A fake war photograph by Canadian artist Jeff Wall was sold yesterday at Christie’s in NYC for a staggering $3.6 million — a new record for Canadian photographers and the third highest price ever paid for a picture. The 1992 photo, titled Dead Troops Talk, was captured inside a suburban Vancouver studio using models, borrowed military outfits, and fake blood. It shows a group of dead Soviet soldiers chatting with one another during the Soviet-Afghan war of 1986. The sold image is one of two copies that exist, and considered Wall’s most important creation. Interestingly enough, Andreas Gurksy (who holds the record for most expensive photo) cites Wall as an influence.
A few weeks back an amazing Nikkor 6mm fisheye lens resurfaced for sale in London for an eye-popping $160,000. The lens was quickly snatched up by a camera collector. For those of you who missed out on buying the lens but would still like to see how 160 grand worth of fish-eye performs in real life, the folks who were selling it at Grays of Westminster put together a video just for you.
Two years ago, we reported that an extremely rare Nikkor 6mm f/2.8 fisheye lens had been put up for sale on eBay for a cool $34,020. If you balked at that price, get this: another copy of the lens has turned up in London, and this time the price tag is a staggering £100,000, or roughly $160,000. The lens became the world’s most extreme wide angle 35mm lens when it was released in 1970, and boasts a field of view of 220º — it can literally see behind itself! If Grays of Westminster does manage to sell off the lens at that price, you can bet collectors will be kicking themselves for passing up on the eBay deal two years ago.
Bad news if you’re a film shooter and Fujifilm is your brand of choice: the company has announced that it will be increasing the worldwide price of its entire line of photographic films starting in May 2012. In the announcement, the company blames demand and economics for the decision:
The demand for film products is continuously decreasing, yen’s appreciation and the cost of production, such as raw materials, oil and energy, continues to rise or stay at high level. Under such circumstances, despite our effort to maintain the production cost, Fujifilm is unable to absorb these costs during the production process and is forced to pass on price increases. To sustain its photo imaging business, Fujifilm has decided to increase the price of photographic films.
Fujifilm remains committed to photographic products and asserts that even with the new price. Its photographic products remain exceptionally good value compared with other system products.
While the announcement doesn’t mention how much prices will increase by — they state that it will vary depending on market — Fuji Rumors reports that it will be an increase of over 10%.
This Holga camera is named the “Holga-Cam of the Apocalypse” and is worth $24,000. Photographer Mike Martens created it using a Holga 120N camera body worth $25 and a Phase One P25 digital back worth $24,000. The two components are fused together using a horseman lens board (hence the camera’s name) and a foot of black gaffer’s tape. The camera shoots low-fi photographs at 22 megapixels. You can find more images of the camera here and sample photographs shot with it here.
The Panavision PSR 35mm movie camera that was used for most of the principal photography in the original 1977 ‘Star Wars’ movie has been sold at auction for $625,000 — the highest price ever paid for a movie camera. While the price is record-setting for both Star Wars memorabilia and film movie cameras, it still pales in comparison to prices seen in the world of still photography — the most expensive camera was auctioned earlier this year for $1.9 million.
Despite what you might think, this isn’t some random snapshot we found online — it’s actually the world’s most expensive photograph. Titled “Rhein II”, it’s a 1999 photograph by Andreas Gursky showing the Rhine river. Last night it sold for a whopping $4,338,500 at Christie’s.
Gursky has become quite the Midas of photographers: this is his second photo to claim the title of “world’s most expensive”, with the first being 99 Cent II Diptychon ($3.89M and now the 4th most expensive).
Now here’s a camera accessory you don’t see every day: over in Japan there’s an artisan named Takuya Okamoto who handcrafts unique camera straps out of crocodile hide. The straps cost a whopping $1400 apiece.
Filmmaker Philip Bloom recently helped Lucasfilm shoot parts of their upcoming film Red Tails. The behind-the-scenes video above gives an interesting glimpse into what it looks like when pretty ordinary DSLR gear meets the big budget world of Hollywood filmmaking. The cameras are hooked up to some pretty serious equipment.
You can check out a trailer for the movie here — Blooms says that a number of his shots can be seen in it, but is keeping mum about which ones.