The idea of mounting a camera to a rifle stock to help a photographer improve stability isn't completely new. But finding a working example in as pristine condition as this Leica Telephoto Assembly Rifle is extremely rare. And that's probably why it's expected to fetch upwards of $100,000 at auction.
Created by the E. Leitz agency, the New York offices of the German-based optics maker, the Leica Gun was originally manufactured for sports photographers working the 1936 Olympics in Berlin. But it quickly became popular among wildlife photographers as well. The setup consists of a Leica IIIa camera mounted to a rifle stock, making it easier for photographers to steady it against their person. Atop the camera there's a Leica PLOOT reflex housing, enhanced with an eyepiece magnifier, allowing the shot to be properly framed with this rig. While a 200mm Telyt lens turns the photographer into a non-lethal sniper targeting only Kodak moments.
The seventy year old specimen is in near perfect condition, probably because it's been stored in its original case which is included in the Tamarkin auction. The starting bid is listed at $65,000, but given the rarity of this piece, and the collectibility of Leica gear, it's probably going to sell for well beyond that. So strap your digital P&S to a Super Soaker and go put a down payment on a house instead. [Leica Telephoto Assembly Rifle via LeicaRumors]