Rare Leica 35mm Camera That Holds 250 Photos Sells for Nearly $1M

Rare Leica

A rare 1936 Leica 250 GG Reporter with the unusual ability to hold 10 meters of film (or 250 consecutive 35mm shots) has sold for a whopping €900,000, or about $976,500 at the 2023 Leitz Photographica Auction.

The camera’s unusual shape is due to the fact it can hold a significant amount of film. On either side of the lens, the camera has a large casette housing which gives the camera a very unique appearance, as explained in PetaPixel‘s preview of the auction.

The Leitz Photographica Auction says that only 92 cameras were ever made that were also equipped with an electric motor drive called the MOOEV, which was used for aerial reconnaissance.

42nd Leitz Photographica Auction
Leica 250 GG Reporter + Leica-Motor M00EV | Photo by Jeremy Gray for PetaPixel

“Most of them [were] permanently installed in the infamous STUKA dive bombers. Many of these cameras were lost in the air battles, and only around 16 examples are known to exist today,” the auction house says.

This particular camera was found to be the last Leica Reporter equipped with a MOOEV motor that ever left the company’s factory and is described as in “very good condition.”

Leitz Photographica Auction 2023

As noted by how few were ever made and how many of those were destroyed, the camera was already rare, but this particular model was made even more so because it includes a Leica-Motor MOOEV no.10047, which matches the camera’s serial number. The Leitz Photographica Auction says that finding a matching motor with the camera is exceedingly uncommon, as cameras were usually changed when a new film was needed and the motor stayed fixed in the airplane.

Leitz Photographica Auction 2023

The final hammer price of the Leica 250 GG Reporter was far higher than expectations, as the camera was estimated to go for at most €350,000. The €900,000 sale was the highest price reached at this year’s auction by a large margin, with the second highest sale going to a Leica M3 black paint that reached €540,000, or about $586,229.

42nd Leitz Photographica Auction
Leica M3 black paint First Batch black dial | Photo by Jeremy Gray for PetaPixel

While a lot less than the GG reporter, the value of the M3 black paint is still high and also exceeded the estimated sale price.

In recent years, the value of genuine black paint Leica M3 cameras has skyrocketed in contrast to the later silver models Leica told PetaPixel during an in-person preview of the auction. The market for such cameras has increased 200 to 300 percent in the past few years.

A full list of all lots from the auction as well as their final hammer prices can be found on the WLPA auction portal.

Image credits: Unless otherwise noted, photos via the Leitz Photographica Auction