Leicavit MP: The $70,000 Camera


Lens not included, by the way. Vintage camera buyer and seller Roozbeh Pirghibi recently scored one of the rarer Leica models from the late 1950s, the choice camera of esteemed photojournalists then because of its tough body and quick performance. With only 500 units ever made and some of the most historic post-War photos captured, it’s no wonder the Leicavit MP has such an exorbitant price tag.

No, you did not read wrong: there are five digits in the prized Leicavit MP’s price tag. The best things in life aren’t always free, something California-based camera shop owner Roozbeh Pirghibi would know.

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“There are not many Leicavit MP’s around because they were made for photojournalists and they were destroyed, lost or just worn out. The last one sold at auction in November last year for about $160,000,” Pirghibi said.

Photos via ocregister

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According to Pirghibi, contrary to what collectors are after in other Leica cameras and lenses he sells – good condition, the Leicavit MP is worth more if it has the natural and worn “patina” of use from its original owner. Fortunately or rather unfortunately, the Leicavit MP he has, numbered 139 and owned by an English collector Everett T. Brown with his name engraved on it, was sent back to the Leica factory sometime during the mid 1960s and repainted, loosing all its original marks of wear.

Photo via ocregister

Pirghibi shows some of the most famous historical images taken with Leicas. A conflict photograph by Robert Capa during the Spanish Civil War shows a soldier at the moment he was fatally shot by a bullet. Another one is photojournalist Alberto Korda’s candid of Che Guevara from the Cuban Revolution.

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More than a camera, what you’ll actually be buying is a numbered piece of history. For a modern treasure like this, no price is too high as long as a collector is willing to pay.

Photo via ocregister

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written by denisesanjose on 2012-03-10 #news #vintage #leica #analogue-cameras #leicavit-mp

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One Comment

  1. gvelasco
    gvelasco ·

    Odd. My understanding is that the Leicavit is actually just the power winder on the bottom. They were popular for use with the Leica M2, but they are a separate part. They were fun, but very susceptible to breakage because of their design. As an aside, photography historians have determined that the famous Spanish civil war photograph by Robert Capa showing the soldier at the moment he was fatally shot was faked. They did it by identifying the location of the photographer by identifying the scenery in the background.

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