A NASA Leica MDa camera, produced circa 1966, has sold for $562,265 at Bonhams Hong Kong, proving the headline lot of the Leica centenary sale on November 29.
While the agency eventually chose Hasselblad to produce its cameras, Leica was also initially contracted to produce a camera to be used on lunar missions.
The Hasselblad was eventually chosen as it was a few grams lighter. Most were left behind on the Moon in the aftermath of the missions.
Jon Baddeley, worldwide head of Bonhams collectors' sales, commented: "We were delighted with the result of this, the third specialist sale of Leica that Bonhams have held here in Hong Kong.
"The strength of the market is now firmly focused on the great rarities as shown by the HK$4,360,000 achieved for the one of a kind Leica made as a prototype for NASA as proposed camera for the space traveller in 1966."
A Leica IIIf, manufactured for the Swedish army during the 1950s, was another highlight, achieving $64,480.
The lot is one of 100 models customised to cope with the extreme cold of the Scandinavian winter and features a specially made Elmar f/3.5 lens.
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