Welcome back to What’s Selling Weekly, our weekly roundup of rare, interesting, and unique photo gear currently up for grabs on the internet. Last week we played the shrewd bargain hunter so we think it fit to the opposite way again and play the conspicuous big-spender this week. We’ve found some of the most expensive, rare, and downright garish cameras and lenses up for sale on the internet for your enjoyment. Let’s get started.
First up is a contradiction unto itself, a gold-plated Minolta CLE. We love the CLE here at CP because they’re much cheaper and more capable than most M mount cameras. But frankly, a gold plated CLE with a matching gold M-Rokkor 40mm f/2 lens is like seeing a Bedazzled BMW with 21-inch rims. It just shouldn’t happen. But in the case of the gold CLE, it did! And though a glimmering version of one of the best street photography cameras ever made seems ridiculous, these things still sell quickly (somehow).
There were only 300 golden CLEs ever made, and we’d venture to say an even smaller number of them were ever used to expose film. This example comes with the correct carrying case and wooden box as a complete set. It’s ridiculous, impractical, and silly, but worth a look. It also carries a price tag of $2.7k. See this shelf queen here.
Next up are two cameras from that famously opulent camera manufacturer, Leica. German quality knows no budget, but it isn’t the Germans that command the big bucks this time; it’s the Canadians.
Leica often developed many of their famous cameras in Canada, and the M2 was one such example. These cameras happen to be two of the six M2 prototypes produced in Canada, and carry the serial numbers “000001” and “000002”, meaning that these were the first and the second M2s ever made. These are fairly historic pieces of camera geekery, and their alarming price tag of over $70k reflects that. Ogle them here.
For our medium-format fanatics we have another German legend, but this time from the town of Braunschweig. It’s a Rolleiflex SL66 with a full compliment of nine different Carl Zeiss lenses, plus a prototype data back and prototype viewfinder. A kit that’s ready for absolutely any style of photography.
The SL66 was Rollei’s answer to the Hasselblad 500 series. One of the Rollei’s distinguishing features from the Hasselblad was its capacity for bellows focusing which then enables effortless tilt-shift photography, great for architectural photography or just for experimentation. And with a full compliment of some of the finest lenses in the world, the possibilities are endless. The entire lot is going for $30k though, an extremely large sum for any camera. Pine for it here.
Next up we have a purist’s camera from a Bavarian company as famous for its excellence as its obsession with the past- Linhof. More specifically, it’s the Linhof M 679CS. As we’d expect from Linhof, this particular camera is a view camera. Nothing notable there. But what is just a bit odd is that it exposes onto… medium format film? Although not unheard of, it’s definitely on the quirky side of the hobby.
This camera happily straddles the border between analog and digital worlds thanks to its removable film back, and features bellows focusing that enables wide-angle and tilt-shift view camera goodness. These features come at a steep price though, brand new examples of the 679CS fetch $10k on B&H. Oof! Lust after it here.
Finally, we have a Swiss camera from a manufacturer that can only be described as mythical. It’s Alpa, a maker whose name makes even the most weathered and jaded camera collectors go weak in the knees. Alpas are gorgeous and individually hand-crafted, and their build quality surpasses even the venerable workshops of Leica, Nikon, Contax, or Rollei. Their production numbers were extremely low, and the lenses were works of art. They’re also highly coveted, exceptionally quirky, ergonomically challenging, and extremely expensive. In short, Alpas are a collector’s dream.
The camera we’re spotlighting today is the Alpa 11si, the last general purpose camera Alpa ever made, and one of the most user-friendly cameras from that brand on account of its offering TTL metering. But even though the camera is fantastic, the real star of the show just might be its accompanying Kern Macro-Switar 50mm f/1.9. The Swiss Kern 50 is touted as one of the greatest 50mm lenses ever made for Alpa SLRs, and this legendary lens won’t mount to any other camera (mirror-less aside). Even though its reasonably priced in comparison to the other cameras here, it’s still a whopping $4k. Fawn over this combo here.
And that does it for this week’s What’s Selling Weekly! Join us next week for even more wacky finds from the best shops the internet has to offer.