Wetzlar, 2nd May 2024.

Rare cameras to mark the 70th anniversary of the Leica M 

Introduced in 1954, the Leica M3 changed the world of photography forever. 70 years later, a rare Leica M – specifically a Leica MP2 black paint from 1958, one of only six examples produced – heads the highlights of the 44th Leitz Photograpica Auction. Said highlights also include a Leica I Mod A. Luxus and a “Leitz NY Rifle”. Furthermore, a Summilux 1.4/35mm prototype will be auctioned for charity. Leitz Photographica Auction 44 will take place on 8th June 2024 at Leitz-Park in Wetzlar. 

It has been 70 years since Leica Camera AG presented its first M model, the Leica M3. Together with its successors, the Leica M3 occupies a prestigious place in the history of photography – thanks to its pioneering technological innovations and its popularity among famed 20th-century photojournalists. The Leica M is not only a milestone in Leica’s history, but also in the history of photography itself. 

Celebrating this history is the leitmotif of Leitz Photographica Auction. Since its foundation in 2002, the auction house has organized its eponymous auction of vintage cameras and camera accessories twice a year and has become one of the world’s most renowned sources for historically significant photographica of all kinds. This includes items from a wide range of manufacturers. The focus is on Leica cameras and lenses, however. 

Only six produced – rare Leica MP2 black paint from the 1950sThe most remarkable highlight of the Leitz Photographica Auction 44 is undoubtedly a Leica MP2 black paint produced in 1958. Of the 27 examples produced in this test series, only six (with the serial numbers 935507-935512) were finished in black paint – one of those, the Leica MP2 with the serial number 935509, will be on sale in Wetzlar on 8th June. In general, the Leica MP2 is a modified, professional version of the Leica M2, capable of capturing 3.5 pictures per second thanks to a special electric motor drive. The estimate for this collector's item, which can be considered one of the greatest rarities in the history of photography, ranges from 600,000 to 700,000 euros. 

Small number, high collector's value

Just as the Leica MP2 stands testament to the camera technology of the 1950s, the following auction lot represents an exclusive rarity from the 1930s: The Leica I Mod A. Luxus with the serial number 48438 is one of a few existing “Luxus” Leica cameras – this particular example maintained its original condition and was never restored. Its distinctive looks are accentuated by a special leather covering and gold-plated body. The estimate ranges from 300,000 to 350,000 euros. 

With the Leitz NY rifle, Leitz Photographica Auction 44 will also offer one of the rarest camera accessories from Leica. It features a rifle stock originally developed for wildlife photography and inspired by one of the greats in this genre: Starting in 1922, Attilio Gatti led thirteen expeditions to Africa and was one of the first Europeans to photograph the African wildlife. According to expert estimates, fewer than 15 such “rifles” were made. In addition to the Leica NY rifle with the serial number 119, this lot includes a Leica IIIb and a Telyt 5/40cm lens. The estimate ranges from 240,000 to 260,000 euros.

Summilux prototype for a good cause

When the steel rim Leica Summilux 1.4/35mm came on the market in 1961, it was the fastest wide-angle lens in the world. For over 35 years it was produced in several versions. The offered lens is a prototype of the 11301 reissue, from a small batch of lenses issued for testing purposes. It bears a special serial number of 0000030, it also shows four screws visible on the front rim and not present on the production version. As a charity lot, all its proceeds will be donated to “Licht ins Dunkel”. The estimate of this Leica Summilux ranges from 6,000 to 7,000 euros.

Live on-site, in written form, online, or by telephone

Leitz Photographica Auction 44 will take place on 8th June at 11 a.m. (CEST) at Leitz-Park in Wetzlar (Hesse). Bids can be submitted in advance – online ( or in written form. Live bidding during the auction is possible on-site, by telephone or at and

In autumn, Leitz Photographica Auction will organize two further auctions, both in Vienna. On 18 October, the photography auction "Gestures" will take place at Leica Gallery Vienna. On 23rd November, the venerable Hotel Bristol on Vienna's Ringstrasse will host Leitz Photographica Auction 45.


Leitz Photographica Auction 44 
Where: Leitz-Park, Wetzlar
When: 8th  June 2024 11 a.m. (CEST)

For questions regarding registration and bids, please contact:

Leitz Photographica Auction
Andreas Schweiger
T +43 1 523 56 59 – 18 

Press and media enquiries: 
Yield Public Relations
Leonard Häusler-Dworschak
T +43 676 50 22 609

Press Release Leitz Photographica Auction 44 June 2024.pdf
pdf (88.86 KB)

Leica Camera – A Partner for Photography

Leica Camera AG is an international, premium manufacturer of cameras and sports optics. The legendary reputation of the Leica brand is based on a long tradition of excellent quality, German craftsmanship and German industrial design, combined with innovative technologies. An integral part of the brand's culture is the diversity of activities the company undertakes for the advancement of photography. In addition to the Leica Galleries and Leica Akademies spread around the world, there are the Leica Hall of Fame Award and, in particular, the Leica Oskar Barnack Award (LOBA), which is considered one of the most innovative sponsorship awards existing today. Furthermore, Leica Camera AG, with its headquarters in Wetzlar, Hesse, and a second production site in Vila Nova de Famalicão, Portugal, has a worldwide network of its own national organisations and Leica Retail Stores.