Until the year 1966, the longest focal length for a Leica lens was always 400 mm. Experiments with longer focal lengths date back as early as 1946. Individual specimens of lens prototypes with focal lengths of 600, 800 and even 1000 mm focal length from the period of 1946-1949 are known to exist.
The lens here is an unknown prototype of a 600 mm lens with the largest aperture of f/8 and focusing-wheel from this period, which was discovered in South Africa in the 1990s. The lens does not carry a serial number. Truly a museum piece and probably unique.
LITERATURE Wilhelm Albert (ed.), Die Geburtstage der Leitz Fotokonstruktionen seit 1927, Leica Historica e.V., 1995, p. 143, 145-148; James L. Lager (ed.), Leica, Illustrated History, Vol. II, p. 133, 137
Photo credit: © WestLicht Photographica Auction