Wednesday, February 19, 2014


On March 22, 2014 the 25th WestLicht Camera Auction will take place.  As usual, some rare Leica items will be offered again.  The complete offer can be found in WestLicht’s on-line catalogue, which will be available 4 weeks prior to the auction.

To order the complete catalog, go to:

Lot 53 - Leica IIIf Midland set


Very rare IIIf body with self timer in perfect, original condition, top plate engraved 'Ernst Leitz Canada Limited Midland Ontario', with matching Ernst Leitz Canada Ltd. Midland Summarit 1.5/5cm no.1246980 (cap) and Leicavit SYOOM engraved 'Ernst Leitz Canada Limited Midland Ontario' only small batches of the IIIf were prepared by Leitz Canada and engraved with the name of the Canadian manufacturer, camera no.684768 is shown in Lager I p.69

Serial No. 684716
Year: 1953

Startprice: 8,000 EUR
Estimates: 16,000 - 20,000 EUR

Lot 153 - M6 (Electronic) Prototypes + Design Models


These four cameras (ex Leitz Museum) show the evolution of M6 from the wooden design model to a working prototype camera:

(1) wooden demonstration model with metal lens mount, frame selector and apparently very long film winding mechanism, covered with leather and marked ' MADE BY LEITZ PORTUGAL ' on the back , the top plate is unmarked, but with the typical Leica Museum sticker numbered '1405'.

(2) The second model already has metal applications, the base plate is removed by a centrally placed screw, only the shutter
speed dial, the rewind crank and the frame selector lever can be moved, the top plate shows the red Leitz logo and the lettering 'LEICA M6 ELECTRONIC'.

(3) The third model is probably the most planned study, the base plate has a battery chamber and a motor connection with a cut-away model of a Motor Drive R4, the top plate is beveled on the side of the rewind crank, the shutter speed dial, engraved with 100, B, X and 1-1/1000 sec. above the ISO setting dial and exposure compensation, on the back of the top plate is a switch similar to the Leica R3, the back is fitted with a DIN/ASA indicator, top plate engraved 'LEICA M6'. With unmarked dummy lens.

(4) The  last camera  is already a  fully  functional prototype,  the top plate is engraved: 'ERNST  LEITZ  WETZLAR  GMBH', on front: 'LEICA  M6',  the base plate with the Leica Museum sticker with number '2308', shutter speed dial and film indicator show clear differences to the later production model, the cameras leather covering is marked 'MADE IN GERMANY', with serial number 1621532 (approx.1983) which is  assigned to M4-P.  The first official production camera is no.1657251. The Leica M6 was the first Leica with TTL exposure metering in a classic M housing. All the electronics finally found space in the area of the previously built-in self-timer.

Year: c. 1980-1984

Statprice: 40,000 EUR
Estimate: 80,000 - 100,000 EUR

Lot 208 - Monochrom 'Ralph Gibson Edition' Pre-Series


Unique chrome Monochrom 'Ralph Gibson' edition with red signature on top plate and red leather covering, in new condition with certificate and maker's box, with matching chrome Summicron-M 2/35mm Asph. no.4047586, complete in maker's box

Serial No.: N02/35
Year: 2013

Startprice: 10,000 EUR
Estimates: 20,000 - 25,000 EUR

Lot 279 - Kogaku Seiki Nippon


Very rare Japanese Leica III copy in beautiful and 100%
original condition,
with Nippon-Kogaku Tokyo Nikkor-QC 3.5/5cm no.571107,
according to the Nippon expert Prof. Ryosuke Mori
(see Camera Review no. 58) a maximum of only 100 cameras
were buit just after the war using also parts of other
cameras, only about 20 are known to exist, this is probably
the best of all known cameras regarding its condition

Serial No.: 19553
Year: c. 1945

Startprice: 3,000 EUR

Estimates: 5,000 - 6,000 EUR

To see some of the non-Leica items, go to the WestLicht site at:


  1. It is very interesting to see the development of the Leica M6, especially that Leica apparently was considering body stiles different from the standard M body. In the example on the upper left, is the camera attached to a Leica R3 or R4 motor, and why so"?

    1. I have been wondering about that as well. I don't think that we are looking at a prototype of a motor for the M6 since motor drives had been available for the preceding models for quite some time. I think what we are looking at is probably a gutted R3/R4 motor housing to hold some of the prototype electronics for the camera. We must not forget that electronics were not anywhere near as small as they are today. Even in the marketed version of the M6, the electronics had to be put into the space of the self timer.

  2. I also find it quite interesting to see that Nikon made what looks like a copy of a Leitz Elmar lens before they offered any cameras of their own.

    1. Nikon did indeed. Not only did they produce copies of then existing Leica lenses, but they did the same with Zeiss lenses. Even their first cameras were copies of the Zeiss Contax, however with a copy of the Leica shutter. This was carried over into the initial Nikon F.
      If you type in Nikon in the search bar on top of any article here, you will find links to several articles I have written about this topic.