Super-Rare Leica Rifle Camera Expected to Sell for $280,000

Vintage camera with a telephoto lens attached to a rifle stock for stabilization, alongside additional lenses and a carrying case.

The 44th Leitz Photographica Auction is scheduled to take place on June 8 and brings with it some exceptionally rare cameras, including a Leitz Rifle Camera valued at $280,000 — and that’s not even the highest-valued item.

Every year, the Leitz Photographica Auction features some of the rarest cameras available to purchase and the organization is going all-out for the 70th anniversary of Leica’s first M model camera, the M3.

“Celebrating this history is the leitmotif of Leitz Photographica Auction. Since its foundation in 2002, the auction house has organized its eponymous auction of vintage cameras and camera accessories twice a year and has become one of the world’s most renowned sources for historically significant photographic tools of all kinds,” the auction house says. “This includes items from a wide range of manufacturers. The focus is on Leica cameras and lenses, however.”

While there will certainly be more on the table on June 8, the auction house is previewing the sale with four exceptionally rare and interesting cameras.

The aforementioned Leitz NY Rifle is described as one of the rarest camera accessories ever developed for Leica cameras. It features a rifle stock originally developed for wildlife photography and inspired by Attilio Gatti’s thirteen expeditions to Africa; he was one of the first Europeans to photograph African wildlife. Fewer than 15 camera “rifles” were made, and in addition to the rare accessory, the lot includes a Leica IIIb and a Telyt 5/40cm lens which, altogether, is estimated to sell for between 240,000 and 260,000 euros (about $258,000 to $280,000).

Vintage rangefinder camera with auxiliary lenses and light meter, displayed on a white background.

While the Leitz NY Rifle is the most unusual of the four preview cameras, it’s not the most valuable. That honor goes to an extremely rare Leica MP2 black paint edition from the 1950s, seen above, of which only 27 were produced and only six were finished in black paint.

The Leitz Photographica Auction describes the MP2 as a modified, professional version of the Leica M2 which is capable of shooting at 3.5 frames per second thanks to a special electric motor drive. This unit was produced in 1958 and is valued between 600,000 and 700,000 euros (about $648,000 to $754,000).

Vintage gold-plated leica camera with matching binoculars, featuring intricate detailing and textured surfaces, displayed on a white background.

Also featured is one of a few existing “Luxus” Leica cameras from the 1930s. This rare Leica I Mod A. Luxus is in its original condition — never restored — which gives it a distinctive look, helped no doubt by the gold-plated body. It is valued at between 300,000 and 350,000 euros (about $323,000 to $377,000).

A leica camera lens with a focus ring marked in feet and meters, alongside a detachable lens hood, isolated on a white background.

Finally, the auction house plans to offer for sale a steel-rimmed Leica Summilux 35mm f/1.4 that originally hit the market in 1961. This particular model is a prototype of a reissue of the lens from a small batch of optics created for testing purposes. It is part of the auction house’s “charity lot” and all proceeds will be donated to “Licht ins Dunkel.” It is valued at between 6,000 and 7,000 euros (between about $6,465 and $7,500).

The Leitz Photographica Auction is scheduled to take place online and in person on June 8.

Image credits: Leitz Photographica Auction