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  1. #1

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    Regarding the Price of Leica Equipment

    The small market town close to my village has a little auction house that usually displays vases and figures in its window display. Three weeks ago I walked past and out the corner of my eye spotted a camera. I went inside.

    They were auctioning a Leica M4 with three lenses and a few bits and bobs. I asked about the estimate and they told me "£200-£300" ($300-$400). Two to three hundred? Only? I inspected the items:

    Leica M4 (broken - shutter curtain torn)
    50/2 collapsible lens
    35/1.4
    125/2.5
    A Visoflex unit
    Leather case
    Pamphlets

    I figured the low estimate was on account of previous camera sales at this auction house plus the broken nature of the camera. This was no mint condition set, it was clearly a camera that had been used (all the serial numbers were from the late '60s).

    I decided to have a bid, half out of fun, half out of the hope of snagging a bargain. I placed a commission bid for £350 ($526), a little bit above the estimate.

    The auction happened a few hours ago and I've just called to see how I did. I was unsuccessful, no surprise there, but what was surprising was that the final sale before tax and buyers premium was £2400 ($3600).

    The estimate was way out. But to me the final sale price is much more than I thought this stuff was worth. I know the 35/1.4 lenses are sought after, but to pay around £3000 ($4500) in total for that kit seems a shade steep.

    A reasonable price for that kit?
    Steve.

  2. #2
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    A 50mm f2 Summicron can sell for over £800, more for the collapsible , & a 35mm F1.4 Summilux are worth over £1000, even cases go for over £50 then add the other lens and Visoflex and you've got close to that sale price.

    The official Leica repair/service in the UK is superb and not overlyexpensive, so when the shutters repaired the M4 is worth more than £1200, they do a full CLA, service of the complete camera, it's possible to get repairs done for less, shutter blind replacement is quite straight forward.

    So yes it may well be worth at least what the buyer paid and possibly more, UK Leica prices tend to be higher than in the US.

    Ian

  3. #3

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    Ian,

    Do you still do any work with 35mm?

    Tom

  4. #4
    lns
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    1. To know if the price is reasonable, you need more information about the version of the lenses and the camera.

    2. I know nothing about camera auctions, but a fair amount about art auctions. Setting a low estimate is a common tactic to increase bidding interest. And perhaps your small auction house has little experience with cameras and did no research when setting the low estimate. A lot of people, however, do know the value of Leica equipment, so something like this is unlikely to slip through.

    3. The lot of Leica equipment you are describing would never go for $526. Not even the broken M4. Without knowing more, and assuming the 35mm lens was a less expensive version, the M4 was not black paint, and all the items were in user rather than mint condition, I think $2,500 would have been a bargain for the lot. If that M4 was black paint, and it was in good condition, $4,500 would have been a bargain for it alone, I suspect.

    -Laura

  5. #5
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Kershaw View Post
    Ian,

    Do you still do any work with 35mm?

    Tom
    Nothing serious any longer, but I use a Exacta VXIIb for fun. My Leica's & Pentax's sit idle

    Ian

  6. #6

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    Interesting comments, thanks. Strange that the estimate was so low as most of the other stuff sold was about right; loads of antique furniture selling for around £100-£200, etc.

    But it was fun to poke around all the stuff on the viewing day, like a smarter car boot sale!
    Steve.

  7. #7

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    Here are the notes I took about the equipment:

    Silver M4 1189365
    Summicron 50/2 1369245
    Summilux 35/1.4 1777850
    Hektor 125/2.5 1223931
    Visoflex III
    Filters, lens shades, cases, booklets.
    Steve.

  8. #8
    fotch's Avatar
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    There must of been several bidders, all thought it was worth more than your bid, to have bid it up to the winning bid. Majority rules.
    Items for sale or trade at www.Camera35.com

  9. #9
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    There are people who frequent these sales, & car boot sales (UK) just looking for photographic equipment, and they have a very shrewd idea what items are actually worth.

    In this case the M4 is worth less than £500 ($750), I know because I can buy a choice of two from a reputable UK dealer, similar serial number.

    Ian

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by perkeleellinen View Post

    The estimate was way out. But to me the final sale price is much more than I thought this stuff was worth. I know the 35/1.4 lenses are sought after, but to pay around £3000 ($4500) in total for that kit seems a shade steep.

    A reasonable price for that kit?
    Humm for 2400 is tad high but nothing different from what you pay from a store.

    So we would have :

    M4 : 300 gbp
    35 1.4 lux : 1100 gbp
    50 2 cron : 600 gbp
    VISO ( depends on how complete is ) : 300-400 gbp
    Hektor : 100 gbp or something like that

    So that is 2300... so price seems right, considering that the M4 is repairable with low costs.

    Still not a bargain neither is a good price - you can find plenty of these items in any decent Leica shop for the prices I quoted... sometimes in very good to mint conditino and with a lower price.

    Now 350 for everything.. LOL

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