Screenshot taken from the Tamarkin Rare Camera Auction catalog
The Leica CL is arguably one of the most popular Leica cameras due to its affordability, so the film geeks in the audience are going to truly appreciate this Leica CL Dealer Poster available at the Tamarkin Rare Camera Auction coming this November. The auction is famous for finding and selling some of the coolest stuff to the highest bidders. I’ve seen some extremely rare Leica pieces auctioned off there and in November this year, they’re auctioning off this and a few other really cool pieces from Zeiss, Leitz, and so much more.
So why is a Leica CL Dealer Poster so cool? Well, these posters tend to get scrapped and thrown in the garbage. Let’s draw on my experience from working at a camera retailer: camera manufacturers often pay for space on a showroom floor or in windows. So they typically try to create the most eye catching posters and displays as possible. This one shows off the technology inside of the Leica CL–which the company wasn’t always so heavy on promoting vs the experience of using a rangefinder, etc. When these posters are pulled down, they’re typically tattered, torn, and simply thrown out. But some odd reason, someone decided to keep one. That rare poster is now being auctioned off and is expected to get somewhere between $150-200. In my opinion, that’s pretty damn cheap considering that it’s 17 x 15.25 inches. I’ve seen printed photos these days sold for even more and they’re not from super famous photographers or even have a limited number of quantities to them.
The Leica CL had a few variants. There was the Minolta CLE (which is almost the same camera) and the Leitz Minolta CL. The prices on all of them vary greatly. Sometimes you can get a camera with a lens for $450 while at other times the prices jump to $1,500 from what I’ve seen. The camera is so lusted after because of its incredibly small size, the 40mm f2 lens that comes with it is incredibly sharp even by today’s standards, and the camera is more or less really simply to use. It’s also a camera that works totally mechanically unless you want to put a battery in the camera to activate and power the light meter. But if you know how to use Sunny 16 methods, then there is no reason to use the meter.
Be sure to check out more info about the auction over at their website.