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Cameras/leitz wetzlar camera


I found this leitz wetzlar camera from Germany with a number d.b.p. 1044601. I was doing demolition work on a hospital today and found it. Was wondering how old it is and if it is worth anything. Any help would be great. thank you!

Hello Justin,

From the serial number, that's probably a Leica M3, a professional 35mm coupled rangefinder camera, made by Leitz of Germany around 1962. It's a fabulous camera, but value depends on overall condition, whatever lens is mounted on it, and whether there are any additional accessories. Condition is key. They made over 225,000 of these between 1954 and 1966, the majority have survived, so they're quite common, yet still highly regarded for their outstanding quality. Depending on condition and lens, you could have something that's worth as little as $400 or as much as $1800. Then, of course, you'd need to find a buyer, and eBay won't work because that's where too many M3 cameras are floating already, so you'll need some guidance getting it sold properly. Please contact me at the e-mail address below, provide a few small pics, then I'll first verify the model, assess the condition, figure a value range, and finally offer some recommendations for maximizing your profit. The pics don't need to be extreme close-ups or show minor details, I just need to see the overall appearance, but make sure you remove any case or caps so nothing is obstructed from view. Okay, you've got a great camera there, and I look forward to hearing from you!

Best wishes,

David F. Silver - President
International Photographic Historical Organization  


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David Silver


I'm an expert on all types of antique, classic, and contemporary cameras, as well as the general history of photography. Everything from ancient box cameras to modern single-lens-reflex; from simple Kodaks to sophisticated Leica and Nikon; from glass plates and roll film to movie and 35mm. I can identify and appraise them, explain how they work, and offer insights on their restoration and care. I can also provide historical background on vintage cameras and equipment, and guidelines on their purchase and sale.


I've been a professional photographer and a student of the history of photography for nearly 30 years. During that time my collection of vintage cameras and photographic paraphernalia has grown beyond 2000 significant pieces. I've published nearly 70 articles in the field, including 16 in the popular "Buying Classic Cameras" series for PHOTO SHOPPER MAGAZINE from 1995 to 1997, I'm currently a contributing editor for CAMERA SHOPPER MAGAZINE and McKEOWN'S PRICE GUIDE TO ANTIQUE AND CLASSIC CAMERAS, and I've written numerous entries for WORLD BOOK ENCYCLOPEDIA. Portions of my collection have been displayed in museums and special exhibits in the past two decades, and many of the items were photographed as illustrations for books. In 1985 I founded the International Photographic Historical Organization (InPHO), which eventually evolved into its intended purpose as the best first resource for information on the history of photography. I'm also a founding member of several e-mail forums dedicated to specialized areas of photography, and I'm the moderator of the Internet Directory of Camera Collectors (IDCC), which remains the largest and most successful such group in the world. For more information about the International Photographic Historical Organization and its many services, please visit its web pages at:

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