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David N. VanMeter

Jesse Owens Lens

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When I was very young I met Jesse Owens at a father/son dinner where my dad worked. He was a very nice man and I still have his personalized autograph. Last week, I picked up a minty Leica R 70-210 lens and low and behold, there was his signature on the lens. Not sure the seller knew it was there. In the meantime I have looked into this a little and I believe these were issued for the 50th of the Berlin games. Now for the attempt to ask a self-satisfying question, are these lenses rare at all? I think I read the cameras were limited to 300. I have no intention of selling it, just curious.

 

Thanks,

David

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It is a nice item, but special edition Leica R lenses are rarely collectors items. Boxed sets -R4+lens- tend to go for 1000-1500 Euro, so the lens alone will not command a spectacularly high premium.  Still, combined with your story, it is something worth hanging on to. Make sure to give it a CLA, these older zoom lenses often improve significantly by a window clean, there are many glass surfaces to pick up near-invisible haze which adds up.

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