Compass Camera by Jaeger LeCoultre

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by david_clark|18, Jan 18, 2013.

  1. Hey folks, I have a Compass camera which is the unusual almost spy like metal camera made by Jaeger.
    I have googled a fair bit about these but want to try and get this one repaired or sell for a more useable Leica.
    The end lens is missing I believe an anastigmat CL3 or similar, can this be sourced? Also the mechanism is sticky from no use for year, does anyone repair these?
    Any ideas on its current value not working without the lens - I guess therefore spares or repair?!
    It does have all the original manuals and a boxed film back.
    Any help appreciated!!
  2. put in auction (as found needing repairs), ie. Westlicht for example or the 'Bay............repairs and finding or fabricating parts would be frightfully expensive.
  3. If you have looked on the net you will know these cameras are sought after by collectors and sell for high prices. I doubt you would be able to source a lens for the camera but it might be worth contacting classic camera repairers in the UK where the Compass is probably most often found. They might have the opposite number to yours where everything except the lens is damaged and be keen to trade.
    I would only ebay it 'for spares or repair' as a last resort but make sure you put it on with a decent reserve.

    Here is an article on the Compass camera for those who have never heard of it before :
  4. My father had two of these. I wonder where there are now...
  5. The Compass camera is an incredibly complex and beautiful miniature instrument. I have never seen a Compass in person, but as a camera aficionado I get pleasure just from looking at images of it. I wonder if anyone ever did serious photography with a Compass, or was it just a technical tour de force to marvel at?
  6. thanks folks, i've taken it to a repairer i've used before to see what they think they are great with leica.

    Having read a bit more online i think it may be a slightly rarer one due to the shadowed " compass" engraved text and 26xx serial

    If anyone knows more or is interested send me a message.
  7. I believe, from memory, that there were two marks of the Compass Camera. When the second version came out the company offered a free Mark II version to everyone who had bought the Mark I in exchange for the old camera. As a result the Mk I is pretty rare. David, you would have to work out what version you have. If it is the earlier Mk I it might be worth spending a bit of money on it to get it sorted out. But this is a fairly rarified market so you would also need to do your research!
    I wonder if Canon ever thought of giving 5D customers a free 5D II or Mk III? I think we should suggest the Compass story to them as a precedent.
  8. The chances of finding the parts are snowflakes in hell rare. I have had two, one of which the seller actually thought it was a compass(magnetic) and I got it for 50GBP. It was a Mk 1 and I sold it at Christies for 1100 GBP. I wish I hadn't.

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