Optics of War

WW2 era cameras and binoculars to go under the hammer

Our February Fine Art Sale will include some unusual WW2 period cameras and binoculars.


The most unusual piece featured is the Robot Luftwaffe-Eigentum clockwork camera. This forty-eight exposure camera has an automatic shutter powered by a wind-up spring drive motor, the mechanism is wound by the large cylinder protruding from the top of the unit. The rear of the camera is marked ‘Luftwaffe-Eigentum’ (Airforce Property) and caries the FL serial number assigned to ‘Flyers’ cameras. Approximately 20,000 of these cameras were produced during WW2 and were fitted either in the wings of Messerschmitt 109’s or Focke Wolfe fighters syncing with the guns or were used handheld by the crew members for reconnaissance. The example in the February sale has a 4cm lens as well as the famous 7.5cm Tele-Xenar lens.



Also included in the February auction are two pairs of Barr and Stroud 7x Naval binoculars, both broad arrow marked, one with war time serial number, and two Leica screw thread cameras, a IIIB from 1938 and a IIIC dating to 1943. The later of these cameras, whilst not being part of the military serial number run, has all the hallmarks of a camera that has seen war service. The black enamel finish shows all the marks scars and wear of heavy use in rough and challenging conditions and a pleasing patina now exists across this classic Leica.  


The 14th -15th February Fine Art Sale catalogue will be online from the 1st February 2018. Viewing at the saleroom: Sunday 11th 2-4pm, Monday 12th 10am-5pm and Tuesday 13th 10am-4pm as well as the morning of sale 9am-11am.





Leica IIIF Black Dial camera, serial number 535333 circa 1950-51, fitted with Summarit f=5cm 1:1,5 lens number 801985, together with Leica sunlight filter and leather ever ready case, also two Weston light meters and an Agfa flash unit.






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