The Curious Travels of Dual Range Summicron 5cm. f/2 no. 1531090

christies

July 16, 2002: Chrome Dual Range Summicron, #1531090, sells for 235 GBP ($364) at Christie’s Camera Auction.

*************

March 6, 2011: Black Paint Dual Range Summicron #1531090, offered by private seller “jdiconsult” from Andover, Hampshire, United Kingdom, sells on UK Ebay March 6, 2011 for 4600 GBP (about $6500). Seller claims it was his father’s:

A chance to purchase a very unusual early Dual Range 50mm F2 Summicon in black paint finish. The lens is in its original box with matching number and instructions.  We are told the Leica logo on the lens eyes is the very early version.  The lens dates from 1958. We have shown this lens to Leica experts and have been told the lens was probably commissioned as a special order as the number has a star at the end.  There are no special markings on the box apart from the matching number on the base. The condition of the lens is beautiful and the glass on both the lens and the glasses is clear and bright.  It does not look as if the lens has been used very much. The front cap is we are told very rare and the correct early Summicron type and the rear cap is there too. This part of my father’s collection and from his notes it looks as if the lens was purchased in 1972 but we cannot be totally sure. [Emphasis Added]. The is a beautiful piece of Leica engineering and are informed it was one of the sharpest lenses they ever produced. We have tried to show everything in the photos but please ask questions and we will try to answer them. Payment by PayPal, personal cheque from UK buyer or International Bank Transfer

On 01-Mar-11 at 09:59:27 GMT, seller added the following information:

PLEASE NOTE WE HAVE JUST BEEN ADVISED BY A LEICA EXPERT THAT THIS LENS HAS THE SAME NUMBER AS A LENS SOLD BY CHRISTIES AUCTIONEERS IN 2002. IT IS POSSIBLE THEREFORE THAT THIS LENS HAS SINCE BEEN EXPERTLY PAINTED IN A BLACK FINISH AND MAY NOT BE AN ORIGINAL FINISH.  WE WILL STILL LEAVE IT FOR SALE AS IT IS A BEAUTIFUL ITEM BUT BIDDERS SHOULD BE AWARE OF THIS INFORMATION AS IT CONFLICTS WITH THE PREVIOUS INFORMATION WE GAVE.  WE ARE ADVISED IT IS TOO MUCH OF A COINCIDENCE TO BE A DIFFERENT LENS THAN THAT SOLD IN 2002

*************

December 12, 2016: Black Paint Dual Range Summicron #1531090, offered by private seller “ween_111” from Dunfermline, Fife, United Kingdom, sells on UK Ebay for 3101 GBP (about $4000). Seller claims it was his father’s:

fake-bpsumm1

“A chance to purchase a very unusual early Dual Range 50mm F2 Summicon in black paint finish. The lens is in its original box with matching number and instructions.  We are told the Leica logo on the lens eyes is the very early version.  The lens dates from 1958. We have shown this lens to Leica experts and have been told the lens was probably commissioned as a special order as the number has a star at the end.  There are no special markings on the box apart from the matching number on the base. The condition of the lens is beautiful and the glass on both the lens and the glasses is clear and bright.  It does not look as if the lens has been used very much. The front cap is we are told very rare and the correct early Summicron type and the rear cap is there too. This part of my fathers collection and from his notes it looks as if the lens was purchased in 1972. [Emphasis added] This is a beautiful piece of Leica engineering and are informed it was one of the sharpest lenses they ever produced. Payment by CashorBankTransfer”

*************

To recap: the chap from Andover’s father bought the lens in 1972 (as best son can tell from his father’s notes). Somehow, after 1972 and before 2002 it made its way to Christie’s and was sold as a chrome version in 2002. Subsequent to this sale, it came back into the possession of the original owner’s son, now as a pristine black paint version, who re-united it with its original box and then sold it to a chap in Dunfermline for $6000 after having confirmed its legitimacy with Leica Experts. The chap from Dunfermline died (presumably) and left it to his son, claiming in his notes (admittedly also inconclusive) that he bought it new in 1972. His son sold it for $4000 to some guy on Ebay (after he (the son) also confirmed its legitimacy with Leica Experts), payment via Bank Transfer only.*

*A possible interpretive heuristic to make sense of all this : Quantum physicists claim that multiple versions of us are living in alternate worlds that interact with each other, what they refer to as “parallel worlds.”  In the “Many-Worlds Interpretation”, each universe branches into a bunch of new universes every time a quantum measurement is made. Thus, according to Howard Wiseman, a professor of Physics, “All possibilities are therefore realised – in some universes the dinosaur-killing asteroid missed Earth. In others, Australia was colonized by the Portuguese.”

10 thoughts on “The Curious Travels of Dual Range Summicron 5cm. f/2 no. 1531090

  1. big matt

    I’ve always said that Leicas have a magical quality.
    They now appear to be able to turn back time, no wonder they are so expensive.

    1. corsicanspy

      Could the same strange thing happen to my car?
      I own a simple “Renault clio”, white, basic French car, but maybe it could became a black Porsche?
      With a blonde young lady in the back?
      Well , Christmas time, indeed.
      Or maybe I ‘ll try to paint black my own Summicron Dual Range.

  2. Kodachromeguy

    Oh, you scared me for a minute. I checked my Dual-Range to be sure it was not that same serial number. OK, no problem, now I can sleep soundly. By the way, my Leica Pocket Book 6th edition only shows a chrome Dual-Range.

  3. Jimbob

    Hey, I too got that lens from my dad after his death* and some random dude sporting a dirty Leica t-shirt authenticated it (actually sneezed on it, but that’s Leica code per my dad).

    * So my dad** isn’t REALLY dead, but he says he briefly did. He was driving his pickup truck on a deserted backroad late one night after a weekend hunting trip, when suddenly he saw a bright flash from the sky. He does not recall what happened but woke up in his pickup 3 days later. We thought he was dead, and worse, the pickup was gone. Oh, and he had the Leica lens with him. Amazing but true, huh?

    **not my real dad–my real dad is Darth V, hence the black painted Leica.

  4. semi-ambivalent

    If Leicas were collected by poor people this wouldn’t happen because there would be no excess capital to drive auction prices. Then Leicas could go back to being simple cameras for a lifetime. (Well, the film cameras anyway. But don’t look at me, I didn’t start that film-is-dead nonsense.)

    s-a

    1. Kodachromeguy

      Sorry, Wayne, ePrey has had a bad name for years. (Maybe black paint Leicas contributed years ago, but I’m not sure. “Special edition” Rolexes and Omegas and all the other fakes probably had more of an effect than Leicas, but you never know.)

      1. Wayne

        Yes, I have violated one of my own rules. Sarcasm does not generally work on the internet. Ebay is a pawn shop……A giant flea market.

        Thousands of good, honest camera retail operations/people are now out of business because of Ebay and internet sales. In any transaction there are three possibilities: 1) you can have it right; 2) you can have it fast; 3) you can have it cheap. Generally, you only get to choose two of the three. Guess which two drive most Ebay sales. As with most everything, it is a matter of choice. Personally, I would be about as likely to buy a collectible, black paint finish Leica camera or lens off of Ebay, as I would a heart surgery. Some things just have to be right.

        In a sense, when I think about it, Ebay is sort of a second cousin to digital photography. I wonder, if digital photos included the expense and time associated with film negatives, would the digital revolution have been anywhere near as overwhelming as it was?

  5. Rob Campbell

    “In a sense, when I think about it, Ebay is sort of a second cousin to digital photography. I wonder, if digital photos included the expense and time associated with film negatives, would the digital revolution have been anywhere near as overwhelming as it was?”

    Wayne, the answer has to be no! Initially, that is. However, once you get into PSing images, then the convenience has to win. But the expense of setting up a reasonable digital processing system is not any cheaper than darkrooms ever were. I guess one of the differences is that, with digital, there is seldom a need to make a print: you have a monitor. With analogue, unless you just do trannies, then there is nothing worth seeing if you don’t go the full hog and make prints.

    Rob

Comments are closed.