« The Nikon D700: From My Cold Dead Hands | Main | Test Your Hue Discrimination »

Friday, 03 October 2008


The worn Leica linked made me wonder how a well used DSLR will be described in future for sale ads.

"Lightly Magnesiummed?"

Only $42 carriage? Will that cover the cost of it being brought to my home on a palanquin borne by four seven foot tall aryans?

I wholeheartedly agree regarding how a camera "should" look. That must be why, about ten years ago, the day I had gotten my fist Leica, a used but pristine black classic M6, I proceeded to crash it against a concrete floor :) I unbent the rewind know with pliers and used it like that for about a year after that.

My M8 got the tape treatment when I got it, and I was determined to take good care of it, given the price, and the fact that I wasn't sure I'd want to keep it. Somehow, after six months, now the bottom plate is pretty badly scratched and has a ding or two.

Never buy a used camera from me.

Yup, okay but I can think of a lot of other things that I might do with that amount of money. But $42 delivery!

Considering that Salgado is renowned for making images of the poor and downtrodden, I initially felt that this was an auction in pretty poor taste. But when I read it, I found that it's being sold in support of a charity, by Salgado himself.

This feels ok to me. He's a working photographer presented with a weird and embarrasing camera from a manufacturer. It's both an honour of sorts and a marketing stunt by Leica. The camera is unique (like any other camera), the only thing making it special is the serial number and the finish.

Let some collector buy it and hoard it, at least some of the money will be put to good use!

Does Photo Arsenal ever end up selling any of this outrageously priced gear? I've seen links in the past to similar auctions. I've always assumed it was some sort of fishing expedition in hope of landing a foolish whale.

Pretty camera.

On DPR there is a thread about a recent German article wherein Salgado says that he has started shooting digital, due to changes in film emulsion characteristics he does not like.

"That's also how I got the Lemmon Leica, from a photo store clerk who had taken it in trade-in—Mr. Lemmon bought a Nikon DSLR, if I remember correctly. It was only shortly before he died."

Maybe there's a moral in this.

Stephen Best,
You don't suppose it means Sebastiao Salgado is about to die, do you?

Mike J.

If I remember correctly, the letter with the camera set was in reference to when the camera was first sold at the (27.11.2005) Westlicht Photographica Auction. I am not sure whether or not any amount of the proceeds from the current sale would go anywhere but to Photo Arsenal.

Dave T.

"You don't suppose it means Sebastiao Salgado is about to die, do you?"

Hope not. The big show of his I saw at AGNSW in Sydney quite a few years ago was quite an experience.

At $140,000 I hope they're springing for insurance. Hey I have my own personal Nikon FE (black of course) I'll let go for $5000. I used it to win a photo contest. Don't make me Ebay the thing and get more.

I believe it is misleading for this auction to display Salgado's letter stating that the proceeds of the sale will go to fund a reforestation project when it does not apply to THIS sale.

Regarding Salgado's Africa, I have a copy of it (and think it's an incredible book) thanks to TOP. You had it on display around the time that my wife was asking for birthday gift suggestions. She went out and bought it instead of using the link. I just made a small donation to TOP that hopefully makes up for the lost commission.



You *really* didn't have to do that. I mean, thank you very much, but you really were not obligated in the slightest.

Mike J.

The eBay seller publishes a letter of thanks by Salgado signed and dated Paris, November 27th, 2005 adressed to the buyer of the M7 Titanium set serial no 3,000,000

So, is this an encore presentation of a previous auction where the camera set did not sell or an auction for the present owner of the camera set, acquired in 2005?

I have a 4x5 Graflex Graphic view camera that belonged to Irving Penn. He gave it to one of his assistants, who then gave it to me (after I assisted for her). The ground glass is broken and needs to be replaced, but otherwise it works fine.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't Salgado actually prefer to shoot with Leica SLRs? This might explain the minty condition of this M7 kit.

Looks a bit nicer than Winogrand's Leica.

This reminds me of something I read on the Luminous Landscape a few years ago. Michael Reichmann was in Tokyo, looking at old Leica cameras. He asked to remove the plastic from one so he could try it out and the salesman was aghast that someone would even consider doing so. A camera like that was meant to be purchased, maybe kept in a safe, but certainly not used!

Different strokes...


I think he switched from Leica to Pentax 645 several years ago. Apparently has gone digital? A superb photographer and great human.

Just as a matter of interest, I would love to see Salgado's actual Leica being auctioned at the same time to see which camera sold for more. I suspect the new Leica would do better, just becuase it is something of a one of kind, irrespective of its association with the artist.

Charlie H.

It is absolutely typical for M leicas to get sold in pristine condition (usual remark: only ten films through it). Only very few know how to put them to use.

Most users wear 'em like a duncecap.

"I have a 4x5 Graflex Graphic view camera that belonged to Irving Penn. He gave it to one of his assistants, who then gave it to me (after I assisted for her)."

Do you have a letter of provenance from her? It's essential--hearsay just won't do on the market (or for future historians). If you still know her, ask her to write out what she knows about the camera for you--dates, places, anything she can recall.

Mike J.

"Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't Salgado actually prefer to shoot with Leica SLRs?"

Last I heard, in the late '80s early '90s, he used two M6's, one with a 28mm lens and one with a 35mm lens, and one SLR with a 60mm Macro. That's been a while now, of course.

Mike J.

"I think he switched from Leica to Pentax 645 several years ago."

I don't think "switched" is the right word. A small percentage of the shots (mostly landscapes and animal photos) in "Africa" were taken with Pentax 645, but I've not heard that this is/was anything permanent.

Mike J.

"Most users wear 'em like a duncecap."
Here we go again... perpetuating the myth that M cameras are for wealthy dentists who don't know how to shoot them.
I Have two Ms and a CL and they are pretty much in constant use. I am certainly not alone in actually shooting with these cameras.
Try visiting a site like rangefinderforum.com and you'll find plenty of Ms for sale with much more than 10 rolls of film through them, and hundreds of people who know how to use them properly.

"It is absolutely typical for M leicas to get sold in pristine condition (usual remark: only ten films through it)."

Really? Based on what? I get annoyed that people seem to think that Leica users are wearing them as jewellery. Sure, some people buy them and hardly use them. Must be a lot of F5's 5D's and D300's (insert any expensive camera) gathering dust out there as well, but, hey, thats different, they aren't Leica's.

I use my Leica. The photographers I know who own them use them. Mine is with me just about all the time, it gets used and treated like what it is, a tool.

You comment puts me in mind of the guy that came up to me recently when I was working with some artists and activists in a street market for a preservation campaign and asked me if I was a dentist or doctor. He had a Canon 1DS, probably set on program, with some huge big white lens poking out the front. Now that's wearing jewellery.......

Unfortunately, no written documentation on the camera. I never considered it to have value because of that, I don't think my mentor did either. Still, I have to reason to not trust her, but that is of no use to anyone but me. For her it mainly has sentimental value, as it does for me also.

Only $140,183? I'll take two.

Ah, really it's only my preconception that Leicas are owned by people who like to pose and don't know much about photography?

Well for evidence just check:
1) dealers shelves
2) the 'Leica Kundenforum', particularly the German part - and have a look at the pictures as well
3) alternatively you may go to photo.net Leica user group

If this doesn't clarify than ask yourself why so many commemorative Leicas were built. Ask yourself why you see - once in a while guys wearing a Leica M - ROUND THEIR NECK and never ever in their hands.

I've been a Leica M user a while back. If one has some self-confidence one does not want to be associated with this type of guys. Not convinced - then just look at the responses above.

The comments to this entry are closed.



Blog powered by Typepad
Member since 06/2007