By now we all probably know that a Hasselblad 500 that made it to the moon as part of the 1971 Apollo 15 mission, and came back again, has sold for €660,000 (after auction fees) to Terukazu Fujisawa, founder of Japanese retail chain Yodobashi Camera. So that's equivalent to £550,000, US$910,000, or AU$997,000, give or take. This got me wondering, what else could I buy for £550,000, photographic or otherwise?
Let's start with a Hasselblad, to put things into context. I've found a Hasselblad H5D-50, with either a 24mm, 28mm, 35mm, 50mm or 50-110mm lens retailing for £25,500. You could buy 21-and-half of those for what it cost to get the Hasselblad 500 that went to the moon.
Or, if you're looking for a top flight Nikon, the new D4S is £5,200. You could buy almost 106 of those for one moon-jaunting Hasselblad. Pair a D4S with an 800mm lens that costs about £14,000 and you've spent £19,200. That's a 28:1 ratio. (Or 39 800mm lenses alone.) If you're looking for something more entry level, a Canon 700D with a 50mm ƒ/1.8 costs in the region of £580. So that's 948 of those. Or it's 611 Fujifilm X100S.
Away from cameras, the average price of a yearling at Tattersalls' October 2013 was 207,501 guineas. What with a guinea being £1.05, you're looking at just about two baby race horses there. If you need somewhere to train your racehorses, there's a 14-box yard with a trainer's house selling for £550,000 in Newmarket right now. Or you could go for a one-bedroomed flat in central London.
At a recent auction of Impressionist paintings at Sotherby's in London, quite a few lots went for sums in the region of £550,000, so you could always try looking for a Bonnard or a Sisley if they take your fancy.
There's plenty of things you can spend your £550,000 on if you missed out on the moon-walking Hasselblad.