfudge

    You forget to mention that HK is a former colony of one of the Allies (Britain).
    It would be more ironic if the auction winner pays in US $. And the auction winner is a Japanese.