The $2 Million Dollar Camera - Your Leica Porn for the Day

The $2 Million Dollar Camera - Your Leica Porn for the Day

Some of you may have heard of David Douglas Duncan - famous for his war images, portraits and being a close friend of Pablo Picasso. His Leica M3 was sold for $2.19 million - the highest price ever paid for a commercially manufactured camera. Although the camera's price has to do mainly with the images that came from it, it was also one of only four Leica M3Ds ever created - the "D" stands for Duncan. The cameras were 'battle hardened' to withstand some pretty tough situations.

The price paid for the camera is actually the second highest. The first prize goes to a 1923 prototype Leica O-Series for a cool $2.8 million. And you thought your Leica was expensive.

Duncan, 96, is considered one of the most influential photographers of the 20th century. He gained notoriety as a Marine during World War II where he took photos while fighting the Japanese in the Pacific. His photos then got him hired, fulltime, by Life Magazine.

The standard price for an M3 back in 1953 would have been about $230, which I hear could have bought you a really nice car back then - but I also hear that no one had shoes, it always snowed, and the road was uphill in every direction.








Via Chase Jarvis and UK Daily Mail

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21 Comments

Success has always been a combination of tallent + who you know. Knowing Picasso was great, but being known by him and his associated curators would be invaluable.

... also I'm pretty sure that a Leica could give you a Pulitzer winning photo of a test chart. They are [cue accent] the most interesting cameras in the world.

The most overrated I think too. They had their day but have been overtaken in every aspect, except price.

they never were that special..if you don't own one,
if you do, well..you either have a Leica, not similar, not almost,unless it's a real Leica,

you have nothing.

somebody should tell the owner of the poor brain that payed the amount to the camera that it is not the camera it is the cameraman that took those shots.

Tom Lew's picture

Ouch - you thought somebody dropped 2.3 mil to take pictures better pictures as opposed to diaplsying as a collectible.

it's ridiculous but at the same time I could also see someone shelling out a fortune for the brush used to paint the mona lisa. I don't think the buyer intends to use the camera.

well the poor brained owner see's the "historical value" of the camera, rather than the pictures. this camera captured history which is priceless. if i have 2 million dollars, i would have bought this camera also. people are so narrow minded.

You Sir, have missed the point. By a mile.

I'd MUCH rather own some of his prints.

2 million for that camera,,, and yet I still feel the price of theCanon 1DX body is still to "PRICEY".....

Steve Jobs was a big Leica fan, perhaps his foundation bought it? To some people this amount of money is just a splash in the ocean, and I'm certain it will not be used to take any more photographs, but hopefully put on display, perhaps to emphasise the point , that classic amazing photographs were taken without the complexities of super high tech multimetering, endless mode operations and restricted ISO capabilities. The new owner I'm sure is aware that it was the great photographer that made this camera famous and not he camera itself .

Richard Wagner's picture

$2.19 million for a $50 camera???? Bwahahahahahahahahah

It's a lieca, at what point is it worth $50, even without the famous person attached.

Exactly. A Leica M3 - especially a black paint one - could be smashed, burned or lost at sea, fished up a week later, sold with barnacles still attached and still be worth easily more than $50.

Brandon Bandy's picture

The ignorance is strong with this one

Richard Wagner's picture

Ignorance on who's part?

on yours

Richard Wagner's picture

and how did you determine such a moronic conclusion? Do you even know what the word means or are you just a baffling idiot??

Well, I hope they use it!

Sometimes it is impossible to put a price on a unique piece of history and there will always be someone willing to pay to own that item.

Some amazing photos from Mr Duncan, but did anyone notice how much dodging and burning there is in his pics? At least back in those days it was limited to making eyes brighter darkening the subject etc...

Is it just me or does Pablo look like Uncle Festers long lost brother??