« TOP Photo Book of the Year 2011 | Main | OT: The Art of Tea »

Wednesday, 14 December 2011


2 grand for a 1.2 Nocti?

That is actually a very, very good price...

If the lens were in the box.

Why Some People Hate Nikkor

Nikon Noct-Nikkor 58mm f/1.2 AIS Mint in Box

Price: US $8,500.00

Shipping US $69.00


Just sayin'


OH wait!

That's just the box.

Never mind.


I knew there was a reason I held on to all of my white/silver boxes--I thought it was sentiment. But if I manage to hornswaggle someone for $2K for one of them, I promise to toss in the shipping for free.

I just misred the ad.
I thought it would be the lens [which is a tad high for that kind of glass], but then I saw it was for the very box.

You know what they say about a fool and his money...

Oh, I have no hate for Leica as a brand, or as luxury goods, or for obsessive Leicaphile gear-faggotry. The cameras and lenses are nice enough (having used an M6), but otherwise I'm just generally indifferent and occasionally amused by the apotheosis.

Re: the box. Let's hope it was for a "Made in Canada" version!

I don't think people hate Leica per se, rather they regard the typical Leica owner as an over-monied brand fetishist. The sort of person who'd buy this box for example.

If someone is "dumb" enough to pay such a "high" price, then its their privilege.

I guess there's one good reason not to toss the boxes in my storage locker into the garbage, eh? ]'-)

I somehow doubt that having the box will net a $2000 rise in the sale value of a lens, no matter what lens it is, so if collectors are going to go so ga-ga on collecting boxes like this, more lenses and boxes will be parted and sold separately.

I was in the US Navy Back in the 60's as a Navy photographer. At one point I was carrying a Leica M-3 (Navy owned) and lost it on the Mekong. A young LTJG attempted to have me court martialed for that, but was circumvented by our commander when it was learned the JG sent me on the assignment in error. I couldn't afford a Leica then and can't afford one now. I don't think Leica likes me.

Do you think the buyer realized the lens wasn't included?

Well, one should add that the Noctilux 1,2/50 is in fact a rather famous lens of which many stories (true and false) are told. It was only produced for ten or so years and apparently only between 1000 and 2000 were made, which makes this particular lens quite valuable for Leica collectors.

Whether or not the box itself justifies a price tag of USD 2000,- I don't know. Like Mike said: maybe it raises the price of a solo Noctilux by at least 2000,- Given that this lens is a collector item (rather than something people would actually use today), I can follow Mike's argument.

If not, it is just a common eBay scam of selling a box and pretending it is the actual item with the box. The seemingly high price is actually not high. A boxed Noctilux is worth far more than USD 2000,- To the careless buyer this may seem like a bargain - hence the assumption of it being a famous eBay scam.

Surely life's too short to hate something that you're not even interested in buying.

What does that say about someone who can get that woked worked up about an empty box ??

Just my 2c.

The box alone isn't worth that much, but the lens alone is worth between $18k-$26,000 depending on condition. With the box, I believe the worth goes up anywhere from about $500-$1,500.

Well, if the buyer is fooled, the seller can still feel reasonably honest; the description for the auction begins with "Box for", after all. (I'm not finding the auction itself with the obvious search terms; it may have gone out of scope since Mike captured that screenshot or something.)

I don't hate Leica for it any way you look at it, anyway. I hate collectors; pretty much in general. Well, unless they collect something I'm interested in and will show me their good stuff.

Michael S, I now officially hate you. Although my Nikkor 58/1.2 NOCT was not "mint in box", either, and I did finance my entire D700 by selling it. But still.

I still have very fond memories of my M3, bought used about 1973 for about $250 with 50/2 Summicron collapsible. I later added the 90/2 and 35/2, bought new for $360 and $240 as I remember it. $240 in 1975 is actually quite a chunk of change today. $240 seemed less money to me in 1975 than $961.51 (http://www.westegg.com/inflation/) does to me today.

An exhibition-quality print of a photograph of this box must certainly be worth, say, 10% of the object?

Lens lust I somewhat (sadly) understand. Lens box lust is, well, terribly kinky.

You don't see a lot of Leica boxes. People usually throw them away!

say what you will it's one of few boxes that's sharp wide open . . .

I see there is a 50 mm 1.2 Noctilux on ebay for $29.888 WITHOUT a box (#250953470138).

Looks like a match mode in heaven !!

Now the buyer will need Luigi to make a case for his box. Sadly, I think Luigi will oblige.

After making that unkind crack about Luigi, I thought to myself:

On the other hand, what if the cardboard they made the box from is a special kind of cardboard? Made from extra rare wood, specially pulped in Solms for a richness of creamy cardboardiness? Like boardeh? So who's the fool now?

I must give credit where's its due - my brother sent me this link. Now what he was doing scouring eBay for Leica gear? I guess I'll find out at Christmas!

And while the box may in fact be a good investment, what gets me about the whole ordeal is that it's no longer about photography but rather owning camera gear. Those are two very different things.

Besides, boxes made today are so soulless, all sharp with those contrasty colors. Those old boxes, they had character, even if the print was off a bit and the colors were-- while of course perfect in comparison to all those Japanese colors on Japanese boxes-- somewhat muted . When you looked at them they just made you feel good, knowing that HCB opened one once, put his HCB fingers in it while cradling the outside with other HCB fingers. Really, there is such as thing as box pop which you can see right off the bat.

(Well, maybe you can't see it, but I can.)

I think you should have stopped while you were ahead. [g]


This is not really why people hate Leica, or hate Leica users. It is why Leica users hate Leica collectors.

I would have bought this box, then placed it in a locked, temperature-controlled showcase. Whenever I had a visitor I would show them the crown jewel of my photography collection, the famous Leica Noctilux 1.2/50, which is so precious I have to keep it in its original box. I could show it to you, but then I'd have to kill you for having breathed on it.

Andy would be my first visitor :-)

Now if this were the Version 1 box with paper folds from left to right on the bottom front right, versus the later versions that folded the other way, well . . .

That's nothing. I've seen Lionel (model RR) boxes go for considerably more.


I couldn't stop whether ahead, behind, or tied. The Leica boxness just got to me. Now I'll go to bed wondering whether the second gen Noct' box IS more sturdy than the first. I'll check LUG tonight but the topic may not have been fully explored.

Anxious Andy

"I'll check LUG tonight but the topic may not have been fully explored."

As you probably know, even if semi-consciously, Leica topics cannot be fully explored. EXHAUSTIVELY explored, yes, but fully? That would be like cataloging the nine billion names of God; the instant the job is finished, the Universe would be annihilated into a red dot of pure nothingness.


We are a strange species. (Homo sapiens sapiens, not Homo sapiens photographicus)

This reminds me of the awful Grays of Westminster adverts I see in the UK photo mags. They have full page ads for some obscure Nikon collectable that will never ever get used. A shop I vowed never to return to after the looks of derision I got from the staff for admitting to not being a lifelong Nikon/Nikkor obsessive.

Or the emperor's new clothes that is the Leica D-Lux 5 'Titanium' that is actually just a grey Panasonic with an inflated price tag for people who can't see beyond the holy Red Dot.

A camera is a means to an end and that end should be taking photographs, not exhibiting your collection of Positional Goods.

I thought Leica put the serial number on the boxes?

An old lens with the original box is cool and uplifting.

An old lens with the manifestly wrong box is sad and debilitating.

The buyer could make a very nice pin hole camera with that box.

I now know what I'd put in the trunk of ny DeLorean time machine.

I'm not a collecter, but worked in a camera store in the dim past. As I remember, those boxes had a little paper sticker with the serial number of the lens.
The original matching box would probably make a Noctilux more valuable. With a non-matching sticker, or no sticker at all, not so much.

A Hammertone Leica belonging to Art Keir and authenticated by Jim Lager, recently went for $156,000 at auction.

See http://bid.igavelauctions.com/Bidding.taf?_function=detail&Auction_uid1=2304372

Sadly, it was not my Leica, though I am a Keir.

At my job at a camera store 40 or so years ago I was hating on a doctor who came in and bought every piece of Canon gear as soon as it came on the market. The store manager put me in my place by explaining that it was all the thousands of people like him who had lots of money and didn't use the equipment they bought who made it possible for companies to make the stuff at prices *I* could afford. End of hate.

To hate Leica cameras because someone paid $2000US for a cardboard box for a Noctilux f/1.2 lens makes no more sense than to hate Van Gogh because someone paid $39.9 million US for his painting titled "Sunflowers."

Such thinking is based on runaway emotions and is devoid of any logic. JMHO.

The comments to this entry are closed.



Blog powered by Typepad
Member since 06/2007