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Cameras/Leitz Elmarit-R 180mm f/2.8 lens #2939807 @1980


Leica Lens
Leica Lens  
Dear David

I have a leica lens I would like to know a bit more about and find out the value.  The printing around the lens says: Leitz Wetzlar 2939807 Elmarit-r 1:2.8/180.  It is in great shape with only a little paint wear on on the tip of the hood.

Thank you


Any Leitz lens with the "R" designation is meant for use with the Leicaflex and/or Leica R series single-lens-reflex 35mm film cameras, and the later versions will also work on the Leica R digital cameras. The Elmarit-R 180mm f/2.8 is a relatively "fast" telephoto lens in this system...

You have a very early example of the "type II" variation of this lens, it came off the assembly line in 1979, and was introduced to market in 1980. It's much lighter and more compact than the "type I" version, and it has the full function "three-cam" mount that allows the lens to use all available settings and such on all the earlier Leicaflex camera models, and through all the more advanced Leica R3 to R7 models, as well as digital. Although fairly common, the lens remains very desirable, and truly excellent examples can sell upwards of $500. In this sort of generally used shape, it's hard to tell, but I'd guesstimate a fair market value around $350, assuming the optics are clean and bright. They appear and sell regularly on eBay.

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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