A Collector's
Love Story

Vintage cameras offer a sense of time
Douglas So

Vintage in general is trending, and vintage cameras are getting more and more popular. They can be found in every flea market and especially young people are showing a great interest. Enthusiasts are looking out for these special and rare pieces, not only because of their value but also because of nostalgic reasons and a certain individuality that can be gained by owning one.

Douglas So from Hong Kong is one of the greatest enthusiasts and has been collecting cameras for almost 20 years. With his initiatives he is not only promoting photography, but encouraging heritage conservation. At the F11 Foto Museum and f22 foto space - which he is the founder of - he gave us a glimpse of his collection and explained why collecting to him is much more than just buying.

"The fact that Leica is organizing the Leitz Photographica Auction gives a lot of credibility and confidence to the bidders."

Douglas So was very lucky to acquire an MP camera at one of Leica's auctions, previously owned by Magnum photographer Stuart Franklin. This camera is not just famous because of its former owner, but also because it’s the first MP camera ever produced.

See highlights of the upcoming Leitz Photographica Auction

"Collecting means
that you get to know
what you are buying."

Douglas So gets a very good understanding through reading. There is a lot of literature, which beginners should study carefully, to be able to differentiate between what is genuine and what is not.

"They were not considered commercially successful."

Douglas rates the MP cameras made in 1956 and 1957. At the time only 402 cameras were made; in the end they became collectible because of the very special features that do not exist in other Leica M cameras.

"The joy in the end
comes from sharing
what you know."

The fact that lots of cameras belonged to famous photographers is what attracts Douglas' attention. One of his favorite ones was owned by Ian Berry and shows beautifully, how well the camera has been used.

Read the in-depth interview with Douglas on the Leica Blog