Fotographiqa Plays With The World's Most Expensive Camera For Lunch: The Leica 0-series No.116

As part of a profile I am writing on Peter Coeln, CEO of WestLicht Photographica Auction and Leica Shop Austria, I just spent a very cool two hours with him at Cafe Causette at the Mandarin Oriental here in Hong Kong. 

At the end of the lunch, I showed him my unmarked Leica IIIC K (one of 200) and Carl Zeiss Jena 35mm f/2.8 Biogon (converted to feet - one of 50) and of course, what does he pull out for show and tell? 

The Leica 0-series no. 116 prototype (the last one sold for EUR 1.32million). 

Insanely beautiful and fully working 100%, there are only 12-14 of these left in the world - out of a prototype production run of just 25. The camera has the later Galilean finder and there is only one tiny piece of vulcanite which needed repairing by Ottmar Michaely. Everything else is completely original, completely working - completely breathtaking. 

Looks beautiful for something that is almost 90 years and is more than likely to sell for more than US$2 million, but is it worth it? What about the Voigtlanders, the Zeiss; the “Suisse Frere" daguerreotypes from 1839?

We also got to play with some 25 cameras and lenses that will be part of the upcoming auction available at WestLicht on May 12th, 2012. Let me tell you now, there were some exquisite pieces there. Apart from what is likely to be the new world’s most expensive camera come the middle of May; a 1925 Leica 1 Mod.A with 5-element Elmax? Check. Calfskin Leica 1 Mod.A? Check. A 1934 Leica 250 FF in almost new condition with matching case, cassettes and original maker’s box? Check. Time to start breathing again. 

How did Leica get to be valued more than many other, potentially more groundbreaking cameras? Check back for our upcoming, exclusive interview with Peter Coeln, CEO of WestLicht Photographica Auction and Leica Shop Austria.

How We Grade Our Camera Items

Many people have asked how we grade our camera items so we thought we’d give you a run-down of how we determine the condition of each item: 

(BGN) - BARGAIN (70-79%)
“Bargain” 70-79% of original condition. Shows slightly more than average wear for the item’s age. May have slight dents, dings and/or brassing. Glass may have dust or faint haze that should not affect picture quality, no fungus or scratches though. Items will be 100% fully functional with no image quality loss.


(EX) - EXCELLENT (80-89%)
“Excellent” 80-89% of original condition. Shows slight wear for the age of the item. May have small dings and/or slight finish wear. Glass may have slight dust or very faint haze that will not affect picture quality. Items will be 100% functional with no image quality loss.


(EX+) - EXCELLENT PLUS (90-96%)
“Excellent Plus” 90-96% of original condition. Exceptionally nice. May have slight wear on finish but visible only under close inspection. Glass very clean. 100% fully functional with no image quality loss.


(LN) - LIKE NEW (97-99%)
“Like New” 97-99% of original condition. Extremely slight wear only seen upon very close inspection. Box and accessories usually not included. Glass perfect.*

97%至99%新,近乎全新, 新淨整潔,可只有非常少用舊痕跡,但詳細檢查下才會見到,多數不包括原廠盒及配件。鏡片無暇。

The End of Kodak: Photographing Kodak's Last Moments

While the Kodak company may emerge from bankruptcy protection alive, and possibly stronger, after a restructure, there’s no doubt the film business is in terminal decline. Kodak has already closed 13 factories and laid-off almost 50,000 staff…


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