The Leica Lisse store in the Netherlands has acquired an extremely rare lens: the huge, 26-pound Leica / Hughes Leitz 17mm f/2. This is the only example of this wide-angle lens produced and is currently available for purchase for just $47,200.
The Leica Store Lisse regularly obtains some rare and unique Leica products, including an unopened Leica KE-7A originally sold to the military that included an X-ray of the packaging to assure buyers what was inside.
This time, as spotted by Leica Rumors, the store has listed an exceedingly rare fast wide-angle prime.
“Newly added into our collection is this ‘one of a kind’ Leica / Hughes Leitz 17mm 2.0 fisheye lens which almost weighs 12 kilograms (about 26 pounds),” the store writes in a description both on Facebook and its website.
“The name ‘Hughes Leitz’ was adopted at the end of 1990 when Hughes Aircraft (USA) purchased Ernst Leitz Canada (ELCAN), and changed the name to Hughes Leitz Optical Technologies. In late 1997, Hughes Aircraft Co. sold Hughes Leitz Optical Technologies to Raytheon Co. (USA) and changed its name to ELCAN Optical Technologies. Therefore, this Hughes Leitz lens was most likely produced between November 1990 and December 1997. Besides the name ‘Hughes,’ the lens is also HUGE as you can see when you compare the Leica Noctilux which is placed beside it.”
Leica Store Lisse tells PetaPixel that since it published the lens to its Facebook page on July 13, it has received a large number of emails and calls about the lens asking for more information, but unfortunately, all that the store could offer is what it wrote above.
“It is a unique lens, of which only one has ever been produced and therefore also has the prototype Leica serial number,” Leica Store Lisse’s Duncan Meeder tells PetaPixel. “We’ve got many collectible Leica items to show in our cabinets here in my store in Lisse, so at this moment am not putting it up for sale yet on eBay.”
Meeder says that he is currently accepting offers for the lens starting at 40,000 Euro, or about $47,241. While this is a huge investment, it’s far below what some Leica collectibles have gone for. In December of 2020, a rare Leica lens sold for $290,000, a 1943 Russian FotoSniper prototype sold for $170,000 in June, and Jony Ive’s Leica prototype was expected to bring $200,000 when it was appraised in March.
It’s not clear what type of camera the Leica / Hughes Leitz 17mm f/2 lens attaches to, but as far as collectible Leica products goes, this one is surely one of the more unusual and rare.