Cameras & Camera Equipment

With technology changing rapidly, early cameras are increasingly taking on historic status. The 25 0-Series Leica cameras created in 1923 are among the rarest models and have previously broken records when they appear on the market.

Operating at a lower price point, there’s no shortage of collectors for vintage cameras and associated equipment. Specialist dealers operate in this field and a number of auction houses hold regular sales devoted to this category offering items including forerunners to the camera such as magic lanterns, zeotropes and praxinoscopes.


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Great lookers eyed on the same day by Newbury auctioneer

05 November 2018

“The chances of finding one that had been bought in a £90 box lot was probably one in a million; the chances of finding two more on the same day are incalculable.” Scientific instruments expert Hugo Marsh was talking about specialist camera lenses he was shown in September, first by a south-coast vendor, then by a West Country enthusiast, which sold at Special Auction Services (17.5% buyer’s premium) at Newbury on October 23.

Leica camera theft

Appeal to trade after collection of rare Leica cameras stolen in Scotland

03 October 2018

A collection of rare Leica cameras and equipment has been stolen from a company in the Scottish Highlands.

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Vintage camera with rare Ross Xpres lens goes 26-times over estimate in “spectacular” result at Linconshire auction

20 August 2018

A 1940s cine camera estimated at £200-300 was knocked down for £7800 at Batemans Auctions in Lincolnshire earlier this month.

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Specialist auction in Cologne features cameras and other optical delights

23 July 2018

Magic lanterns, peep shows and various other optical illusory and viewing devices will be on sale at a specialist Cologne auction firm offering photographic, scientific and collectors’ apparatus.

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Soviet spy camera disguised as fag packet sells for £29,000 house record at Dudley auction

12 July 2018

The cost of smoking is going crazy – someone has just paid £29,000 for a packet of cigarettes in the West Midlands.

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Soviet hidden spy cameras set to click at West Midlands auction

26 June 2018

Ah, nostalgia. Hear the words ‘Russian’ and ‘spying’ these days and ‘Novichok’ and ‘Polonium’ will come to mind. Try looking back instead to the 1970s-80s with the help of a large collection of Soviet cameras coming up at auction.

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Lots that come under close scrutiny

21 May 2018

Lenses and slides caught the eye of buyers at specialist science and early technology auctioneer Flints (20% + VAT buyer’s premium) at its two-day sale of Fine Photographica & Instruments of Science & Medicine.

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New collector's guide focuses on vintage film photography

30 April 2018

Classic camera collectors, users and dealers from around the world will be focusing their attentions this weekend on Photographica, the annual specialist fair organised in London by the Photographic Collectors’ Club of Great Britain.

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Second World War Leitz lens clearly a £70 bargain

16 April 2018

Bought recently for just £70 in a job lot, this German military-issue Leitz lens below sold for £5500 in Special Auction Services (17.5 buyer’s premium) Photographica sale on March 13. The Hektor 13.5cm f/4.5 lens, offered with an estimate of £4000-6000, sold to the European trade.

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Pick of the Week: Closing the shutter at a record €2m

19 March 2018

A new record for a camera sold at auction was set by WestLicht in Vienna when one of only a handful of surviving Leica 0-series cameras – this one carrying the serial number 122 – sold at €2m (£1.76m) plus 20% buyer’s premium, to a private buyer from Asia.

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Niche specialists launch auction firm for cameras and scientific instruments

10 July 2017

A new auction house is to open in London hoping to find a gap in the market for cameras, scientific and medical instruments.

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Pick of the Week: early photographic instrument bought on BBC's Antiques Road Trip sells for £20,000 at Suffolk auction

22 May 2017

A rare early photographic instrument – bought for a song by a member of the BBC’s Antiques Road Trip team – sold for £20,000 at Lacy Scott & Knight (17.5% buyer’s premium) in Bury St Edmunds on May 13.

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Capture your Kodak moments at annual London photography fair

15 May 2017

Just as CDs and then downloads led to warnings of the demise of vinyl, the vintage camera collecting field was also predicted to be affected with the advancement of digital cameras. But both collecting fields are far from dead.

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The Mammoth: world’s biggest camera features in 'The Ingenious Victorians'

15 May 2017

One of the cameras mentioned in John Wade’s fascinating new book 'The Ingenious Victorians' is the Mammoth.

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Doomed female pilot's Leica camera appears at McTear's auction

10 March 2017

A camera belonging to ill-fated US aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart is among the lots going under the hammer at McTear’s in Glasgow this month.

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The British camera that helped get pictures moving

06 June 2014

It may not look much today, but this camera was the latest cutting-edge piece of technology when it was first released for sale in 1899 – and it helped lay the foundations for the future of film and moving pictures. Then it retailed for £30, now it has just sold at auction in Surrey by Lawrences of Bletchingley for £7800.

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Leica camera at Special Auction Services

30 January 2014

The descendants of the original owner, who purchased it new from the maker, Ernst Leitz, are offering this Leica I Anastigmat Camera for sale at Special Auction Services of Newbury.

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Lights, camera, action – photographica merits special sale

09 January 2014

Cameras and photographic equipment are among the fastest growing categories for Newbury saleroom Special Auction Services.

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Putting camera collecting in the picture

22 February 2013

From the first unwieldy wet-plate models of the 19th century to the dawn of digital technology, the changing face of cameras can make for a fascinating collection.

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Rarities reinforce Leica as the world's most sought-after camera

03 December 2012

Leica cameras proved one of the must-have auction prizes in recent sales with record prices at Westlicht in Vienna and Bonhams Hong Kong.

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