Rare Leica 1a Camera with 50mm f3.5 Elmar Lens

  • Sold for: Start Free Trial or Sign In to see what it's worth.
  • Item Category: Tools
  • Source: eBay
  • Sold Date: May 29, 2011
  • Channel: Auction House

This auction is for a rare Leica 1a 35mm camera, made in 1929. The Leica 1a was the first truly successful camera that got 35mm photography started.

The black camera paint is well worn (see photos) with paint wear in several areas. The shutter sounds as though it is working properly, but it can't be checked visually since the lens (a 50mm f3.5 Elmar) is not removable. The film advance and rewind knobs, as well as the film speed dial appear to be nickel plated. Markings on the camera include "Ernest Leitz Wetzlar" on the housing under the film speed selection dial, along with what looks like a "D" and "P" for the film advance and rewind selection. The serial number of the camera looks to be "18012" or maybe it's "18107." There are several cracks and chips in the vulcanite body covering.

The lens seems to be nickel-plated brass. Markings are "Leitz Elmar 1:3.5 F= 50mm" and the f-stops read from 3.5 down to 18. The focus scale runs from 2 meters to infinity. There are three other numbers on the focusing scale, which are 1.25, 1.5 and 1.75. The focus is OK, and the lens diaphragm mechanism works.

I've described the camera to the best of my ability, and have posted several photos of the camera, but I am not a Leica expert. I believe this camera is genuine, but I've heard that there can be "Leica copies" of older
... read more