April 1, 2023

This Prototype Noctilux Lens from 1964 May Promote for $500K

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We’ve all seen some very expensive lens fashions emerge on the market as used or new fashions over time, however one specific Noctilux takes the cake.

The outdated lens, a prototype Leica Noctilux 50mm f/1.2 mannequin from 1964 is anticipated to retail at public sale for $500,000 {dollars} at an public sale to be held subsequent week. This in fact is an estimated value and it would actually promote for much less, or probably much more.

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The exceptionally uncommon lens was the premise for one of many first mass-produced optics to incorporate an aspherical set of parts, which have been launched for mass manufacturing in 1966.

Leica created the Noctilux 50mm f/1.2 B702 chrome prototype as an idea take a look at run a few years earlier than starting mass manufacturing of a consumer-model model of the identical important expertise in 1966.

In keeping with the Leitz Public sale, this specific little silver-colored lens was for its time the very pinnacle of optical design and technological development attributable to its functionality at creating almost good pictures with very good distinction and subsequent to no coma aberrations.

Within the phrases of the Public sale’s organizers, “50 years in the past, it was an incredible problem even for Leitz to develop such a lens, which was additionally mirrored within the value: the lens was virtually twice as costly because the physique of a Leica M4,”

Leica went on to supply the mass-market model of this optic at a price of 1 per day for the subsequent decade. This quantities to a complete of roughly 1800 items made.

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For a shopper lens, this can be a small quantity and causes even the mass-market post-1966 version of the 50mm to be a uncommon and invaluable merchandise at present.

The 1964 prototype mannequin is one thing else completely, being a one-of-a-kind creation and thus with such a excessive expectation for its ultimate public sale value. The Leitz Public sale is even calling it a “unicorn” amongst particular Leica lenses.

photo of prototype noctilux leica lens

As may be seen within the pictures right here, your entire optic is chromed over for a high quality silver end and has been saved in glorious, even working situation regardless of being greater than 50 years outdated.

The Leitz public sale even verified this, stating, “The photographic take a look at exhibits that the lens nonetheless delivers the gorgeous, dreamy pictures that the primary model of the Noctilux is legendary for. A small piece of graph paper is taped over the depth of discipline scale — it was used on the manufacturing unit to mark take a look at outcomes on it,”

Notable too is that the phrase “Noctilux” isn’t engraved on this distinctive prototype machine. The Leitz Photographica Public sale’s valuation specialists have estimated its sale worth at between $400,000 and $500,000. It would begin auctioning at a $200,000 base value.

photo of 1964 prototype leica noctilux 50mm lens

That the lens mannequin comes from a model as prestigious and outdated as Leica actually helps give it much more gravitas at a photographic memorabilia public sale.

This merchandise and plenty of others will likely be put up for bidding on the 41st Leitz Photographica Public sale, which will likely be held this weekend on November 26th in Vienna, Austria.

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Among the different gadgets that will likely be offered on the public sale embody a Leica M3 prototype optic, a Leica M2 Black Paint version and an M3 OLIV Bundeseigentum digital camera that has beforehand offered on the Wetzlar Public sale for a whopping $450,000 in keeping with the positioning KosmoFoto.