Been wanting to grab a Leica camera with an interesting story or cool fact behind it? You might want to consider getting our latest ebay find: the last Leica M3 ever made. That is, if you’re willing to part with an outrageously large sum.
We’ve shared a number of vintage Leica goodies on ebay that make them worth loads of cash (or at least at prices the sellers have set), and this item certainly tops our list. According to Ontario-based ebay seller setadel_studios, this is the last Leica M3 body that came from the last and smallest batch of 20 units made in 1966. “This being the FINAL and LAST camera of the production line and the final termination of THE GREATEST RANGEFINDER camera EVER MADE if not THE GREATEST CAMERA ever made. A true historical find and in NEW condition, NEVER USED, IN NEW condition as it left the factory more than 60 YEARS ago!”
The Leica M3 body with serial number 1164865 is in mint condition, with the original “L” seal untouched. Aside from items like the the rope that came with the camera, box, foam fitting, and body cap, the camera also comes with several documents to reiterate its authenticity: the original serial number, service card, special order request, receipt, original matching order number from the original owner in 1968, and letters of authenticity from Leica.
Introduced in 1954, the Leica M3 was the most successful models from the M series, known and loved for the features it brought to Leica. It was the first to have the bayonet mount, an integrated viewfinder and rangefinder in one large eyepiece, and built-in frame lines for 50mm, 90mm and 135mm with automatic parallax correction. It also introduced the rapid film advance lever with two quick strokes for advancing the film and cocking the shutter. By the time production ended with this camera in 1966, Leica has sold more or less 226,178 M3 units.
Now, this beauty would cost you more than an arm and a leg — a whopping $595,000, to be exact. Is it worth your entire life savings and more? Check out the ebay listing and decide if you want to take the plunge and buy it now.
All images from the ebay listing by Setadel Studios