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LEICA D.B.P. Value

David David , Aug 05, 2004; 08:50 a.m.


I have an opportunity to buy this camera. I've never had it in my hands so this is all I know about it. Value?? Good investment??? Thanks.


Mike Kovacs , Aug 05, 2004; 09:24 a.m.

D.B.P. means Deutches Bundes Patent (postwar, West Germany patent). That should be Ernst Leitz and the lens markings you wrote are odd.

How about the serial number of the camera and the lens as a start?

Tom Burke , Aug 05, 2004; 09:36 a.m.

Sounds like a Post camera - used by the german Post Office (Deutches Bundes Post?) to photograph telephone meters. These had 'DBP' stamped on them. They were adapted from general models - 1c, M1, MD, MDa. They hd non-interchangeable lenses, fixed-focus Summaron 35mm, initially f3.5, later f2.8. Some of the camera took a 24 x 27mm negative, others used the standard 24 x 36. (All info from Rogliatti's First 60 Years' book).

Jean . , Aug 05, 2004; 11:39 a.m.

D.B.P. indicates postwar (federal) west germany, as opposed to the pre-war D.R.P. where the R stands for "Reich", which is odd, since germany was not a monarchy anymore, hence calling it "empire" did not make much sense, and it started as a democratic country in 1919, so it has nothing to do with wwII either..

D.B.P. Deutsches Bundespatent
D.R.P. Deutsches Reichspatent

Both simply indicate that the product is regisetred and protected by a german patent. The "p" could also be "Patentamt", referring to the patent office, but this seems unlikely to me)

Now enter the postal service! Indeed the abbreviations are the same, but they have never been used with dots, as far as I know (and I worked many years there at the german postal service)

DBP = Deutsche Bundespost, German federal mail

And of course you already guessed it, in the dark ages before 1949 it was
DRP = Deutsche Reichspost, German imperial Mail

Since it's D.B.P. with dots, it seems unlikely that it refers to the Bundespost.

- Stu Evans , Aug 05, 2004; 05:48 p.m.

It's from the Leitz factory in Earnest - like when they say, "The snow began in Earnest at ten o'clock" or "The effort began in Earnest"; this is the famous town.

A 5KM lens is an earlier model with excellent bokeh but was intended for portraits since it would not focus past 5 kilometers.

Hope this helps.

William Hoffman , Aug 05, 2004; 06:56 p.m.

If the camera is truly marked "Earnest" rather than "Ernst" and "Wetzler" rather than "Wetzlar" I think the thing is a BAD forgery! Check the spelling . Best regards, Bill

James Mitchell , Aug 05, 2004; 09:38 p.m.

Doesn't seem like Jay to me.

Volker Hett , Aug 06, 2004; 09:04 a.m.

Stu, this is not the original 5KM lens, it's the second one as indicated by the engraving 2ND 1 and the 35 indicates its outstanding resolution of 35 lp/mm. It's loved by portrait photographers for its capability to have just the tip of the third eyelash on the left eye in focus and everything else blured out. And back to the question, it's a fake and worth around $20

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