Retro Leica camera from 1900s hits auction & should sell for millions

Joel Loynds
leica 0-series camera

A Leica 0-series camera has hit auction with a starting bid of $800,000. It’s expected that the ultra-rare camera will shift for millions.

Leica, one of the world’s most expensive and oldest camera brands, has seen one of its first camera models hit auction. It stems from a private collection and will be sold via Wetzler Camera Auctions. The starting bid comes in at $800,000 and is expected to sell for $2 million.

However, this might be a conservative estimate. A previous model, owned by Leica inventor, Oskar Barnack, sold for nearly $15 million at auction. It makes the personal camera the single most expensive camera sold at auction in the world.

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Barnack died in 1936, and the camera had his name etched into it. Reportedly, it still works.

The Leica 0-series is the very first prototype of what would become the Leica A-series. Leica only produced 25 of them and very few actually remain in such good condition – if at all.

Barnack and Leica developed these prototypes in 1923, which means the auction is going to coincide with its 100th birthday.

Original Leica camera set to sell for millions at auction

A previous camera, labeled as 122, sold for just over $2 million at auction, and Wetzler currently predicts that unit 121, the version they’re auctioning should shift for around the same price. However, as it is an earlier model in the production cycle, it could sell for considerably more.

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There are currently 22 people waiting for the auction date of October 7, and the bidding war is expected to be a brutally expensive one.

It’s not the first time we’ve seen rare gadgets go up for sale on auction. Most recently, an original 4GB iPhone was put up for auction and eventually sold for $190,000. Other cameras that have gone for quite a bit of money mostly include Leica models, including a gold-plated Leica Luxus II from 1932 selling for just over half a million pounds.

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E-Commerce Editor. You can get in touch with him over email: He's written extensively about video games and tech for over a decade for various sites. Previously seen on Scan, WePC, PCGuide, Eurogamer, Digital Foundry and A deep love for old tech, bad games and even jankier MTG decks.