Posts Tagged ‘M3’

Smile Please!

November 26th, 2012
Gwyn Headley

by Gwyn Headley

Managing Director

Say cheese!

What do other nations say when taking a photograph of people? Maybe some of our fotoLibra members in 161 different countries can enlighten me?

One person who’ll be smiling tonight is David Douglas Duncan, the great American war photographer. I must confess that as I’m not a photographic historian, I hadn’t heard of him, but his photographs of WWII and the Korean war brought him fame.

When he was 40 he introduced himself to Picasso, and went on to publish seven books of photographs of the great artist.

Now his camera, a Leica M3D, has just sold at auction in Austria for a record-breaking £1.4 million. Leica made the M3 from 1954 to 1966, and the D suffix was because this particular camera was made specifically for David Douglas Duncan. He wasn’t exclusively a Leica man; Nikon gave him the 200,000th Nikon F in recognition of his help in popularising the camera.

In 1986 you could pick up a Leica M3 with double-stroke advance in excellent condition for $125. What would it be worth now?

The most expensive camera ever sold was also a Leica, the prototype Leica O-series from 1923, also sold in Austria in May this year for €2.16 million. That fetched $25,000 in 1986.

How much will your prized Canon or Nikon be worth a few years down the road? I’ve got my eye on another Leica M3, a gold jobby as distinct from the common-or-garden chrome or black versions. I think I know where it is, too — it’s inside Buckingham Palace, property of HM The Queen.

I wonder how much THAT would be worth?