Home Cameras/Lenses Leica Sean Flynn’s Leica M2 discovered after nearly 50 years

Sean Flynn’s Leica M2 discovered after nearly 50 years

  Sean Flynn
Sean Flynn’s M2 with its 35mm Summilux. The strap was hand fashioned from a parachute cord and a hand grenade pin during a war photographer’s “craft session” in Vietnam. (Image Bellamy Hunt)

Sean Flynn, the son of film star Errol Flynn, is best known as a war photographer, especially for his work in Vietnam. He was kidnapped in 1970, presumably by the Viet Cong, and never seen again. He left behind a Paris apartment with all his personal effects, including his well-worn Leica M2, which was eventually returned to his family and it remained hidden for over 30 years. 

  Sean Flynn, centre right, during the Vietnam war
Sean Flynn, centre right, during the Vietnam war

Bellamy Hunt of Japan Camera Hunter has recounted the fascinating story of the Flynn M2 and how it came into his possession. Its started when a photographer found Sean Flynn’s bag at an antique show in Atlanta and the story just gets better. As Bellamy says:

I have been very lucky throughout my career to have found some amazing cameras, but every now and again you come across something that sets itself apart. This is one of those cameras. The vast majority of the cameras I see have no record, you literally have no idea where they have been. But this camera is different, it has a well documented history that was thought to have been lost. But through a bit of digging and a lot of luck the history of this camera has revealed itself.

One of the reasons that makes this camera so special is that we absolutely know where it has been, who it belonged to and what it has been doing. How do we know this? Because the camera has been doing nothing, absolutely nothing. This camera has been tucked away in a dark corner for more than 30 years. But recently the family finally decided that a new home should be found for it, which is when they found me.

Find the full story here at Japan Camera Hunter



  1. A friend sent this link to me last week. The black paint M2 and the steel rimmed Summilux would be valuable in themselves, but the provenance and the back story add so much more. Having the bag as well is the icing on the cake, so to speak. I had heard somewhere that this camera was going up for auction, but it is good to hear that the camera is going to be part of exhibition honouring the photographer’s work and will be resident in Saigon. This really completes the circle on this camera and, more significantly, on the work of Sean Flynn.


    • As a gift there would be no contest. If you had to pay, this outfit would cost many Qs (white or just plain vanilla). This is a real collector’s item. The white Q is a ‘manufactured’ item for fashionistas or people who are buying on spec in the hope of a long-term appreciation in value.


  2. Fantastic that his camera survived and was rescued . A big tip of my helmet to whoever acquired this and thank you! The only thing I have in common is we were both Vietnam graduates.


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