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This one of a kind Leica prototype 17mm F2 lens can be yours—if you have $50,000 on hand: Digital Photography Review


Jul 20, 2021

The Leica Store Lisse in the Netherlands has added a one-of-a-kind Leica lens to its impressive collection, a Leica/Hughes Leitz 17mm F2 fisheye lens. It’s the only known example of this lens, which was made in Canada – more on that in a bit. The lens can be yours for $47,200.
So why does the lens include Hughes in its name? Near the end of 1990, US-based Hughes Aircraft purchased Erntz Leitz Canada (ELCAN) and changed the name to Hughes Leitz Optical Technologies. In late 1997, Hughes Aircraft sold Hughes Leitz Optical Technologies to fellow American company Raytheon, resulting in another name change to ELCAN Optical Technologies. Since the Leica Store Lisse’s new lens is a Leica/Hughes Leitz optic, it’s believed the lens was manufactured between November 1990 and December 1997.

The Leica/Hughes Leitz 17mm F2 shown alongside a Noctilux f/0.95 lens. The fisheye lens is massive and weighs 12kg (about 26 lbs.) Credit: Leica Store Lisse
The nearly 12kg (26 lbs) lens is not the only rare Leica lens available at Leica Store Lisse. The store has an active eBay account, and current listings are highly varied. There’s currently a listing of a museum collection of 42 different Taschen books, new in box, for $349,995. There’s a rare limited edition Leica M9-P in military blue finish for $29,999. Other items for sale are a rare Leica M6 ‘Sultan of Brunei’ edition camera and a Rollei 1000mm, which is stated to be the last 1000mm lens ever made by Rollei for the SL66 with Carl Zeiss glass.

Credit: Leica Store Lisse
Leica Store Lisse has received many emails and calls about the Leica/Hughes Leitz 17mm F2 fisheye lens since listing it on its Facebook last week. Still, there’s not a lot of additional information available about the lens. Leica Store Lisse’s Duncan Meeder told PetaPixel ‘It is a unique lens, of which only one has ever been produced and therefore also has the prototype Leica serial number. We’ve got many collectible Leica items to show in our cabinets here in my store in Lisse, so at this moment, [I] am not putting it up for sale yet on eBay.’

Credit: Leica Store Lisse
Meeder is accepting offers on the lens, however, starting at 40,000 €, which is just over $47,000 USD. It’s a considerable asking price, but the lens is one of a kind, and there are many collectors of Leica equipment.

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