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 FAKE LEICAS?

I think so

As Leicas appreciated in value beyond all reasonable bounds, the rarer Leicas became VERY expensive.  The rarer and more expensive a Leica, generally the more likely it is a fake. Of course, some rare Leicas are more easy to fake than others.

FOR INSTANCE:  No one knows for sure how many Leica fakes inhabit proud places in Leica collections, but personally I would not be surprised to find that for every genuine  Luxus,  MP,  MP2 or Leica 72 that left the factory, if there were 5 to 20 or more on planet earth with the same serial number, virtually indistinguishable from the original.   There was a court case about a not so prototype Leica  which sold, if I remember correctly, for a cool $100 grand.  A refund was found to be in order.   A famous auction house sold a one of a kind presentation Leica made for a world famous person.  It was hailed as authentic by the best Leica experts.  Yet, a friend of mine swears he knows where the real one has resided for over 30 years, a gift to a favorite on the private staff.   Yes Leica collector, as the price goes up over $10,000 or so, so should your guard. 

Pictured here are a "half fame" Leica M2 and "half frame" Leica M4, with 18x24 film formats instead of the standard 24x36.    Such cameras would be extraordinarily rare,  and high priced.  The problem?  Leica apparently does not have a listing of such cameras being made, at least not as factory production.   Are these fakes, expertly modified cameras to sell for big bucks?  My guess would be yes.    By the way, I did once see a genuine M2 half frame.  It was a one of a kind, made at the Midland factory as a test project.  However, it was accompanied with all the documentation, signed by the Midland employee who actually hand made the prototype.

 

Leica M2 "half-frame"

Leica M4 "half frame"

Yes folks, these are real fully working M2 and M4 half frame Leicas, it is just that they probably did not originally leave the factory that way.

 

pics copyright and courtesy my friend Tony Rose 


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Revised: November 25, 2003 Copyright  2003  Stephen Gandy. All rights reserved.    This means you may NOT copy and re-use the text or the pictures in ANY other internet or printed publication of ANY kind.  Information in this document is subject to change without notice.  Other products and companies referred to herein are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies or mark holders.