NASA’s Apollo Program was an audacious mission to send astronauts to the moon – a national goal set by President John F. Kennedy’s in a bold speech in 1961 that was an ongoing part of the Cold War. NASA’s use of photography aboard spacecraft originated during the Mercury Program when John Glenn carried two cameras during his Mercury-Atlas 6 program: 1) a Leica 1g for ultraviolet spectrascopic photos, and 2) a modified Ansco Autoset (which was a rebadged Minolta Hi-Matic by the Ansco Company) which took the first human-shot, color still photos.
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Mold is the enemy of photography gear and many of us will skip buying a second-hand camera or lens if it’s infested by fungus. But one optimistic seller has recently listed two really moldy Hasselblad 500 c cameras with 80mm lens and back. And I mean, really moldy!
We’ve seen some pretty amazing eBay camera gear listings (this is my personal favorite). At the moment, an eBay seller is offering the last Leica M3 camera ever produced. The seller claims that it’s never been used and that it’s in the condition “as it left the factory more than 60 years ago.” And this rare piece of gear will set you back mere $595,000.
Since the end of the Cold War, we’ve been seeing bizarre spy gadgets make the news and blow our minds. Because most of those gadgets are quite difficult to find, they’ve become hot items for collectors. In 1991, Christie’s even sold a gold-plated KGB ring spy camera for $25,000. It was so rare that in an interview with L.A. Times, Christie’s spokeswoman Katherine Curtis even said: “We think there is only one other ring camera like it in the world.”
Well, that “one other ring” just showed up on eBay for $19,490.15. (yes, and 15 cents). Unlike the version sold by Christie’s, this particular ring is made of 14K solid gold, complete with a stamp that certifies its purity.
From time to time, life rewards you with some crazy luck. Justin Whiting from Spalding, U.K. was extremely lucky to buy a 19-century photo on eBay, which turned out to be a rare portrait of Jesse James, an infamous American outlaw. Whiting bought the photo for only seven pounds (around $10), and as it turns out – it could actually be worth $2 million.
Brand new unopened cameras are not uncommon on eBay, and usually aren’t that big a deal, unless that camera is something like a military issue Leica Leitz KE-7A. With a price tag of $45,300, it’s certainly aimed at a very special type of collector.
According to the eBay listing description, the Leica KE-7A was produced in both military and civilian models, but the military issues can be distinguished by having FSN (Federal Stock Number), Cont. (contract designation), and U.S. (United States) markings.
Some might argue that retouching photos is part of the jobs. Others would say that it’s an entirely different trade altogether.
Whatever your opinion on the matter is, it appears the art of retouching has officially made its way to the online marketplace of eBay. [Read More…]