Flints Auctions Ltd. is one of the UK’s leading independent firms of auctioneers and valuers specializing in antique cameras, scientific and medical instruments, and other optics. We’ve teamed up with them once again to give you a look at some of the special items in their next auction, which begins tomorrow, November 19th!
Joshua from Flints has taken the time to hand-pick these few gems from an astounding assortment of truly incredible cameras and rare lenses that will be on the block tomorrow. I’ll let Joshua take it from here. Enjoy!
Hello there. I’m Joshua, from Flints. A few years ago, holding a black paint Leica M3 in my hands or shooting with a Hasselblad 500 C/M was the stuff of dreams. Then I began my career with Flints Auctions and truly discovered the meaning of the rare and the strange.
At Flints we specialize in the valuation and sale of photographic equipment, among other areas of expertise, and resultantly come across some of the most incredible photographic tools to have ever been created. As each camera, lens, and accessory are collected from around the world before each of our auctions, we begin the process of cataloging. That is, to sort, value, describe, and photograph each and every item into a lot that is then assigned a number before being listed in the auction catalogue.
It’s during this time that we get to do something extraordinary. We get to test the cameras to check their state of function. Here are some of the most unusual and exciting items we have coming up in our next auction of Fine Photographica on Thursday the 19th of November at 12:00 GMT. We look forward to seeing you there and as always, happy bidding.
Ilford Witness with Dallmeyer Super Six Lens
The Ilford Witness is a legendary tool of precision, and with the Dallmeyer Super Six 50mm f/1.9 lens is an incredibly rare combination to see. It is thought that only 350 Ilford Witnesses were ever made. There were two other ‘standard’ lenses that were offered with the Witness: the collapsible Daron 5cm f/2.9, and the Dallmeyer 2” f/1.5 Septac. The Dallmeyer Super Six alone fetches prices of over £6,000. This Ilford Witness is valued at between £8,000 and £10,000. With the finely-made camera paired with a lens renowned for its characteristic bokeh, we are sure the buyer will be delighted.
A Leica M6 ‘Sultan of Brunei’ Rangefinder Camera
This camera was made for the Sultan of Brunei’s silver jubilee to his accession of the throne. One of only 350 units produced for the celebration, this uncommon Leica M6 with a matching golden Summilux 50mm lens is a must have for any serious Leica collector. The camera comes in the original makers display box with a matching golden Leica Summilux 50mm. The camera is number 178 of the 350 produced. Valued at between £15,000 and £20,000.
A Nikon FA Gold ‘Grand Prix ’84’ SLR Camera
If you’re looking for a more affordable but just as beautiful objet d’art then this Nikon FA, clad in gold, is on offer at between a more feasible £500 and £700. Two thousand units of this camera were produced in 1984; this is number 1955. The camera has a total of twenty body pieces 24K gold plated and a golden banded Nikon 50mm f/1.4 in addition. We think it looks magnificent. This comes, again, with all original makers display box, outer box, all accessories and even a supplied cleaning cloth for the gold plating.
A Nikon SP Rangefinder Camera
The Nikon SP was released in 1957 as the professional Nikon model from Nikon’s lineup of 35mm rangefinder cameras. Regarded as the best variation made to date by Nikon collectors and shooters alike, it had built in frame lines for six focal lengths, titanium shutter blades, a new self timer, dual viewfinders for wide and telephoto lenses and underwent a complete overhaul of the camera dials to finish. This Nikon SP is still coated in the black paint from factory and sports a Nikkor-S-C 50mm f/1.4 lens, a real favourite of journalists in the 1950s and ’60s.
The Canon f/0.95 50mm ‘Dream’ Lens
You’ve heard of this one before, but these famous lenses are becoming harder to find in excellent condition. The Canon 50mm f/0.95 ‘Dream’ lens produces results that speak for itself. With a a depth of field thinner than a hair, the images it makes can be dreamy and full of unique character This one is valued at between £1,000 and £1,500 and comes with a Canon 7 35mm rangefinder camera that is also a pleasure to use in its own right. The lens is also adaptable to Leica M mount or other mirrorless mounts such as Sony E mount.
A Nikon Reflex-Nikkor f/11 2000mm Lens
The Nikon 2000mm f/11 ultra-telephoto lens is truly a sight to behold. It is also a serious weight to carry around for any amount of time, weighing in at a massive 17.5kg, or 40lbs for our international friends. Made to order from 1970 onwards, this lens provides a staggering amount of magnification and would be used to capture distant wildlife and in other situations in which proximity to the subject is otherwise restricted. The lens by itself doesn’t really give it any sense of scale, so we attached a Nikon F SLR body to it for scale below.
Linhof Technika-Flex 4×5 TLR Camera
This simply massive TLR, designed and manufactured by Linhof, is a both stylish and functional 4×5 TLR camera. This is one of the largest (and rarest) 4×5 TLRs that we have ever seen. This example comes with a Schneider Technika Tele-Arton f/5.5 270mm lens, and a Schnieder Technika Symmar f/5.6 150mm lens in addition. Valued at between £2,000 and £3,000.
Early Experimental ‘Mousetrap’ Camera
This is by far the most unusual and rarest of all of the lots for this upcoming auction and is quite honestly unlike anything that we have seen before. Whilst all of the other lots have their place deservedly in history, this ‘Mousetrap’ camera is part of the history of photography itself. Dating from c.1839, this camera is thought to be one of only seven known examples in the world and would have been used to make salt print negatives, similar to the images made by Fox Talbot, a pioneer of photography, as early as 1835. This experimental camera is valued at between £50,000 and £70,000 and is a truly once in a lifetime chance to own a piece of history.
Buying into vintage photography equipment doesn’t always have to be an expensive venture, below are two of our favourite lots for a photographer looking to change systems or move into 35mm film photography without having to be the Sultan of Brunei.
This Nikon F2 from c.1977 comes with a 50mm f/1.4, 105mm f/2.5 and 200mm f/4, all AI variants. Ideal for portraits straight out of the box, this kit is valued at between £200 and £300. And if Leica has always been a brand you’ve wanted to try, this Leica M4 with a Leitz Elmar 50mm f/2.8 comes in at between £600 and £800 and is the perfect combination to start your Leica love affair.
Many thanks to Joshua for sharing these photographic treasures with us. If you’d like to register to bid or simply window shop Flints’ gorgeous lots through their auction catalog, visit their site here.
We’ll have more from Joshua and Flints in the coming weeks and months, so please leave a comment below if there’s something in their catalog that you’d like to see featured here on Casual Photophile.
Follow Casual Photophile on Facebook and Instagram
[Some of the links in this article will direct users to our affiliates at B&H Photo, Amazon, and eBay. By purchasing anything using these links, Casual Photophile may receive a small commission at no additional charge to you. This helps Casual Photophile produce the content we produce. Many thanks for your support.]
James, some fascinating gear here. Who would have thought that some small pieces of wood could have an estimate of between £50,000 and £70,000?
But the two surprises for me are the estimates for the f1.2 Noctilux lenshood and the Dallmeyer f1.5 2 in. Septac.I wish someone could enlighten me why the Septac could command such a price. What is so special about it?