Object of Desire: Leica M for (Red) Camera

March 11, 2014

By Dan Havlik

Here’s an “object of desire” you likely won’t ever own. It sure is pretty though, which is not surprising considering it was created by two of the most celebrated product designers in the world. A one-of-a-kind Leica M Type 234 digital rangefinder, the camera was designed by Apple’s Jony Ive and industrial designer Marc Newson. The reason you won’t likely ever own this striking Leica M is that it was auctioned off last year to benefit the (Red) project, with proceeds going to The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. The winning bid for the chic rangefinder was $1.8 million, which is more than twice what it was expected to fetch. With the rare collaboration of Ive and Newson, the classic Leica M lineage and the knock-out design, we’re actually somewhat surprised it didn’t go for more. The Leica M for (Red) has a laser machined aluminum body and an anodized aluminum outer shell. According to Leica, a total of 561 mock-up camera models and 1,000 prototype parts were made during the design process. As with Leica’s other M Type 234 rangefinders, this one-off model features a 24-megapixel, full-frame, CMOS sensor; a more powerful processor; and a new Leica APO-Summicron-M 50 mm f/2 ASPH lens. The owner of the Leica M for (Red) had not been named (as of this writing), but if the camera was ever to be re-sold, it would likely fetch even more than the stratospheric winning bid.

$1.8 million

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