Throughout the early parts of the 1970s, Leica manufactured a small collection of Leica Leitz KE–7A rangefinder cameras.
Internally identical to Leica’s M4 camera, the KE–7A was created specifically for the U.S. Army and improved upon the M4 framework by adding a more durable shutter button designed to work in lower temperatures, as well as improved the weather sealing throughout the entire camera.
With only 505 units ever produced, the KE–7A is now considered a collectors item. Of the 505 units, 460 were acquired by the U.S. Army. The remainder were sold elsewhere and lack the U.S. Army insignia engraved on the ones purchased by the military.
Unsurprisingly, not many of these cameras are still around, especially in the hands of the general public. But right now, for a very hefty price tag, you can get your very own KE–7A set for a mere $45,000.
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Said to be unopened and in pristine condition, this KE–7A set comes with an untouched camera body, a Leica 50mm f/2 Elcan Lens, lens hood/cap, a case, a release cable, and an accompanying camera strap. The icing on the cake is the camera manual, which is believed to contain a chapter that specifically references what should be done in the event the enemy combatant could somehow get possession of the camera.
The camera itself isn’t shown in any of the photos, reportedly due to being sealed in its original packaging. Don’t expect to receive an empty box, though. To help ease the expenditure of $45,000 without ever seeing the exact item you’re buying, the seller has included an X-ray image of the contents of the packaging, which indeed shows a camera inside.
To further prove the authenticity, the seller also shares various serialized numbers specifically given to the 460 cameras purchased by the U.S. Army.
If the X-ray image and serialized numbers aren’t enough to prove what’s inside, the seller notes that for a $7,500 non-refundable deposit, he will open the mint-condition packaging and unveil the camera.
In the event you have forty-five grand on hand, you can head on over and claim your purchase on eBay.