(But the ideas of money laundering and spies are more fun :) )
I hope it is not a typo I am about to sell all my lenses on the bay.
Even if the dot/comma error occurred, he still had to manually enter all the numerals to space it out
He sure went to extremes to make his ad look like crap, the use of typography is "something else"!
Comparable USAF mapping lenses ran in the range of 900 mm and were not that expensive. The shutter speed of the camera varied but the f stop was fixed as were the filters. I've forgotten the aperture of these lenses. Actually, the f stop could be varied by an insert before flight.
Ron, see, e.g, post #17 in this thread. Mapping lenses are typically nearly symmetrical wide angle lenses with very low distortion. The Telemar-17 is a telephoto lens, i.e., very asymmetrical, with less coverage than one would expect given the focal length (30 degrees, per the GOI catalog, was used on a camera that shot 5" x 7" on who knows what) and probably doesn't have low distortion.
These days serious mapping lenses are much shorter than 900 mm. My USAF datasheets aren't as relevant to this as I'd like them to be because they cut off around 1970. Even so, all of the long lenses in them are Type Is (reconnaissance). The longest Type IIs (aerial mapping) are six inchers that cover 9" x 9" on 10" roll film. Zeiss (BRD and DDR) and Wild may have made a few mapping lens types longer than 6", I'm feeling lazy and am not going to go looking for them. Asking prices for used modern mapping lenses make most LF lenses look cheap.
Reconnaissance cameras aren't all fixed aperture -- I've bought some with shutter preferred auto exposure -- and I'd be surprised if modern mapping cameras didn't have autoexposure too. Most of the aerial cameras and lenses for/from them offered on eBay are relatively ancient reconnaissance types, are far from representative of the last generation of reconnaissance cameras that used film. That Telemar-17 is a 1948 design, not quite today's state-of-the art.