Ducati Sogno & Simplex Microcamera & Lens Value (price) and Availability

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 on only 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: $600~700, Good: $700~900, Excellent: $900~1,400, Mint: $1,400~2,000

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 600, and can be considered Very Rare.

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 the earliest ones had the factory synchronization added to a 6401.1 body, and the extra ‘1’ of the code number stamped ‘manually’. The last few had ‘factory’ or ‘machine’ stamped 6401.11 bodies. 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: $2,000~6,000 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: $250~350, Good: $350~500, Excellent: $500~750, Mint: $800~1,100

NOTES: For the above Sogno camera pricing, they should be 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 and 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 best estimate is that only about 100 of these lenses existed, most 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: $1,800~2,500

DUCATI - OD 6409.1 – DUGON Lens 19mm / 6.3: Our best estimate is that between about 90~130 of these lenses existed, they are very rare! Only a few sales are known, and they only come up for sale every couple of years. 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: $1,800~2,500

DUCATI - OD 6404.1 – ELTOR Lens 40mm / 2: Our best estimate is that only about 90 of these lenses existed, they are very rare! Only a few sales are known, and they have only come up every four or five years. 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 other extreme!

Price Estimate: Poor: $900~1,200, Good: $1,200~1,500, Excellent: $1,500~2,000, Mint: $2,000~3,000

DUCATI - OD 6403.1 – LATOR Lens 60mm / 2.8: Our best estimate is that about 500 of these lenses existed, they are uncommon. They come up for sale a few times per year.

Price Estimate: Poor: $500~600, Good: $600~700, Excellent: $800~1,000, Mint: $1,100~1,500

DUCATI - OD 6405.1 – LUXTOR Lens 40mm / 1.5: Our best estimate is that only about 60 of these lenses existed, they are extremely rare! Very few sales are known, they only come up for sale every ten years or so. Some lucky bidder at eBay got one a few years ago, we didn’t see it until too late.

Price Estimate: Poor: $1,200~1,500, Good: $1,500~2,000, Excellent: $2,000~3,000, Mint: $3,000~5,000, or more.

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: $350~600

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. We have yet to see a Nitor example, and only one of the Fitor, which is in our collection. They seem only to exist as either prototypes or were made in minute quantities.

Price Estimate: No ‘open market’ sales known. Possibly $2,000~5,000 (or more?) would be our rough estimate. Similar Leica or Zeiss lens prototypes, for example, realize sky high prices.

DUCATI - OD 6408.1 – TELETOR Lens 120mm /5.6 (“Fat” version) & OD 6408.2 - TELETOR 120mm /5.6 (“Slim” Version): Our best estimate is that about 280~350 of these lenses existed, they are uncommon. They come up for sale a few times per year.

Price Estimate: Poor: $500~600, Good: $600~700, Excellent: $800~1,000, Mint: $1,100~1,500

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: $200~350, Mint: $400~500