Want to see how the world’s most expensive camera was auctioned this past Saturday? The video above shows the 1923 Leica O-Series going up at the WestLicht Photographica Auction and being sold at the record-breaking price of $2.79 million after auction fees and tax. WestLicht points out that these cameras have been appreciating like crazy in recent years: the first sold in 2007 for $440K and a second sold in 2011 for $1.9M before this most recent auction. Each of the auctions set a new world record for “most expensive camera”.
Yes, that camera you see sitting on the table is the actual camera being auction. The model at the end is holding a very expensive piece of metal and glass in her hands.
If you’re the kind of person who hates expensive collectors items then you may want to look away; because a 1923 Leica O-Series just set a new world record and became the most expensive camera ever sold. The price? Approximately $2.79 million after tax. The funny thing is that the exact same model (there are 12 of the original 25 left in existence today) set the previous world record of $1.89 million last year at the exact same WestLicht Photographica Auction. And when you consider that the first O-Series to be auctioned back in 2007 went for only ~$435,000, you have to marvel at that rate of appreciation.
Hidden in-between all of the camera announcements from Leica at their May 10th event, was a lens that made quite a stir. At 50mm and f/2.0 the new Leica APO-Summicron-M ASPH lens doesn’t seem like anything to write home about; and with a price tag of almost $8,700 it falls a bit outside most consumers’ price range.
Leica’s justification of the price, however, has to do with the craftsmanship that goes into each of these lenses, and the quality that this leads to. Like all of Leica’s lenses, each one is hand-made: the optics are inspected and assembled by hand, the casing is put together by hand, even the numbers on the lens are painted by hand; and the catch phrase for the lens on Leica’s website, “Anything but a standard lens,” isn’t off the mark. Read more…
Having released three (count em’) newcameras yesterday, you’d think Leica would be spent; but it looks like they had one other camera up their sleeves, a special edition of their M9-P called the “Edition Hermès.” If the name sounds familiar that’s because it is: every few years Leica announces an “Edition Hermès” of one of their cameras in collaboration with Parisian house Hermès — only this year they’ve also decided to include a making of video to go along with it. Read more…
The M Monochrom B&W rangefinder wasn’t the only camera Leica unveiled today — the company also announced two new models in its compact camera lineup. The first is the X2, successor to the X1 of 2009. It’s an APS-C sensor camera that features 16.2-megapixels, a fixed 24mm Elmarit f/2.8 ASPH lens, a 2.7-inch LCD screen, and a hefty $2,000 price tag. Read more…
Leica has officially announced its new monochrome digital rangefinder, the M Monochrom — the world’s first digital camera to do dedicated black and white photography. The camera features a newly designed 18-megapixel monochrome CCD sensor and “100% sharper imaging” due to the fact that raw data is processed directly without interpolation. The monochrome sensor allows the camera to achieve extremely low noise even upwards of ISO 10,000, and various programmed tones can be used to adjust the look and feel of the black and white photographs. It’ll cost $7,950 when it hits store shelves starting in late July 2012. Read more…
The big Leica announcement in Berlin is only three short days away, and as it draws closer more and more details about the highly-anticipated M9-M monochrome rangefinder are leaking. The most recent updates involve pricing and design. It seems that the new rangefinder will feature an all black body, much like the M9-P, with a Leica Monochrome engraving on the top plate. In fact, Leica Rumors is reporting that the M9-M will essentially be an M9-P with a monochrome sensor and a slightly higher price tag (between $8,500 and $9,000).
In addition to the M9-M, the Berlin announcement is also expected to include a new 16 or 18-megapixel X2 priced around $3,000; and a new 50mm f/2 Summicron-M lens for around $3,300.
Back in November of last year Kodak sold off its sensor business — Kodak Image Sensor Solutions — to a California based firm in an attempt to avoid bankruptcy. We know now that the sale was in vain, and now other camera companies are paying a price for Kodak’s decision.
Both Pentax and Leica are rumored to be developing followups to their medium format 645D and S2 cameras, respectively. The only problem is that both of the previous models were using Kodak-made sensors that are being discontinued. No news has come out of the Pentax camp as to what sensor manufacturer they will now switch to, but Leica’s rumored S3 is said to be sporting a CMOS sensor courtesy of European semiconductor manufacturer STMicroelectronics.
A member of Magnum photos since the 1960′s, photographer Constantine Manos and his Leica rangefinder have been creating beautiful photography for many years. Perhaps best known for his work in Boston and Greece, much of Manos work revolves around his South Carolina upbringing and Greek heritage.
Now, in order to celebrate some of his best and most striking work (section two on the KKK is absolutely chilling) Leica and Magnum have partnered up and put together a short “Personal Documentary” narrated by the photographer himself.
Remember that monochrome Leica M camera rumor that we reported on last month? The latest rumor pegs May 10th as the announcement date. The new camera won’t be a successor to the M9 — the M10 will likely be announced in September at Photokina — but will instead be a M9-styled rangefinder with a sensor that can only capture black and white. It is also said to have fantastic high-ISO quality and may ditch the LCD screen entirely.