Headshot, portrait, street and documentary photographer in NYC and Jersey City

alastair.arthur@gmail.com

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Leica Store Experience

I’d never walked into a Leica store before Saturday. I always thought I’d feel like an imposter, like walking into a Lamborghini showroom hoping for a test drive. Even though I’ve probably had more advanced driver training than many (maybe most) Lamborghini owners, it’s a money thing. But I’m still intrigued to know whether a Leica would be worth the investment. Would the simplicity, the history, the design, the craftsmanship justify even a little of the extra cost?

So I went to take a look.

Firstly, it was a perfectly pleasant experience. The sales guys were friendly and knowledgeable and had cameras ready to try out (although sadly no CL). The weird thing was though, they each clearly had their own preference of camera and wanted to explain why. I tried a Q2 (beautiful), an used M9 and an SL. And it was the SL that got more explanation. I’m sure it’s a great camera. The EVF is wonderful. But it’s a big old beast and if I wanted that I’d be looking at medium format. No mention of the M10 or the film versions.


So I left a little disappointed rather than excited over the possibilities. I’m pretty sure I’d get on well with the Q but didn’t have long enough with it to know for sure. They don’t loan the cameras out anymore, although apparently that is possible at Photoville. So I don’t see myself getting a digital Leica any time soon, and I’m still left to ponder the possibility of an M6. A fully mechanical analogue experience seems to fit perfectly with film and would be a more sensible financial investment too.

I appreciate the honesty and lack of sales push though, so thanks for the time Leica store guys, and thanks for not costing me any $ just yet. (That Q2 though is a lovely thing).




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