New: “Lockhart’s List” database for Leica cameras

Lockhart’s List is a new database for Leica cameras. The subscription starts from €14.99/month. A sample preview of 55 Leica cameras can be found here:

Additional information:

What is Lockhart’s List?
Welcome to the must-have resource for collectors and dealers looking to thrive in the second-hand Leica camera market. Lockhart’s List is an interactive database of proprietary information for over 1.5 million serial numbers of Leica M39 and M-mount cameras. It is available in any web browser and is downloadable as a mobile web app.

Collecting Basics
Buying and selling Leica is a rewarding practice and the backbone of many businesses and collectors. While passion is the driving factor of most Leica related commerce, financial sustainability is too significant and benefits the community as a whole. Therefore an integral part of the process is a determination of value, which goes hand in hand with provenance. For most, the first step in any type of evaluation is to consult a serial number list of camera production. Pinpointing the serial number of a camera in-hand to a single range of serial numbers produced provides basic information such as model, year, and batch quantity.

Historical Challenges
Unfortunately the records being used are merely a summary of planned production and were last updated nearly 40 years. 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.

Modern Solution
Lockhart’s List was created to update these records both in age and in accuracy, and expand them with the fluid nuance needed to align with real-world encounters of today’s collector. Doing so creates an invaluable asset for the active community and encourages entry into the market for others. 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.

Research Process
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. All the figures within our database are live calculations of the unique production records we have created. A cornerstone of our research is the meticulous consideration of various factors that can impact the authenticity and value of these cameras. We remain keenly aware of factory upgrades, the presence of fakes, instances of repaints, and the existence of á la carte models. By exercising this cautious awareness, we aim to provide you with the most reliable and trustworthy information possible. One of our distinctive never before seen tools, is the inclusion of reference images linked to individual production batches. Sourcing of these images is an ongoing process. The images serve as valuable tools for users to compare and contrast the authenticity of their own cameras. By providing this level of visual evidence, we empower users to make informed assessments on real-world examples.

Updates, Insights, & Features
To strengthen accuracy of our database, we undertake continuous updates multiple times per week. We invest countless hours of research and incorporate the latest information into the database. By embracing the dynamic nature of electronic databases, we can swiftly adapt and reflect the ever-evolving world of Leica cameras. In reality, our goal can never fully be realized, but you can be sure that when new information continually comes to light, we will be there to capture it. In addition to our extensive production records, we have a growing list of auction records spanning over 20 years. These records offer valuable insights into market trends and fluctuations in value for different model versions. Ability for structured observation of the historical sales performance further supports your judgements of their market value. Integral to our database is our proprietary value estimation system. We have developed a reliable framework that calculates value estimates for each version, and provides a median value for each model. This feature offers users instant value insights for models and versions which may be unfamiliar to them. We take great pride in the depth, accuracy, and distinct approach of our database.

Explore the World of Leica Cameras
Our level of detail and commitment to reflecting the reality of the cameras we encounter today sets us far apart from other resources available online or in print. With our focus on authenticity, classification, production records, reference images, auction records, and value estimations, we strive to be an indispensable tool for anyone passionate about Leica cameras. Explore our database, unlock historical insights, and make well-informed decisions in the dynamic world of Leica cameras. Experience firsthand the difference that our dedication to accuracy can make. Whether you’re a seasoned Leica aficionado or a curious newcomer, our database is your gateway to explore the rich history and evolution of these iconic cameras.

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