New world record for the most expensive camera: 2,790,000 USD for Leica 0-Serie

At the May 12th WestLicht Photographica auction in Vienna, a new record was set for the most expensive camera in the world - this Leica 0-Serie camera with serial number 116 sold for 2,160,000 EUR (around 2,790,000 USD). The previous world record  was also for a Leica 0-Serie Nr.107 that sold for 1.3 million EUR (1.9 million USD) last year.

This Leica M3 Gold sold for EUR 360.000 (around 460,000 USD):

Leica M3 gold

Leica M3 gold © WestLicht Photographica Auction

All auction results can be found on (PDF file available here), all M cameras are listed here.

Video of the actual bidding for the Leica 0-Series camera:

All expectations of the 21st WestLicht camera auction were exceeded: For the 5th time the world record for the most expensive camera ever sold was broken at a WestLicht auction in Vienna with a winning bid of 2,160,000,- EUR including buyer’s premium.

The third of the 629 lots to be auctioned, with a starting price of 300,000 EUR was an extremely rare exemplar of the Leica 0-Series, a test camera from the year 1923. In an exciting bidding war between the room, phone and internet bidders, the price of the camera climbed to a new world record. The bidder who secured the rare exemplar would like to remain anonymous.

Further highlights of the camera-auction:
One of only two existing M3 Leica cameras (Lot 113), that was officially gold plated by Leitz, was sold for 360,000 Euro (starting price 40,000; Estimate 70,000 – 90,000 Euro).

A 250FF (Lot 34), one of the most exiting screw-mount Leica cameras ever offered for sale in auction, climbed from a starting price of 12,000 to 120,000 EUR.

An Elcan 1/90mm + KE-7A (186) had a 228,000 Euro collector’s value.
(Starting price 30,000). This ultra-rare and extremely fast lens was produced for the US Navy, only 10 of these were made. This is the first lens in the series and was for the first time offered in auction!

In total 95 percent of the camera lots were sold, and the total turnover of the 21st camera auction was 5,351,000 EUR.

All images © WestLicht Photographica Auction

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  • Diego

    That is obsene…

  • You must really feel the ‘Leica Magic’ for these prices.

  • Admin, with all due respect, WHO CARES?

    • joey

      I don’t begrudge Admin for publishing this information. In fact, I appreciate it. These examples of extreme fanaticism about about Leica products keep me from spending the extraordinary sums that Leica charges for their products. I don’t dispute that in the hands of skilled and talented photographers these tools produce impressive images; however, my meager skills and the extraordinary costs of Leica products don’t justify the cost for me. I am very happy with my d800 and my contentedness is reinforced with news like this.

      • “I don’t dispute that in the hands of skilled and talented photographers these tools produce impressive images”

        In the hands of skilled and talented photographers, any tool will produce the most impressive images that it can produce. At the same time, a $300 film rangefinder off ebay will produce better images than this particular camera too.

        So, people buy this kind of stuff for bragging rights. Not because they can appreciate photography or anything. In fact, putting this much money down for a tool is a sign that they can’t appreciate photography.

        • HotDuckZ

          You reply joey because you’re scare the name of big picture, right?

    • E

      “Admin, with all due respect, WHO CARES?”

      Not you certainly, but I appreciate to know this, not for bitching about Leica as other people here, but only for the knowledge.

      Thanks admin.

    • It’s a Leica related news and Iam reporting it like many other website. I am not a collector, so I really don’t care about it either, so this post is just FYI.

  • Kevin

    the M3 gold looks pretty nice 🙂

  • Axel

    I’m pretty sure it’s a Soviet knock off.

  • Oz

    Whilst i could not hope to afford either camera I can understand the interest in the historical 0 series leica but to me the gold Leica M3 looks in poor taste. To be frank it is abit Kitch. On the other hand these “made for collectors models” keep the company going and make them profitable and thus able to make cameras the rest of us can buy.

    • Liora

      Leica makes a profit on these auctions? I thought it was a third party that collected and resold gear.

  • Owning a Leica has been one of my big dreams. Too expensive for me but at least I could by a Lumix with a Leica lens for about one hundred dollars. It’s the closest I could ever get to my dreams.
    This is a fascinating story. By the way: What kind of films does it use?

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