Ducati Sogno & Simplex Microcamera & Lens Value (price) and Availability
(Pricing updated 2023 to account for more stock coming to the market and our continuing study of it.)
Accurate pricing of these rare cameras and lenses is difficult at best, especially for the very rare versions (the Argon, Dugon, Eltor and Luxtor Lenses, the Syncro Sogno and etc…) as there are so few sales on which to base the results. The major website that attempts such pricing, Collectiblend, is limited by the 10’s of thousands of cameras and lenses it tries to maintain a database for. Diser does an excellent job there, but he cannot possibly research in depth each and every camera or lens listed, so the results there are not always accurate, which is freely shown on their “accuracy ranking bar”. We also have a problem with basing value primarily only on auction results in general, because only those that are lucky enough to have known about and can see the auction, online or in person, have the chance to bid. They also seem to have started the site with the famous list and pricing as provided by McKeown’s. At least on eBay there is a larger audience, but even there only those that happen to be watching during the slim auction time period, 7 or 10 days normally, have the chance to see and bid on it.
McKeown’s is a bit dated, and when last updated in 2004 there was hardly an internet that compare’s to today’s vast amount of available information, and we think that some of his pricing were ‘guesstimates’ in many cases, especially for some of the lesser known cameras, such as the Ducati. We disregard his price estimates for today’s market as inflation, a renewed interest in film, and the influence of the Chinese open market has raised prices substantially since then. He had also priced the Simplex & Sogno equally, which is definitely not the case.
Here we will attempt to give our views on fair pricing based on our experiences, and we understand that others may disagree, that is the nature of such things.
The Ducati Sogno & Simplex Cameras
DUCATI SOGNO Camera OR 6401.1: The Ducati Sogno was manufactured in total of perhaps 9,500 units in various versions. The standard Sogno Camera can be considered “Very Uncommon”, there are usually 5~10 for sale each year on eBay or other web sales. (serial numbers observed from 00091 to 09501)
Price Estimate: Poor: $500~600, Good: $600~700, Excellent: $800~1,000, Mint: $1,200~1,600
DUCATI SOGNO "per Collaboratore” Camera OR 6401.1: It is not known how many were branded for employees and ‘collaborators’, but as they come up for sale sometimes it must have been at least 300, perhaps as many as 600, and can be considered Very Rare. "Omaggio A Collaboratore" are much rarer.
Price Estimate: As above Sogno but add $150 or so to each.
DUCATI SOGNO “Synchronized” Camera OR 6401.11: It is not known how many were made, our best guesstimate is less than 50. We have only seen a few and all have had the factory synchronization added to a 6401.1 body, and the extra ‘1’ of the code number stamped ‘manually’. Serial numbers seen from 094xxx to 09501. Only one sale is known (Serial Number 09501) and was purchased by us for about $4,000. They are Extremely Rare. And we like to think that ours may have been the last camera produced by Ducati, it is at least the highest serial number known by us to date.
Price Estimate: $2,500~6,000 would be our rough estimate of their value depending on condition.
DUCATI SOGNO “Sport” Camera OR 6401.3: Only one known camera, the sky is the limit.
DUCATI SIMPLEX Camera OR 6404.1,The Ducati Simplex was manufactured in less than 8,000 units (serial numbers observed from 10001 to 17843)
Price Estimate: Poor: $250~300, Good: $350~400, Excellent: $400~500, Mint: $600~800
NOTES: For the above Sogno camera pricing, they should be in working order and fitted with a lens, and if it is the 2.8 version of the Vitor a slightly higher ($100~150) value could be warranted. If it includes a case or any other accessories, this will increase the value/price. And lastly, most of these vintage cameras with their 70-year-old shutter curtains will probably need an overhaul for extended use, including a new curtain, and this can cost $300~500, or more. If this has been completed recently the value/price would rise accordingly. These cameras, and especially the lenses, usually can NOT be serviced by your neighborhood technician, nor even most famous Leica technicians… a Ducati experienced technician is recommended, and they are few.
Buyer Beware: On eBay, some sellers put up very high prices, and some items stay there for months or years, hoping for the buyer who either does not know what to pay, or doesn’t care, and there some out there. Some dealers do the same. This is true for the accessories as well.
The Ducati Sogno Lenses
DUCATI - OD 6406.2 – ARGON Lens 28mm / 4: Our estimate of the small number produced can be seen on the Argon Lens page.Most are with the serial number starting with "3", they are very rare! Very few sales are known, and they only come up for sale every few years or so. Lenses with a serial number starting with "0" are even rarer and would be expected to fetch a higher price than below. We have never seen the 26mm version of this lens, should one appear it would be quite valuable to any serious collector.
Price Estimate: Poor: $700~900, Good: $900~1,200, Excellent: $1,200~1,800, Mint: $1,800~2,400
DUCATI - OD 6409.1 – DUGON Lens 19mm / 6.3:Our estimate of the small number produced can be seen on the Dugon Lens page, they are very rare! Only a few sales are known, and they only come up for sale every year or two. A couple of years ago one in excellent condition was sold at an auction for about $900, an anomaly and not normal in our opinion, we have seen them sold at $1,300 and $1,800 in good condition.
Price Estimate: Poor: $800~900, Good: $900~1,200, Excellent: $1,200~1,800, Mint: $1,800~2,400
DUCATI - OD 6404.1 – ELTOR Lens 40mm / 2: Our estimate of the small number produced can be seen on the Eltor Lens page,they are very rare! Only a few sales are known, and they have only come up every 4 or 5 years. By our current estimate, the Eltor is at least as rare as the Luxtor. A couple of years ago one in excellent condition was sold at an open auction for about $900 to some lucky bidder, we would have paid much more had we known! Another we saw that sold in Japan in similar condition, by a dealer, sold for $3,000, which is at the higher end.
Price Estimate: Poor: $900~1,200, Good: $1,200~1,600, Excellent: $1,800~2,200, Mint: $2,400~3,500
DUCATI - OD 6403.1 – LATOR Lens 60mm / 2.8:Our estimate of the small number produced can be seen on the Lator Lens page,they are uncommon. They come up for sale a few times per year, the light version less often.
Price Estimate: Poor: $500~600, Good: $600~700, Excellent: $700~800, Mint: $900~1,400
DUCATI - OD 6405.1 – LUXTOR Lens 40mm / 1.5:Our estimate of the small number produced can be seen on the Luxtor Lens page, they are extremely rare! Very few sales are known, they only come up for sale every ten years or so. Recently (June 1, 2023) we finally saw an open auction which was advertised 30 days in advance where a mint Luxtor, with mint Hood & 3 filters sold for the equivalent of $6,650. (Hammer price of 5000 Euros + 24% commission & VAT) at OstLicht Auctions in Vienna. It was a beautiful lens but we gave up at 4000 Euros. Note: The lens sold was of the later red serial number (SN: 34443) of which there are fewer known. Our estimates below now reflect this higher known sales price in an open market. We also updated the other rare lenses to higher values.
Price Estimate: Poor: $1,200~1,500, Good: $1,500~2,500, Excellent: $3,000~4,000, Mint: $4,500~6,000.
DUCATI - OD 6408.1 – TELETOR Lens 120mm /5.6 (“Fat” version) & OD 6408.2 - TELETOR 120mm /5.6 (“Slim” Version): Our estimate of the small number produced can be seen on the Teletor Lens page, they are uncommon. They come up for sale only a few times per year, the slim version not as often.
Price Estimate: Poor: $500~600, Good: $600~700, Excellent: $700~800, Mint: $900~1,400
DUCATI - OD 6401.1 – VITOR Lens 35mm /3.5: These were the ‘standard’ ‘normal’ lens from the beginning of production in 1946 until the 2.8 version replaced it in about 1951. We estimate that up to around 8,000 could have been made. They are uncommon, but rarely come up for sale as a single lens, most are ‘on camera’.
Price Estimate: Poor: $100~150, Good: $150~200, Excellent: $200~250, Mint: $250~350
DUCATI - OD 6401.2 – VITOR Lens 35mm / 2.8:Our best estimate is that about 2,300 of these lenses existed, they are uncommon, and most are on the cameras they came with, and so they do not come up for sale as often as might be expected. We suspect that not many ‘off camera’ lenses were sold, or if they were, that they are now on the cameras that they were bought for.
Price Estimate: Poor: $200~250, Good: $250~300, Excellent: $300~350, Mint: $350~400
DUCATI - OD 6402 – NITOR Lens 35mm / 2.8 & OD 6402.1 – FITOR Lens 35mm / 2.8: We have no estimation of the number of these that were produced. No Nitor examples are known, and only two of the Fitor's, both of which are in our collection. They seem only to exist as either prototypes or were made in minute quantities.
Price Estimate: No sales known. Similar Leica or Zeiss lens prototypes, for example, realize sky high prices.