Six of the World’s Most Expensive and Rare Film Cameras Ever Sold

Do you love camera gear? Have you recently come into a large sum of money you don't know how to spend? How about the opportunity to own one of the world's most expensive cameras ever sold at auction?

Cameras come in various shapes, sizes, and price ranges. While it's a widely acknowledged fact it's the photographer behind the lens, not the camera itself that is most important to picture-making, it can be hard not to be enamored by a chunk of metal with an important photographic story attached to it. Cameras that ventured to the moon or played pivotal roles during World War II, for instance, hold a particular fascination for collectors willing to pay large sums for these relics of history.

This very topic takes center stage in photographer Kyle McDougall's latest video, where he explores the most expensive cameras to ever change hands at auction. The video starts with McDougall delving into the histories of some of these cameras and the jaw-dropping prices they went for. One particular camera that caught my eye was the "X-Pan for Pigeons" camera, which was used during the world wars for reconnaissance missions and involved strapping a miniature camera with a self-timer onto a pigeon of all things. The camera was able to shoot six or seven panoramic images on 16mm film and recently sold for around $19,000 at auction.

As well as the several interesting and expensive cameras featured, the video also shows some weird and wonderful lenses that achieved high prices at auction. Among these lenses was the Canon 1200mm f/5.6 L lens, which, owing to its intricate manufacturing process, could only be produced at a rate of two lenses per year and had a total production run of just 20 lenses. For those with deep pockets, this lens could be yours for approximately $530,000.

I always enjoy McDougall's videos, as they are thought-provoking and jam-packed with information photographers actually want to know about. His latest video offers valuable insights into a collection of cameras and lenses that you may not have known existed. While these items are beyond the financial reach of most of us mere mortals, it's nice to delve into the stories behind them. Who knows, you might have one of the pieces featured by McDougall collecting dust in an attic somewhere and be sitting on a hidden fortune.

What are your thoughts on this extraordinary array of camera gear? Would you consider putting any of the featured items to use, or would you prefer to showcase them in a special display case? We'd love to hear from you in the comments below.

Paul Parker's picture

Paul Parker is a commercial and fine art photographer. On the rare occasion he's not doing photography he loves being outdoors, people watching, and writing awkward "About Me" statements on websites...

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