‘Lockhart’s List’ is a Massive New Camera Database for Leica Collectors

Lockhart’s List

In the making for the past several years, a new Leica database called Lockhart’s List is now available that aims to assist collectors and dealers who operate in the second-hand Leica camera market.

Described as an interactive database of proprietary information for over 1.5 million serial numbers of Leica M39 and M-mount cameras, Lockhart’s List aims to provide accurate value determinations for collectors and dealers by providing a way to pinpoint the serial number of a camera that can then reveal the model, year, and batch quantity.

Lockhart’s List says that the records that are most often used today to determine the provenance and value of Leica cameras is usually just a summary of planned production and haven’t been updated in decades. The name of the database is actually a nod to the way in which people refer to existing Leica serial number lists such as Gandy’s List (2008 online) or Hahne’s List (1978 print only).

“The information uncovered is often incorrect, or too basic to be of real value to the collector. For many, this results in an uncertainty of provenance from the first step, leaving only the most seasoned collectors with any sense of direction. This valuable yet meager resource can serve as an information barrier for those interested in exploring the rich and rewarding history of Leica camera collecting,” Lockhart’s List says.

This new database is designed to not only update these records both in age and accuracy but also expand them with the “fluid nuance” needed to assist real-world situations.

“While we acknowledge a true and complete digital representation of real world experiences is unattainable, we are confident Lockhart’s List is the next best thing. Two years of uninterrupted research have been conducted before the release, and we expect ongoing work for many years ahead,” Lockhart’s List adds.

“Our research process involves a diligent exploration of literature and exhaustive searches across various online platforms. We use these resources to observe cameras’ visual characteristics and serial numbers and plot them into our database according to the taxonomic structure set forth. We do not rely on other resources for statistical or quantitative information.”

Lockhart’s List says that all the figures in its database are based on its research that combines several factors to determine the authenticity and value of a given camera and take into consideration factory upgrades, the presence of fakes, instances of repaints, and one-off models.

The images in the database were provided courtesy of Leitz Photographica Auction (Vienna), Wetzlar Camera Auctions (Wetzlar), Mint & Rare (Vienna), Coeln Cameras (Vienna), and Kamerastore (Tampere).

The database promises that its dedication to accuracy and detail has resulted in an indispensable tool for anyone who is passionate about Leica cameras.

Lockhart’s List shares some database information for free, but unlocking full access requires a subscription that costs 14.99 euros per month (about $16.50) for individuals and 29.99 euros per month (about $33) for those who support the operations of a registered business. The company plans to raise rates after the first 200 sign-ups.